Beacon Hill

General

Short, easily accessible sport routes on top quality, rough as it comes, granite make this crag almost as popular as Technical Wall in Tung Lung Chau.

A detailed PDF guide for the crag can be downloaded here

IMG_7199_BeaconHill_Alexandra_Ladurner

Alexandra Ladurner making good use of the city lights!. Photo: Karen Chan

Approach

Take the MTR to Shep Kip Mei Station. From there take a taxi through Tai Wo Ping and onto Lung Cheung Road, heading east. Shortly after joining Lung Cheung Road a WSD access road breaks off to the left. Follow this up the hill until a gate and service reservoir are reached. If driving, a limited number of parking spaces (one or two cars only) can be found near the end of the road. To the right of the reservoir a small track leads up the hill to the main crag. Approach time approx. 10 minutes. Paths leading to the Lower Crag and Beacon Heights break off from the main access path just before and after the main crag respectively.


Routes

Main Crag


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2) One Eyed Snake ** F5+
The obvious slab at the right of the crag has two lines up it. The central line gives fine slab climbing with some thoughtful moves through the lower steep step and fantastic jug hauling through the headwall at its crest. The right hand line gives marginally easier climbing up to the same headwall.

5) Baby Cobra * F7a+
Climb up the steep side of the arete to it termination. Pull onto the slab above and right. Climb a short way up a crack before stepping out right on small smears to reach the arete. Smear your way desperately up this to the ledge above.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1998)

6) Pretty Girl *** F6a
Superb slab climbing to the right of King Cobra. Follow a line of small crimps and edges up the slab until forced rightwards into a short crack. Scramble along the ledge above and make a few interesting moves up to the lower off. It is possible (just) to dramatically increase the difficulty of this route by continuing directly up the slab the whole way without resorting to use of the crack on the right.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1995)

7) King Cobra ** F5
A delightful exercise in bridging and laybacking. Climb the obvious, easy angled groove and corner.

8) Top Rope Problem * F6b+
The short blunt arete right of Spitting Cobra gives a technical and fun problem, not really worthy of a line of bolts in its own right though (although it is now bolted…).

9) Spitting Cobra ** F6b
Another classic and excellent route.
Climb the obvious corner, with a difficult move in the middle.

10) Face to Face  F7a
Start up the slab and corner to the right of the Angels Wing. Once established in the corner, just past the large crack, break out left and make difficult moves up the steep wall.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1994)

Angus

Angus Lau of Face to Face. Photo: Stuart Millis

11) Angels Wing * F6b+
Thin climbing up the face of the wing like hanging flake, avoiding the use of the large crack to the right apart from getting started.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1995)

12) Lady First ** F8a+
Climb the right hand side of the arete.
F.A. Angel Lok (2003)

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1) Cliffhanger ** F7b+
Climb through the crux of Lizard but instead of moving back left follow the obvious rightwards trending ramp line to a tricky finish on the far right of the wall.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1995)

2) Mission is Possible *** F8b
F.A. Rocky Lok (2013)

3) Lizard Family ** F7c
Start directly beneath the small overlap in the middle of the wall. Climb up and through this to a good jug. Continue, with difficulty, up the blank wall above to a crux just after the last bolt.
F.A. Rocky Lok (2001)

4 – Lizard – F7a***
A classic line of the crag. Start up the obvious flake moving right via some small crimps (crux) to good jugs. Swing back left and follow a line of discontinuous flakes and cracks up the wall (be careful of Lizard eggs in the cracks) to a long reach to the top.
F.A Saito (1989)

5) Astro Boy  F8a
F.A. Rocky Lok (XXXX)

6) Peace Forever *** F7b
Start as for Trouble but move further right approximately half way up the face.
F.A Saito (1989)

7) Trouble  F7a
Start just right of Blue Cross and climb the very left hand side of the overhanging face via some trick moves low down.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1995)

8) Blue Cross ** F6a+
Climb the obvious corner to the left hand side of the gently overhanging face.

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1) Pressure  F6c+
Start as for the previous route but follow a thinner, harder line up the wall to its right.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1995)

2) Moon Night’s Snake ** F6c
Start beneath the obvious corner of Blue Cross. Climb a short way up this before moving left onto the face proper. Ascend this with ease until faced with a big slap for the sloping ledge. Mantel onto the ledge to finish.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1995)

IMG_3125_BeaconHill_Wang_Ngai_Sze

Wang Ngai Sze on Moon Nights Snake (F6c). Photo: Karen Chan

3) Terminator *** F7b+
Start a short way right of the easy angled slab. Climb directly up the short wall before making a leftwards hand traverse along a slopey ledge to join Point Break. Follow this a short way then continue directly up towards the left hand side of the overhang. Pull through this and finish up the short wall above.
F.A Rocky Lok (1995)

