Mount Stenhouse, Lamma Island
Mount Stenhouse is a complex crag comprising gullies, overhangs, slabs and ill-defined ribs separated into different areas of rock that offer climbing routes between 10 m to 100 m in length.
Note: The information below has been collected from a variety of old guides, including those by Brian Heard, Ng Sai-Shing and D.C Reeve. A full copy of the 1982 Guide by Ng Sai-Shing has been uploaded here (StenhouseGuide) and will be integrated below if I ever get round to hiking out to Stenhouse to take tackle some of the climbs / some nice topo shots etc. (or someone else sends me some to use – hint…)
All data is unverified so trust it at your own peril….
Access is best achieved from the ferry pier at Sok Kwu Wan, check timetables here for up to date data on ferry schedules. The crag itself is located on the southwest face of Mount Stenhouse and can be reached from any of the paths taking you to the top of the mountain. However, the recommended approach is to follow the path from Sok Kwu Wan towards Lo So Shing Beach. Just before reaching the beach turn left and pass across an old abandoned paddy field to the start of a small dirt path (often overgrown and difficult to locate). Follow this and a more obvious and passable path to the top of Mount Stenhouse. From the summit walk along the ridge in a southerly direction , eventually forking off and to the right until the crag is apparent on your left. Due to the dense jungle surrounding the crag, the best approach is by an 50 m abseil.
The approach should take about 1.5 hours to reach from the ferry pier.
1 – Judge’s Alley – HVD
On the left side of the main crag is a large monolith. The crack and groove between this and the main cliff, which will probably be filled with vegetation, marks the beginning of the climb. Garden tools likely to be required…
Pitch 1: Climb the short easy slab to the right of the crack, keeping clear of the vegetation. At the first large tree move right to the arete and belay at a block.
Pitch 2: Climb on to the belay block, from which a flake with a horizontal knife edge can be reached. Mantle on to this before moving left back in to the main crack . A hefty chockstone in this facilitates upward movement to gain the base of parallel vertical cracks above. Climb the crack, eft of the blocks, until it is possible to move right over the boulders to a large stance and a block belay.
Pitch 3: Scramble to the left, over boulders, before moving left round the slab and up the eft crack to more loose boulders. Move off left and then down a gully to reach the base of the crag.
2 – Broken Jug – S
The climb starts right of Judges Alley and goes up the chimney in the centre of the monolith
Pitch 1: Climb up the thin chimney to the top of the monolith by a series of blocks and chimneys. Belay as for judges Alley
Pitch 2: Follow the upper part of Judges Alley
3 – Black Coffee / Aardclimb – HVS 5a *
This climb is located on the left of the banana shaped monolith.
Pitch 1 – 5a: Climb the semi-detatched flake to belay at its top.
Pitch 2 – 5a: From the top of the flake delicately move up a few feet before it is possible to traverse right into the main thin vertical corner crack, which is shallow rounded and much steeper than it appears from the ground. continue up the crack until a small overlap is reached. Move over this on very small holds and continue to the large overhang above before traversing right to the belay.
Pitch 3 – 4a: Move right and climb to the top of an enormous rounded flake and belay below an overhang.
Pitch 4 – 4a: Avery wide bridge beneath the overhang is followed by delicate climbing up the slab above. Pull out of this and round onto the the face, which is followed to a crack and then a belay on the tree above.
4 – Lemon Squash – VS 4a