Tuesday, November 24

Doi Angkhang

I love Asia; If you can open your heart and mind, and relax your grip on comfort you will most likely find adventure. If you are able to surround yourself with like minded people then you certainly will. In my experience, it is that simple. My first week back in Thailand has only strengthened my understanding of this equation. Shortly after I arrived, a number of old and new friends of mine traveled from Chiang Mai to the far-north to celebrate the wedding of our good friends Josh and Kat. While there were chartered vans heading to this remote, amazing area, I also heard that a number of my friends were planning to rent motorcycles to make the trek. Stoked. Where do I sign up?

After a crash course in learning how to drive a clutch motorcycle in thick Thai traffic, I was ready for anything. Me and my Kawasaki KLX 250 were road ready and fueled up. The drive was incredible and we arrived after a number of hours to the wedding site- an organic farming area directly on the border with Burma, deep in a mountainous region surrounded by dense green jungle and rising mist. To my surprise this area was very cold- freezing even, and it felt great. The next three days were filled with lots of eating, celebrating, toasting and exploring. We bushwhacked through jungle in search of steep limestone, we stumbled upon cock-fights, we shared tea above mist-filed valleys where Burma was just a water-balloon launch away. Oh and of course, we shared a beautiful two-part wedding complete with both traditional Thai and western ceremonies for our good friends. In a days time we all (100+ Thai and westerners) changed from Lanna dress to casual clothes to dressed-up American. The nights were long and cold, the days were short and filled with incredible food. It was amazing- congrats Josh and Kat!

This morning we arrived back in Chiang Mai and are now remembering the heat that typically characterizes any authentic Thai experience. I'm trying to organize a trip to Yangshou and potentially Vietnam, meanwhile I'm looking forward to a routine and some solid hours training my arse off. Anybody going to be around China or Asia in the next few months?

In other news.. Arcteryx has put together a short video featuring some footage and interviews of / about my send on 'Lucifer' at the Red River Gorge. It is the first of many video clips to be released on a number of different climbs at the Red- stay tuned and enjoy!