Difference between revisions of "Barrier Buttress"

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T. Dunsby, M. Scott. J. Watson, G. Young
T. Dunsby, M. Scott. J. Watson, G. Young
This route is for those that know the buttress well as it cuts through routes like Edge regularly
This route is for those that know the buttress well as it cuts through routes like Edge regularly
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Pitch7. 3m (F1 or 14) Straddle around the bulge on the right, then scramble to the top.
Pitch7. 3m (F1 or 14) Straddle around the bulge on the right, then scramble to the top.
      ''' Barrier South Face'''
This face has a water drip more or less in the middle of it's base. the drop is in a large crack partially hidden by a tree.
'''Fingertip Face'''
'''Fingertip Face'''

Revision as of 22:00, 30 March 2014

Barrier has a string of classic trad routes with easy access from a good path which is shared with Volken Buttress. The climbing is on good rock and a generally moderate grade. The crag is great because it has a reasonably short walk in for the Apostles (less than an hour), and generally good rock. Currently (2014) there is a guide book out for the buttress within "Cape Peninsula Select", however that guide is not as comprehensive as this one.

Approach From Camps Bay Drive take Fiskaal Road as it zigzags up the hill side (becoming Francolin then finally Theresa Ave). Park more or less at the apex of the road where ones finds a short dead end road with a boom. Walk from here on the concrete road as it zigzags then take a left path as if towards Kasteel Poort. Where the Kasteel Poort path cuts a prominent stream bed turn left, following the bed steeply up for a while until a left path is found. Taking this path you are at the base of Valken Buttress, continue along that path takes you past a perennial waterfall to the base of Barrier.

Descent By far the easiest descent is to walk town the ravine between Barrier and Valken and take the single pitch abseil to the base (less than 25m). Walking up and over to join the path down Kasteel is a big shlep, and not recommended.

Barrier Hatchet

Barrier North Side *(D) G.F. Travers-Jackson(solo) 1901 Too Much Traversing at Start Traverse, at the highest line across to the left-had side of the buttress, which takes you past routes that start on the front. Continue past the start of Snakes and Ladders and Ludo into a cave like walk that becomes a dassie traverse on large blocks. At the farthest end, almost in the ravine between Jubilee and Barrier Buttresses it is possible to climb on easy rock. Hereafter the north side if the buttress is followed on "go as you please" manner to the top.

Barrier Ravine

Ludo * (F2) P.D Attenborough and M Scott 1972 "A difficult crux mars a pleasant route"

The route starts to the left of Snakes and Ladders at the start of the "dassie" Traverse on Barrier North side Route. Pitch 1. Climb the break which ends in an awkward pull-up on the right hand corner,a bit further,

Pitch 2. Climb up a steep rib which finishes on the big slope.

Pitch 3. Straight ahead is a black streaked face in among the overhangs, to the left of Snakes and Ladders (which takes a traverse line to the right). Delightful "D" climbing moving more or less out to the right at the overhangs finishes the route.

Snakes and Ladders*** (E2 or 12) J. De V Graaf, B.M Quail and C. Inglis 1954 A pleasant if somewhat disjointed route up the north side of Barrier. Start at a large triangular block about 6m left of Barrier Pinnacle

Pitch 1. (12) climb the crack on the left side of the block to a stance on top. hand traverse left for a few meters below a chimney/crack.

Pitch 2. (12) Climb the vertical chimney from the right-hand corner of the stance, traversing out left at the top. Scramble 30m in the direction of 11 o'clock to a pitch about 40m to the left of a prominent pinnacle.

Pitch 3. (10) From the level of the top of the pinnacle, traverse right for about 7m along a narrow ledge, then up 6m to a platform. move right into a crack which leads to a stance at the top of a prominent nose.

Pitch 4. (10) Climb the face behind the nose, moving diagonally right. turn a corner to gain a narrow ledge above

Pitch 5. (10) Traverse 7m along the ledge to a vertical fault in the final wall (facing Porcupine Buttress). Climb on the right side of the fault to the top.

Notes: there is a direct variation for the the first 3 pitches: pull up into a brown face and climb to a good hand-rail which enables you to do a strenuous and exposed hand swing (13) left to the base of a vertical, open chimney

Barrier Crag (F2 or 16) A.B. Berrisford, R.J. Johnson and A.j. Singer 1927 A Rather obscure climb. with careful searching there are cairns and beacons for it.

Pitch 1. (F2)The route starts 6m Left of Barrier Pinnacle, atop a large triangular block. from the top of the block climb straight up a square gap between two huge blocks until under the overhangs. Steep climbing leads out onto the face on the left where one leaves a good grip for a very high stretch to a poor lay-back edge. Continue up to the ledge above.

