Soho Crag

Approach

From the top of the streamline, traverse left beneath a small buttress until you reach a corner system with some large trees growing down it. Scramble up this making good use of the root system and some fixed lines in the upper part. This brings you to a small ledge at the bottom of the left side of the wall. Its best to scramble across to the right side where a small platform is present and set up base here.

Central Crag

Routes

1 – Botanical Gardens – S *
From the belay ledge at half crag height amble up the wall and upper right arete of the crag. Best combined with an ascent of Stauntons Cafe. The climb can also be approached by climbing a trad line, Aviary (Hard Severe) that starts 2m right of the tree at the top of the access rope and follows a wide shallow groove to the midway anchor.
F.A. BenJack Phillips & Ed Pramuk (May 2005)

2 – Stauntons Cafe – F4 *
Start at the far right hand side of the crag and climb the right arete to a belay at half height, or better yet, push on through up Botanical Gardens to the lower off at the top of the crag. The climb also forms an easier alternative start to the climb, Lan Kwai Fong, about F5.
F.A. Phyllis Hsia & Ed Pramuk (May 2005)

4 – Lan Kwai Fong – F6a *
Start just right of the curving flake near the right end of the wall (just above the fixed access rope). Tricky moves up the initial wall leads to pleasant climbing up and towards the arete. From the belay station push on through to the top of the crag, as for Botanical Gardens.
F.A. Ed Pramuk and Tom Chew (May 2005)

5 – Centraline – E1 5a ***
Start up the curving flake at the right end of the crag and follow this up to the base of a very thin crack line splitting the wall. Place some gear and move up a short way to small notch that swallows the last good gear you’ll get for a while. With heart in mouth launch up the extremely thin crack above (micro-wires can be placed for those willing to hang around) using an assortment of small nubbins on either side until you reach a good ledge jug and your next decent gear placement. Follow the crackline above this, which eases considerably in difficulty, to the top of the crag. Those lacking in moral fibre can clip the bolts nearby routes but this however reduces the challenge, difficulty and any credibility you get for an ascent!
F.A. Tom Chew & Ed Pramuk (Jan 2006)

6 – Thunderbolt – HVS 5a *
This meandering route, with classic start and scary traverse in middle section, is essentially a slightly easier scenic detour of Centraline.

Pitch 1 (5a, 25m) – Start on flake as for Centraline but turn up and right when possible, following an easy slab out right to join Lang Kwai Fong where a distinctive thin crack zig zags sharply back left. Move up a diagonal crack at first before traversing back left (run-out) to join the main crack of Centraline, where a traditional belay can be rigged above the bulge.

Pitch 2 (V Diff, 22m) – Jam up the crack above and scramble at low angle to the high anchor. Better yet, skip the belay and push on to the top of Centraline in one pitch.
F.A. Tom Chew and Chen Fan (April 2006)

7 – Peel Street – F6b+ ***
The route of the crag and a trip up this climb alone makes a visit to Soho Crag worthwhile. Start up the steep wall to the left of the curving flake, at the start of the thin walkway traversing the base of the crag. Make big moves on good holds up the steep wall and then trend slightly right as the angle eases off, crossing over Thin Line, to reach a steep blank looking wall where the real fun begins. Search for holds and set up the delightfully intricate face, aiming for the sanctuary of the lower off at the top of Lan Kwai Fong.
F.A. Tom Chew & Ed Pramuk (Oct 2005)

8 – Centralsauras – F6a+**
Start in the centre of the thin walkway beneath the main wall. Steep moves up the initial wall lead to an easing of the angle and the start of a spine like feature. Snake your way delicately up this until tricky moves past a good jug brings an easing of difficulty on the slabby wall above. The climb shares an anchor with the following three routes so expect a traffic jam if the crag is busy.
F.A. Dan Hannah and Ed Pramuk (Sept 2005)

9 – The Escalator – F6b*
Awkward moves up the bulging lower wall leads to tricky moves to get through the small overhanging. Continue up the interesting wall and arete above (climbed on its right side) to reach the lower off at the top of the crag.
F.A. Emman Lacoste, and Ed Pramuk (July 2005)

10 – Scare Master – F6a+**
Easy when you know how, desperate until you figure it out. Start up the bolted thin crack at left end of the wall and establish yourself beneath the small roof and arete. Search franctically for any good holds above the roof before quickly yarding your way up to the security of the steep slab above. Follow the delightful arete above on its left side, clipping bolts around the corner on The Escalator, to the top of the wall.
F.A. Tom Chew and Ofer Fishler (Oct 2005)

11 – Old Bailey – HVS 5a**
Start up the scrappy crack and corner at the left end of the wall. Follow this, passing an in-situ tree and wasps nest, to just before the crack closes out. Reach up and round the arete to search out a good hold and swing around the arete on to the slab above. Compose yourself before searching your way up the exposed slab above, following an intricate line that links what few gear placements are available.
F.A. Tom Chew & Ed Pramuk (June 2005)

