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Big Week Ahead

This past Monday CMRCA hosted a group from the Deira International School of Abu Dhabi, UAE, and had a blast! Just as the day was about to end, the skies opened, and we got a proper Thai monsoon for about twenty minutes. The group from Deira was challenged all day by climbing and rappeling, and a real rainstorm was just one more new experience for these kids from the desert! While the CMRCA staff saught shelter under bamboo huts, the staff and students from Deira were dancing in the rain with huge smiles on their face. I stayed dry, but it sure was fun to watch!

Next week CMRCA has one of its busiest weeks ever, with six straight days of student programs! We’ll have more students from Abu Dhabi, followed by groups from Singapore, China, and the United States. Can’t wait!

ISV Goes Underground!

We just spent an incredible day exploring the underworld of Crazy Horse Buttress with the fabulous International Student Volunteers tour leader team.  Josh, Taw, Muad and Kreang guided Kieran, Pim, Queen and Mae into the exciting Anxiety State Crisis Cave.  It was the first of many potential cave explorations with the ISV group and we look forward to teaching geology and caving techniques to ISV students as they embark on their summer travel.  The ISV team was fantastic and they were full of energy and excitement.  Pim had never been caving or climbing before and was a true champion inside the exposed cave.  Thank you to the ISV team…you are all incredible!

Visit Us at the Thailand Dive Expo

CMRCA will have a booth at the Thailand Dive Expo in Bangkok next weekend, and we’d love to see you there. The TDE is in the NEO Sirikit Convention Center on May 14-17.

Josh, Kat, Pui, Taw, Ted, Muad, and Ooan will be at the booth, so come by and say ‘hi’ and talk about what we can do for your students! While you’re at the booth, you can see photos from our past student programs, learn more about our new Tyrolean Traverse program, and hear about what we’re doing for sustainability. While you’re there, you can also enter a raffle for outdoor equipment or a trip to Chiang Mai!

We hope to see you soon!

Kardinia Has Arrived!

May 4, 2009

CMRCA welcomes Kardinia students to Chiang Mai!

Over 100 students from the Melbourne area are spending eight weeks in Thailand for leadership training, and they will slowly be cycling through our Rock Climbing and Rappeling program over the coming weeks.

We had a wonderful time teaching some of you to climb and rappel on Friday – can’t wait to meet the rest of you soon!

Climbing and Rappelling with Canadian International School

Yesterday we took a group of 19 students and teachers from the Canadian International School of Singapore climbing and rappelling, and had a lot of fun!

My group came up with some very ambitious goals, and worked really hard to meet them! “Intense” was a bit of a catch word for the day – everybody’s efforts and experiences were just that! The CIS students have a climbing wall at their school, and several of them were able to adjust to climbing outdoors. A couple of people in my group were able to make some real progress up “Happy Birthday (6b+),” the hardest route at the Tamarind Village climbing area.

Rappelling (abseiling) was an entirely new challenge for the CIS students, but everyone pushed themselves to try something new and confront their fears. My group did a wonderful job, and personally, I had a great day.

Everyone from CIS left our program and went to a homestay in the Mae Kompong village before participating in Flight of the Gibbon today. We hope the rest of your trip goes well, everyone! See you next year!

CMRCA Helps Boy Scouts Troop 731 Earn Their Climbing Merit Badge!

This Monday and Tuesday, CMRCA got to run a very special student program. We were enlisted by the Boy Scouts of America Troop 731 to help the scouts earn a Rock Climbing Merit Badge!

Over two days this week, the scouts learned and then demonstrated their competency with an array of climbing and rappelling skills. Scouts learned to belay and climb with good technique, stay safe around cliffs and edges, rappel and backup rappels, tie knots and care for equipment, and take care of the environment.

In two days, each of the scouts successfully climbed 9 different routes of grade 5a (YDS: 5.6) or harder! And they likely would have made it up quite a few more, if they hadn’t been busy with 5 rappels in 3 different areas, including a 55-meter rappel into the beautiful Anxiety State Crisis Cave! Fortunately, there was plenty of time left over to have some fun and Go Bananas.

It was especially nice for me, Kreang, Add, and Pui to get to work with kids and parents who live in Chiang Mai, and who we will get to see again. It was really incredible watching the kids transform over the two days and become competent climbers and rappellers, and you could see that more than a few of them had a real passion for the sport.

Congrats to the Scouts who earned their badge! We hope to see you around the crag!

Vientiane International School: How Funky is your Chicken?

It was really great getting to see our friends from Vientiane International School for the second straight year! VIS spent yesterday with CMRCA with a Climbing, Caving, and Tyrolean Traverse program, and we all had a lot of fun!

Josh started the day with a Funky Chicken warm-up, which really set the tone for a day of fun experiential learning and group bonding. In the morning, most of the VIS students just laughed and looked uncomfortable when we asked them, “How funky is your chicken? How loose is your caboose?”

Of course, after a day of stepping into their growth zones together and pushing their limits, the group completely came around, and it was great to see them transformed at the end of the day.

You can take my word for it: there are some Funky Chickens at VIS.


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