4) Terminator 2  F7c
F.A Rocky Lok (XXX)

5)  F6c

6) Happy Valentines Day  F7c+
Climb Terminator to the ledge before continuing up the exceedingly thin crackline.
F.A. Rocky Lok (2003)

7) Point Break *** F6b
Climb up the slab at the left hand end of the crag before moving right, up a short wall, and onto a small ledge. Traverse diagonally leftwards along the wall and finish up a short crack.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1995)

IMG_4020-1_BeaconHill_Rocky_Lok

Rocky Lok on Lizard Family (F7c). Photo: Karen Chan

The Really Face

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The following routes are located on the large boulder just beneath the main crag:

1) Really Face  F7c
More of a V6 boulder problem with bolts than a route but worthwhile nonetheless.  Step out right on to the face from the ledge and make upwards progress using a series of desperately thin crimps and side pulls. The crux is right at the top.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1996)

2) Hardman *** F7b
Start about halfway down the face at the base of the obvious vertical groove splitting the boulder, just past the tree. Follow the groove until tricky moves may, or may not, enable you to get established in the crack above (crux). Follow this to the top.
F.A. Rocky Lok (1994)

IMG_3740_BeaconHill_Peishan_Hoe

Peishan Ho on Hardman (F7b). Photo: Karen Chan

3) Stone Bird * F8a
Start close to the right edge of the boulder. Climb up a short way to gain the horizontal crack. Make a long leftwards traverse along this to reach the groove on Hardman, before tackling the crux moves up to the crack on that route.  From here make tricky moves out left (be careful not to fall here as you’ll slam into the tree – which hurts), until it is possible to swing onto Really Face.  Now all you have to do is finish up the crux of that route…
F.A. Rocky Lok (2000)

Upper Left Craglet

Beacon – Upper Left is located a mere 10 seconds to the left of the main cliff and has ten short bolted routes from F4 to F6c.  The rock quality is comparable to the main cliff and the routes are well equipped.

Beacon Upper Left 1

1) Left Behind – F6a
F.A. Francis Haden, Ray Lee, Cheuk-Yin To (2016)

2) Open Book – F6a
F.A. Francis Haden, Ray Lee, Cheuk-Yin To (2016)

3) Head On – F6a+
F.A. Francis Haden, Ray Lee (2016)

4) Demolition Man – F4
F.A. Francis Haden, Ray Lee, Cheuk-Yin To Saturo Nakayama (2016)

Beacon Upper Left 2

5) Sparrows in my Glass – F5+
F.A. Francis Haden, Ray Lee, Cheuk-Yin To Saturo Nakayama (2016)

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 7.49.56 PM

6) Crosswalk – F6a
F.A. Francis Haden, Daniel Hannah (2016)

7) Aviate – F6c
F.A. Francis Haden, Donna Kwok (2016)

8) Feeding the Pony – F6b+
F.A. Francis Haden, Donna Kwok (2016)

9) Green Leaf – F5
F.A. Francis Haden, Ray Lee, Cheuk-Yin To Saturo Nakayama (2016)

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 7.52.57 PM

10) Jasmine – F4
F.A. Francis Haden, Hayley Ho (2016)

Beacon Heights

The two cliffs at Beacon Heights (Phase I and Phase II) are located up above the left side of the Main Crag. To access this area, first make your way to the main crag before entering the forest using the hiking path on the far left side. Go past the unofficial latrine, and twenty metres further to the point just before the path curves left. From here take a sharp right and up the hill (there should be some yellow and red webbing markers) and follow the faint track, using the fixed ropes when available. When you come across a rope blocking the way up, go left and you’ll get out of the forest onto a sandy slope with views of the city, and Phase I will be in front of you. It shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes from Beacon Main to here.  Right before entering Phase I, look uphill and to your right and you’ll notice a series of steps carved into the soil, and the first of another series of fixed ropes. Follow these, stepping on the carved steps and the rocks held in place by bamboo stakes driven into the ground, to reach Phase II. It should be around 5 minutes from Phase I.

All routes are between 10 to 15 m in length and require no more than 10 quickdraws (plus a trad rack for the unbolted lines)

Phase I 

Topo coming soon

1) Tina ** F6a
A nice little technical route. Go up to the undercut hole, move left to the obvious first jug and then move further left. Layback the flake next to the line of bolts stepping on some friction holds at the crux (last bolt before the anchors). Stay on the flake, using the jug to the right is cheating and out of bounds.
FA: Ricardo Iriarte & Luca Rossi (2020).

