where’s the path?

I took a walk up High West on the Chung Yeung holiday. High West is great. It doesn’t get the traffic that The Peak gets. Mainly because the footpath – the official one anyway – is well hidden. If anyone’s interested it starts behind the playground at the junction of Harlech and Lugard Roads, on the Morning Trail. This time for a change I thought I’d take the ‘Eiger’ route down. As you can see I had to search for it a bit though, despite its reputed existence. After leaving the top, the drop-off to the north/north-west is a bit on the steep side. A few shots from the BlackBerry…

Where's the path...?

I found something resembling a path. Dearly hoping that golden orb spiders don’t infest this part of Hong Kong like they do Mui Wo I took the plunge into the waist/chest high jungliness.

Call that a path...?

It was obviously once a path but it’s well and truly on the way to being reclaimed by nature. It’s a real slippery ankle-breaker. If you want to try it, I suggest you go up this way and descend the other side by the real path. Anyway, if you fall here you’ll almost wind up on the roof of Queen Mary Hospital which is pretty much vertically below you. That’s handy.

A bit late to find that out...

The path – if you can call it that – emerges at a picnic site. Actually it doesn’t really emerge, it just stops at the top of a small cliff, which is why I couldn’t find it when I looked a couple of years ago. There’s a sign here that confirms the path is no longer maintained.

High West from the picnic ground

And here’s the view back to the top.

High West summit with Western District and ICC, Kowloon to the left

Anyhow, these were the views before my off-piste descent. It’s funny how people think of Hong Kong as being predominantly urban. From my place on First Street (sea level) to the top of High West (494m) is an hour’s walk. Back at the start of the 20th century the mountains on Hong Kong Island were totally denuded of vegetation. Less than a century later there was total regrowth and it’s a great forested retreat from the city.

View to Lamma

Finally, looking northwest over the towers of Bel-Air to Lamma Island and its power station, with Pokfulam reservoir lower left.

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