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Vietnam, Cat Ba – Climbing in Wild Nature

Published: 2.12.2017
Vietnam is no destination where climbers would travel intentionally. Yet once you are there you should try its climbing areas. We travelled to Cat Ba island which I highly recommend to any climber.

There are many sporting acitvities you can do on the island. Asia Outdoors is the most searched for adventure agency. You may find it in Cat Ba town. Three places are available for climbing on the island – Butterfly Valley, Moody Beach, or Deep Water Soloing where you climb or boulder without a rope.

lezení ve Vietnamu

Butterfly Valley is situated in the inland's western regions. A blind road runs there north of Cat Ba town. There is a lake and several simple local houses. The concrete panel road at valley's end, there is the turn with the sign Butterfly Valley and a parking lot adjacent to a kiosk there. Right at this moment you may spot on which wall you may climb. How you can get there? Once you walk several meters towars a wall covered with forest you will spot a WC signon your left and direction to the climbing route on your right. You will walk among houses for a while but soon the only trail leading to the wall. Locals don't speak English so be prepared for som thorough search. No admittance fee to enter the wall is required. This high wall is surrounded by thick green cover and routes of different lenghts and difficulty are on it.

druhá lezecká část Moody Beach   z vrcholu cesty

 Moody Beach is an alternative. Set out there anyway, however. The beach is wonderful and situated close to quiant islands in teh bay itself. When on the top of a climbing route, you will love the vista. To get there, hire the aforementioned sporting agency. Climbing on the Moody Beach is doable only in the afternoon because sun shines here in the morning and water floods almost the entire beach. In the afternoon, the climbing conditions are much more pleasant. Our group of ten accessed 5 climbing routes in 3 hours. One route was designated for complete beginners, the other two were of 5c difficulty. These routes go very high and offer splendid vistas. The last two routes are the most difficult. Experienced climbers will enjoy an overhang in the upper part of the 6b route. Rocks are very sharp so be careful.

zdolávání převisu   pohled na Moody Beach z vrcholu cesty

prostředí pod skálami

Další lezeckou specialitou v zátoce Lan Ha Bay je lezení Deep Water Soloing is another climbing specialty in Lan Ha Bay. This type of climbing is without any safe equipment and above sufficiently deep water in case one falls or jumps off the rock. However, this is activity is doable in the morning only as you can do it only during high tide (during low tide water surface is over one meter lower which makes getting on the route more difficult). The agency I hired for the cruise, takes you to two routes situated somewhere in the middle of the island. A small boat with a climbing crew of six slows down by the easiest of both routes. Nobody is surprised to see a route of 4 difficulty. However, many are not prepared to make a training jump off the terrace 2.5 meters above the water at the peak of the trail. Yes, the guide was right. The following jump was from a higher altitude so one would get used to higher heights. A climber gets ready on the nose of the boat. A boat stops at the rock and once a climber gets on the rock the boat goes backward and everybody watch how well he manages to climb. Other routes in the area were much more difficult. We all tried to beat the overhang on the 6a route. There one mustn't jump but only bounces off the rock when tired or simply slips. A high number of jellyfish in local waters is an unpleasant problem one should avoid when jumping.

Deep Water Soloing   Deep Water Soloing 

After a 15-minute ride, a vista over another rock wall opened to us. An H-Beam about 2 meters above the water surface dominated the vista. It is long and many are troubled by it. On the right side of the wall, there is a beautiful way of 5c difficulty, which goes up to 3,5 meters. The wall is very high as well as the climbing ways. The climbing routes of difficulty 7 and over are literally going up into the skies. The guide demonstrated how easily one can climb up 15 meters on the wall, but how difficult it is to jump down. Still, I think anyone who fancies climbing, water, and jumping would love this and make it a highlight of his vacation.

GPS: (Butterfly Valley) 20°46'04.3"N 106°59'38.7"E

 

Text and photos: Martina Brožková



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