The hike starts with a strenuous climb up to 540 meters (we started around 80). At the top, I stared at the towering peak of Ma On Shan (702 meters) and thought about the day I might conquer it.
The reward after that big first climb is getting to spend time in the uplands and walking along the ridge. I thought this would be a great place to sit and enjoy a packed lunch while taking in the panoramic views over Sai Kung and Ma On Shan.
The ridge eventually takes a big descent down to Ngong Ping viewing area which is where we found loads of paragliders. This was an excellent spot to take a little break and grab a snack.
You would think that big climb is what makes this stage so challenging. For me, it was the big descent after and the multiple ups and downs after that. Descents are hard on the knees, and REALLY hard on mine. The final descent was the toughest, but we did get some amazing views all the way toward Central.
Stage 4 ends in an awkward place. If you are hoping to find public transport at the finish, you either decide to do this hike backwards with a big walk-in or carry on to stage 5. Our hiking group opted to have a big walk-out at the END...this was about another hour walk down a sloped road through the land of monkeys.
View from the top and the elevation chart. The view makes all that climbing worth it!
In a couple of weeks we will be moving on to the next stage and I'm hoping the hard part is behind us.
Previous Maclehose Trail hikes:
How do you rate difficult hikes? (Length, ascent, descent, terrain)