Don Bosco


The man responsible for exploring and establishing most of the blocs on Cheung Chau, Perry Tong on Tidal Roof (V6) Photo: Karen Chan



The main sectors of bouldering on Cheung Chau currently developed are situated on the south coast of the island, pretty much covering the entire coastal extent from the Reclining Rock in the southwest all the way to the Jade Seal in the southeast.

Don Bosco Boulders

The Don Bosco Boulders are situated on the southeast corner of Cheung Chau, beneath the Fa Peng area. Access to this area is made by making your way from the ferry pier towards Don Bosco Road Garden. Continue south passed the garden before continuing a short way east along Don Bosco Road until a small dirt trail breaks right off this (at about 22.203227, 114.036571). Follow this trail down the hill to reach some intermittent granite slabs, which are then followed down hill to reach the coastline below. Once at the coast, head right for the Seascape Sector or left for the Don Bosco and Jade Seal Sectors. Access to these latter two sectors can also be gained from the east, from the end of the Mini Great Wall Trail.

Seascape Sector

Not yet explored… Looks to have potential but access is affected by the tide and we’ve not timed it well yet.

Don Bosco Sector

At the base of the hillside and upon reaching the coastline, turn left and scramble along the blocky shoreline to reach the various sectors. A number of the blocs n this sector are affected by both high tide and big swells so try to pick a small swell and low tide period to visit to get the most out of your time.

Tidal Roof

This block is heavily affected by tides so requires low tide and small swell for the problems to be climbable. Time your visits well to nail these two classic lines.

1) Tidal Roof (Left) ** V6
Start deep in the roof, matched on the large flake. Move slightly right from this to another deep flake before reaching a long way out to a less secure side pull with the left. Now all you need to do is not violently swing and dab the floor when cranking through for the lip and the tricky finish above this.

2) Tidal Roof (Right) ** V4
Start on the same jug as the problem above, but this time aim for the large flake out right, making powerful moves to gain this before finishing via a tricky rock over / mantle over the lip.

3) Tidal Wave * V2
Start matched on the nose between the Tidal Roof and the wall to its right. Follow the lip of the overhanging wall on the right out to its highest point before rocking over to the slab above to finish.

4) Project

5) Tidal Motion * V1
Start matched on the positive flake and pull up to, and then through, the lip above. Needs a sit start adding.


The Cube

The small block sitting on the granite slabs has a number of fun problems that are great for warming the fingers (and arms) up for some of the more testing problems hereabouts.

1) The Don (sds) * V4
Start sat on the right side of the small face. Using the crack with your right and side pull on the left, lift off and then traverse diagonally left across the face to finish on the upper left side of the wall.

2) Hollow Flake (sds) ** V1
Sit start at the base of the hollow flake on the left of the face before climbing this to the top of the boulder.

3) Undercut (sds) ** V1
Sit start in the middle of the wall. Powerfully pull off the floor to reach the good crimps and flakes on the wall above. Finish more easily up these.

4) Don’s Flake ** V2
Sit strata the base of the right trending flake line, either matched on undercuts in the flake or also making use of other holds low down and out left. Crank up on these and then follow the right trending flake to the top. A slightly lower start (Multi Flake, V3) can be made starting matched (and somewhat squeezed) on the undercut down and right of the main flake line (i.e. the left hand start hold for Bosco’s Arête).

5) Bosco’s Arête
Start using a positive input crimp on the arête and the undercut flake out left. From these, work you way up the undercut/flake and arete to gain the top of the block. A harder variant is possible at V3 moving straight from the start holds to the lefthand gaston flakes up high.

The wall behind The Cube has a couple of fun problems on its left side. The remainder is yet to be scaled due to its height and general lack of holds.

1) C’s Arete ** V4
The left arête of the wall has a tenuous start, which is followed by an equally tenuous move to the ledge above. From here, good holds thankfully bring easier climbing in the upper part.

1a) Not So High * V6
A minor eliminate to C’s Arete. Start precariously balanced on the arête before launching up and right to gain the horizontal break right of the arête. Pull back left from this to finish up the main arête.

2) The Godfather *** V4
Start sat in the cave at a good undercut. Make a powerful move out left to gain the undercuts and crimps located along the lip of the roof. Follow these out to the arête, where a stiff pull brings the break. Either traverse off and down climb the crack or take a deep breath and continue up the high arête above.

3) The Goddaughter ** V3
As for The Godfather but start one move further on, using the large undercuts at the end of the lip instead of the big undercut deeper inside the cave.

4) Corleone *** V4
A slightly harder variant to The Godfather, which avoids the holds on / around the arête and goes directly from the two crimps on the lip to the break, via whatever holds you can find in between. Again, either traverse off right or finish up the scary arête.

5) Ron’s Wall ** V1
The wall right of the crack is climbed via a series of small ledges.

6) Donny Brasco ** V3
Start on the protruding jug and make a big move to the horizontal break, before another long reach brings slopers at the top of the tallest section of the wall.

7) Don Daft Rocks (sds) * V1
Climb the wall just right of the point where the height decreases.

8) Don Don Donki (sds) * V1
Climb the right side of the wall making use of the various horizontal breaks.

Paradise Bloc

Next to the Cube is a large bloc with a fine overhanging face on its seaward side, which contains one of the best V7’s in Hong Kong.

1) Pico Park * V6
Start on slopers on the lip, making a big move left to hit the jug before topping out and avoiding any use of the platform until standing up fully on the slab

1) Supercoolio *** V2
Start matched on the large jug hold on the arete and then power up and right from this, finishing with a precarious pull on to the slab above.

2) Colorado Climber (sds) *** V7
Established by visiting Colorado boulder Brian Capps, this problem is one of the finest in Cheung Chau. Sit start with the large pocket for right hand and a small hold in the seam for the left. Power up from these to (somehow) gain the large jug hold on the arête, before finishing as for Supercoolio.

3) Gangsters Paradise (sds) ** V3
Start sat on the block and reaching a small hold just beneath the good jug on the right side of the roof. Make a difficult first move from the sit start to gain the jug, before powering your way left along the lip to join the finish of Supercoolio.

Immediately beneath the Paradise Bloc is another bloc that is typically engulfed in swell. On those rare days when the tide is low enough, several climbs are possible on the coastal side of this boulder.

Low Tide Wall

1) Don Bosco’s Great Escape (sds) * V5
Start sat in the middle of the face, with reasonable holds at the back of the sloping shelf. Lift off using these before using miserable intermediates in the face above to eventually gain the lip. Mantle this to finish.

2) Project
Start at the base of the thin crimpy rail and follow this up and left. Only those with tendons of steel need apply…

The walls behind the Paradise Bloc provide number of easy and moderate lines, all be it above some rather poor and blocky landings unfortunately.

1) Been There, Don That (sds) * V1
Sit start at the horizontal break under the roof. Reach out left from here and make use of the block to enter the wall above. Finish up this.

2) Hard Don By (sds) * V1
Start on the same holds but pull right instead of left to gain, and finish up, the flake on the right side of the small roof. 

3) When All is Said and Don (sds) * V1
Sit start using the edge of the small ledge for your hands. Pull up from these to gain further ledges above and an easier finish up the broken stepped wall.

4) A Don Deal * V0
Start at the large ledge and climb the broken wall above. 

5) Well Don VB
Climb the broken right of the wall via a large colection of horizontal breaks.

6) Don Away With * V1
Climb the flake line immediately to the right of the obvious crack.

7) Donny Darko (sds) * V1
Sit start matched in the low horizontal break. From here move out left to a good juggy flake before making a long reach to the breaks above. Finish above these.

8) Don Quixote (sds) * V2
Start as for Donny Darko but avoid the juggy flake out left and instead make tenuous moves directly to the breaks above.

9) Don Old Chump VB
The broken crack, like its namesake, isn’t much to write home about.

10) Don and Dusted (sds) ** V2
Start matched on the ledges to the right of the crack. From these climb the wall above via some suspicious looking holds to reach to parallel rounded vertical cracks, which are used to gain access to the sloping shelf above.

11) Easier Said Than Don (sds) * V2
The crack on the right of the wall is, as the name suggests, easier said than done…

The small wall on the ledge above the previous routes also offers up and handful of worthwhile lines, just be careful of the narrow ledge landing beneath some of them.

1) Up Above * V1
The left side of the clean face.

2) Up and Away V1
The centre of the face 

3) Home and Away  V2
The right side of the face\.

4) Sicilian Side Hustle (sds) * V3
Climb the right side of the arête using some compression and cunning, along with a bit of faith in friction. 

