Although the routes are relatively few in number, the crag above Blacks Link offers a good diversity of traditional climbs from brutal cracks to highly exposed slabs together with a handful of recently bolted routes (please avoid any further bolting that may impact on the trad lines).
The easiest approach to the crag is to head up Stubbs Road to Wong Nai Chung Gap (well served by either taxi or bus). From there go along Blacks Link to the end of the road. Follow the concrete trail around the hillside, beneath some engineered slopes. At the far end of the slopes a drainage channel cuts back up the hill. Follow this to the top of the slope and then continue up the eroded ground above. A dirt trail leads from this to the base of the crag.
1 – Don’t Tell Teacher HVS 5a
Start at the chimney beneath the obvious step in the top level of the crag, Ascend this to the ledge before stepping right on to the slab and following this up, past a bolt, to the top of the crag.
F.A, Tony Wood & Brian Boyd (2018)
2 – Wolf in Sheeps Clothing * E1 5b (or old school HVS)
As the name suggests, the innocent looking parallel crack lines aren’t so innocent. Decide whether you prefer fingers, fist or offwidths (taping up is advised, whatever your fancy) and then struggle your way to the top using the preferred crack, or combination thereof.
3 – Chasm Spasm * E1 5c
At the right edge of the wall is a gaping wide crack. Arm yourself with a plethora of Size 6 Friends / Camelots (it’s pretty much a solo otherwise), as much coverage of bare skin as possible and then attack the line with vengeance.
4 – Feersum Endjinn E1 5c
Climb the overhanging, right trending crack located inside the gully to a bolted anchor via a combination of hard jamming off the floor, followed by stemming and laybacking higher up.
F.A. Brian Boyd (2018)
5 – Gully Bull ** HS 4a
On the right wall of the gully is a delightful diagonal crack line. Carefully tip toe your way up this to the top of the pinnacle. Descent is by either sacrificing gear and abseiling or biting the bullet and leaping to the far side of the gully (it’s not as far as it looks, honest).
6 – Vanishing Point ** F6c
Balance your way up the blank slab to ‘thank god’ holds in the break above. Finish easily up the left arete above.
F.A. Brian Boyd (2018)
6a – Back to Basics ** E4 6a
The above line was originally top roped by Stuart Millis in the mid-to-late-2000’s and conceived of as a potential, but very bold, trad line. Given that no bolts had been placed at the crag at that time, consideration to making it a sport line was never entertained. Having left his scary trad days behind almost a decade before, Stuart walked away but included the potential route online (see below) as a challenge for those willing to put their neck on the line. Dennis Kwok took up this challenge in early 2021 with a very bold lead.
F.A. Dennis Kwok (2021)
7 – Diner Cat Meets Dumpster Bunny * F6c
The gloriously blank and thin right arete of the slab is guaranteed to test your smearing ability.
F.A. Brian Boyd & Linda Cheung (2018)
8 – Masochism – ?
On the right side of the perched slab is a wide crack. Getting established in this requires a slightly different approach and a good measure of determination. Layback easily to the top once established.
9 – Easter Island *** E2 5b
The line of the crag, obvious from nearly all angles, is both technical, bold and a delight to climb. From the small slab at the left end of the roof make a tenuous traverse right past an old bolt to reach the nose. Swing around this and follow the rounded cracks to the top of the block.
10 – Bring the Ruckus ** E3 6a
Beneath the far right side of the roof is a hanging crack (thin hand / rattly finger size). Swing up and into this before following the slightly wider crack to the top of the pinnacle.
F.A. Nick Sullens (2013)
11 – Fantastic Voyage ** F6c
Start on the right side of the main buttress, just off the hikers path leading to the hill top.
Pitch 1: Climb the pillar and slab to a technical bulge before moving left to a hanging belay.
Pitch 2: Delicately climb the short but spectacular arete.
F.A. Brian Boyd & Kesab Gurung (2018)
[…] Blacks Link Buttress […]
I’ve put a guide together for the “exploration of the slabs” but want to include the old trad route which heads directly up from the Blacks Link. If anyone has a topo of this section, let me know so I can include.
Can you PM me?
British grades???? Oh man, I’m awful with those. I feel like the roof crack is somewhere in the 6c/ 7a french grading scale. E4 6b? Does that translate correctly? It is safe, but strenuous. U.S. trad grad would be something like 11 c/d. Bouldering grade….. v4. I hope this helps 🙂 You gotta get up there and give it a go Stu, its the only way to figure out a proper grade.
If its low end 7a i’d be tempted with E3 6a as benchmark 7a has always equalled E4 6a in my books.
Perfect, it is all nonsense to me 🙂
Chasm Spasm goes at about 5.10b and is good offwidth fun. I believe I snagged the first ascent of #7, and have dubbed it Bring The Ruckus. It is a proper roof crack with some burly moves, I feel like it is somewhere in the 5.11 grade…. Maybe in the upper end…. Bring a few cams in the thin hands and rattly fingers size and one or two hand size pieces for the easy section above the roof.
Can you translate that into sensible proper trad grades please… 🙂
And Chasm Spasm is (I think this is right) E1 5c.