Africa Ledge

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Africa Ledge Proper

COCK and Bull Buttress

This area is below and just left of Arrow Final (facing the mountain) . From the Tea Cave, walk back a short way along the path toward India Venster and you will find the buttress on the left.

Routes on the SW face
Routes on East face

Matador 25

Start just left of Crank and Pull. Climb the easy crack to the break. Using an undercling in the roof crank onto the steep face and slightly left to a rail. Continue up a steep layback to a wide rail and then fight straight up over the narrow roof onto the smooth face above.

FA: Richard Halsey, 16/02/2012

Local Legend 24

A hard and bouldery route that is serious to lead. It is named in honour of local legend David Davies.


The route is found on Africa Ledge, Table Mountain, and cuts through the zig-zags of Atlantic Crag. A couple of metres to the right of the Oddshouter’s Outing tea cave is the Ruminating Crag chimney. Immediately beyond the chimney is a pillar with an ugly brown crack and wall to its right. Local Legend commences a couple of metres further right in the centre of the white wall. Africa Link-Up starts in the same place and goes off to the right.

Pitch 1 30m 19:

Step off the large sloping block onto the centre of the left-facing wall. Ascend the face in the centre (tricky lead). At 15m reach a ledge then directly above ascend the right-facing wall finishing up its left edge to reach Upper Africa Ledge. Cross the ledge and scramble up 3m to stance on a big ledge one level below the overhanging white wall.

Pitch 2 12m 24:

Scramble up on the right to get to the overhanging recess. At this point the Atlantic Crag fourth pitch crack is 3m to the right. To the left is a massive undercut white wall. Ascend the recess trending rightwards, making use of the highest wired nut protection available. Turn the overhanging wall and with difficulty ascend the easier angled rock face above your last protection (crux). Head directly up easy ground to stance on the large ledge. This pitch is a serious lead.

Pitch 3 12m 22:

The face to the right is wildly undercut to start. Step up onto the microwave oven-sized block and clip the old piton. This pitch is an aid pitch on Little Jack Horner and the peg was placed in 1980. Stretch up to reach an edge with the left hand and a flat prong with the right. Crank hard to get up and ascend the difficult face towards the right. On easy ground head up and left and then right to a big ledge. This pitch is a serious lead.

Pitch 4 12m 18:

Head up broken ground to arrive at the big overhang above to the right of the hanging block. Rail out left on the block and then head up a crack to the ledge above. Walk rightwards to the end of the ledge.

Pitch 5 12m 20:

From the stance traverse to the right with hands at the level of the overhang to a bottomless recess. Pull into this recess. So far this is the famous crux of the classic Atlantic Crag. Now rail out wildly to the right to the dark and forbidding bottomless recess. Ascend this for 5m to a ledge. Continue up the steep wall ahead for another 4m to another blocky ledge and stance at the big detached flake.


To abseil off the Africa Corner bolted anchors scramble up easy ground to the left for 25m. To finish at the cableway station scramble up to the right.

First ascent:

Hilton Davies, Neels Havenga and Andy Davies on 26 January 2011.

Flaky Dog 21

Flaky Dog 21

Despite the lichen that plasters the second pitch of the climb, this route has the potential to become a classic if it is “climbed into condition”. It is a moderate 2 pitch route that involves classic sustained TM climbing on steep rock, with excellent protection.

Start: The route starts just to the right of the Africa Gullet crack on the upper Africa ledge.

Pitch 1 25m 21:

Climb the face just to the right of Gullet’s crack to a cruxy section. (One can cheat by straddling across Gullet’s crack). Pass this to a good rail. Rail right to steep juggy rock that leads you to a stance. Belay off the abseil bolts.

Pitch 2 30m 21:

Climb the “staggered crack” that diagonals up to the left to a grassy stance. Don’t stop here but rail easily left above Odd Shouters crux and then up to a stance. Continue wandering easily to the top back to the abseil anchors.

First ascent: C Edelstein February 2007

Mad Dog 22

“Mad Dog” is a direct variation of the Africa Lunch second pitch. It is easier as it avoids the pumpy lie back at the top of Lunch but has its moments particularly for the “on-sight” lead.

Mad Dog 30m 22:

30m 22: Climb the overhanging lie back crack of the start of the second pitch of Africa Lunch. At the second peg continue straight up past the next rail to where Africa lunch moves right. Continue straight up using some mentally challenging flakes into the easy groove that leads directly to the fixed peg and nut abseil point.

