There are about 60 traditional climbs here, mostly single pitch routes but generally of very high quality. The grades vary from 8 to 27 and many routes in the early twenties can be found here including many good classics. It is part of the Tonquani Complex.
This kloof is owned by the MCSA, so open to MCSA members and guests (1 guest per member) otherwise permits are required. Contact the MCSA for access details. Approximate traveling time from Johannesburg – 1 – 1.5 hours.
Entry through Mountain Sanctuary Park – Safe Parking is available at Mountain Sanctuary Park (www.mountain-sanctuary.co.za), GPS: 25° 50.173′ S (25° 50′ 10″ S) 027° 28.564′ E (027° 28′ 33″ E). Parking costs R30 per non-member vehicles and R40 per member vehicle. Non MCSA members also have to pay an entry fee of R100 per adult and R50 per child.
Entry through Calabash – Parking costs R30 per vehicle (members and non-members), payable to the Jhb MCSA office.
Entry through Utopia – Only MCSA members may park at Utopia, contact MCSA Jhb for details.
The walk in to the top of Boulder Kloof is over relatively easy terrain, and takes between 40 minutes to an hour. Navigation can be difficult for first timers as the path isn’t well defined. The walk down Boulder Kloof to Lower Tonquani/ Cedarberg Kloof is quite steep with big boulders, and takes about 20 minutes.
Sometimes water can be found in the kloof but usually one needs to get close to the intersection with Tonquani. Climbing is good all year round.
Camping is available at the top end of Boulder Kloof (no facilities available) otherwise Mountain Sanctuary Park has camping and chalets, as well as ablution facilities and a small shop selling cold drinks and ice-cream.
The usual lunch spot is near the climb Slipstream. There are no cages for food storage, and the monkeys do sometimes raid, so advisable to take food out of packs and hide under rocks. There’s no swimming available in Boulder Kloof itself, but there are plenty of pools lower down the kloof and in Tonquani. There’s also a large pool at the bottom end of Lower Tonquani that you pass walking in and out which is perfect for a cooling dip. The general area has had muggings, so be alert.
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Boulder Kloof Gallery
Boulder Kloof Routes
THE PSYCHE FACTOR 17 (F3) R * [N]
The climb ascends the face downstream of Sunday Stroller. A prominent off-width crack marks the upper section of the climb.
1 17 (F3) 20m Climb the face up to an overhang. Move right to below an off-width crack. Ascend the crack and continue on easier rock to top of crag.
First Ascent: Mar 1988 M Seegers, D Margetts and A Mercer
This climb ascends a prominent arete 300m upstream from the upper descent gully into Boulder Kloof. The route is situated just downstream of a deep pool. A small free standing pinnacle lies just downstream of the start. Scramble up to the start.
1 11 (E2) 25m Climb the arete passing a small overhang about two thirds up.
First Ascent: Mar 1988 A Mercer, D Margetts, M Seegers.
PLUTO 20 (G2) R *** [N]
This climb ascends the thin face 1m right of Alabaster
1 20 (G2) 23m Climb the thin face 1m right of Alabaster.
First Ascent: Mar 1988 D Margetts, A Mercer, M Seegers, T Holt and D Hartley.
ALABASTER 19 (G1) R *** [N]
Situated 2m right of Styx.
1 19 (G1) 23m Climb the overhang and continue up the face to the top of the crag.
First Ascent: Mar 1988 D Margetts, A Mercer and M Seegers.
STYX 18 (G1) R *** [N]
This climb is situated about 100m upstream of the upper descent gully into Boulder Kloof. It is characterized by a smooth sloping slab with an overhang halfway up the slab and a crack running up the top section.
1 18 (F3) 23m Climb directly up the thin face on the left of the corner towards the overhang. Break through the overhang to below a crack. Ascend the crack above the overhang to the top of the crag.
Note : Thin climbing with adequate protection using small wires.
First Ascent: Mar 1988 M Seegers, T Truter, D Margetts, A Mercer.
SOLIDARITY 17 (F3) R [N]
To the right of the Slipstream/Easy Living buttress there is a gully which can be used as a descent (short abseil). On the right of this gully is a buttress and right again is broken ground. Start at the lowest point of the buttress next to a short crack leading to a short wall.
1 17 (F3) 35m Climb crack, step left, climb wall by recess (thin), past sapling to a large ledge with a large block (possible stance). From the top of the block continue upwards on front of buttress to handjam crack splitting a bulge. Pull over rightward to reach a small ledge, and climb onto large flat topped block. Step up onto wall behind block, moving left into overhanging crack and exit to belay ledge by an unusual move.
First Ascent: Aug 1981 N Cleaver, R Cleaver.
EASY LIVING 15 (F2) R [N]
Starts 4m upstream and around corner to Slipstream, at a crack in wall leading to perched block.
