Saturday, March 9, 2013

Khao Sok National Park

 Khao Sok National Park has some of the most alluring mountains in southern Thailand and some of the tallest. One particular mountain stands out from the rest. It's a mountain that I (Dave) have dreamed of summitting for several years.
The shape is that of a volcano, but it’s not one. It’s a towering limestone karst formation that has steep sides and a flat top.
This is going to be a laborious, demanding expedition. You will sweat. You will be active for several hours each day. You will likely get tired. But, at the end of each day, you’ll have that satisfying sensation of accomplishment.
Mountain climbing in Khao Sok National Park

Mountaineering quote

The Approach and Base Camp

The first task is the approach. The base of this mountain isn’t easily accessible. You’ll have to hike through thick verdant tropical jungle. To lessen your suffering, the plan is to have a team of Thai porters help with the heaviest gear and the extra water. An expedition of this magnitude requires a lot of water. The absolute minimum amount of water you’ll need to consume each day is three liters. August is in the monsoon season, so it will likely rain at some point. This will make everything a bit more comfortable, especially if it rains while we're climbing.
It is highly unlikely that the summit will be reached in one attempt. The plan is to set the route as far as possible each day and return to base camp each evening.
Base camp will have a cooking tent, a rain fly area and of course tents. The food will be combination Thai and Western. High energy snacks will be available during the climbing.

Mountain Climbing Gear

Ropes and all associated equipment will be used on this climb. Traditional rock climbing protection will be used whenever there is a chance of danger. Safety is priority number one of course.
Limestone, by nature, is unpredictable. The mountain is steep. It’s vertical in some stretches, sharp in some places and covered in vegetation in other areas. Limestone can also be brittle and easy to break. Helmets will be provided.
Safety equipment will be used to lessen the potential for injury. However, the nature of this type of an expedition includes risk. We minimize risk whenever and wherever possible. You will be required to sign a liability waiver in order to join this expedition.

If you’ve had a fascination with mountaineering, but you weren’t sure if you wanted to do all of the associated suffering such as altitude sickness, frostbite and general stress that is the norm in traditional cold mountain climbing summit attempts, this is your chance to do something that is very similar in excitement, but without all of those downsides. 

Difficulty level: very strenuous. You must be capable of continuous strenuous activities for several hours per day.
Highlights: Remoteness, virgin jungle, orchids, jungle sounds, first ascent, bragging rights.
What to bring: 
• Thick-soled Hiking boots
• Rock climbing shoes (optional)
• Heavyweight leather gloves (+ one spare pair)
• Rain coat
• Sun protection
• Small to medium backpack
• Water system / water bottle
What is included:
• All transfers from the nearest airport, hotel, or other accommodation
• All meals and snacks
• Coffee, tea, water
• Insurance (additional insurance is recommended)

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