Chiang Mai: Reluctant Rock Climbing

Written by Travel

Posted from: Chiang Mai, Thailand

So it’s rock climbing tomorrow.

Lydia and I signed up for a one day rock-climbing and rappelling course, both of us with very different motives. She, because she’d like to possess some basic knowledge of climbing in order to potentially pursue it for leisure when she’s back home. Me, because it’s so James fucking Bond.

Actually, I prefer the idea of caving. Or water rafting. Or being poked in the eye repeatedly. But caving especially. Something about wearing one of those head-flashlights and looking at ancient rock formations while my whispers echo around me is, in my imagination, sensorily pleasing. Something about doing a… how did the brochure put it?… oh yeah, a “50-meter rappel into the mouth of a monstrous cave”, is less so.

And that’s why it must be done.

I don’t have a particularly competitive nature. I don’t get the drive to exceed the next guy very often. I get the drive to exceed myself, though, on a regular, almost obnoxious basis. I am Marty in Back to the Future, and I’m also my very own internal Biff Tannen. “Nobody ever calls me yelluh,” is a thing that Me says to Myself often, melodramatically and wearing a cowboy hat.

The only time I’ve ever done rappelling was off of a platform that had been erected 200ft. up in a redwood tree, at night. Don’t ask. At that time I was able to contain my mild terror for three reasons: 1) It was pitch dark and I couldn’t see the ground. 2) There was no other way down. 3) Because it was so James fucking Bond.

And this time? Well, who knows. If this is my last blog entry for a while, I’m probably smeared around at the bottom of a very scenic cliff. Or I’ve been called out on yet another top-secret mission to save the world from an evil genius armed with nuclear weapons. Either way, it should be a boredom-free day.