There are 129 traditional climbs here, mostly single pitch routes but generally of very high quality. A few routes are bolted or have some bolts but many of them are very badly rusted. The grades vary from 5 to 28 with some really good classics at most grades.
Permits & Access
Ysterhoutkloof permits are issued as for Grootkloof. Groblerskloof is out of bounds: both members and non-members cannot access the property.
- driving directions to climbing/hiking parking
- maximum number of MCSA members and non-members allowed per group
- what weekends non-members can access the property
- parking fees and other access information
contact the Magaliesberg Section Administrator, details available at http://mag.mcsa.org.za/.
The usual approach is through Ysterhoutkloof (Kleinkloof), the customary camping kloof, and then scrambling into Grootkloof via Grootkloof Gully at grade 8.
The meet point is 20m upstream from the base of the gully, next to a large 15m high rock buttress in the kloof. Walking upstream from the meet point is straightforward; alternative access to the upper end of the kloof being via Easy Gully. Access downstream necessitates wading, and climbing or abseiling down Pool Descent 10 to get past a 20m waterfall. Continuing lower down the kloof requires frequent wading. Slab gully on the true left provides alternative access to the lower part of the kloof, requiring one abseil; otherwise one can walk into the kloof from where it opens out about 75m downstream. On the true right-hand side, Woody Gully provides easy access into the upper part of the kloof, and Walking Gully into the lower part. The watercourse opposite Grootkloof Gully provides a convenient 7 descent to the meet point for climbs on the right-hand side. One should scramble down the true left-hand side of this watercourse to enter it about 25m up from Phoenix. For those not familiar with this descent, an abseil down the last 15m is recommended.
A unique feature of the kloof is a huge suspended chockstone with trees growing on it straddling the whole kloof midway between Sonderbroek and Trumpet.
The climbs are up to 60m in height and the rock is generally excellent. There is a good selection of climbs in all grades.
Water is always available in the river as the stream flows strongly throughout the year. It is usually quite shaded and cool in the kloof.
- A Cheval Area
- Century Crag Area
- Meet Spot Area
- Phoenix Area
- Isolation Pinnacle Area
PDF Topo Download
Route Descriptions for Groot KloofEPITHALAMIUM 15 (F2) R **** [N]
The climb is about 10m downstream of Woody Gully. The main feature of the route is a well defined Vshaped crack which starts from a wide ledge 15m above the stream bed and continues almost to the top, the start being at the first tree (75cm diameter trunk, that was ages ago though!).
1. 10 (E2) 15m Traverse 2m left on a ledge 2m up. Then ascend past the lefthand end of an overhang which runs downstream more or less unbroken from Woody Gully. Continue up diagonally right, on grey knobbly rock to a wide grassy ledge with numerous trees. The Vshaped crack is directly above.
2. 10 (E2) 9m The bottom of the crack is overhanging and one must use some roots to climb this portion. Stance at good tree from which the roots come.
3. 15 (F2) 22m Climb the crack for about 12m and then move onto the lefthand containing wall to avoid an overhang on the righthand wall which partly roofs the recess. Finally move back into the recess, which is now more of a chimney and continue to a rock ledge at the top of the recess. This pitch is the crux, especially in the first 6m and the last 3m.
4. 10 (E2) 9m Straight up pleasant easy sloping slab above the recess.
First Ascent: Mar 1952 D Bell, F Villa and T Bright
FIRST NIGHT 17 (F3) R **** [N]
1. 10 (E2) 15m The same as EPITHALAMIUM.
2. 17 (F3) 23m This pitch starts from the same ledge as EPITHALAMIUM but about 5m downstream. Take off from a treestump at the bottom of a steep crack about 150220mm wide. Climb this for about 10m, passing two chockstones. Another 3m gets you to a small stance which has an “eye” and good belay cracks.
3. 17 (F3) 20m Traverse left 2m and ascend the thin face for 6m. Traverse back into the main crack. (Alternatively, continue up the main crack to overhanging block and move strenuously out onto face before continuing.) Ascend crack for a further 3m and then climb easy face to tree belay.
Editors note : HOWLER and HUBRIS follow the same line as this route and have been excluded.
First Ascent: 1952 D Gilham and M Prior.
PYRAMID 15,A1 (F2,M1) R *** [N]
This climb starts 5m downstream of EPITHALAMIUM. The start is in a recess which is about 3m to the right of another shorter, rootfilled recess.
1. 15 (F2) 12m Ascend the recess to the wide ledge mentioned in the description of EPITHALAMIUM. To avoid chockstone at top of recess go onto face to left. Walk 15m to left to start of next pitch.
2. 15,A1 (F2,M1) 9m Above is an obvious large recess, about 25m high, roofed at the top, and starting about 3m above the ledge. The difficulty of the pitch is in the 3m section to the bottom of the recess. Use a shoulder (human pyramid used in first ascent) or a tree on the left to negotiate the first awkward section. Walk up into depth of recess where there is a cave.
3. 8 (E1) 22m Ascend lefthand wall of the recess, making use of a crack. This is a pleasant pitch.
First Ascent: 1951 R Davies, F Villa, Miss J Slinger and Ms E Laesser.
CHRISTMAS CRACK 13 (F1) R ** [N]
Situated between PYRAMID and SLICKENSIDE WALL. The climb begins in a recess by a small waterfall about 30m upstream from SLICKENSIDE WALL.
1. 13 (F1) 35m Start at bottom of crack in recess. Climb for about 20m past two trees and loose rock. Move onto the righthand wall. Climb wall past a tree to a large platform.
2. 10 (E2) 40m Move left into a V-shaped chimney. Climb this to the top.
First Ascent: Dec 1971 E Druschke, A Allen and C Ward.
SILVER RAVEN 19 (G1) R **** [N]
This climb starts about 10m upstream of the start of Slickenside Wall, and follows a prominent crack up the middle of a downstream facing face.
1. 19 (G1) 18m Climb the crack to the overhang exiting right to easier ground and tree belay.
Decent: Abseil from convenient tree.
First Ascent: Jan 1986 N Margetts and D Margetts.
SLICKENSLIDE WALL 15 (F2) R [N]
The route is located by a very smooth wall which is bounded on the left by a small buttress, the side of which forms a face at 135 degrees to the smooth wall. There is a crack in the corner formed by the wall and buttress. Below the smooth wall the rock becomes slightly more broken and still lower there is a cave about 5m above the stream bed. In wet seasons there may be a small waterfall down the wall and over the cave. At a tree about 15m left of the cave, scramble 5m to a ledge.
1. 15 (F2) 18m Traverse 11m right along the edge to just past the buttress. Ascend in the corner formed by the wall and buttress. After about 6m move diagonally right to a small ledge. (The very smooth section of the wall lies above this ledge.) Walk 5m right to a stance.
2. 13 (F1) 15m A short easier face leads to a big ledge about 6m higher. Continue up steep but rather dirty rock to another ledge. (An easier way here is to climb from the first to the second ledge further to the right, 10 (E2) but dirty.)
3. 13 (F1) 28m Traverse left to a reddish ridge which is approximately above the smooth wall. Climb the down stream face of this ridge. Steep but good grips. The rock is clean in compensation for the previous pitch.
First Ascent: May 1965 R F Davies and M Prior.
CHERRY ON THE TOP 17 (F3) R **** [N]
Behind Isolation Pinnacle on the upstream corner is a crack in a corner of the main cliff.
1. 17 (F3) 12m Climb crack until just before it begins to overhang, then traverse right and up to a stance.
Variations: 1. 17 (F3) 20m Climb crack straight through overhanging section to belay at top of pitch 2.
2. 13 (F1) 8m Climb face above to large ledge with tree and block (level with top of pinnacle).
3. 15 (F2) 10m Climb diagonally left to a corner. Move just around corner and then straight up to top.
The Cherry (a 4m overhanging fingerjam crack) lies above this but was not attempted.
First Ascent: Jan 1983 D Hartley and T O’Connor Aug 1984 T O’Connor and Tim Willmot
YOU ASKED FOR IT 21 (G2) R **** [N]
The objective is the “Cherry” perched above CHERRY ON THE TOP.
1. 21 (G2) 4m Climb the crack.
First Ascent: Mar 1985 K M Smith.
YOU GOT IT 19 (G1) R *** [N]
A prelude to YOU ASKED FOR IT. When combined with YOU ASKED FOR IT a good technical pitch is the result. Starts from the stepacross from the top of the pinnacle to the mainland. (Can also be reached from Cherry on The Top.) Belay on top of pinnacle near the stepacross.
1. 19 (G1) 7m From stepacross follow the thin crack up the steep wall to ledge below You Asked for It. A loose block lurks on a ledge halfway up and must be stood on with caution.
First Ascent: Dec 1986 S Middlemiss, A Margetts, G Margetts and ALainis.
MAD PILOT 22 (G3) R **** [N]
Takes the break up the centre of the wall behind ISOLATION PINNACLE.
1. 22 (G3) 15m Climb up to and negotiate the relatively featureless corner (crux) before climbing the finger crack and continuation offwidth crack in the dihedral above.
First Ascent: Mar 1985 K M Smith.
PRECIOUS LITTLE 16 (F2) R *** [N]
Start in gully behind pinnacle about 6m to left of standard Pinnacle Route i.e. halfway between Cherry on The Top and Mad Pilot, but on the pinnacle itself.
1. 16 (F2) 27m Chimney up to base of thin rightwardleaning crack. Follow crack to overhang near top. At overhang move 1m right and follow layback flake and face above to very top of pinnacle. (This is the only route that goes to the very top of the pinnacle.)
Note : Protection could be better.
First Ascent: Jun 1985 P Greenfield and S Middlemiss.
NAMMIT 15 (F2) R [N]
Located on a southfacing wall, between Pinnacle Over hang and Cherry on the Top.
1. 15 (F2) 25m Start at cairn 3m to the right of cairn marking Pinnacle Overhang. Climb up flake, move diago nally right upwards (thin) to base of vague crack for about 3m to small tree. Above tree move to the left and up to the top.
Note : On this climb, although the protection is far apart it is reasonably good.
On the Isle of Wight, “Nammit” means “Lunch”.
First Ascent: Nov 1984 P S Greenfield and S Middlemiss.
PINNACLE OVERHANG 19 (G1) R *** [N]
The climb starts on the upstream (righthand) side of the pinnacle just to the right of a shallow cave at ground level.
1. 13 (F1) 20m Climb the blocks onto the face above and move up diagonally left around the corner to easy ground. Continue moving up and around to some boulders on a large ledge above a small tree.
2. 19 (G1) 20m Go straight up the wall with smallish holds to beneath the prominent overhang. Pull through the overhang on very small holds (crux). Continue straight up until you can step over a crack and up to the top.
