Nodes in Vietnam

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Cat Ba Island

The Ha Long Bay region of Vietnam, a sweep of water from which approximately 1,600 limestone karst islands soar, lies in the Gulf of Tonkin just off Vietnam’s northern coastline and is part of the UNESCO world natural heritage. These craggy islands boast a stunning mix of rock blanketed in jungle and steep, exposed faces. Although not all of these walls contain solid rock, there is an overwhelming abundance of magnificent climbable faces. Many of the walls that rise directly from the water are ideal for Deep Water Solo (DWS). Other faces stand over uninhabited sandy beaches, making for a unique and isolated sport climbing paradise. Cat Ba Island also boasts some amazing limestone cliffs to behold and experience.

Cat Ba Island
Butterfly Valley (Lien Minh)

The best crag of Cat Ba Island.

Cat Ba Island Butterfly Valley (Lien Minh)
6a Intrigues

Shares the start with Dublin Mudslide and splits off left after a ledge halfway up. Also may be dirty after rainy season.

6a Dublin Mudslide

Start on the furthest left bolted line in Upper Mantle and head straight up.

6b The Grass Is Always Greener

Pumpy start, then a nice rest before a technical face.

7c Year of the Tiger


7b Thanks For The Memories

Start just left of the large tufa and go way up a ledgey face until a tough overhanging crack.

7b Pole Dancer

Clip the first bolt from the rock, then start at the bottom to fully enjoy the beautiful tufa. Followed by some awkward slab and into an amazing set of hard moves to the anchor.

8a ...Or the Railway

The 10m extension to My Way up two overhung fingercracks.

7a+ My Way

Consider a stickclip for the first bolt not to fall into the cave below!

6c Rocky's ways

Balancy and techncal first half where passing the crux can be confusing

7b Unknown

Goes up from the middle of the wall, little to the right of the tree.

5b Approach to Trad

A short warm up climb on the left hand side of the boulder of mr moustache massage man. Be careful of a few potentail loose blocks on the wall.

6a+ Moustache Massage Man

Crimpy start into a ledgey climb.

7b Cung-Duoc-Day

Extension of Moustache Massage Man

5c Vu Duyen

Nice warmup.

6c+ Fingerless Pho Man

Fairly easy climbing until the overhang. Follow the obvious crack to the anchor. Can be a bit dirty after rainy season.

7a+ Chia Tay (Divide Hands)

Shares the start and anchors with Fingerless Pho Man and branches off right onto the face before the overhung crack.

6c+/7a Brooklyn Buddah

Relatively easy climbing until a leaning dihedral crack with a crux near the end. May be easier for taller climbers.

7c+ Dream Weaver

Clip the first bolt from the boulder above to avoid a fall into the cave below. Start in the cave on two knobby white tufas.

5a Chuyen Nui

Nice warmup. Shares the start with 5 Fun, then branches left towards the cave.

5a 5 Fun

Nice warmup. Shares the start with Chuyen Nui and then branches right onto the slab.

4+ 4 Play

The low angled route ~10m left of large tree

5c Reggae Rocks

UPDATE 16.0.2019: Around 12 months ago this tree was struck by lightning, we have had to remove it, therefore changing the climb dramatically. now renamed Reggae Rocks at 5c Consider back-cleaning the first few bolts to avoid rope drag. A really fun climb up nice holds and tree roots! Can be extended another 6m and 3 bolts to a higher anchor.

6a Spread the jam

Visit Langur's Adventures in Cat Ba Town for an access pass. It's free and ensures a good relationship with the land owners. The valley floods in the rainy season so some of the climbs are inaccessible, an alternate walk in around the upper mantle is available.

5c Bread and Butter

9 bolts, 1 sling. Consider backing up the sling, or extending some of the last bolts to avoid rope drag. Some tricky moves getting through the dihedral at the start, but fun climbing afterwards!

6c+ Brian's"Closed" Project

Bouldery start, relatively calm middle section, and overhang just before the anchor to make it more fun!

7b Cleapatras curse

Climb a steep start with some powerful moves for 7 bolts and then split right after mantling the tufa to finish on very tot. Make sure to clip the rope as well as the 3rd bolt

6b+ Very Tot

Tricky overhang start leads to awesome climbing and a huge tufa.

6c+ Miyagi Box Maker

Bouldery start, consider stick-clipping the first bolt. A couple cruxes.

6b You Enjoy Myself

Crux is getting out of the dihedral and over the lip.

7b Prayer Of The Mantis

Consider stick-clipping the first bolt. Following the bolt line is the direct route, though many take an alternate start a bit to the left and closer to You Enjoy Myself. Stay on the arete and avoid coming out right onto the face for the true line!

6c+ A Dengue Ate My Davey

Traverse the face on pockets to a slopey ledge. The direct line goes straight up the roof, though some feel this is contrived and opt to traverse left up the ledge and direct to the anchors.

7b+ Hippie Banana Tree Killer

Crazy overhang with bouldery moves.

