Cat Ba Day 3

Go back to Cat Ba Day 2.

Go back to Vietnam.

 

Chu Bien Tower

Spelunking on Chu Bien Tower.

On the third day, we headed for a newly established I Wish I Had New Underpants route on Chu Bien’s tower, 3 short pitches and rated 5c. Relatively untrodden rock here was positively razor blade sharp. Falling was absolutely out of the question (mental images of sliced limbs, severed arteries, and cut ropes). A cool climb though: you do a short pitch from the waterline into the cave and out through a small window onto a face of the tower. Two more short pitches put you near the summit. As this is a new line (reportedly, ours was a 4th or 5th ascent), the best rap line is still being determined. Well, we chose poorly and got our twins stuck. The thought of prussiking back up was highly unappealing (razor rock and thin ropes are a poor combo) but fortunately our driver had a different solution in mind: he tied one of the ropes to the stern of the boat and gunned the motor (video here). We figured that we’d witness one of three outcomes: the rope would snap (bad but unlikely), tat anchor would pull off with some rocks (worse), or the boat would break apart (worst). In fact, the ropes eventually pulled and after fishing 140 meters of twins out of the sea we saw no damage on the cords. As we were running out of interesting routes, we decided to burn the afternoon on some very scenic kayaking in the bay.

Photos

Ha Long Bay

Basket and junk boats in port (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Shuttling over to our junk boat (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Shirley on the junk boat (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

A floating settlement (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay sights (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay and its countless limestone karats (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Racked up and ready to go (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Getting ready to climb I Wish I Had New Underpants route on Chu Bien Tower. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Happy Shirley at a stance at the base of Chu Bien Tower (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

The first and unique pitch of I Wish I Had New Underpants route on Chu Bien Tower (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Trying to squeeze through the window that marks the end of pitch 1 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Fun and unique pitch 1 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley climbing the short pitch 1 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley following pitch 1 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Popping out of the window (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

At the pitch 1 belay. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Starting the lead of pitch 2 of I Wish I Had New Underpants (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Leading pitch 2 – the ass shot perspective (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Leading pitch 2 – the much better third person perspective. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

A basket boat seen from Chu Bien Tower (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley starting up pitch 2. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley on the super sharp pitch 2 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley following pitch 2 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Topping out on pitch 2 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley on a spacious ledge atop pitch 2 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Looking back at Shirley from the lead of pitch 3 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley following the third and final pitch of I Wish I Had New Underpants (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Views from the top of the route (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley high on pitch 3 (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Shirley arriving at the top of the route (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Rapping back to the boat.  Not an optimal set up with some really sharp edges vs. shitty rope pull angle (Nov. 2018).

 

Chu Bien Tower

Fishing out our twins (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Back in Chu Bien’s boat (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay activity (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

The floating settlement where we started the kayak tour (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Look at that concrete boat!

 

Ha Long Bay

On our way to check out a giant fish on a floating settlement (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

A huge grouper fish being kept captive by the owners of the floating establishment. This is reportedly an investment vehicle for some people living on the Bay (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Docked at a floating settlement (where we’d enjoy some home brewed happy water; Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

A resident of a floating settlement (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Happy water – nice but with a slight diesel undertones (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Setting up for some kayaking (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Shirley and Andrew in kayaks (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

The arch is home to some hard DWS crack route. Photo by Andrew (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Checking out this cool, secluded little alcove (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

In the shallow alcove (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Leaving the alcove (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Visit to a wrecked fishing boat (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

A secluded and quiet corner of Ha Long Bay (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

The Polish Pillar – nice looking formation with a couple of hard routes but equipped with very rusty bolts (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Small caves and tight passages (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

A squeeze job (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Heading back (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Life on a junk boat in Ha Long Bay (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Some random sights (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Floating settlements (Nov. 2018).

 

Ha Long Bay

Back to port (Nov. 2018).

Go to Cat Ba Day 4.

Go back to Vietnam.