First Ascent: Aug 1983 S Middlemiss and K Swanson.
THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS 19 (G1) R *** [N]
This route goes up the front of Isolation Pinnacle at a tree 2m left from where the Frontal route starts.
1. 19 (G1) 40m Climb the steep rock and head diagonally right to the vague recess (the Frontal route climbs the jam crack to the left). Good climbing leads up the thin crack above. Step right at the top and continue up the slab above.
First Ascent: Mar 1985 M Brunke and M Giddy.
ISOLATION PINNACLE FRONTAL 17 (F3) R **** [N]
At level of Isolation Pinnacle walk right, passing cave to tree at corner.
1. 17 (F3) 23m Start climbing from large block platform 3m to the right of tree, up series of blocks to below main face. Diagonally left around corner up a slab to obvious crack on lefthand side of frontal face. Ascend crack to tree belay. Crux.
2. 10 (E2) 20m Straight up sloping slab at bottom of first pinnacle and left around pinnacle. Ascend crack to top.
Note : A previous frontal route is believed to have been opened by J Langmore and party but no record is available.
First Ascent: Jul 1971 E Druschke and C Ward.
ISOLATION PINNACLE 11 (E3) R ***** [N]
Proceed 80m upstream from the meetpoint to where an obvious rather overgrown shelf can be seen high up to the left. Scramble up over 5/6 (B/C) rock and roots (usually wet) to the Pinnacle, which is some 40m high. The front and downstream sides are undercut and the pinnacle stands 1,5m from the main kloof wall, forming a chimney.
There are three basic routes plus variations. The frontal route is described elsewhere. The remaining two routes begin where the pinnacle meets the kloof wall on the downstream side.
1. 11 (E3) 20m Climb in the recess, make some awkward moves over the bulge and enter the nek between the kloof wall and the pinnacle atop some large blocks.
2. 10 (E2) 20m Climb the magnificent and downstream sides are undercut and the pinnacle stands 1,5m from the main kloof wall, forming a chimney.
There are three basic routes plus variations. The frontal route is described elsewhere. The remaining two routes begin where the pinnacle meets the kloof wall on the downstream side.
1. 11 (E3) 20m Climb in the recess, make some awkward moves over the bulge and enter the nek between the kloof wall and the pinnacle atop some large blocks.
2. 10 (E2) 20m Climb the magnifice kloof wall. Traverse right to a tree in a recess. Either scramble to the top or abseil or climb down the recess below.
First Ascent: 1938 G Langmore and A Tom.
THE PIN 11 (E3) R [N]
Climb starts just downstream of Isolation Pinnacle. Scramble up little gully just left of the pinnacle. At base of rock face is a small pinnacle/buttress about 24m high. Use tree belay. Climb the upstream side of the pin, in obvious crack.
Note : A pleasant short climb.
First Ascent: Sep 1978 J Esterhuyse and R Davis.
EUPHORBIA 15,A1 (F2,M1) R [N]
The climb starts from a large balancing boulder at the first waterfall downstream from the Isolation Pinnacle gully and is on the same side (the true right).
1. 11 (E3) 18m Climb a few metres up some tree roots to a ledge. Traverse left to a substantial tree and belay. Climb steep face behind tree to large ledge.
2. 7 (D) 10m Climb diagonally left into chimney which is directly above the cave between SLICKENSIDE WALL and THE PIN
3. 15,A1 (F2,M1) 14m Climb chimney 6m to the ceiling. Move round to right using a microwedge and sling for aid. This could probably be done free but a loose block would make this dangerous. Climb steep corner to ledge.
4. 15 (F2) 12m Climb the arete and face on the right side of the chimney using layback technique. Cross face 3m to right to exit crack. Climb crack.
First Ascent: May 1981 H Winder and M Prior.
UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY 18 (G1) R **** [N]
Starts on the same ledge as GOOFPROOF ROOF, 15m to the right (small cairn).
1. 18 (G1) 35m Climb up onto block and move up steep wall on the left. Move right under overhangs, up onto a ledge. Awkward moves onto face above, and follow vague crack/ groove system on good holds to top.
First Ascent: Jun 1986 S Middlemiss (unseconded).
HOT TIN ROOF 22 (G3) R *** [N]
Starts on same ledge as GOOFPROOF ROOF, 10m to the right of GOOFPROOF ROOF where the overhang is at its biggest (small cairn).
1. 22 (G2) 15m Jump for hand hold on wall on right, and pull up on jugs until face level with roof. A vague rail enables you to move left to very good jugs at the lip. A long snatch for holds high above the roof, followed by an easy open book above up to ledge with small tree belay. Scramble off up to the left at grade 17 (F2/F3).
Note : A #1 friend is useful for protection at the lip of the roof.
First Ascent: Jul 1986 S Middlemiss and P Lazerus.
GOOFPROOF ROOF 20 (G2) R *** [N]
Scramble up the watercourse above the lunch spot. Around the level of the tumbled blocks near the base of PHOENIX walk out along the clean red ledge on the true lefthand side. Halfway along the ledge a break leads through the 2m roof.
1. 20 (G2) 10m Pull through the roof and climb the break.
First Ascent: Nov 1984 G Mallory and K M Smith.
RISKY BUSINESS 23 (H1) R *** [N]
A route up the centre of the wall, immediately opposite BLADE RUNNER.
1. 23 (H1) 25m Climb up the centre of the wall to gain the crack. Climb the crack exiting to a tree on the right.
First Ascent: Apr 1988 P Lazarus.
HYDRA 18 (G1) R [N]
This climb starts about 12m upstream of, and on the same side as Lemon starting on the ledge immediately below the first waterfall. The climb is 2m right of a leftward slanting open book, and follows a crack line, passing to the left of the top of the waterfall (tree and aloe at top of waterfall).
1. 18 (G1) 20m Climb the crack, and bulge, using hand jams and friction moves. Once above the bulge move right, and then continue up past the top of the waterfall to a tree belay.
Note : Protection is good.
First Ascent: Mar 1986 P S Greenfield, S Kelsey, T P Willmot and R Mulder.
SECOND THOUGHTS 17 (F3) R [N,X]
The climb starts opposite LEMON, in the lefthand corner of the large recess.
1. 17 (F3) 20m Belay to tree and climb straight up corner on thin holds. Use of the tree was found to be essential. Continue up till you can traverse to a good stance with a tree belay.
2. 6 (D) 10m Scramble to top.
Note : Maximum crater potential, dangerous climb.
First Ascent: Aug 1983 S Middlemiss and K Swanson.
STEEL BREEZE 22 (G3) R **** [N,1P]
1. 22 (G3) 20m Start 5m left of HYDRA just before the head of the BLADE RUNNER subkloof. Climb the layback type crack, past a peg at 4m to a block (crux). Move slightly left and up onto easier rock ending just right of the large roof.
Note : This route was kindly prepared by S Kelsey. Perhaps “Steel” should read “Steal”.
First Ascent: 1988 C LesleySmith and R Dodding.
BLADERUNNER 26 (H3) L *** [N,2B]
The gully above the lunchspot becomes a (dry) scoured waterfall just beyond LEMON (a chimney). BLADERUNNER climbs the thin doublecrack system up the steep grey wall between LEMON and the waterfall.
1. 26 (H3) 20m Step up right from a boulder and climb up to a roof (bolt). Follow the crack system to the second rail, then exit via the continuation of the left crack.
Note: Trust the ‘bolts’ at your peril!
First Ascent: Nov 1986 K M Smith.
SWITCHBLADE 27 (I1) L *** [N,2B]
Essentially a direct finish to BLADERUNNER.
No other information known!
First Ascent: Unknown
LEMON 13 (F1) L ** [N]
The climb is situated on the same side, in the same gully, as PHOENIX, about 10m before the gully is terminated by a waterfall.
1. 13 (F1) 22m Climb a strenuous overhanging chimney before moving out and up 12m past some small trees. Ascend the righthand of two cracks above to a broad grass ledge with a tree belay.
2. 11 (E3) 25m Traverse right under an orange overhang, round a corner, and diagonally right up a grey face for 18m. Where the overhang first breaks, ascend a 6m chimney on knobbly rock to the top.
First Ascent: Jun 1971 J C MacNae and R D Hoare
FIREBIRD : VARIATION 13 (F1) L [N]
After passing the small trees mentioned in Pitch 1, follow a shallow open book on the lefthand buttress to the top. The grade is consistently 13 (F1).
First Ascent: Sep 1974 M Prior and R Green
TYKES DELIGHT 17 (F3) L [N]
Takes the front of the buttress right of PHOENIX (with the wild fig tree in its centre). Start from a large boulder, directly below a right slanting ramp, on the left edge of this buttress.
1. 17 (F3) 18m Execute a strenuous pullup onto bottom of the ramp. Ascend ramp, tending rightwards. Tend right, cross thick fig root; climb up immediately right of this. Cross over to left to good block stance. (Belay on tree.)
2. 13 (F1) 30m Ascend directly above stance to small overhang; step rightwards for 2m into vertical crack. Follow crack and blocks to top. Block belay.
Superb rock throughout.
First Ascent: Aug 1983 P Wallek and R Dodding.
FEAR OF FLYING 23 (H1) L [N]
Climbs the dihedral and crack system on the arete to the right of PHOENIX i.e. the route is situated between VALKYRIE and TYKES DELIGHT.
1. 23 (H1) 25m Pull up onto the base of the arete (as for TYKES DELIGHT). Climb leftwards to gain the dihedral system and follow this to the top.
First Ascent: Nov 1984 K M Smith and K Kruger (1 aid point). FFA Jan 1985 K M Smith, A de Klerk and S Bradshaw.
EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES 27 (I1) L [N,3B]
Climbs the face between FEAR OF FLYING and VALKYRIE.
1. 27 (I1) 25m Climb the face past the three bolts and exit diagonally right to join FEAR OF FLYING. Continue to the clouds.
First Ascent: Apr 1991 P Lazarus.
VALKYRIE 20 (G2) L [N]
Start 3m to the right of PHOENIX in open book with crack leading to ledge 9m up.
1. 17 (F3) 9m Climb handjam/layback crack to ledge under small overhang. (Stance shared with PHOENIX.)
2. 20 (G2) 25m Take off from righthand side of ledge in corner. Surmount overhang (crux) and continue straight up on small face. After this the grade eases to 14/15 (F1). Climb up in direct line with crux until forced left into corner with crack leading to top (4m to the right of PHOENIX). Climb crack and belay from small tree.
First Ascent: Apr 1981 J van Eeden and S Mallory.
PHOENIX 15 (F2) L [N]
Scramble 30m up the watercourse opposite Grootkloof Gully. This brings one to a pile of tumbled blocks. On the left (looking up) is a steep rightangled corner, about 40m in height. The climb is on the lefthand wall of this corner. Start on the left of a rock pillar in the corner.
