After not having hiked for at least 6 months, starting off with Wilson Trail Stage 1 was not a good idea. This trail is reported to be 4.8km long and should take 2 hours to complete. My GPS recorded 5.8km and it took me 3 hours to complete. I did however take many breaks along the way. It was stinking hot and there was little to no wind. I was hoping that it was going to rain, however that failed to happen.
This hike should have been easier than it was and I will revisit it to take some photos of the trail and post an official review.
The start of the trail is very easy to get to via bus which stops right at the head of the trail and at the end of the trail it is only a 5 minute walk to the nearest bus stop where you can also get a taxi if you’re too tired to wait for the bus.
There are 2 major hills to hike over on this trail which are sure to zap some energy out of you since each one has a total ascent of about 300 meters, representing a total elevation gain of 658 meters. Below is a graph comparing elevation and distance.
As can be see from this graph, both inclines are quite steep rising 300 meters in a little over 1km distance for the first hill and another 300 meters in about 1.5km for the second ascent.
One thing that I found disappointing about this hike was that about 50% of it was paved. Personally I prefer unpaved trails but unfortunately in Hong Kong paved trails are somewhat of the norm and many people prefer this. I however do not and for that reason this is not a trail that I would recommend for that primary reason.
It’s my first time hiking Wilson Trail and I did it the right way around, however I think that I would recommend hiking it the other way around because the views experienced would be far better. More on this in the official review when I hike the trail both forwards and reversed.
It was also my first time trying out my new HOKA ONE ONE hiking boots (TOR ULTRA HI WP), and my new CamelBak M.U.L.E. backpack. The HOKA ONE ONE hiking boots performed extraordinarily well and as a result I will be writing up a separate review as a result.
Hopefully I can post some better times on my subsequent hikes because I am very embarrassed by my efforts on this hike. Check out my poor hike specs below which show just how exhausted I was with my heart rate jumping all over the place, and with my frequent resting points.
At the peak of the hike the air temperature did reach 36 degrees Celsius which is quite substantial given that the sun had come out from the overcast sky and that wind was down to a bare minimum. Well that’s my excuse anyway. Next time I will be a little fitter… As I write this blog update 4 days after having completed the hike now that I can get out of bed (a little exaggeration) and walk to my computer without flopping to the floor like a lump of jelly in extreme pain.
While on this hike I discovered that it surely does make a difference as you get older and push yourself as you did before. I remember back in the day when I could achieve 195 bpm heart rates; now at 39 years old my max heart rate is 220-39=181bpm, which I actually hit several times on this hike. 100% of max heart rate is not advisable by most trainers. As I get a bit fitter again and regain some of that lost muscle (memory), I can reduce these numbers a little and also maintain my pace as a result. This really was a poor effort.
On that note, don’t forget to check out the heat index information available on this site which will tell you the temperature that you feel, and that your body will experience under certain situations. And remember to prepare for a hike accordingly as a result. With a relative humidity of about 85% on this day and with a peak temperature of about 35 degrees Celsius, the temperature that your body will feel is actualy 60 degrees Celsius which is right on the limit of heat exhaustion – something which is a serious threat to beginners in Hong Kong – Tourists Beware! Also be aware when you take your friends from out of town hiking in Hong Kong, remembering that their bodies may not be accustomed to such extreme temperatures and humidity levels. Also be aware that the value of 60 given as an example above is if you are under cloud cover. If you are standing under direct sunlight, you can add another 8 degrees Celsius to that value which will put you well within Heat Stroke territory.