1 15 (F2) 37m Climb crack past block, move diagonally left to Slipstream. Almost immediately traverse right onto nose of buttress by a sharp foot rail. Up wall to loose blocks, step right and climb up to overhangs (junction with Slipstream). Step right, pull over overhang onto slab with good holds, continue to second overhang. Step left and climb the break to top of pinnacle.
First Ascent: Aug 1981 N Cleaver, R Cleaver.
CONAN, THE LIBRARIAN 18 (F3/G1) R ** [N]
Just upstream of the SLIPSTREAM buttress is an abseil descent gully. 9m upstream of this, the cliff turns back towards the stream bed. The route ascends the open book so formed and has as objective, the clean, crisp, open book visible high up.
1. 14 (F1) 23m Climb the groove pulling over the large chockstone. Amble up the gully and pull over the second block to a large comfortable ledge at the base of the clean steep open book with finger crack in corner.
2. 18 (F3/G1) 16m Take off with difficulty and layback, stem, jam up the crack and through the bulge above. Exit right at top of book.
1. Steep in places. Protection is good. The second pitch, although short, is excellent clean climbing.
First Ascent: Aug 1992 TP Willmot, PJ Duggan
SLIPSTREAM 18 (G1) R **** [N]
Start at the base of the overhanging red buttress about 15m upstream of the Boulder Kloof campsite. The route follows the corner just to the right of a thin arete.
1 18 (G1) 35m Ascend in corner on right hand side of prominent rib for 5m until forced out right by overhang (2m 18 GI). Stand on narrow rail on right and bridge up until able to swing right into resting place (5m 17 F3). Climb up to layback crack and either layback (3m) to ledge or layback until able to move right and then up to ledge. From ledge swing left and then mantleshelf. Follow crack on good holds to summit.
Note : Has a variety of technical moves on good rock and is well protected.
First Ascent: Jun 1978 J Brown, P Dawson and M Fagan.
RHYTHM OF YOUTH 27 (I1) R ***** [N, ?P]
Starts up Slipstream.
1 17 (I1) 35m Just after the crux of Slipstream, Slipstream avoids the awkward corner and moves right. Rhythm of Youth moves into this corner and up to the roof. Traverse left to the arete and then diagonally up left to a ledge. From the ledge move diagonally up right and up to a steep but fairly easy crack to another ledge. Traverse left 3m to the very steep white crack (noticeable from the ground). Climb the crack and make hard moves through the roof and onto the short wall above. Climb this and exit onto the ledge with rap tree.
Note : Wild climbing on superb rock, with truck catching runners. Two friend 1.5′s will make the crux more appealing.
First Ascent: Mar 1989 P Lazarus
BARBARA STREISSAND 23 (H1) R *** [N, P]
This route is a Slipstream eliminate.
1 23 (H1) 30m Starts as for Slipstream. Through the crux of Slipstream and where Slipstream moves right, climb the awkward corner as for Rhythm of Youth. Reach up and clip the pegs above the bridge of the “nose” (hence the name). Surmount the nose (crux) and climb directly up the steep wall exiting slightly left and onto the ledge.
Note : Although only the second part of the route is new, the new section offers powerful moves in a fairly “airy” position on excellent rock.
First Ascent: Jul 1989 P Lazarus.
THE DAMAGE DONE 20 (G2) R *** [N]
The climb takes the arete leading to the top of the overhanging red buttress about 15m upstream of the Boulder Kloof Campsite. Start midway between Ipso Facto and Slipstream.
1 20 (G2) 30m Climb the recess and, before reaching the birdshit streaked rock, traverse right across a slab to the base of the final orange arete. Climb steeply to the top.
Note: For more exciting climbing, follow the arete from -round level i.e. start 1m to the left of Slipstream.
First Ascent: Mar 1984 KM Smith, M Smith.
PIGEON ALLEY 19 (G1) R ** [N]
The route is situated on a very impressive buttress about 20m upstream of Comanici. It follows a corner, then chimney between Ipso Facto and The Damage Done.
1 19 (G1) 30m Climb the corner to a roof, move 1m right and enter the chimney above. Climb up to huge chockstone before exiting on the left.
First Ascent: Nov 1984 G Mallory, C Lesley-Smith.
IPSO FACTO 15 (F2) R * [N]
Follows the recess running the height of the cliff between the sloping grey arete and the overhanging red buttress upstream of the Boulder Kloof campsite. Start about 3m to the right of Planxty.
1 15 (F2) 30m Climb the recess for about 15m, step right, and continue up the right hand, narrow, open book. Pull through onto a blocky ledge and climb the final corner to the top.
First Ascent: Mar 1984 KM Smith, M Smith.
PLANXTY 19 (G1) R *** [N, P]
Start at base of wall forming right hand side of the prominent grey arete a few metres upstream of the Boulder Kloof Campsite.