1. 13 (F1) 9m Ascend to the top of the pillar, where there is large block which can easily be made to rock. (Other safer belay points are available).
2. 15 (F2) 25m Climb the left wall of the corner passing to the right of a small stamvrug tree 9m up. Bear left above this tree and then ascend a steep grey face (some lichen) on slightly friable rock. This rock is becoming increasingly unstable with each additional ascent. About 6m above stamvrug tree move diagonally right, until below a second, larger tree. Continue up past this tree (righthand side) onto much easier rock. The top is about 6m higher.
Note : Short, difficult and elegant route. The crux is about twothirds way up second pitch.
First Ascent: 1951 D Gillham and R Walker
SPHINX 17 (F3) L [N]
The route starts about 4m to the left of PHOENIX. It goes almost straight up the face and exits through the break in the skyline directly above.
1. 17 (F3) 35m Start in a small corner that faces PHOENIX. Climb up to a ledge and bush at 15m. Move left into a hidden chimney which leads to the top. The final offwidth crack is avoided by pulling through on the right (crux).
1. 19 (G1) 15m Start in the same corner as for the normal start. Climb up to the righthand end of the roof, move left under the roof and pull through using crack and initially thin holds, good holds follow. Step right onto corner, and climb up diagonally leftwards, to a large ledge.
Continue up hidden chimney as per the normal SPHINX route.
Note : Protection at the roof is good.
First Ascent: 1982 : G Mallory and E Boje. Variation by PS Greenfield, S Kelsey and TP Willmot in Feb 1986.
THE HAMPSTER 20 (G2) L [N]
Start 34m left of SPHINX.
1. 20 (G2) 15m Move up steep rock to a roof, pull through and up diagonally left to stance below a chimney left of a offwidth crack.
2. 19 (G1) 15m Move up and left onto wall. Pull through a succession of roofs in an exposed position to the top.
First Ascent: May 1988 P Lazarus, & 2 unnamed seconds
MISS PIGGY 17 (F3) L [N,R]
Immediately downstream of the PHOENIX/SPHINX face is a small rightangled buttress which is bounded by two open books. The route ascends the rippled face to the right of the lefthand open book.
Start 17m left of PHOENIX and from the same ledge. There are two good trees close to one another at the start for belay purposes.
1. 17 (F3) 20m Ascend the rippled face (thin) staying close to the arete at the right extremity of the face to a small resting ledge. Step left onto the steep slab above. Climb up the slab diagonally rightwards to a small sloping nose on the arete, above which is a vague crack. On the opening ascent this nose was wet and tricky. Pull up the vague crack to a comfortable belay stance.
2. 13 (F1) 10m To one side of the belay stance is a large detached block. Climb the wall of the main buttress, behind this block, to the level of the short Dassie traverse. Handtraverse 2m to the right to gain the base of a narrow chimney. Make an awkward move over a loose chockstone at the base of the chimney (dangerous) and thrutch comfortably up to the top of the buttress.
Note : The slab and vague crack of pitch 1 are poorly protected.
First Ascent: Jan 1985 T P Willmot, G Zippel and P Greenfield.
AVALANCHE POODLE 25 (H2) L [N]
1. 25 (H2) 10m Climb the wall to the right of TRICK OF THE LIGHT.
First Ascent: 1991 M Hislop
TRICK OF THE LIGHT 26 (H3) L [N]
Start 2.5m upstream of DIVEBOMBER, more or less opposite a tall tree.
1. 26 (H3) 8m Pull through the overhang at 2m and climb straight up the face above, finishing via a small leftfacing dihedral.
Note : A selection of small wires is handy.
First Ascent: Aug 1986 K M Smith.
DIVE BOMBER 21 (G3) L [N]
The route provides highly technical and strenuous climbing on the initial wall, and then wanders up the remainder of the kloof wall by a rather contrived route. Start 1m downstream from the large tree opposite Grootkloof Gully.
1. 21 (G3) 40m Ascend the scooped, rippled face about 11m to cubbyhole. Delicate and strenuous, especially the last move into the cubbyhole at 21 or 19 if tall. Traverse right 3m, ascend easily for 3m , traverse left 12m at grade 15 to a tree in a crack. Thence 22m diagonally right past broken ledges to broad grass ledge.
2. 11 (F1) 9m Ascend final tier on outer corner then up open book to right, past tree and to platform on block on right. Traverse back left into open book and ascend to overhang (PHOENIX final face is on the right), then traverse 5m left out of open book, around corner and up final 8m crack at grade 9.
1. 21 (G3) 20m Climb up to the cubbyhole at about 21 and continue straight up the wall above.
Note : This direct finish improves the original pitch which wandered all over the crag after the initial hard moves. The pitch is now lead without a toprope in the nearby tree. The crux move into the cubbyhole is 19 for a tall person.
First Ascent: Jan 1967 M Makowski, J Anderson, L P Fatti and IMcLachlan Varaiation : Nov 1984 G Mallory and K M Smith.
DESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS 24 (H1) L [N]
1. 24 (H1) 15m Climbs the wall to the left of DIVEBOMBER.
First Ascent: 1986 C Edelstein.
BLUE SKY DESERT SEA 25 (H2) L [N,1B,1P]
Takes the wall 3m to the left of DESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS.
1. 25 (H2) 15m Start beneath the bolt and climb straight up passing to the left of the peg. Pull Directly through the bulge of the rightward curving crack and exit straight up. Follow easy rock to the top.
First Ascent: May 1988 S Bradshaw
EPIPHENOMENON 13 (F1) L [N]
Start 6m left of DIVE BOMBER, at a tangle of roots and below a line of corners.
1. 11 (E3) 15m Climb roots for 3m. Traverse 3m left on narrow ledge to tree. Go up short knobbly wall on the right to belay ledge of DIVE BOMBER.
2. 13 (F1) 15m The corner above is overhung at its base and has a root running the full length. Climb the corner and gain a ledge. Scramble up blocks to tree belay. This is a continuation of the ledge from which PHOENIX begins.
3. 13 (F1) 22m Climb the crack and corner above, until a niche is gained below a large overhang. Traverse the wall on the left and go round onto the face. Up this to a belay.
Scramble to top.
First Ascent: June 1971 R A High and I L High
ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS 24 (H1) L [N]
No route description available.
First Ascent: None
RUNNING OUT OF LUCK 19 (G1) L [N]
Climb takes the corner and crack to right of prominent undercut buttress right of HEFFALUMP TRAP, virtually opposite KANGAROOF. Scramble up 15m to a bushy ledge and tree belay.
1. 19 (G1) 20m Traverse easily to below nose. Up cracks and corner to top of buttress. Left and up crack to tree belay.
First Ascent: Mar 1986 A J Smith, B O’Meara, C Curson and H Gill.
STEEL MONKEY 21 (G3) L [N]
Climbs the left hand side of the hanging buttress between “Running out of luck” and “Heffalump trap”. Start as for the latter below a recess in the rock.
1. 21 (G3) 20m Climb the wall to the right of “Heffalump Trap” up to a large root. Use this to pull through the roof and follow the corner above past a peg to a ledge on top of the buttress.
First Ascent: 1991 S Middlemiss, A Hislop and M Hislop.
HEFFALUMP TRAP 19 (G1) L [N]
The climb is situated on the same face as Dive Bomber and about 12m downstream of it. The face on which these two climbs are located is directly opposite the normal entrance into Grootkloof and about 6m downstream of the start of Heffalump Trap, the face breaks up right to form a large recessed gully. The climb starts opposite a large boulder in the stream, which forms a minor waterfall into a pool below. By stepping diagonally left from the boulder onto the face one is now over the small pool.
1. 19 (G1) 15m Step off the boulder left and up over easy rock to a large ledge which runs left into the corner of the face (3m 15 F2). In the righthand corner of the ledge is an Ashaped cave recess which is topped by a small overhang. Climb this recess to its apex (5m 9 E1), break out via a straddle and move up onto the ledge above the overhang (1,5m 21 G2). Gain a few metres in height from the ledge and traverse by a series of undercut holds left (3m 17 F3) and then up to a ledge (3m 17 F3).
2. 13 (F1) 12m Ascend the face directly above via a crack and move right onto a ledge on top of the open book forming the righthand edge of the belay stance (6m 11 F1). Traverse to the right for 3m (9 E1) and then ascend to a stance via a broken recess in the face (3m 10 E2). Here one can continue to the top via an indifferent scramble, or traverse off right to the base of Phoenix.
Note : The 21 (G3) move can be protected by means of a sling placed level with and to the right of it on a lianacreeper. This involves some scrambling. A technically pleasing climb which is well protected.
First Ascent: 1968 M Makowski and I McLachlan
THE POWERS THAT BE 27 (I1) L [N,B]
Start on the large ledge at the beginning of the second pitch of Candlehorse. Climbs the far right end of the steep red wall to the right of Candlehorse.
1. 27 (I1) 20m Climb the wall following the bolts to a rail. Easier climbing leads to a ledge. Wander up the right to the top.
First Ascent: Oct 1990 G Murray.
A VENTURE OF FAITH 28 (I1) L [N,B]
On the left of THE POWERS THAT BE.
1. 28 (I1) 20m Climb up the wall past the bolts to the top.
First Ascent: 1991 T Rogers
CANDLEHORSE 20 (G2) L [N]
Start just to the right of A Cheval, at the large tree growing horizontally out into the kloof from the gully.
1. 18 (F3) 25m Climb the face for about 4m, 2m left of the corner, and then swing right onto the corner below an overhanging crack just to the left of the corner. Climb this strenuously for 3m and then swing right around the corner along a horizontal break. Traverse right for 5m and then climb a crack system leading to an open book topped by an overhang. (Later section is common with Pitch 2 of Heffalump Trap.) Move right at the overhang to a small tree and climb up steeply on good holds via a broken recess to a large ledge. Walk around left into gully and scramble up to a tree below a prominent steep recessed crack in the righthand wall.
2. 20 (G2) 30m Climb the crack to the top. Crux at the overhang about 20m up.
Note : A more direct finish to pitch 1 may be climbed by moving left at the overhang on Heffalump Trap rather than moving right.
First Ascent: Pitch 1 1976 L P Fatti and A McGarr. Pitch 2 1975 A Dick and P Dawson.
ELECTRIC CAMEL 19 (G1) L [N]
Climbs the arete avoided by the last pitch of “Candlehorse”.
1. 19 (G1) 20m Start just above stream level in a short dark corner. Climb the corner and exit right and up to “Candlehorse’s” horizontal break. Climb up the arete on it’s left hand side finally moving on to the front to finish up to a ledge.
First Ascent: 1991 S Middlemiss and I Schwartz
SORROW 23 (H1) L [N]
Climbs the steep wall to the left of the top pitch of “Candlehorse”.
