A large hillside covered with, generally good quality, Granite Boulders. The relatively short and easy walk-in (once you actually get to Lamma), pleasant views and good sea food restaurants in Sok Kwu Wan, all make for an enjoyable day out.
From Central Ferry Pier No. 4 take the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan, which departs from the left side of the ferry pier (check schedules). The ferries from right side go to Yung Shue Wan and add about 45 minutes to the approach walk so avoid these! Ferries also run to Sok Kwu Wan from Aberdeen too (see above link for schedules)
From the ferry pier in Sok Kwu Wan head right and follow the main path past all the sea food restaurants to a small open area. At the far left corner of this square is a staircase and footpath which lead up the hill (signposted to Tung O). Follow this path uphill until a small shelter is reached, approximately 20 minutes. Taking the right hand branch in the footpath leads to the Pagoda Boulders, whilst the left takes you to the Ling Kok Shan Boulders.
The first cluster of boulders are located close to the two shelters on the main ridge line, primarily off to the right of the approach path but also with a couple of blocs located a short way up the stairs leading towards the summit of Ling Kok Shan.
The Butt Bloc
1) Power of Love *** V8
The right to left traverse of the sloping lip, finishing as for Problem 5, will definitely need cold weather.
2) Mantle Piece *** V4
In the centre of the wall is a vertical crack. Start matched in this and reach for the sloping lip of the boulder (bouncing for the lip straight from the start is cheating). Gaining the lip is relatively straightforward, matching it and topping out is another matter.
3) Grovel Crack V1
The crack itself has a distinctly unpleasant feel about it.
4) Short Wall ** V1
The short wall, between the arete and crack, is climbed using both of these features.
5) Butt Crack ** V4
On the lip of the face is a seam. From a good foothold hop up to this seam and scrabble to the top of the boulder. Definitely much harder for the vertically challenged!.
6) Humped Arete ** VB
The easy arête also forms a good descent route
1) Vanishing Point ** V5
Reasonable holds in the break allow poor holds in the scoop above to be gained. From here even poorer holds may or may not bring the top.
2) Tree Top V3
A relatively poor problem up the short steep face round the corner, finishing at the tree. Start by jumping for a good hold in the break.
1) V0 – 4c *
The thin slabby face at the left end of the boulder.
2) V0 – 5a *
Follow a series of small crimps and flakes up the short wall.
3) Flared Crack * V0
The flared crack leads to sloping, and slightly insecure, top out.
4) V1 **
The left side of the arête is climbed using good, but spaced, holds on the face and slopers on the shelf
The left arete of the back face of the boulder has potential, but has not really been attempted yet.
6) Crystal Crack ** V3
The crystaline, and slightly crumbly, crack peters out at the top of the boulder, where and insecure finish awaits. Scampering off right eases the grade to V2.
1) Round the Horn ** V3
Start on the first set of positive holds in the long slanting crack and traverse right out to, and around, the arête. Continue right, past the vertical crack, to finish up the small scoop. In need of a sit start and direct finish up the arête.
2) Horn Crack * V0
Use the vertical crack to gain good holds in the large horizontal break and trend right to finish.
3) The Horn ** V1
Good crimps in the lower horizontal cracks bring even better holds in the break above. Finish in the scoop above.
1) Smear Test *** V3
Start at the scoop beneath the highest part of the boulder. Get established on the slab and then smear tenuously and directly up the wall above.
2) Smear Test (sds) ** V6
The sit start to Smear Test is both fearsome and tricky. The crux, however, is deciding whether it’d be easier facing left or right!
The blunt arête right of Smear Test looks possible, starting from a positive but small crimp on the lip.
Note: The descent from this boulder involves a somewhat worrying leap across to the block behind it. You have been warned…
The Hell Bloc
1) Hell Crumbs (sds) V1
The crumbly flake and crack on the left side of the face are followed to good holds on the block at the lip.
2) Escape from Hell (sds) * V5.
Sit Start with hands matched on poor holds on the lip of the bulging arête (the short will need to stack pads) make hard moves up and onto the slab.
3) Hell Fire V2
The centre of the face, starting up the thin vertical crack.
4) Hell Arete V1
The right arete of the face.
1) Blunt Arete * V3
Start at the small seam on the blunt arête. Swing left onto a good foothold and mantle to finish. Tackling the bulge of the arete direct increases the grade to V4
2) Centre Piece * V2
Climb the thin wall to join the left end of the horizontal crack. Finish through the rounded edge above.
3) Scooped Up * V2
Step up into a small scoop and exit left to join the horizontal crack. Finish directly above the right end of this.
4) Right Arete * V1
The right arête of the wall can be climbed with a little assistance from the flakes out left.
Located about on-third of the way up the path leading to the summit of Ling Kok Shan is a cluster of scattered boulders containing some problems of exceptional quality, most notably the arete test piece of Golden Arete.
1) Pure Gold (Project)
Climb the slabby face using holds on both the left and right aretes.
2) Golden Arete *** V8
Undoubtedly Hong Kong’s finest arete climb. Layback the curving rounded arete. Easier said than done due to an almost complete lack of footholds.
3) Golden Shower * V3
Move up the slabby righthand side of the arete until it is possible to swing left on to poor footholds. Tenuously mantle to finish.
From reasonable holds on the sloping shelf, climb the short arete.
2) V4 **
Traverse the thin crack and shelf beneath the overlap. All holds above the overlap are out of bounds until you top out at the right end of the face.
1) Sleepy Hollow (sds) *** V5
Start using crimps on the wall inside the cave for the left and lip of the roof for the right. Lift off and match the lip before following a series of diagonal breaks that lead back up and left to an intimidating finish
2) Twinkle Toes * V4
Start at the right end of the boulder and, using the horizontal breaks for foot holds, make a somewhat airy traverse out left above the lip of the roof until it is possible to finish directly up.
Just upslope of Sleepy Hollow is another large bloc with a narrow face adjacent to the path
3) The Hollow Man ** V4
Start up the hollow sounding flake on the narrow face on the end of the bloc before committing to smears and slopers for a terrifying and committing finish.
Be warned, there is no easy way off this boulder and a slither down / drop is required on the face left of Hollow Man.
1) Keep Crimped and Scream ** V7
Start at the good side pull on the lip and throw up to poor holds in the seams above. Somehow use these to finish.
2) Pop Tart * V3
With your left hand on a reasonable sloper on the nose, pop up and right to a good hold above. Mantle to finish.
2a) Pop Tart (Low) * V6
Start hanging on the poor sloper on the lower lip at the edge of the overhanging wall (cold weather essential). From here, campus to the holds higher up and finish as for Pop Tart.
3) Veggie Crack V0
Follow the vegetated left trending crack.
1) A Donkey on the Rock (sds) * V3
Start with one hand on the lip and one buried in the crack under the roof. Fight your way through the lip and up the crack above. Feels more like V10 if you’ve not taped up!
The hillsides above the Ling Kok Shan Boulders are littered with other boulders. Brief explorations of these found few ‘areas’ with substantial numbers of problems. Odds and sods were found and climbed, and these included some very nice problems. However, it was decided to leave the area undocumented for the time being.
Found a boulder further up past Ling Kok Shan right along the sidewalk. The V1 I actually started with a foot on the sidewalk. The right arête is a smeary V0. On the front face there is a crimpy V1 on the left side. There is a much harder project just to right of the V1. It has a balancy start and follows some sloping dishes – really nice looking problem. I have some photos to show the location if there is somewhere to send them.