A recently developed area (2022) along the coastline to the north of the Back Beach at Shek O, in the area beneath the golf course. Given the close proximity of the golf course and several private properties to this area, please be respectful and keep volume levels low etc. Massive thanks to Gordon Hoi for the development and all the problem information contained herein.
The Back Beach Sector is located on the coastline beneath the Golf Club to the north of Shek O vIllage. To access the area, head directly east through the buildings behind the Bus Stop to get to the Back Beach itself. Cross the beach to its northern end, cross the small footbridge. Cross this, double back down to the edge of the stream and then continue scrambling along the rocky coastline to reach the climbing area itself.
Note the use of the word scramble here. This approach involves navigating your way around or down several small cliffs on route to the blocs so appropriate footwear and caution should be used to avoid risk of injury. The area is also best avoided if there is a big east swell running (check here) as several sections of the approach can become impassable during high tides and big swells (if the swell is >6ft, go elsewhere or risk getting swept away).
Download the awesome mini-guide to this new area from Gordon Hoi from the link here:
The first bouldering area reached is the Devil Reef, which comprises a small overhanging cliff on the edge of a wave washed platform (i.e. during high tide of big east swells the wall will get slammed by waves. You have been warned…)
1) Deep Ones (sds) *** V2
Start on the deep undercut flake. From here pull into the crack line above and then follow this all the way out right to the lip of the overhang. Round the lip and finish up the wall above.
2) Dagon *** V7
Start on a large undercut pinch near the base of the vertical crack. Use various holds in and aside the crack above to eventually gain the right trending crack, which is followed to the lip. Pull through the lip to finish. Avoid using feet on the holds of Deep Ones.
3) Dagon (sds) *** V8
A sit start to the above problem from the good side pull low down, adding several powerful moves to obtain the holds on the stand version.
4) Sanity *** V6
Start as for Dagon (stand start) on the undercut pinch, but this time attack the vertical crack directly above using either jams or pinches. Pick your poison, the grade is the same regardless.
5) Sanity (sds) *** V7
Sit start at the good low side pull and add those powerful moves to gain the original line.
6) Call from the Abyss (sds) ** V4
St start at the good side pull and launch up and left to skirt around the edge of the overhanging wall, being wary of the waves below.
The next wall is located just beyond the small concrete pump house and has a slightly dubious landing on its left side (sloping slabs) so be careful. The descent down the left side of this bloc is almost as hard as the easiest line so be very careful when coming back down too.
1) Stack Up * V2
Start on the slopey ledge and a positive crimp out right. Move up through the small roof above to eventually gain the positive flake on the lip, from which a committing top out awaits.
2) Mars Walk ** V4
Start matched on the sloping ledge and attain the undercut flake above, which is the followed to the top.
3) Moon Cart (sds) * V3
Start sat using a positive side pull. Gain the holds above the small roof and then follow the groove above to the top of the wall.
1) Slab Project (about V3/V4)
Climb the slab on the left side of the bloc, avoiding any use of the large flake on the left. Currently only climbed to the flake high on the right side of the slab but not topped out due to lack of pads / spotters. Not super hard though.
2) Slab Varient Project (sds)
Start sat beneath the small roof on the left slab, in the good break. Using this and a combination of holds on the arête and just around the corner, somehow get back onto the crimps and high flake on the slab itself before finishing up this.
3) King Line Project
Climb the striking arête on its right side. Big, bad and bald but with a good enough landing that can be well padded out. Go get it!
4) IFC ** V4
Dynamically climb the right side of the overhanging wall, leaping from the ledge to the lip, all above a slightly suspect landing so make sure to pad it well.
Art of Nature
The Art of Nature wall is the striking angular low wall slightly further along the coastline, home to one of the best V5’s at the Back Beach.
1) Art of Nature (sds) *** V4
A gem of a problem. Start sat on the right arête of the low face. Make a tricky move to gain the lip, which is then followed left to gain good holds beneath a beckoning flake above. From here launch directly up, turning the lip with difficulty to gain the flake and an easy finish above. Soft for the grade and a good entry to V5 climbing.
2) Force of Nature ** V7
Start on the good holds at the crack at the end of the AoN traverse. Move left from these to a small positive crimp before launching up and left to poor slopers on the high portion of the lip. Somehow stick these before swinging left to gain the slab and an easier finish. Low in the grade.