1. 23 (H1) 25m Climb past a few ledges to below a steep face split by a few cracks. Climb up the face and diagonally right to a ledge on the right arete of “Candlehorse”. Move back left and jughaul to the top.
First Ascent: 1990 S Middlemiss and R Lord
A CHEVAL 14 (F1) L [N,1P]
Start about 9m up gully (which has cave higher up) opposite En Passant.
1. 14 (F1) 15m Start by climbing a narrow crack. Then follow open book which changes into crack again. Stance at big ledge. Walk 9m to right.
2. 8 (E1) 11m Ascend external corner. Alternatively, go right onto easier face veering into gully.
3. 8 (E1) 9m Traverse left onto edge. Move left around corner. Step up. Climb up edge or on slab in chimney to the left. Move into crack and then pull up to stance.
4. 13 (F1) 15m Left on sloping slab to edge. Then move up and left onto ledge. From here continue up an open book, or mantleshelf to left of open book. Then ascend steep narrow crack. Finish by passing up between large blocks.
Note : Pitch 1 may cause problems for shorter people. It is possible to “escape” to the right at the top of each pitch.
1. 19 (G1) 10m Start 5m right of normal start behind a large tree. Ascend the shattered shallow corner in the right wall to ledge and piton belay 10 (E2). Then make a very difficult move up the crack behind and mantle shelf up left to a ledge, 3m 19 (G1). Move left and scramble to the big ledge which is the top of the normal first pitch.
First Ascent: Aug 1963 M Prior, O Oppler and E Wiedeman
LA CANDELA 15,A1 (F2,A1) L [N]
Start in the cave left of A Cheval.
1. 13,A1 (F1,M1) 15m From deep inside the cave straddle up the chimney to the overhangs at the roof of the cave. (Loose rock can be easily avoided.) Use a nut runner as aid to enable one to exit to the ledge on the right. Chockstone belay. The pitch may be wet, in which case it will be harder.
2. 5 (C) 20m Scramble up gully to tree belay at the base of a broad setback buttress, broken by an overhang 12m up.
3. 15 (F2) 17m From tree belay climb left side of projecting buttress for 9m inclining slightly right to gain horizontal ledge 3m below overhang (steep and poorly protected). Traverse right to corner of buttress and belay in gully.
4. 13 (F1) 17m Ascend just to right of the corner of the buttress for 9m to prominent horizontal crack line. Traverse left onto the exposed buttress for 5m to a vertical crack. Ascend this and continue up centre of buttress to top of pinnacle.
Note : If wet, Pitch 1 may be avoided by climbing the first pitch of A Cheval.
First Ascent: Feb 1973 Pitches 1 4: D Peters and P Anderson. Pitches 2 4: J Linke and A Goyns.
GAATJIE BUTTRESS 15 (F2) L [N]
Starts on the corner of the gully directly opposite A Cheval.
1. 8 (E1) 20m Climb face and corner to ledge.
2. 10 (E2) 15m Continue up corner to second ledge.
3. 15 (F2) 15m Climb 6m up middle of orange face. Traverse left 4m to crack. Climb 2m to overhang and place sling on chockstone. Move 1m around corner and climb corner to top.
2. 18 (F3) 15m Climb righthand crack using jams to move through bulge.
2. 17 (F3) 15m Start 5m to left of ususal pitch, move up crack 3m, right 2m and follow offwidth crack to top.
First Ascent: 1967 M Prior and P Venter Variation: Aug 1986 S Middlemiss and A Margetts.
CAVE CRAG 7 (D) L [N]
Commences about 15m downstream of R A F Chink below a prominent cave.
1. 7 (D) 9m Start over stream and proceed up to cave.
2. 7 (D) 18m Continue up righthand side of cave in corner. An F1 variation starts to left of cave and traverses over roof of cave.
3. 7 (D) 15m Chimney immediately above second pitch.
First Ascent: Aug 1946 G Burrow, N Clarke, H Rowland and S Penny.
VERMILION 17 (F3) L [N]
The climb is about 9m downstream of Cave Crag.
1. 5 (C) 25m Follow obvious break which slopes slightly left, to big ledge. Walk 11m along ledge to left to clean red face.
2. 17 (F3) 22m Starting below hanging boulder, climb righthand crack (hard) for 11m, traverse around ridge to lefthand crack, climb recess and, after turning overhang, proceed to ledge.
3. 8 (E1) 9m Climb obvious crack above stance to top.
2. 10 (E2) 25m Start of second pitch above, mantleshelf onto ledge at bottom of lefthand crack and traverse around corner to left by stepping down. Climb recess to tree belay.
3. 8 (E1) 9m Climb fault on righthand side of recess. (Left hand side easier).
First Ascent: 1962 M Prior, B GordonBrown and P Gillard.
TRESPASSERS W. 19 (G1) L [N]
The route starts form the same point as Cathedral Wall at a tree in the second recess downstream from Walking Gully. Traverse from Walking Gully along a sloping ledge for 18m then 3m up into the recess (D). (Precar ious when wet, a rope is recommended).
1. 19 (G1) 35m Directly above the stance the recess overhangs. Climb the left wall for 6m to a small ledge. Move right and up for 3m to the overhang. Ascend the overhang (crux) and continue up the groove for 5m. At the top, move left to a ledge and descend diagonally left on a ramp then an awkward step away from the crack and across to a tree (crossing Cathedral Wall). Continue down leftwards to another tree in a corner crack (6m). Tree belay.
2. 17 (F3) 35m From the tree move up the left face for 6m to a ledge then diagonally right to the base of the overhanging crack. Surmount the overhang to a sloping ledge and continue up the crack and out left then 5m to the top.
First Ascent: Feb 1968 I McLachlan, M Makowski, A Barley and M White
CATHEDRAL WALL 17 (F3) L [N]
The climb is in the lower part of the kloof, about 18m downstream of Walking Gully. To reach the start, scramble down kloof along a ramp on the righthand wall. (When wet, this ramp can be precarious and a rope is recommended.) The ramp commences at the point where Walking Gully enters and it passes about 6m above the pool, which is just downstream of the junction of the gully and kloof. The start of the climb is at a tree a little way up the second recess which is reached via the ramp.
1. 17 (F3) 25m Traverse 4m left across a steep face with small grips into a shallow recess. Ascend the recess for about 9m keeping to the righthand side until it is possible to traverse left onto easier rock. Ascend past tree with a slender trunk to stance in cave. The section just below the cave is again difficult.
2. 17 (F3) 28m There is only one way up from the cave, via a forbidding looking overhanging crack. The crack is climbed by judicious use of legs, arms and shoulders. The crack gives way higher up to an open book which is followed to the top.
Note : The walls of the kloof in this area are steep and unbroken. The climb therefore maintains a good standard and is strenuous.
First Ascent: Oct 1962 D Smith, R Davies and I Cohen
CAIRN DO 17 (F3) L [N]
The climb takes the recess 40 to 50m downstream of the common start of Trespassers W and Cathedral Wall. It is the first feasible line downstream of these routes. If approached from upstream, it is necessary to wade to reach the start.
1. 15 (F2) 8m From the top of a cairn in the stream bed reach for some high holds on the face and ascend recess to tree. (It may be necessary to construct your own cairn, and if the start is wet, a shoulder may be preferable).
2. 17 (F3) 20m Continue up recess and through overhang to large stance above overhang.
3. 13 (F1) 30m Move diagonally left up face to left of stance and then up easier rock to top.
First Ascent: Jun 1971 A McGarr and D Peters
HI HO 14 (F1) L [N]
This climb is situated at the junction of Grootkloof and Kleinkloof, at the right hand side of Kleinkloof as you turn into Grootkloof a short wall is found which leads up to a steeper wall. Start the climb about 5m to the left of long thin ledge about 1.5m up leading left to a tree in a crack.
1. 14 (F1) 30m Climb the initial face using a handjam in a good sloping crack (difficult move off ground), continue up to wide grassy ledge. Move up face following break to small ledge. Move slightly right wards up an offwidth crack, continue up a series of blocks to final wall. Climb up final short wall with a tree to the left.
Note : A pleasant climb ruined by ledge at third height.
First Ascent: May 1986 N Margetts, D Margetts and T Langford.
WATCHAMACALLIT 11 (E3) L [N]
On the opposite side of the kloof to Pyramid and 25m downstream the wall of the kloof bulges into the kloof. Just upstream of this there are two large trees in the middle of the kloof. One of them leans right back across the kloof touching the bulge and the recessed crack which the route follows. Large chockstone belay.
1. 11 (E3) 30m Climb the recessed crack which narrows to chimney width for 21m where there is a large balanced block on the left. Move onto this block and climb face to ledge. Good tree belay to the right.
2. 8 (E1) 26m From the centre of the ridge directly above, climb diagonally left to tree. Climb up corner for 5m then climb diagonally right up exposed face to top.
First Ascent: Jan 1972 D Peters and S Spottiswoode.
THE BLUNDERBUSS 11 (E3) L [N]
About 15m upstream from Lover’s Leap a large buttress projects into the kloof. The climb starts in a shallow recess 5m upstream from this buttress.
1. 8 (E1) 22m Climb the recess to a grassy ledge.
2. 11 (E3) 18m Climb a series of ledges directly above, before moving up slightly right on a steep face with good holds.
First Ascent: Oct 1971 A McGarr and R D Hoare.
LOVER’S LEAP 17,A1 (F3,M1) L [N,1P]
The climb is situated about 70m downstream of PYRAMID on the opposite side of the kloof. There is an island of about 5 large boulders in the centre of the stream with 3 thin trees growing out of it. On the lefthand wall, looking downstream, are 2 large recesses. The route starts on the face between the two.
1. 17,A1 (F3,M1) 34m Climb the face for 3m, move left slightly and then up 6m to a handrail. Stretch right and pull up onto a good ledge. Traverse 9m right to the righthand recess mentioned earlier. Ascend 2m to a small tree and move out right on delicate holds. (Crux). A peg was used here for balance. Traverse 1,5m under a prow and climb diagonally right up past a few aloes to a broad ledge.
2. 13 (F1) 34m Walk 15m left to a buttress forming the righthand edge of a large open book. Ascend a crack in the middle of the buttress for 6m to an overhang. Move left onto the righthand face of the open book, ascend 2m and then move back on small holds onto the buttress. A further 22m of 10 (E2) leads to the summit.
Note : The traverse into the open book on the second pitch can be avoided by a strenuous pullup through the overhang.
First Ascent: Aug 1971 D W Sole and R D Hoare.
NUNS IN BLACK LEATHER 19 (G1) L [N]
Starts 30m upstream of the meetspot on the opposite side. Scramble up 10m to ledge with large pillar feature at base of rock.
