Thai Caving and Cooking

Some photos from the past few weeks.

Cave climbing


Scooter accident

There have been a number of developments here in northern Thailand since my last post. Namely a lot of caving. Every year CMRCA heads up north to explore new cave systems. Last year the team found an elephant tusk, which we are trying to get a radio carbon date out of. Pretty exciting stuff exploring virgin cave systems.

This year we took part in a small  "bad air" training session before the big trip. Essentially bad air develops in low areas of caves with little air flow. These low spots have higher concentrations of CO2, which can have adverse effects on the body if exposed for too long. The effects include trouble breathing, lightheaded, slurred words, and sometimes loss of consciousness. The CO2 is most likely expelled by specific cave flora in these concealed areas. When in bad air chambers it is often easy to recognize with the old lighter trick. Fire needs oxygen to burn, so if you light a match in good air and slowly move it between the interface with bad air the flame properties change and eventually puts the match out completely.

Our expedition took place near Doi Ang Khang to the north of Chiang Dao. The CMRCA team had pushed a cave last year until they ran into a waterfall and out of time. The goal of this years trip was to push past the waterfall and if possible find alternate entrances. My primary role besides being a medical resource was to survey the cave system. Now, prior to this point none of the caves had been surveyed which as cavers we have a responsibility to record. The idea is that other cavers can use our maps to explore the cave systems without going in blind. Never know what your in for here at CMRCA. Unfortunately the cave system did not continue much further that last years low point, however we were able to find a score of other caves in the area which may all connect. There is even talk about heading up to China to work with more experienced and highly respected cavers. Very exciting stuff.

Pictures coming soon.

People are always asking me what I will bring back from Thailand. The notion of spending tons of money on generic trinkets and the extra baggage fees made me think. My solution was to take a cooking class with We, a great friend of CMRCA and the entire climbing community here in Chiang Mai. This way I will have some life skills to pass onto others and remind me of Thailand when I am not here. The day involved buying fresh ingredients at the market, making curry paste the old fashion way, and cooking a number of dishes. I am excited to share my Thai recipes with my friends and family when I go home.

Buying fresh produce

Cutting Stuff

Making curry paste the old fashion way

Tumeric stains the fingers


Ate way too much

Another day in Chiang Mai