The Cathedral in Jonkershoek is a magnificent piece of mountain. “Pity the rock quality is so bad”, I’ve always thought – this, based on experience of other routes in the area. And so I have mostly gone elsewhere for my adventure climbing fix. But there is one piece of the Cathedral that has, for years, drawn my attention and for which I have harboured some hope. So when Ross Suter expressed enthusiasm for some climbing in Jonkershoek, I was inspired to finally check it out.
At the end of last Tuesday, Ross and I both glowed brightly in the way that you do only after one of those truly peak days in the hills. We’d had a 14 hour round trip from my Jonkershoek front door, that surpassed my wildest hopes of what that mountain might hold. From the full moon setting in the dawn, the day flowed upwards in 7 very consistent, long, straight pitches, that gain and go straight up the exhilarating, aesthetic line of a steep arête with big exposure in a very dramatic setting. The climbing is steep, clean, and consistently very good at a grade of 15 -18 and is on good quality rock, which is surprising for Jonkershoek.
There are a few 100 meters of cool, knife-edge scrambling from the top of the 7th pitch to the summit (and the descent). We think the route offers something quite special – a rare, full-on, quality country route experience in the very dramatic and beautiful setting of Jonkershoek, quite accessible and close to Cape Town. Destined to become a classic? We think so. Stay posted for more details.
Neither of us had a camera on the day, so I pulled the pics off the web to show something of the route and its setting.