DWS First Ascents
The limestone islands of Ha Long Bay have become firmly established as a must-visit global destination for DWS. But back in 2003, when we first tried to research the climbing potential of the ‘James Bond Island’ territory, all we could find were a handful of sport routes from an American team. Our suspicion that this area would lend itself to DWS proved to be something of an understatement. We spent a fortnight touring around on a boat and picking off some of the most enticing DWS lines we’d ever seen. The main crags we developed were Fisherman’s Way (Daube), Handem (Pyramid Cave), Hangdu (Archway) Yenngua, Cathedral Rock
Reference: Ha Long Bay Climbing – Asia Outdoors & Luca Di Giorgi, 2016.
New routes recorded by Neil Gresham, Tim Emmett, Seb Grieve & Grant Farquhar 11.03
1. Daube (Saigon Wall)
GPS coordinates: 20, 45”, 17.10 N / 107, 7’39.32” E
This idyllic steep face lies in a hidden lagoon and is one of the best crags in the region. A 30-degree continuously overhanging grey wall is split with distinctive deep, undulating cracks. The right hand side of the crag is lower and steeply under-cut.
Guidebook quote: ‘The crag’s few lines are all fantastic ….unique and highly entertaining climbing.’ - Ha Long Bay climbing, Luca De Giorgi 2016
1) Charlie don’t surf, 5c (Grant Farquhar)
2) Rough guide to Vietnam, 7a+ (Seb Grieve)
3) Napalm morning, 7b (Neil Gresham)
4) Good morning Vietnam, 7a+ (Tim Emmett)
5) Apocalypse now, 7a (Neil Gresham)
6) Never get out of the boat, 6c (Grant Farquhar)
7) Platoon, 7a+ (Neil Gresham)
Two minor routes were climbed on the righthand side: Boat people, 7a (Tim Emmett) and On the right, 7a+ (Neil Gresham)
2) Handem (Pyramid Cave)
GPS coordinates: 20, 47’, 32.44 N / 107, 7’, 3.27” E
This clean-cut, triangular cave drips with large stalactites has a ‘swim-through’ channel at its base that is revealed enticingly at low tide. The routes finish from a jump-off point, just down and right from the apex.
Guidebook quote: ‘worth the boat ride if only for Halong Nights ….An amazing climb.’ - Ha Long Bay climbing, Luca De Giorgi 2016