RAILAY, Thailand // It was our first day climbing today and I could not contain my excitement. We had all our own gear, just bought the most recent guidebook, and scouted out all of the walls on Railay for the past day and a half. We started on Diamond Cave at 7am, before the heat, and before all of the guides arrive with the new climbers. We did 3 easy warm up routes testing all our gear and just getting back into the feel for climbing.
We climbed a lot on our road trip in the United States // Santa Barbara, Holcomb Valley, Taos, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, but not at all in Hawaii. The past month in Hawaii we managed to go for runs almost every morning and do a lifting session 3 times a week, but climbing muscles are different. They are hard to build up, and once you stop for a while, you lose progress fast. I realized this by about the 4th climb of the day. By climb number 5 I kept falling on one spot. Why did I decide to do such a difficult route the first day? I have no idea, but I let the excitement get the best of me. I ended the day with 2 deep blisters on the middle and ring finger of my left hand, as well as a nice cut on my left knee.
I traveled with a 60 meter rope and a full sport rack of climbing gear halfway around the world to get beat up on beginner level climbs. I was so upset.
The following day we rested, to heal mentally (for me) and physically. We came back and I was much more focused. I taped up my wounds and was able to do 3 climbs, graded in my ability level, and didn't push any further. The final climb was challenging, but I led it without a problem and Jenny was able to do the whole climb on top rope easily as well. This was a huge boost of confidence for us.
My goal is to really push my levels of climbing here. Sometimes easing into things is better than trying to do something all at once. I learned the hard way, but it wont stop my passion for climbing difficult grades here, and trying some of the most classic and popular routes in the world.