Really needs a proper finish minus the slab on the left…
3) Full Force of Nature (sds) *** V7
Link the start of Art of Nature into Force of Nature for the more complete line. Not significantly harder than the original stand start but a much more complete, logical and satisfying line.
4) All The Way West (sds) (Project)
A crazy extension that would get even the best stamina hound pumped. Start at the far right of the wall, at the corner of the long section, and work your way along the lip to eventually join, and finish up, Force of Nature. Be careful of those dabs on the start section as just keeping your butt of the floor on this part of the traverse could be one of the cruxes of the line!
Monkey Head Blocs
Immediately above Art of Nature and at the top of the slabs is a small collection of highly weathered blocs with friable holds. The circumspect nature of the rock and appealing landing mean this area is probably best left alone, with the exception of one line on the smaller right hand bloc.
1) Sand Sculpture (sds) V4 *
Start with a good left crimp and sloper for the right. Attain the various breaks above and use these to ascend the left arête of the bloc. The lower boulder beneath the arete is off route (aside from sitting on it to start) as it’s basically still the floor…
The next collection of blocs are located a short distance along the coastline and include a number of free standing boulders of low to moderate height above generally good landings, making it a good area to base yourself for a while.
This is the small bloc with a notable overhang on its right side.
1) Throne of Thorin (sds) ** V3
Start matched in the low horizontal break before moving up the short wall via the various cracks and breaks above.
2) Bilbo’s Pipe (sds) ** V4
Start with left in the break and right on an undercut pinch beneath the roof. Make tricky moves to get going and gain the hanging flake above, using this and holds out right to powerfully turn the roof and finish.
3) Orc Slayer (sds) ** V5
Sit start beneath the main part of the roof, using the undercut pinch for the left and the break for the right. Make powerful and dynamic moves through the roof to gain a slopey pinch on the right arête of the face above, before better holds above bring and easier top out.
The wall behind the Hobbit bloc is home to a number of easier lines that provide a good warm up. I’m still waiting for Gordon to name these lines 😉
Dark Magic Bloc
This is the walls immediately down and right of the Hobbit Bloc
1) Old Broom * V0
Start on the jug in the break and climb the short wall above. For those looking for a bit more challenge, you can also skip all the intermediate holds and just dyne from this to the top for ‘New Broom ** (V3)’.
2) Nate’s Ext. * V4
Start in the break on the left side of the face and make a rightwards traverse to gain the start of Old Broom. From here use the dyno variant to finish.
3) Dark Arts (sds) ** V2
Start on a slope in the break and climb the right side of the wall via good crimps.
4) Diagon Alley (sds) ** V1
Start at a good crimp just around from the right arête and then head up and left to finish just around the corner.
5) The Charm (sds) ** V3
Start with the good crimp for the left and the arête for the right before delicately climbing the groove above.
6) Cloak of Hexes ** V3
Start with Gaston for the left and positive undercut for the right and tackle the slab above.
7) Illuminous (sds) * V2
Sit start at the reasonable side pull. Reach up for the sloper above before trending right to finish.
8) Traverse of the Magic Sloth (sds) ** V5
Start as for Illuminous but traverse your way right across the entire wall at about mid height (avoiding the good holds at and just beneath the lip) to eventually gain and finish at the arête.
9) Elder Wand *** V3
Start at a sloping side pull and climb the wall above using crimps and pinches.
10) The Dark Lord (sds) ** V2
Start on a positive quartz hold, attain the good crimp above, and then finish direct.
11) Giant Slayer (sds) ** V4
Tall folk will hate this one, hence the name. Start with a pinch for the right and poor crimp for the left. Gain better pinches above before finishing on jugs.
Roac & Warg Blocs
These two blocs are situated just up from the Dark MagicBloc and are highly apparent thanks to the large roof tackled by Elvish Crystal.
1) Trumpet Rang ** V2
Start matched on the good flake in the break, left of the main roof. Move right via the flake on the lip and then climb through the roof using an assortment of juggy holds on its left side.
2) Elvish Crystal ** V3
Start matched in the break beneath the roof. Move up to a positive crystal undercut before making a big reach around to holds on the face above the lip. Avoiding any use of the juggy holds either side of the arêtes, turn the lip of the overhang using the good holds on the main face to finish.
3) Trebuchet ** V2
Start matched on the jug in the break beneath the right side of the roof. This time follow the line of jugs, and smaller crystal crimp, out the right side of the roof to finish.
1) Stinger (sds) * V1
Climb the left arête of the short face from a sit start.
