D and I, together with our usual climbing buddies, were at Beacon Hill on Sunday 1st Oct to do some climbing for the first time. We had to take a cab from Kowloon Tong before beginning a 10-minute hike, negotiating the narrow dirt track with some steep incline at certain parts.
We had originally thought of going to Tung Lung Chau again, but decided against it, thinking it would be very crowded. Little did we know Beacon Hill would be just as crowded.
Nonetheless, we had a good time climbing the various routes. I personally found the granite routes on Beacon Hill to be quite abrasive and sharp. Moreover, the routes demanded much smearing, something that I need to work on as I don’t have much confidence in doing it.
Also I found the routes at Beacon Hill to be quite technical (think it is more so than those that I climbed in Tung Lung), and I took the opportunity to work on techniques like layback, bridging/stemming and smearing when necessary, making sure my C.G. is shifted accordingly to keep me balanced on the face of the wall.
The first route I did onsight was a easy 5a (about 5.8) for the first 3/4 of the way, but the wall that was about 2 bolts below the anchor point really stumped me. I couldn’t find a secure way to go further as the hand holds are horribly thin (there was a pancake-like flake for my left and a shallow edge on the right) and I had lost the energy and confidence to smear on the rock face.
After what seemed like eternity, I had to give up and veer left instead to continue upwards. When I reached the bottom, I was told that it is difficult to climb straight up without veering to the left and if I had been sucessful, the 5a route would become a 6C (5.12c/d) one. Drats, I should have spent more time redpointing it instead so that I could say I have done my first 5.12. 🙂
D, together with the guys, actually did a couple of 6A (5.11b) and completed the 6C route that I couldn’t do. Excellent job.
Otherwise, first time at Beacon Hill has been nice, and well, besides the lack of proper sanitary facilities (got to do your business in the wild), the view of Kowloon while up on the rock face is amazing.
Next climbing trip would most likely be bouldering at Shek O again in November… going to get my bouldering crashpad soon.
My Anasazi decided to climb before I did, and they really can stick. Theorectically, I should be able to smear quite well, it’s my confidence that didn’t work together with my gear.