The Headland Bouldering area includes a number of sub-areas close to (as the name suggests) the headland on Tai Tau Chau. This area is accessed by continuing along the concrete footpath from the Village Boulders, across the short footbridge on to Tai Tau Chau and then following the footpath to the far end of the island. Towards the end of the footpath you will reach The Corridor, from which all other areas can be accessed relatively quickly and easily.
The Blade Blocs
Located on the north side of the headland, a short distance beyond Rubble Zawn and on the opposite side of the headland. Access by climbing over the railing and following the fixed handline a short way down the slopes. The first few lines (Problems #1 to #4) are on weathered crumbly rock so climb with caution.
1) Hyperion Jet * V4
Start matched on a positive slot at about chest height. Make tricky moves up the various lay backs above to eventually gain a high horizontal slot. Finish confidently up the crack up and left of this.
2) Radiant Blade V3
The first arête comprises a series of relatively loose crumbly laybacks leading to a worrying thread like hold near the top and an even more daunting top out. Pad well and climb with caution.
3) Radiant Blade (sds) V4
Start with the positive side pull / undercut with the right and a very low small crimp with left. Make a tricky move to gain the arête and then follow this to the top. The crux may well be simply not snapping any more holds off, and also avoiding any dabs on the block on the right.
4) Stairway of Sol * V1
Layback up the slightly crumbly corner crack.
5) Inti Walk ** V1
Climb the next crack along via some highly enjoyable layback moves.
Attack the blank wall.
7) Solar Blade (Left) Unclimbed
Climb the striking and slightly worryingly high arête on its left side.
8) Solar Blade *** V2
Climb the striking and slightly worryingly high arête on its right side.
9) Bridge of Helios *** V3
Bridge and layback your way up the deceptively tricky corner
10) Bridge of Helios (sds) ** V4
Add a sit start to the previous problem using a good crimp on the right and the crack for the left.
11) You Come from the Sun (sds) ** V2
From a sit start, climb the tricky lay back / jamming crack splitting the wall.
12) Ra (sds) *** V4
Sit start in the crack as for the previous line, but after a move or two break out right to a positive crimp before trickier moves bring the sloping break further right. Finish direct from this.
13) Flare Beam (sds) * V2
Start using the crimps vertical side pulls, pulling on to the good foothold beneath these and then leaping for the ledge (or utilising the small crimps in between if you really feel the need).
14) Sunflower Never Dies (sds) * V0
From a sit start, climb the right edge of the face.
Down and right of the Blade Blocs is another interesting face with a few easier lines, but a distressingly small landing area above a worrying drop.
1) The Dropzone (sds) * V1
Sit start at the good crimp. Move up to the break above and then climb through the scoop to the top of the wall.
2) Gangplank * V1
Start using the big, slightly hollow and crumbly looking undercut. Move up and left from this to gain the good crack, which is followed to the top.
3) Free Falling * V2
Start on some good crimps right of the undercut and climb the wall directly above these, trending slightly left high up to gain a more secure finish.
4) Target Practice * V1
Start at the small undercut roof. Step through this and climb the wall above, again trending a bit left to finish.
5) Safety First ** V0
Climb the wall above the right side of the undercut to gain a positive flake and easy finish high up.
The Big Boulders
(1) V4 ** Slope Street.
From the sloping break reach up and onto the rounded bulging wall above to an insecure and committing finale.
(2) V2 * The Scoop.
Start on small positive edges and reach up into the scooped dish above, pulling into which provides the meat of the problem.
(3) V1 *
Small edges on the right side of the wall lead into a slanting crack and, hopefully, the top.
(4) V2 ** Road Runner
Starting on small edges, climb the right end of the wall, avoiding the slanting crack to the left and wide crack / arete to the right. A bit contrived but fun none the less.
2) Scoopy Doo (sds) * V3
The groove above the death defying landing.
3) Scoopy Doo Arete *** V4
The right arête of the left most bloc provides a technical challenge
4) Stem Gem ** V2
Bridging your way up between the two boulders saves both skin and energy for an ascent of the deep crack. Finish using the wedged block.
5) 3G, 4G, 5G (sds) *** V7
Sit start at the parallel vertical cracks and then climb directly up the left side of the wall, making use of the arête (careful to avoid dabs on the far side of the crack) where necessary.