Pitch 2. (E2)Scramble up diagonally right until the level of the broken ledge on which the prominent pinnacle on the crest of the buttress stands. About 15m left of the pinnacle, at the foot of a steep slanting ramp the next beacon will be found. Follow a straight line up a rib to the left of the ramp which belongs to Walk Over

Walk Over *** (F2 or 16) K. D Fletcher and R. Williams 1966 A fair route which slips between Barrier Pinnacle and Barrier Crag Start: up the over hanging corner left of Barrier Pinnacle

Pitch 1. (14) Climb up the corner until it is possible to traverse left on slanting hand grips to a semi-detached block. Climb the Block, stepping off and traversing right to stance shared with Pinnacle.

Pitch 2. (13) Move around the bulging corner, using good grips in a recess to reach a hidden flake, and continue up to a good stance or continue up a brown recess, traversing left under a overhang to exit up a corner to a broad ledge.

Pitch 3. (16) Lay-back up the right-side of a ramp until forced to traverse left onto the ramp. Continue up to a small one-man stance below an overhang on the right. Continue using a series of pull-ups, move left and up through the overhang. climb the block to a good stance.

Pitch 4. (13) Step across onto the face, then traverse left round a corner and up to a good stance below a black crack. climb the crack to the top.

Barrier Pinnacle **** (F3 or 17)' R. Burton, J. Davis, P. O' Neil, L. Schaf, O. Shipley 1947 Great route with some fine climbing which starts about 6m of a large triangular boulder, and 6m left of Barrier Sandwich.

Pitch 1. (16) CLimb the brown face for 4m, then traverse 2m left and up a to a roomy, cave like stance, on poor rock. Traverse right for 3m then climb a recess above, moving right to stance at the top.

Pitch 2. (13) Climb the bushy fault and step right to a bushed up ledge. Climb a series of lareg steps, which leads to an obvious traverse to the left for 5m, ending on a broad ledge.

Pitch 3. (16) A Pinnacle- from which the route gets its name- may bee seen in profile about 15m right. climb up behind the pinnacle and emerge on its right, before continuing up a vertical fault above to another 15m. Move out left to a good ledge some 7m above.

Pitch 4. (17) Climb diagonally up to the right to the foot of a vertical fault and lay-back to a stance. continue up excellent holds to the top.

Barrier Sandwich *** (F3 or 18) H, Graafland. H Snijders 1960 A Pile of good pitches that is slightly ,arred by a bushy 2nd pitch. Do not underestimate the first pitch.

Start about 12m left of Barrier Frontal, up a left facing corner capped by a roof.

Pitch 1 (18)Climb the recess for about 5m, then traverse right across the vertical wall to the corner. Pull through an overlap, to beneath the next roof, and move left and up a recess on a higher ledge (awkward). continue up the recess to the ceiling, then traverse right around the corner to a small ledge and move up to a bigger ledge. Climb the face above the left-hand edge of the ledge, then traverse 2m left into a shallow recess (with a bush) to another ledge.

Pitch 2. (8)Traverse to the right along a narrow, bushy ledge until you reach a stance at the top of the first pitch of Barrier Frontal.

Pitch 3. (16) From the blocks, climb on good holds past some steep flake moves to reach a stance in a deep fissure. Climb the fissure for about 1m then traverse out to the right for about 3m to the obvious break.Using a yellow sandy-looking projection move up to the right for 2m then sing up to the square stance to the right of the overhang.

Pitch 4. (16) Traverse Right, along reddish ledge for 5m until a flake lying flush with the face is reached.Using the flake swing up and continue climbing to the stance, bypassing the small overhang on the right. climb the obvious recess (shared with Frontal) and exit to the right to reach a ledge level with the 2 fixed pitons and horseshoe on Frontal.

Pitch 5. (16) Climb up for 3m, the move diagonally left to the hanging recess and up this to the top.

Persona Non Grata ***(21) FA T Dick, D Cheesmond FFA A de Klerk, R Hess 1981 A Direct line up the clean top faces between Barrier and Walk Over. Start from the right hand side of the light grey face about 10m right of Sandwich, or just left of the scramble to the base of Frontal.

Pitch 1. (21) Reach the handrail and traverse left to a tiny ledge just before the corner that overlooks Sandwich. Climb the steep crack above.

Pitch 2. (21) Climb the crack about 3m to the right, through a bulge in the red rock. Continue via a series of tricky moves up the outside of the pinnacle, climbing the final block to the left.