1 19 (G1) 35m Climb centre of wall to reach arete just below small overhang (existing bolt runner).Continue up arete and slab until possible to move left to good resting ledge. Better holds lead to second overhang. Move awkwardly left around this and right around final overhang and up short wall to large platform. Scramble up easy rock to top.
First Ascent: May 1981 P Douglas & N Cleaver
ENEMY WITHIN 21 (G3) R *** [N]
Takes the roof that Planxty circumnavigates and the slab above.
1 21 (G2/G3) 35m Start at the right hand side of the Planxty slab 1m left of lpso Facto. Climb up to roof via subsidiary corner, pull through and trend left to join Planxty as it enters final roofs. Finish as for Planxty.
Note: This route was initially done by M Townshend during 1988, but was never written up.
First Ascent: Jan 1990 S Kelsey, M Loewe and S Marsland.
FREE WORLD 19 (G1) R [N, 1P]
4m right of Comanici in a prominent V-groove in the overhangs. Start at the crack in the lower slabs behind the tree.
1 19 (G1) 22m Climb crack and V-groove until stopped by the over-hang. Hand-traverse left (peg runner) to small foothold by aloe. Pull into groove and continue for a few metres until a step right gives a good stance.
2 9 (E1) 15m Climb groove and then the broken ground above.
First Ascent: Aug 1981 N Cleaver, R Cleaver.
PSYCHODELIRIUM 20 (G2) R ** [N]
This route is a significant variation to Free World. It starts 4m upstream of Comanici.
1 20 (G2) 25m Climb up a crack behind a tree to a roof. Traverse right 2m then pull through a V in the roof to stance.
2 13 (F1) 15m Scramble uncomfortably up to easy ground.
Note : The start is common to New World.
First Ascent: Dec 1983 S Mallory, G Mallory.
COMANICI 15,A2 (F2,M2) R *** [N, P, R]
Climb is situated approximately 150-200m up Boulder Kloof, directly above the Boulder Kloof campsite. The feature is a prominent 3m roof situated about 15m up, above steep slabs.
1 15,A2 (F2,M2) 20m Climb directly up to the corner beneath the roof where there is a foothold stance (15 F2). Reach far over to the right to the first fixed piton. A simple series of about 8 aid moves on fixed pitons leads around the overhang to a small stance.
2 8 (E1) 15m Follow the obvious line to the top of the cliff.
Note : All aid is in place and consists of short pins placed into pre-drilled holes.
First Ascent: 1976 Unknown German climber.
COMANICI VIEW 7 (D) R * [N]
Situated 10m downstream of Comanici a direct clean route is available, avoiding 5 C grade vegetated rock on the left and, higher up, on the right.
1 7 (D) 44m Climb straight up face (or on corner) for full rope length.
2 7 (D) 8m Scramble out straight up (5 C) or more enjoyably, walk 20m right behind a stubby pinnacle and climb short chimney.
The climb provides a pleasant beginners route on clean rock with reasonable exposure for the grade of climbing. Spectacular views of the A2 section of Comanici can be obtained from the final pitch, so take your camera.
First Ascent: Jul 1984 A Heher, B Riley, W Gousen.
EPIC REFUSAL 8 (E1) R [N]
Start 40m downstream of the Boulder Kloof campsite. Start below a prominent right-angled open book with a tree in it about 15m above the start.
1 8 (E1) 30m Start at tree on right below an easy face on left. Ascend 2m up face, traverse left and up recess and crack to tree with exposed roots.
Note : To right of route is a white grassy slab of approx. 5C grade extending to top. This provides an easy ascent or descent route out of the kloof.
First Ascent: Jun 1978 M Fagan, P Dawson.
RED RAG 19 (G1) R ** [N]
Takes the obvious crack and clean steep wall right of Trio.
1 19 (G1) 45m Follow crack easily until it trends to the right. Move up and slightly left to reach large white hand-hold under overhang. From here bridge across to reach grip on left edge of overhang and make a difficult swing to reach tree in gully. Continue up slab on right of gully to ledge. Move right to base of crack in upper face. Climb this and wall above on progressively better holds direct to top.
First Ascent: Jul 1981 P Douglas, M Brunke.
BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE 18 (F3) R **** [N]
Start under the big roof immediately to the right of Trio.
1 18 (F3) 20m Climb up the crack in the corner to the base of the roof. Move out under the roof using the crack and pull through the roof on good holds onto the headwall. Climb up to the big ledge shared with Trio.Finish as for Trio.
First Ascent: 1988 P Lazarus.
TRIO 10 (E2) R [N]
Situated in Boulder Kloof. Walk up for about 150m until one comes to a large open book which continues to the top of the cliff. The right hand side of the open book offers an unattractive overgrown grey face but the left hand side offers a clean red face diagonally cut from left to right by a slanting chimney-like crack.
1 10 (E2) 25m Up this crack via short chimney to tree belay.