1. 19 (G1) 25m Climb up just to the left of the pillar. Move up past a steep nose/block using a jam crack on the right to a small ledge. Technical climbing up the corner to a rail 3m below the big roof. Rail right onto the arete and up to the ledge. Climb straight up steep rock past aloes on the left to the top.
First Ascent: Mar 1987 S Middlemiss and A Margetts.
BENEDICTION 9 (E1) L [N]
The start of this climb is on top of the earth bank immediately opposite the large block above the meeting place. Start at base of chimney.
1. 8 (E1) 12m Climb the lefthand recess into the chimney, avoiding some loose rock halfway up. Stance in large yellow recess.
2. 9 (E1) 22m Climb over nose on left corner of recess (delicate) and diagonally up to the left to a large grassy ledge.
3. 8 (E1) 9m Climb the centre of an inclined face immediately above the ledge.
Note : Easier variations to left can be made for each pitch. Extreme care should be taken not to dislodge rocks as they tend to fall onto the meeting place.
First Ascent: Oct 1946 B I Harris, K Parrot, N Clarke and W Grace
SPARK TO A FLAME 18 (F3) L [N]
This climb starts 1m left of IN DIRE NEED.
1. 18 (F3) 15m Climb the recess. When you reach the overhang rail left for 5m onto a nose. Climb easy ground to a good ledge.
First Ascent: Aug 1989 D Margetts and M Seegers.
IN DIRE NEED 21 (G2) L [N]
Climbs a steep corner one to two metres to the left of “A Momentary Lapse in Reason”.
1. 21 (G2) 25m Climb up slightly left of the corner then traverse rightward across a slab to gain the base of the corner. Climb the corner to a small ledge. Move about 1m right, climb up for 23m and then climb diagonally right to a good ledge in a cubbyhole. (Stance shared with “A Momentary Lapse in Reason”)
First Ascent: Jan 1988 D Margetts, M Seegers and E Boyes.
A MOMENTARY LAPSE IN REASON 20 (G2) L [N]
This route is found on the true left of the kloof in line with the normal meet site. Scramble up a short slope to a large soil covered ledge. Move left to below a steep buttress. The route follows a line through a small overhang and then rightward into a corner.
1. 20 (G2) 25m Climb an overhang (crux micronuts for protection) moving right into a corner. Continue up to a small stance. Then move right and climb a wide crack (off width) up the left side of a pillar. Continue up to a good stance in a small cubbyhole.
2. 16 (F2) 20m Climb the face on the left side of the cubbyhole to a crack system. Continue up on easy rock to a good stance. Scramble off to the right.
Note : After the first pitch it is possible to scramble off to the right of the climb.
On the opening ascent the leader held onto a small, dead tree whilst doing the crux. The tree broke when weight was placed on it causing a leader lob, hence the name of the climb.
First Ascent: Nov 1987 D Margetts and M Seegers.
STY 16 (F3) L [N]
Climbs the attractive crack 2m to the right of “A Momentary Lapse in Reason”.
1. 16 (F3) 25m Climb the crack following in the small open book to a small stance. Continue up on the right side of a pillar to the cubbyhole stance shared with “A Momentary Lapse in Reason”.
Note : Well protected, good climbing. Scramble off to the right of the climb.
First Ascent: Nov 1987 M Seegers and D Margetts.
BLEEKER STREET 18 (F3) L [N]
This climb starts on the true left hand side of the kloof directly opposite the normal meet site. Scramble up onto a higher grass ledge. A crack line passing through two overhangs marks the first pitch.
1. 18 (F3) 20m Climb directly up to the first overhang, which is passed on the left. Continue up to the second overhang, pull through this (crux) and climb up to a good ledge.
2. 13 (F1) 15m Move up and then left past a bush. Climb rightward up to a crack. Follow this crack to a good ledge. Scramble to the top of the crag.
First Ascent: Oct 1988 D Margetts, M Townshend
DELTA 7 (D) L [N]
From the normal gathering point at the bottom of Grootkloof Gully walk up the gully for 3m. Traverse left and then diagonally upwards about 9m (still walking). The climb starts at the bottom of a low open book recess. There is a small cubbyhole at the bottom of this recess (a larger overhanging recess is to the left).
1. 7 (D) 15m Climb the open book about 4m and move right and upwards around a steep section onto an easy ridge of large steps and trees to stance below next face.
2. 5 (C) 12m Ascend grey rock, bearing right to avoid steep red face, onto sloping grass ledge 9m wide.
3. 7 (D) 14m Climb 3m in a corner, then traverse left over the top of a square block to a corner about 2,5m away. Ascend the recess, where there is one harder move, and continue up and slightly right to a small platform with a tree as belay.
4. 7 (D) 8m Move to the left into a gully and climb up the side under the tree, traversing to the right over stance at end of previous pitch, continue up through a break, move to right under steep rocks and cross over top of chimney to finish of climb at a point where a small gully gives a walking route to the top of the kloof.
First Ascent: Jun 1958 R L Forsyth, B I Harris, Miss B de Vos and Miss A Stalkhart.
ONE FOR THE BOYES 15 (F2) L [N]
The climb is located on the true right of the main descent gully and begins just below the position where one encounters a difficult move past a large boulder lodged in the corner. The climb ascends a crack surrounded by roots.
1. 15 (F2) 20m Climb the crack (and face) to the right of the face covered with roots. Continue up the crack using the roots as holds. Move right near the top and climb up to a good ledge.
2. 8 (D) 10m Scramble rightward past bushes to a ledge below an overhanging corner.
3. 15 (F2) 25m Climb the chimney/crack system moving leftward over a slab near the top in order to avoid a large bush.
First Ascent: Jan 1988 E Boyes, M Seegers and D Margetts.
SPAGETTI 15 (F2) L [N]
This climb ascends the right hand wall (facing down) of the descent gully. It starts just before the 1st steep step encountered while descending the gully. The first pitch is marked by a steep face capped by an overhang with a “V” shaped groove.
1. 15 (F2) 20m Climb up the face moving left to a small stance. Move up to the overhang and then right for 1m to a small open book. Ascend the open book to a good ledge. Traverse right about 6m past a tree and then ascend the corner to a ledge.
2. 15 (F2) 20m Climb the attractive corner above moving right near the top. Step left across the top of the corner. Move left to another recess and ascend this to the top. Scramble up to the top of the crag.
Variation to pitch 1 : Instead of traversing right 1m below the overhang, traverse further right and climb easily to the ledge.
First Ascent: Oct 1988 D Margetts, M Townshend
GUEST APPEARANCE 25 (H2) L [N,3B]
Takes the reddish overhanging wall halfway down the descent gully. Three bolts.
1. 25 (H2) 15m Climb up to the hand rail and go left. Climb up to below the small roof and pull through on the right. Continue to the top.
First Ascent: 1990 I Guest
HEADLESS CORPSE 15 (F2) L [N]
This climb is located on the true right of the normal descent gully and ascends an obvious corner crack about 2030m down from the top of the gully. The start is located just before a very steep wall capped with grass tufts on the true right side of the descent gully. The climb starts on the right hand side of the overhanging face.
1. 15 (F2) 15m Climb up the crack recess tending left until able to step onto a bulge near the top. Ascend easier rock to the top of the crag.
First Ascent: Oct 1988 M Townshend, D Margetts, M Seegers
WHIRLPOOL 21 (G2) L [N]
This climb is located on the true right of the normal descent gully and begins about 2m from the top of the gully. The start is marked by a steep face leading to small cubbyhole with a tree and crack above.
1. 21 (G2) 15m Ascend the middle of the steep face up to the small cubby hole with a tree. Continue up the crack to the top of the crag.
Note : A direct line with good protection.
First Ascent: Oct 1988 D Margetts, M Townshend, MJ Seegers, K Phyle
GROOTKLOOF GULLY 5 (C) L [N]
This gully is the most convenient route of access to the general climbing area from the north.
First Ascent: Oct 1946 D P Liebenberg and H Trainor
ONE FOR THE ROAD 19 (G1) L [N]
This climb ascends a slab on the true left of the normal descent gully. Traverse left from the top of the normal descent gully. Climb the steep slab with an overlap at its base and a grassy crack up its middle.
1. 19 (G1) 15m Climb the face up to the overlap to where the crack cuts the face. Ascend the overlap and continue up the face to finish on the same ledge as “Century Chimney”.
Note : The crack on the slab was only cleaned to facilitate protection; if the crack was cleaned more extensively the climb might become easier.
A short pleasant climb to finish the day off.
First Ascent: Jul 1988 D Margetts and K Fyles.
SOFT SOCIETY 20 (G2) L [N,B]
Situated at the bottom left of the descent ramp on the right hand side of the cavelike recess. The most dominant feature of the climb is the smooth, slightly offvertical slab at the top. The climb goes more or less straight up the centre of the broken face below the largest roof, through the roof and up the slab above. The line is marked by two bolts. Start directly under the first bolt.
1. 20 (G2) 25m Climb easily up to below a small roof. Moving slightly right make an offbalance move to a good jug then pull through the roof to a handsoff rest. Move diagonally left below the main roof to a good friend rail. Pull through the roof, clipping the bolt on the way, and gain a sloping grip. Make strenuous moves to the right, past the bolt, and then up to a rest on a small ledge. Climb up the centre of the slab to the grassy ledge.
Note : Excellent climbing with good protection.
First Ascent: Jun 1990 MJ Seegers and DL Margetts.
TEN O’CLOCK CRAWL 17 (F3) L [N]
This climb starts about 10m upstream and around the corner from 5 O’Clock Rush. The route starts directly below (23m) a small ledge (about 10 cm sq) projecting from the face.
1. 16 (F2) 15m Climb the face past a small ledge. Continue up past a large block using layback moves on the right side of the block. Continue up and rightwards to a tree (part of 5 O’Clock Rush) traverse right to a good exposed ledge.
2. 14 (F1) 12m Traverse 23m rightwards to the arete, climb the arete to a broad ledge (protection sparse).
3. 17 (F3) 22m From the top of pitch 2 walk rightwards to the base of an open book with two trees in it. Climb past the trees moving slightly rightwards into a prominent narrow open book, climb the open book (crux) and continue up a crack through the final bulge, scramble off the ledge leftwards.
First Ascent: Oct 1985 D Margetts and R Brand.
FIVE O’CLOCK RUSH 13 (F1) L [N]
Climb starts in Grootkloof descent gully near the start of Century Crack.
1. 13 (F1) 12m Ascend thin face for 6m to overhang. Handtraverse 2m to the left and continue a further 3m left to an open book. Ascend open book 2m to tree. (A large ledge may be reached by climbing a few metres higher).
2. 10 (E2) 12m Ascend layback crack 4m to the top of a small pinnacle. Move up 2m into chimney. Ascend chimney for 5m then move out onto face. Climb face for 2.5m to large ledge.