7b+ Passive Aggressive

Big overhang on large pockets and then pumpy face climbing.

7b If Only I Could Be A Shrimp

Powerful roof climbing into a tricky face.

6c Cracker Jack

Pumpy jug climbing with a few good rests and a few cruxes.

7a+ Team Ling Ling

Shares the start with Pappi's Paradise and branches up and left at the second (smaller) roof.

7a Pappi's Paradise

Shares the start with Team Ling Ling, and branches right at the second (smaller) roof. Enjoy the subsequent sloepy tufa face climb!

7c Little Dragon

Start shared with Enter the Dragon but heads straight up the giant mushroom-tufa after exiting the cave. Tie a knot in the end of your rope!

8a+ Enter The Dragon

Shares the start with Little Dragon in the dragon's mouth cave. Exit the cave and head up and right onto its teeth and face. Professional belay recommended. Tie a know in the end of your rope.

7c+ Horseless Samurai

Overhangs and tufas and cracks. Have fun!

7a Obama 101

Cracks and tufas. Crux at third bolt. Careful belay recommended.

7a+ Buffalo Love

Dihedral crack to roof to slab. Bit of everything! Watch out for the boulder at the start (spot, crashpad, or start on top of it) or consider princess clipping the first bolt! Back-clean afterwards to avoid rope drag and help out your belayer.

7a Up Syndrome

Crimpy tufas to a nice rest, then tackle the slopey ledge for the crux.

6a Where the Wild Things Aren't

Fun tufa climbing. Can be dirty near the top.

6c 50/50

Sketchy moves going past the first two bolts with a crux just below the anchor.

6b+ Elephant Man

Classic! Enjoy pockets and cracks all along the face.

6a+ Unobbtainable HR

The route to the right of elephant man, climb a series of pockets up to a balancy slab finish.

8a+ Roman's Karmic Curse

Small holds requiring enduring power.

6c+ Bolts 'R' us

Gentle overhang on nice holds leads to a powerful crux. Most opt for a dynamic approach, but an absurd drop knee allows for a static movement.

7c+ Monarch

Begins with an easy crack then changes dramatically into a sustained crux to the anchors.

6c+ Hunting Double Rainbows

Beautiful tufas and pockets then a techy dihedral before the anchor.

6b The Feeling of Freedom

Big tufas to a tricky finish. Tends to be dirty and is not frequently repeated as a result.

7b Freakonomics

Diverse climbing with several cruxes and overhangs.

7b Muhammad Ali

Pockets to slab to overhang with some nice rests. Top is technical and makes the grade and necessitates a careful belay.

6a Rome to Hanoi express

Lots of pockets and cracks to some ledges which can be tricky!

6b Argentina's Delight

Easy arête climbing (shared start with Flight of the Bumblebee and Mother butterfly) leads to a crack on the left. May be extended into Place Your Nuts Right for another 12m, but requires an 80m rope or two rappels.

6c Place Your Nuts Right

A 12m extension atop Argentina's Delight. Can be a little sharp and dirty near the top, and somewhat heady on lead! Great exposure and view of the surrounding valley.

7b+ Flight of the Bumble Bee

Shared start with Argentina's Delight and Mother Butterfly. Easy climbing at 6b/6c leads to the cruxy 2-3m before the anchors. Hope you like slopey pinches! Some argue these last moves are 7c.

6a+ Mother Butterfly

Shared start with Argentina's Delight and Flight of the Bumblebee. Branch right at the first opportunity and continue up the beautiful face. Don't forget to take a look out from the top!

8b Vu's Project #1

A 6b roof on pockets leads to a nice rest before a blank face. Attempt the minuscule crimps to the anchors.

7a Falling Choss In Between

A bouldery start on some chossy holds, coming out to some tufa climbing followed by a great balancy vertical climb. The start and top need some more cleaning, but overall, solid. Belayer should wear a helmet.

7a Windchime of the Ants

Diverse climbing through resonant tufas onto stalactites and a nice face. May be dirty and/or flooded during/after the wet season.

Vu's Project #2

No anchor yet. Attempts the overhung face just left of Butterfly Effect.

8a Butterfly Effect

Short but powerful through and overhang.

5.11 Firefly

Visit Langur's Adventures in Cat Ba Town for an access pass. It's free and ensures a good relationship with the land owners. The valley floods in the rainy season so some of the climbs are inaccessible, an alternate walk in around the upper mantle is available.

6c Searcing for Meaning

Shared start with Love for Breakfast. Branch left onto the white streaked face after a sharp ledge halfway up. Flooded during rainy season.

6c Love for Breakfast

Shared start with Searching for Meaning. Stay right after the sharp ledge and onto the white rock. Flooded during rainy season.

7a Dirty Dutch Delights

Shares the same start and anchors as search for meaning but splits left around the tufa. Climb through the roof and up the face, make sure to extend the bolt in and above the roof to reduce rope drag

Cat Ba Island
The Cave

Houses a shrine as well as protected wildlife (owls).