2 10 (E2) 25m From tree traverse left for 6m on to exposed face. Up face 9m bearing left, then on easier rock to top.
First Ascent: Mar 1965 R Reid, T Malleson, Miss E Storrar.
RAGING BULL 20 (G2) R **** [N]
A bold sustained route on excellent rock taking the centre of the steep clean red face left of Trio.
1. 20 (G2) 45m Start left of Trio Chimney below small overhang. Climb up to overhang and traverse right towards chimney. Ascend wall just left of chimney passing small tree on its left to where chimney goes diagonally right (5m). Traverse 2m left to below smooth steep part of face with thin finger layaway on left. Climb this tending slightly right to reach good horizontal break (crux) then strenuously to top on increasingly larger holds.
First Ascent: Jun 1981 P Douglas, N Cleaver.
EL MATADOR 21 (G2) R *** [N, P]
Climbs the arete to the left of Raging Bull.
1 21 (G2) 40m Climb straight up the arete past a peg and then to the top.
Note: The route as climbed and graded never moves more than 1m from the arete.
First Ascent: Jan 1990 S Middlemiss, W Jenkins and R Dodding.
EXCALIBUR 17 (F3) R [N]
Downstream and on the same side as the aid roof is a prominent face (Raging Bull). To the left of the arete are two open books, a long and a short one.
1 17 (F3) 40m Climb up to the base of the short open book. Climb it for 3m and then swing out left. Continue to top.
First Ascent: Oct 1981 J Cheesemond, M Brunke.
LANCELOT 17 (F3) R [N]
Start just right of Excalibur.
1 17 (F3) 40m Climb to the base of the long open book. Climb it and exit to the left after 15m.
First Ascent: Oct 1981 J Cheesemond and M Brunke.
DOGRARIOUS 17 (F3) R *** [N]
The climb follows an obvious curving crack 1,5m to the right of Gregarious.
1 17 (F3) 20m From the same start as Gregarious, trend right to the base of the steep crack, which is followed as it veers right to a tree.
First Ascent: Apr 1984 K Kruger, C Edelstein.
GREGARIOUS 18 (F3) R [N]
After walking up Boulder Kloof for about 100m, the foot of the rock cuts back on the left. Set back above the lower cliffs is a prominent red pinnacle/buttress, with an appealing crack in its centre.
1 13 (F1) Scramble up clean D gully on the right, to the base of the red buttress, or find the motivation to climb through steep rock on the left (F1 13).
2 18 (F3) 20m Climb the crack (moving left if necessary halfway up) to the summit.
First Ascent: May 1979 G Lacey, KM Smith.
GREGARIOUS VARIATION 19 (G1) R [N]
About 10m downstream of the spectacular Gregarious crack is an overhanging brown wall. This provides a suitable first pitch to the route. Start in a square corner that faces upstream.
1 19 (G1) 35m Climb the corner for about 4m then move diagonally right until able to ascend using wide straddles up steep rock. About 4m above the chimney, traverse left to a ramp and then back diagonally right. From the top of the pitch scramble right 10m to the base of Gregarious’ crack pitch.
First Ascent: Dec 1983 G Mallory, S Mallory.
WEEKEND DISASTER 13 (F1) R [N]
Starts 5m upstream of Bardot in a small rocky bay capped by an overhang.
1 13 (F1) 38m Climb the crack to the left of the crack leading to the overhang, stepping left to a ledge at 7m. Go up a few meters and climb the left wall of the corner by some cracks for 5m until a step back into corner can be made. Follow the corner to the top with steps onto the left wall as necessary to avoid vegetation.
First Ascent: Jun 1981 N Cleaver, R Cleaver.
CROSSROADS 17 (F3) R * [N]
Takes the steep slab 2m left of Weekend Disaster.
1 17 (F3) 15m Climb up the middle of the slab to gain a ledge. Traverse left to a convenient abseil tree or continue up on easy rock to the top of the crag.
Note: One can escape onto easier ground by traversing left or right.
First Ascent: Sep 1989 D Margetts, A Mercer and M Seegers.
BARDOT 13 (F1) R [N]
About 100m up Boulder Kloof from its junction with Tonquani Kloof, the river bed rises considerably. On the left hand side facing upstream, a dark 6m chimney is found in a corner where the line of the river scree meeting the rock face levels off. The climb is situated 20m to the right of this, just to the right of a tangle of roots on the face.
1 13 (F1) 22m Climb a chimney which has smooth parallel sides to a small ledge with tree belay.
2 11 (E3) 9m Climb the 3m open book above, and then either traverse off left onto loose scree, or continue up a corner with a good crack in it a further 6m.
First Ascent: Jul 1971 N N Heidstra and R D Hoare.
SCOOBEY-DOO 19 (G1) R ** [N]
The route starts 4m left of Bardot in an obvious corner, with a large ledge 4m up on the left. The route ascends the groove on the right wall, immediately above the corner.
