As we inch our way closer to Mongolia, we arrived in Thakhek, a small town in Laos after crossing the Thai/Laos Friendship bridge at Nakhon Phanom, East Thailand. Thankfully an uneventful land crossing, no bribing the guards or arguments which makes a change.
Green Climbers Home was our destination and another awesome climbing spot. We were here last year for Silvia’s 30th birthday and it’s basically an isolated camp, 20 minutes drive from the town run by a German couple who have been bolting extensively over the last 4 years, putting up over 320 routes.
No internet and nothing to do apart from climbing and exploring the caves in the area. We spent over three weeks here, living in a tent in the forest, just climbing.
I could end this post here as literally all we did was eat, climb, sleep, repeat, but I’ve been told to write more and elaborate so here goes.
No internet, meant no distractions and as everybody there was climbers it was like being in a big family. In the evenings, there were big group dinners where everybody discussed projects and chatted about cruxes (the hardest move on a route).
So just in case you don’t know what rock climbing is, it’s basically people dragging their arses up a rock face, clipping a rope into bolts until they get to the anchor which may or may not be the top of the rock but most certainly is the end of the route. You have a rope and with the use of proper safety standards it is relatively safe.
Thakhek is great because most of the crags are within 15 minutes walk and there is a massive cave with about 15, 30 meter overhanging roof climbs. The rock is super varied from technical face climbs to 3D tufa and stalactite climbing to pumpfest horizontal roofs.
Plus, loads of animals everywhere. There is the local herds of cows and goats which will come and chill with you while you’re climbing in the cave (and piss on your rope bag).
Kaleidoscopes of butterflies landing on your gear and of course the annoying mosquitos and flies that keep flying into your ears. Not easily forgotten were the snakes. We had a close encounter with an extremely poisonous green vipers which was attracted to the campfire and saw a few large brown snakes.
We’ve both lost a bit of weight but with all the climbing, we’ve got significantly stronger! Silvia is now cleaning 6c and I’m cleaning 7b, the highlight being Jungle King, a 32 meter pumpy roof climb in the cave.
Unfortunately there is no video at the moment, we took a lot of footage in Thakhek but our hard drive died. Thakekh was awesome! We had a great time, made some amazing friends and thoroughly recommend it if you’re in the area!
So now we are back to civilisation of sorts, we’ve skipped back to Thailand to the North, 45 minutes out of Chiang Mai. A couple of weeks climbing at Crazy Horse, the local crag, and back on WIFI, working on the blog and guides. Next stop China, if we can get the visas, there seems to be some issue but we’ve yet to find out what.
UPDATE – We’ve finished the video of our time in Green Climbers Home. Check it out here!