West Coast Climbing Roadtrip

For the past five months, Tony and I have been living out of a Nissan Pathfinder. We traveled down the West Coast from Canada to Mexico passing through Squamish, Smithrock, Lover's Leap, Bishop, Red Rocks, Sedona, and El Potrero Chico. It took getting used to fitting my life into a car but it felt great to only have the essentials. We even picked up a pup in Los Angeles whom has many fans at the crags.

All photos of me by Tony Archie Kim

Squamish sunset in September

Phantasmagoria at Smithrock, OR

Heavenly Path in Bishop, CA

Super easy but beautiful climb!

November 1st, we went the to the West Valley Animal Shelter in LA and found Hippo the vicious killing machine

Trying the moves on the Iron Man Traverse

The Pit Campground, Bishop

Sunset at Alabama Hills

Sedona morning


I've spent the last few months in Seattle, adjusting to a different pace of life and exploring new hobbies.  After half a year of backpacking and climbing, it's nice to be stationary for a bit and learn how to bake, cook, and explore whatever else comes to mind.  The Pacific Northwest is beautiful and in a lot of ways, similar to New Zealand.  I've had a surprising amount of friends and family pass through town so its been fun catching up and exploring my surroundings with them.

I spent a lot of time learning how to make bread, cook, and appreciate down time

The sunny little kitchen is everyone's favorite spot in the Kim apartment

Climbing at Tieton River

Diablo Lake at North Cascades

New Zealand

Me and my little 1995 Honda Odyssey went around the South Island for a month and a half. We saw glaciers, fjords, blue penguins, baby seals, lots of sheep, and fat cats.  I haven't traveled solo for sometime before New Zealand, so living out of the van by myself brought a real sense of freedom. It was a nice feeling to be able to go anywhere anytime and have everything you needed with you at all times.

The valley walk at Franz Joseph Glacier

The overcast day made the colors pop out so much more.

My car at camp before heading to Milford Sound

Wye Creek on the way to climbing with some friends I met at Thakhek, Laos

Farewell Point with my friend Alan on our rest day from climbing at Takaka

View from the Hooker Valley Hike at Mt. Cook

Bonfire and drinks with other campers at Purakaunui Bay

Driving on the leftside and eating leftovers.

Tonsai, Thailand

I first came to Tonsai in 2013 on my first solo backpacking trip. It was then when I met Tony and Damien for the first time. Who would have known that three years later the three of us would roam Laos and Thailand together? The brutal heat and vicious mosquitoes made less than ideal climbing conditions but it's hard to deny the beauty, tranquility, and the special vibe here that brings people together.

View of Phra Nang Beach from the Escher Wall, photo by Nestori Virtanen

Railey Beach from Thaiwand Wall

Me on The Best Route in Minnesota, photo by Tony Archie Kim

I got scared at the top slabby bit, photo by Nestori Virtanen

View of Tonsai from Thaiwand Wall while hiding in caves to waiting out the rain

Dawn on the uninhabited Poda Island where a group of us spent the night before saying goodbye to Tonsai

Namphapayai, Thailand

Nam Pha Pa Yai is such a gem of a climbing camp! It is just north of Bangkok and is accessible by car or train. Being so close to the city, it is surprisingly quiet and intimate. There is no wifi and very little cell reception. The rock is solid and the routes are long and varied. With home cooked dinners and less than 10 people a night, it is a beautiful place to lay low and just climb.  Did I mention you zipline to the wall? Also that you can stay in a tree house if you book early enough?  I loved it and would love to return when the weather is cooler.


On the train ride from Bangkok to  Kaeng Khoi

Beautiful Thai countryside 

The climbing at Nam Pha was amazing! It is like a mini-Green Climbers Home and you have the wall almost all to yourself

Ernst zipping over to the Main Wall

Tents on stilts were spacious and clean

My little bluey had a bath on rest day. The weather was so dry that it dried in an hour or so!

