Asia Outdoors: Outdoor Adventure for the wild ones
By Steve Shipside
Everyone who visits Vietnam heads for the spectacular beauty of Ha Long bay and its breathtaking limestone karsts.
And if all you want to do is take selfies with the other tourists that's fine, but if you really want to experience the beauty of the great outdoors then lose the crowds and head to neighbouring Cát Bà Island and Lan Ha Bay, the natural habitat of the Asia Outdoors crowd.
Asia Outdoors gels nicely with what the Push team is doing in Saigon. Fancy stand up paddle boarding on the azure waters? How about candlelit yoga on the beach at sunset? Asia Outdoors will take you by the hand and show you the full beauty of Vietnam's great outdoors without the company of the great unwashed.
From kayaking to trekking the team from Asia Outdoors just loves to get out there, but of course it's the climbing that's the common bond between Push and our family up North, which meant that they couldn't resist Rocktoberfest. And Rocktoberfest couldn't resist them.
The Asia Outdoors team joined as both sponsors and participants. In the contest, they absolutely rocked the wall this year with Josh Stephenson winning the Top Rope Men Open category and Antoine Faucher coming second.
As a judge at the event, I was impressed by the systematic way Josh started with the hardest category climbs and just crossed them off one by one working his way down the points so that he finished with the easiest as he got more tired. Impressively systematic, but then for a native Bermudian who ran away to the world to become a deep water solo instructor what else would we expect?
As for Antoine, the Parisian site manager at Cát Bà he showed his superlative motivational skills as he cheerily encouraged Josh to “stop complaining – get better”. But the biggest shoutout goes to Milly Kay, Leeds lass and yoga teacher who matched her male colleagues by storming and winning the Top Rope Women category.
An impressive showing from Asia Outdoors, and we can't wait for the opportunity to go play in their backyard (and show them how it's really done).