11a – Old Bailey Varient 1 – HVS’ish
Follow Old Bailey to the point where the crack closes out, also on the route Club 64. Pull through the bulge before heading out up and right into the blank expanse of slab above.
F.A. Not yet led

11b – Old Bailey Varient 2 – E2 5b’ish
Follow Old Bailey to the height of the tree. Arrange gear in the crack (using a long sling to avoid drag if climbing on single rope) and swing out and round the arete just above the roof. Climb up the blank and unprotected slab above, trending slightly right at first before heading back left to the sanctuary of gear placements where Old Bailey joins the slab. Follow Old Bailey to the top of the wall from this point.
F.A. Not yet led

13 – Club 64 – F5+***
Looks can be deceiving. The scrappy looking narrow wall left of the crack appears unworthwhile from the bottom yet provides surprisingly fun climbing. Ascend the bulging lower wall with good holds appearing just when you need them. Trend slightly right in the upper part to breach the bulge at the top of the crack. Thin absorbing climbing up the slab above soon eases in difficulty bringing better holds and the top of the crag. Due to the set back nature of the anchors at the top of the climb, top roping is not advised and its better to belay up the second and abseil down.
F.A. Ed Pramuk & Phyllis Hsia (Aug 05)

14 – Ming Dynasty – VS 4c
Start at the anchor at the far left side of the crag. Climb left up onto ledge with tree and ascend the prominent grotty crack up the left side of the narrow wall before joining a long diagonal crack system parallel to the left side gully. Turn right and head directly up the most prominent vertical crack to the top of the wall and bolted belay station.
F.A. Tom Chew and Ed Pramuk (Aug 2005)

Soho West

Soho West consists of two walls that can be accessed by following the fixed ropes right of ”Botanical Gardens”. The area includes a slightly overhanging 20m wall directly above Soho Crag and a 10m high wall located slightly lower down and to the right of the overhanging wall.

1 – F3
Start near the large tree left of “Castle Steps” and climb the low angle slab before continuing up the arete. Shares the last bolt of April Fools using a long sling.
F.A. Tom Chew & Ed Pramuk

2 – Castle Steps – Severe
Start in the left corner of the crag at a small gum tree. Climb the shallow slab to the intersection with the rear overhanging wall and protection in the seam. Pass over a small overhanging protrusion in the middle of the wall above and finish up and left to the high bolted anchor atop April Fools.
F.A. Ed Pramuk and Jason Eng (2004)

Several un-named and unbolted projects (please leave them this way as there’s plenty of trad protection) are currently being cleaned and developed on the upper wall of Soho West, to the right of Castle Steps. The top anchors for (a) and (b) can be used for top roping by traversing across from the top of Castle Steps.

a – V Diff
Start as for Castle Steps but veer straight up by reaching right for blind placement in a vertical crack that quickly turns diagonally right, then back vertical to a small tree on nose above. Bolted belay on right facing wall.

b – Cave Dweller**
A mixed climb with one bolt protecting a difficult first move up to small protrusion. Then into vertical edges for layback up to big cave. Climb the dramatic crack out, over, and up to bolted belay.

c – Overhanging cave crack
Very short severely overhanging crack right of Little Bastard with foot stemming. Needs cleaning bad.

d – Round About – F4
Follow the trail up right side of Soho Crag and stay to the right. Climb the bolted route on the far left from a small belay area. Allows easy access to top of Easter Sunday or to Castle Steps and the trad projects.
F.A. Ed Pramuk & Phyllis Hsia (Feb 2006)

e – Easter Sunday – F6c**
Start just right of Round About and climb the middle of the wall on small holds to the sloping block near the top.
F.A. Martin Lancaster (April 2006) Bolted and cleaned by Tom Chew & Ed Pramuk

Soho East

Soho East is the wall immediately left of Club 64, accessed from the end of the narrow walkway beneath Soho Crag.

1 – BladeRunner – F5***
A titillating romp up the prominent knife blade arete just left of the main Soho crag. This route will get you going with exposure even though the overall angle is gentle. Access is from the far left end of the fixed rope across the walkway at the base of Soho Crag.

Pitch 1 (F3+) 12m – Start on the easy slab, tending right to pick up the very base of the arete. Follow this up to belay.

Pitch 2 (F5) 28m – Ascend the prominent arete with help from good holds on either side. After arriving on top of the arete itself and clipping the last bolt, swing left over a small bulge and make a big move up to a hidden jug to finish on top of the large block.
F.A. Ed Pramuk, Tom Chew & Phyllis Hsia (April 2006)

2 – No Roots Allowed – VS 4b
Steep slab starting near to Mother of Slabs climbing the prominent left leaning crack. Then tend right near the top over concrete ramparts put in by HK Slope management to keep us all tight and together presumably. Continue diagonally up and right with protection below the top lip. One bolt re-direct at lip for protection across class 4 slab to base of The Nose.
F.A. Ed and Phyllis (Sept 2006)

3 – Root Route – HVDiff
This two pitch access route goes from bottom to top of Soho East with access to numerous routes on the large block up and left of BladeRunner. Start half way up the fixed rope left approach trail on the first ground platform (7m scramble above the base trail).