Visa Run in Malaysia & Singapore

My one day layover in Malaysia turned into a full day tour of the climbing scene in Kuala Lumpur.  Adi, a friend of a friend, meet up to resole our climbing shoes but ended up taking Crystal and I to different crags around the Batu Caves then showed us Camp 5, the local gym.  It was a fully packed day with many surprises!

Heading towards the Mosquito Wall with Adi as our guide

Randomly ran into Daniel whom I met in Laos. Small world!

Singapore was a surprising blend of metropolitan and residential. I don't think I have ever been to a city that is so developed and international yet still very livable with rich cultural customs. Lind showed me around and we celebrated Chinese New Year together.

Lindy walking through Katong on our way to Kaya Toast and Kopi

The Super Trees in Garden by the Bay

Colorful Chinatown

I met up with Tony and explored Chinatown together

View of the Garden by the Bay from the Marina Bay Sands

Chiang Mai, Thailand

So...after Thakhek, we had the full intention of climbing strong and pushing hard but what reeeeaaally happened in Chiang Mai was...FOOD!

Anxiety State Crisis Cave in Crazy Horse Buttress, coolest place to climb!




Coconut ball thingys

Pork for Pork Rice

So much Khao Soi

Banana Roti

Mango Sticky Rice

Eye Brow Dawg

Fat Fold Dawg

Beer the Golden Retriever from our hostel (Chokdee) whom liked to go on walks with us.

...and Decathalon. Decathalon also happened.

Damien introduced Tony and I to Decathalon, and we went back...a lot.

Green Climber's Home--Thakhek, Laos

Green Climber's Home in Thakhek has proven to be my favorite climbing spot in Southeast Asia.  The camp is a hub for the climbing community and a great place to meet new partners. The lack of wifi makes life simple: eat, climb, talk to someone new, sleep, repeat. The quality and quantity of routes here makes it perfect for climbers of any experience to grow and push personal limits.  

Mornings at Camp 2

Multipitch view of Camp 2

Bungalow living

Mon General, my first 6c, Nestori Virtanen and Tony Archie Kim photo

Mine and Vipin's first 6B+ Hans Dampf, yeah partner!! Tony Archie Kim photo

Was joined by a couple of clowns


Post Nepal, I met my college friend Lindy in Bhutan for a week.  After a month of high elevation tea houses and hostels, it was a nice change of pace to have a driver, guide, and three-star hotels.  In Bhutan, the men are handsome and the women are beautiful; the air is clear, the temples are mysterious, and the holy water strong.

Tiger's Nest, the most auspicious temple in Bhutan, is perched on a cliff 900 meters off the ground. 

First day around Thimphu, the bridge to Chari Monastery

Tashi our knowledgeable guide who is also an amazing dancer!

Dzongs are former fortresses that serve as religious and administrative centers.

They are architectural masterpieces covered with intricate design details.

View of Punakha

Clusters of white prayer flags commemorates the dead, outside the Temple of the Divine Madman

Stream in Thimphu

Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal

I couldn't resist hanging out with some of my favorite Malaysians in a harsh unforgiving environment.

Enjoying the good weather at lower elevation

Mountaineer's memorial on the way to Base Camp

This pup followed us up on acclimatization day

The path up

A yak's day

Everest as seen from Kala Patthar (18,514ft/5643m, highest point of our trek) at sunset

Our crew at Chola Pass, photo by Ian Chung

Heading home via Gokyo Valley, photo by Ian Chung


Birthday doughnut in Puerto Montt, Chile

Hey, hello! This is me, Yezi, having a birthday doughnut on my 30th birthday.  This photo was taken after sailing on the Navimag Ferry through the uninhabited Patagonian fjords. I always loved traveling and dreamed of taking a long term trip for six months to a year.  In late 2016, I left my job in animation and went to Asia.  This blog documents my travels and my doodles along the way.