Monkey Buttress

General

Download the latest PDF Guide here

A small crag offering single pitch sport routes at an easily accessible location on Hong Kong Island.

Note: The rock here seems to weaken considerably when wet, please avoid the crag after prolonged spells of wet weather such that the existing features remain as intact as possible.

Grade Summary

Approach

The easiest approach is to take No. 25 Green MiniBus from Causeway Bay (Fashion Walk area) until the end of the line at the top of Braemar Hill Road. Alternatively, take the MTR to Tin Hau and use a short taxi ride to reach the end of Braemar Hill Road. Follow the steps down the hill, from near the end of the right side of the road, to a stream. Cross this, enter a small clearing and follow the dirt trail that leaves the right side of the clearing up the hill. After few meters an overgrown path leads right in to the vegetation, follow this path to the bottom of the crag.

The easiest approach is to take either the No. 23B or No. 25 Bus to the bus stop at the top of Braemar Hill Road. Alternatively, take the MTR to Tin Hau and use a short taxi ride to reach the end of Braemar Hill Road. Follow the steps down the hill, from near the end of the right side of the road, to a stream. Cross this, enter a small clearing and follow the dirt trail that leaves the right side of the clearing up the hill. A short way up this a small dirt track breaks off right and leads to the bottom of the crag.

Monkey Buttress Access

Monkey Buttress Crag

Routes

Entrance Crag

Entrace Wall 1-01

1 – Via Spericolata – F5a 12 m, 7 bolts.
Start near the tree on the trail on the very left side. Traverse right on balancing moves and round hand holds. Reach the vertical crack and follow it till the end.
F.A. Alberto Cipriani and Gianfranco Bigazzi (2015)

2 – Jujube’s Memory – F6a+ ** 12 m, 6 bolts.
Climb the obvious crack to the small ledge. Keep climbing the upper groove till the anchor.
F.A. Alberto Cipriani and Gianfranco Bigazzi (2015)

3 – No! No! No! – F5c 12 m, 4 bolts
Step on the flat ledge and look for a nice balance to reach the upper ledge. Follow the big crack above moving slightly right to get the lower off point.
F.A. Mari Kobayashi (2015)

Entrace Wall 2-01

4 – Redneck’s Hunter – F6a 12 m, 6 bolts.
Follow the obvious vertical crack on the right of “No! No! No!” then mantel on the wide ledge and keep the left. Climb up the ridge till the lower off.
F.A. Alberto Cipriani and Gianfranco Bigazzi (2015)

5 – Braemar Hill ’85 – F6a 12 m, 6 bolts.
Start either wedging your hands inside the crack or make use of the boulder on the right side. Above the ledge aim straight up to the lower off point.
F.A. Alberto Cipriani and Gianfranco Bigazzi (2015)

6 – The Wedding Gift – F6c ** 13 m, 11 Bolts.
Start on top of the boulder with pre-clipped rope to make the first hard move safer. Traverse on round hand holds and smearing your feet up to the chimney. Step on the right side for an exit move (crux), the route ends at the same anchor of “Impavidi Destini”.
F.A. Victor Moquin and Gianfranco Bigazzi (2015)

7 – Impavidi Destini – F6b *** 10 m, 5 Bolts
A very interesting sequence of crimps, pinches and rounded holds.
F.A. Alberto Cipriani and Gianfranco Bigazzi (2015)

Note: On the far right side of this route, above a small terrace, you can see a shaky pile of stones reinforced with cement. Surely man made, probably some sort of memorial. Please respect!

8 – Monkeys Thumb – VS 4c
Scramble up a short crack to reach a wide ledge. Move to the right side of this and climb the short groove above to a bolt lower off.

Main Wall

MB Main Wall left-01

1 – Umbrella Movement – V8 ***
F.A. Jon Butters (2015)
Astonishing solo/highball line. Start under the roof, use the arete and crimps in the roof to gain a small holds over the lip of the roof. Hard moves lead to easier, if more precarious climbing on the wall above. The line finishes at the ledge and walks off the back.
Note: Do not place bolts! Either top rope it or pluck up the balls to solo it as the first ascensionist did.

