Like Tree6Likes

Stream Trekking Wong Lung Hang (Lantau Island)

Reply
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4,831

    Stream Trekking Wong Lung Hang (Lantau Island)

    I have received the following by email from the Government Flying Service:

    I am the Flight Operations Manager for the Government Flying Service. I am trying to pass the word about an area on Lantau Island that has been a "Black Spot" for hikers recently and would like to enlist your help in making your members aware. We have been called out 6 times in the last couple of months to hikers in the Wong Lung Hang stream area on Lantau to rescue hikers, usually at night. One person died after falling in the stream and sustaining a head injury. The area is difficult for helicopters by day and a nightmare by night so the Fire Service or Mountain Rescue teams usually have to deal with the matter.

    The area is steep and heavily wooded, the stream is dangerous when it rains; in short, please ask you members to avoid it and pass the message on to their friends. It may save a life.

    Regards

    Dai Evans

    J D EVANS
    Flight Operations Manager
    Government Flying Service
    In the group I manage we only do very occasional very light stream trekking, and never when it is or has recently been raining significantly. Looking at resources online it is clear that the Wong Lung Hang stream trek is extremely challenging, even in dry conditions, with some dangerous cliff climbing. Anyone who attempts it in the rain and in the dark is utterly insane in my opinion, and also extremely selfish in putting the rescue services at risk when they need assistance.

    I'm aware that several serious hikers / adventurers / stream trekkers frequent these forums, so please take note and pass the word.

    (Just to be clear, this doesn't refer to the Wong Lung Hang Country Trail, although sections of that are fairly treacherous in the wet, and would be very dangerous in the wet at night.)
    Last edited by Gruntfuttock; 12-09-2013 at 04:12 PM.
    Elegiaque likes this.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
    Posts
    17,941

    Is there another name for this stream? It looks like the stream I call Yellow Dragon and wondering if it's the same one. If yes, there is an extremely challenging climbing section near the end which is best done with a rope (we took one last time) and the idea anyone would do it at night is laughable. Seriously?!


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
    Posts
    17,941

    On the subject of stream treks, meetup is doing a "mini" stream trek on Saturday - just the short section of the Nam Chung Country trail between the two places the trail intersects the stream. There are a couple of nice pools and waterfalls in it though, if anyone is interested. Still plenty of spots left.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    13,154
    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07:
    ...the idea anyone would do it at night is laughable. Seriously?!
    I get the feeling that the people started the hike in daylight and couldnt finish by nightfall and then they call rescue causing a dark rescue situation...

    I dont know anyone that goes stream trekking at night; that would be pretty idiotic.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4,831

    Yes, it's the one with Yellow Dragon. Apparently people have left some ropes in some places, but it isn't clear how reliable they are, not least since someone has died there recently. It seems to me that helmets should be required kit for at least some sections of this stream trek.

    And remember that people died in a flash flood on that stretch of the stream by the Nam Chung Trail last year (or maybe the year before). Watch the weather carefully!


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
    Posts
    17,941
    Quote Originally Posted by HowardCoombs:
    I get the feeling that the people started the hike in daylight and couldnt finish by nightfall and then they call rescue causing a dark rescue situation...

    I dont know anyone that goes stream trekking at night; that would be pretty idiotic.
    That makes sense. If it's the one I am thinking of, the last time we did it we really struggled to find the exit. (And that was with someone whose done it dozens of times). We did finish very late and it would not be beyond understanding that it could have got dark if we had started later or something had happened.

    It's very challenging if you keep going, and the problem with stream treks is that "back tracking" is even more dangerous than keeping going up so once you make a wrong move, you are stuffed.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4,831
    Quote Originally Posted by HowardCoombs:
    I get the feeling that the people started the hike in daylight and couldnt finish by nightfall and then they call rescue causing a dark rescue situation...
    Unless anyone's injured then at this time of year I'd have thought the response from the rescue services should be "stay there overnight and either carry on in the morning, or if you can't then we'll come and help you then". I see no reason to risk the life of rescue crews trying to get up there in the dark if no-one is seriously injured.
    MovingIn07 likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    13,154
    Quote Originally Posted by Gruntfuttock:
    Unless anyone's injured then at this time of year I'd have thought the response from the rescue services should be "stay there overnight and either carry on in the morning, or if you can't then we'll come and help you then".
    I dont know any safety guys but I might meet one or 2 during Moontrekker - I will definitely ask if the opportunity presents itself.
    I see no reason to risk the life of rescue crews trying to get up there in the dark if no-one is seriously injured.
    Personally, if I was stuck with no injuries, I'd call, let them know I'm out there and then just find a corner to sleep in till the morning. I dont think I'd want to be rescued at night unless there was a life/death situation...
    MovingIn07 likes this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    11,111

    Rescue services do seem to be highly, if not overly, enthusiastic here. And relying on a bunch of scared hikers to sit tight overnight without panicking would be a bit optimistic- keep in mind that this is a city where people feel the need to wear down jackets in the 'winter'.

    Though in my reading of the request by the flight rescue service, they are not saying that there is any risk to rescuers, but rather that they will let land-based crews deal with it. This might be a bit slower, but I don't see it as being risky for the crews.

    I've wondered on and off about this... most of the time countryside air rescue services seem complete overkill. I've seen them turn up for completely non life-threatening accidents (sprains/breaks/fractures) in areas that are easily accessible by foot. Surely the cost of a helicopter + crew dwarfs the cost of sending in a bunch of firefighters?

    The weirdest incident I witnessed was a cyclist sitting around with an injured leg, looking quite comfortable. Two land based services had already arrived by truck (fire, police?) and were sitting around waiting for a helicopter to take him out. This was in Tai Lam country park, in a popular picnic area.

    Last edited by jgl; 12-09-2013 at 05:03 PM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
    Posts
    17,941

    In my experience with the rescue services, they sent land-based firemen FIRST to assess the situation before sending in the chopper. My guy was unconscious (being cooled in a stream for heat stroke) at the bottom of a steep cliff and the firemen didn't think they could get him out easily, so they called in the chopper. Even then, the chopper could not easily access the spot, and he had to climb up the cliff (with considerable assistance from firemen, after he came round in the stream) before being airlifted out for a night in hospital.

    We had about 20 (NOT KIDDING) people attend - so yes - overkill probably! It was all rather exciting though. Rather too exciting since it was my first hike as an Organiser!


Reply
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast