Firehouse Boulders


The bouldering areas on Tai Mo Shan are all accessed from Tai Mo Shan Road, which in itself is accessed from Route Twisk. For those approaching on public transport,  your best bet is to take the MTR to Tsuen Wan or Tsuen Wan West Stations. From either of these you can then take the #51 Lui Kung Tin Tsuen bus to Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Centre. From here you’ll have to hike up Tai Mo Shan Road a fair way to reach the bouldering areas themselves. A better option is to just grab a taxi from the MTR station to avoid (or at least cut down) the amount of hiking needed.

Firehouse Boulders

These are the small collection of blocs atop the ridge line next to the Tai Mo Shan Fire Lookout Station, as well as the assorted clusters of boulders on the surrounding hillsides.

Summit Blocs

The first notable bloc reached, located on the small summit directly across from the Firehouse Bloc and huts, has potential for several hard lines. However, all of these need a significant amount of scrubbing before they’ll be possible.

1) Project
Start matched on the small jug beneath the flake. Follow the flake till it runs out and then somehow work your way through the sloping lip above.

2) Project
The right arête of the face has opposing gaston crimps low down. Start on these and then climb the desperate and largely featureless arête above.

3) Project
Start matched on the sloping jug just above the lip on the left side of the undercut face. Throw up and left from this to gain more ‘holds’ before turning the lip to gain the slab and easier finish.

4) Project (sds)
Sit start on the right side of the bloc using small open pockets for the right and the arête for the left. Slap up the arête and face to eventually gain a couple of crimps in the seam on the right wall and an easier finish.

Low Ball Bloc

Slightly down the hill to the west of the Summit Bloc is a long low boulder with a couple of traverses along its lip.

1) Lowball (sds) ** V1
Sit start at the far left edge of the lip and work your way right to finish up the highest part of the bloc.

2) Eight Ball (sds) ** V3
Start matched on the very bottom of the undercut arête. Make tricky moves to get started along the left side of this, following the lip to join the finish of Lowball.

Temple Blocs

These are the two large boulders immediately beneath the Low Ball Bloc, one of which has a small temple statue on its summit.

1) Fallen Idol * V1
Step off the boulder beneath the right side of the downhill face of the bloc and follow the pockets and seams up the slab above.

1) Idolatry * V2
Climb the open groove on the left side of the face.

2) Temple Street ** V3
Climb the middle of the slabby wall

3) False Idol (sds) Project
Sit start hugging the lower steep narrow face. Slap your way up side pulls and poor pockets to eventually gain the obvious jug at three-quarters height, where a high, hard and committing top out awaits.

Firehouse Bloc

This is the prominent cubic bloc located on the very top of the ridge.

1) Postman Pat * V1
The right arête, climbed on its slab right-hand side

2) Fireman Sam ** V2
The right arete, climbed on its left-hand side

3) Project
The blank wall, with several small or rounded pockets, seems vaguely feasible?

4) Spongebob ** V2
From a good layaway and small pockets, climb the right side of the wall.

5) Bob the Builder * V3
The left side of the wall is climbed via a series of small rounded pockets.

6) Dora the Explorer * VB
Climb the crack and groove on the left side of the face.


The Outhouse is located a short way down the hill behind (south) of the Firehouse Bloc.

1) Outhouse ** V2
Climb the arête formed by the right side of the short crack.

2) Dunny ** V3
Piece together various small holds to weave your way up the middle of the wall.

3) Project
Start matched on the obvious jug in the middle of the wall and then mantle in to this to eventually gain the lip above.

The Station

The Station is located down the ridge from the Firehouse Bloc, accessed by following the main trial west towards the Youth Hostel. The main climbing faces of the bloc are adjacent to the path.

1) The Thin Red Line *** V6
Climb the left arête of the tall face via technical moves and a committing lurch for the pocket high up.

2) The Station (sds) *** V4
Sit start at the flake and crimp on the right side of the face. Move up to a good flake above before gaining, and following, the hanging groove to finish.

3) Dorm * V1
From positive side pulls move out left to the prominent jug at the top of the flake, where a committing rock over gains access to the slab above.

4) Yard ** V1
Start in the middle of the face and climb the slab, trending slightly left wards to follow the various features on offer.

5) Hot Zone * V2
The broad arête on the right side of the slab gives a more technical and intimidating line than its neighbours, requiring clean technique and a steady head.

The Bunk

This is the small bloc immediately adjacent to (and slightly getting in the way on) The Thin Red Line.

1) Ablaze (sds) Project
A burly compression problem up the small bloc left of The Thin Red Line. Start sat using a small pocket for left and the low right arête for right. Slap your way up to good holds on the small shelf before powerful and reach moves bring the sloping lip of the bloc and a technical top out.

Another variant coming in from matched on the positive crimp on the right side also looks possible, but has the same horrendously hard finish.

The Wagon

1) Trucking ** V1
Climb the easy angled slab on the left side of the bloc

2) Unclimbed
Start matched on the lower end of the sloping lip. Work your way up and right along this, avoiding any use of the big break for your feet which makes it a bit of a path. Needs a good clean if anyone is to actually send this.

3) Crossing the Line (sds) * V2
Sit start using the lower left side of the long break. Rock up and into the break before finishing directly above through the tallest part of the face.

4) On the Wagon (sds) ** V1
Sit start at the lower left end of the large break and make a rising right traverse along this, to eventually finish up the right arête of the bloc.

