Rock Climbing is a new sport in Cambodia. It began in Cambodia in 2007 as foreigners came to test their skills against many of the mountains in Cambodia. By 2013, fewer than 10 Cambodians participated in Rock Climbing as a sport. Presently, 6 Cambodians have become instructors and professional trainers and are actively teaching others about this exciting sport.
The Khmer Rock Climbing School was established in 2015 by Mr. Sotharin Mam and his son Mr. Sokunpitou Mam, both from Cambodia. The purpose is “expanding eco-tourism at the mountains in the Kingdom of Cambodia for both Cambodians and expatriates who enjoy fresh air, scenic views and the beauty of nature.” The Mam’s want to bring a new sport to Cambodian youth and explain to them how to compete in the dangerous sport of Rock Climbing. The Mam’s emphasize sport safety in their training, and guide their students to become professional trainers and instructors themselves in the future. The school also provides instruction for the recreational climber. They will teach basic skills so that this sport can be enjoyed by many who don’t necessarily want to compete, but still love the activity and the outdoors.
Mr. Sothearin Mam said, “I started to compete in Rocking Climbing with my family in 2013. I decided to establish the Khmer Rock Climbing School in 2015 for Cambodian youth who like to play dangerous sports, like adventure, and like the mountains. After I established the school I also received a lot of support from foreigners who joined and participated in the Rock Combing Sport with us” He added “Currently we have registered to be the Cambodia Climbing Federation and we have been joining competitions every year in November and December. These competitions are for youth and adults.”
As of 2019, there are two schools that provide training to become a professional climbers. In Siem Reap City the school called ACN – Angkor Climber Net, can be found from their Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/angkorclimbersnet/, Website: www.angkorclimbers.net. Another school located in Phnom Penh is called PCCG – Phnom Penh Climb Community Gym, Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PhnomClimb/, Website: http://www.phnomclimb.com.
The Khmer Rock Climbing School often conducts their training outdoors. The school provides the rock climbing equipment, and includes round trip transportation which every destination. For more information about the trip, please check the Facebook Page “Khmer Rock Climbing School” and click on “Event” calendar. For questions, drop a message via Facebook messenger or by calling telephone number (+855) 98 791 555/ 12 791 555.
The Khmer Rock Climbing School provides various climbing experiences such as “top rope”, “lead climb”, and “abseiling” (rappelling). They also provide all the necessary safety equipment for rock climbing such as the climbing harness, climbing shoes, rope, chalk, and safety helmets.
Participants who are interested in joining the Rock Climbing program should be in good health, physically strong and especially will not drink alcohol during climbing activity. Those interested in exploring this adventure, or those who appreciate viewing nature and the mountains and have a high commitment, are good candidates to participate and are likely to have a successful experience in reaching their destination on their first time rock climbing.
The mountains for Rock Climbing Sport in Cambodia:
- Chea Lea Mountain (Top Rope, Lead Climbing) at Kampong Cham Province. Travel from Phnom Penh along National Road 6 (50 Kilometer) between Thnal Kaeng and Batheay Mountain. Please see the photos for reference: https://web.facebook.com/gill.ette13/media_set?set=a.10208242944504860&type=3
- Kompong Trach Mountain (Top Rope, Lead Climbing) in Kampot Province. Travel from Phnom Penh along National Road Number 3 across street number 31 and drive along to Kep City. Please see the photos for reference: https://web.facebook.com/sotharin.mam/media_set?set=a.1214597618571818&type=3
- Wall Mountain (Top Rope, Lead Climbing) at Srei Sophorn, Banteay Meanchey Province. If traveling from Phnom Penh along National Road 5 (374 Kilometers), drive 7 hours and 9 minutes, but if traveling from Phnom Penh along National Road 6 (412 Kilomenters), drive 6 hours and 45 minutes. Please see the photos for reference: https://web.facebook.com/pg/Khmerclimberschool/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1260347680735405
- Preah Jbok Mountain and foreigner well-knew this mountain Bei Sambao Mountain (Multi-Pitch Climb with Trad Gear, 7 pitches, 350m), Kirivong District, Takeo Province (Vietnam Border).Traveling from Phnom Penh along Ton Loap Market by National Road 2 (118 Kilometers) driving 2 hours and 55 minutes but if traveling from Ton Loap Market to Preah Jbok Maintain by street number 128 (10 Kilometers) and only 40 minutes. Please see the photos for reference: https://www.facebook.com/sotharin.mam/media_set?set=a.928408843857365&type=3&_rdc=1&_rdr
Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Professional rock climbing competitions have the objectives of either completing the route in the quickest possible time or attaining the farthest point on an increasingly difficult route.
Due to the length of time and extended endurance required, and because accidents are most likely to happen on the descent, rock climbers do not usually climb back down the route, or “downclimb”, especially on the larger multiple pitch class III–IV, or multi-day grade IV–VI climbs.
Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. It can be a dangerous activity and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.
Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world, rock climbing has been separated into several different styles and sub-disciplines, such as scrambling, another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations, differentiated by rock climbing’s sustained use of hands to support the climber’s weight as well as to provide balance.
The Belayer is a critical role in Rock Climbing. His or her responsibilities are to keep the rope locked off in the belay device whenever the climber is not moving. As the climber moves on the climb, the belayer must make sure that the climber has the right amount of rope by paying out or pulling in excess rope. If the climber falls, they free-fall the distance of the slack or unprotected rope before the friction applied by the belayer starts to slow their descent. Too much slack on the rope increases the distance of a possible fall, but too little slack on the rope may prevent the climber from moving up the rock. It is important for the belayer to closely monitor the climber’s situation, as the belayer’s role is crucial to the climber’s safety.
Photo by: Sem Puthpagna