East Face


We’ve been notified that a number of the bolts on the East Face were chopped by the HKPF in July 2020. This is presumably an attempt at preventing protest banners being hung from this face. At the time of writing, the affected routes include those between Balance of Power and In the Shadow of the East, with several bolts on Austrian Staircase also gone (e.g. basically the entire East Face should be treated as unsafe for sport climbing for the time being, especially as the chopping was a half arsed job that’s left sharp bits of unsafe metal poking out all over the place). 

Extreme care should be exercised when climbing any of the routes on this face at the minute. 

A huge shout out to the Government of the HKSAR for basically trashing one of the best climbing venues in HK – morons…


Download the latest PDF guide for the crag here

1) Pussy Galore * F6c
Scramble up the gully until it is possible to step onto the wall at the level of the first bolts. Move up and right using the arete and holds on the right wall to reach easy ground. Follow this up the arete to reach a steeper head wall. Make a series of committing moves up the arete / wall and then follow the right side of the arete, with occasional rest stances on the arete itself, to the large ledge and belay anchors.
F.A. Stuart Millis, Christophe Terasse and Paul Collis (2009)

2) The Arete ** F6a
Start just right of the main face at a small off width crack, jam up this to the ledge above – those not liking jamming or rope drag may wish to avoid this section and scramble up to the ledge. Stride left onto the arete and climb up it with minor excursions either side in search of holds, easy but very run out in central section. Keep left near the top and follow Catastrophe to the anchor.
F.A. G. Pilcher & M. Lancaster (1991)

Lion Rock’s East Face Route 3 starts from the large belay ledge at the top of the arete.

3) Balance of Power ** F7a
A spectacular free climb up the line of the old aid route Gerbolt. The free line does not exactly follow the original line. From the belay of The Arete step right and climb the arete to the top of the obvious groove. Traversing about 3.0m right and climb up the wall above, past a single bolt, to a good jug and rest. Move back left on to the arete itself and make exposed moves past old bolts up to a sloping ledge, possible belay. Follow the arete and cracks to the summit.
F.A. S. Monks (1992)

The following routes all start from the base of the East Face. This can be reached by scrambling up the gully at the base of The Arete or by climbing up the easy angled slabs directly beneath the face.

4) The Lion’s Share – F6b
The line of resin bolts leading off the lefthand end of the terrace below the east face. Step off the terrace and balance up a tricky grove to join the main groove / flake line which is followed rightwards to the ledge in the centre of the wall. Gently climb up onto the large flake and tackle some bouldery moves above before easing ground gains the belay on the large ledge as for The Arete.
F.A. F. Haden & D. Kwok (2014)

5) East Flake – HVS 5a
Approach by scrambling up the gully to the right of The Arete to a large platform. Climb the large obvious flake up to the belay of The Arete.
F.A. J. Ward & J. Bunnell (1958)

6) Last Round, Last Minute *** F8a+
A monster pitch up the left side of the east face. At 45 m long and with 18 bolts a healthy dose of stamina and a big rack of quickdraws are definitely prerequisites for any would aspirants. Start left of the crack/ flake of Austrian Staircase and take a leftward trending diagonal line across the face, just above the obvious overlap. Once nearing the left side of the face change your trajectory to vertically upwards and pray that your arms “do their stuff” until you reach the belay.
F.A. Rocky Lok (2012)


Rocky Lok on his own First Round First Minute F8a+

7) Austrian Staircase *** F6a
Simply one of the best routes in Hong Kong. Start of the base of the obvious vertical flake.
Pitch 1 (F5+): Layback up the large flake, traversing right along its top, past the belay on Tigger, to a further belay stance on the far side of the face.
Pitch 2 (F6a): Move right from the belay stance to the foot of the groove lines and climb these to a short slab and corner. Move up the corner (crux) trending diagonally left and follow the cracks and grooves above. Belay on a large sloping ledge.
F.A. M. Lancaster & G. Pilcher (1992)

8) Lion King ** F6c
A stunning line with some friable rock, however this is more than compensated for by the routes situation.
Pitch 1 (F6b+): Start as for Austrian Staircase (Route 4). Just before the top of the large flake traverse left for about 4m before continuing up via a tricky move to a hanging belay.
Pitch 2 (F6c): Climb straight up from the belay and follow a thin line of small holds, trending rightwards, up the wall above. Trend left higher up towards a leaning crack and small belay stance.
Pitch 3 (F5): Finish up the crack to the top of the crag.
F.A. M. Gray, M. Lancaster & G. Pilcher (1994)

9) Tigger *** F7a+
An excellent line straight up the middle of the East Face. Due to its directness it is possible to climb the route in one long pitch (60 m Rope). Start to the right of Austrian Staircase at the foot of the corner crack (beware of bees who sometimes nest in the back of it).
Pitch 1 (F7a+): Climb the short corner crack to a large sloping ledge. Step off the ledge onto the wall above and climb directly up via a series of thin crimps and rockovers (run-out at the crux) making a hard and insecure move to reach a large jug/ flake. Move right from the jug and climb up the thin groove to a belay stance on the traverse of Pitch 1 of Austrian Staircase.
Pitch 2 (F6b+): Take a direct line up the wall above the belay stance of Austrian Staircase. It is possible to continue slightly above and left of this belay, which adds a few more metres to the route but little else of value. A sustained and interesting pitch with some friable rock in the upper part.
F.A. S. Millis & K. Noyes (2001)

Tigger 6c

Pitch 2 of Tigger, Best Pitch in HK? Certainly a contender… Photo: Jon Butters

10) Morning Light – F7a+
Start as for Tigger and follow that to the second bolt, stepping right onto the ramp. A short way up the ramp (of Stray Cat Strut), step back onto the wall and follow the line of resin bolts that runs parallel to Tigger.
F. Haden (2014)

11) In the Shadow of the East ** F7a
A fantastic long pitch that starts from the end of Morning Light. Take a full rack of quick draws (18) and a long sling for the bolt on the ledge where the route joins Tigger. Climb directly above the belay and make technical moves left to gain good holds. Move up then step left to where the wall steepens and engage turbo with hard moves to gain the sanctuary of the ledge above. Shuffle awkwardly left to join Tigger (long sling) and finish at the higher belay (not the Austrian Staircase belay).
F. Haden & D. Kwok (2014)

12) Stray Cat Strut – F5+
Start as for Pitch 1 of Tigger. Follow this to the large sloping ledge and continue rightwards along this until it is possible to pull on to the wall above, by the second bolt. Follow a series of small holds to broken grassy ledge level with the belay of Austrian Staircase. Continue up the steep face to the right of Austrian Staircase with minor excursions to the left and right. Going directly up the wall is unpleasant and increases the grade considerably (this section is also in need of cleaning).
F.A. K. Noyes & K. Greenland (2002)

From Summit: Either walk down the left hand ridge, footpath, or abseil the line of Wards Groove on the West Face.
Austrian Staircase/Tigger: Make two 30m abseils down the line of Tigger.

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