1 19 (G1) 35m Ascend to the large ledge, enter the groove and follow it past the tree to the second overhang. The crux is getting through the first overhang/bulge.
At the second overhang traverse right onto the arete, and then up to a tree belay.
Note : Protection is sometimes hard to find.
First Ascent: Jul 1986 P S Greenfield, R Dodding and T Willmot.
CATCH THAT TURD 17 (F3) R [N]
Starts 10 downstream of Bardot in deep chimney where crag forms major open book, before descending tree lined face to stream bed.
1 17 (F3) 25m Ascend chimney until large ledge is reached, Look left into large square recess. Ascend recess by straddling to resting place (crux). Climb indifferent right tending off-width crack to ledge with tree belay.
First Ascent: Jul 1986 TP Willmot, PS Greenfield, R Dodding.
PISA-PIZ 17 (F3) R * [N]
3m right of Bardot are twin parallel off-widths. Start at the base these.
1 17 (F3) 40m Climb the off-widths and continue up the small corner formed by the slab on the left and several, leaning loose-sounding blocks on the right. At the top of the corner and on reaching a little loose rock move l m right, Directly up the wall for 10m, belay on a tree.
First Ascent: Jul 1986 R Dodding, P Greenfield, T Willmot.
FAME, FORTUNE AND GLORY 27 (I1) R ***** [N, P]
Starts opposite Dogmatic. Scramble up a gully to reach the base of steep red wall.
1 27 (I1) 10m Start at the poor peg. Up to a rail and then to a 2nd and 3rd rail passing two bolts. Rail left and finish up a vague crack.
First Ascent: Nov 1988 R Nattrass.
BORDERLINE 18 (F3) R ** [N]
This climb ascends the short steep buttress on the right as one descends the scree ramp in Boulder Kloof just below Bardot.
1 18 (F3) 10m Climb directly up the face and pull through the overhang.
2 16 (F2) 20m Climb up the easy face above to a ledge below a steeper face. Climb this face to a ledge with tree on the right.
Note : It is easy to scramble off to the right after the first pitch.
First Ascent: Sep 1989 D Margetts, M Seegers and A Mercer.
BRIDGE OF SIGHS 18 (F3) R ** [N]
The route starts 5m upstream of Poseidon, at the base of a rightward slanting ramp, and follows this line to a large ledge and broken ground.
1 18 (F3) 30m Climb the rightward slanting ramp to its end, then bearing slightly right continue up to the ledge, and belay point.
Note : The protection is good. The ground above the first pitch is broken and did not appear to offer good climbing. The opening party traversed off to the right. Alternatively, there are plenty of abseil points.
First Ascent: July 1986 PS Greenfield, TP Willmot, R Dodding.
POSEIDON 17 (F3) R ** [N]
Start approximately 30m up from the junction of lower Tonquani, on the opposite side from Vertigo and Saber.
1 15 (F2) 20m Step up from the stream onto a short wall (3m). Climb to a ledge with a small tree and recess behind. Climb diagonally right, up two ramps to a large recess and ledge. Swing around left and traverse left to a broken crack, up 3m and move over left to a small ledge.
2 17 (F3) 15m From a poorly protected stance, move back right and climb crack running up a slab to just below an overhang. Move right onto an overhanging wall. Climb straight up to a large ledge. Either belay near the exit or traverse left to a tree sticking out.
3 13 (F1) 30m From the tree sticking horizontally out, move slightly left and up a short step, onto the left hand side of the buttress above. Climb the well-weathered face moving over to left, up an arete to a ledge and tree belay. Continue to top in an easy cleft.
First Ascent: Jul 1980 A Wood, D Hunter, C Ward.
THAT’S IT 13 (F1) R [N]
Start directly opposite Vertigo in Boulder Kloof.
1 6 (D) 45m Scramble up a small gully to base of recess with a small tree.
2 13 (F1) 23m From tree (possibly with aid of small tree) angle left to slightly overhanging crack. Ascend crack onto ]edge then ascend overhanging bulge to further ledge. Walk left to corner to belay point.
3 11 (E3) 18m Ascend recess to large tree.
4 8 (E1) 30m Continue up recess past tree then up on left face or keep right and scramble to the top.
DON’T CLOSE YET 17 (F3) L [N]
Situated just upstream of Iron Soul buttress opposite Slipstream in an alcove. Three short cracks are visible on the left hand side of the alcove. The route follows the left hand one up a very smooth half closed open book.
1 17 (F3) 10m Climb the open book using the hand jam crack (awkward) to top.
First Ascent: Sep 1985 I Guest and T Hoole.
TWILIGHT OF IDOLS 22 (G3) L [N]
Opposite Slipstream, and further upstream, is a rock buttress with two large, triangular roofs. Iron Soul climbs a steep buttress to the left of these roofs. Twilight of Idols climbs a roof with a jam-crack between the steep buttress and the twin roofs.