2 – King Kong – F7b+**
Start at the right end of the wall. Pull off the floor on a so so crimp and follow a line of good holds left. At the end of the traverse make hard moves left to get established in the flake. Follow this to the small roof before moving left onto the ledge. Step back right above the roof and make a long reach for a positive curving crack. Climb this to a small overlap and make difficult moves directly up the wall above to a good pocket. Easier moves above bring the lower off.
F.A. Stuart Millis and Kevin Wotherspoon (2005)

olivia1 copy

Olivia Hsu on King Kong (F7b+). Photo: Stuart Millis

3 – Gorilla Warfare – F7b**
Start on the small ledge at the base of the corner. Step left and climb the flake to a small pocket. Difficult moves up the wall above this may or may not bring you to a large pocket (crux). A further section of thin moves leads to the curving flake, which is followed to the top.
F.A. Stuart Millis and Kevin Wotherspoon (2005)

4 – Monkey Magic – F7b
Climb Guerrilla Warfare to the jug at half height then power out left along a horizontal break to begin a bouldery sequence of moves up the hanging arete above.
F.A. Francis Haden (2016)

5 – Cheeky Monkey – F6a**
In the corner of the main wall and the outcropping is an obvious crack with a dead tree growing our of it half way up. Follow this to the top, avoiding using the tree. Quite easy layback and stemming until one awkward move to a small ledge on the right wall. Hangers have been placed at the top of this route.
F.A. Steve Kos and T Thorman
(originally climbed on gear at HVS 5a but retrobolted at a later date)

MB Main Wall middle-01

6 – PG Tips – F7b
Climb the wall right of the corner (Cheeky Monkey) until a difficult hand traverse left joins Cheeky Monkey at the ledge just below the top.
F.A. Francis Haden (2016)

7 – Back to School – F6c***
The best line on the crag. Scramble up to the small ledge at the base of the crag. Make thin moves up the wall to gain the base of a hanging flake. Move left from this to a second flake (slightly hollow so be gentle). From the top of the flake use a good pocket and very thin flake (be very gentle with this one) to make a big move right to a series of horizontal pockets with a line of bolts (of unknown origin) beneath them. Finish up the groove above these.
F.A. Kevin Wotherspoon and Stuart Millis (2005)

_MG_4131

Colin Spark on the crux of Back to School (F6c). Photo: Stuart Millis

8 – Monkey Business – F7b+/7c**
Follow the hanging flake through the small roof and reach up and left to a good pocket. Climb up and rightwards following a line of very thin flakes until it is possible to reach a big pocket on the blunt arete. Move up and back left from this pocket, using some exceptionally small crimps, until you gain the right most of the series of horizontal pockets. Layback this and reach up and right (run out) to regain the blunt rib, which is followed to the top.
F.A. Stuart Millis and Kevin Wotherspoon (2005)

9 – The Rocky Horror Show – F7c+/8a
A challenging line through the obvious roof on the right side of the wall. Make bouldery and difficult moves through the roof (crux) to gain the wall above. Difficult moves through the scoop lead to a more amenable finish.
P.S. Temporary route name until Rocky lets me know what he actually called it
F.A. Rocky Lok (?)

10 – Hell – E2 5c*
At the right side of the main face of the crag is an obvious crack. Begin by scaling the small horn-like boulder at the bottom to a gutsy move into the wide crack above. Continue up the strenuous crack until the top. This is a large crack and requires large gear (#4,5 cams, etc.) for it’s duration. There is nowhere for anything smaller, although the bolts on Hellish now offer some security for those not possessing an exhaustive rack of large cams.
F.A. Martin Lancaster and Steve Kos

11 – Hellish – F6b+*
The bolted variant to Hell starts up the slabby righthand wall of the crack (the first bolt can be clipped from the block beneath the crack before starting off). Layback precariously up the wall to reach more positive holds at the overlap.  From here follow the crack to the top as for Hell, either by means of hand jams or more delicate moves using the edge of the crack and other available holds.
F.A. Stuart Millis (2012)

