Katie Climbing in Thakhek
Thakhek is a newly developed sport climbing area in the Karst limestone of southern Laos. If your looking to escape the party scene of Vang Vieng, Thakhek is the place to go. Currently there are around 100 developed sport climbs, and new climbs are being put up almost daily. The climbs range from 5.8 up to 5.13c, with a few projects for the ambitious folks. While a majority of the climbs are steep and pumpy, the cliff also boasts a wide selection of vertical to slightly overhanging technical routes, and a few multi-pitch routes with magnificent views of the valley.
Between the wide range of developed routes and the huge potential for new route, an average approach of about 5 minutes, and wonderful lodging and food right next to the cliff, Thakhek is certainly a destination for climbers visiting Laos.
The climbs are located about 12 km east of Thakhek, on several of the limestone towers surrounding the Green Climbers Home. If you're staying in Thakhek (Traveler's Lodge or Inthira Hotel are recommendable) you can rent a bicycle or scooter in town and head west out of town on Rt 12 (towards Vietnam). Just past km marker #12 on the right is a dirt road to a farmhouse. Take the dirt road past the farm and back to the Green Climber's Home and you're 20 m from the climbs.
A better option is to get a tuk tuk out to the Climber's Home on your first day and stay there. The food is amazing and Uli and Tanja are fantastic hosts. Visit their website for more info: greenclimbershome.com/index.ht...
All the climbs are an easy five minute or less walk from the Climber's Home, with a mild bushwhack to the two multi-pitches. They also have a newly published guidebook for sale ($15), with great descriptions of all the climbs.
Weather station 6.4 miles from here
324 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',12],['3 Stars',36],['2 Stars',19],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',2]
Classic Climbing Routes in Thakhek
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Thakhek
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Thakhek:
Featured Route For Thakhek
Big Smile 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Asia
: ... : Roof Right Side
Big Smile is the hardest climb on the cliff to date. Lots of kneebars and heelhooks are required to manage the pump that will make most climbers arms explode. An easier steep start on big holds leads to the first crux: a funky undercling to reach a big hold in a hole (worst move of the climb). From here more steep fun climbing with good rests leads to a steep lip. Pull the lip and take a good long rest before the upper crux: a big reach to a small pinch and a small pocket. After sticking the cru...[more] Browse More Classics in International
David sticking the crux on Dan's Dyno 7b+
BETA PHOTO: A typical anchor at Thakhek.
By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
Feb 23, 2015
This area is fun with routes for all abilities but a word of caution should be made about the anchors. For some reason all the anchors are composed of two bolts connected to each other by an old piece of rope that is not equalized. One of the bolts will have one quick link on it that is used for lowering or rappelling from, making the second bolt virtually useless. If the bolt your lowering off of was to fail the second bolt would be shock loaded by the old piece of rope which would most likely break. The photo on this page should clarify this description.
By Brian Boyd
From: Kowloon, Hong Kong
Apr 6, 2015
To extend on Steven's comment, if the quick link fails you are also toast. I saw several people toproping through a single quicklink, which adds to the risk factor. We put a Prussik on the lead line when lowering for peace of mind.
More broadly, green climbers home is an awesome place to visit: the rock is perhaps the nicest I have visited in Asia. The approach to crazy horse seems long and arduous in comparison, accommodations are rustic but nice, staff are excellent, and thplace has a great vibe. Imagine a version of camp 4 plopped down in the Lao jungle, without the Bears, Rangers, and conga lines to get in, and better bathrooms. Food was great as well.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Jan 10, 2017
Hmm...funky anchors and 22 varieties of venomous snakes sounds sketchy.