3. 8 (E1) 9m Ascend knifeedge ridge to the top.
First Ascent: Oct 1970 M Prior and party
KANGAROOF 21 (G2) L [N]
Climbs the overhang avoided by Century Crag. Start at the base of the buttress immediately downstream of Grootkloof Gully i.e. directly opposite Heffalump Trap.
1. 21 (G2) 20m Climb easy grey rock to beneath the righthand side of the roof. Negotiate the roof at the point it is cut by a fingercrack, and continue up to a ledge.
First Ascent: Nov 1984 K M Smith and G Mallory.
CENTURY CRAG 15 (F2) L [N]
From 20m to 40m below Grootkloof Gully the upper half of the kloof is well set back. Century Crag is situated on the buttress which is thus formed by Grootkloof Gully on the upstream side and the setback on the downstream side. Start at the base of this buttress. Ascend up to overhang and then traverse right and continue up the righthand flank of the buttress. A difficult rightangled open book is negotiated here. Continue on bearing right until the tree belay at the base of the chimney pitch of Century Chimney is reached. Traverse left onto the front of the buttress and continue as directly as possible to the top.
First Ascent: 1949 R Davies, H Davies and H Charlton
TMT 20 (G2) L [N]
This route starts downstream and around the corner from Kangaroof. A short scramble up a gully to a cave leads to a steep face on the left (looking inwards). Two openbooks are seen. A prominent one on the leftside and a shallow one on the right. This route starts up the shallow righthand openbook.
1. 20 (G2) 20m Climb up easy rock to the base of the openbook. Continue up the openbook to the bulge. Move up past the bulge (crux) to a good ledge.
2. 17 (F3) 45m Move rightwards and upwards from the ledge to the base of a crack system. Climb the crack past a rail moving leftwards near the top. Continue up easier rock past two trees moving rightwards into another openbook. Climb this openbook to a ledge and belay.
Note : Good clean climbing, mainly on first pitch. One may scramble off at various places on the second pitch. The top part of 10 O’Clock Crawl’s third pitch is shared with this climb.
First Ascent: May 1987 D Margetts and G Lainis.
CENTURY CHIMNEY 15 (F2) L [N]
On the downstream side of the buttress in which Century Crag is located is a deep chimney formed by the buttress and the main (set back) wall. The bottom of the chimney is about halfway up the face. To reach this point climb up the easy rock and slopes on the immediate right of the buttress. The chimney is 28m long. It requires exertion and a slender figure. The first 12m are hardest. The climb is enhanced by climbing the Century Crag route as far as the bottom of the chimney.
First Ascent: Aug 1938 C Nicholls and A Tom
TWENTIETH CENTURY 20 (G2) L [N]
Start below a steep shallow recess, about 5m left of the large flake on the traverse near the start of En Passant, and leading up to the righthand end of the deep chimney of Century Chimney.
1. 20 (G2) 30m Climb the recess, pulling outwards on a nut to overcome a steep section about 8m up, to a resting place just inside the chimney. Climb the chimney to the top.
First Ascent: 1975 A Dick and L P Fatti. FFA Mar 1982 K Smith.
THE MERCHANT WANKER 21 (G3) L [N]
Takes the huge offwidth roof crack from the rest ledge of 20th Century.
1. 21 (G3) 15m Climb the roof using the crack in the most imaginative way possible.
First Ascent: 198? A de Klerk.
STREETWALKER 20,A1 (G2,M1) L [N]
The route takes the left hand crack in the broad recess 3m right of 20th Century, and therefore left of En Passent.
1. 20,A1 (G2,M1) 35m Climb up past a small tree to a cubbyhole below the recess’s overhang. Then move left onto the face, and follow the crack line to about 2m below the main roof. Traverse 4m right using one point of aid (peg in place) to the broken recess, and ascend this to the right hand end of the roof. Climb the rightward slanting groove (on the right), followed by an open book, to the top.
Note : At the cubbyhole and the top of the crack, there is some loose sounding rock.
First Ascent: Apr 1986 P S Greenfield and N McFarlane.
BROADWALK 15 (F2) L [N]
Start 3m to right of Streetwalker i.e. 8m to right of 20th Century.
1. 15 (F2) 25m Starting from ledge at top of block, climb righthand crack, joining Streetwalk at 15m. Continue to top.
First Ascent: Mar 1987 S Middlemiss and P Lazarus.
MISPLACED CHILDHOOD 21 (G2) L [N]
The route takes the blank looking wall between “Streetwalker” and “En Passant”. Start behind the large flake, with chockstone, on the “En Passant” traverse.
1. 21 (G2) 15m Chimney to the top of the flake and take off from its upstream end follow the crack (crux) to a good rest. From this ledge climb past the rails to the small ledge on the route “Streetwalker” under the overhanging wall where a stance can be taken.
2. 13 (F1) 15m Follow the rightward slanting groove of “Streetwalker” to the top.
Note : Climbing on the crux is bold. Excellent thin face climbing.
First Ascent: Jan 1989 S Kelsey and TP Willmot
EN PASSANT 9 (E1) L [N]
Start at the bottom of the Century Chimney this point can reached by some C scrambling which may require use of a rope near the bottom.
1. 7 (D) 15m Traverse right behind large flake to corner or recess which is at the downstream end of the setback face (see Century Crag).
2. 9 (E1) 35m Ascend the corner until an overhang at the top is reached. Traverse right to bypass this and continue the remaining few metres to the top.
First Ascent: Jul 1951 R W Charlton and J Randall
DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR 17 (F3) L [N]
Climb the crack immediately left of the upper section of Chameleon Crack. Start from the righthand end of the large grassy ledge from which En Passant begins.
1. 17 (F3) 30m Follow the crack until it steepens, step right and climb back left,to continue diagonally left to avoid the overhangs above. Climb easy rock to the top.
First Ascent: Oct 1985 C Edelstein, M Brunke and K M Smith.
TOO LOW FOR ZERO 21 (G3) L [N]
Climbs up a corner and roof to the left of Chameleon crack.
1. 21 (G3) 40m Climb up the corner and nondescript rock above (as for Delusions of Grandeur). Where that route moves left, climb straight up and through the roof via the left hand crack. climb the face above to the top.
First Ascent: 1991 S Middlemiss.
CHAMELEON CRACK 15 (F2) L [N]
Situated in a slight crack in the buttress at the down stream end of the setback face referred to under Century Crag. The climb is 6m from and directly opposite Century Chimney and about 6m right of En Passant. The climb starts immediately above a small waterfall, which discharges into a deep pool. A very large boulder is present in the stream bed. Starting above the water is a face of about 12m.
1. 13 (F1) 12m Climb directly up the face for 9m then traverse left emerging on lefthand corner of the face. Move to the base of the crack.
2. 15 (F2) 15m Commence immediately below a small overhang in the crack. Surmount the overhang, using the steep face on the right. Thereafter climb the easier rock until a ledge is reached.
3. 10 (E2) Continue over loosish rock following the general line of the crack to a stance below a prominent overhang.
4. 10 (E2) Surmount the overhang by following the line of the crack through it. There is a good chockstone in the crack immediately above the overhang which can be used for a belay. This section is very sensational but not excessively difficult. This section ends with chimney work onto a smooth sloping ledge and a 3m face on the left concludes the climb. A good rock belay is available here to bring up the rest of the party.
2. 10 (E2) 15m The “overhang below the crack” may be avoided by climbing around the corner to the right.
First Ascent: Aug 1938 C Nicholls, C Purdham and C Gebhardt.
NO VIBRAMS 16 (F3) L [N]
The start is about 3m to the right of the start of Chameleon.
1. 13 (F1) 14m Up grey face between aloes and then diagonally right around corner and up to ledge with good tree belay. A slight buttress lies above.
2. 15 (F2) 15m Ascend steep rock for about 5m, move right and up 5m (easy) and then chimney through small overhang and stretch to high hold. Move up and right to large ledge.
3. 16 (F3) 15m Move up and out left. Then continue straight up thin face. This face is just to the right of the final crack pitch of Chameleon.
First Ascent: May 1965 J Anderson and P Venter
R.A.F. CHINK 11 (E3) L [N]
Commence about 14m below Chameleon Crack on a ledge about 2m above the stream bed. This ledge is well covered by a wild fig tree.
1. 11 (E3) 6m Climb up the crack where the ledge termi nates against a small buttress on the main kloof wall. Climb to the top of the buttress. From here a long smooth Vshaped recess blocked at the top can be seen over to the right. (The first pitch may be avoided by climbing the treefilled gully to the right).
2. 8 (E1) 22m Proceed diagonally up towards the recess and end at a ledge.
3. 8 (E1) 12m Climb directly up for about 5m and then bear diagonally left into a neat square crack. (An alter native to this pitch lies on the reddish wall to the left, ending also at the base of the square crack).
4. 10 (E2) 12m Follow the square crack to a ledge.
5. 7 (D) 9m Climb up a grey face directly above the square crack to end the climb. The finish is about 3m left of the top of the smooth Vshaped recess referred to above.
First Ascent: Date unknown H Wong
WEDGIE 15 (F2) L [N]
The climb starts about 6m to the right of R A F Chink and ascends the prominent wedgeshaped recess between R A F Chink and Lilliput Ridge. Scramble up 15m from the stream to a stance at the base of the recess.
1. 13 (F1) 9m Ascend recess to ledge.
2. 15 (F2) 22m Continue up the recess to stance on blocks beneath overhangs. The move through a bulge near the bottom of the pitch is the crux.
3. 15 (F2) 12m Continue up recess to top. A looselooking block forms an overhang part way up the pitch. The block seems sound and is passed on the left.
First Ascent: Aug 1970 C Swain and A McGarr
BROBDIGNAGIAN 17 (F3) L [N]
The climb starts from a tree in the recess at the top of the gully between RAF Chink and Lilliput Ridge i.e. the same start as Wedgie.
1. 7 (D) 20m Climb sloping face 3m right of start for 10m. Move left and continue up recess to large ledge with tree belay.
2. 17 (F3) 25m From the belay, traverse 3m right to small ledge on arete. Climb open book/crack above to ledge above large aloe. Continue up crack with loosish (but apparently safe) rock to resting niche (from which it is possible to step off right to large ledge on Lilliput Ridge). Continue up crack to ledge with large blocks.
3. 17 (F3) 22m Pull up steep face 2m left of belay to ledge. Continue up vague, rightslanting crack to ledge with blocks and tree belay.
4. 13 (F1) 15m Climb the crack immediately behind tree for 3m. Move 2m right to shallow recess and climb recess to top.
First Ascent: May 1984 A Seebregts and T Willmot.
