EE-SPONSORED PROJECTS: Equinox Extreme has been involved in sponsoring several expeditions, adventure races, sport climbers, nature photography explorations and elephant conservation projects. Here are some stories and updates:
GHOST REVENGE (6B): A 12-day expedition was led by Chris E. Sandoval to one of the remotest areas in Northern Thailand. The mountain, Chiang Dao, is Thailand’s second highest mountain and offers many opportunities for first ascents in jungle covered limestone faces. The expedition took place in December 2011.
Chris led some of Thailand’s most promising young climbers, Archan ‘Toto’ Nawakul, Wanchai ‘Tdong’ Utacha and Payorm ‘Jane’ Numchan, plus Tipiyaruephai ‘Ying’ Piyopeerappong, a Thai journalist from Nature Explorer, an adventure magazine.
The team set out to locate one the highest rock faces on Chiang Dao and climb to its highest possible point. The route which was chosen proved to be one of the toughest challenges for all climbers (being extremely dirty, with moss, small trees, grasses, and loose rocks).
The team had only three days of climbing to the top of the 100 meter rock face, and was able to complete three full pitches before being stopped by its extreme nature.
On the second day of climbing Tdong and Chris got stranded at the top of the third pitch and were unable to abseil back to camp at the base of the rock. They both had to spend the night huddled together to keep warm at zero degrees Celsius with no food or water, and not much space on the narrow ledge to sleep on. Dtong had only climbing shoes to keep his feet warm. Only belay bolts were placed and the route was named Ghosts Revenge(6B)
ACTION RACES: Equinox Extreme has also played an instrumental role in assisting adventure races, in Hong Kong, Taiwan , and Malaysia. The race is sponsored by National Geographic and a Hong Kong-based outdoor adventure magazine, Action Asia, and is called National Geographic Action Asia Challenge. It attracts professional and novice racers from all over the world in a one day race which tests the competitors at mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, jungle running, and obstacle courses. Equinox Extreme has sponsored some of Thailand’s top adventure racers. Equinox Extreme(aka.Team Ironman) has won the Masters division several times as well as overall in Thailand’s NGAA Challenge in 2010. The team is made up of three Thai professionals, ages 35,45 and 55. Each one is extremely strong and serious at what they do. They have been recognized in Asia as one of the strongest competitors at adventure races.
THAI CLIMBERS: Equinox Extreme also sponsors Thai climbers. Tdong from Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand) and Jane from Krabi (Southern Thailand) are both working as climbing guides in Rei Lei (Krabi) to compete at local Asian Sport climbing competitions. Both have advanced their positions at the Asian ESPN X Games, and this past year Jane reached the finals at the Asian ESPN X Games. She was the first Thai national ever to do so. Jane has recently been climbing and competing in the US with top climber, Chris Sharma, to gain more experience on different type of rocks and boulders. It is our goal to help Thai climbers reach their highest potential and become recognized as top climbers in the world.
THE PLIGHT OF ASIAN ELEPHANTS: Equinox Extreme have also become very concerned with the plight of Asian Elephants. In Asia, elephants play a significant role in the common cultural ground shared by many Asian cultures. With their habitat increasingly under threat the future of the Asian elephant is now a matter of serious concern. Acting on this concern, we have extended our sponsorship to support organizations that work to help these majestic animals. One of these organizations is ElefantAsia, a non-profit, non-political organization. They plan to travel through the lands of the Asian elephant, a vast swathe of jungle and mountain extending from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, India to the Himalayan Kingdoms of Bhutan and Nepal to bring awareness of the plight of Asian elephants to the rest of the world. Here’s a little of their story:
In January 2012 four elephants, their mahouts, film crew, and two French wildlife conservationists, headed into the heart of Laos on a journey of some 1500 kilometers. Renewing the tradition of the Grand Voyage, the elephants and their entourage will discover a land of untouched natural marvels and stunning ancient cities, while learning some of the myths and mysteries known by the people who share their land with these majestic beasts.
The journey started in Wat Phu, a pre-Angkorian temple in Southern Laos, and ended in the environs of Luan Prabang, Loas’former Royal capital , on the occasion of Laos New Year in April 2002 , A 52-minute television documentary, a photography book and a series of exhibitions is now being produced, Equinox Extreme has been committed to this cause and will continue to pledge proceeds from our sales to help make this project successful.