1 22 (G3) 35m Climb up a short corner directly below the jam crack in the roof and traverse right for 2m. Continue up the recess above (there is a tree root growing diagonally right across the face) and climb through the 2m roof. Continue to top.
Note: Opened using one rest above the overhang.
First Ascent: Dec 1984 M and O Brunke.
GORILLA’S PINNACLE 17 (F3) L [N]
In Boulder Kloof there is a pinnacle with a mushroom head on the right hand side as you go up, just before the campsite.You may choose your own route – the only existing one for a normal human is a crack (small recess – very small) which is really an indentation on the side of the mushroom.
1 17 (F3) 12m Last move is 17 F3.
First Ascent: 1972 P Dawson and T Hoy.
FLASHER 10 (E2) L [N]
Opposite Bardot and diagonally upstream from the long roots descending into the kloof is an easy-looking fault running to the top of the krantz. Start on a shelf in grey rock (beacon).
1 8 (E1) 25m Climb diagonally right at first to a tree and then up, passing a cave-like recess and on to a still bigger cave/recess.
2 10 (E2) 25m Climb the chimney above. The top half requires bridging as the holds are rounded.
Short persons may find the grade harder.
First Ascent: May 1983 D Scott and R Fox.
ADVANCED WALKING 20 (G2) L ** [N]
The route starts approximately 50m upstream of Dogstyle on the true left hand side of the kloof. The opposite side of the kloof has a smooth grey slab festooned with roots. The first stance is 3m above the stream bed and is at the base of a deep recess. There is an obvious layback/flake crack halfway up the face above.
1 20 (G2) 30m Climb onto the face 2m right of the belay tree. Continue straight up to under a small roof. Climb the crack above, moving 1m right where it end, Move more easily up to the top.
Note : Opening party used one rest but the route has been lead on-sight without rests by K Smith.
First Ascent: Nov 1984 G Mallory and S Isabeck. First Free Ascent K Smith
SILENT RUNNING 18 (G1) L *** [N]
Start as for Advanced Walking.
1 18 (G1) 35m Climb up diagonally right over unprotected slab to the groove between Advanced Walking and Dogmatic. Climb groove and juggy wall above.
Note : Opened in Jan 86 as Return Of The Demon King (F3 17) by S Middlemiss and M Cartwright. (A large root that was in the groove then is now gone).
First Ascent: Jun 1986 M Haffner, G Mallory and S Mallory.
DOGMATIC 22 (G3) L *** [N]
Approximately 50m upstream from Dogstyle, on the same side of the kloof, an open book may be seen above a large grassy ledge, above a cairn. The route follows the open book and layback crack above to a ledge, then ascends a second open book to top.
1 22 (G3) 22m Scramble/traverse to grassy ledge 10m above stream level. From the grassy ledge chimney or straddle up open book, passing a small bulge, to reach more positive holds above. Ascend crack to ledge with a small tree belay.
2 11 (E3) 40m From the ledge ascend easy rock to a second ledge then traverse light for 4m to the base of a second open book. Ascend open book to top. A pleasant pitch.
First Ascent: May 1985 A M Maddison and A Mercer.
SMOOTH OPERATOR 23 (H1) L *** [N, 1B]
Starts 4m left (upstream) of Rough Diamond from the same ledge (cairn).
1 23 (H1) 20m Take off up the steep wall leading vaguely left until you can move onto the slab to the left of the thin crack. Climb straight up past the bolt runner to easier ground which is followed to a ledge with abseil tree.
First Ascent: Sep 1988 S Middlemiss.
WALKIES 19,A1 (G1,Al) L ** [N]
Immediately downstream of Dogmatic is an overhanging open book. The route follows this. Scramble up to the large ledge below the overhang to start.
1 19, A1 (G1) 25m Ascend open book to the easier wall above. Three points of aid were used to pass the section where the open book peters out (opening ascent). Stance as for Dogmatic.
2 11 (E3) 40m Finish as for Dogmatic. From the ledge ascend easy rock to a second ledge then traverse light for 4m to the base of a second open book. Ascend open book to top. A pleasant pitch.
First Ascent: Jun 1985 A M Maddison, A J Mercer and R Brand.
IRON SOUL 20 (G2) L [N]
Opposite Slipstream and Planxty. To the left of the big double roots is a steep buttress (Zeus Buttress), split by a chimney higher up.
1 20 (G2) 30m Climb the fingertip crack/groove to below the bulge, traverse left to the arete (platform) and climb diagonally right on white rock. Continue up easily and climb right hand edge of the face above.
1 21 (G2) 30m Climb straight through the overhanging section.
First Ascent: Jan 1982 M Brunke and P Douglas. FFA : Nov. &4 G Mallory. Apr 1985 K M Smith and G Mallory.(Variation)
ROUGH DIAMOND 23 (H1) L **** [N]
The left-leaning crack between Dogmatic and Dirty Dog. Scramble up to a large ledge at the base of the crack, which skirts the left side of a roof 10m above.
