Showing posts with label Wilson Trail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wilson Trail. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wilson Trail: Sections 9 and 10

I missed a few hard core hikes while mrC and I were in the US (thankfully there will be make-ups!), but I was happy to be able to join my SWIC hiking friends for the final stages of the Wilson Trail in Hong Kong and mrC decided to come with me, bonus.

Friendly warning: It was a long hike, so this is a long post.

From the MTR, we took a bus and then walked a couple of kilometers to the reservoir. Stage 9 of the Wilson Trail starts on the summit of Cloudy Hill, which the group had already done. We started where they finished, at the Hok Tau Reservoir, about 3.5 km into stage 9. After walking around the reservoir, we immediately began climbing up into the mountain range of Pat Seng Lin Country Park.

It's a good thing I ate those egg muffins I pre-made yesterday for breakfast because we had to climb and climb and climb! The rocky trail and stone steps pushed up into the low clouds that hung over the mountain range.

By the time we reached the top, we had stopped to refill water bottles, enjoyed some snacks, spotted carnivorous flowers and the clouds started clearing for us. 

I highly recommend carrying a mini water filtration system when hiking.

Snack time

These plants eat mosquitoes - love them!

Once on the ridge, the trek high above the tree tops began. This is where a lot of us started shedding layers. We had to follow the trail over several peaks, such as Ping Fung Shan, Lai Pek Shan, and Wong Leng, before reaching the most challenging and final part of section 9 ---> Pat Sin Leng range.

Loving the GoPro and chest strap just wish the battery lasted longer

At Wong Leng, the highest peak of the day at 639 meters and about midway on the ridge, we could look back and see how far we had come and look ahead to how much more hiking we had to do. Plus the panoramas over Plover Cove and the Guan Yin Statue at Tsz Shan Monastery were stunning.

Hill after gut-wrenching hill, we had to climb the eight peaks of Pat Sin Leng, known as The Eight Immortals named for ancient spirits in Chinese mythology. At the final peak, Hsien Ku Fung, 7.1 km from the reservoir, we reached the end of section 9.

My Eddie Bauer backpack was perfect for this all day hike

One more peak to go!

The start of section 10 with views over to mainland China into Shenzhen (our old expat home) was all downhill. The slow wooded descent past rock pools, streams, and abandoned villages was a welcome escape from the beating sun. At a small stream crossing we stopped for water refilling and lunch before making our way to the end of the Wilson Trail at Nam Chung Village.

Hello, Shenzhen!

The water filtration assemble line

Tired and sun burned

We made it!

The terrain of section 10 was rocky and sometimes slippery from the rain the day before (three of us took spills, me included), but the 6.8km went by much faster than the 7.1km of section 9. I was very relieved when we arrived at the bus stop for a ride to the MTR.

This was a looonnnng hike. Long distance, long day, long travel time. And it was totally worth it!

I am now more than halfway done with the Wilson Trail. You can read my previous posts by clicking a link below:

Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 1 & 2
Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 3 & 4

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 3 & 4

It was finally time to continue hiking Wilson Trail in Hong Kong with my hard core hiking friends from Shenzhen. We finished stages 1 & 2 a few weeks ago (before everyone scattered on Lunar New Year vacations) and were ready to take on more of the long trail.

We began the 17.3km hike with a nice walk from the MTR to the trail head.  The views across the harbor let us put off the inevitable climbing for a few extra minutes.

#17strong hard core hikers at the stage 3 start ---> these feet were about to take a beating!

We found the steps at the start of stage 3 after walking through the alleyways of the seafood district along the water.

The trail led us to this huge Chinese Permanent Cemetery overlooking the bay.

The climb continued up to Devil's Peak. Although we did not take the path all the way to the summit (222m) we still had great views.

The trail then continued up to Black Hill (304m) where we had great views of Kowloon.

We weren't the only hard core hikers out that day. Here we are with another large group also hiking stage 3.

Near the end of stage 3 an interesting trail art gallery distracted us briefly from the fact that we still had 8km to hike and we hadn't eaten lunch yet!

We had to walk through a village to stage 4 - this part of the trail was tough between the rocky, rooty terrain and the peaks of sun made it harder to see the ground. It was a welcome reprieve from the bright sun with plenty of shade. Along this part we also passed another large group of hard core hikers.

When we found a large shaded spot on the trail, we finally stopped for lunch. I really needed more than half a sandwich and grapes. It's hard to know how much to pack and my backpack doesn't make it easy. I'm on the hunt for a better pack ---> maybe this one, this one, or this one. Do you have a favorite? I'd love suggestions.

After passing through another much smaller village we began the climb to Tate's Cairn (Pass) and lost all cover of shade. We were lucky to be doing this hike in February when the temperature was only 65-70F, otherwise we would have definitely struggled a lot more.

The open trail did provide amazing views though, especially of Sai Kung and Hebe Haven Harbour.

Although it is a common feng shui practice (graves facing water and high up to avoid evil spirits), it was still shocking to see horseshoe graves along the ascent knowing how hard it is to get to them.

We eventually made it to our last peak of the day at Tate's Cairn/Pass (577m). The afternoon skies were not as clear as the morning, but the views were still pretty.

We followed the road to the end of the trail at Shatin Pass and were excited to get our first monkey sightings. They were scavenging in the trash and aggressive so after a quick photo we moved out of their space.

We found a little shop selling overpriced bottles of water there so many of us were able to resupply before walking DOWN the never-ending very steep road to the MTR.

Sadly I will miss the hike on Wilson Trail stage 5 because we will be in the US for a couple of weeks, but I hope to hike it on my own asap!

Other Hong Kong long trail hikes:

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Workout Recap - A Week of Love

Tough Love. love...hard core hiking...HIIT...running. All things that make my heart race, get me sweaty, and put a smile on my face. This is where I put my heart this week.

Monday - I love that Bodystep was offered on a Monday this week (normally only on Fridays). I was still sore from Saturday's GRIT class, but I was able to keep up during most of the class. I thought my legs would feel better after from all the movement, but...not so much!

Tuesday - mrC was home for the day, so we spent it together fasting. We took a walk to pick up dinner ingredients and did some Valentine's Day #loveyoga on the Love Locks Promenade because we walked right by it.

I'm so excited to have an extra pair of Oofos to wear outside!

Wednesday - My stomach woke me up about 2AM (not fun) and my quads were still very sore from back-to-back-to-back GRIT, running and Bodystep, so it was a slow and easy day. No matter the reason, I love that I'm ok with an unscheduled rest day.

Thursday - I love spending time with my Shenzhen hard core hiking friends. They came over to hike  Hong Kong again. We finished Wilson Trail sections 3 and 4 together: 38,000+ steps, 17.9 miles, and 264 floors climbed! We killed it!

Friday - Hard to believe my legs were up for Bodystep, but I'm happy they were because I love the calories I can burn in this class. It is quickly becoming my favorite class at The HIT Room.

Saturday - I was back at The HIT Room for another workout. GRIT strength is seriously hard, but I love the high intensity interval workout and it's a perfect match for low carb days. Today we did about 35 minutes of HIIT and 15 minutes of core work.

Sunday - The day I look forward to the most because running is my first love. I'm soaking up every moment of my interval runs including the post run stretch.

What got your heart racing this week?