Garden Buttress & The Perch

General

Garden Buttress is a small crag in the forest on the quiet north slope of Siu Ma Shan above Quarry Bay on Hong Kong Island. The crag was developed by Bob Moseley and Renée Mullen with a climbing-gym sensibility, meaning the routes are short, steep, comfortably close together along a single continuous wall. The lines are well-protected and with carabiner anchors to eliminate the hassle of threading rap rings on the final lower. Please be careful of the hose hanging along the bottom of the face. It provides water to the morning walkers garden.

The Perch is a small trad playground on a prominent outcrop on the hillslope above Garden Buttress, with great views of Mount Parker, Island East, Victoria Harbour, east Kowloon and beyond. 

A full PDF guide to the Mount Parker Area can be downloaded here

Access

The easiest way to approach these crags is from the Braemar Hill Road Amenity Plot at the bottom (eastern) end of Braemar Hill Road, just after the turning for Choi Sai Wu Mansions. From the park, pass through the gate and follow the trail (Po Luen Path) up the hill, staying right and crossing a stream shortly thereafter instead of following the more prominent set of steps that break left and upwards. After about 10 minutes, this will bring you to Sir Cecil’s Ride. Turn left and follow this path around the hillside until reaching a set of step breaking right, sign posted to Mount Parker Road. From here ascend the narrow, paved trail a short distance to the top and the intersection with trail to Morning Walkers’ Garden.

To reach Garden Buttress, turn west and ascend gradually for about 200 m to the Morning Walkers’ Garden. Pass through the entrance gate and wander to the back of the park, up two short sets of steps. Descend a short distance to an abandoned catchwater ditch, which is now a well-travelled trail. Follow the “Garden Path” across the mountainside for about 300 m to base of climbs.

To reach The Perch, follow the above approach to the Morning Walkers’ Garden. After passing through the Morning Walkers Garden and descending a short distance, the main trail continues along an old catchwater to Garden Butt. Instead, take narrow trail on right that steeply climbs embankment at start of catchwater. Follow this up the ridge through the bush for about 0.25 km. Where the trail starts to level out, a small path diverges left (east). Wade through the bush bamboo following a faint, but well flagged trail for 70 m to the top of The Perch. If you get to the Walker Street Signal Station (building with lots of graffiti) you’ve gone too far; backtrack 25 m to the access trail. Scramble down around the right (south) side to get into the amphitheater.

The crags can also be reached from Mount Parker Road, using Sir Cecil’s Ride to approach from the east. This approach however involves significantly more uphill travel so is not recommended unless your legs need a good work out.

Routes

Garden Buttress

GardenButt-01

(1) Lithophilic F5
The farthest left route on the crag, starting on the embankment.
F.A. Bob Moseley, Renée Mullen (2019)

(2) New Oreo Head *** F6b
First route to start in the catchment canal. Direct line with hard moves in upper half.
F.A. Renée Mullen, Bob Moseley (2018)

(3) Lithosuction F6c/7a
Shares the first two bolts with Morning Walk but then heads straight up the face. Two variations are possible to climb this route: i) Direct up the bolt line, the harder of the options; ii) Using patina, ledge and a diagonal crack on the face to the right of the bolts.
F.A. Renée Mullen, Joost Swetter (2020)

(4) Morning Walk F4
Start by clipping lower two bolts on the face, then head right following the ramp to the corner and final moves to anchor. This climb involves a significant traverse so it’s not a good top rope and difficult to clean while lowering from the anchor. Best for the second to follow and clean.
F.A. Renée Mullen, Bob Moseley (2018)

(5) Direct Walk F6b?
The direct line to the Morning Walk anchor. After climbing past three bolts on the tricky lower face, merge with Morning Walk at the ledge before following this for one more bolt to the top.
Note: Now notably harder than the original climb as a few key holds have significantly reduced in size due to traffic.
F.A. Bob Moseley, Renée Mullen (2018)

(6) Firefly F6a+
Same start as Flakes of Deception, then head left up bolt line to anchor.
F.A. Bob Moseley, Renée Mullen (2018)

(7) Flakes of Deception F6a
Climbing the obvious features is trickier than first appearances would suggest…
F.A. Bob Moseley, Renée Mullen (2018)

(8) Crystal F6b+
Climb the quartzite dyke to the upper face, staying right to get the full experience and hardest climbing. The more you wander left in the lower part (towards Flakes of Deception), the easier the climbing gets.
F.A. Bob Moseley, Renée Mullen (2019)

The Perch

The climbs are arranged around an amphitheater on the northeast face and are in the shade from mid-morning on. All five climbs are traditionally protected, between 8 to 9 m in length and converge on three sets of fixed anchors. Bo Ma Shan Bye Bye has only seen an aid ascent. Being 2 m overhung and with small features, the free ascent will be a significant achievement. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting line to practice gear placement skills on aid.

Renée Mullen on Sweet Tai Koo (HVS). Photo: Bob Moseley

Listed from left to right, starting as you approach them when entering the amphitheater on the northeast face. 

1) Vertical Tai Hang 大坑 VS 4c
First slot in amphitheater on left side. After some steep moves off the ground you enter the chimney that, after some creative body movement, delivers you to daylight at the top.
F.A: Bob Moseley and Renée Mullen, 12 October 2020

2) Bo Ma Shan 宝马山 Bye Bye C1+ (Aid Line)
Overhanging face between the two chimney/crack systems. Very thin vertical crack with dicey protection bisects the lower face followed by an upper headwall with flaring thin horizontals that require careful gear placement. Use Sweet Tai Koo anchor.
F.A (Aid): Bob Moseley and Renée Mullen, 12 October 2020

3) Sweet Tai Koo 太古 ** HVS 5a
Wide corner that tops out with a roof. Use both aspects to gain the upper section below the roof. Stem out and reach high to pull over the roof. Fun and very protectable.
F.A: Bob Moseley and Renée Mullen, 12 October 2020

4) Siu Ma 小馬 Traverse ** HVS 5b
Start as for Sweet Tai Koo. Load protection into horizontal hand crack and carefully traverse right to large ledge around corner. Head up face above ledge to the anchors.
F.A: Bob Moseley and Renée Mullen, 12 October 2020

5) Tai Feng 大風 VS 4c
Start on block around corner from amphitheater. Step onto face past one bolt and then gear to a large ledge where the line merges with Siu Ma Traverse. Scoping this route on a recon trip resulted in a sprained ankle after opening stance collapsed. Ouch!
F.A: Renée Mullen and Bob Moseley, 12 October 2020

Route Feedback

Coming Soon
Lithophilic
Lithophilic
Lithophilic
Coming Soon
New Oreo Head
New Oreo Head
New Oreo Head
Coming Soon
Lithosuction
Lithosuction
Lithosuction
Coming Soon
Morning Walk
Morning Walk
Morning Walk
Coming Soon
Direct Walk
Direct Walk
Direct Walk
Coming Soon
Firefly
Firefly
Firefly
Coming Soon
Flakes of Deception
Flakes of Deception
Flakes of Deception
Coming Soon
Crystal
Crystal
Crystal