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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:29 am 
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Good morning all.

I hope that this is the correct place for this post.

My girlfriend and I (And possibly a few others) are planning to go and climb the "Blood on the rocks" multi-pitch in Drakensberg Sentinel area over the long weekend in September - http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/Drakensberg.

I would just like to get some more information on the climb and possibly a few tips from those that have done it before.

- It is not mentioned on the page, but is the climb on the back side of the main Sentinel (Paradigm shift) mountain?
- This may be a dumb question but how well maintained are the bolts, are there good anchor points?
- How does one repel from the last bolt, to the second last bolt coming back down. It looks like one will have to shift to the left. Same goes for the second last bolt to the third last.
- Is it possible to top out at the end of this climb?
- Where are the chain ladders in relation to this climb?

Many thanks in advance!

Shaun


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Real Name: Jonathan Newman
AgentSmith wrote:
I hope that this is the correct place for this post.


I don't know that there is a correct place for queries on Berg climbing - there are so few people who actually do it :lol:

Do you have past Berg experience? If not, maybe start with something a bit less serious, maybe standard route - just to get a feel for the rock first. Berg rock isn't like any other rock in SA. It's usually badly protected and can be brittle.

AgentSmith wrote:
- It is not mentioned on the page, but is the climb on the back side of the main Sentinel (Paradigm shift) mountain?


As far as I know, it is on the face that has Standard Route on it - just around the corner from Angus-Leppan.

From Sentinel carpark you look at the face that has Paradigm shift and some of the other monster routes. The corner on the right is home to Angus-Leppan. Blood on the Rocks is just around the corner from there.

AgentSmith wrote:
- This may be a dumb question but how well maintained are the bolts, are there good anchor points?


Its an obscure trad route, there may be occasional anchors or pegs along the way, but don't count on it.

AgentSmith wrote:
- How does one repel from the last bolt, to the second last bolt coming back down. It looks like one will have to shift to the left. Same goes for the second last bolt to the third last.


You hit the top and abseil down standard route (2 pitches, far apart). Same for all other Sentinel routes. I guess you could abseil down Paradigm Shift (the only sport route on Sentinel) using its bolts, but no real need.

I believe there are pegs above standard route that you can ab off, but take some access chord for a block anchor in case (and to backup the pegs).

AgentSmith wrote:
- Is it possible to top out at the end of this climb?


Of course it is! Climbing in the Berg is about hitting the top. If you merely want to climb a face, don't go to the Berg!

AgentSmith wrote:
- Where are the chain ladders in relation to this climb?


The path to the chain ladders goes right under the cliffs you see from the carpark and goes off to the right under the face with Blood and Standard. It then goes below the nek that separates Sentinel from Beacon Buttress (don't miss the view from this nek) and goes around to the chain ladders. Its 3km from the car park to the top of the chain ladders. There is a good path, you can't really get lost on the route.

There is a nice trad line called "When all else fails" on the free standing peak by the chain ladders. It's an F2 and was opened a few weeks ago by Chris Sommer and co. Take some micro cams if you plan to do that route :thumleft:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:24 pm 
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If I'm correct, these are the routes on this face of Sentinel. Photo taken about 1km before the chain ladders.

Angus-Leppan starts in that gully on the left.

Yellow line is Standard Route, Red is McLeod's Variation, Orange is Blood (the area of the route, not the line itself).

Attachment:
Sent.jpg
Sent.jpg [ 98.41 KiB | Viewed 1486 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Okay, I am now very glad I posted here. I thought that this was a sport climbing route, comprised of 12's, 14' and 15 grades! That is the reason why we wanted to do this multi-pitch, becasuse it seemed nice and easy. Is there something in the code - (F2/15 A2) - that indicates that this is a trad climb?

Are there perhaps any other sport climbing routes other than Paradigm shift?

Thanks for the reply, much appreciated


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:27 pm 
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I think the lack of a number of bolts is the usual indication of a sport route, but the rule of thumb in the Drakensberg is that its trad unless otherwise stated. I am only aware of 2 sport routes in the Berg, Paradigm Shift (21) and Not So Auto on Monk's Cowl (26, but apparently its undergraded - balance moves on less than vertical smooth rock).

A2 means moderate aid climbing. A5 is heavy aid, A0 is minimal aid. I have had a good look at Blood before - the rock looks very smooth, I assume that's the reason for the A2.

I am aiming to climb Sentinel Standard Route (D grade) next month over the long weekend. If you want to climb Sentinel that weekend, you are welcome to join us.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:44 pm 
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You can usually / often tell it is a sport route when it has the number of bolts in brackets after the pitch grades as an example here http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/Silvermine_Crags

If this is absent you need to initially assume not and then do a bit more research.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:11 pm 
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AgentSmith wrote:
Is there something in the code - (F2/15 A2) - that indicates that this is a trad climb?
The "F2" part :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:14 am 
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Muchas gracias amigo's!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:20 pm 
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I have climbed the sentinel before (Angus-Leppan) and the Rock is very brittle please don't underestimate how this will effect your head when climbing it. As for Paradigm shift it is a not just a 22 there are big run outs and i have spoken to a few people that have said yes it is a 22 but it is a 22 all the way up so you better be fit. Hope this helps and best of luck


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:06 am 
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Hey agentsmith

This is a bit late to be getting into the conversation, but anyway, 'blood' is definitely not a sport route. We didnt place any bolts at all on the route! I cant remember that well, but i dont think we left any belays set up, maybe a dodgy piton or two (they were homemade pitons- be rust dust by now!).The climbing is not that hard, just not the best aid gear. Pretty decent for the berg though.

I only know of one other attempt on the route, they didnt finish as the weather pulled in and leader took a fall when gear ripped and left a bit of his skin lying around up there. ' Blood on the rocks' eh? Half my knuckles are up there too, hence the name.

If you havent climbed in the berg yet, maybe take ghazna up on his offer?! Enjoy


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:15 pm 
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jackson wrote:
We didnt place any bolts at all on the route! I cant remember that well, but i dont think we left any belays set up, maybe a dodgy piton or two (they were homemade pitons- be rust dust by now!).The climbing is not that hard, just not the best aid gear. Pretty decent for the berg though.


So its your route? Nice!

Some back story to the route would be great! Its not on my to do list, but I always enjoy the history of routes :thumleft:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Thanks for the info. We have never done trad climbing before and we certainly won't be experimenting on this climb. I have learnt a lot just from this post alone as I assumed it was a sport route. Now I know what to look for. My buddies and I have only ever climbed sport routes in Harrismith, WB, Chosspille, Kings Kloof and Choss. We want to perhaps join the MCSA in the near future to learn a lot more.

All the best


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Jackson - can you send a topo/photo of sorts of your line? It is the only route I have not done on that chunk of the berg, and when i look up at it all I see is effing scary slabs about to slide off each other!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:21 am 
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Hey Camp, ye it should be in the route guide pages- with a rough topo. If you dont come right, pm me your e-mail and I can send you copy


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