Cat Ba Island The Cave
6a Slingswing

FA was only on slings. Juggy fun! New glue anchors for safe cleaning 18/11/16

6b Breakout

Spotting recommended for the technical start on the right side of the large white tufa at cave's left.

5b Where the Wild Things Were

Nice warmup. 6 bolts, 1 sling.

7a+ Fistful of Stalactite

Awesome limestone tufa climbing after a pocketed face. Good fun.

7a Chocai4Life

Gently overhung face climbing leads to a tricky sequence. Commit to the tufa and the rest is easy. Stay only on the face for a 7b/7c variation.

6c Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You

Named for its toothy mouth like pocket. Nice climb with strong moves on good holds Expansion bolts set by Asia Outdoors, glue bolts set by Cat Ba Climbing. (First joint project)

6a+ Love Handles

Can be reachy.

6b Sheltered Nook

Easy face climbing wraps around to the outside of the cave. Some tiny crimps directly up to the anchor make it tough, though most stay a bit to the right in a layback crack.

Cat Ba Island
Hidden Valley / The Farm

Dry in light rain, covered and shaded most of the day. From easy stuff to roof climbing.

Cat Ba Island Hidden Valley / The Farm
7a Test Pilot

Follow the crack on the right bringing you to the crux at 2-3 bolt: dyno to good pocket. Kneebar size cave afterwards. Stay on overhanging wavy slab. Easy middle section up and under the tree. Slight left under the roof with nice moves to the anchor on the left.

5c - 6a Dark Dihedral

Follow the jaggered crack over the small roof to the anchors, consistant throught out, crux at the end. Last 2 bolts and anchors shared with “The Itagnol Job”

5c - 6a The Itagnol Job

Follow the bolts on the featured face, some nice techniqual moves moving left to share the last two bolts and anchors of “Dark Dihedral”.

6b Srew You

Named for it's mono signature crux move using the middle finger. Great range of different styles in this climb.

6c House of Jugs

Climb a steep wall with loads of jugs and knee bars to choose from, then an out stretched powerful move to come out of the roof with a tricky finish.

7b+ Shampoo Effect

Slab climbing to the roof, then follow the crack/flake before moving right. Get's harder and harder with each bolt.

7b Power & Good Vibes

Easy first two bolts to an over hung and technical climb with good holds. (6 glue bolts + anchors)

No need to use the expansion bolt & Hanger (3rd bolt), it was installed for bolting purposes and has been left for cleaning the route and to lower and avoid potential dangerous swing.

4+ No Worries

A short beginner piece of art. Perfect for teaching lead climbing. Shared anchor with No Problem.

4+ No Problem

Easy and short beginner route. Perfect for instructors to teach (lead) climbing. Mind your head when you reach for the anchor, wearing a helmet is advised. All bolts are glue-in bolts.

4+ First Time Get It

Easy and short beginner route. All bolts are glue-in bolts.

5b Lost In The Jungle

Multi-pitch to the highest roof. First pitch has crux between first and second bolt (5b), then it is easy climbing (4) to comfortable anchors. First pitch has 8 bolts and one sling. Then two different climbs, Tarzan (left) and Jane (right) to the high roof. Use the anchor on the left for rappelling down, not the belay anchor. Ground anchor available for belayer. All bolts are glue-in bolts.

5a Monkey Magic

Left most climb of the multipitch, a short climb moving left finishing on 2 U-bolts right of the stalactite.

5b Tarzan

After climbing Lost In The Jungle, this is one of the secondary pitches starting on the left side. Tarzan is slightly more strenuous than Jane, but with good holds the more easy option. Use the most comfortable anchor with chain for belaying, rappel using the separate rappelling anchor on the far left. All bolts are glue-in bolts.

5c Jane

After climbing Lost In The Jungle, this is one of the secondary pitches starting on the right side. Jane is slightly more technical than Tarzan, and usually a more challenging option. Use the undercling, move your feet up and reach for the good holds. Use the anchor with chain on the right for belaying, rappel using the separate rappelling anchor on the far left. All bolts are glue-in bolts.

6c+ Which Way To The Beach

Easy climbing to a tricky crux to pass the small roof. Then fun bridging between the two big stalactites. Be aware of the stalagmite behind the belayer: the climber can hit it if the belayer gives too much slack at the crux on the small roof.

V1 Fat Santa

At the back of the cave, climb the tunnel like a chimney to the top to poke your head out from the hole.

V6 Under The Bridge

Boulder from either side of the cave following the arch like feature on the left.

V7 Around The World

Start left of the entrance and work your way around the cave in a clockwise direction. When reaching the right side, keep your feet above the half meter mark and finish exiting the cave. Alternative finishes: staying lower and using a knee bar before exiting the cave. Can also be linked with Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

V6 Scotch Mist

At the back of the cave, make a strenuous move leftwards. Standing start matching on an undercut.

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