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2005-2016: VietClimb Odyssey

2 December 2016

0-intro2016, VBC16. To celebrate the coming 6th edition of the VietClimb Bouldering Cup, we’re going to bring you some key moments throughout the last decade that have made VietClimb and this event possible. “History is a people’s memory”

292016 Pumpfest (Singapore). For our 3rd participation at a bouldering competition in Singapore, we teamed up with Vertical Academy and Asia Outdoors to represent Vietnam and connect with the South-East Asia climbing federation. While Quan managed to go to the finals in individual, Trang, Hieu, Quan and Vu fought hard in the team challenge. It was rewarding to watch them climbing in such events 5 years after they started climbing.

282016 Saigon Bouldering Cup. To touch base with the Saigon climbing community, develop and strengthen indoor climbing on a national scale, a team from VietClimb got invited by Vertical Academy to their first Saigon Bouldering Cup. With route setters from the Singaporean national climbing team, it was a great opportunity to encourage the Vietnam climbing community to work together to solve problems. For males, Quan arrived 2nd, Vu 3rd while most of the other podium slots were taken by solid Singaporean climbers from the national team. Nhan was awesome and arrived 1st for the U15.

272015, VBC15. For the first time, the VietClimb Bouldering Cup was organized outdoor on a dedicated competition wall hosted at Hanoi Creative City. The chief route setter was Janet Goh, member of the Singapore National climbing team. The French from the MXP project did a hold up by taking the 1st and 2nd place with Ben and Kevin, while Ross from Asia Outdoors finished 3rd. For the girls, Carolyn from AO dominated the finals, ahead of Van with silver and Lena with bronze.

262015, Huu Lung part 3. Millet, a top French manufacturer for apparel and equipment for mountaineers, organized a contest to reward the most meaningful or hardcore projects. After applying and setting a dedicated team with Ben, former VietClimb instructor, we finally got the 1st prize of the public! The grant of the Millet Expedition Project allowed us to keep bolting 2 new sectors, adding 20 routes in Huu Lung, which offers now more than 60 routes.

252015, climbing wall construction (BVIS). In the quest to improve youth fitness and help achieving physical education standards, we do our best to make climbing walls safe, accessible and in line with international standards.

242014, VBC14. For the VBC14, Quan got his revenge with gold while Vu got silver. For the girls, Trang got the highest step on the podium while Van arrived 3rd, after having climbed some years abroad.

232014, Vu Linh. To keep a consistent dynamic between indoor and outdoor climbing, we kept bolting new routes in new areas. That year we chose Vu Linh.

222014, Boulderactive (Singapore). Inspired by Quan and Vu, a new generation of talented local climbers arrived in the game with Vinh and Nhan. To make them gaining experience, we brought them to Boulderactive in Singapore with the support of Vina-Access, Petzl. 

212014, urban climbing. More space for climbing in the city please! Urban exploration re-appropriates public and derelict spaces. Visionary artwork done by Bertolao in 2011, realization 3 years later on Long Bien and KTT (khu tap the).

202013, VBC13. The third edition of the VBC witnessed a great inflow of participants with 44 climbers. This time, it’s Vu with gold who passed Quan in silver, while Tam got the first place again. Trang arrived 3rd. For the 3rd time in 3 years, a French national, Baptiste, sneaked on the podium and get the bronze.

192013, Huu Lung part 2. Francis came back to complete the Head Wall and did the FA of the longest multi-pitch in Vietnam (105m, 5 pitches) while 2 new sectors got opened with Giacomo.

182013: Urban climbing festival, Vietfighter Challenge

172013, climbing wall construction (Vingroup, Ecopark). “Panem et circenses”. Motto of the shopping malls, but also a way to erect climbing walls to make as many visitors aware of the sport.

162013, Gravical (Singapore). First competition abroad to connect with the South-East Asian climbing community and Petzl.

152012, VBC12. One year later after the VBC11, the participation rate increased of 10%. Quan came back stronger and got the gold, followed by Vu. For the girls, Tam got the 1st place preceding Lena with silver. Again, a French secured a slot on the podium with Gael at the 3rd position.