5) Exit Only (sds) V3
Sit start on the flake left of Don Vito’s Revenge. Make your way left to the first crack above the roof using a positive side pull on the roof itself. Make a long reach from the crack to the higher crack and slopey shelf above. Top out with trepidation.

6) Scarface (sds) ** V4
A more direct version of Don Vito’s Revenge, which instead of compassing out along the lip simply continues going straight up, avoiding the holds out near the arête.

7) Don Vito’s Revenge (sds) ** V3
A powerful line up the horizontal breaks above the lip of the small roof, starting from a sit on its left side and working your way out the arête for some stiff pulls to gain the top.

Paradise Wall

Further along the coastline is a small cove with an overhanging wall on its far side that sits at the boundary between bouldering and route climbing in terms of its height. At low tide, this wall (Paradise Wall) yields some good problems on its right side and some big highballs / solos on its steeper left side. The wall can be descended either by down climbing / dropping off one of the easier lines or scrambling up and left to reach and descend some easy slabs.

1) Another Day in Paradise ** V2
The prominent crack line on the left side of the wall.

2) Paradise Wall *** V2
From positive holds in a horizontal break, get established in the vertical crack out left and follow this with increasing ease to the top of the wall.  

3) Paradise Wall (sds) *** V3
The low start to Paradise Wall from a sit at the obvious juggy ledge adds a few more moves of fun to this fine problem. 

4) Lost in Paradise *** V4
Start at the same holds as Paradise Wall but move right along the break before making difficult and insecure moves up the thin wall above.

5) Lost in Paradise (sds) *** V5
Add a sit start to Lost in Paradise from the juggy break low down.

6) Paradise City * V2
Start up the positive flake in the right side of the wall, finishing with caution when the flake runs out.

7) Paradise Lost * V2
Climb the right arete of the wall on its left side, starting with positive laybacks but quickly transitioning to insecure steps up into the scoops on the wall.

Jade Seal Sector

The Jade Seal Sector is focussed primarily around the Jade Seal Boulder, a free standing bloc with fine problems on nearly all its faces.

1) Jade Garden (sds) * V1
Sit start matched on opposing side pulls either side of the blocky wall. Pull up from these to follow and assortment of small ledges up the wall above.

2) Crystal Jade (sds) ** V1
Start as above, but upon reaching the break follow this out right to a rock over finish once the break runs out.

3) Jade Seal (sds) *** V1
Start on a good jug in the middle of the wall. From the sit, pull up and make long reaches out left to more jugs. Continue slightly left from these to small ledges, which allow the break above to be gained. Rock over and mantle this to finish.

4) Jade Sealed (sds) ** V3
Start as for Jade Seal and follow this to the second jug. From this, skip the ledges and big footholds out left and simply launch for positive holds in the break above. Finish directly above this. Super fun!

5) Heshibi (sds) ** V2
Start on the same jug as Jade Seal, but reach out right and follow the diagonal crack / flake to the lip of the block and a rock over finish.

6) Triple Treat (sds) ** V2
Start matched on the flake on the right side of the face. From here bump out left to good side pulls before bumping again to the crack line on Heshibi, which is followed to the top.

7) Triple Treat Pt II (sds) *** V3
As for Triple Treat but skip the crack line on Heshibi and go direct to a good hold on the lip from the left side pull. Finish out left as for Heshibi for full value.

8) Triple Treat Pt III (sds) ** V4
Simply start on the flake, ignore all the other holds, and crank for the lip. Finish as for the other variants.

1) Jade (sds) * V1
Sit start matched on the large jug and rock over on to the slab above making use of the curving flake.

2) Nephrite (sds) ** V3
Sit start matched on the same jug as the previous route. From this, make long moves right and around the corner to reach good holds on the lip. Crank up the lip of the overhanging face right of these until it is possible to reach back to the positive crack and a rock over finish.

3) Jadeite (sds) ?
As above but continue along the lip of the overhanging face until you reach the short wall on the right side of the overhang. Finish directly above this.

1) Iron Fist ** V5
A brutal but short exercise in technical jamming. Crawl down and start sat deep beneath the overhanging hand crack. Insecurely jam your way up the crack until it peters out, making long reaches to the undercut pocket on the lip from the last semi-solid jams. Powerfully turn the roof and then scamper up the slab above to finish.

Above the Jade Seal Bloc is a long high wall with a few highball lines.

1 Jade Dragon (sds) ** V3
The left side of the face gives a tenuous, high, and somewhat reachy line