MIDDLEBURGH - ENDGAME PART 1
It's the beginning of the end . It's been fun !!
Are you a London Marathon runner ? Ever considered visiting HK and running here?. This February 50,000 from 25 counties including Britain and Ireland took part in our marathon not withstanding alleged air quality issues. In 2006, 22 people were taken to hospital, 2 in critical condition, during a period with the worst air pollution levels in months. There are 3 courses (full and half marathon and 10K) covering kowloon and HK island including central district suitable for all levels of runner (assuming you are are basically fit and have done appropriate training.) Details for the 2010 Marathon
will be available next month.
Personally cross country running was one of the few school sports I excelled at, in London. And in the East End being able to do a runner (literally) was in certain quarters a necessary life skill so it was quite competitive . We used to leg it arround the lakes in wanstead Park so I have an "affinity" for
Alternatively if you have anti-social tendancies or an urge to experience the "loneliness of a long distance runner" you should look at this site
which lists 345 routes for a run (I do recommend leaving details with someone before setting off .. just in case you have an accident !!)
would probably of equal concern to road cyclists, although under normal circumstances you don't see many cyclists on HK roads. HK is less cycle friendly than even Kansas
. The HK Cycling Alliance
has been lobbying for Government action to promote increased levels of cycling in Hong Kong since 2003. Apparently they haven't made much headway
. The Department of Transport's strategy for cycles in urban areas is not to encourage them !!(therby protect the cyclists from dangerous vehicles!! - so considerate !!)
There are however 10 cycle trails for mountain bikes in country parks approved by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, for recreational cycling . We have an active HK Mountain Biking Association and a HK Cycling Association which
- promotes competitive cycling and
- looks after the national team (which will be competing in HK 2009 East Asian Games in December).
- runs indoor cycling training schemes sponsored by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department for "Artistic Cycling" and "Cycle ball".
You want to reach new heights!! Go climb a mountain !!
Most "foreigners" mistakenly entertain an image of HK as a crowded city where people live check by jowl. Not quite true... We have 36 Country parks with 12 peaks which are over 2000Ft (610M) qualifying in UK as mountains. (This excludes Space Mountain in HK Disneyland), The tallest is Tai Mo Shan (957m) in the New Territories (a tad shorter than Mount Snowdon). The peak may be reached by a hiking trail. (FYI the highest peak in Singapore , laughably refered to as a moutain is 164M high)
If you want guidance on local mountaineering you should contact HK Mountaineering Union although I think they are more into climbing "real" mountains. The last time I visited their home page it was under construction . I did wonder whether that meant that someone was in the process of making a mountain out of a molehill (Ho Ho Ho !)
Try the following for more detailed information.
A word of caution however. A Canadian colleague of mine, who was not an irresponsible idiot, went hiking on Lamma Island where he lived, one Saturday. It was averagely hot but unfortunately he collapsed from heat stress and fell off the path into the brush. It was three days before someone found him (by accident) and he was airlifted serverly dehydrated to Queen Mary's where he was in intensive care for about a week. He sustained Kidney damage and is lucky to be alive. Hiking in HK is not that dissimilar to bush walking in australia (and infrequently includes the odd poisonous snake or believe it or not muggers - both monkeys and people)
If you are into Orienteering and want to understand the local scene contact the Orienteering Association of HK
. Even if you intend just to go hiking in the hills its worth checking them out if only for maps
. I am a great believer in going into the wilderness tooled up. Once upon a time I went to Stamfords in London to buy the Spanish Military Maps for the Vinemal region in the Pyrenees. I used them when I climbed into Spain from France (on my own). Scary !!! At least I got to see and walk on the glacier before it dissapears. HK Government Map Service
also produces maps,
Although no HK mountain is in the "K2 class", HK is still a climbers paradise with lots of climbable cliffs and crags scattered through the National Parks. For those who crave climate control, we also have many indoor facilities suitable for different levels of skill from the beginer up, including climbing walls at the YMCA:
- YMCA King's Park Centenary Centre : Is the largest wall in Hong Kong (18m high x 16m) with about 15 routes.
- YMCA - Tsim Sha Tsui
NB New climbers must complete a simple assessment prior to use.
An excellent source of information and place to find a climbing partner is HK Climbing and for those who are into competitive climbing , you should contact the Hong Kong Sport Climbing Union
All climbing and bouldering areas in HK can be easily reached by taxi, bus and/or ferry and at most a 40 minute walk. The main areas for climbing are Lion Rock (15 routes or so, 250ft high and can be done in two to five pitches) and Kowloon Peak (a couple of hundred routes scattered over the mountain), while Beacon Hill, Tung Lung Chau, Central Crag and Braemar Hill are great for bolted single pitch climbing (120ft maximum). There are also plenty of undeveloped crags to be explored, and a fair bit of climbing on Sai Kung Peninsula.
The following lists the different climbing areas in HK with number of YDS graded routes and indoor gyms.
Go enjoy !!
Labels: BMX, CYCLING, HARRIER, HASH, HIKING, London, MARATHON, MIDDLEBURGH, MOUNTAIN BIKE, MOUNTAINEERING, ORIENTEERING, ROCK CLIMBING