6) Vermin (sds) *** V7
The best of the problems here about. Sit start at parallel vertical cracks in the middle of the wall. From these, launch up and right towards the arête before a big throw left gains the lip and a slightly daunting top out.
7) The Underpinch ** V4
The right arete and wall.
8) The Brothers Grimm V1
An unpleasant exercise in bridging and jamming.
9) Flakey Wall ** V1
Start as for wall direct but trend rightwards and follow the large flake line on positive holds.
10) Wall Direct * V2
As the name suggests, follow a line of breaks, diagonal cracks and holds directly up the wall.
11) Crackajack *** V2
The long layback / jamming crack feels more like a route than a boulder problem!
1) Stroof ** V3
Undercut the large crack at its left end and reach round the lip to the sloping top of the boulder. Mantle to finish. The blocks detached from the main boulder are off route.
2) Skin Graft (sds) *** V4
Sit on the small ledge and, using the right end of the crack, slap up for a sidepull on the hanging corner out right. Make a determined pull for the top of the boulder before a precarious finish. Once again, the blocks detached from the main boulder are off route.
3) Caveman * V3
Crawl into the depths of the cave and, from matched on a small undercut near its back, follow the roof crack out to a juggy, yet suprisingly difficult, finish up the nose of the boulder. The block to the left of the crack can be used for feet.
Main Wall Area
The Roof Top
(1) V2 * Mr Sandman
From a sandy break reach up to an equally sandy, and this time slopey, top.
(2) V0 ***
From a good jug on the arete climb up and into the scoop, which is exited easily above.
(3) V2 ** Big Span
From the undercut break work your feet up high to allow a big span to be made to some crimpy holds above.
(4) VB *
Follow the large juggy flake line from the right end of the boulder.
(1) V0 Slab and Crack
Follow the thin crack up the centre of the slabby wall
(2) V2 **
The wall right of the corner is climbed via a series of relatively positive flakey edges.
(3) V4 *
The difficulty of the roof varies depending on how strict you are regarding use of the holds out left. The less holds, the harder the grade….
(1) V1 ** Smear Test
The left side of the slab gives a delicate and delightful little problem.
(2) V4 *** La Dalle a Jeje
Just right of the centre of the slab is a small foothold and a thin flakey hand hold. Once established on these the rest should be a piece of cake.
The right side of the slab is hardly worth the effort.
(4) V3 ** Sail Surfing (sds)
From a sit start with right hand on the arete and left undercutting sandy breaks, slap to the top of the boulder and mantle to finish.
(5) V2 * A’Cheval (sds)
Deciding whether to finish on the left side or right side probably proves the crux of the testy little fin of rock.
The Fear Factory
1) Stepping Stones * V1
Follow the line of horizontal ledges up the left side of the face.
2) Dicing with Death * V2
From a thin flake low on the wall make a big reach out right to a big, but sandy, undercut. From here work your feet up and make a big reach for a less than perfect top. Mantle to finish. A high problem above a less than perfect landing, lots of spotters and mats advised!
3) Risking the Reaper * V4
Another big problem with a less than perfect landing. Start beneath an undercut pocket and work your way up to this. From here a small flake and the top of the wall can be reached.
4) The Classic *** V1
A delightful problem up the leftwards trending crack line.
5) Directisima * V2
Follow the thin line of small crimps and flakes to a worrying move for the top.
6) Throwing a Wobbler ** V3
Start in the middle of the horizontal pod and throw directly for the top of the wall.
7) Peapod * V2
From the right side of the pod, slap up the rounded arete to more positive holds on the lip above.
1) Heel Deal ** V3
Start on a couple of reasonable, but slopey, holds on the lip. Slap up to reasonable holds on the lip above before scrabbling on to the platform.
2) Oublie (sds) ** V8
Sit start beneath the left side of the roof and work your way right using tiny crimps to eventually gain the start of Heel Deal. Finish direct from this.
3) Little White Lies (sds) ** V5
Start sat in the small corner beneath the right side of the roof. Follow a line of thin flakes and crimps out to the lip of the roof, where better holds lead to the top. The bloc and crack on the right of the start holds are considered on route for your feet for both this and the line below.
4) M’as Tu Oublie (sds) *** V7
Follow White Lies up and around the arête before making a difficult traverse left across the narrow face above the overhang to the start holds of Heel Deal. Drop across on to these holds and then finish up this problem.