CONVERSATIONS ACROSS THE KLOOF 18 (G1) L [N]
Start as for Brobdignagian i.e. upstream side of Lilliput Ridge buttress. Scramble 20m up to ledge with tree belays.
1. 17 (F3) 25m Handtraverse 3m right to ledge. Climb corner above until stopped by wall with crack in it. (First pitch of Brobdignagian.)
2. 18 (G1) 12m Pullup left onto blocks on arete (as for Brobdignagian). Instead of climbing face on right, traverse left under overhang (exposed) to small corner just to right of gully and move up 2m to small stance.
3. 17 (F3) 20m Climb corner above to large ledge with blocks (10m). Climb steep nose above making use of flakes to finish just to left of creeper.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 S Middlemiss and A AshfordJack.
THE CRYSTAL SHIP 19 (G1) L [N]
This route should not be done from April to October as eagles nest on the large ledge.
Climbs the sharp arete between “Brobdignagian” and “Liliput ridge”. Scramble up the gully on the left and traverse out right to a small ledge bellow the arete.
1. 19 (G1) 20m Climb up the face through a small overlap until below the level of the obvious triangle shaped overhang. Move up diagonally left below the roof to the left side of the and go up on to it. Follow the arete to the large ledge with the eagles nest.
Note : Conversations across the Kloof at 18 (F3) makes a suitable second pitch for this route if two pitches are climbed.
First Ascent: 1991 S Middlemiss, W Jenkin and I Schwartz
LILLIPUT RIDGE 17 (F3) L [N]
This route should not be done from April to October as eagles nest on the large ledge.
The climb is situated on the prominent red ridge or buttress on the immediate right of the Vshaped recess referred to under RAF CHINK. This ridge is about 75m downstream of Grootkloof Gully and almost opposite CAVE CRAG. The ridge is about 40m high extending from 20m above the stream to the top of the krantz. Start at a tree with two trunks growing from the wall about 1m above the stream. This point is about 18m downstream of the start of RAF CHINK.
1. 7 (D) 11m Climb to small overhang, traverse right and then up diagonally to left to small ledge with pyramid block. Continue straight up for about 3m then diago nally up to left on easier rock to a wide grass ledge. The ridge starts on this ledge about 9m to the left. It is, incidentally, possible to ascend the broken and bushy face immediately to the right of the ridge. Walk to the base of the ridge and climb a short easy pitch to the base of an obvious rightangle open book with layback crack.
2. 17 (F3) 12m Ascend open book then up to left onto step on front of ridge (clump of aloes grows here). Continue up for 3m to another step.
3. 12 (E2) 5m Climb the crack immediately above which slopes up to the right. This ends at a good stance on triangular ledge.
4. 16 (F2) 12m Above is an overhanging recess. Ascend the right wall (grey face) and traverse left into recess just below overhang. Alternatively, climb directly to the overhang. Climb the overhang by a strenuous pull up to the left. Continue diagonally up to the left on easy rock past some poised blocks to a ledge with more blocks.
5. 15 (F2) 8m Traverse right for 3m and get into the bottom of a shallow rounded recess (sharp bollard here for sling). Ascend the recess to top. Take care not to dislodge blocks from the ledge at which the pitch starts.
Note : The first section of the climb, i.e. up to the grass ledge, serves to warm one up for the ridge which is of consistently good standard, although of miniature proportions which accounts for the climb’s name.
First Ascent: Oct 1957 R Davies, M Urban and P Urban
NEW ERA CRACK 10 (E2) L [N]
This route should not be done from April to October as eagles nest on the large ledge.
The climb starts about 45m downstream of RAF CHINK just above a pool which has to be waded to proceed further downstream. Good climb for club meets (mostly 7 (D) with 8/9 (E) moves in each pitch).
1. 8 (E1) 25m Start on upstream side of depression in rock wall. Climb 6m to depression, then up and traverse left for 8m where a running belay can be made. Ascend 9m in recess to bushy tree.
2. 5 (C) 12m Climb 3m and walk right along grassy ledge to large tree at base of crack.
3. 10 (E2) 18m Climb crack, going on to righthand face after 8m and up to tree.
4. 8 (E1) 12m Up 5m and traverse left immediately below overhang in exposed position.
5. 8 (E1) 9m Climb face on right. This pitch can be avoided.
First Ascent: Jan 1955 R Kinsley and E Scholes.
PARADISE DECLINED 19 (G1) L [N]
The climb starts at the boulder near the lower end of the wade pool shortly above the main waterfall (between NEW ERA CRACK and BLACK QUARTER).
1. 17 (F3) 30m Start up the thin crack and make an awkward move up left. Continue diagonally up left to below a small overhang. Move with difficulty up the crack to the left of the overhang to a prominent chimney which is climbed to easier, vegetated rock above. Continue up and right to a stance on a ledge below a steep face with some roots down it.
2. 19 (G1) 10m Walk to the right along the ledge past the first recess to a steep Vgroove going up from its righthand end. Climb this using a combination of layback and jamming moves to a good ledge above.
3. 15 (F2) 35m Step left around the corner and climb up past a large precarious block to a point just right of a scruffy recess. Climb the righthand face to the overhang and then step right on to the arete. Continue up to the top.
The name refers to the attempt to climb up and right from the second stance. After two delicate moves right holding on to micronuts (first one was left in place) followed by a handswing on to a small ledge in the middle of the exposed face, the leader was so intimi dated by the steep holdless rock above that he abandoned the attempt without anymore ado.
First Ascent: 1983 L P Fatti, M Prior and R Cooper
WOUNDWARD FLIGHT 24 (H1) L [N]
The crack up the wall 23m left of ROOF OF ALL EVILS. Start below and left of the crack.
1. 24 (H1) 25m Climb up and diagonally right to the crack. Pull through a small roof (tricky) and continue up the crack to the level of a sloping ledge on the left. Traverse right and around the arete to an abseil tree above ROOF OF ALL EVILS.
First Ascent: Mar 1986 K M Smith, M Brunke and S M Bradshaw.
BLACK QUARTER 19,A1 (G1,M1) L [N]
The climb starts downstream of the end of the first wadethrough pool, on the left side of the kloof.
1. 10 (E2) 20m Make an awkward move to the top of a jutting out slab of rock, enter the gully and continue up to a big, roomsized cave.
2. 19,A1 (G1,M1) 25m Start on the left side of the cave. Climb up 4m (crux) to the start of a bottomless chimney. Chimney up to the roof of the cave and move out to the right. Aid up a crack (5m A1) to a sloping ledge. Mantleshelf onto the ledge and climb up in the corner to a tree.
3. 17 (F3) 20m Continue up the corner to a bushy stance. Scramble diagonally right to the top.
First Ascent: Sep 1974 M Briggs and E Haber
ROOF OF ALL EVILS 24 (H2) L [N]
Scramble up a gully/recess on the left side of the kloof, downstream of the first wadepool and upstream of the Waterfall. The route follows the crack through the cavelike overhangs above.
1. 24 (H1) 15m Starting on the left, climb up to the roof and step right onto a short slab. Negotiate the overhangs by means of strenuous armpulls and stance where the angle eases to vertical.
2. 17 (F3) 20m Climb the pleasant corner above.
Note : This route is the free version of the aid route BLACK QUARTER.
First Ascent: Jun 1985 K M Smith and G Mallory.
THROWING TOYS 26 (H3) L [5B,N]
Next to ROOF OF ALL EVILS.
1. 26 (H3) 15m Climb up the face past five bolts.
First Ascent: 1991 T Hoole
POTTY TRAINING 23 (H1) L [3B,N]
Next to THROWING TOYS.
1. 25 (H2) 15m Climb up the face past three bolts.
First Ascent: 1991 S Isabek.
BABOON BUTTRESS 11 (E3) L [N]
The climb starts a few metres upstream from the main waterfall, at a clean corner of 7 (D) standard. Above and high up to the right is the buttress, distinguished by a very prominent overhang.
1. 7 (D) 12m Climb corner (facing upstream) to tree on loose slope. Scramble up slope to the left, under and beyond the overhang, until a distinct corner on grey rock is reached.
2. 8 (E1) 18m Climb corner to large tree.
3. 10 (E2) 12m Climb crack on right to reach a large stance and viewsite above the overhang.
4. 11 (E3) 12m Climb exposed corner immediately above previous pitch, starting with a delicate movement.
First Ascent: Oct 1949 E Scholes, J Nunn, R Forsyth and R Wishart.
POOL DESCENT 10 (E2) L [N]
About 90m downstream from CAVE CRAG a large pool extending over the full width of the kloof leads to a waterfall with another large pool immediately below it. The route is on the left face of the kloof just below the fall and immediately above the lower pool. One or two movements only in about 5m of this descent warrant 10 (E2) classification. To reach this spot from either downstream or upstream involves wading through pools spanning the whole width of the kloof.
Alternative descent : Abseil from a tree on the left hand side.
First Ascent: Date unknown H J Barker.
SONDERBROEK 11 (E3) L [N]
So called because the opening party are said to have climbed without trousers after wading through pools. Situated 18m along the traverse below Pool Descent.
1. 6 (D) 6m An obvious and easy nose rises from the stance for 5m. A slightly more interesting variation is to climb a short face to the right through some branches.
2. 11 (E3) 11m An overhanging crack is climbed for 5m and at the overhang a traverse is made for 3m to the lefthand corner which is then climbed direct to the stance.
3. 7 (D) 6m Continue straight up on arete.
4. 7 (D) 18m Slanting crack leads diagonally across the face to the right.
5. 6 (D) 12m The crack continues across the face and is very easy at this point.
Note : All belays good. Slightly loose rock at some points. The second pitch can be turned by going round the corner on the left which will make the pitch 5 (C).
First Ascent: Aug 1946 T Bright, B Cobb, H Stone and E Chadwick.
PILGRIM’S PROGRESS 19 (G1) L [N]
Good climbing although easier options on either side of the route detract somewhat. The route begins a little downstream of the point midway between the waterfall and the huge chockstone wedged across the kloof. The first pitch goes up a prominent groove fault which leads diagonally right wards up the left side of the kloof to a large ledge 17m up, situated beneath an overhang.
1. 13 (F1) 17m Climb directly up to meet the prominent groove/fault about halfway along its length and follow it to the ledge below the overhang.
2. 19 (G1) 25m From the left side of the ledge traverse delicately leftwards round the corner and climb up to a small stance (17 (F3) 8m). Climb up a few metres from stance and traverse right onto the steep face. 8m of sustained technical climbing straight up the face leads to a large ledge. (Possible to split pitch at 8m.)
3. 15 (F2) 18m Climb the corner/chimney on the arete above to a good ledge.
4. 17 (F3) 20m Climb the face to below the overhanging arete. Move around to the right side of the arete and, keeping close to the arete, climb up to a good ledge. (Alt. easier climbing lies to the right.)
