GuidebooksRock Climbing in Hong Kong by Brian Heard, available in most good climbing shops around the globe, is the most comprehensive guide to climbing in the SAR currently available for purchase, and provides a reasonable oversight of the outdoor crags. However, the guide suffers greatly from the authors’ obvious opposition to the use of bolt protection, neglecting to include nearly all the sport climbs, and is now quite out-of-date. For better, more up-to-date and free details of the main climbing areas we advise you to check out the ‘Guide’ section of www.hongkongclimbing.com, which, also includes general details of shops and climbing walls and has an active discussion forum that’s a convenient place to hook up with other like-minded enthusiasts. For those of you that would rather leave your ropes and quickdraws at home, the Hong Kong Bouldering guidebook by Stuart Millis (published 2004) is an essential piece of kit, and you’d be foolish to leave home without it. See below for purchasing details.
When to VisitClimbing is possible in Hong Kong year round, but is far from pleasant between May and August when temperatures frequently exceed 30oC and humidity is sky high. It also rains a lot in those months. Undoubtedly the best time of year for climbers is between October and January. These months yield little rain, cool temperatures and low humidity. February to April can also be good but you may risk the odd downpour here and there.
Where to StayYou name it, this place has it. HK is geared towards all kind of tourists from 5 start swanky luxury to squalid cheap stinking hell holes. A quick search of the internet should turn up a good selection within whatever budget you’re operating in. If possible, try and stay to more centralised locations such as Central, Wanchai, Causeway Bay or Tsim Sha Tsui as you’ll find it easier to get to the crags from most of these places.
Getting Around90 percent of people in HK don’t own cars so the place is perfectly geared up to the traveller on foot. An excellent underground system (the MTR) will get you close to most places and a short ride in a taxi (which is relatively cheap) is all that required from there.
Climbing ShopsThere are various outdoor shops in Hong Kong which carry a good stock of climbing equipment. These are:
- Chamonix Alpine Equipment 1/F, On Yip Building, 395 Shanghai St., Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.
- Hong Kong Mountaineering Training Centre, G/F, 1K Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok,Kowloon.
- RC Outfitters, 5/F&6/F, Oriental House, 24-26 Argyle Street, Mongkok, Kowloon.
- Overlander, 12/F Hollywood Plaza, Soy Street, Mongkok, Kowloon.
Climbing WallsThe recent explosion in the popularity of the sport has led to numerous indoor and outdoor climbing walls cropping up. The only one worth checking out for the visiting climber are:
- Go Nature - 13/F, Tak Lung Industrial Building, 179 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon (http://www.gonaturehk.com/) - An excellent bouldering wall which is the focal point of the local climbing scene. A good place to find climbing partners.
- YMCA Kings Park, Gascoigne Road, Jordan, Kowloon - An 18m high outdoor leading wall with approx. 25 routes up it. Requires a simple assessment to be taken prior to use. Ropes and quick draws can be hired from the wall for a small additional cost.
- The remaining walls actually worth using are government run and so tied up in bureaucracy that even most of the local climbers can’t be bothered to use them.