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ThePlayers

Josh Lyons, Thaitanium Project Founder

Josh's travels to Ton Sai started in 2000. Josh was working for Tom Cecil as a climbing guide during the summer and was invited to join Tom on his annual trip to Railay Bay. He was only 20 years old and was blown away by the culture, climbing and unique beautiful of Southern Thailand. Josh spent the three months developing new climbing areas with Tom and his climbing partner Mark Miner. Over the next ten years Josh almost never missed a season climbing in Railay Bay and formed a lasting bond with the area. Josh calls beautiful Boulder, Colorado home. He has worked in the outdoor industry for the last 15 years and has recently taken his IRATA level 1 rope access certification. Josh's work and travels has taken him around the world more then once from mountaineering in Alaska and bigwall climbing in Yosemite to dirt bagging it in The Pines at Mt. Arapiles and backpacking throughout Africa. The Thaitanium Project was a combination of a life long dream to try his hat at documentary film making and a desire to give back to the climbing community.

Sam Lightner Jr.

Sam started visiting Thailand in 1990 with friend Mark Newcomb and followed post card pictures to the fable cliffs of the Pra-Nang Peninsula. Sam came to Thailand with the idea of developing new routes on that first trip and has not stopped since. Sam's routes extend throughout Railay Bay including some of the hardest routes like Jai Dom, Year of the Tiger, Art and Sport and Kitty Porn. Sam was the first to attack the corroding bolt problems in Southern Thailand and has used his experience to help the Thaitanium Project get off the ground. Sam hails from Jackson Hole, WY and also owns a house on Railay West. Sam is an author and has had six books publish including a fantastic climbing guide book to Thailand. As well as his extensive travels throughout Thailand Sam has an impressive resume of exploring the darkest corners of world to find unclimbed rock. Sam now resides in Moab, UT with his new wife Liz and two dogs Moke and Zoe. A former board member of the Access Fund and now the President of the Friends of Indian Creek, Sam continually contributes to the climbing community aboard and at home.

Tom Cecil

Tom started going to Thailand in 1992 after being hired to guide a client who was working out of Bangkok. Tom saw the potential of new routes and for the next 15 years was one of the most prolific developers that Thailand saw. Tom and an assortment of partners (mostly with Mark Miner) developed the majority of the Sleeping Indian crags off of Ton Sai Beach. From the Eagle Wall all the way up to the Marley Wall Tom and his band of misfits put up classics like Catch a Fire, Concrete Jungle, The Wave, Montior, Smoking Room and Amazing Thailand. Tom also explored the islands off of Railay Bay like Ko Yawa Bon and the bird nest islands of Hong Island group. Owner of Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides located in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, Tom has been an International Climbing Guide for more then 20 years. Tom has developed new climbs all over the U.S. and has traveled to Europe and Australia as well as all over South East Asia. Tom has climbed serval big walls in Yosemite National Park and is and has been a critical part of the development of the Thaitanium Project.

Greg Collum

Greg got wind of Thailand from a friend who was traveling throughout Southeast Asia in the early 90's. His friend knew Greg was a climber and brought back a few photos of the cliffs in Pra-Nang Bay. Greg immediately saw the potential for new routes and packed his bags. Greg's name is on some of the most classic climbs in the area. Lord of Thais, Orange Juice, Humanality, Tidal Wave, Burnt offerings and Cross eyed are all of his master pieces. Greg has now bought property on the island of Ko Yao Noi and is currently building a house. So we hope to climb a lot more of Greg's new classics in the future. Greg lived in Seattle, WA where he was a major player in the development of the crags at Index. Greg also has pioneered alpine routes in the Indian and Pakistani Himalayas like Shipton's Spire. Greg moved his family to Barcelona, Spain were he owns a beautiful home near the climbing area Siurana where he still is developing new routes.

