So the CC team took a much-needed break to get some fresh air back into our chalk-filed lungs. We took a chance to get out of our usual #climbinside mantra to check out some real rocks just a stone throw away in neighbouring country Hong Kong where food is plentiful and rocks are too...
For the young and energetic, a midnight budget flight there will get you over bright an early to start your day of climbing and eating, thus maximizing all the time you have for it. For those who prefer it slower, an extra night stay won't put you back by too much if you have the time to spare.
Duration: 3 days 3 nights Flights: Most budget airlines. 4 hours flight.
Cost: ~s$350 for a return flight
Accommodations: Airbnb - Apartment in the heart of Mong Kong for s$437 for 3 nights for 6 pax (~s$25/night/pax)
Food: Plentiful options ~ s$8 per meal if you're not on too much of a budget. Probably about ~S$40 a day if you are budgeting for Breakfast / Tea Break / Lunch / Dinner / Supper just so you can try everything that Hong Kong has to offer.
Transportation: ~S$2 to S$4 per trip depending on how far you're going and if you're taking the cheaper buses or the more convenient MTRs. Get an Octopus Card from the airport for the much-needed convenience of not having to purchase a ticket every time you're travelling.
The total budget for the trip: ~$500 / pax
Day 1: Indoor bouldering at Just Climb
A small boulder only gym found in land-scarce Hong Kong. Convenient enough to find via google maps and public transport, this gym starts you off with a Registration Form and a Safety Briefing (same as us in Climb Central) to get you on your way to bouldering. Tourists who's there only once gets a free waiver of the registration fee which made the experience seem a tad bit more affordable. There are plenty of boulder routes of various difficulty that's good for beginners and masochist alike.
All routes on the wall can also be found on a mobile app that allows you to track what you have done / search up routes based on grades / and are clearly circled in the pictures if you're not sure if the tape on the boulder has fallen. You can even check out what others have done and see how you rank against them. For more information, check them out at http://www.justclimb.hk
Day 2: Outdoor Lead Climbing at Tung Lung Chau
Waking up early is a must to get yourself to the Ferry Boarding Point at Sai Wan Ho to catch the ferry which only runs on weekends at 9am or 10.30am. The last ferry back is at 5.30pm so to maximize your trip, it is definitely worth the lesser sleep to have more climbing time. Finding the place could be tricky so buffer some time for getting lost but it's hard to miss once you find the local climbers or trekkers dressed in brightly coloured jackets and big gear packs who will also be gathered around the pier to wait for the ferry.
A fast and decently comfortable ride will get you to the island where you will have to make a short trek before you actually find yourself at the crags. It's good to check with the boatman as there are two possible stops or to just follow the local climbers (monkey see monkey do). While the start of the approach down to the crag got us a little lost for a bit, it was a relatively easy hike with a little scrambling that is OK with slippers - the national footwear of all Singaporeans- but would be potentially easier with something a bit studier such as approach shoes.
When you finally get to the climbing area... and if you have a bit of appreciation for the finer stuff that nature has to offer... it should take your breath away just a little...
Rock. Sea. Sun. and a crazy bunch of friends... What more can one asks for?
Bring some tents and you can camp overnight if you wish to spend the weekend there but don't miss the last ferry back on Sunday 5.30pm! If you're done with your climbing a little earlier, there's a small shop where you can get some HK noodles to fill up your tummy before heading back to the mainland. Alternatively, don't forget to pack some food and water for your day trip to the crag. Climbing grades range from 4s all the ways to 7s which is perfect for a mix group of both new and experienced climbers.
For more information: check out https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/hong-kong/tung-lung-chau
Day 3: Outdoor Bouldering at Ma On Shan
The last day of our weekend getaway saw us joining the locals as they explored a new area. This climber didn't really have too much of a clue as to where we were headed and did the usual thing of just following along and prayed for safety in numbers. What we thought was to be a 2 others and us turned out to be 20 others and us. While that felt overwhelming at first, the more the merrier right?
It was a good thing we came prepared with 2 x 12 boxes of egg tarts instead of the miserly 6 we bought the day before.
A picture paints a thousand words:
Chris working on a possible V5 (Traverse left before heading up)
Mel working on the hardest V2 ever and wondering why there were more so much more spectators and photographers than climbers.
Same route. Different photographer (^.^)"
Getting distracted with selfies
and the whole gang that was down that day.
Climbing by the river in the river gorge. Really rough granite boulders that still needs a bit of cleaning and definitely needs a lot of boulder mats. Fun day out nonetheless. Grades are stiff and falls are iffy so not as suitable for the beginners.
Day 4: Heading Home
All trips must come to an end but we'll definitely be back for more!
- Climb Central Team signing out