Tate’s Cairn Crag


This small crag of compact coarse ash tuff situated immediately beneath the HKO Radar Weather Station at Tate’s Cairn offers a handful of routes from very easy to super hard.

Christoph Bode on Tate Modern (F6a). Photo: Stuart Millis


The crag is accessed by a short walk (5 minutes) from the limited parking spaces at the Tate’s Cairn Weather Station. Access to these is gained either by driving or taking a taxi up Fei Ngo Shan Road. The parking spaces and start of the hike are located at the first turning on the road, a few hundred metres beyond the look out spot and start of the hiking path for the summit of Fei Ngo Shan (Kowloon Peak) itself. From the first and larger parking spot next to the junction, continue along the small access road until the steps leading to the weather station. Climb these to about two-thirds height before breaking off right to contour the hillside and reach the base of the crag.

Note: The trad routes are currently quite dirty and a little overgrown as no one seems to have done them since the FA’s in the 1960’s!


1) Madonna – VDiff
This climb starts to the left of and below the obvious upside down flake. Climb to the flake and cross it until the smooth slab is reached. Move delicately up the slab until a belay in the rock above is reached.
F.A. D.C. Reeve, W. Dales & C. James (1966)

2) The Globe – S
The first crack and corner system
F.A, Unknown

3) Tate Modern ** F6a
After a tricky start, climb the obvious flake and groove line.
F.A. Stuart Millis & Ron Roy (2020)

Potential for a difficult (impossible?) line up the face between Tate Modern and Natural History may exist (working name: V&A), although the section between the two breaks will be exceptionally hard (impossible?). The upper diagonal break may also give a testing traverse line that’s also very hard.

4) Natural History ** F7b
A stern and testing (but short) line up the right side of the main face. Start beneath the v-notch ledge and climb on to this, continuing up via cracks and flakes to reach a good hold in the break. Move straight up from here via a series of increasingly smaller crimps until one last big move straight up gains better holds in the sloping shelf and an easier finish.
Note: it is also possible to climb the route using holds up the side of the crack to the right (incl. the one level with the last set of crimps) at an easier grade. 
F.A. Stuart Millis & Ron Roy (2020)

Stuart Millis on the first ascent of Natural History (F7b). Photo: Alex Reshikov

5) Imperial War * F6c
A classic thrutchfest. Climb the prominent crack and corner system at the right side of the overhanging main face to the ledge. From here squirm your way up the flared crack chimney until a difficult exit brings better holds on the ledges out left. Follow these to the lower off of Natural History. A direct continuation of the crack is also possible at a similar grade.
F.A. Christoph Bode, Stuart Millis and Ron Roy (2020)

6) Left Scrape – Mild VDiff
Pitch 1: Climb the deep corner crack to reach the large belay ledge.
Pitch 2: Climb the flake just right of the overhang and move right to the chimney. Climb this and belay on the right.
F.A. D.C. Reeve (1966)

7) The Barbican (Lower) – F6b+
Climb the slab right of the corner to reach the belay station on the large ledge.
F.A. Ron Roy & Stuart Millis (2020)

7a) The Barbican – F7/8? (Closed Project – not shown on topo)
Climb the slab between the corner of Left Scrape and Tates Scrape to reach the belay ledge. Continue over this to the right side of the overhang above. Tackle this with extreme difficulty to gain the lower off. The lower slab can also be climbed in its own right as a nice (but short) F6b+.
Bolters: Ron Roy & Stuart Millis

8) Tate’s Scrape – VDiff
This is the small chimney near the corner and to the right of Left Scrape
Pitch 1: Climb the chimney to a shared belay stance with Left Scrape.
Pitch 2: As for Left Scrape.
F.A. R. Morpeth & R. Buckner (1965)

9) Ralph’s Rib – Severe
Pitch 1: Step from the block on to the wall and then to the rib. The climb is steep and without protection.
Pitch 2: As for Left Scrape.
F.A. R. Wallis & D.C. Reeve (1967)

10) Five Demands – F5
Climb the front face of the lower buttress to reach the chain anchor on the large belay ledge.
F.A. Alice Ng (2020)

11) Rover – VDiff
This climb is around the corner on the very right side of the crag.
Pitch 1: Cross the slab, then climb the crack to the front wall and use the belay shared with other routes.
Pitch 2: As for Left Scrape.
F.A. J. Baines & T. Griffiths (1965)

12) Toggle Ridge – Diff
This climb is located on the most northern crag of Tate’s Cairn.
Pitch 1: Start at the bottom right of the crag and traverse on to the ridge. Traverse right where a large boulder bars the way, then move left along a ledge, followed by easy climbing to a belay.
Pitch 2: Climb the short wall above, then go right and mantleshelf.
F.A. J. Baines & T. Griffiths (1965)

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Tate Modern
Tate Modern
Tate Modern
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Natural History
Natural History
Natural History
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Imperial War
Imperial War
Imperial War
Ron Roy working Natural History (F7b). Photo: Alex Reshikov
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