Type: Sport, 400 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Sam Lightner, Greg Collum, Larissa Collum , and a host of helpers
Page Views: 11,508 total · 78/month
Shared By: Sam Lightner, Jr. on Dec 20, 2006
Admins: Brian Boyd, Nate Ball

You & This Route

41 Opinions

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Access Issue: Warning! Stainless steel bolts are suspect near the coast! Details


This is the best climb on the best wall in Thailand, and I have had many a climber tell me it was the best route they ever did. Enjoy.

P1: Start just right of the cave rappels and go up 80 feet to a ledge and anchor. (5.10b)

P2: Go up and through a bulge then some strenuous moves that put on a good pump. Work left to the left side of the large ledge. (5.11d)

P3: Go straight up from the belay to a bulge, then "brachiate" out it like a gibbon to wildly exposed finish. Fall off and you might need new shorts. (5.12a)

P4: The crux. First go up and through some hard bouldering moves, then traverse right to a steep headwall that is very pumpy. Finish at a stance. (5.12b)

From the stance, a few long moves take you up and left onto the arete, then left more to the cave and the rappels. (5.10d)


Up the center of the north face of the Thaiwand


A dozen quickdraws and two ropes to get down. The bolts should be good now, as it's been redone 3 times.
The first two pitches can be linked. Doing so will be pumpy with runouts and/or rope drag. Pitch 3 is one of the finest bolted pitches on the planet.

In February 2007 Tim Emmett BASE-jumped off the top of this route after following every pitch free with a 25-pound pack. Feb 28, 2007
One of the all-time best routes ... also the last route I ever did. I climbed hard for 21 yrs, then onsighted it in 2002 and never climbed again. Go figure. Bobby Model rocks too. Aug 18, 2007
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
I believe that the first pitch shares or is the same as the first pitch of "circus oz". If there are crowds or you're just flat not good enough to do all 5 pitches & top out (like uzz) you can rap from the first station. Oct 19, 2007
the 7a+ pitch is one of best in Thailand. 7b pitch feels hard, but the exposure is out of this world. Railay must do!! Dec 10, 2008
steve edwards
steve edwards   SLC, UT
Circus Oz is independant but right next to it. Great route as well. Slightly easier, maybe 11+. Aug 27, 2010
Last 2 pitches can also easily be combined.

Amazing route! This is the type of climbing you dream of. The confident .11 climber should not be intimidated, short, WELL protected cruxes. Sam has a thing for perfectly placed bolts. GO GET ON IT! Nov 12, 2010
twellman   Cambridge
Did the first three pitches, and we were able to get down with a 60m, though with some shenanigans (not straightforward).

Pitches 2 and 3 are awesome, and seemed of similar difficulty to me and my partner. Enjoy the unreal views! Feb 26, 2017
Simon W
Nowhere Land
Simon W   Nowhere Land
This thing is AWESOME. But hard at the crux! I am recovering from an injury but have been feeling strong the last few days and was sending 12Bs before I left for Thailand and never feeling too desperate. Seconding the crux was very difficult and there is no way around doing the move unless you bring huge etriers or something. Even that may be impossible as it traverses.

My partner onsighted it but he used a sequence of less good holds than what I found, and he climbs hard 5.14 so YMMV.

I think the French grade conversions in the current king climbers are accurate. 7B -> 12c

You can get off it with one 70M rope in four raps. The first one takes you to the belay before the crux pitch and is a real rope stretcher, the rest have a decent amount of rope left. On all of them it's necessary to clip in a few times on the way down and tram in the second. Trying to rap the Thaiwand without an auto block is not a good idea because of all of the flying circus shenanigans involved. Especially the first rap if you use a single 70. Knot the ends together. Oct 25, 2017
Alissa Doherty
Boston, MA
Alissa Doherty   Boston, MA
What a route! Bit of beta on the fourth pitch. The crux bolt is in the perfect spot to work out the beta on lead. However, it is in a tough spot for the second because they must unclip the draw before the crux and the next bolt is up and right. If your second doesn't nail it, they'll swing and need to re-do the bouldery moves before the crux, making it hard (and tiring) to figure out the sequence. On the bright side, you can see them the entire time so you should be able to manage slack well enough to avoid them needing to prusik. Feb 12, 2018
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
I've had partners in that position many times (see Alissa below). The best way is to tell them to NOT unclip until the bolt is at their waist. You then have a jug. Feb 12, 2018
Joseph DeGaetano
Fayetteville, WV but curren…
Joseph DeGaetano   Fayetteville, WV but curren…
Definitely deserving of its reputation as the best in TH. Similar opinion as others on here; not so bad and overall a pretty easy tick. The crux 12b pitch definitely has the hardest moves but those moves are really good and the upper headwall pitch is great. The 12a pitch climbs through a big overhang on some super memorable otherworldly tufa holds, and and the 11c pitch is a good warm up for the two harder pitches. Go do it! Dec 10, 2018