Cat Ba Day 1

Go back to Arrival In Hanoi.

Go back to Vietnam.

Screw Loose

Pitch 4 of Screw Loose.

We headed out into the Bay at the alpine ass crack of dawn (8:30) the following morning.  Though we were expecting to be in a small basket boat for the day, the three of us instead ended up taking a large junk boat suitable for three dozen people while a small basket boat shadowed us.  This would enable shuttle access to the climbs.  The Bay offers an incredible setting:  a maze of turquoise waterways in-between limestone karsts with many floating settlements peppered throughout.  The area closer to the port is bustling but things become a little more tranquil further out.  The first goal for the day was a ~30 meter tall tower called Hon Dua, a 90 minute boat ride from the port.  The formation looks as though it’s not long for this world:  a stocky tower sitting (teetering?) on a highly eroded base.  Here we climbed the original route called Tightrope (rated French 5c); a nice warm up for the limestone trad climbing to come.  Back to the junk boat for lunch (huge quantity; somewhat underwhelming quality however) and an afternoon climb of the area classic called Screw Loose, 4 pitch 6a+; the only bolted route we’d do in the Bay.  Very nice position and climbing on this one…and no bushwhacking.

Photos

Ha Long Bay

Shirley and Andrew on the top deck of the junk boat enroute to our first climbs;  the whole thing to ourselves…roughing it (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay sights (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay and its human activity (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Floating settlements and the fish farming operations (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Weathered, razor sharp limestone (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Stranded fishermen (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Another floating settlement (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

With a couple of canine occupants (Nov 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Bay sights (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Chu Bien pulling up to the junk boat (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Chu Bien, Andrew and Shirley in the basket boat shuttling over to the first climb (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Hon Dua:  I believe it’s Vietnamese for “not long for this world” (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Tightrope route (5c) starts up the ramp just left of center of the face and follows the bushy, left side arete to the top. Single pitch with a cool summit (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Shirley belaying me from the boat. Convenient but feasible only if the sea is sufficiently calm. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Leading Tightrope (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Shirley starting up Tightrope route on Hon Dua.  Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Shirley low on the route.  Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Summit views including some sharp and jagged limestone (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Shirley higher on Tightrope.  Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Shirley about to pull over a slight bulge (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Turquoise water and sunshine – it did not suck (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

More of Shirley on Tightrope. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Arriving on the summit of Hon Dua – watch your step (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Shirley enjoying the summit ambiance (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

The register and the abseil anchor (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Shirley rapping off (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

Back to the boat (Nov. 2018).

Hon Dua

The landing. Time for lunch (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

One last look at Hon Dua (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

OK, what’s next?

Ha Long Bay

But first – lunch!  An overabundance of food on the junk boat (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shuttling over to Screw Loose route next door to Tiger Beach (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley belaying me on the first pitch of Screw Loose; technically this first pitch is called Peanut Butter & Jelly. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley belaying me on the first pitch (Nov. 2018).

Views from the pitch 1 belay inside the chimney (Nov. 2018).

Pitch 1 views (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley starting up the first pitch. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Topping out on pitch 1. Lookee that huge stalactite (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Into the crux of the route early on pitch 2 (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

A closer look at the crux. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Fun climbing!  Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Easy bit of pitch 2. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

View of Tiger Beach from midway up Screw Loose (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley at the crux. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley exiting the chimney belayed by yours truly (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley following pitch 2 (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

And topping out on pitch 2 (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Andrew chilling and taking some cool photos (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley topping out on pitch 3 (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Pano view of Tiger Beach from high on the route (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley starting up pitch 4 of Screw Loose – easy but steep-ish (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Higher on pitch 4 (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Some more views The Bay (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Shirley topping out on Screw Loose (Nov. 2018).

Screw Loose

Rapping off Screw Loose down into Chu Bien’s boat (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

On the way back, approaching the port (Nov. 2018).

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay (Nov. 2018).

Cat Ba

End of day beers back at our hotel (Nov. 2018).

Go back to Cat Ba Day 2.

Go back to Vietnam.