After a great trip to Italy we went to Crazy Horse Buttress outside Chiang Mai in northern Thailand for the second half of our climbing holiday. I’ve written about Crazy Horse a few times now – if I could only climb in one place for the rest of my life this would be it. The temperature was pushing 40 degrees but it was a dry heat like the Australian summers I grew-up with, which I find a lot easier to deal with than the humidity of Hong Kong.
I had read about Buddhist monks living in the area but had never seen one. When we arrived at one of our usual climbing locations, a monk was having breakfast in one of the shelters (which attracted the attention of the domestic pigs that roam the area). After confirming with a local that it wasn’t inappropriate for us to climb in the area we quietly got on with things. After a while, the monk came up to us and surprised us with a gift of some mangoes, speaking perfect English. After time in Italy and jet lag, the best I could muster in my surprised state was “Gracias” (which isn’t even Italian), a big smile and a bow.
Crazy Horse is a large area and even after quite a few trips we haven’t been to all the areas. We went to the Heart Wall (a brutal uphill walk in the heat but worth it) and Windy Cave for the first time. After a short dark scramble, Windy Cave opens up into a large cavern lit with sunlight from the roof. The inside of the cave is pleasantly cool and there are two climbing routes.
After a lot of climbing in the past two weeks, a rest day was reluctantly needed with shooting pains in my elbow. We went to the Elephant Nature Park, a refuge for rescued elephants that have suffered from injury or abuse, which is a very worthwhile rest day option.