12 – Evolution – F8a***
Follow a series of pockets and flakes up the wall to reach small holds beneath the overlap. Undercut the flake and reach up to gain good side pulls on the wall above. Use these, and a couple of sharp pockets, to gain a large pocket and sloping shelf. Make powerful moves up the thin groove (see image below – none of this sneaking off right and up Mere Mortals please…) before an intricate series of moves brings the crack above. Follow this to the lower off at the top of the wall.
F.A. Stuart Millis (2006)

IMG_1022_MonkeyButtress_Thomas_Ercé

Thomas Erce on Evolution (F8a). Photo: Karen Chan

A slight variation finish is also possible at about F7c+ – Devolution: Having powered your way up the groove, make a blind slap around the arete for a sloping pocket before finishing more easily to the lower off – however, this kind off avoids the main challenge…

13 – Mere Mortals – F7b+**
Follow Evolution to the large pocket and sloping shelf. From here move up and right to climb the blunt rib above, using sidepulls in the groove and pockets out on the right wall. Would be three stars if not for the fact its a cop out on Evolution…
F.A. Kevin Wotherspoon (2006)

MB Main Wall right-01

14 – Pet Teacher – F7b
Start right of Evolution by a narrow concrete ledge. Climb the wall above, following a rightward trending line of pockets and crimps that lead onto the arete of Teachers Pet. Finish as for Teachers Pet.
F.A. Francis Haden and Donna Kwok (2014)

15 – Teachers Pet – F7a+**
Start to the right of the arete, stood on a small boulder. Make balancy moves up and left to get established on the wall before swinging around the arete, on a good pocket, to gain the narrow face proper. Trend to the left of the face and follow the arete until it is possible to move back right to good hanging flake. Follow this to the lower off.
Note: may have lost some holds at the start since the first ascent
F.A. Stuart Millis and Kevin Wotherspoon (2005)

MB Main Wall right-02-01

16 – The 5 Monkeys Experiment – F7c+ 10 m, 4 Bolts.
Follow the obvious thin crack line until the anchor. A very technical and challenging sequence of small crimps, pinches and side pulls almost on no footholds.
F.A. Alberto Cipriani (2018)

Note: Highly suggested to pre-clip the first bolt to avoid rolling down the crevasse bringing your belayer along with you.

17 – Caesar – F6a 10 m, 4 Bolts.
Mantle up the big boulder with some technical moves and finish the route on the left face.
F.A. Alberto Cipriani (February 2018)

 

 

 

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12 responses to “Monkey Buttress

    • Have been taking your guides & routes for years to climb in Hong Kong.
      Thanks much for your update!

    • Hey, Alberto.
      My name is William. We met at monkey buttress last time. I used trad gear to climbed a route between route No.1 and No.2. It’s a balance move for beginning and all the way climb up to the edge. And then go back to route No.2 anchor. I think its around 6c+ to 7a. I don’t know is that count on First Free Ascent. But i think its possible to climb that line.

      Cheers.
      William Chan

      • Dear William, thank you for your message. We where also looking at that start but we decided not to put bolts because of proximity of other routes and also for because after the first 2 or 3 moves the route loses several grades (we where trying to bolt the most consistent routes possible, but more potential for trad). Maybe I can add that as trad route on the PDF. Next time you can also try another line, in between route 2 and 3 and then share anchor with route 2 or 3. I think it will also have similar grade. Another trad route was mentioned in the old Braemar Hill guide: “1 – Monkeys Thumb – VS 4c Scramble up a short crack to reach a wide ledge. Move to the right side of this and climb the short groove above to a bolt lower off.” but I wasn’t able to identify it even after cleaning the whole wall. Maybe you can also look for that!

  1. The hangers on Monkey Business are incredibly rusty. Looks like some sort of metal mismatch…..

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