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One of the finer routes on the Tonsai Tower, for the reason that it keeps going up, up, up! The climbing becomes more varied the higher up you go. This is a 6 pitch climb to the SUMMIT of the tower. "Pai Noon Mai" is the original start, but you could also start with "Three Musketeers" or "Gladiator."
P1: 5.8 - 65 ft. Start just where the trail meets the wall in the large left facing corner. There are two anchors at 70 ft, and you want the left one. I recommend doing "Three Musketeers" which is a 10b and the most direct start, or "Gladiator" (see individual route descriptions).
P2: 5.10d - 55 ft. Traverse left from the anchor and climb up to a sort of ledge below a small roof. There is an extra anchor here (90 ft), keep going. Pull up through the roof, and head left on jugs to the anchor beside a large hanging stalactite. This is also the anchor for "Gladiator." You could link the first two pitches.
P3: 5.10c - 80 ft. Climb straight up past a bolt, then right and up on big tufas. You'll pass through some crazy holds, bits of coral embedded in the limestone. Eventually you work up into a limestone chimney (!) that is a surprise and a bit physical, but not too difficult. From the top of pitch 3, you are almost exactly 200' up, which means you can rap from here with two 60m ropes. You will end up in the trees, but you can swing in easily.
P4: 5.10d - 70 ft. Scramble out left, then head straight up on solid orange rock. Stay to the left, on the outside of the pillar. At the end you can either go straight up to the left most anchor, or go right to the bright orange wall and the right anchor (this is the rap anchor, and the belay for P5).
P5: 5.12a - 50ft. This pitch is the left most route on grey overhanging wall above the ledge anchor (the right one). Climb up the left side of a big stalactite to a standing rest. Head up and left through a technical crux, and keep going left to a hanging belay. There are two new climbs that start from this ledge and head out right. See "Vertical Vision" and "3D Zone." Both very good!
P6: 5.12c - 100ft. You could probably link this with P5 but you might get a lot of drag. Head up and left through the last overhanging rock and the crux, then ascend the sharp vertical rock to the summit! Not the best pitch by any means, but it gets you to the summit of the tower, where you can untie and scramble around. A rarity in Thailand. Not many people have been up here.
Descent: If you are going to the summit it is advisable to take two ropes. Rap from the summit to the ledge, the ledge to the 35m anchor at the top of P2, and then to the ground. You must back clip or else you will be hanging in space!
You can rap the route with one 60m rope but you need to back clip and tie knots! There is an anchor at 35m (with the big fat stalactite) that you used to start P3. A 70m will get you down from here, but if you have a 60m you need to continue to the 30m anchor just below you. BACK CLIP!
Starts in the inset corner, works left, then up. Near the center of the wall. WHen you come up the trail, turn right at the wall, walk 15' and you are at the base.
P1, P2, P3 have a mix of Titanium and stainless glue ins and threads. P4, P5, P6 are ALL Titanium, 2010. As always in Thailand carry some extra cord and/or webbing to back up anchors (which have been replaced as of Feb '10). To link pitches you should take long slings.
Two ropes or 70m makes coming down a lot easier.
From: Oakland CA
Aug 11, 2010
thanks for updating this page and the route hardware!