Like all of us, when ?lockdown? happened, we expected it to last for a month. Then, like all of us, we were surprised when it seemed to go on and on. Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, or maybe some of you are feeling stir crazy as well. We live in Colorado, a little over an hour from the Rocky Mountain range ? a year-round playground right in our backyard! When the state closed access to trails due to Covid-19, it was reassuring to know that we could access wilderness as soon as lockdown was over.

The walks, runs, and bike rides on trails around the city have been great, but the longer it lasted, the more we longed for the crisp, clean air and mountain solitude. Once restrictions started to ease, we planned our first hike and soon after, headed out to the mountains.

We started out early on Saturday morning to beat most other people to the trailhead…or so we planned. It was a beautiful drive through the winding canyon towards Indian Peaks wilderness, and we were excited for the morning ahead of us. Until we saw the policeman in the middle of the road, alerting drivers that the trailhead was full?!

Not to be deterred, I checked the map and found another small trail to a lake in an open space protected area ? a little off the beaten path so not very popular. The easy trail was more of a long walk in the woods than a hike, but it was still great to be outside with very few people!

The starting point at mountain lake 8000ft (2439m) above sea level was a short walk away. From there, we set off on a 5-mile (8km) loop gaining less than 1000ft (305m) of elevation – a great way for our legs to ease back to sloping terrain after over 3 months of flat city life. Our previous day out at altitude (over 11000ft!) had been for snowboarding in March ? an entirely different season and what feels like a lifetime ago!

Being out in the spring air was refreshing, with the smells and sounds of the forest all around.

The hike was shorter than planned, but exactly what we needed! The forest of green aspen and pine trees with mountain peaks rising tall above open meadows and an added bonus of the small mountain lake nestled within its midst, was a great start to the weekend. What a way to get back into nature!

The pandemic is still prevalent, but this should not stop us from planning and preparing our next adventure when travel resumes. We still have hopes of getting to Taiwan at the end of the year, so check out our Xue Mountain trek and our Holy Trail trek.

We also have lots of how-to videos, sharing of tips on topics such as photography, backpacking, climbing, diving and trekking on our Youtube Channel and website, to prepare you for your next adventure while staying at home. Subscribe to your Youtube channel now to receive updates whenever we upload great content!

Location: Lopburi, Thailand

The Climb ? Waltz of a lovely Wife (206m, 5c+)

PART 1:? All for the love of climbing…

Not long ago, I was in Thailand looking at this beautiful limestone peak that just shoots out of the ground from the middle of a sunflower field, and I thought to myself, ?That?s got to be an amazing view from the top? So I convinced my Meiqi that it is time we did a proper summit (like alpine climbing)

I was lucky enough to spend three days exploring Lopburi, Khao Jin Lae in a recent trip of my adventure travels.? I had a chance to do an excellent multi-pitch climb skills while being surrounded my beautiful sunflowers..

Most routes on Khao Jin Lae are sport (or bolted) routes.? There are a few trad routes but a few dedicated people put up some routes about 10 years ago making this a secluded climbing mecca.? Routes grades are more difficult here than routes in southern Thailand it seems, and it?s not easy to find the approach.

I discussed with Meiqi a few points of the basics of a full day multi-pitch climbing and thought it would be good to share.

Beginners Rock Climbing Thailand

Pre-Climb

?How many pitches will the climb take?

When researching the climb, try to figure out how many pitches it will be and think about your own experience of how long it takes for you to complete a pitch.? For example, if it takes :

  • 20 minutes to do a 30 meter pitch,
  • 10 minutes to set up the anchor and get in position to do a belay from above for the second climber
  • 20 minutes for the second to come up
  • 10 minutes to transition to start the next pitch

?That is one hour for one pitch.? If you have six pitches, that?s 6 hours just getting to the top. That?s not taking into consideration any breaks.? Plan the climb so that you have enough sunlight to summit and descend safely.

Breaks, what to take with you?

With six hours just for climbing to the summit. We needed to factor in breaks. (so a small backpack was needed) For our case we planned on a break on the 3rd pitch, 5th pitch, and at the summit. But also wanted to have water at every pitch.?

With 6 pitches and 2 people; if we drank 500ml of water every pitch (shared) that?s 3 liters of water or 3kg of water for just summiting.?

This doesn?t even factor having water for the descent. Plan accordingly.? Take snacks, chocolate, nuts, dried fruit.? We celebrated the summit with a coconut juice each, to revitalize…

Breaks

On my next write up, Ill discuss the climb itself and all the fun things to consider for a multipitch climb!

Join us on one of our courses to get the skills to confidently do outdoor rock climbing, whether you prefer sport, trad, multi-pitch or all of the above.

Even more rewarding is joining one of our treks that will utilize these skills while summiting amazing peaks.

Email Patrick@wildfirexpeditions.com for more information.