An Interview with Jay
Jay is a veteran instructor with Hot Rock Climbing School, one of the
longest established in Railay.
Krabi Magazine: So Jay, how long have you been in the climbing game
Jay: I learned to climb around 6 years ago, right here in Railay. I
joined Hot Rock climbers 5 years ago.
KM: What made you want to get involved with rock climbing in the first
J: I saw how much fun people were having doing it. Some of my friends
were into climbing as well, which helped introduce me to the sport.
KM: One of the first concerns absolute beginners like me usually ask
is: - is it dangerous? So is it?
J: Only if you don’t know what you’re doing! If you take care to look
after your equipment and ensure all your knots are tied correctly, then
there is very little risk in climbing.
KM: Have you ever suffered any injuries?
J: No, not really. The most common thing we see is scrapes and bruises
from bumping into the wall or from sharp edges. A few pulled muscles
as well, but nothing really serious.
KM: There were a lot of people at the wall today; are you busier at
certain times of the year than others?
J: Not really. We have a pretty steady amount of climbers all year
KM: That is a big bonus for you as a lot of businesses in this area
rely on the tourist trade. Tell me about the people that come through
your doors here.
J: Well, they can come from all over the world, but we do have a lot
of Swedish people come to see us, as we are under Swedish management.
We can take kids as young as 7 years old and we have had climbers in
their 40’s. It really is a sport for all ages and abilities. As we say
here in Thailand, it gives you power!
KM: If someone wanted to become a teacher of climbing, how long do
you think it could take from complete beginner?
J: That depends on a couple of things. For example, if they are naturally
a good climber, they will progress more quickly. Also, they need to
have a decent standard of English as this will make the whole teaching
process go smoother. But for from never having done it before to trainer,
around a month or so of climbing as much as you can!
KM: How many routes does Railay and nearby Tonsai bay have to offer?
J: Around 300 or so. There are a number of books available that accurately
map the routes around this area. They are graded on a difficulty scale
that runs from 4 all the way up to a 9A. Today we managed a 5C. At the
moment, I could manage a 7A.
KM: A 5C? It sounds much more impressive when you put it like that.
Jay, thank you very much for your guidance and advice today, I never
thought I would say this, but it was fun and I will be back!
Hot Rock owners Luang and Saralisa’s motto is “come as our guest and
leave as our friend”. Hot Rock Climbing is registered at the Tourist
Authority of Thailand, has full insurance for their customers, and can
arrange accommodation and sailing trips. Check their website’s guestbook,
www.railayadventure.com and contact them on 075 621771 or 085 6419842.