Hutchinson Buttress new route

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Hilton
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 pm

Hutchinson Buttress new route

Post by Hilton » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:54 am

The drive from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek takes you over Helshoogte Pass then past Kylemore and Pniel to the fantastic Boshendal Estate. Overlooking Boshendal is the big wall of Hutchinson Buttress.
In 1929 a strong group of climbers tried to climb the left skyline but backed-off when it got steep and unprotected (for those times). In 1934 Bert Berrisford and party took a look at the ridge. They then traversed to the right, almost to the middle of the big wall, then went up diagonally leftwards to intersect the ridge about halfway up. Then they climbed the ridge to the top. They called their route North-Western Buttress (of Hutchinson Buttress, Groot Drakenstein). MCSA Journal 1934.
I was up at the wall in September with Guy Paterson-Jones, and started thinking about that really aesthetic, sort-of-alpine line on the left. On a visit to Cape Town I put it to Jeremy Colenso. He also loves an appealing line, and also doesn't mind a bit of effort.
On Friday we hiked in from Kylemore and camped in the majestic Duiwelskloof. On Saturday (5 January 2019) we made an alpine start and clambered up the steep gorge to get to the neck between Hutchinson and the Devil's Tooth. We descended the other side to get around rock buttresses then headed up to the base of the ridge. We went up the skyline for five big pitches to get to the big ledge where we found the 1934 beacon. We roped a couple of pitches above then soloed/scrambled to the summit. Pitching the whole thing would take around 12 or 14 pitches for the route.
The lower pitches all have some stuff that gets your attention (tricky, unprotected, not bullet-proof rock etc) but overall the route is much like North West Frontal on Du Toits Peak in difficulty - so kind of 18 or 19 with teeth.
We scrambled, down-climbed and abseiled (6 raps) the right side of the face to regain the neck. I wouldn't recommend it. Rather hike down Duiwelskloof.
Attachments
North Ridge Hutchinson topo - Copy.JPG
North Ridge Hutchinson topo - Copy.JPG (44.08 KiB) Viewed 911 times

hendriks
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: Hutchinson Buttress new route

Post by hendriks » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:08 pm

Great stuff Hilton :hapban

There must be some more potential in Duiwelskloof itself? Some seriously big faces in there.

Hilton
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Hutchinson Buttress new route

Post by Hilton » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:29 pm

Thanks Hendrik!

Hutchinson Buttress now has six routes and Duiwelskloof has quite a few - the best that I've done are Duiwel's Direct and Lucifer. I think the best lines have probably been done but there is scope for a heck of a lot of new routes on those big 500m - 600m walls.

For Stellenbosch locals this place is an absolute gem. The lowlands behind Boschendal/Pniel/Kylemore are now fenced off with serious electrified game fencing and are stocked with eland and other antelope. Access is by permit with Banhoek Conservancy, and they are great (http://banhoekconservancy.org). Altogether its just fantastic - no more business of cars getting broken into etc, and the place is pristine.

If I were you it would be my go-to spot!

Hilton
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Hutchinson Buttress new route

Post by Hilton » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:48 pm

To watch guys base jump Hutchinson's Buttress -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbfy0iltta8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV8JE1JzM3M from 1:55
Their sub-title says "Banhoek" but that's wrong. Banhoek is a kilometre around to the left. Karl, AdK and others have jumped Banhoek.

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