Horn of Africa

Aerial view of Africa Amphitheatre

Aerial view of Africa Amphitheatre and The Ledge (pic Anthony Allen)


Approach:
The route starts at the top of Africa Ravine. There are several good ways to get to it. The nicest is to get to the Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse tunnel and then do a 50m abseil off the big cherry tree using the lowest link in the big chain.

Africa Amphitheatre

Africa Ravine and the 250m Africa Amphitheatre

 

Hilton starting the route


Start:
The route starts at the far left of the amphitheatre on clean white rock below the big overhangs 60m above. A few metres right from the tree in the very corner find a cairn below a clean vertical crack.

Pitch 1 is 47m of excellent climbing


Pitch 1   42m 20:
  Climb the crack for 10 metres to a ledge. Step right and climb the big, thin flake for a few metres. Start up leftwards on the pocketed brown wall then angle to the right. Step around into a corner and head up for a few metres. Climb the 10m face on the right up to a good ledge. Walk out right and stance at the end;

Pitch 2 is a sweet, little, clean corridor through a hanging garden


Pitch 2  27m 16:
  Go up for a few metres then angle up rightwards for 10m then go straight up a big corner to stance on the bushy Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse. Walk left (east) for 15m to just beyond a big tree. Stance at the big detached block beneath an overhang;

Pitch 3 starts off the Right Face-Arrow Face Traverse

 

Pitch 3  27m 20:   Stand on the block to place gear at full stretch in the thin horizontal rail. Rail to the right for a couple of metres then crank hard to get onto the ledge. Climb up on the left for a few metres to a ledge. Climb the slab close to the right end up to a small ledge. Climb the next slab in the middle up to a big ledge;

Pitch 4 is a long, ‘endurancy’ 22

 

Pitch 4  27m 22:   Start up the appealing corner on the left and get up into a big groove. Continue straight up and right up laybacks for 10m to a small roof. Climb around the roof on the left. Climb 10m up cracks and a pod to reach a big ledge. Walk a few metres left to stance at the huge block;

Richard following the crux moves on P4


Pitch 5  15m 20:  
Start in the chamber behind the huge block, and scramble up left to the base of a crack system . Follow this for a few meters and pull up and left to a little platform. Pull onto the face on edges and up left to top of the crack taken by Kape Moss pitch 3. Traverse right on the sloping ledge to a stance below a very thin crack in the face over the roof;

Richard starting his block of leads on P5


Pitch 6  25m 26:  
Crank over the first roof by the thin crack to a shelf below the second bigger roof. Rail right to below the steep bottomless corner at the right side of the roof above. Get a few micro/small wire placements in the horizontal seam at the base of the corner before launching into the crux sequence. Hard moves past a narrow, vertical finger slot lead to a good rail at the next overlap. Traverse left until the end of the rail, below a bulging section. Pull through and step left on the face above. Continue straight up to a final rail, step 1m left and then up onto the slab that is followed to the bivvy ledge. Walk a few meters left to a split block below a break in the low overhang. (Maybe 27+ for onsight);

The crux pitch 6 which is powerful and endurancy at 26 or 27

 

Starting into the crux moves

 

Through the crux

Pitch 7  20m 19:   Pull through the low overhang onto the white face and head straight up to the left side of a small roof in the middle of the face. Pull through and step right to above the roof and tend right for two or three metres. Continue up through at a break and then left to stance below a large corner (taken by Africa Amphitheatre);

Richard having fun on P7 which starts off the bivvy ledge (of Roof of Africa fame)

 

Excellent moderate climbing after a hard crux pitch

 

Pitch 8  30m 20:   Climb over some blocks to the white face that forms the left side of the huge corner. Head straight up the middle of the face. Crank off the 4 or 5 horizontal ripples then run it out until the rail. The holds are positive but don’t fall off – that landing would be bad. At the roof move left to the break through the roof on the left side, then up the ramp to the left and easy face to the ledge;

Excellent moderate climbing after a hard crux pitch

 

P8 goes through the break to finish easily up to P9 which is a fun easy finish to the top

Pitch 9 20m 15:   Climb the juggy wall on the left to the top.

Hilton Davies and Richard Halsey happy with their first ascent!


Descent:
Cable car or India Venster walk.

Notes / Gear:

  • Double rack of cams, full set of wires including micros and 50m ropes are recommended.
  • The crux pitch could be done with a single point of aid at about 23 A1.
    A free link-up at grade 22 would be to skip the crux pitch by moving from Pitch 5 into the top part of Kape Moss pitch 3 until the Bivvy Ledge.

First ascent: Richard Halsey and Hilton Davies, 25 November 2018 (Anthony Hall on first two pitches in 2016)

 

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2 Responses to Horn of Africa

  1. Hector Jan 29, 2019 at 9:07 pm #

    Flip, that looks lekker!

  2. Hilton Feb 1, 2019 at 3:02 pm #

    Big H!
    Thanks brother
    You’re gonna love it!

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