Hopeless Buttress & Yellow Wall


Scott Odell on Glitter and Gold (F7a). Photo: Karen Chan


To get to Kowloon Peak’s Hopeless Buttress and Yellow Wall start at No.1 Fei Ngo Shan Road and walk a short way up the drive way (private road) until an obvious small track starts leading up the hillside to the right. Follow this up the hill, going to the left when the track splits, roughly level with the base of the crag. Approach time approx. 30 minutes.

Kowloon Peak Crag Map


Hopeless Buttress


M – Morning Tea – 6b+
Make a funny move past the 1st bolt before climbing rightwards towards some overhanging rock. Have a good rest before the last crux moves.
F.A. Rocky Lok (2003)

1 – Cadenza – VS 4b
Climb the poorly protected wall on the right hand side of Hopeless Buttress via a slight rib and narrow slab.
Currently very vegetated in the upper portion of the climb.
F.A. J Ward (1956) – a F6a+ was bolted near to this line by Rocky Lok (March 2003)

F – Facing Wind – F6b
Climb up the interesting slab to some even more interesting moves at the end of the route.
F.A. Rocky Lok (2003)

2 – First Fighter – F7a+***
Start on the righthandside of the crag directly beneath a large, pointy, overhang. Climb the slab, making thin moves at its top to join the overhang. Follow the corner to the right of the roof to a lower off.
F.A. Rocky Lok & Tom Yau (2000)

3 – Marathon – E1 5c ***
A classic trad climb up the obvious jamming crack. Climb up the fist sized crack splitting the lower wall before making a short traverse right at approx. mid height and climbing the off width above.

4 – Ultra Marathon – F7a**
Follow the obvious crack of Marathon (traditional protection) until it is possible to make a rightwards traverse beneath the roof. Follow First Fighter to the anchor.
F.A Tom Yau & Rocky Lok (1999)

5 – Little Marathon – F6c+
Start as for the previous route but follow the initial crack the whole way up the wall.
F.A. Rocky Lok (2000)

6 – Golden Mile – F7c+*
A desperate exercise in slab and wall climbing up the hanging slab to the right of Marathon. Start at the lefthand side of the small overhang to the left of Marathon. Make tricky moves through this before continuing, with extreme difficulty, up the thin wall above.
F.A. Rocky Lok (2000)

Yellow Wall Lower


1 – Dilligent Fellow – F7c **
Start further down the crag at a slightly lower level, directly beneath an overhang with an obvious crack splitting it.
Pitch 1 (7c): Climb up the short wall before struggling through the roof crack on to the face above. Climb this to the belay.
Pitch 2 (6a+): Follow a relatively straight forward line to the right hand side of the steep wall. Belay at the tree.
Pitch 3 (7b): Make a short traverse right from the tree before hard moves lead back out left to a good rest. Make further hard moves up the wall above to the anchor.
F.A. Tom Yau (2000)

2 – The Second Street – F6b+
Follow the obvious line just left of Pitch 1 of Dilligent Fellow. It’s advisable to bring along a selection of trad gear as some sections are quite run out. Not a particularly satisfying route
F.A Tom Yau (2000)

3 – The Third Street – F6b
An easier alternative line to the third pitch of Dilligent Fellow. From the belay traverse right as for DF but continue directly up the wall above instead of moving back left.
F.A Tom Yau (2000)

The Yellow Wall

A contender for the best piece of rock in Hong Kong, containing several long, sustained a very high quality routes.  Make sure you have lots of quickdraws (at least 15) and a full 60 m rope as both the routes and the lower off to get back down to the path are long… In order to get to the foot of the crag you need to follow the footpath past Hopeless Buttress and Yellow Wall Lower until you are roughly beneath the left corner of the wall. From here a slightly unnerving scramble (the first pitch of Sunset Crack so about Diff / V Diff) leads up and slightly rightwards to the base of the steep wall.


X – Glitter and Gold – F7a ***
The leftmost line of bolts provides a superb outing.
F.A. Francis Haden


Scott Odell on Glitter and Gold (F7a). Photo: Karen Chan

1) Peace of the World *** F7b
A simply stunning route up the left side of the wall, starting about 3 m to the left of the tree. Follow a series of peddle and knobs up the steep wall until it is possible to move slightly right into a shallow groove. Follow this to the overlap above before launching up once again on small pebbles and knobs until brief respite is reached at a flakey seam. Shift slightly right here once again, using the edge of a groove and overlap to the right, before continuing up the wall above and trending slightly left towards some good holds on the arete. Compose yourself on these and then move right and up to reach the large horizontal crack splitting the wall.  Move right slightly and make difficult moves past the crack and onto the headwall above, before trending left to reach the arete and a more amenable finish. (Those climbing the crack itself in the top part can award themselves a F7a+ safe in the knowledge that they have the ethics of a tom cat….)
F.A. Rocky Lok and Tom Yau (2003)

2) Yellow Direct *** F7c
Another stunning route, this time tackling the intermittent cracks in the centre of the wall.
F.A. Danny Ng & Terry Ng (1994)

3) Dream of Gold * F7c+
A desperate climb up the right side of the seemingly blank face of Yellow Wall. Start directly beneath the lightning bolt and climb the wall to its left on tiny holds past a crux at the third bolt.
F.A. Danny Ng & Terry Ng (1994)

4) Lightning in Yellow ** F7a+
A short hard crux low down leads to easier climbing up the lightning bolt on the right of the wall. A couple of small to medium sized friends protect the upper part of the route.
F.A. Tom Yau (2000)

There are also rumours of an old trad line somewhere on the wall, climbed at a grade of about E4 by Glen Suttcliffe (potentially overlapping the line of Glitter and Gold?).

