Hong Kong 2012 Trip Report !

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!

IMG_2885Kay Tuck on the crack pitch of Kwai Lo
Kay Tuck on the crack pitch of Kwai Lo

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!

The crew in Beacon Hill!
The crew in Beacon Hill!

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!

Lam on the lieback crack with committing moves before the chains
Lam on the lieback crack with committing moves before the chains

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.

The crew before the walk up the stairs
The crew before the walk up the stairs
Siesta in the misty view point..
Siesta in the misty view point..
Thats how Lion Rock looks like when its not misty
Thats how Lion Rock looks like when its not misty

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!

Yumei on the corner crack with Lam and Kay tuck in the anchor of the previous pitch
Yumei on the corner crack with Lam and Kay tuck in the anchor of the previous pitch

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. =)

Kay Tuck looking very serious with the traverse
Kay Tuck looking very serious with the traverse

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.

Band of brothers and sisters
Band of brothers and sisters
The Bar that made everyone very happy that night..
The Bar that made everyone very happy that night..

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.

The participants of trad course 2012 Hong Kong !
The participants of trad course 2012 Hong Kong !
Stretching before we start walking to the crag...
Stretching before we start walking to the crag…
Kelvin camming it in..
Kelvin camming it in..
Kate calming her nerves to place some nuts
Kate calming her nerves to place some nuts
Michael loves to put his mind on overload mode..
Michael loves to put his mind on overload mode..
Raymond thinking which colour suits him the best today
Raymond thinking which colour suits him the best today
Cherag looking for the right size
Cherag looking for the right size
Caijing digging deep and glad that she made the lead!
Caijing digging deep and glad that she made the lead!

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.

Lotus leave rice
Lotus leave rice
Chee Chong Fun!
Chee Chong Fun!
They love chicken feet in Hong Kong
They love chicken feet in Hong Kong

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!

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