Tonquani Ridge

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JanPotgieter
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Real Name: Jan Potgieter

Tonquani Ridge

Post by JanPotgieter » Mon May 21, 2018 11:39 am

Hello, all.

Can anybody help me with finding and describing Tonquani Ridge? I do have the 2013 version of the Upper Tonquani Topo that was compiled by the MCSA. Standing at the bottom of Tonquani Crack, my brother and I spent a lot of time deliberating the exact line of the route. Since we are both rather new to trad climbing, and since we couldn't agree on our individual interpretations of the topo on page 71, we decided to do a more familiar route instead.

The confusion comes in at many places, the numerous waterfalls being just one of them. Also the fact that almost every route in the vicinity uses Tonquani Ridge as a reference so cross-referencing proved to be rather problematic.

One of the waterfalls is significantly higher than the others (to the true left of Tonquani Crack). So I have to assume that this is the waterfall described in the topo. It says that the route commences 'on top of a waterfall about 3m high'. Is this 'on top of' or 'above'? Because traversing 9m left from 'on top of' that fall looks like very dodgy climbing for a grade 9. Also, it will bring me close to the start of Feng's Folly without having a crack to climb up on as per the description. So my deduction was that it was referring to the next waterfall to the right. But then this makes me wonder why you would start here and traverse 9m left, instead of just starting at the base of Tonquani Crack.

In any case. We were left very confused and slightly disappointed by not being able to climb what looked like a very nice route.

Can anybody please help us with some clearer description? It would be much appreciated. The way I saw it was that it follows the same line as Tonquani Crack, but instead of using the crack, you sort of use either side of this prominent crack, making it more of a face climb. And then ending up to slightly to the left of it. Am I right?

Please help us because we would love to climb this route!

Jan Potgieter

wildx
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by wildx » Mon May 21, 2018 12:19 pm

Hey

Welcome to trad :) It helps a lot to get used to the idea that you will get lost and struggle your panties of finding the routes. Magalies especially, easy to get lost when you are looking for the "crack behind the small tree next to the big rock 5 meters above a waterfall and 30 meters downstream from another hard to find route"... I feel your pain.

The Ridge is easy to find when you look up, find the obvious ridgeline. Just left of the eye of Hawks Eye. But that you know. (It's hard to explain the very obvious line...So I will not even try.)
If you are using the PDF, then you are in luck. There is a photo of Upper Tonqs with lines and names on it. Use that...

My personal advice for trad-ing in magalies is to look up and try and find the line the route aims for. The first pitch is always a bit iffy and random. The cleaner climbing happens a bit higher up. So look up and find the line before trying to find the starting block. (if that makes any sense)

Enjoy,

(I think Tonq ridge and crack starts at the same spot. The crack route follows the right-hand crack and the ridge follows the face climbing on the "knife" edge on your left.)

shorti
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by shorti » Mon May 21, 2018 12:51 pm

wildx wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 12:19 pm
try and find the line the route aims for. The first pitch is always a bit iffy and random. The cleaner climbing happens a bit higher up
Agreed. Even Hawk's Eye's original start is nowhere near where most people climb it from. My advice is to start with Tonquani crack and climb all the way to the memorial plaque (about 40m up). From there you have 2 good options. Climb through the right side of the shallow cave or traverse left around the corner to get on the ridge (This is the ridge the route refers to). There's not much gear there, but the climbing is pretty good. Also don't put too much weight on the tree, it is doable to not stand on it at all. If you chose the overhang (Tonquani Crack's line), you can still cross over a bit higher up to do the top part of Tonquani Ridge, which is in my opinion, much better. There is loose rock on the top part, but it's not a problem, just expect it.

Btw, you are right about the start of the route. It does traverse out left over the waterfall, and it does look dodgy. Rib Tickler also goes up there between Crack and Ridge and ends up crossing to the left of the ridge to climb the face towards the top of the cliff. Left of that is another nice route, with a horrible start called Highway. You can cross over to the nice pitch from Tonquani Crack's first pitch, but I'm not even going to try to explain exactly where - it's a bit dodge anyway.

