Mountain Climbing in Thailand
What is it about a mountain that make a person want to endeavor to get to the top? Is it the likelihood of an awe-inspiring view that awaits? Is it the feeling of accomplishment at doing something that not just anyone can do? Perhaps it’s a combination of the two, along with a realization that few, if any, have treaded this route before.
Mountains harbor the last bastion of old-growth and primary jungle in tropical Thailand and across the globe. Almost everything in nature that is beyond easy reach is still there in its pristine state. That is the bottom line. Unfortunately, humans across the world have altered nearly everything that was alterable. Nonetheless, pure nature can be yours. You can see the unaltered realm. In tropical Southern Thailand, the ground is supposed to be covered with greenery, big trees, water and rocks. Much of it still is.
Limestone preserves hidden valleys and lagoons. It is within this territory that pristine life exists. No one sees it; no one hears about it, until now.
There’s a feeling of tremendous excitement as you approach a summit. It doesn’t really matter whether you’ve climbed for two hours or eight; that feeling is there. Of course, if you’ve achieved a summit that you knew would push your personal envelope of physical fitness, there is a pride that also accompanies you to the top.
Each of us has goals in our lives. For some, a laid-back approach to life is fine; we can cruise by without ever really pushing the fragile wrapper at all. For the rest of us, there is that burning desire to do something that make us feel satisfied, feel satisfied that we have done something that few, if anyone, has done before. This is what PaddleAsia is offering you.
PaddleAsia offers tropical mountain climbing trips of varying degrees of difficulty. For those who are fit and wish to accomplish a great feat of endurance and strength, we offer lengthy climbs with a lot of elevation change. You tell us what you are capable of and we’ll design a trip with that in mind. Like-minded and fit group trips are also available.
For those who want an easy climb up a gentle slope, we have plenty of trials that qualify. It’s not always about the push.
Click here to see the Thailand Mountain Climbing rating system.
Khao Sok National Park has been our long-time favorite travel destination in Southern Thailand. Khao Sok covers an area of 740 square kilometers. The vast park shares borders with other smaller national parks like Sri Phang Nga National Park. Klong Saeng, Kaeng Krung and Klong Kakha wildlife sanctuaries share borders as well. The result is the largest area of protected land in Southern Thailand. Consequence, this is a vast enough area to give refuge to large mammals such as wild elephants, gaur (a wild cow), tapirs, bears, tigers and other cats.
Just imagine a land where the Great Hornbill is one of the most common birds seen. This massive tropical airborne beauty hosts a two-meter wingspan. Seeing it fly overhead is a treat; seeing it from above is magical! Envision a land where gibbons, a small ape with a cuddly nature, swing freely in towering trees. Their acrobatic skills exceed those of the best Olympic athletes by leaps and bounds. Gibbons also have this misfortune, they are cute when young. The result is the babies are often captured for the illegal animal trade. That aside, very large numbers of White-handed Gibbons survive in the wilds of Southern Thailand. Orchids are abundant in remote parts of Thailand. They are poached relentlessly across the globe. The only places where you’ll find them in the proper abundance is in areas that are hard to reach, i.e., at elevated heights. In other words, if you want to see nature in her purest state, you’ve got to earn it. The degree to which you ‘earn’ it, is up to you. PaddleAsia offers all levels.
Tropical Mountain Climbing
Mountain climbing is often associated with cold weather, frostbite and breathing difficulties. Tropical mountain climbing is very rewarding and there is very little suffering. Of course, hardships are a bit of what genuine mountain climbing is about. If it was dead easy, everyone would do it.
The mountain climbing gear needed to climb tropical mountains is much less bulky. The limestone karst formations that make up the majority of mountains in Thailand are often sharp and brittle. Most of the technical rock climbing tour operators in Southern Thailand choose to bolt climbing routes as a result. There are ethics involved in this as some climbers feel that bolting a route alters the natural look of the rock. That aside, our goal is to reach the summits. The method is not as much a concern as the end result. We often utilize trees for both holds and in the case of vertical sections on more strenuous mountain climbing routes we offer, we use trees for roped protection.
Safety is of course paramount as injury and evacuation is a serious issue due to the remote nature of the areas where we operate. We have radio contact with the necessary rescue organizations. All PaddleAsia staff are CPR and first aid trained by local hospitals.
The time of year can change the difficulty level of some climbs. For example, a dry route on a certain mountain might be easy. But when wet, this same route could prove to be rather difficult.
At all times, caution must be taken. Three points of contact is a general rule in climbing. In other words, only one limb, be it foot or hand, should be moving at one time. That way, if you slip, the three other holds would be enough to support your weight.
Mountain Climbing Related Trip Reports
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