142012, Huu Lung part 1. After many years of explorations, we found in Huu Lung the playground we were looking for. Not too far from Hanoi with wide and wild cliffs. Francis, a fine bolting machine introduced by Chris, arrived from Hong Kong to lay down the foundations of the first sector in Huu Lung. From indoor to outdoor, the transition was smooth and rewarding for the local climbers.

132012, Gravity Games. A VietClimb’s signature event designed to gather the growing communities of urban sports and their young talents in Vietnam. 350 participants shared their hard work and dedication for their passion with an enthusiastic public of 3,000 visitors. Hip hop, in-line skate, parkour, martial arts, skateboard, freestyle soccer and obviously climbing! First podium for Vu, who will also become soon used to climbing podiums in Vietnam and alternates with Quan in a friendly spirit. Impressed by the event, the Ministry of Sport has started a fruitful and friendly collaboration.

122011, VBC11. Twenty-seven climbers participated in the first VietClimb Bouldering Cup with our frontier Vietnamese climber team of Buxu, Tu, Tuan Anh, Quan, Tam, Trang, Van, Duc…. Also the first time setting with Chris, who will become the most regular setter of the VBC and a big source of motivation for local climbers. The first Vietnameses to summit the Everest came to connect with the Hanoi climbers. The climbing gang was growing up. Thank you all for the contribution at the beginning of our journey!
For this first edition of VBC, Ngoi got gold, anh Ha silver, and Quan, who will become one year later used to the climbing podiums in Vietnam, bronze. For the females, French ladies showed their power and secured two slots on the podium with Sarah and Caroline.

112011, around Hanoi. On the outdoor front, we bolted new routes in Quoc Oai and a few access routes in Ninh Binh and Hoa Binh. But that time it wasn’t the Army who intimidated us like 5 years ago, but the continuous explosions of the mountains around to feed the insatiable appetite of the cement factories.

102011, Tac Ke project. Marc and VietClimb started the Tac Ke project to bring rock climbing to orphanages and precarious youth. Could rock climbing become an empowerment tool for children?

92010, Hanoi Climbing Community. To keep the motivation high among the fresh climbers before the opening of the gym, the Hanoi Climbing Community was created to lay the groundwork of the coming gym. We disseminated a Hot, Free and Wild lifestyle for the love of the mountains and for the sake of rock climbing.

82010, An Duong. The place was found. An origami was becoming a bouldering gym in a remote warehouse in An Duong.

72010, Phuong Mai. Our 10-sqm bouldering wall became more and more popular and a lot of people showed up in our house every Tuesday and Thursday. It became urgent to find a more suitable space to keep spreading the good word.

62010, Quoc Oai. New dedicated climbers arrived in Hanoi. We self-funded to bolt those first routes in Quoc Oai and did some badass bouldering FA which still haven’t been repeated.

52005-2009, Phuong Mai. We were craving for climbing. We treated our addiction with 3 shoots of plywood and some chains on the 3rd floor of my house in Phuong Mai.

42005-2009, South Vietnam. We headed South of Nha Trang to compress some granite and see what Vietnam had to offer in natural bouldering. Again, modernity brought us back to Hanoi. How to bring rock climbing here?

32005-2009, Ba Be. Liberated from the siren song, our next destination was Ba Be. Big wall, solid rock, friendly National Park. We explore multi-pitch, sport route and bouldering potential. Unfortunately, modernity brought us back to Hanoi. How to bring rock climbing in Hanoi?

22005-2009: Halong Bay. There were less climbers than Cat Ba langurs. Before erosion changed steel into chalk, we climbed the historical routes of Arnaud Petit and Todd Skinner, did some mixed trad/sport ascents of random cliffs, and test our DWS skills.

1-05-09-aroundhanoi2005-2009, around Hanoi. Hanoi, where is your rock? The Monk of Chua Thay gave us his blessing to climb rocks in his backyard but then the diabolic Police quickly stopped us bolting our own stairways to heaven. In Hoa Binh, it’s the devilish Army who threatened us to seize our hammer drill. Ninh Binh was a climbers’ friendly crag but with scattered cliffs. The name VietClimb got created, as we balanced patiently on a slackline for better tomorrows. At a point, we got lured by the siren song of Halong Bay.

302005-2016. VietClimb and climbers in Vietnam has been on the march since 2005 and nothing will stop them.