Ha Fa Shan: Tip Off Sector


The sector of Ha Fa Shan around the Tip Off Bloc is fast becoming the focal area for this long-established bouldering mecca in Hong Kong, now reaching a state of development whereby it warrants it’s own sub-page to save you having to scroll through all the other problems (which are still just as awesome by the way and equally worthy of your time)


The easiest approach via public transport is to take the MTR to Tsuen Wan and then get a taxi to the end of On Yat Street (ask for Tsuen Wai Fa Yuen). From the end of the road, walk along a concrete footpath which heads left until you reach a small bridge. This point can also be reached by taking the 39M bus from Tsuen Wan to the TL Adventist Hospital and walking up the concrete staircase opposite the hospital entrance.

If the Tip Off Sector is your destination for the day, the best approach is to take the trail slightly further along the catchwater (about 50 m to the right) of the one described above. Follow this to its end at a ramshackle squatter area and then double back left, through a gate and onto a dirt path. Follow this up the hill a short way until the path splits, taking the righthand path up the hill, through some graves and eventually emerging close to Pockets Wall.


Pockets Wall

The first bloc you will encounter using this approach path, located just off to the right of the approach trail.

1) Pacman * V3
The right arete of the boulder yields to determined pocket pulling.

2) Manic Miner ** V2
Roughly follow the line of the thin crack splitting the middle of the undercut wall, using good pockets and holds around it to ease the difficulty.

3) Jet Pac * V1
At the left end of the horizontal breaks is a large flake line of questionable stability. Follow this.

4) Spectrum ** V2
The arête at the left end of the wall via some widely spaced jugs.

Potential for some very hard sit starts to some of the above lines exists, n particular starting beneath Jet Pac and working into the start of Manic Miner

5) The Barrel (sds) * V4
Just beneath the main boulder is a low roof with numerous sharp pockets in it. Crawl to the back of this and follow the line of pockets out through the steepest part.

The next three problems all start on Pacman and finish as for Jet Pac. It is also possible to continue all of them past Jet Pac to finish up Spectrum, adding about one grade to each problem.

6) The Rail * V3
Climb the first few moves of Pacman before breaking out left along the highest of the three horizontal breakss.

7) Breakdance ** V3
Start as for the previous problem but follow the middle break line. More satisfying to continue across the whole wall and finish as for Spectrum (making the problem V4).

8) Chi Wai’s Traverse ** V5
From the starting holds of Pacman, follow a line of pockets and poor crimps along the lowest of the three breaks. Finish either up Jet Pac or, even better, continue left to finish up Spectrum (V6).

Matt’s Blocs

Located about halfway up the path between Pockets Wall and Rocky’s Boulders in the main Hillside Sector at Ha Fa are a couple of blocs with nice clean faces that are worth seeking out.

1) Unnamed (sds) V1
Climb the right arete of the bloc, from a sit start.

2) Fimbulvetr (sds) V5
Sit start at a pocket and good crimp in the middle of the face. Climb directly above these, avoiding the arête.

3) Ragnarok (sds) V6
Suit start as for the previous line, but this time break out left to gain the lip atop the left arête of the face.

4) Unnamed (sds) V1
Climb the left arete of the bloc from a sit start.

1) Unnamed (sds) V1
Climb the left arête of the bloc from a sit start

2) Unnamed (sds) V1
Sit start at a good jug in the slanting crack. Follow the crack left to the arête, which is then followed to the top.

3) Homeric (sds) V3
Sit start at a good jug in the slanting crack as for the previous line, but this time climb the wall above without any use of the left arête.

4) Mythology (sds) V4
Start at the same jug as the previous lines, but this time move up and right across the face.

5) Hector (sds) V4
Start at a jug in the right crack and climb the face above without any use of the right arête.

6)Troy (sds) V6
Sit start as for the previous line, but this time break left across the face to finish at the top of Homeric.

7) Unnamed (sds) V1
The right arête of the face from a sit start.

Lone Tree Boulder

This bloc is located just over 50 m down the slope to the southeast of Rocky’s Boulder. In the past it was easily identifiable due to the lone tree poking out the top of it. However, Mother Nature and an aggressive government reforestation programme mean it’s not that lonely anymore (and a lot more boulder maintenance is required…)

1) Branching Out * V3
From two small pockets, reach up and right to a sloping ledge. Finish directly above via the large pocket.

2) Lone Tree ** VB
The left arete of the slabby face.

3) Lone Wolf * VB
Follow the slabby groove. The centre of the slab can be climbed avoiding both the arete and the groove at about V0.

4) Squeeze Job * V4
Follow a line of small pockets and crimps above the roof, avoiding both aretes.

5) Arborist Arête (sds) ** V4
A tricky sit start leads to delightful climbing up the steep arete.

Tip Off Boulder

A late addition to the original bouldering areas at Ha Fa Shan following a ‘tip off’ to Stuart Millis from the Obe Wan of Hong Kong Climbing, Martin Lancaster (who also had a bit of a resemblance to Alex Guiness at the time, as well as being the font of knowledge for HK Climbing in the 1990’s). Now you know where some of the names came from ;-). This bloc is located off to the right of the previous boulders, identifiable by the presence of a large bushy tree growing just above it.

1) Sideshow Bob V3
A relatively poor, in comparison to the other problems, line up the thin pockets immediately left of the scooped wall, finishing over the suspiciously hollow flake.

2) Scoup de Grace *** V5
A delightful problem that feels frustratingly desperate for the grade until you’ve unlocked the sequence. Start directly beneath the flared hanging crack and somehow attain it.

2a) Scoup de Grace (sds) ** V6
The sit start to the previous problem from the large pebble down and right doesn’t add any particularly hard moves, just makes it a bit more awkward to get nicely established on the start holds for the stand version.