2) Penny ** F6a+
Another nice route, more technical than the previous one. From the jugs after the undercling, do a slightly weird move (look to your right) and gain some flat holds with a thumbcatch. The crux is delightfully balancey for both tall and short people: be smart, move your hips and don’t boulder it.
FA: Ricardo Iriarte & Fabrizio Tatti (2016)

Note: There’s a gecko that sometimes likes to hang out inside the undercling hole shared by the previous two routes. It can either come out when you’re about to place your fingers inside the hole, or try to push them out when you’ve already started using the hold; or it will be absent and you’ll never see it. Don’t worry: it will not bite you. Just be mindful about its presence.

3) Saraki * F5
A good easy first lead for the newbie in your group. Follow the rightward-trending series of flakes and holds, and rock over onto a slab to gain the anchors.
FA: Sarah Sung & Panos Parchas (2016)

4) Psychologically Scar(th)ed by Threat of Legal Action * E2 5b (F6a’ish)
The slab. Anything goes, left or right. To quote crag developer Stuart Millis: “Do not place bolts! Either top rope it or pluck up the balls to solo it as the first ascensionist did.”
FA: Ricardo Iriarte (2016)

5) X Æ A-12 ** E1 5b (F6a’ish)
A nice hand and fist crack with an ugly name (the first ascensionist says it’s hilarious). He almost on-sight free-soloed it on his approach shoes, but got stuck at the very top and had to be rescued. He led it later without any problem. Gear needed: one #3 and one #4 Camalots are enough. Bring an extra #3 if you’re squeamish. Bolted anchors.
FA: Tiktian Chan, Ricardo Iriarte & Luca Rossi (2020)

The section of the wall left of Route #5 is discontinuous: some possible (but nails hard) moves up three meters of rock, and then an absolutely blank slab and wall. Don’t bother bolting it, it’s not worth it.

6) Kayli * F6c+ to F7a+ (very height dependent)
Mother Nature loves tall people. Curse her upon the super technical, super reachy moves at the start, using the right-side arête and a couple of very slippery holds for your left hand. After clipping the third bolt, make a hard throw to a good hold on your left (almost or definitely an iron cross depending on your height). Recover as much energy as possible here, as the rest of the route is sustained and you can definitely fall when moving towards the last bolt before the top. Bolted on the same year as routes nos. 2 and 3.
FA: Ricardo Iriarte & Gianfranco Bigazzi (2020)

Phase II

Topo coming soon

1) Kate * F6c+ to F7a+ (very height dependent)
Look, a possible dyno! Your belayer should be careful when you commit to the throw at the top. You’ll fall to the right due to the inclination of the wall and you won’t hit anything, so don’t worry. Position your feet in the best way, grab whatever you can, and go for it. The top is a bit flat and without much to grab, so be careful when clipping the last bolt before the anchors.
FA: Ricardo Iriarte, Tiktian Chan & Luca Rossi (2020)

2) Closed Project
Tiktian is working on this trad crack, so hands off until he gives you the green light, please. It seems the pro is questionable due to the bad rock, so be careful when you finally get a chance to try it.

3) Weronika ** F6c+ to F7a+ (very height dependent)
A very interesting route which the tall will like and the short will curse. Extremely hard to onsight, as it’s very tricky at the beginning. The expression on people’s faces when they get stuck at the second bolt and are then given the correct beta is priceless. Think outside the box. Go for it after the last bolt: the fall is safe if your belayer is paying attention, as they should be. Not recommended to top-rope it as the rope will severely rub against the rock and will interfere with the holds.
FA: Ricardo Iriarte & Gianfranco Bigazzi (2020)

4) Lotte  F6a+
It’s relatively straightforward from the start to the last bolt (just keep moving on decent holds, and pull your feet up). The crux is clipping the anchors: move far to the right keeping excellent balance with your feet, using an ok crimp for your right hand and some other holds a bit further right. Clip the anchors at chest height. Clipping them from below when someone else has already placed the draws for you is totally cheating. If instead of going right you go left and try to use the shallow finger crack, good luck. It may be possible, but nobody has been able to pull it off. Video or it didn’t happen.
FA: Ricardo Iriarte & Gianfranco Bigazzi (2020)

5) Oceana  F6a
At the very start, you can either just jump to the awesome jugs, or jam/smear your right foot into a corner and go. Very technical afterwards; that terrible hold is not a crimp for your right hand, I tell you. Just stand on your excellent right foot and reach. For the crux, move with faith to the right into a kind of groove/crack, using the aforementioned terrible hold for your right foot. Once you stand up into the groove, you’ll see the anchors to your left. Not recommended to top-rope it as the rope will severely rub against the rock.
FA: Ricardo Iriarte & Gianfranco Bigazzi (2020)

