When to Come
Hong Kong is located in the tropics so the weather, as you would expect, can get pretty damn hot and humid in the summer months (generally the period between May and September). Climbing during this period is still possible but be prepared for >30C temps and humidity between 80 to 100% (i.e. bring lots of chalk to deal with sweat and generally head for coastal crags with a good sea breeze).
What most visitors don’t realise is that Hong Kong has an almost ideal climate for climbing for much of the rest of the year when both the temperature and humidity drop to much more manageable levels. Indeed, between January and march you might even find yourself in need of a light down jacket and beanie to deal with the cold!
By far the best time to visit from a climber’s perspective is between the months of October and January when the temperature will typically be in the low to mid 20C’s and the humidity between 60-70%.
Where to Stay
Hong Kong isn’t a big place so you could stay pretty much anywhere without it having a huge impact on the overall accessibility to climbing areas. Having said this, the best bet in terms of general accessibility for the majority of the crags described on this site (and density of good hotels) is to look for something on northern Hong Kong island (anywhere between Sheung Wan and North Point) or in the Kowloon peninsula (Tsim Sha Tsui to Prince Edward). Basically, if you’re close to an MTR Station (Hong Kong’s excellent underground transport network) you’re pretty well set up.
In terms of the accommodation venues themselves, Hong Kong has pretty much everything from slightly dubious backpacker hostels in Chung King Mansions to the more salubrious Peninsula Hotel just around the corner, and just about everything in between. There’s basically too many options for a site like this to consider and continually update so we recommend you visit somewhere like Trip Advisor to get up-to-date info from other visitors.
One of the joys of climbing in Hong Kong is that its pretty damn cheap and easy to get around, and the whole place is small enough that it never really takes that long to get anywhere. The best means of getting around is using the rail network known as the MTR (see here for route map: http://www.mtr.com.hk/jplanner/eng/planner_index.php). This will get you within spitting distance of most crags listed on this site. From the MTR station its then usually a case of hopping on a bus or in one of the cheap and frequent taxi’s to get the to cliff of your choice.
What to Bring
Virtually all of the climbing in Hong Kong is bolted so a standard sport climbing rack will be perfectly fine for >90% of the climbing here – between 10 to 12 quickdraws and a 50 to 60 m rope will do. There is some very good trad climbing at crags such as Waterfall Rock but its probably not worth packing a full rack for this alone, far better to try and find a local climbing partner to save you the hassle.
This is the bad new bit for people travelling without their climbing gear, to the best of my knowledge there isn’t anyone/anywhere in HK that rents out climbing kit for use (probably due the liability issues should anything go wrong with it and someone suffer a nasty injury). Some of the bouldering walls (e.g. Da Verm) have shoes you can rent for use at the wall, but other than that its down to a case of begging or borrowing from any local climbing partners you can find).
Finding Climbing Partners
There’s not well established guiding services or similar in Hong Kong so if you’re travelling solo we’d recommend one of the following options for finding people to hold your ropes:
- post a message on the forum here
- visit one of the local climbing walls and latch onto some of the climbers you meet there
- failing all else, hop on the 10:30 (Sat) or 11:00 (Sun) boat to Tung Lung Island any given weekend and you’re sure to meet other climbers
Enjoy your stay and be sure to spread the word to others about the awesome climbing HK has to offer…