Multi-pitch Traditional Climbs


1 – Cadenza – VS 4b
Climb the poorly protected wall on the right hand side of Hopeless Buttress via a slight rib and narrow slab.
Currently very vegetated in the upper portion of the climb.
F.A. J Ward (1956)

2 – Marathon – HVS 5b***
A classic trad climb up the obvious jamming crack. Climb up the fist sized crack splitting the lower wall before making a short traverse right at approx. mid height and climbing the off width above.

3 – Dangling – HS 3a, A2, 4a
At its toe, Hopeless Buttress throws out a short rib and pedestal. The climb starts on the right of this at the small corner.
Pitch 1 (35 m) 3a – From the right corner climb on good holds to the top of a small buttress. Start right of the tree at the corner crack and climb this to a small chimney. Move right over boulders, then move round right to the east wall.
Pitch 2 (15 m) A2 – Using aid climb straight up the obvious fault and overhanging chimney. Move left to belay at a bollard.
Pitch 3 (25 m) 4a – Climb the corner and then steep cracks to reach a slab. From which you follow the left corner to the top.

4 – Hopeless Corner – VS 4c, 4c
This climb starts at the small rib just left of Dangling.
Pitch 1 (18 m) 4c – Climb up the short groove to the overhang. Move over this and then right to a corner, which is followed via steep delicate climbing before moving left from its top to the belay.
Pitch 2 (40 m) 4c – From the block climb the wall on small holds and then move into a corner. Swinging right to the wall, climb up to a grassy ledge before continuing up the corner and then direct to the top of the wall.
F.A. D.C. Reeve & R. Wallis (1968)

5 – Retire – HS 4a, A2, 4b, 3a
About 15 m left of Hopeless Corner there is a break in the cliffs. Scramble up the slope here to a broad thorny ledge. The climb takes a strenuous line in the corner.
Pitch 1 (20 m) 4a, A2 – Climb the corner using aid before continuing up the gully to a belay point on the left.
Pitch 2 (22 m) 4b – From the top of the gully move up and left, then traverse right under the overhang (crux). Continue rightwards to belay on the grassy ledge.
Pitch 3 (27 m)  3a – Climb the left corner and traverse immediately right round the corner to ascend the rib. Climb the wall and block above, belaying about 4 m higher.

6 – Pueblo – VS A2, 3a, 4c, 4c, 3a, 3a
The climb starts in the centre of a wide gully to the left of Retire and goes up the fault to a tree. It then follows the overhanging chimney on the right.
Pitch 1 (13 m) A2 – From the centre of the gully climb up the light patch and move left to the fault. Climb this to the thick based tree under the overhang to belay.
Pitch 2 (13 m) 3a – Move right into a large gully and up to the tree at the gully head. Belay on the trees
Pitch 3 (6 m) 4c – Climb the right wall into the corner, and up behind the long thin tree to climb the overhanging chimney.
Pitch 4 (18 m) 4c – Climb up the steep slab, keeping to the right wall. This increases in severity as it nears the top. Belay to the right.
Pitch 5 (30 m) 3a – Climb the centre of the two slabs above with increasing difficulty. At the second break, where the slab turns into a steep wall, step left and onto the arete, which is followed to the top. A bold run-out pitch.

7 – Fay – VS 3a, 5a, 4a, 3a

8 – Longfellows Climb – HVS 4a, 3b, 3b. 5b, 5a, 5a

9 – Sunset Crack – S 3a, 4a, 4a, 4b, 4a
One of the classic routes on Kowloon Peak.
Pitch 1 (25 m) 3a – Climb easily through the slabs and bugling walls beneath the Yellow Wall to a prominent corner.
Pitch 2 (23 m) 4a – Follow the corner system until forced rightwards onto a narrow ledge. Climb the slab above towards a belay at a tree in the corner.
Pitch 3 (25 m) 4a – Climb the crack line to the left of the belay, past an overhang, until it is possible to move left into a small grassy gully.
Pitch 4 (18 m) 4b – Make an exposed finger traverse leftwards along the crack. Climb up from the large scoop on the edge of the wall to the bottom of the slabs above.
Pitch 5 (32 m) 4a – Climb the centre of the two slabs above with increasing difficulty. When the slabs steepen up, by the second break, step left onto the arete and follow this to the top of the crag.
F.A. Corporal Christie (1956)


Willy Muirhead high on Sunset Crack (S). Photo: Ron Yue

10 – Evening Wall – VS 5a (A2), 4b, 4a

11 – Thread of Gold – HVS 4b, 5b, 5a, 4c, 4a

12 – Expo – HS3a, 4b, 3a, 4b

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Steve Long

Marathon is good value for HVS! I would say that E1 5c is more accurate by British grades, which is presumably what the HK trad grading system is based on. But maybe all routes are stiff for the grade here?!