Hillside Boulders


Situated on the vegetated hillside overlooking the souther end of the main beach at Shek O, the Hillside Sector comprises a number of coarse, scattered, and typically large granite boulders with some stunning lines and futuristic projects.

Note: Most blocks have only recently been unearthed from the vegetation (and more clearance is still needed to make landings safe) so a bunch of the lines still need to be reclaimed to check and confirm the grades. Also, there might be some poison sumac / ivy around as i got some rashes after clearing out the backside of The Daddy, you’ve been warned…


From the main car park at Shek O beach, walk south along the beach towards the restaurant at the back of its far end. From here, follow the streamline past the restaurant to reach a footpath leading up the hill. Follow this footpath (dirt trail with frequent concrete steps) up the hill. Upon reaching a small cluster of hillside graves, look for a collection of burial urns to the right of the main path and between the main graves. At the back of this cluster, a dirt trail leads through the trees to bring you to a granite slab. Follow this to the top and then trend right to reach the boulders. It is also possible to stay left and on the main path from the graves, passing through some vegetated ‘tunnels’ and across several small granite slabs to reach a much larger slab. Upon reaching the large slab (about level with the Hillside Boulders), follow the right-hand branch of the trail and contour the hillside to bring you to the first set of boulders

The Daddy

The first set of blocs you reach is a cluster of three large boulders that look like they’ve been split down the middle. These offer some highball classics, test-pieces and futuristic projects.

1) Warm Up Slab * V0
The short slab on the small block has a tricky start due to the undercut base, but easy finish above.

2) Pegmatite * V1
Pull on to the left arête of the uppermost large bloc using the good jug, before lay backing the arête above to finish.

3) Sugar Daddy Slab *** V5
Follow the small crimps right of the arête until they run out. Then make tenuous moves left to gain a pocket on the easier angled slab out left. From this make worrying moves directly up to gain the good holds on the lip.

4) Sugar Daddy Direct *** V7
The direct to Sugar Daddy provides one of the finest and purest pieces of slab climbing in Hong Kong. Follow the small crimps right of the arête until they run out. Then somehow levitate to the lip above.

5) Sugar Daddy (Right) ** V3
Start as for the Sugar Daddy slab lines but trend right across the slab to gain the horizontal ledge at two-thirds height. Finish as for Scooped Wall from this, avoiding any holds in the vertical crack line.

4) Scooped Wall * V2
The right side of the wall offers slightly more features and a more amenable line. Climb the right side of the slab via crimps and ledges to a long reach for the lip, avoiding all holds in the vertical crack just to the right.

5) Scooped Crack ** V0
The crack on the right side of the wall gives a pleasant, if somewhat high, problem. 

1) Back and Forth * VB
The easiest line up (and back down) the main bloc of The Daddy

2) Daddies Slab * V1
Follow the various curving flake features up the slab wall

3) Daddies Brown Sauce ** V1
Climb the right side of the slab wall via an assortment of crimpy ledges and side pulls.

4) Bushey V3
Climbed previously but currently hidden by vegetation that needs digging out

5) Our Father *** V(Scary)
You’ll definitely be reciting prayers at the top of this one. Climb relatively easily up the overhanging flake to reach a terrifying transition to the blank slab above.

6) Project
A contender for one of the best looking unclimbed lines in Hong Kong. Start matched low on the obvious juggy flake. From here somehow power your way up the wall and arête above.

Joanna Lam working the Project Line

7) Rocky’s Arête *** V9
The rounded overhanging arête on the bottom side of the bloc is climbed with extreme difficulty via a series of widely spaced small crimps, and a fair degree of arête slapping too.

8) Will’s Sit (sds) *** V10
Starting from the obvious flake and side pull, make hard moves to get established in the start position of Rocky’s Arête. From here you’ve only got a V9 to climb to claim the tick!

Will Copeland on Will’s Sit

9) Stu’s Arête (Left) ** V4
Climb the left side of the prominent arête in the split between the two boulders, with tricky moves low down leading to a jug romp up high.

10) Stu’s Arete (Right) *** V4
The other side of the arête has a tricky start move followed by an enjoyable romp up the arête above.

Stu high up n Stu’s Arete

11) Root Crack ** V2
Climb the crack (currently occupied by part of a tree) to gain the large pocket on the slab and then the arête beside this. Follow the arête to the top of the block.

12) Crack and Groove * V1
Climb the obvious diagonal crack, making use of the wall out left to ease the difficulties.

13) Daddy Cruel *** Project
A stunning and compelling line that has yet to see a successful top out, although many have come close and taken big falls in the process of trying…

14) Daddy Cool *** V2
Climb the obvious vertical crack until it stops and forces you into a somewhat precarious top out on to the slab above.

Kev Wotherspoon on Daddy Cool

15) XXX * V?
The left side of the wall on the small boulder above Problem #9

16) Runnel Wall * V?
The right side of the wall.

The Spawn

Beneath Rocky’s Arête is an overgrown trail. Follow this down the hill (back in the direction of Shek O beach) for a few minutes until you reach a sizable boulder.

The first two problems are located on the small block at the top of the wall.

1) Will’s Warm Up * V1
Follow all the good features up the left side of the wall

2) Round House ** V6/7
Climb the right trending seam to a hard, and very rounded, top out.

Will Copeland on the rounded top out of Round House

3) Spawn Arete * V4?
Climb the left arête of the wall on good, but crumbly and rough, side pulls and jugs to a very rounded top out.

4) Spawn Wall ** V3
The rounded groove right ofd the arête gives a fine line that is easier than appearances might suggest.

Chris Tang topping on of Spawn Wall

5) The Spawn *** V1
The right trending flake gives a delightful romp up good holds to a more rounded and worrying top out.

6) Offspring ** V5
Sit start on crimps in the lower break and with poor feet under the roof. Crank up the crimps in the next break before making hard campus like moves to the break above. Finish more easily up the flakes above.

7) The Hatching * V2
Start on good crimps at the base of the crack and out left of this. Paste on poor feet and then climb the left trending feature to, you guessed it, a rounded top out.

8) First Born * V?
Climb the wall right of the slanting crack to thin slopey top out.

Stuart Millis on First Born (V?). Photo: Royce Ferguson

9) Thornication *** V4
Start matched on the small crimp on the arete. Make a hard pull up to the slopey ledge above before romping out right along the ledge to the crack at its right end. From here a strong rock up brings big jugs in the breaks above.

10) Thornicated ** V2
From perched on the boulder opposite, make a committing leap for the jug at the right edge of the ledge. Finish as for Thornification.

11) Thornication Direct * V4
Start as for Thornication but continue direct above the start holds with trepidation.

1) Topside * V0
The easy obvious groove and slab on the topside of the boulder.

2) Will’s Arete ** V?
The rounded arete is challenging by virtue of the fact is has bugger all in the way of footholds.

Royce Ferguson starting up Will’s Arete

The Offspring

still need to head back down here to check the lines / grades of what was climbed before – the stuff below is complete guesswork…