I’ve recently moved and when exploring the new neighbourhood saw a rock formation that looked familiar and sure enough when I looked it up back home it was Monkey Buttress – a crag I’d seen in the climbing guide but not been to before – so we decided to try it out this weekend.
Getting to the crag involved a fair bit of bush bashing along overgrown paths. These paths don’t look like they see too much action and there are spider webs galore home to golden orb spiders. No monkeys. Lots and lots of spiders. Arachnophobia was a favourite film as a kid. At times it felt like an aerosol can and lighter and/or nail gun would have been useful but in the end we managed to bypass most of the webs and leave our eight legged friends alone.
The Hong Kong Observatory had issued a “Very Hot Weather Warning”. We learnt from the debacle at Devil’s Peak (the last time our enthusiasm for climbing in new locations outweighed common sense) by taking a ton of water and sports drinks and at Monkey Buttress shade is available. The average grade of the sport routes at Monkey Buttress is fairly high. The exertion required in the heat and humidity was just too much (especially after the spider dodging walk-in).
As my friend was climbing sweat was pouring off – at the end of leading a climb in which he had given everything he was so spent he needed a lie down at the base of the climb. Even when belaying in the shade it didn’t take long to look like you’d been standing in the shower. Abort. Thankfully this time we had a ton of water and a shaded walk-out. Lesson learnt. We’ll have to find something else to do on super hot summer days.