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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 888
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
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I have been living in Cape Town for around 17 years and when I arrived here the local heroes assisted by various others had done some of the great adventurous country routes including Exposure in F Major, Renaissance, Mamacos's North West Frontal etc etc etc etc. Yellowwood I would have thought, was thoroughly explored for that kind of route but 17 years ago Time Warp was the only route of that genre that existed. Time Warp is worth doing and very adventurous and not for the faint hearted. But I would not really it give more than a 2* rating.

Armageddon Time is a more modern route and has some great climbing but is hardly a good line or route in general. 90% of it is 19/20 grade - not all on good rock. And there is the "outlier" pitch off the halfway ledge that has a very scary deck fall potential start, followed by a thin "boulder" problem move and finishing with a brutal overhanging crack that is brick hard unless you find the critical hidden lay back hold which is very slippery when in the sun. This pitch is grade 23 but is much harder than any grade 23 route on TM including Arms Race.

And then there is Blood is Sweeter than Honey, bold and extremely adventurous and with more than one x-rated pitch.

In just 3 weeks Yellowwood has yielded two really great routes of moderate grade. Divine Time is the better line as it finds its way through truly amazing overhanging rock. But yesterday Tini and I contrived Fine Time which is a little harder and somewhat more adventurous at grade 20. It has only one tricky, slightly grotty pitch but the rest is superb rock. The last pitch finds its way up a scary looking but spectacular well protected overhanging crack which is really only grade 19 but placing the gear probably warrants the grade 20. The descent is a quick fire 3 raps same as Divine Time. Watch the Wiki routes for details. Got my day job to do now


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 173
Stop stealing all the plumb lines and let others have a chance! :lol:

looks awesome, cant wait to get up there and try it, well done on the new routes. I hope I can crank half as hard as you when I am your age


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 233
Hey norty snorty
you need to complete the headwall above the point where you snuck off - it's harder but the best part. Guy and I climbed it in March last year. And another thing, we left an abseil route down that gully route Yellowwood Crack. You can scramble a long way down then get to a thread then using directionals to keep trending toward camp, get to two fixed nuts.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 888
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Brent, Trust me it is not a steal. I really imagined that these routes were explored years ago when people used pegs. Interestingly Du Toits was climbed a lot and the Exposure buttress where there are quite a few routes. But not YW.

Anyway that's why I did not bother till now. There must be lots of these lines on the amphitheatres around the western cape. Nuts and hexes would be very challenging but cams make all the difference.

The rock looks chossy but it is isn't at all.

i think I can straighten it a little in one or two places too.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Hilton, the buttress above has few options that I can see but it is out of character with the route. And in any case you would have to walk left or right from where we finished. It makes no sense to launch into an overhanging grungy pitch (that's what it looks like from below) at several grades harder and in the sun when you have just done 6 pitches of delectable and consistent 19/20 climbing in the shade. I think I would then have to call it "Not So Fine Time". I can assure you that it would get very few ascents if it suddenly got hard. YW routes rarely get climbed in any case.

Be that as it may, I have not written off adding top pitches and I would rather not know where you climbed or even what the grade is. If I can contrive pitches consistent with the grade - i.e. no harder than 21 or maybe 22 that are also well protected and safe then I would add it to the route. If it happens to coincide with your pitches I shall credit you with the first ascent

The rap I put up as shown on the Divine Time photo is very easy to get to and very quick and also elegant in that it has no fixed gear that will rust - only very thick 11mm rope threads and biners. Easy to find and maintain by replacing the rope and biners from time to time. I don't think I would ever bother scrambling down to your pieces.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 233
Sniffles admit it....you succumbed to the temptations of that big walk-off ledge!

If you try really hard you may find a grungy crack I suppose. See pic

You had done the commute but left off the better two pitches above!! C'mon, what have you done with the old snorty...?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 233
Snorty, don't look at this. This is for unblinkered horses.

For those of you who might climb these routes to the left of the amphitheatre there is a very good descent down Yellowwood Crack. This was the first rock climb in the area. I've been down it a few times. And I've climbed it with Guy and I've soloed it so I'm not totally ignorant of the place.

The descent is just two abseils. The first is an incredible 11mm static rope thread that you will trust to hold a ship. The second is two excellent wire nuts.

To get to it scramble down the very pretty valley in this picture to just below this point. On the ab lean a little toward Yellowwood-proper and place a cam as a directional (ie to keep the ropes over to one side). Get to the wires and Bob's your uncle. You land on a nice ledge and have a clean walk-off. It's an option. Consider it if you want to.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Posts: 888
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Hilton, you guys did some top pitches - kinda weird to start there way above the main face. On their own they are eliminates and will never be repeated I don't think unless they link from below which I shall look into. Not appealing at all to me on their own. I find it hard enough to get motivated to walk over to the Chess pieces when there are such good routes at the Amphitheatre side

Anyway, here are the details. We left CPT at 05h30. Walked up with Margaret and my buddy Straughan. The temperature as we left the car was 19 degrees C. Slow walk and then tea. We were all soaked with sweat. HOT! 1st 3 pitches were already hot but shady. Then Tini tried to climb a dihedral on the right which took a long time. And he then backed off. We thenwent left and we were in the SUN and I guess around 34+ degree heat. We rapped at 5pm. The rap starts at the same level we ended. You merely walk left for a rope length and find the 1st thread. You do not need to carry shoes at is is so close and nearby. No scrambling

We had 2l water between us!

So we shall see next time if it can be improved and lengthened with an earlier start and a cooler day.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
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Tony Dick at age 67 and Bruce Daniel and I did a free ascent of Fine Yesterday. The line has been improved with a funky tricky but safe 23 pitch. All the pitches are excellent. I rate this a 5* route as good as anything at YW or for that matter anywhere on Sandstone in South Africa. Just about every move on the route is thought provoking or technical and the last pitch is this amazing overhanging crack that then finishes off on a wildly exposed but easy arete high above the scree.


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