We were coming in from Ao Nang on along tail when we saw all the climbers at Cobra Wall adjacent to the pier. The belay ledge is on a little shelf right above the ocean and the wall is covered in huge tufas and stalactites. It is gorgeous. There was a cluster of three 6a’s together that we wanted to climb. You have to approach at low tide and climb up a little 15ft cliff to access the routes. The marker to climb up is a huge stalactite reaching down and almost meeting a big stalagmite. A class 5 scramble and a rope ladder get you up on the cliff.
We got there right at noon and it had probably been in the shade no longer than 20 minutes. It was about another 45 minutes before we saw any other climbers approaching. When I got near the first route the heat was radiating so much that I instantly started dripping sweat from head to toe. Briana anchored into the belay station while I geared up and got on Cobra Head (6a). It was a real nice juggy 25 meter route. There was a tricky overhanging part around the 5th clip where I took a break, but it was real nice up to the anchor from there. When I got down I was sweating so much that just standing around was enough to keep me dripping. There was no breeze and even though it was in the shade it was still around 90°. Briana followed on top rope and we got ready for the next route.
A few other climbers came by and were warming up on the Cobra Head. We made the regular small talk as we cooled down and got ready to hop on Snake Skin (6a). One climber we talked to, Matt is living in Taiwan and writing the rock climbing guide. He got us pretty excited about climbing in Taiwan. It sounded incredible with really young climbing and freshly bolted sport routes. Hopefully we will make our way there to check it out. Until then you can check out his site www.climbstone.com
We had chilled out for awhile so it was time to hop back on the rock. I climbed Snake Skin with no problem. I thought Cobra Head was more difficult, even though it’s rated the same. Snake Skin had some really fun moves and a nice ledge near the top to chill for a few and check out the view.
The last climb we hopped on was Snake Whiskey (6a+). This was another long 25m climb with a bit of a crux between the last bolt and the anchor. It was a really nice clean route with good holds most of the way up. Briana was cleaning this route when our new friend Raymond from Ireland came by to see if he could get on a route with us. We met him at Chicken Mamma, the cheapest food option in town, in our first couple days here. He took a climbing class that morning and jumped right on Snake Whiskey. He was climbing well for having just taken a class.
We were ready to call it a day after Raymond came down and we decided it was time to head home. It’s been exhausting climbing in this heat every day. We have barely managed to get in 3 or 4 climbs before we are too exhausted to do anything else. We are also getting a good 10-12 hours sleep every night. Hopefully as the weeks go by we will have better endurance in this heat. I will say one thing though, I never expected to enjoy taking a cold shower as much as I do now. It’s pretty much the only time during the day that I am actually cool. I don’t think cold is a word that really exists here. The shower water is still about 65°, which is definitely refreshing when the coolest it has been is around 85° and just sitting around is enough to make you drip with sweat.