Today was my first climbing day in Vietnam, and the experience underscored my primary purpose for this trip – to send some of the best and most beautiful limestone in the world.
And send I did, though not withstanding a nice whipper (read: fall) whilst lead climbing. My newfound mates, Asha and Russell, from Asia Outdoors (a local adventure guiding company in Cat Ba) were super inspiring and encouraging, and egged me on to finish a burly, pumpy, overhanging 6b+/5.10c roof called Barefoot Vietnamese (apparently locals climb It sans shoes) on lead, before I fell one move away from topping out. So much for today being my ‘warm-up’ day.
Sixish routes and a nice collection of bloody bruises later, I was ready to tuck it in and call it a day. Tonight’s well-deserved bowl of pho will taste more phenomenal than usual.