Climbing Tonsai Thailand - Re-Bolting Information
A huge amount of work and money has been put into rebolting Tonsai and Railay. This has taken years of effort, gallons of sweat and buckets of money. The two single greatest contributors have been Shamick (Rebolting Archive- Project Phi Phi) and Sam. Their herculean efforts are an intimidating inspiration. As neither of these guys are active now, we are lucky that others have taken up the challenge.
Thanks Shamick we will always love and remember you!
State of Bolts
If it is not Titanium, do not climb it!
For a variety of reasons, any combination of steel and glue fails after 2-3 years in Tonsai. The combination of humidity, salt and the constant acid bath (damp calcium carbonate flow stone) eats even the highest marine grade steel. The only thing we have found that so far has not rotted is Titanium.
Most of the routes worth climbing have been rebolted. However there are a few that have not. If it has not been rebolted DO NOT CLIMB it. Last year i was climbing on Happy Island, and as I was clipping one of the stainless steel glue ins I knocked the bolt with the quick draw- this light tap was enough to break the dam thing and send it hurtling towards my belayer- just missing her... The bolt looked fine from the outside- probably would have killed my belayer if it hit her on the head- the take away being- you just can't tell...
Most of the anchors have been replaced with Titanium rings- but you should always check! This is what a bad anchor ring looks like.
Current state of Rebolters
One of the main players now is the Thaitanium Project. If you want to donate some money- go there. Josh, Simon and many others have put in a massive amount of work- go check out the site. They also sell really cool T shirts for fund raising....
The Thaitanium project tends only to be active for a few weeks in high season. For the rest of the year the various Climbing shops do the heavy lifting- rebolting and changing anchors.
In particular Toto from the Railay Climbing Rock Shop has probably done more then anyone in recent years to keep climbing in Railay and Tonsai safe and not banned by national parks. Go say hi to Toto and Jane in their shop on Railay and try the green smoothy- no not that kinda green- healthy and delicious!
There are many others who over the years have put their time and money into rebolting- King in particular has done a lot, as have Basecamp and many others- too many to mention here. Thank you everyone- you know who you are!!!
We would like all new routes to be bolted in Titanium (please). Stainless steel bolts only last 1-4 years in Railay- after that they become randomly deadly. There have been far to many accidents already from breaking stainless steal bolts.
Any new routes put up not using Titanium will not go in the guide book, will not be rebolted and will be chopped as soon as they look sketchy (typically after 1.5 years)- sorry to say it like this, but national parks are now watching very closely and will close the climbing down if we give them bad press in the form of fatal accidents.