[Day 39-41] Ao Nang Tower and snakey fun

There’s a ton of beautiful routes here in Tonsai. The last few days, I’ve climbed a couple of classic ones.

April 9th, we warmed up in Groove Tube, a classic and fun (very easy) 6a that has you climb through a hole in the rock. After some more climbing, Romain and me headed over to Tonsai Roof. There we both managed to easily top Lal Bab, the 7a+, on our first attempt of the day :)!

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A view towards the Railay side of the bay from the top of Groove Tube.

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This monkey showed up during our Groove Tube climb, but all it cared for were leaves. Hmm, tasty, tasty leaves!

In the afternoon we gave a 7b on Cobra Wall a go. That one was quite a step up in difficulty though. Unless you are some kind of superhuman who has no trouble with one armed one finger pull-ups, the only way up was by making use of super polished, sloping footholds. Add to that the potential of royally messing up your fingers in case of a bad fall. We didn’t quite manage to top this one.

In the evening Che, an Australian, introduced me to cocktail buckets at one of the bars. They are exactly what you picture them to be :).

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Che and me (sneakily hiding behind the camera) with our cocktail buckets.

The next morning, Che, his girlfriend Matilda, and me took a long tail to Ao Nang Tower, a tall standalone rock in the middle of the sea. We managed to scale the 100m multi-pitch on it without too much trouble (6b, 6b+ and 6c, easy compared to Belgian grades) and were rewarded with beautiful views over the neighboring islands. The last pitch is pretty scary, with potential falls on sharp rock and a hanging belay a 100m above the ground, but the route is definitely a must do if you’re ever in the neighborhood. The long tail arrived back just in time and we were able to rappel straight onto it :).

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Scaling the 1st pitch on Ao Nang Tower, one stemming move at a time.

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The view down from the 2nd belay on Ao Nang Tower, about 60m up.

In the afternoon, I gave Andaman Café a go, a short, fun and bouldery 7b. The moves all seem doable, I just have to somehow source enough endurance to link them all in one go.

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Maybe I can improve my endurance by stuffing myself with more of these chocolate pineapple pancakes :)?

The 10th was once again kind of a rest day, since I was getting pretty sore of all the climbing. In the evening I gave Andaman Café another go and worked the moves a bit. I’m still hoping to properly climb it one of the next days.

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A mischievous monkey (unsuccessfully) attempting to block the way to the higher laying routes at the Tonsai Roof.

In the evening, I went to have goodbye drinks with Matilda and Che, since they were leaving. During some slacklining, Matilda suddenly cried out: “Snake!” I had almost jumped straight onto our new scaly friend. The 1.5m iridescent black snake didn’t really seem bothered when I poked it a bit with a stick. A little later someone caught it in a bag and identified it as a harmless Sunbeam snake. It then went on to enjoy a short-lived celebrity status, hanging around people’s shoulders, but in the end it was set free again. Fun times :)!

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The Sunbeam snake I almost jumped on top of during slacklining.

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Some guy catching our scaly new friend.

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A beautiful orange, gray & blue frog.

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One of the gazillion geckos running around at night.

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