Jump to content

Cliff climbing at Ao Railay beach banned


Recommended Posts

Cliff climbing at Ao Railay beach banned



National park officials have banned cliff climbing at Railay beach in Krabi province after three tourists fell off the cliff and were seriously injured in a month.


Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi national park officials have now put up signs warning of cliff climbing on risky spots, and seeking cooperation from tourists to comply with strictly.


They said over a thousand of tourists hold activities a day on various locations on the beach. Such activities included cliff climbing.


Park officials said tourists organised cliff climbing activities with no experienced climbers giving instructions, thus leading to frequent accidents.


Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/cliff-climbing-ao-railay-beach-banned/


-- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-07-02
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It definately should not be allowed without an experienced instructor. I did it once with an instructor in North Wales. Ending up slipping off the mountain dangling on the end of a safety rope. I could not have recovered from the situation without the experience of the Instuctor. Like motorbikes helmits should be compulsory for rock climbing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Access to areas of climbing opportunities, and the frequent banning of access to these often rare prime areas, is a perennial problem for dedicated climbers – or at least for those climbers not near areas with long-established and solidly accepted climbing access. 


Area administrators have concerns about liability issues and lack of insurance for anyone injured, which would be a burden on the general public.  And many “climbers” are novices just waiting for an accident to happen (I know that I was as a youth).  There is also the problem of interface safety issues with the public/tourists below cliffs, such as dislodged rocks above trails, etc. 


I don’t have much experience climbing in Thailand, and I don’t know the nature of the Krabi area in this article.  I don’t even know if the cliffs mentioned are quality climbs or just mudslides, and I don’t know the nature of the recent accidents.  Most of my own glory days were long ago in the northeastern USA on rock, snow, and ice.  But I can imagine that many of the core issues here are the same. 


I do know that dedicated climbers are usually highly individualistic mavericks and that we usually rage against authorities when told we cannot climb somewhere.  Climbers are generally considered “mad” and just a nutty fringe group, and we usually aren’t good at PR.  How can climbers “police” their sport in order to maintain access to climbs?  (Many climbers would consider that very concept to be obscene, to use authority of any kind to control other climbers’ behavior, but issues like this sometimes must be considered in order to placate authorities.) 


In America there is a marvelous organization of climbers called the Access Fund USA.  It is a mostly volunteer network of dedicated climbers who are skilled at negotiation and at working out solutions to climbing bans imposed by either government agencies or private landowners.  They helped us out many times. 


For instance, over 30 years ago, the US National Forest Service banned all climbing and rappelling at the most wonderful rock climbing area in northwestern Pennsylvania in the Allegheny National Forest.  Bummer!  That cliff area had been my personal gymnasium for over 25 years, the place where I honed my climbing craft and recovered my sanity as a recently returned Vietnam War combat veteran.  These government officials had just blocked the most vital and important activity in my life!  I am prone to great anger, but I controlled myself because I knew that was not productive.  I notified the Access Fund, and I got immediate response. 


A skilled Access Fund negotiator (and an obsessive climber) traveled up from Pittsburgh and mediated a meeting at the cliff with the head Forest Ranger.  We brought along a good climbing friend of mine and his wife and four kids, all quite small.  The wife asked the Ranger:  “If I can’t take my kids climbing here, where can I take them?”  The Ranger was taken aback and admitted later:  “I didn’t realize that climbing was a family activity.”  We got the climbing ban lifted (for at least a couple of decades before new National Forest personnel closed it down again; it is a never-ending battle). 


Again, I don’t know much about the climbing scene here in Thailand.  But I urge regular climbers here to emulate organizations such as the US Access Fund and nurture negotiation skills and establish a presence that recognizes climbing as a legitimate activity.  Save your cliffs.  And climb on! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idiots and their knee jerk reactions strike again.

This is one of the world's finest rock climbing destinations and an absolute Mecca for climbers from all over the world. 

The recent accident was not on any of the usual climbing walls, not in any of the books but on a very dangerous uphill scramble that is signposted and open to the general public. Absolutely nothing to do with rock climbing at all, it could have been any one of a thousand tourist sites in Thailand but just happened to be at this destination near to the climbing walls. How very sad. I hope the locals kick up a fuss and fight to maintain this unique place and keep it open to climbers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...