Tai Koo Boulders

General

Although not outstanding in number (and in many cases, quality), the bouldering near Tai Koo offers an easibly accessible circuit for those based on Hong Kong Island and with a few hours to kill. The location of the boulders within a stream bed means that a pad or two is advisable to soften the landings. It also means the area should generally be avoided in summer when their is a much increased risk of flash flooding as well as being eaten alive by mosquitos.

Stuart Millis putting his trust in Blind Faith (V8)

Access

Take the MTR to Tai Koo Station. Use Exit B and walk west along Kings Road a short distance to Greig Road. Turn left onto Greig Road and follow it, through Nam Fung Sun Chuen Housing Estate, to its end. Just before reaching the far end of Greig Road break off right on a concrete path. Follow this, which forms Section 2 of the Wilson Trail, until a country park sign is reached near the foot of a steep staircase. A short way up the steps a dirt track, leading down to a wide concrete drainage channel, breaks off right. Follow the drainage channel upstream for about 250 m until you come to a foot bridge with a small picnic area next to it. Pass under the bridge a continue up stream a short way to reach the boulders, which start where the concrete stops.

Problems

Dragon Ball Bloc

The first obvious boulder is located at the end of the concrete drainage channel and one the better blocs overall for this area.

1) Puff the Magic Dragon * V2
A bit of an eliminate up the wall to the left of the scoop.

2) Dragon Ball * V1
Start on the small step and climb up the vertical wall to a scooped top out.

3) The Shelf Mantle ** V1
Start at the sloping shelf and mantle this. The sit start is V2.

4) Dam Buster (sds) *V5
Construct a small dam out of stones to allow a sit start at the left side of the low flake. From this launch up the small sloping holds on the wall above the stream.

5) Pocket Razor (sds)** V3
From a sit start at the right end of the low flake make powerful moves onto small sharp pockets on the wall. Easier moves lead to the top.

5a) Crimper Razor (sds) * V3
Sit start on the bank of the stream channel, using small holds to the right of the flake. Make tricky moves up from these before working your way left to the finish of Pocket Razor.

6) Upper Traverse * V0
Start at the easy angled backside of the boulder and make a left to right traverse on good holds high up, finishing with a walk up the ramp on Shelf Mantle.

7) Low Traverse * V5
As for the ‘High Traverse’ but avoiding all holds within 2ft of the top and staying low to hand traverse the ledge of Shelf Mantle before crimping around the bulging wall to gain the finish on Pocket Razor.

The Wedge

From Dragon Ball walk about 30m up the right hand branch of the stream. The Wedge can be found on the left side of the stream.

1) Wedge Overhang (sds) * V3
From good crimps low down, campus up the overhanging side of the arete.

2) Wedge Slab * V0
Pad up the short slab.

Dinosaur Egg

Beyond ‘The Wedge’ the stream forks into two. The Dinosaur Egg is located in the left hand branch about 50m upstream of the junction.

1) Dino Arete * V3
The far right arête of the bloc

2) Egg Shell Arete (Project).
The right hand arete of the steep face is compelling yet distinctly lacking of holds.

3) A Short Friction Story * V3
Start on top of the small boulder and make a short series of thin friction moves up the slabby face.

4) Dirty Traverse V1
Traverse the small wall opposite Dinosaur Egg, better yet, don’t bother…

5) Pocket Pull (sds) * V3
A short way upstream is a small boulder with several slots in the front face. A powerful lunge through the bulge on these leads to a beached whale finish.

One Arm Mantle Bloc

This is the next large boulder upstream of the ‘Dinosaur Egg’ and is also located on the right side of the streambed.

1) One Arm Mantle * V1
The right side of the overhang.

2) No Hands Climb V0
The easy face to the left of the overhang, also the decent route.

2a) One Point, One Second (sds) * V2
Climb the wall t the right of the diagonal overlap, avoiding the good holds on the edge of this.

3) One Hand Climb V1
A slightly steeper line, just left of ‘No Hands Climb’.

4) Easy Overhang
The overhanging wall on the back side of the boulder – loose holds.

The Horn

Immediately upstream of ‘One Arm Mantle’ is a small steep face with a large horn on the lip. The following problems are located on this face.

1) The Horn ** V1
Hang from the large jug and swing up into the scoop above. In need of a low start.

2) Silly Palm Traverse (sds) * V3
Start sat on the boulder left of ‘The Horn’. Traverse right along the rounded lip of the boulder, struggling to keep your feet off the floor, to finish as for ‘The Horn’.

3) Silly Palm Traverse Two V2
About 10m upstream is the last boulder of a significant enough size to squeeze a problem on. Traverse this, again struggling to keep your feet off the floor

Big Overhang

Twenty metres above ‘The Wedge’, at the fork in the stream, take the right hand branch and follow this along the left bank until a low slung boulder with a small boulder platform and large roof is reached.

1) The Big Overhang – Left (sds) * V3
Sit start at a reasonable hold on the lip of the arete, if you can reach it! Pull off the floor and slap your way up and left, following a small sloping shelf. Mantle this to finish.

2) The Big Overhang – Right (sds) ** V3
Sit start at a reasonable hold on the lip of the arete. Pull off the floor and make a big reach right to a good jug. Finish direct.

The Stone Wave Boulder

The large smooth boulder immediately opposite the ‘Ship Side Boulder’ is probably the best bloc in this whole area, with several highly compelling (but a little bit tall) lines on it.

1) Stone Wave (Project)
An audacious looking line that will require nerves of steel. Climb the high rounded and insecure looking arete above a somewhat daunting landing. One of the real last great lines in Hong Kong.

2) Blind Faith *** V8
The downstream face of the bloc has a slanting small ledge rising from left to right across it. Start matched on the arete and make difficult moves to get established on the left edge of the crimp ledge. Traverse right across the ledge till it runs out and the summon maximum commitment to tackle the very slopey and insecure top out above. A problem reminiscent of the classic line Karma in Font, all be it somewhat easier and in not so pleasant a setting.

3) Palm Mantle V0
From the lowest point on the backside of the boulder, facing away from the stream, reach up and palm the sloping area near the top of the boulder. Mantle this.

Ship Side Boulder

The large rock wall on the left bank of the stream, immediately upstream of ‘The Big Overhang’.

1) The Fang ** V3
The wall within the small chimney contains a three finger slot in its middle. Launch from this to the sloping shelf above and mantle this to finish.

2) Heel Hook Traverse (sds) * V2
Traverse the sloping lip of the overhang to finish at the edge of the roof.

3) Vegetation V0
Various possibilities exist up the broken and highly vegetated wall on the right side of the boulder.

The Mushroom

The Mushroom is located on top of the platform above the ‘Ship Side Boulder’.

1) Up and Over ** V1
Jump to holds on the lip of the boulder and mantle / rock over to finish.

2) Project
The sit start to Up and Over looks short, powerful and pretty awesome. From a small side pull on the arete and good crimps on the right wall, some how make your way up to the start holds on Up and Over and then finish up that.

3) Magic Mushrooms (Project)
The left face has holds, use them!.

Flake Walk

To the right, and slightly upstream, of the ‘Stone Wave Boulder’.

1) Flake Walk (sds) * V2
From a sit start on the left side of the boulder, traverse the sloping shelf to a rounded finish up the far arete.

Read the full guide PDF

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