Up Close With: Chris Yu
Like every other mountain out there, it doesn’t go away. You can always go back.
This issue, we talk to Chris Yu, an experienced hiker from Hong Kong who has accumulated conquests of formidable peaks – the likes of New Zealand’s Mount Ollivier, the Japanese Alps, China’s Haba Snow Mountain and more – under his belt.
On Hiking and Photography
I actually started landscape photography way back when I was in uni in New Zealand in 2010.
Now I sometimes hike up mountains to take photos of the sunrise or sunset. Then I met more friends in the mountains, I started to go hiking with them around Hong Kong or overseas.
I always go to the mountains for the view. Well, of course to take photos too, but I tend to take my time to enjoy it with my own eyes.
On Preparing for Difficult Hikes
But 3 months before my 8-day Japanese Alps expedition last year, I started doing 5-8 kilometre runs on a daily basis. It helps to build up your cardiopulmonary function and physical fitness.
I also had been hiking and doing trail running on the weekends, to get used to the slope gradient. Depending on your expedition, if I’m doing one that requires me to carry a load on my back, then I’ll put whatever I need for it in my backpack when I do my weekend hikes to get used to the weight too.
Words of Wisdom for Beginners
If you are a first-time hiker, get a friend to do an easy trail with you. In Hong Kong, I would recommend first time hikers to try Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak, both mountains are located on Lantau Island. Both trails are well-developed and can be completed within 3 to 5 hours. For these trails, it’s best to go in autumn and winter, around October to March.
Check the weather beforehand, do some research on the length and duration of the trail. Learn what kind of gear or clothes you need. If you plan to go hiking overseas, the easiest way is to hire a mountain guide, get some experience before you plan it on your own.
On His Next Conquests!
In July, I’ll be climbing Mt. Tsurugi in Toyama Prefecture at 2999m, one of the most dangerous mountains in Japan. The most exciting one is in August, I’ll be climbing Mont Blanc in France, one of the Seven Summits!
Images by Chris Yu
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