Trad climbing in Hong Kong is a whole new experience for many who came for this trip. I hoped everyone had loads of fun and learnt something new this trip!
We kicked off the trip with Yumei, Kay tuck and Mr Lam for some climbing action all around Hong Kong. It was unfortunate that Sihui couldn’t join us for the trip due to her broken ankle while lead climbing in the gym. We wish her speedy recovery and stronger than ever ankles when she gets back to climbing!
3 of them happened to be participants of the Taiwan Trad Climbing 2012 trip in June and I guessed they enjoyed themselves so much that they returned to Hong Kong for more action!
It was nice cool weather in November with showers occasionally most of the time more like drizzles. But this year due to the typhoon in Philippines, the winter was wetter than we expected. At least for the first day at Beacon Hill, it did not rain and we had a full day of climbing both mixture of trad and sports. Some easy route to get use to climbing on Tuff rocks and some harder routes to warm up the muscles. It wasn’t long before the team start picking up trad gears and lieback on cracks!
The rocks in Beacon Hill is solid with perfect hand and finger cracks all the way from the bottom to the top. Its sometimes amazing how easy these gears go into the rock! After the crew is deck out with warm ups, we decided to up the stake a little and head off to Lion Rock which is not too far from Beacon Hill. Going onto Lion Rock requires relatively good fitness as there is a 45 minutes stairs hike up to the base of the climb. The multi pitch also requires the climber to walk back to the bottom of the crag in order to get to their bags.
It wasn’t raining for the day but it was really misty and windy, with clouds blowing up onto us as though we were thousands of feet of the ground. We decided to jump on the easier multi pitch Kwai Lo which requires us to climb a wet and run out access pitch. The crew decided that it was too much effort to get up to the crag and not climb, so we adopt a climb and see situation. Assess as we go and we found most of the climb is actually relatively dry and climbable. Before we knew it, we were at the last 2 pitches of the climb and it was too near to the top to bail!
In my opinion this crack pitch is one of the best pitch of the route as it requires good feet and some form of jamming skills in order to climb it gracefully. The occasionally wet foot holds doesn’t really help to keep the climber sane. It is a nice good length multi pitch for those new to this form of climbing and most of the climbing on this can be climbed on trad. It was an uneventful climb to the top and a night descend since we were kinda of slow but thank god for head lamps. I guess Yumei will never forget why I brought head lamps with me. =)
The last day we decided to take it easy and went to Cape Collinson for some sport climbing on sea level however it started to dump on us and we had to go shopping instead after 1 climb. The climbing was great and we had a party at Lan Kwai Fong for those who are heading home before the next group comes.
Following, we had our Trad Climbing Course participants arrived in Hong Kong for more fun. There were a total of 3 pax from Singapore 2 pax from Malaysia and Raymond from Hong Kong. We spend the next 3 days going through loads of gear placement, mock lead climbing, lead climbing and anchor building.
Apart from good climbing there is also great dim sum in Hong Kong where you can feast and enjoy good quality food for less than what you pay in Singapore.
I’m glad everyone finished the course without any problems and went on to make those scary climbs with crack techniques that we are not so familiar with. I must say, the techniques for climbing cracks cannot be practice anywhere else except for when climbing cracks. It was a great experience for me to this trip and I learnt a lot not just from teaching but also search and rescue work =) and leading such a big group on a multi pitch climb.
Next year we will be having Yosemite free climbing and big wall climbs for those who are interested. I will put up the calendars so you can book your dates early with me! I cannot wait till we touch the big rock and the Italian Alps!