Mark Miner

Mark landed on the shores of Railay Bay after his misadventures in India to climb Shiverling. Mark stayed in a bungalow next to Tom Cecil and the rest is history. Their partnership resulted in the most successful development teams in the history of climbing in Thailand. Mark has now relocated to the island of Ko Yao Noi were he has almost single handedly developed more then 100 routes over 20 different areas. Mark and his wife Heather are owners of the Mountain Shop where they run a climbing school and restaurant called the Sea Gypsy. You heard it hear first, the Sea Gypsy has the best Thai food in the kingdom! We love you Jai Gob! When not bolting new routes on Ko Yao Noi Mark lives in Eldorado Spring Canyon, CO where he trades in his quick draws for a rack of cams. Mark has traveled extensively throughout North America and made multi trips to Spain. Mark spends the summer months working with Mountain Spirits guiding services and as a fisherman in Alaska.

Trevor Messiah

On his travels through Asia and Australia Trevor visited Ko Phi Phi and instantly feel in love with area. As soon as he could he planned a trip back to Thailand but this time with climbing gear. Trevor first met Greg Collum on that trip where they teamed up help develop some of most classic routes in Thailand. Trevor has now moved his talents to the island of Ko Lao Liang where he has developed it's beach side crags. Trevor lives in Wales with his partner and daughter. Trevor cut his teeth climbing on the sea cliffs at Penbroke. He has an impressive travel resume throughout the world. Trevor is a rock climbing guide and work as a technical advisor for several outdoor centres and high ropes courses.

Shamick Byszewski

Originally from Poland, Shamick immigrated with his family to Montreal, QB and now resides in Ottawa, ON. Shamick found the climbing in Southern Thailand by flipping through the pages of Rock & Ice in the early 90's. You will find Shamick's handy work all over the Cat Wall including the incredible 5 pitch line Heart of Darkness. But Shamick's biggest contribution has come in the form of re-bolting. Shamick has been on the for fort of re-bolting for the passed 15 years and is responsible for more re-bolted routes then anyone else.

Angele Sjong, Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry

Consulting materials engineer (metallurgy and polymers) and chemist to industrial clients ranging from early stage start-up to established companies. Extensive experience in failure analysis and root cause investigations; litigation; intellectual property valuation. Medical device seminar instructor in polymer failure analysis.

Qualifications

  • Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry
  • Yale University
  • Concentration: Catalysis and metalloproteins
 
  • Masters of Science, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Concentration: Physical metallurgy for steel processing
 
  • Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Concentration: Metalloproteins

Mark Williams, Ph.D., Biological Sciences

Dr. Mark Williams, Fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research Professor of Geography, at the University of Colorado, received his Ph.D in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in ecology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1991. He is also on the core faculty of Environmental Studies. His research interest is the ecology of mountain areas, looking at the interaction of organisms with their environment, focusing on classical environmental variables such as soil, rocks, and minerals as well as surrounding water sources and the local atmosphere. The majority of his research has been conducted in the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada of California, and the Tien Shan, China. Mark is on the faculty of the Hydrology Program in Geography and his classes can be used to satisfy the Hydrology Certification Program in Geography. Mark is the PI of the Niwot Ridge LTER program and a co-I on the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory.

Ryan Ross, Video Editor

Buck Ross has produced, shot, edited and hosted everything from IMAX to web videos on six different continents. Specializing in all things film, Buck Ross takes projects from napkin scribbles to packaged DVDs. Ryan was a huge factor in the making of the film. Ryan was one of my instructors at the film making course I took back in June of 2009. Ryan was also involved in the making my another film, "Lifer's", which was produced as practice before the Thaitanium Project documentary. Ryan was my final-cut editor on "Lifer's" and helped expand my knowledge of developing a story arc within a film. Ryan was not only the final cut editor on the Thaitanium Project but also played a big part with the films structure and flow. I owe a huge thanks to Ryan for his effort that he put into my development as a film maker and for his try hard that he put into the final push to finish the Thaitanium Project. I really mean it when I say that this film would not have been possible with out him. For more of Ryan's film projects check out his website at www.buckross.com.

Holly Doran, Graphic Designer

Holly is a recent graduate of Billy Blue Design College located in Sydney, Australia. You can see her handy work on the DVD cover design and with the title seen in the film. Now with her degree in graphic design Holly hopes to start her career in the many facets of the design world. To check out more of Holly's work, visit her website at www.hollydoran.com.