5. 17 (F3) 20m Climb the yellow face above, first by using the crack on the left and then by continuing up the centre of the face (easier options may be found on the edges of the face) to finish at the top of the ridge.
First Ascent: Mar 1984 L P Fatti and D Peters.
LOST CAUSE 17 (F3) L [N]
Situated on the true lefthand wall of Grootkloof, the route starts halfway between the high waterfall and the huge hanging chockstone. Scramble to cavelike ledge just above the stream bed, with a steep recess on its left.
1. 17 (F3) 15m Left into the recess and steeply up it to a ledge.
2. 10 (E2) 45m Climb nondescript rock to top.
Note : A bit of a quickie, but there are some fun moves on the first pitch.
First Ascent: Feb 1981 K Smith and C Mitchell.
AMPER SONDER ONDERBROEK 17 (F3) L [N]
The start of the climb lies a third of the way down stream from the 15m high waterfall to the huge chock stone wedged across the kloof i.e. at the lower end of “the pool across the kloof”. The climb starts up the obvious crack on the left side of the kloof which leads up to a gully. The climb continues up the faces to the left of the gully.
1. 17 (F3) 20m From a small cave a few metres above the river traverse left to the obvious crack. Climb the crack passing a small chockstone (crux) just over halfway up and continue to a large ledge.
2. 13 (F1) 30m Climb the crack/ramp to join a large ledge at 25m. From the left side of the ledge traverse left onto the grey face, climb up several metres then traverse left to a large ledge.
3. 15 (F2) 25m Climb the easy grey face to a grassy ledge at 15m. Climb up the middle of the 5m face above at 15 (F2) then traverse left to a corner at the foot of the final buttress.
4. 15 (F2) 30m Climb the polished corner on the buttress for a few metres to gain a ledge on the right of the corner where the corner ends in an overhang. Straddle across the corner and continue traversing leftwards to the crest of the buttress. Climb the crest of the buttress using cracks and corners to reach the top.
Note : The first and last pitches are particularly enjoyable.
First Ascent: May 1984 D Peters, T Snijders, A Fatti and G Moseley. Editors note : This route is possibly the same as “Lost Cause”.
EN BLOC 13 (F1) L [N]
The climb starts beneath the massive chockstone which straddles the whole of Lower Grootkloof. The climb remains dry even after recent rains, but it is necessary to wade through thighdeep pools in either direction to reach the start.
1. 13 (F1) 15m Climb the recess below the downstream side of the chockstone, moving right into a small cave. Move back diagonally left and press up on to a small triangular block then continue left and up over rounded holds (crux) to the top of the chockstone (belay). Scramble up the vegetated ledge above and move right to a recess just short of the overhung gully to the right.
2. 11 (E3) 22m Climb the series of short recesses ending in the abovementioned gully.
3. 6 (D) 15m Scramble to the top.
First Ascent: Mar 1982 R Fox and D Scott.
TRUMPET 15 (F2) L [N]
About 60m upstream of Slab Gully and about 30m down stream form the large boulder straddling the kloof there is a prominent recess leading up on the true lefthand side. It is necessary to wade to reach the foot of the climb.
1. 15 (F2) 28m Climb this recess to a point about 5m below the overhangs and then swing out left and diagonally up out of the recess. Traverse across left to stance and nut runner belay.
2. 15 (F2) 30m Pull up into the shallow recess above and continue up, leaning slightly right for 8m to where the angle eases. Continue up the recess to stance and tree belay.
3. 8 (E1) 25m Continue straight up on easier rock to the top.
First Ascent: Dec 1972 A McGarr and L P Fatti
BASSOON 20 (G2) L [N]
Start about 55m upstream from Slab Gully and 35m down stream from the large boulder straddling the kloof. A few metres downstream of the prominent recess of TRUMPET and on the same side of the kloof, there are two short recesses, each capped by an overhang, leading to a ledge 10m above the stream bed.
1. 13 (F1) 10m Climb the righthand of the two recesses to the large ledge.
2. 15 (F2) 18m Above the ledge a narrow ramp leads up diagonally rightwards. Step up to reach the base of this ramp and follow it to a stance, passing some loose rock near the top.
3. 20 (G2) 18m Step left and up into a short, steep recess. Move up 2m and swing left onto steep face and climb up to where angle eases. Climb up recess above to a large ledge.
4. 19 (G1) 20m Above and to the left of the stance a prominent noselike arete juts out over the kloof. Climb the crack next to this arete for 4m and then traverse left across it to the edge, where it is possible to move up and then around the corner to a resting point. Climb the crack above past a small tree and continue to the top.
First Ascent: 1979 Pitches 1 & 2 D Peters and C Ward. Pitch 3 L P Fatti, D Peters and A McGarr. Pitch 4 B Gross and D Peters.
SIREN 19 (G1) L [N]
About 15m upstream from CLARION and 30m up from Slab Gully there is a very prominent deep recess up the true lefthand side of the kloof. The climb takes the line up a secondary recess, just left of this, which ends up in a narrow curving chimney above. It is necessary to wade to reach the climb.
1. 19 (G1) 27m Starting from a tree about 5m above the stream, climb up steep sustained rock for about 9m and then surmount a short overhanging section above ending in an awkward resting spot below and slightly to the left of the narrow curving chimney. A difficult move leads into the base of the chimney and then continue up strenuously for 3m until a small handrail and foothold around the corner enables one to swing out left onto a ledge on the face. Climb a further 3m to a small ledge with nut runner belay.
2. 15 (F2) 33m Move diagonally up right and then straight up to a point about 2m below some overhangs. Traverse right around the corner for 5m and then climb up to a good stance.
3. 18 (E1) 22m Continue straight up over easier rock to the top.
First Ascent: Dec 1972 P Fatti and A McGarr
KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN 23 (H1) R [N]
Situated 25m upstream of Slab Gulley on the arete to the right of SIREN.
1. 23 (H1) 35m From the base of the gulley climb diagonally up right to the base of the undercut arete (peg). Climb up the arete to the left of three more pegs, (last peg a little doubtful) to the tree/bush.
First Ascent: 1990 S Middlemiss and S Hofmeyer
CLARION 15 (F2) L [N]
Situated 15m upstream from SLAB GULLY.
1. 11 (E3) 9m Ascend diagonally left (slightly off balance) to a cubbyhole in crack 6m above and 9m to left of start. This crack slopes up to the right.
2. 15 (F2) 9m Up the crack which is difficult, especially for a large person. End at a ledge with trees. Above this point the face eases off.
3. 7 (D) 35m Pick out the cleanest route to the top. Difficult variations can be included towards the top, on some red slabs.
First Ascent: 1955 F Junod, R Charlton and Miss M Armstrong.
WINGS 13 (F1) L [N]
This route affords a pleasant way to climb out of lower Grootkloof. It goes up the true lefthand side of the kloof, 10m upstream of the large tree at the junction with Slab and Walking Gullies.
Climb up to a tree at 12m, via cracks and recesses. Continue up in a corner, until the crack overhead closes in. Move left (Crux) onto easier rock, and up leftwards to a large ledge. From here one can scramble to the top starting with 9 (E1) rock.
First Ascent: Jun 1977 K M Smith and P Bender
CHINA GIRL 18 (F3) L [N]
The climb starts on the upstream corner of SLAB GULLY (cairn).
1. 18 (F3) 35m Climb up the crack beside block to tree. Move into corner and ascend recess above to apex (where rock closes in). Move through to ledge and up off width crack to roof. Move left 1m and up V groove to top.
Alternative : 15 (F2) From ledge above apex of recess climb lefthand open book to top.
Note : A chock approximately 3cm bigger than a #4 friend would be useful for protecting the off width crack.
First Ascent: Oct 1985 S Middlemiss and M Cartwright.
SUFFRAGETTE CITY 22 (G3) L [N]
Situated on the true right wall of SLAB GULLY in lower Grootkloof. The route follows a brunt arete/groove about 7m left of WINGS and CHINA GIRL. Start just left and above a small tree.
1. 22 (G3) 25m Crank up a steep wall past two poor pegs to a ledge. Step right onto an undercut red wall and follow this to and pull through a small overlap to the top.
First Ascent: 1990 S Middlemiss and R Lord
HUNKEY DORY 23 (H1) L [N]
1. 23 (H1) 20m Start 5m left of SUFFRAGETTE CITY below a vague break. Boulder up to a small ledge, then climb the corner above to the top. Technical climbing using small holds and small wires.
First Ascent: 1990 S Middlemiss and R Lord
VANGUARD 9 (E2) L [N]
Situated on lefthand wall of Slab Gully follows crack going up wall.
1. 9 (E2) 35m Follow crack which peters out after 18m and climb becomes an easy scramble.
First Ascent: Dec 1985 S Middlemiss, B Slater and M Cartwright.
SLAB GULLY 7 (D) L [N]
This gully affords a convenient abseil route into the kloof for Clarion and other climbs in the vicinity.
First Ascent: Date unknown R Charlton
AND SO TO BED 19,A1 (G1,M1) L [N]
The climb starts from a boulder in the middle of the pool in lower Grootkloof immediately opposite the beginning of CATHERDRAL WALL and TRESPASSERS W.
1. 17 (F3) 15m From the boulder ascend the wall on the left side of the kloof to a ledge about 4m above the water level. Climb diagonally right up a prominent recess for about 6m to the overhang, above which the recess becomes a narrow crack on a steep face. Climb through the overhang and continue up the steep face for about 3m to a tiny stance in a triangular recess on top of a loose chockstone.
2. 19,A1 (G1,M1) 18m Move slightly left and up about 2m to a small ledge. Traverse right 2,5m using two pitons and then up a scoop for about 6m to a sloping ledge. Traverse left about 3m then up an obvious handjam crack for 3m From this point move left with difficulty to a small ledge around the corner. Continue up for about 3m and then right for 4m along a sloping ledge to a comfortable stance behind small trees.
3. 11 (E3) 37m Climb face and recess behind the stance for 9m and then continue up the face to top on very pleasant rock.
First Ascent: Sep 1968 I McLachlan and B Tyson.(Pitch 1) May 1971 L P Fatti, I McLachlan and A Mc Garr.(Pitches 2 & 3)
INTO THE BLACK 23 (H1) L [N]
A triangular cave/recess peaks 12m above the river level in Lower Grootkloof about 50m downstream of Slab Gully. INTO THE BLACK takes the crack line immediately to the left (upstream) of the cave.
1. 23 (H1) 20m Starting slightly right gain the crack and follow it to easier ground.
2. 15 (F2) 25m Climb rightwards over a blocky ledge and continue to the top.
Note : A preplaced wire nut has been left insitu at the base of the crack. Second followed on aid.
First Ascent: Mar 1984 K M Smith and M Smith.