Rock Climbing in Chiang Mai With CMRCA
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Oct 21 2014

Rock Climbing In Chiang Mai With CMRCA

Our Introduction to Rock Climbing Class with Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures (CMRCA) was just as amazing as our caving experience with them. I have taken rock climbing classes many times before in Colorado and the quality of CMRCA’s class and instructors was up to par. All their instructors are certified under American climbing standards and pay close attention to safety.

CMRCA Rock10

We arrived at the office of CMRCA about half an hour before we were supposed to meet them so we could grab a quick breakfast and coffee at a nearby cafe. We then checked in at the CMRCA office, met our instructor and were fitted for our harnesses, helmets and other gear for the day. Afterwards, we hopped in the truck and drove to Crazy Horse Buttress.

Once we arrived, we checked our gear, set up the GoPro and hiked up to the first climbing area. Our instructor explained the purposes of all of our gear and how to properly use everything. We already knew the basics of climbing but it was great to get a refresher from a pro. He then explained the different types of climbing and set up the ropes so we could begin our top-roping adventure. Our instructor then went over the belaying techniques and climbing commands and we were ready to begin our climb.

The first route we climbed was obviously the easiest one. We were both able to make it to the top pretty quickly, and it was a great confidence booster for the rest of the day. The second route was about the same level of difficulty as the first, but had a slight overhang and fewer easy hand holds. The third route was a little more difficult and was much higher. It was probably a hundred feet vertical and allowed for some pretty cool views of the countryside at the top.


At this point, our limbs were a little shaky so our instructor suggested that we go eat lunch back at the truck. After we inhaled our lunch, we had some time to chat with him and take a break before the next climb.

In order to get to the final climb, we were told we had to hike to the top of Crazy Horse and rappel down into a cave. After about a 15 minute steep hike with many photo opportunities, we arrived at an opening in the mountain with a 40-meter-drop into an enormous cavern below. We had rappelled 40 meters during our caving class with CMRCA the day before, but when you can see the bottom, 40 meters looks much more daunting.

CMRCA Rock12

Our instructor set up the rappelling rope and explained the process to control our speed as we made the descent. We then dangled ourselves over the opening and slowly pushed off from the wall as we rappelled down. About halfway down, the wall disappeared so were were left dangling by only the rope as we slowly neared the ground.(Yikes!)

The cavern was enormous. We had some time to walk around with our mouths agape staring at the various rock formations as our instructor set up our final climbing route. The last climb was set up inside the cave and was definitely the hardest. By the time we reached the top we were exhausted.

CMRCA Rock16

Luckily we were able to walk out of the cavern to the parking lot and did not have to climb back up the rope like we did in our caving course.

When we arrived at the truck, Eric realized that he had dropped his phone somewhere in the cave. We were surprised that all the instructors and even the driver put on headlamps and hiked back into the cavern to help us search for the phone. After we had given up all hope they actually found it! This just goes to show how professional, helpful and caring the CMRCA staff are.

At every point during our climb and rappel, there were multiple backup safety ropes and attachments so even if we fell off the rock face or let go of the rope, we could be easily caught by our instructor. We felt safe and confident the entire time and enjoyed the challenge!

If you are looking for world class rock climbing in Chiang Mai then check out CMRCA.

CMRCA Rock11


Quick Tips:

  • Visit the Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures website for detailed descriptions of all their classes
  • For this course, climbing shoes, harnesses and helmets are provided
  • Wear long shorts or pants
  • Crazy Horse Buttress is about an hour outside of Chiang Mai and transportation is provided


Poplar Travels took part in this activity as a guest of CMRCA. Our opinion is always our own.


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Evanne and Eric left jobs in Washington, D.C., headed for Chiang Mai, and look forward to exploring everywhere in between.

  • Nice! I have been wanting to get into rock climbing here in Korea. Trying to find a group like CMRCA here! Sounds like an amazing day!

    October 26, 2014 at 8:45 am
  • I wasn’t have the nerve to rock climb (fear of heights). That’s wonderful that they cared enough to go back into the cave to help you find your phone, and found it. Thanks for linking up to #WeekendWanderlust this week.

    October 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm
    • I didn’t think I had a fear of heights until I got to the top! But it was worth it, such an amazing view from up there

      November 1, 2014 at 10:28 am
  • This looks like a beautiful location to rock climb and a great company to go with. I think rappelling would be the best part. I tried rock climbing for the first time this year with my son who is a avid rock climber. It was so hard I never made past a couple steps. I later went to a climbing gym for another shot and after a few attempts and battling with my fear of heights I almost made it to the top. Very fun but boy do your hands and toes hurt.

    October 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm
    • My toes were killing me! It’s a great workout haha. It is so much easier once you learn a couple techniques (I always forget to use my legs more than my arms). I thought rappelling was the scariest part!

      November 1, 2014 at 10:26 am
  • malaysianmeanders

    The staff at CMRCA sound fantastic. I like that they are certified in accordance with American standards as I sometimes wonder in Asia if safety regulations are too lax. That they went back into the cave to help look for the phone really speaks for the excellent customer service. I had another friend who used CMRCA when her family with teen boys wanted to do some rock climbing. After one pass, my friend quickly realized that she had some physical limitations that were going to prevent her from doing the activity. She had resigned herself to just sitting there all day waiting for the rest of the family, but the staff arranged for her to go to a spa instead. Like I said, excellent customer service there.

    October 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    • Wow! Talk about going above and beyond in customer service, they really are fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

      November 1, 2014 at 10:24 am
  • This looks like an awesome experience! Great pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    June 11, 2015 at 10:36 pm

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