2) Forge of Will (sds) V6
A miserable problem. Sit start using a pinch/side pull on the deep undercut flake for the left and a pinch out right. Slap from these to eventually gain better holds in the break and an easier finish above.
3) The Road Goes On ** V2
Start on the rounded jug at the right side of the break. Follow the break left to eventually finish up the left arête of the wall.
4) Head of Gollum (sds) ** V4
Start on an undercut in the low break and make a big reach to the higher horizontal break above. Finish direct. Improbably at first but once you find the key beta, really not that bad (It’s problem solving V4, actual climbing V3).
Dwarfed Treasure Bloc
Situated just down and along the coastline from Dark Magic Bloc is another small boulder with several fun problems on it.
1) Dwarf Gunner (sds) ** V3
A true one move wonder problem starting off a positive crimp side pull for the right and a pinch on the left arête. Pull up, launch for the top, job done.
2) Nimble Thief * V3
Start at the base of the crimpy groove with the right and a gaston for the left. Again, pull on, slap for the top, finish.
3) Nimble Thief (sds) * V5
The sit start to Nimble Thief involves the use of a painful positive right crimp, an extremely low undercut, and very poor footholds. From these, teeter, balance or launch your way to the top.
4) Crown of Star V1
Start at the good undercut in the middle of the wall and climb directly up from this to finish.
5) Crown of Star (sds) * V3
A fiercer start to the above line from a positive crimp and so-so side pull.
6) Goat Charge (sds) * V3
Start on two moderate crimps and pull up the the flake and crimps above.
7) Pot of Gold (sds) * V0
Climb the right arête of the face from a sit start.
8) No Hands for Another Grail ** V3
Feet only! Climb the slabby wall around the corner from Pot of Gold without any use of body parts above waist height.
1) Project (sds)
Start on the undercut and a good crimp and, without any use of the arête, launch for the top of the wall.
2) Smug (sds) ** V3
Start on the same crimp but this time make use of the crack to the right. Make powerful moves up from these to gain holds left of the crack, before gaining the lip to finish.
Further around the coast and just above a bigger cliff face are a couple of blocs with very funky rock textures.
1) Griffin’s Back (sds) V0
Climb the short crack on the left face of the bloc.
2) Griffin’s Claw (sds) * V1
Sit start at the crimp in the middle of the face. Pull up using the flakes to the right before reaching back out left to gain the good crack on the left side of the roof. Finish up this.
3) Griffin’s Beak (sds) ** V2
Sit start at the crimp and climb the flakes to the right to the roof. Reach around the roof and eventually gain the lip above to finish.
4) War Face (sds) * V3
Start with a sloper for the left and crimp for the right. Gain the break just above these before finishing directly above.
The Altar of Leviathan
Located immediately beneath the Griffin’s Beak is a large (approx 6 m high) wall above a tidal swept platform. This wall is big so bring your friends and their pads. In fact, if your enemies have pads, then bring them along too as this is a definite case of ‘the more, the merrier’ when it comes to pads and spotters….
The left side of the wall contains a number of relatively easy lines in the V0 to V2 range, with one slightly harder line on the right side:
1) Tiamat * V1
Start on the left side of the parallel cracks and climb the wall above, keeping to the left side of the continuous higher parts throughout.
2) Ziz ** V1
Start where the parallel horizontal cracks overlap. Move up to the wide break above and then make long reaches through the wall above to finish.
3) Temtum * V1
Start in the main part of the wide break and ascend the wall above.
4) Behemoth * V0
Start on the right side of the big horizontal break and then climb the wall above, staying left of the groove.
5) Lotan * VB
The easiest line of the wall follows the vague groove. Also a good way of climbing back down.
7) Altared ** VB
Climb the juggy arête on the corner of the wall
8) Sea Serpent * V0
Climb the broken wall to the right of the arête
9) Hadad * V2
Climb the steep arête just left of the corner, avoiding the good holds to the left as far as possible.
The central part of this sector forms the really appealing portion when it comes to quality lines, providing a number of tall three start classics that go at relatively amenable grades.
1) Uroboros * V1
Follow the groove directly beneath the left side of the main overhang.
2) Falak * V2
Start on the right side of the slab, get established and follow a series of holds beneath the roof to eventually gain, and finish up, the hanging groove.
Attack the underside of the triangular roof prow, with extremely committing and technical moves likely to be required to turn the lip.