Zach Holtzman, Illustrations

Living in Boulder, CO, Zach Holtzman splits his time between climbing rocks, skiing, producing art, and earning his rent. From illustrations and graphics to large abstract paintings, Zach has delivered his style to Brooklyn, Boulder, and beyond. With a B.A. in Studio Art from Mary Washington College Zach was the perfect choose for the illustrations for the Thaitanium Project.

Nicolette Bethea, Producer

Nicolette is a freelance producer that has worked for networks such as Al Gore's Current TV and National Geographic. After assisting with The Thaitanium Project in Thailand and Moab, she gained a new appreciation for climbing and preservation of the Tonsai climbing community.

Kort McCumber, Music

For more information on Kort and to hear his music, visit www.kortmusic.com.

Stainless Steel Anchor Ring Warning:


*During the Thaitanium Projects re-bolting of the Cat Wall on Tonsai Beach in early 2013, a stainless steel anchor ring was found to have Stress Corrosion Crack, the same type of corrosion found in the climbing bolts.*

Since the start of the Thaitanium Project a dialog regarding the use of stainless steel anchor rings has been debated. At the time there were no reported cases of stress corrosion cracking (the same type of corrosion found in the climbing bolts) in any of the anchor rings. The popular thought was that the steel rings were not seeing the same levels of corrosive elements as the bolts. There was an effort to reach out to metallurgist and another professionals about the use of these rings and there was very little they could answer for us with out years of research. By 2010 most, if not all of the climbs in Railay Bay already had anchors with the stainless steels rings. The decision was made to continue the use of the anchor ring set up and to keep an eye on it.

During the re-bolting of the Cat Wall in early 2013 the Thaitanium Project found server cracking in one of the routes anchor rings. Not knowing exactly what to think and not wanting to jump to any conclusions, a few photos of the cracked ring were sent to the Thaitanium Project's metallurgy team. It was unclear of the history of where the ring came from and if it was even stainless steel. Also because of the cracks close proximity to the weld, we were unsure if the cracking was from a defect in the welding. It was decided that the rings would be taken to the United States for analysis and tested at a metallograph facility. Serval tests were carried out to see if it was in fact stress corrosion cracking (SCC), what type of steel it was and if the cracking was caused by improper welding.

Unfortunately, the tests confirmed that the anchor ring was made out of stainless steel (SS), the corrosion had nothing to do with the welding and it was SCC. It was everything we didn't want to hear. In fact, in the final report the lab tech said that it was the most cracking in stainless steel she had ever seen! Because the ring was SS and it had nothing to do with the welding meant that the unique combination of elements that cause the devastating corrosion in the bolts is now corroding the anchor rings. Which in turn means that every single ring will need to be changed.

So where do we go from here? Well because of the hard work of the few dedicated folks at the Thaitanium Project we have the resources and the infrastructure to deal with this problem. We are working with Titan Climbing, a new titanium climbing gear manufacture and have already started the production of grade 2 Titanium anchor rings. During the 2014 season saw over a 100 Ti rings placed on over 50 pitches. We will use the same fund raising techniques to pay for the rings as we are doing with the bolts. So if you purchase the DVD, T-shirt or any other swag it will go to help fund the removal and replacement of all stainless steel anchor rings with Titanium.

There are a couple things you can do as well. If you are climbing in Railay Bay or any other area in Southern Thailand and are using anchor rings please take the time to visually inspect the rings for any discoloration (rust) or cracking. If you see anything that looks suspicious, back the rings up with a carabiner and report it to the closest climbing school or on the Thaitanium Project's website. Unfortunately with SCC you can't always see the cracking, this is because the cracking is on the inside of the steel where you will not be able to see any rust. So if you feel it necessary, again back the anchor rings up with a carabiner.

Now I would like to remind everyone that we have just found one ring with SCC. This doesn't mean these rings are going to start falling out of the sky. With that said, it would be wise to use caution when using any Stainless Steel Anchor rings.

Stay safe and clip the red glue!

Josh Lyons - Founder of the Thaitanium Project

Stainless steel anchor rings

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New Titanium anchor ring

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