6) Meddling Bitches & Lawyers F7c+ (V6 with bolts)
A short route for boulderers like Luca ‘il Fortissimo’ Rossi. We have no idea about the grade, as those crimps are horribly small, the first ascensionist doesn’t have that much experience sport-climbing, and in his own words he redpointed it on a fluke. Do it and let us know. Clip a quickdraw to the end of the hanging chain and another to its bolt. Your belayer should be extremely attentive, as there’s a definite risk of groundfalls if too much slack is given.
FA: Luca Rossi & Ricardo Iriarte (bolted and named by the latter) (2020)

Lower Crag

Warning
It appears that the muppets from the HKPF chopped a number of the bolts here in mid-2020 in an attempt to stop future hanging of protest banners on the crag, rendering most climbs unclimbable or dangerous. I suppose we can expect mass deforestation at the crag soon when people start hanging banners off trees instead…

See here for more details

General
A recently cleaned up section of cliff that has seen activity in the distant past but suffered from neglect in more recent times. Although most vegetation and loose rock is now gone, climbers are advised to belay out of the path of falling debris and consider wearing a helmet. There is a particularly dangerous section of loose blocks low on the far left hand side of the crag. Unfortunately this area interferes with what could have been 2 of the most interesting climbs on the cliff – which are, as a result, relegated to top rope problems.

However, the upper portions of all the routes are on very good rock and offer very enjoyable slab climbing. For the beginner (with an experienced partner) or intermediate climber looking for an escape from the crowds at Beacon Hill and a little adventure, this could be the place for you!

Approach
The approach to the crag is the same as for the Main Crag on Beacon Hill. Once the main crag is reached, continue up the path on the right-hand side for another 50 meters. The top of the Lower Crag will be seen on the left. Bolts are available for abseiling down to the bottom, and a single rope is sufficient to reach the bottom (down the right hand side as you are facing the cliff – so…that would be the left-hand side if you are facing the city).

Beacon5-01

1 – Gorilla Crack – F6a (Not shown in picture)
A big ugly off width crack at the foot of the crag. An alternative start to “Oo oo” or Planet of the Apes. Only suitable for top roping due to the large quantity of loose rock at the top of the crack. Be sure to belay well away from the path of falling debris and consider wearing a helmet. Not recommended.

2 – “Oo oo” – Open Project
Currently only suitable for top roping due to the large quantity of loose material on the lower section. Let us know if you do it.

3 – Bathing Ape – Severe*
This traditional climb ascends a small crack system to the left of the upper portion of Planet of the Apes. Wired nuts and small to medium sized cams are required.

4 – Escape from Planet of the Apes – F6a**
Start as for Planet of the Apes. At the third bolt cut diagonally left and up across the face using balance and thin crimps.
F.A. Nick Smith (Nov 2005)

5 – Planet of the Apes F5b***
Start under right hand side of large overhang. Scramble up to large sloping ledge and traverse left across this under the overhang. Undercling the big overhang and use holds on the face to the left to surmount the overhang. Continue up the easy and fun slab to the above to the anchors.
F.A. Nick Smith (Nov 2005)

6 – Dirty Monkey – F5b**
Start as for Planet of the Apes. Then, lieback up the flakes on right hand side of big overhang. Continue straight up the slab above to the anchors.
F.A. Nick Smith (Nov 2005)

7 – Chunky Monkey – F5b**
This line ascends the middle of the steep headwall. A difficult beginning leads to relatively easy pulling through the large ladder-like flakes to a ledge. There are bolt anchors here for top-roping or lowering off. However, the route continues up over enjoyable easy slab climbing taking in an interesting little hand traverse to another set of anchors at the top of the cliff. The upper section is about 4 in difficulty.
F.A. Nick Smith (Nov 2005)

8 – IR Baboon – F6a+*
This line climbs the right-hand side of the steep headwall. An easy mantel leads to several thin and difficult moves. End on the intermediate anchors for Chunky Monkey or continue to the top of the crag via Chunky Monkey or Monkey Poop.
F.A. Nick Smith (Nov 2005)

9 – Banana Brain – F5c**
Climb straight up the large rounded arête between IR Baboon and Monkey Poop. F.A. Nick Smith (Nov 2005)

10 – Monkey Poop – F4***
Climb the left hand wall of the gully at the far right-hand side of the crag. Interesting face climbing leads to easy but enjoyable slab climbing milking all the steeper features for extra enjoyment. An excellent climb for beginners. It can be made even easier by employing chimney / stemming techniques against the opposite wall on the lower section. Beware of the route’s namesake on some of the ledges. This roughly follows the old route “Sidewinder” done in 1968 but is more direct than the old traditional route.
F.A. Austin Smith, Christoph Wong (Nov 2005)

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