4) Temple of the Dog ** V3
Start up the groove / arête to reach the roof and crack cutting across this. From here a committing sequence takes you up the wall just right of the crack itself, although you’re welcome to use the crack itself if you really think it’ll help.
5) Leviathan ** V5
A beast of a line that starts up the arête beneath the imposing roof, before tackling the roof head on via good crimps.
In the widest part of the roof is a wide slot that appears to have a good hold or two in it. Gaining this and then leaving it however will prove both hard and committing.
7) Sacrificial Lamb ** V4
Start bridging up the sloping ramp and small footholds out right and work your way up to small holds beneath the roof. Delicately traverse right beneath the roof to a committing finish up the groove.
8) Sacrifice *** V5
A direct version of Sacrificial Lamb, using side pulls and crimps to work your way directly up the right side of the wall, joining the committing traverse of Sacrificial Lamb to finish.
The striking arête of the wall just to the right looks feasible.
10) Church of the Poisoned Mind ** V5
Start on the arête and make technical moves up the right side of the wall to a worrying looking flake. Shuffle right on this to join Poisoned Chalice Direct, which is followed to the top.
11) Poison Chalice Direct *** V5
Climb the middle of the tall wall, with technical moves low down and committing moves high up. The big side pull on the right at two-thirds height is off-route for this line.
12) Poison Chalice ** V4
As above, but with use of the big side pull high up on the right side allowed.
13) Consecrated Ground ** V3
Climb the right arête of the face, avoiding any use of holds right of the crack in the lower part.
The right side of the wall has several more sensibly proportioned lines.
1) Tide Hunter * V2
Start from a good side pull and climb the thin crack to the ledge. Finish easily above.
2) Black Water Scourge (sds) * V5
Sit start with the big side pull for the left and positive crimp for the right. Make a powerful move up to a positive but painful hold above before continuing up the upper wall to the right.
The remaining problems are located on the small blocs scattered across the rocky beach just beyond the Altar. You’ll need to keep a good eye open when looking for these and they may be somewhat smaller in stature than most boulder problems encountered elsewhere. Indeed, these blocs will mostly favour the connoisseur of the scrunched up one move wonder.
Hemet & Big Bite Blocs
1) Helmet (sds) * V5
Start on the sloping arete and a poor crimp out right. Bump to slopers on the lip before mantling to top out.
2) Big Bite (sds) * V4
Start in the corner of the bitten out chunk and then bump out to the arête before finishing up this.
3) Whale Lord (sds) * V4
Sit start on a sloper near the arête. Move up to another sloper before gaining the jug above and an easier finish.
4) Ocean Tower (sds) * V3
Hopefully named with a healthy degree of sarcasm involved as there’s not much ‘tower’ like about this bloc. Sit start with the sloper at the base of the crack feature and then follow the arête above this.
5) Demon Horn (sds) ** V6
One of the more worthwhile looking lines in this area. Start at a poor undercut beneath the jutting prow and then brutally attack your way up this feature.
Just beyond the beach area are a couple of high walls with several high quality highball lines on them (and potential for more).
1) The Rough V0
Climb the broken, stepped features on the right side of the wall
2) Diamond in the Rough *** V2
A quality and intimidating line up the right side of the wall, starting from a reasonable right hold high up and potentially requiring a little pop to the left start hold for shorties. From these, follow the breaks and crimps above to an intimidating reach to the lip and a committing top out.
3) Diamond (Low) *** V3
A minor extension to the previous line, starting from a good right side pull and a poor left and then reaching into the breaks at the start of the original.
4) Uncut Gems *** V4
A superb committing climb up the left side of the wall (avoiding the corner crack throughout). Start on the positive right rail high up and small crimps below this. Make powerful moves up the wall above before reaching out right for a small rail. From here make committing moves up the wall above before utilising big undercuts in the overlap to reach positive holds on the lip and a straightforward top out.
5) Uncut Gems (sds) ** V5
The sit start to Uncut Gems from the jug/undercut beneath the low overlap and utilising tiny crimps and the flake out right to get established in the start of the stand version.
The last bouldering area of Back Beach is located in the next bay around the coastline and comprises a lone block with several hidden gems on it.
1) Echoes ** V5
Start matched on a good side pull on the overhanging wall above the slab. Bump out left and then up to gain the lip and slab above. This line avoids any use of the lower slab for feet.
2) Shine on You Crazy Diamond ** V4
From good crimps on the right arête of the face, move up and right to gain the sloping lip before pulling over this to finish up the slab above..