RyanKarate
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by RyanKarate » Mon May 21, 2018 5:12 pm

Will drawing some lines on this pic help you guys - and me.

Thanks
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Old Smelly
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by Old Smelly » Tue May 22, 2018 11:47 am

As has been explained:

Start near base of Tonquani crack and go left until you are on top of the block (or start as for Feng's Folly at the base of a crack much further down under the waterfall, with the block on the left. Once up on the block you then work your way back onto the ridge and then at some point can go around the corner to the Burton Memorial stance. As has been mentioned this is Trad and so the grade is in no way meant to be confused with how hard, exposed, or lacking in protection the climbing is - once you have that concept as to what the grade is an indicator of, then you won't automatically link these things together.

As mentioned above you may indeed find yourself wondering all over the place with various route options.

Or go with someone who thinks they know the climb...
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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emile
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by emile » Tue May 22, 2018 12:46 pm

Old Smelly wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:47 am
As has been mentioned this is Trad and so the grade is in no way meant to be confused with how hard, exposed, or lacking in protection the climbing is - once you have that concept as to what the grade is an indicator of, then you won't automatically link these things together.
You've got me. What does the grade indicate then? If I recall Snort even expanded on this to include onsight difficulty and severity, so if it's not difficulty, what is it?

shorti
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by shorti » Tue May 22, 2018 4:29 pm

Karate Ryan, your photo only shows the (top) part that's not confusing at all :lol:

Anyway, the edge/ridge is Tonquani Ridge and Tonquani Crack is in the Corner (mostly not really visible in the photo)

Old Smelly
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by Old Smelly » Wed May 23, 2018 7:51 am

Emile!

Come now I never said "Difficulty" - just how hard, exposed or lacking in protection - Technical Difficulty is what the grade is all about...

Just ask the Capetonians how a grade 9 can include bits that are actually grade 19 and other bits that deserve an "R" rating...

I think you misconstrued my explanation - I just wanted the "new" Trad climber to understand that they can be 10M from their last Pro, 80M above the ground and railing on their fingertips and the grade will be, well, 13.
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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emile
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by emile » Wed May 23, 2018 7:57 am

Old Smelly wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:51 am
Come now I never said "Difficulty" - just how hard, exposed or lacking in protection - Technical Difficulty is what the grade is all about...
You make a strange distinction between "hardness" vs difficulty, maybe my English is just not delicious enough.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Wed May 23, 2018 8:15 am

Old Smelly wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:51 am
Just ask the Capetonians how a grade 9 can include bits that are actually grade 19 and other bits that deserve an "R" rating...
You mean the part where the RD says: Climb to the rail beneath the roof, pull through the roof, strenuous! Mantel up desperately on thin holds to reach the next rail. (12)
Happy climbing
Nic

Old Smelly
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by Old Smelly » Wed May 23, 2018 3:54 pm

Eggzachary! :jocolor:
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

JanPotgieter
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Real Name: Jan Potgieter

Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by JanPotgieter » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:24 am

Sorry for the late reply. I just wanted to thank you all for your help. It is much appreciated!

We ended up going there yesterday and using shorti's advice - using Tonquani Crack to get to the plaque and then traversing left onto the ridge. And yeah there's not much protection there at all. But it worked well and we made it to the top. Lekker lekker!

I guess it will take time to get used to the gradings there as they seem very inconsistent.

Old Smelly
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Re: Tonquani Ridge

Post by Old Smelly » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:17 am

Hmm,

They are all fairly consistent with each other...

I think you are struggling to relate Sport grades to Trad and this is confusing you, so the best advice is -Don't...

That will help you and you will understand the Trad climbs of the area better then...

It is different ( I don't want to sound patronising or unhelpful - particularly if you climb hard sport and can do any climb put in front of you), it just is different from a lot of bolted routes where the grades are hotly contested...in Magalies Trad the grade tells only a little about a climb...
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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