Viet Faves – Our favorite climbs in Vietnam – Elephant Man and License to Climb

In the first of a series we talk to Push Peeps and friends about their favorite climbs around Vietnam. This week we check in with Gavi Piper, co-author of Vietnam Climbing about her favorite climbs in the country.

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“Keeping in mind that I haven’t had the opportunity to climb in Huu Lung or Quoc Oai since they’ve been developed, so my experience is mostly through the lens of having worked based on Cat Ba Island:

I’m a kid who gravitates toward more technical routes at moderate levels; climbing steep tufas was actually a huge challenge for me when I first arrived in Vietnam. One of my favorite routes is called Elephant Man— it’s located in Butterfly Valley and goes at 6b+ . Elephant Man is an awesome maze of little pockets and cracks to navigate on an otherwise rather blank wall, with a minor roof to overcome at the top. It’s essentially a line of super fun, varied, delicate, techy problem-solving.

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The other route I absolutely fell in love with was License to Climb. Aside from ascending really unique rock, even for Ha Long Bay, climbing at The Face has that remote feeling I thrive on. It’s about an hour to get out there by basket boat, so you barely see other people, although I do remember looking down from the anchors at one point to see a human-size jellyfish next to our basket boat. It’s just you, beautiful rock, green water, and islands in every direction.”

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Words by Steve Shipside, photos from the book, with the permission of the authors. Talk to Push Climbing about getting your own signed copy. And if you have a favorite climb to add to the list then contact us.

Steve Shipside