First Ascent 16 February 2007: Charles Edelstein and Robert Breyer.

Vapour Trail (28)

Upper Africa Ledge, Table Mountain

Located on the right hand side of Upper Africa Ledge almost directly under the Africa Corner abseils. It starts around the corner to the left of, and at the same level as, the crack pitch of Atlantic Crag.

Pitch 1 15m (28):

Start off blocks on the left end of the ledge. Reach up to a jug on the prow at the first rail. Rail right for 5m then up a recess to the left side of the upper roof. Rail right for 5m along the upper rail past the bulge and then pull through the roof using a wedged dinner plate and up to the big ledge above.

Gear: Critical cam (blue, 0.3 Camelot size) in lower rail before ascending the recess.

Pitch 2 20m (23):

On the left side of the ledge, above the recess of pitch 1, is a featured face with a shallow crack system. This is at the same level as, and a bit right of, pitch 1 of Mellow Steady Flow. Climb the crack system tending slightly left at the top to a small ledge. Scramble up and right to the abseil rings and stance there.

Pitch 3 35m (21):

Climbs straight up above the abseil rings. Ascend two short, white faces and a small, dark corner with a friendly layback crack to a ledge. Climb slightly left up the big, white block above to stance below a short, steep, white face.

Pitch 4 10m (22):

Climb easily to a small, blocky roof. Rail 1m right and go up a small corner/crack. Head back left and up on some juggy rails to the ledge with the top abseil rings. Can be combined with pitch 3 but the leader is out of sight of the belayer on the top moves and a long way up so a fall could result in hitting the blocks below. Probably best to split into two pitches.

FA: Mark Seuring and Douw Steyn (2013)

Upper Africa Ledge, right hand side.
Upper Africa Ledge, right hand side.
Blue = Vapour Trail
Pink squares = Africa Corner abseil anchors

Right Face

Access: To access Prowling and Orion, walk from the upper cable station towards Platteklip Gorge, passing two viewing areas with railings. Continue past the next lookout with a stone wall to the following lookout. From here scramble down to the top of the Africa Ampitheatre cliffs, and walk right (East) for about 50m on a ledge until you get to a drop-off above a gulley. There is an abseil point in situ overlooking the gulley, and a 40m abseil brings you to a ledge (abseiling directly above the prow will leave you hanging in space). Bring some screwgates and two 120cm slings to extend the anchor over edge so rope pulls easily. Walk about 10m back in the direction of the cable station to the base of the routes. If needed, you can scramble out to the right of the routes.

P: Prowling, O:Orion, Arrow: abseil point

Prowling (26)

A long, steep prow near the last pitches of Right Face and clearly visible from Tafelberg Rd near the Platteklip Gorge parking.

  • Pitch 1. 40m (26) Start under a short vertical crack and move up to a hand rail. Traverse a few meters left until you can pull up to a platform and walk left to below the prow. Use the crack and sidepulls to gain a good rail. Pull up about 1m to a horizontal slot (medium cam), where you move left across the arete, and continue up on the left to the next ledge. From the right of the block on the halfway ledge, move 2m up and then slightly right to a good sidepull in the steep, grey scoop. Some hard moves straight up lead to a thin rail below a small roof. Use a sloper above the roof to move left and strenuously up to good holds. Continue up easily to the left of the diving board (wobbles). Finish out right over the void using a good rail and side pulls.

FA: R. Halsey, J.Smith & D. Steyn, 9/03/2012

FFA: R. Halsey & J. Möhle, 11/03/2012

Orion (25?)

Features a cool 4m roof with great exposure.

  • Pitch 1. 25m (21) Start as for Prowling, but climb straight up to the ledge via a wide vertical crack. Now follow a left tending crack, which starts very thin (with good holds on the right) to a good rail. Move ~1.5m right until below a tiny roof. Pull up and right to good holds on the right of the tiny roof. Continue up the right side of a white bulge to stance on a small ledge with a large horn on the left.
  • Pitch 2. 20m (25?) Head straight up for ~6m to a wide rail. Traverse ~2m left until you can pull up to the good rail in the roof (small/medium cams). Move out on this rail until it terminates, then reach a good hold in the roof. Crank to some good holds over the lip, do some circus moves and pull onto the face above. Stance ~8m up at a huge boulder. Consensus grading needed.

FA: R. Halsey & J. Möhle, 28/01/2013