1 23 (H1) 15m Climb the crack.
First Ascent: Nov 1985 K M Smith and C Edelstein.
DIRTY DOG 19 (G1) L *** [N]
This route starts from the same ledge as Dog Style, about 20m upstream.
1 19 (G1) 30m Climb the obvious broken recess tending diagonally up and right near the top to reach good jugs.
Note: Sustained mild face climbing.
First Ascent: Dec 1983 C Edelstein, A Lambert and A J Smith.
THE SHRAPNEL ACADEMY 24 (H1) L *** [N,2B]
1 24 (H1) 15m Climb up the wall past two bolts
First Ascent: 1989 R Nattrass.
STYLE COUNCIL 22 (G3) L [N]
Climbs the corner 5m upstream from Dogstyle.
1 22 (G3) 30m Climb the corner.
First Ascent: Nov 1988 S Middlemiss, R Natrass and M Cartwright.
DOG STYLE 23 (H1) L ***** [N, 1P]
This route starts on a yellow buttress 50m upstream of Saber on the same side of the kloof. It takes the obvious bottomless crack on the yellow face. The crack thins out after about 4m and the route then continues up the faint line to the top of the buttress. A peg is placed about 10m up. Scramble up to the base of the route in a shallow cave.
1 23 (H1) 40m Climb 4m up to the bottomless crack. Climb the crack to where it thins and then make hard moves to a finger-lock hole. Another hard move to the peg and then the crux move past the peg. From here move up tending left on good but tiring holds to a rest off a hand-jam. then back diagonally up right to the large flake and a hands-off (almost) rest. Move right onto the flake and easily (all things being relative) to the top.
Note: The leader in the opening party used 3 rests but the route was followed with 2 rests on nuts. Climbed without rests by S Bradshaw and A Jardin in July 1994.
First Ascent: Sep 1983 A Lambert and C Edelstein.
RED NECK 15 (F2) L [N]
Start 10m left of Saber below series of large ledges.
1 8 (E1) 25m Ascend ledges tending diagonally right to reach platform below arete, level with start of Saber crack. Move right around arete to reach recess and tree belay.
2 15 (F2) 15m Follow obvious crack in corner at back of recess to top.
First Ascent: May 1981 P Douglas & N Cleaver
YELLOW BELLY 17 (F3) L **** [N]
Start at tree growing in sandy area 3m left of the start for SABRE. This is below a buttress with a tree 12m up, and topped by a series of deep overhangs.
1. 17 (F3) 35m Climb the face of the buttress, keeping in line with the tree. Skirt the tree on the right, and then follow the crack line to the left hand side of the overhangs. Move through the first overhang by getting up under the roof, and traversing right for 3m, and the second by climbing the ramp. Easy ground follows. Belay on ledge on the left – same as for RED NECK.
2. 12 (E3) 36m Climb the obvious vee-shaped groove immediately left of the corner/recess that RED NECK takes.
Notes: There is no protection on the initial 15m of the first pitch. Thereafter protection is good. Descent can be by abseiling from trees near the stances, or by walking upstream.
First Ascent: May 1987 PS Greenfield, TP Willmot, S Kelsey
BOULDER SPIRAL 13 (F1) L *** [N]
Situated in Boulder Kloof on the left hand side going down and starting about 25m from the junction with Tonquani Kloof. A large network of monkey rope which has fallen from the face identifies the start of the climb. The climb veers towards the right and ends on the corner formed by Tonquani and Boulder Kloof. Scramble over the monkey rope to a wide ledge.
1 13 (F1) 28m Ascend for about 18m to the left of a ridge of rock which slopes up to the left. At the level of a chockstone in the corner formed by the ridge traverse right on to the face above the ridge. Work diagonally up to the right (two or three good moves) to a ledge below a large overhang. This is the crux pitch of the climb.
2 10 (E2) 18m Commence at the right hand edge of a ledge above a series of blocks which consist of a short bottomless chimney ending on a platform.
3 10 (E2) 12m A V-shaped recess of about 12m immediately above the platform. Large tree juts out from top of this pitch – past which the route passes on to a ledge below a further chimney. Alternatively, climb the face on right.
4 10 (E2) 15m From here, two routes are possible: a) The first continues up the recess to a bush about 8m above the platform, at which point the climber steps out to the right and pivots on his left foot around the nose of a face on the right, whence 3m of climbing brings one to the large ledge. b) Alternatively, start from the platform and immediately get on to the rather exposed face on the right of the platform from which point 12 to 15m of steep climbing brings one past the pivot to the same platform as terminates the first alternative.
Comment : The first pitch may be wet in summer – grading may increase.
First Ascent: Circa 1939 T Bright and C Nicholls.