Pitch 1 (HVDiff) 30m – Start up the promising slab and crack with parallel tree roots on your right. Above this, follow the low angle class 4 slab to anchors at the base of the tufa block. Ed and Phyllis, August 2006

Pitch 2 (Diff) 24m? – Follow mostly class 4 slabs to the left of the overhanging“Nose” route all the way to the top, or choose any of the following numerous short routes vertically on you right

4 – The Nose – F4
Spectacular but short lived overhanging jug filled route up the nose of the large block starting at the second pitch on Mother of Slabs. Grade and exposure stiffens the further right you stay. After top out, continue up to mid-height common bolted anchors. Recommend that belayer extend left to avoid rock fall.
F.A. Phyllis Hsia and Ed Pramuk (Aug 2006)

5 – The Nostril – F5
Start and finish as for The Nose, sharing the first two bolts, but veer left before the second one. Finish at the mid-height common anchors.
F.A. Tom Chew and Stephen Skelton (Aug 2006)

6 – Loki – F5
Start as for Nostril but continue traverse left (try not to use the slab), then up through some entertaining movement with three more bolts on your left. Finish at the mid-height common anchors.
F.A. Tom Chew and Stephen Skelton (Aug 2006)

7 – Beal – F6a
Start as for Loki, but traverse a bit further to good footholds just above the slab where one runs out of positive hand holds. Begin vertically here using slanted underclings for the right hand. Proceed upward with greatly increased difficulty sharing bolts on your right with Loki for which the route was originally bolted (recommend to climb Loki first leaving a long draw on the second bolt to avoid clipping during the crux). Finish as for twin Loki.
F.A. Tom Chew (Sept 2006)

8 – Arbuthnot Flakes – F6a
Access by lowering off the east face on a top anchor a short pitch above BladeRunner or by Mother of Slabs. Climb this 3 bolt vertical wall using prominent but small flakes to pull onto the small shelf at midway. Only thin footing, balance, and/or reach get you up from there (crux).
F.A. Tom Chew (Aug 2006)

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3 responses to “Soho Crag

  1. Dear friends, climbers, hikers and outdoor lovers I am back one more time to give you another update about Central Crag Maintenance Project. Over the past weekend we completed the SoHo Wall Maintenance Part:
    – 9 anchors were added to SoHo Wall. Previously only 4 anchors were used to serve over 12 routes (trad or sport climbing) for the whole sector.
    – 2 Existing trad routes were retro-bolted upon F.A. climber permission:
    – Old Bailey F5a (12 bolts – 27m) F.A. Tom Chew, Ed Pramuk (June 2005)
    – Ming Dynasty F4c (12 bolts – 27m) FA Tom Chew, Ed Pramuk (August 2005)
    – 2 New sport routes were added just on the right side of Blade Runner:
    – Electric Sheep F6a+ (12 bolts – 27m) F.A. Brian Smeets (February 2017)
    – Shunthunt F5a (12 bolts – 27m) F.A. Gianfranco Bigazzi (February 2017)
    – Several belay stations and hand lines were added at the bottom of the SoHo Wall to facilitate belay and other sectors access.

    Furthermore find here (thanks to donors) some gears detail we have been using:
    Bolts:
    AISI 316 Stainless Steel 6mm Rod Twisted Leg 80mm shaft length. Tested to EN959 by TÜV Sud.
    Anchors:
    AISI 316 Stainless Steel 10mm Maillon combined with AISI 316 Stainless Steel 10mm Ring, 2 set each anchor. Tested to EN959 by TÜV Sud.
    Glue:
    Epoxy Adhesive Hilti HIT-RE500

    We will keep updating Central Crag sector by sector, renewing routes and increasing climber’s safety. Please keep supporting us, if you willing to make some donations do not hesitate to contact me here or via PM or email (alberto@rad.hk) and I will tell you more details.
    Hope you are in for this. Thank you,
    Alberto with Brian and Gianfranco

  2. Since the route was almost never sent and was overgrown and quite dangerous as a trad route I thought it should be bolted as it is a quality route and more people will enjoy it now that it is bolted. I think the grade is 6a not 5a. The anchor is not made for top roping but is adequate for lowering off. Also squeezed another route to the right of peel street hence the name “squeeze”. Has same finish as peel street. 6b+.

    Enjoy, Ed

  3. We were up climbing @ Soho crag this last weekend and noticed that climbs #3 and #5 (Centraline – E1 5a) appear to have been (retro)bolted – just FYI. Personally, I appreciate the effort (provided all permissions were sought etc), as I wouldn’t think of carrying a trad rack up to central crag! Although the newly placed anchor at the top of route #5 appears to be somewhat.. unconventional (steel chain held directly to the wall by long bolts & nuts – i.e. no hangers – bolted linearly / non-equalized). Ended up climbing to the safer looking Centralsauras/ScareMaster anchor up higher to rap off.

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