3) Avalokitesvara V7 (sds).
Sit start at the jugs on the arete before launching (or attempting to at least) up the scooped wall left of the arete on tiny holds to reach the lip of the most overhung section of wall. Essentially a more direct version of The Riceman that avoids the big jug for the hands (but still seems to stand on the edge of this?)

4) The Riceman Commeth (sds) ** V4
Sit start at the arete and make a big move for the huge jug on it’s right side. From here launch out left to good side pulls before continuing left along the slopey ramp to more big moves out to the lip. Continue left along the hanging ramp to a daunting rock over finish.

5) The Tip Off (sds) *** V2
The awesome arete from a sit start.

6) Little Women (sds) *** V6
Sit start at the arete and make a big move for the huge jug on it’s right side. Using this and a flake out right, aim up for the pocket above before making big moves right to a pocket / flake combo. Finish up the wall and crack above. Can also be climbed without the flake just after the start holds at about V7.

7) Skywalker * V6
An eliminate tackling the wall head on and avoiding use of the big jug/flake low down and crack high up. Start on the small positive flake and a pebble out right. Make powerful moves to the large sharp pocket on Little Women (the large flake and jug on the left are off route) and then follow that line back right to gain the crimps on Obe Wan. From here move back up and left (avoiding any use of the finishing crack on LW and OW) to a high committing finish.

8) Obe Wan *** V6
Attain the flake / crimp combo on Little Women in a more direct fashion from small crimps and flakes in the centre of the wall. Finish up the wall / crack above.

9) Obe Wan Extension (sds) ** V7
Start at the big pocket low down on the right side of the wall. Make thin, and slightly painful moves left (hence only two-stars) to reach the start holds on Obe Wan, which is then followed to the top.

10) Klingon (sds) * V9
Start as for the previous problem but continue directly up the wall on small pockets.

11) Darth Vader (sds) * V8
An alternative to Klingon starting from small pockets and crimps to the right of the big hole and involving a technical sequence through the lower wall before joining Klingon near the top.

12) Bellybutton (sds) * V5
Start beneath the right arete of the face with an undercut pocket for the left and pockets / side pulls (depending on what you can reach) for the right. Slap your way up the arete using an assortment of pebbles and flakes.

The Rip Off Boulder

Immediately behind the Tip Off Bloc is a small boulder, climb over this and then scramble down the hill and over a few more blocs to reach these climbs.

Topo coming soon

Borg Bloc

The best of the recently added blocs at Ha Fa is located a short distance downslope from the Tip Off Boulder. Access is via a recently cut trail leading downhill from the eastern side of the Tip Off Boulder, just before the trail to Tip Off passes the small bloc to reach the problems. Problems are described from left (the far side of the bloc) to right.

1) Iron Love (sds) * V2
Start on the positive crimps and reach for the lip above, followed by the big pebble up and left of that.

2) Tractor Beam (sds) * V0
Sit start at the positive side pull and yard up to the lip above and an easy finish.

3) Silver Seer (sds) * V2
Start on the arete and a low crimp. Using the arete and side pulls out left, work your way through the bulges above.

4) Arrakis (sds) ** V3
The right side of the arete from a tricky sit start.

5) Project
The obvious project starting at the slightly hollow undercut (might need gluing to prevent snappage) and crimp, then heading up the wall above via painful pebbles and crimps.

6) Prometheus ** V8
A feisty line up the water streak, starting from poor crimps at chest height and then tackling the wall above via a series of intricate (and rather painful) pebbles and slopers, and with the constant worry of bailing into the tree on your mind.
A potential variant starting slightly to the left also exists, but remain (as yet) unclimbed.

7) The Long Dart Teatime of the Soul (sds) ** V6
Sit start at the good pocket in front of the boulder. Move up to the rail above and then tackle the wall above this via a series of small pebbles and long reaches to eventually gain another good pocket and a long reach to the lip.

8) Harkonnen (sds) ** V3
Sit start at the same good pocket but this time trend off to the right, following the seam to the top.

X) Hibernation Left V3
Start on the two pockets just right of the seam. Move up and left from these, through the seam to get the good pocket near the top of The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul and finish above this.

X) Hibernation V2
Start in the pockets as for the previous line and then climb the seam, as for Harkonnen.

9) The Dune ** V2
Start on two good pockets widely spaced at chest height and then climb the wall above. Easy to make it much harder for yourself than it really is by virtue of having too many holds to choose from.

10) Chestburster (sds) ** V6
Sit start with a high good pebble on the left of the arete and a poor small crimp on the right side of the arete. Make a powerful move to get your butt off the floor (no cheaty stacking of pads pls) and reach a positive pocket up and right. Reach to a good jug above this and then commit to the tricky finish above.

This line can also be started one move in (i.e. right hand on the good pocket and left slightly above the pebble for the sit) to give Facehugger V4

11) Anonymous Hero * V5
Start on widely spaced two-finger pockets, if you can get three in, I hate you ;-), pull on to the wall and make a powerful slap to the rail above. Finish above this. Can also be started from holds just around the left pocket at a similar grade, giving Assimilated (V5)

12) Xenomorph Left ** V8
Start with a pocket for the left and a low cluster of pebbles for the right. Make powerful moves up to the small flakes just left of the arete (anything on the arete itself is off route) before making a powerful move out left to gain, and finish up, the flake on Anonymous Hero.

13) Xenomorph ** V8
Start as for the previous line, but this time throw directly for the top of the bloc instead of finishing out left.

14) The Hitchhiker (sds) * V3
Sit start on the right side of the ledge. Traverse across this being careful not to dab, before climbing the arete to finish on the prow of the bloc.