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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
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|Green Climbers Home - Thakhek, Laos
Just thought I would quickly post this for all us Aussies to read.
Bit of background information - Grenn Climbers home is located just out of the Town 'Thakhek' in Laos. A German couple had set up a really nice little lodge to cater for climbers. Unfortunately a fire on New Year's Eve destroyed all but three bungalows. They have been looking for donations to try and rebuild.
I planned to visit after reading a trip report online a few months ago. A couple of weeks before we left I was shocked to find out that the place had burned down. We travelled anyway and found the most amazing climbing location. So far there are around 130+ routes of all grades including some massive roof/cave climbs. The scenery is amazing and the people are so nice. This is a super chilled out part of Asia and we have found none of negative experiences you find in other locations.
Anyway this is the latest post from Uli and Tanja (you can follow "green climbers home" on Facebook)
3 weeks have already passed since the Green Climbers Home burned down. After so many people offered to help, either by giving a hand, sending equipment, financial contributions, making benefit events or by spreading the word, we have decided to go on and rebuild our camp!
The donations have already raised a sum of 15.000 US Dollars from people all around the world. Many many thanks to our family, friends, partners, guests and the climbing community! I am so sorry that I havenít found time to thank everybody personally, but we are so grateful to each person who has donated!
From this amount we already can afford a new restaurant. The material is ordered already and the construction will begin the next days and be finished in maybe one and a half months!!! Amazing!!!
Many people asked if we would like to expand, but no! We would like to keep a nice familiar atmosphere and not to have masses of tourists (actually we wanted to be a secret spot among the climbing community, but now we are quite well-known I guess). Just the kitchen will be a bit bigger than before, so hungry climbers donít have to wait too long for the meal.
For rebuilding all the bungalows, the dorm and the staff house we still need about another 60.000 US Dollar.
We do not like to ask for money (to be honest: we hate it!), but we do not have another chance to keep this climbing paradise and the jobs for our staff. For all the climbers this place is a real jewel that need to be kept (see also the reviews from guests on Tripadvisor: www.tripadvisor.com/Search?q=green+climbers+home).
Uli and me and many other climbers spend already thousands of Dollars and hundreds of hours working for bolting the routes (one route costs between 80 and 100 Dollar). But everybody can come and climb for free (like in nearly every climbing area in the world).
If every climber just would give 10 Dollars we could keep this beautiful climbing area. If you feel like to give some donations please click here: http://www.greenclimbershome.com/donation.html
Also, a big help for keep on going is: come and be our guest. We already have 24 guests at the moment. So finding a climbing partner is no problem.
What we can offer:
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner, hot and cold beverages, small yummy selection
- Tents, including pad and blankets (or bring your own tent or hammock)
- Bathroom with hot shower (or just jump into the river that leads into the cave)
- Climbing gear rental (but better try to bring your own climbing shoes)
- Climbing guide book to sell
- Climbing courses
Please reserve in advance because the tents are still in high demand. Just write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your date of arrival, how many persons and for how long you would like to stay.
Besides financial help we also have a high demand for climbing shoes for our climbing gear rental (from our estimated 120 pairs of shoes we just could safe 10 pairs). Holes doesnít matter, we can fix it. So if you come some day and still have an old pair of shoes...do not throw them away! We will take them!
The spirit, the nice atmosphere and the energy are not burned but still there! More than ever! See you!
Many greetings from Tanja and Uli
Please if you would love to visit this place one day and can spare a few bucks they would extremely appreciate a donation.
Website - www.greenclimbershome.com
Sad news to hear of the loss. Hope they get up and running at 110% soon, and put this behind them!!
As for the climbing side of things has anyone here been to Thakhek, Laos and able to give a mini trip report? Ive heard good things about Laos, but just in general. How does it compare to it's Thai neighbor?
I am most likely planning a trip in a few months and Thakhek, Laos fits my criteria
- rock check
- bolts check
- climbing partners check
This is the best info I have found from a few internet searches... but keen to find out more.
I climbed in Vang Vieng a few years ago, and I would describe it as an interesting place to climb, but not a major climbing destination. There's enough there to keep you interested for a week or so. There is a vast amount of rock, but mostly low angle and vegetated. It's the only place where I've seen flow stone outside of a cave environment. That was fun to climb.
The grades are even softer than Thailand, the fixed gear ranges between adequate to absolute rubbish. Lowering off a route is the scariest thing you'll do whilst climbing there. Walking around town late at nigh, drunk, is probably the most dangerous thing to do. Stay safe as adequate medical care is a long way away.
At some crags, the fixed gear is predominantly cord, which appears to be appealing to the appetites of some jungle critters, as you will sometimes find the cord chewed through. Sometimes this includes the anchors, so check all threads thoroughly. Take a bunch of slings and some mallions to leave behind.
Be nice to the locals and pay their 5000 kip (about 60 cents) baksheesh for accessing the crags, otherwise expect to be beaten to a pulp (I'm not joking). This is a relatively lawless place, and with the demise of tubing, the locals are going to be hungry.
Climbing partners may be hard to find in Vang Vieng, as there were only a handful of people climbing there at that time.
They do like their cord in SE Asia dont they!
I believe Vang Vieng has a different vibe to Thakhek, as it has been a notorious foreigners behaving badly party atmosphere. eg http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/life/24-signs-partys-over-vang-vieng-965782
Thakhek on the other hand should be a more relaxed holiday from what I can see.
Just trying to get an idea of the crag and how it compares with the rest of Laos, as I have heard on my travels Laos to be a worthwhile trip.
This was more the kind of info I was looking for... happy climbers.
I couldnt find any reports on any climbing forums.
A great opportunity to help climbers...hopefully will get to visit Greenclimbers in the future.
I'm currently in Thakhek and been climbing for the last few days. Whilst I have not yet been to Thailand, the climbing here is great. A LOT of work has been put into opening this area up to climbing. Pretty much all the bolting is perfect (expansion bolts and hangers as Laos is inland), anchors are two bolts with climbing rope between them and a Mallion on one bolt. The roof section here is out of this world!
Will post a full trip report when I'm home.
I spent 16 days climbing near Thakhek Laos in November/December 2011, as argos writes it is absolutely amazing! I left for China about 2 weeks before Tanja and Uli finished building the bungalows at green climbers home and was really sad to hear they had burnt down after just over a year in operation.
Thakhek is nothing like Vang Vieng, the limestone in Thakhek is world class and the atmosphere of the town and people is really relaxed. Vang Vieng is a party town with a smattering of climbing thrown in for good measure (though reading SMH last week it sounds as if the party side is cooling down due to the number of D&A related deaths).
While the selection of routes in Thakhek wasn't massive when i was there (i believe they've added more in the last 12 months) there is more than enough to keep you occupied if you're climbing 6a-8a/b (~18-30 ewbank) as they havent wasted any bolts on shit routes, yet.
There are some truly amazing 7a-8a routes in the cave sector of the crag as well.
Definitely recommended for a trip of a few weeks!
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