Forest Blocs

The slopes downhill of The Station have a number of very highball blocs surrounded by dense thorny vegetation. Several lines have been climbed on a couple of these but, in general, the overall height and density of vegetation made them a bit too much of a pain to explore further at this time.

1) High and Dry V1
Start on the right side of the arête and move up to gain the crack. Swing round to the left side of the arête and continue up to the ledge. Pull on to this before continuing directly up the top of the high wall to finish. A more direct start up the slab left of the arête looks possible but needs lots of cleaning first.

Vista Blocs

Located to the south of The Station and at a slightly lower elevation are several more boulders. Most of these have pretty poor landings so have been ignored for the time being. However, the Vista Bloc is an acceptation with mostly flat landings and several fine lines.

1) Escape Path (sds) * V3
Sit start on the low flake and make a rising leftward traverse to gain the easy angled slab and a pocket jug on the lip above this. Finish direct above the pocket.

2) Rush Rush (sds) * V4
Sit start as for the previous problem but, after gaining the good crimps on the right of the slabby wall, move back right via the sloping shelf and through the lip above this.

3) Buena Vista (sds) *** V2
Sit start at the positive flake in the middle of the overhanging wall. From here, move up and through the roofs above via a series of positive flakes and a slightly more tricky pull through the lip itself.

4) Stepping Out * V0
Follow the left trending line of crimps out to the left arête of the face, before following the arête to the top.

5) Straight Up V1
Stand start in the middle of the face and pull up to the large notch. Finish direct above this.

6) Paula Abdul (sds) * V2
The sit start to the previous problem, from flakes low on the wall.

7) Short n Sweet * VB
The easy angled right side of the face.

Sambal Bloc

1) Nasi Lemak (sds) ** V2
Sit start in the crack and left edge of the lip on the upper edge of the boulder. Lift off and then traverse the lip right to the far arête, where a good hold enables a relatively straightforward rock over to finish.

2) Chilli Crack (sds) *** V3
Climb the overhanging corner crack from a sit start.

3) Mala (sds) *** V4
Follow Chilli Crack to the lip and then continue right along this to its highest point, rocking over to top out.

4) Last Dab (sds) *** V8
One of the most compelling lines in Hong Kong. Climb the arête/fin on its overhanging side, from a sit start.

5) Sambal *** V3
Start on the right side of the slabby downhill face and, using the right arête to get established, work your way up this to a positive hold on the lip via chicken heads and pockets. Work your way left along the lip to reach a positive hold out left and a committing rock over in to the scoop.

6) Oelek *** V4
Climb the centre of the slab directly to reach the jug on the lip, before moving slightly left and them rocking over into the scoop to finish.

7) Terasi ** V4
Climb the blunt arête bordering the steep wall and the slab to the left via insecure committing moves.

8) Belacan ** VB
Follow the sharp arête on the left side of the slabby face.

The Sculpture

This the small highly sculpted and featured bloc just down the hill from the Sambal Bloc

1) Rodin (sds) ** V1
Sit start beneath the small roof, with the arete for right and small crimps for left. Mark a couple of quick pulls to get to the ledge above, from which a big throw brings the top of the bloc.

2) Michelangelo (sds) ** V1
Sit start in the middle of the face and work your way up to the overhanging arete above, which is followed out left to the lip before being turned to finish off.

3) Donatello (sds) ** V1
Sit start on the right arete of the face, using good side pulls on either side of this. Carefully work your way up this, staying on its left side and trying not to break off the hollow sounding block forming the arête itself.

Banshee Bloc

Directly across the hillside from the Sambal Bloc and a few minutes short walk away is a blank wall split by a break just below half height.

1) Wraith * V3
Climb the left side the face from the good jug, making use of the arête and flakes high up as needed.

2) Spectre ** V4
Start in the middle of the break, moving up and left to crimps and then thin pockets, protrusions and slopes above to eventually gain the lip (avoiding the flake left of the obvious sloper high up)

3) Banshee ** V5
Climb the right arête of the block staying on the left face throughout via small crimps and a worrying reach for the lip.

4) Banshee (sds) ** V5
The sit start to Banshee, starting from chicken heads low down and using these and small crimps / pockets to reach the starting break n the stand start.

Casino Blocs

Located about 50 m lower down the hill than the Sambal Blocs is another cluster of boulders, with only a handful of lines currently established due to the slightly friable nature of some of the blocs and the less than perfect landings beneath most of them.

The first problems are located on a proud bloc with several striking aretes, the Roulette Bloc.

1) Russian Roulette (sds)
The narrow front face of the bloc, on it’s downhill side. Sit start using holds on either arete (avoiding feet on the ledge to the left) and bear hug your way up the bloc (avoiding dabs on the bloc to the right too). Currently climbed to about two-thirds height, when fear and friable rock prevented further upward progress.

2) Little Wheel
Climb the right arete of the sheer slabby face via balance moves and bottle. Again, climbed about half way so far before fear and barndoors got the better of us…

3) Rouge ou Noir
Climb the left arete of the sheer slabby face. Current high point is about two-thirds height (stood on small edge left of the arete) but the top needs a damn good clean before venturing higher.

Slightly further around the hillside is a large bloc with a very slabby downhill face and a large overhanging west face. This is the Jackpot Bloc.

1) The Jackpot *** V2
Climb the central crack line splitting the face to a committing top out.

2) The Jackpot (sds) *** V3
Add a site start to the former line.

3) Bingo ** V0
Climb the layback flake on the left side of the downhill face of the bloc, joining the large break at about two-thirds height and then following this back right across the face. Can also be climbed from a sit start at the same grade.

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