Note: For avoidance of doubt, the FA of MTO avoided any use of holds on the lip during the traverse between Little White Lies and Heel Deal (see picture below). As tempting as those lips holds in the middle might be, these are considered off route if you want the proper V7 tick for this line.
The Headland Boulders
1) Block Rockin (sds) ** V2
The 360 traverse of the lip of the block. The starting point doesn’t really matter so long as you make it the whole way round.
2) V2 * (sds)
Start on good holds in the break above the small corner and move and left through the wall above.
3) V0 *** (sds)
Start below the small roof and follow good holds along the small corner system to the top of the boulder.
4) Belly Flop (sds) ** V2
The left side of the small roof, starting from holds on the lip, succumbs to a determined approach.
5) Beached Whale (sds) ** V2
Follow the thin crack line, from holds on the lip, through the small roof to an inelegant finish on the slab above.
1) Left Wall * V1
The dry patch left of the black streak. Finish on the good jugs at about 3.5m height.
2) Iron Monkey * V3
To the right of the wet streak is a line of thin flakes and small pockets. Follow these, avoiding the good holds further right.
The good holds further right………
4) V1 Seeping Stench
Tip toe your way up the thin patch between the two seepage lines using the odd damp hold.
The Cliff Top
1) V0 *
The short sharp arete.
Another short arete, which can be climbed on either side at about the same grade.
3) V1 *
Yet another short arete. This one has a few more holds on the surrounding wall though.
1) Finger Licker * V2
The thin finger crack is a fine test of balance, jamming skill and nerve.
2) Lost Tracks ** V5
Follow a rising diagonal line of holds / discontinuous cracks up the steep wall.
3) Chasing Rainbows *** V5
Technical moves up the lower arete lead to worrying slaps and, if you get lucky, frantic scrabbling up the sloping shelf above.
4) Little Jack Horner ** V2
The prominent corner line provides a technical exercise in bridging with committing moves in a worrying position (previously a top rope problem).
5) Leap of Faith (sds) *** V4
Start at a good layaway lowdown and undercuts at the back of the roof. From sitting, good holds lead through the small roof to a horizontal break, from which a committing sequence up the wall and arête leads to the mother of all jugs. Relatively straightforward climbing above this leads to the top.
6) Faithless * V4
A variant on Leap of Faith that avoids ‘the leap’ by skirting around the right side of the arete.
7) High Street (sds) * V3
Start at the right edge of the wall beneath a small roof. Pull through the roof on good holds to a large horizontal break. Traverse left, using any holds you can lay your hands on, until the corner at the left end of the wall is reached.
8) Low Rider (sds) ** V3
Follow ‘High Street’ to the large horizontal break. Traverse left, staying at about the same level as the break, until the corner at the left end of the wall is reached. Sneaky knee bars will help stave off the pump…
Problems also exist on the stepped walls to the left of this area. However, the climbing is quite discontinuous and of relatively little interest.
(1) V1 *
The short arete left of the corner at the right side of Headland Wall. A bit of a one-move wonder.
(2) V0 *
The corner itself.
(3) V1 **
The wall to the right of the corner. Avoiding any bridging on the left wall and holds in the crack probably forms the crux!
(1) VB *
The slightly crumbling flake line at the left end of the wall offers surprisingly enjoyable climbing.
(2) V1 **
A stiff pull of small crimps at chest height leads to a big break and a juggy finish.
(3) V1 * Sine Line
Follow the wavy line of flakes up the right side of the wall, trending slightly left above the break.
(4) V0 *
Follow the deep gaping crack.
The walls to the right of Problem (4) are probably best reserved for those who feel they’ve lived too long! The landings are awful, being about 1m wide for the most part, and the top of the wall, which is about 5m up, comprises a sloping shelf with no holds. You have been warned!
(1) V2 * French Ethics
As the name suggests, abandon your normal ethical purity and, from the good undercut side pull, hop up and left to gain holds in the break. Finish along the diagonal break.
(2) V1 *
The short groove.
4) V0 *
The thin crack at the left end of the wall
5) V0 *** Undercut Wall
The middle of the wall, right of the crack, is climbed on an assortment of undercuts and crimps.
6) V1 *
The rightward trending flake line feels slightly off balance and just a little bit exposed.
7) V2 * Hanging Flake
Right of the bulging blank wall is a hanging flake line. Tricky moves lead to the bottom of this and even trickier moves are required to get established on it.