A small collection of blocs located on the north-western coastline of the Chung Hom Kok peninsula, the Far Side provides a good collection of problems on generally clean and solid granite.
Two approaches to this area are possible depending on the tide and swell situation, although to be honest neither is particularly pleasant:
Low Tide Approach:
If approaching during a low tide and with relatively calm seas, the easiest approach is from Chung Hom Kok Beach. From here you can scramble around the coastline to reach the blocs, with the Early Bird reached in about 15 minutes. However, as tide levels increase so does the complexity of this route, with high’ish tides needing necessitating good balance as you tight-rope walk pipelines to negotiate several sections of coastline.
High Tide Approach: When the tide is higher, a much safer approach is to come in from Chung Hom Kok Road, opposite drainage catch pit number CH13 at about Grid Ref: 22.214016, 114.197858 and just before you get to Cheshire House. From this point a small dirt fisherman’s trail leads down the hill (trending left) to eventually join a series of concrete steps taking you down some granite slabs to the coastline itself. From here a short scramble brings you to the Loaded Bloc.
Early Bird Bloc
When approaching from Chung Hom Kok Beach, this is the first worthwhile bloc you will reach. Although only containing a couple of problems, they’re both worth a few minutes of your time.
1) Early Bird (sds) ** V2
Sit start matched on a reasonable crimp low down on the lip, with a good heel hook just beneath this. From here work you way along the lip to the positive crimps on the flake and then rock over on to the slab to finish.
2) Big Bird (sds) * Project
Follow Early Bird to the positive crimps half way along the lip of the roof. However, instead of coping out, continue along the lip to it’s highest point and then somehow pull over this to attain the slab above.
A five minute scramble around the coastline from Early Bird brings you to a large’ish bloc facing the ocean (Ant Wall), with a smaller block split by a large crack just behind it (Ant Crack). These blocs provide a number of short easy;’ish problems that are worthwhile.
1) Ant & Dec (sds) ** V2
From small flakes low down, crank up to the sloping lip and pull through this.
2) Hard Labour (sds) * V1
Sit start using two small crimps and, similar to the previous problem, pull up to the sloping shelf above. Round this and then continue up the groove above to reach the top of the boulder.
3) Labouring Hard (sds) * V1
Sit start using a widely spaced crimp and gaston before pulling through the shelf and finishing up the left arête above.
4) Chain Gang (sds) ** V1
Sit start matched on the obvious flat hold on the right arête of the face. Crank up and left from this to attain the shelf above and an easier finish through the highest part of the boulder.
5) Ant Arete * V0
The left arete and flake on the front face of the bloc, using the lower block for feet to start.
6) Ant Man ** V2
The obvious diagonal crack, starting matched at its base and with feet on the block below.
The main event of the Far Side Sector, the Loaded Bloc contains the best (and hardest) of the problems in this area and justifies a visit to the Far Side in its own right.
1) Acid House (sds) ** V2
From crimpy side pulls on the right side of the lip, slap your way left-wards to the groove and then rock on to the slab to finish.
2) Screamadelica (sds) *** V5
Start matched on the obvious sloping hold at the base of the groove. From here use pinches, pockets and an element of cunning to work your way up and right such that you can rock on to the slab itself.
3) Primal Scream (sds) *** V6
Start as for Screamadelica, but instead of wussing out right, pull through the roof to attack the rounded (and high) arête above. High, hard and somewhat scary.
4) Loaded (sds) *** V6
Sit start out left at good side pulls and crimps on the far side of the overhanging wall. From these launch right-wards along a series of slopers and crimps to eventually join the finish of Primal Scream.
5) Thumping House ** V0
The left side of the slab provides a relatively amenable (but not quite as easy as you might expect) means of climbing this face.
1) Kowalski * VB
The crack on the left of the face provides a relatively easy and enjoyable amble up the bloc.
2) Vanishing Point (sds) ** V4
The left-to-right lip traverse is a harder proposition than first appearances would suggest. Sit start in the shot hole and crank to the good jug on the lip before working across this to the arête. Stay left of the arête and mantle the slab to an easier finish.
3) Damaged (sds) ** V2
Start matched at the lowest point of the lip. Slap up and left to eventually gain the sharp arete. Finish up this.
4) Time Bomb (sds) ** V3
Start matched in the sloping v-notch and launch up and right to, somehow, turn the lip via the time bomb of a jug high up (it creaks and will no doubt one day explode!).
1) Evil Heat (sds) V2
Sit start using low slopey holds on the arête, which is then followed to the top of the block.
2) Sonic Flower Groove V2
Ironically, the climb doesn’t follow a groove and isn’t particularly sonic or flowery either. The left side of the main face does, at least, have a slightly safer landing than other parts of the wall.
3) Evil Heat V1
Climb the vegetated crack lines on the right side of the block, above the pit. Not as easy as it might look.
4) Beautiful Future V2
The right arête of the face has insecure climbing above a less than inviting landing.