Three months or so of fairly unrelenting rain and drizzle gave way to perfect weather – 33 degrees C and clear – and finally provided an opportunity to get back outside climbing at Cape Collinson.
Cape Collinson is a sport climbing area on Hong Kong Island consisting of three distinct areas: the Zawn, Bunker Wall and the Beach.
The Zawn has become a favourite notwithstanding the sketchy access (descending the traverse is my least favourite part of going there – some parties abseil in instead). How to get out if you were to injure an arm or leg has also been on my mind as you need all your arms and legs to be load bearing to do the traverse on the way out. My best idea is to set up a pulley system using some abseil bolts to haul an injured person out (and which could be done using standard gear on a sport climbing rack).
Anyway, the Zawn is in a pretty impressive cavernous location with some great routes around the 6a level that have been perfect for improving our outdoor leading ability.
A few weeks ago I bought a Black Diamond Vector climbing helmet. This was motivated in part by a series of small rock falls at the Zawn which suggested that larger falls were a possibility (the guide for the area also recommends helmets).
There was a decent sized rock fall last weekend that missed the belayer by inches and from the size and shape of the rock would have done hurt if it had scored a direct hit. Anyhow, given the difficulty of getting someone out in the unlikely event of an accident and the rocks falls we’ll probably pass on the Zawn and go to other areas.
Postscript: I was talking to another climber who also experienced some issues with rockfall at Cape Collinson – in her case, a two-by- two foot sheet came off in the Zawn.