Beat the heat, with a Saturday NIGHT hike! This is a repeat of my first night hike a few summers ago, and with such lovely nighttime weather recently, should be a good one. However no dinner will be served this time (sorry).
Place: Admiralty - Pacific Place, near Grappa's
Time: 6:30 PM - Sat July 6th - Departing no later than 6:45!
Difficulty/Duration: Moderate - 4.5 hours
Leader: Greg Blumenthal - 9047-0651
As you may have noticed, it's a tad too hot for comfortable day hiking. The temperature is really much nicer at night, and some substantial walks are possible in the complete darkness. Hiking at night in Hong Kong is more of an auditory experience than the usual visual one. With not much to see, the forest comes alive with sound. On my recce of this one, I saw lots of frogs, some bats, and even a hedgehog (those aren't native to HK, so this must have been a feral hedgehog), but I heard a lot of things that I couldn't see too. You get some nice views occasionally, but they're beside the point. The plan is to walk without lights except when absolutely necessary. It's never that dark in HK, and once your eyes are adjusted, you'll find that you don't need light.
Meet in the main lobby of Pacific Place. That's across the pedestrian bridge from the Admiralty MTR C1 exit. It's the lobby with Grappa's and Starbucks around it. Route will follow the "Made in the Shade" routing as far as Wanchai Gap. As darkness falls, we cross over Wanchai Gap and head down to Aberdeen Reservoir. Then we take the catchwater around, past Peel Rise, and follow the HK trail all the way to the normal lunch spot above Aberdeen. We continue mostly on the HK trail to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road, which we take up to The Peak. Then down the other side to Central via Old Peak Road. Should finish a bit before midnight, which is in time for the last MTR trains to everywhere except the Shenzhen border.
The first bit is a forested path, so we're relying on the last light of the evening for this part. After darkness falls (around Wanchai Gap), it's almost all roads and catchwaters (you may grow to appreciate the handrails on both sides of the catchwater path when you try it in the darkness). The exception is a 15-minute section of well-maintained stairs above Aberdeen. I actually found one of the road sections the toughest part, as the trees closed in and shut out the bright sky.
I've never tried night hiking in the driving rain, and I have no plan to start this week, so if the weather is really bad, I'll cancel. Give me a call, but I'll wait at the starting place regardless. Forecast is uncertain at this point.
What to bring: Reasonable shoes (this is no hike for sandals). 0.5 liters water (I did this with no water at all; I'll grant that I got pretty thirsty, but you really won't need much). Flashlight/torch if you have one (I'll also bring a few spares); for you iPhone types, consider a flashlight app instead (basically software that makes the screen white). Regarding food, I'm bringing nothing, and relying on an early supper/midnight snack approach, but if you'd rather bring a box-dinner, there are good spots to eat around 8:30 and 9:30.
So to all the creatures of the night, hope to see you there!