Getting Serious About Fund RaisingOver the last decade, most would agree that Shamick Byszewski has been the most proactive champion when it comes to re-bolting other peoples' routes. Byszewski has done his own share of titanium bolt fund raising, most notably with his infamous "Rope Swing on the Fire Wall". With respect to Thailand, Byszewski recognized that it would require a committed effort and drastic changes if climbers were going to get serious about re-bolting all of the Pra-Nang Peninsula.
Sam Lightner most likely can lay claim to the title of first person to start fund raising in an attempt to fix the Thailand bolt problem. Sam was the first to approach the ASCA to try and buy hundreds of titanium bolts for Thailand. Sam also wrote a fantastic guide book, for which he donates 100% of the profits to the re-bolting efforts.
Of course there has been other smaller fund raising efforts at the climbing schools (King's Climbing in particular) but it became obvious over the years that fixing this problem was going to take a much larger effort by everybody working together. The 2009 season I spent on the island of Ko Yao Noi with Mark Miner to develop a few of the numerous unclimbed cliffs. It was a great season that saw the development of several new walls and many new routes on already developed walls. On a long tail boat trip to Phuket to buy the Hilti RE-500 glue the topic of fund raising came up. I had brought a small video camera with me that season and was filming the development of the new climbs. I would edit the footage on my laptop at night and I would show the short films to my friends that were helping with the development. Eventually during our fund raising discussion the suggestion of making a documentary film came up. I always had an itch to try my hand at documentary film making so I agreed to give it a shot. The first idea was to just to put together a film more along the lines of climbing porn, but ultimately we settled on what you see now with the Thaitanium Project and the chronicling of the bolt problem in the area.