2015 TDS Training – Run no. 37 – Needle Grassy Cloudy Hills in the insane heat

My original idea was to do Needle Hill, Grassy Hill, Tai Mo Shan, re-fuel at the kiosk and then go back the same way. Then I got Vic on board and we decided to do Needle and Grassy Hills and then decide what route to take next.

For a change it was nice to start the Needle Hill climb with fresh legs. While it was hot it did not feel too bad. Needle Hill was easy. The Grassy Hill climb did not feel bad either. I had no difficulties at all. I felt like I made it to Leadmine Pass without too much effort.

After short discussion we decided that instead of Tai Mo Shan we would take Wilson Trail – Cloudy Hill and Pat Sin Leng. I survived those last week and it looked like doable challenge even with some miles and climbs in the legs already.

We ran down the trail to the outskirts of Tai Po. We made quick pit stop in a restaurant – Vic for food, me for some cold drinks only. Once refilled and cooled down we set off towards Cloudy Hill. The pit stop re-energized me. But the heat was full on by now. I knew that the immediate future isn’t going to pretty.

Somewhere along the concrete section I spotted a thick snake tail on the side of the road. Head and the body was already in the grass. Judging from the bit of tail I could see it must have been some decently sized serpent but I had no idea what it was. I managed to slither into the grass before the unaware legs of Vic landed on it.

We were mostly running now. When we reached the Tai Wo area though I started to struggle a bit thanks to the heat. I had to slow down and switch to walk from time to time.

Before we begun the Cloudy Hill climb proper we stopped for one more drinks refill and a bit further up the road for some cool water splash over the head in the public toilets. The tap water there was seriously warm though, cooling down effect was not too great. Still I filled up some spare bottles with this water – I knew I will need something to shower with on the way up.

Towards Cloudy Hill - The stairway to heaven

Towards Cloudy Hill – The stairway to heaven

We started the climb well but soon I found myself stopping every 5 or so minutes to take a break and to pour some water over my head. The climb up felt never ending. Here I knew that on this day, in this weather Pat Sin Leng would not make much sense.

We re-grouped at the top of Cloudy Hill, made some pics and decided to run down towards Fanling. There was not much will in either of us to go on and suffer on the exposed hot ridge.

We paused one more time while running down the road for quick dip under the cool water pipe, then quickly further down for the minibus to Tai Po.

Cooling down ...

Cooling down …

At the end some 24km in brutal heat with 3 decent climbs was not too bad result. But I will need to come back for that Needle Grassy Tai Mo Shan and back exercise.

Link to Strava here.

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