Founded in 1984 as the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union and renamed as China Hong Kong Mountaineering & Climbing Union in 2012, after the return of Hong Kong sovereignty to China (as well as the merging of HK Sport Climbing Union to the Union), the CHKMCU serves to promote and develop the sports of climbing and hiking in a number of ways. This is achieved through a number of measures – including the creation of its established course syllabus and training qualifications, encouraging mountain safety and protection, producing mountaineering codes and guidelines and organising competitions featuring elite athletes. CHKMCU has been a UIAA full member since 1988 and recently hosted the UIAA Mountaineering Commission meeting.
The CHKMCU, at a local level is affiliated with the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee, Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong Sports Institute and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which provide some much welcome funding. While at an international level, its affiliation with the UIAA brings a number of benefits, such as enhancing the status and reputation of the Union as well as providing opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences with other members. The CHKMCU has in particular forged excellent working relationships with other members in Asia, having taken part in the Mountain Spirit programme held in both Kyrgyzstan and Chinese Taipei. A particular focus on these programmes is to promote true mountaineering spirit, and expand ties of friendship and exchange experience between young Asian climbers. The CHKMCU can now boast a total of 179 members (12 individual, 122 associate and 45 ordinary).
Recently, the Union has had its Mountain Craft Training Scheme accredited, which enables participants to gain qualifications ranging from a Level 1 training certificate, which requires six hours of theory and 12 hours of practical work all the way to a certified Level 3 coach, where individuals are required to plan and organise a designated project and submit a paper. There is an established syllabus for training various disciplines and the union now has 370 coaches across the disciplines of Mountain Craft, Sport Climbing, Rock Climbing, Roping and Snow & Ice Climbing. As a result, there are now 64,355 Level 1 Mountain Craft certificate holders, 22,362 Level 2 and 1,447 Level 3 Coaches. The numbers are similarly impressive across the other disciplines. There are also further plans to accredit the other disciplines.
In its mission to promote mountain safety, the CHKMC organises the Mountain Safety Promotion Day each year, while the importance and promotion of mountain protection is a further key element of the Union’s mission. Co-operating with local government bodies, a programme titled “Take your litter home” is regularly organised to emphasise the importance of this message. At a competition sport level, a number of sport climbing competitions are organised, both domestically and internationally, with elite athletes competing in upwards of 20 competitions overseas every year.
The region is home both to the Hong Kong Global Geo Park, a UNESCO-listed attraction which is made up of two distinct geological regions, the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and the Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region, and the Lion Rock mountain which provides fantastic climbing and hiking opportunities for visitors.
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Main image: Recent UIAA Mountaineering Commission meeting hosted by the CHKMCU
Article produced with the support of Shirman So, CHKMCU Senior Sports Executive