LOST ARROW 20 (G2) L [N]
Climbs the slabs just below Saber (to the right of Boulder Spiral). Scramble 5m to a ledge,
1 20 (G2) 20m From ledge move up to some blocks, traverse 3m right to below thin crack with small roof at 5m. Climb the crack to the top.
First Ascent: May 1989 C Curzon, S Middlemiss and M Gowans.
BE A ROBOT FOR JESUS 19 (G1) L **** [N]
Takes a direct line some 3 metres to the right of the start of Saber. Scramble up from stream bed to base of short A-shaped book with smooth slab to left and capped by bulge (large tree peeled away from face at base of book).
1 17 (F3) 35m Climb up the A-shaped book as far as possible. Step onto smooth slab on left and follow the line of the bulge around until the base of a short open book can be reached. Ascend this and then the face above to the large ledge below the overhangs. Move up short thin wall above to gain the jam-crack through the roof on the downstream side of the protruding nose. Pull through to gain the large detached block above. Stance at the same level as Red Neck.
2 19 (G1) 36m Climb the crack immediately above the stance. This ascends the right hand wall of the deep book, the root of which forms Red Neck. Gain the cubbyhole below the roof with difficulty. Break left under the roof to gain the chicken-head face on the left. Follow the shallow groove above to the abseil tree at the top of Red Neck. Note : The leader took a rest on the second pitch on the opening ascent. Superb climbing on a good line. Gear is good.
First Ascent: May 1987 T P Willmot and S Kelsey.
SABER 19 (G1) L **** [N]
Start approximately 20m up on the right hand side from the Tonquani junction.
1 13 (F1) 25m Climb a slab in a recess to about 3m below some overhangs. Traverse right across a wall to easy ground. Climb a short corner to a large ledge. Either continue up an edge left of some tree roots or move to another corner and up and back on ledge of jumbled blocks below a crack sweeping up red-brown wall.
2 19 (G1) 20m Climb up the crack until it opens into a shallow recess situated 3m below the belay stance. Move over left and up. Belay.
3 13 (F1) 15m To add good climbing, move right under the overhang above the stance and climb up through a V-slot. Traverse slightly left to a nose. Swing up over the nose and continue to some large blocks.
Excellent jam crack climbing.
First Ascent: Apr 1980 D Hunter and C Ward.
SABER VARIATION 13 (F1) L [N]
1 13 (F1) 20m Eight meters left of the Saber crack itself on a large ledge is a deep recess. A very pleasant F1 13 crack at the back of this can be found, plus still further left (4m) is a shallow recess with another crack of about the same grade and length.
First Ascent: Jun 1980 C Wood and C Ward.
DESPERATE DOG 21 (G2) L *** [N,P]
Scramble to the large ledge at the base of Saber’s final 19 G1 crack.
1 21 (G2) 25m Traverse about 5m right to beneath the obvious left-leaning dihedral. Climb up the dihedral until a move to the right can be made. Continue straight up the steep rock just to the left of the arete.
Note :The piton protecting the crux was placed on abseil. The pitch is harder for shorter persons.
First Ascent: Nov 1984 K M Smith and C Edelstein.
VERTIGO 17 (F3) L * [N]
Walk 5m up Boulder Kloof then scramble up 6m to grassy platform on right. About 18m up on the left a big overhang will be seen. From grassy platform scramble 6m up to rock platform.
1 17 (F3) 28m From platform climb up right-angled crack well beneath small overhang. Exit left on to red-grey face. Ascend face (steep but with good grips) bearing left. When angle eases move diagonally up right to large stance common to Boulder Spiral route.
2 10 (E2) 11m Climb slightly overhanging ramp to the left of Boulder Spiral to next ledge.
3 11 (E3) 28m Ascend straight up for 8m to two loose slabs near each other. Traverse left and climb up ramp first to the right of shallow recess. Move into recess and ascend it for about 6m before traversing out right again. (Tree above.) Ascend ramp to stance below huge weathered boulder.
First Ascent: Mar 1963 T Kerrich and L Klingman.
BOULDER HELIX 17 (F3) L ** [N]
Walk 5m up Boulder Kloof from its junction with Tonquani and scramble 5m up to a grassy ledge on the right (as for Vertigo). A slab capped by a large overhang 15m up lies to the left.
1 17 (F3) 25m Climb diagonally left up the slab to the left end of the large overhang. Move left onto the face and climb up to a ledge (crux). Continue up a few metres to the large ledge shared with Boulder Spiral.
2 17 (F3) 15m From the left end of the large ledge a short undercut ramp leading up to the right allows one to turn the band of overhangs and gain a recess above. Continue up the recess to a good ledge and tree belay. The top pitch of Redneck goes up the corner behind the tree.
3 11 (E3) 35m A few metres to the left of the tree belay there is a steep chimney. Climb this on good grips to the top.
Note : A pleasant climb with short, well protected cruxes.