A Private Universe

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“A PRIVATE UNIVERSE” – SLANGHOEK – DU TOITS KLOOF MOUNTAINS

GRADE 550 m, 22 A1

START

From Cape Town travel on the N1 through Du Toits Kloof and take the righthand turn-off for Rawsonville. After some distance turn left to Goudini continuing with a bridge over the N1 and proceed past the Goudini Spa. After a few kilometres turn left onto the farm marked Breeland (Lee & Jones). Proceed down the twin tracks for 100 metres then take a right towards wine cellars. At the cellars take a small road down to the left that leads for about 5 kilometres across vineyards to the home of owners Mortimer and Louise Lee (tel 023 344 3127). Proceed on a track past the farmhouse for 50 metres with a normal car, else 2 kilometres with a high clearance vehicle. Walk to the head of the valley. The huge red wall will come into view high on the left. Head up the gorge for 2 to 3 hours, including the ascent of a 20m waterfall, to reach the wall.

DESCRIPTION -

Pitch 1 (25m 20)
Clamber up the obvious pillar in the middle of the main (right hand) wall. Belay atop this pillar. Head up to an overhang, traverse a few metres and break through the overhang. Head up and then traverse right to belay. Pitch 2 (25m 17)
Head round the corner to the right then up an easy recess and up onto vegetated easy ground.
Pitch 3 (35m 12)
Scramble up and to the left to belay at a small tree at the base of an obvious flaky recess.
Pitch 4 (25m 19)
Climb the delicate recess and then out right around an overhang and up to a stance.
Pitch 5 (25m 16)
Traverse out right then up an obvious break to reach a roof. Traverse back left under the roof then up to a stance.
Pitch 6 (30m 12)
Head out left along the rising ledge system then up a little to belay.
Pitch 7 (25m 16)
Head on up blocky ground then out right around a corner to a belay ledge.
Pitch 8 (25m 21, A1)
From the right end of the ledge head up to reach the huge razor flake. Gingerly head up this to get to the roof above then traverse left to break through the overhang and up to a stance.
Pitch 9 (30m, 19)
Head up then follow the fault line as it leans right.
Pitch 10 (40m, 20)
Head up until forced out to the right. Traverse spectacularly on hard orange rock then up to a good sleeping ledge. From the sleeping ledge clamber around to the left to gain a higher ledge system at the base of a overhanging recess.
Pitch 11 (35m, 20 A1)
Mostly free and on excellent rock climb the recess upwards and outwards using micro nuts for aid where the crack squeezes out. Break right to reach a hanging stance on bolts.
Pitch 12 (30m, 22 A1)
Climb directly up to the huge overhanging bulge and use the hand crack to climb spectacularly out and over to easier vertical ground. Head up to a hanging stance.
Pitch 13 (30m, 22 A1)
Head up to climb the improbable outward leaning orange face to the left. Gain the recess and get up to a handrail. Head spectacularly out left and awkwardly get onto a ledge over and up to the left. Ascend difficult ground to belay much higher on a large ledge. Pitch 14 (35m, 22 A1) Crawl to the left of the ledge then up the yet-again outward leaning orange face to the left (do not get led right by gear high up on the grey face – a nasty place!). Climb the orange face and proceed through assorted overhangs to reach easy ground. Reach a belay halfway up the pillar ahead.
Pitch 15 (25m, 19)
Climb the pillar then up steep ground until getting up to a stance on a sloping ledge.
Pitch 16 (10m, 19)
Traverse right around a corner and then up to a stance.
Pitch 17 (40m, 18)
Climb directly up to a thin flake taking care not to drop it onto the belay. Trend right and up through mixed ground to reach a stance on a ledge.
Pitch 18 (25m, 19)
Head into the recess above then out left onto the face. Head up and leftwards to gain a vertical crack. Continue up to a stance on a small ledge.
Pitch 19 (35m, 22)
Climb up and right on easy ground. Ascend the recess for some distance, pull out and over a huge chockstone, head out left onto a slightly outward-leaning orange face using underclings, then up through some small overhangs. At a large bulging overhang ahead use a hand-sized jam crack to overcome it. Head up the bottomless chimney/recess to finish spectacularly on the rim a long way out from the base of the wall.

DESCENT

Head down to the right over easy terrain to reach a col with huge boulders. Here head down to the right to reach the small trees on the ridge far ahead. From these trees hug the extreme left side of the ridge and head down the other side of it (without falling over the precipice below). A steep and tricky slope regains the ascent gorge. An alternative longer (15km) but easier walk-off is to go left at the col to eventually gain a path down a very pretty valley that leads to Junction Pool. At Junction Pool turn right on the track to get to the top of Bains Kloof Pass. Both descents require 4 to 5 hours.

OPENING PARTY David Davies, Hilton Davies, Matthew Sim – 9 November 2002.

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