Pitch 3. (19) From the top of the block lying on the left of the crack of Barrier Pinnacle, reach height for a jug and pull-up leftwards into a shallow recess. Continue to the roof, then move left until the roof ends.An awkward pull-up leads to a stance above the roof.

Pitch 4. (16) Climb straight up, then diagonally left to a narrow ledge at the left end of the face.

Pitch 5. (17) Traverse 8m right along a rail, then climb up in line with the stance above with 3, through steep rock on in-cut holds. Continue past a ledge up short rock bands to the top.

There is a grade 17 variation mixing both Frontal and Sandwich where one takes the first pitch of Frontal, but instead of traversing right on the 2nd pitch of Frontal continue straight up a red/orange and heavily featured crack until one joins the 3rd pitch of Sandwich. Stay with Sandwich until it starts the right traverses on the 4th Pitch. The route takes the clean white/gray face dominated by 2 cracks beneath an overlap, reach the overlap and traverse left to a stance. Take the weathered crack above straight to the top, passing a large ledge exited through a left facing feature then another weathered crack to the top. this is a 2 pitch variation, stancing as Sandwich traverses right on its' 4th pitch. Because this is only a two pitch route it can be quickly done.

Barrier Frontal (14) **** J.W Fraser, F. Humphries, K. White 1917 One of the Peninsular's classics. Scramble up some easy cracks to the left of a crest of the buttress to gain a small tree at the base of a crack.

Pitch 1. (13) Climb the crack type fault to reach a ledge. traverse right around a the corner and up to a short right-angled corner. Climb this, then an awkward move to a stance.

Pitch 2. (12) Move right and climb the brown corner to the ledge above. Traverse right along the ledge all the way to the end of the ledge, then step up around the corner and further right to stance on a large rectangular block beneath an overhang.

Pitch 3. (13) Step off the block up to the roof. traverse right and through an awkward step up to clear the right side of the roof. Climb straight up the corner to the ledge.

Pitch 4. (11) Traverse across the ledge to the left to reach a flaky break. climb this, before moving right to belay at the end of the ledge on an old fixed pin.

Pitch 5. (13) Step Down, then traverse right ( past some old pegs and horseshoe) to gain the flat white face above. climb this ( the Soup Plate) to a narrow ledge. Traverse right and do a wide step-across ( the Donkey Ride) to gain the continuation of the ledge, and a stance.

Pitch 6. (14) From the right of the ledge, climb the fault to gain a ledge beneath a bulging face. climb the for a few moves, then move diagonally right to the corner on good holds. climb up this to a ledge, then a stance above before scrambling to the top.

Note: the original route took the Shaly crack on pitch 4 directly above the stance- climb the obvious lay-back crack that leads directly up to the "Soup Plate"

Barrier Bones ** (F3 or 17) R. Williams and A Chinery You will need to know the adjacent routes to follow this line. Start 6m left of Barrier Enterprise.

Pitch 1. 15m (F2 or 14) climb up the vertical flake 6m left of Barrier Enterprise, and continue up a bulging face into a recess which is ascended to a ledge.

Pitch 2. 10m (E3 or 12) Traverse to the right and stand on a flake to ascend the face, and move out left to stance

Pitch 3. 18m (F2) Climb the white face behind to the ledge above. (Barrier Frontal traverses right here)

Pitch 4. 22m (F1 or 13) Almost behind the last pitch climb up the overhanging face, starting at the corner to the right. This ends below the shaly crack of Barrier Frontal

Pitch 5. 9m (F2 or 14) Climb the sloping white ramp to the left of the shaly crack to share a stance with Frontal and Sandwich.

Pitch 6. 21m (F2 or 14) Climb the left of two cracks straight above dark rocks with horrible flakes at the start- and traverse left under overhangs to a stance at the top of a lay-back crack on Pinnacle. The crux is the pull up at the end on blocks that look loose, but are part of the mountain.

Pitch 7. 34m (F2 or 15) Climb up immediately above the ledge via an awkward mantle shelf. continue up to a small overhang, traverse right and then up diagonally to a break in the next overhang. the route finishes on the crest of the buttress.

Barrier Enterprise ** F3 or 16 R Bailie, J Goedknegt, R Reinecke, H Sni.iders. Poor rock in several places distracts from the enjoyment of this route. The route begins on a prominent red face right of Barrier Frontal (the obvious face)

Pitch 1. 18m (F3 or 16) Climb the red crack, then move to the left to avoid the first overhang. Climb up to the second overhang and continue through a gap on the right, to a small platform. A short crack leads to a stance.

Pitch 2. 12m (F2 or 15) Climb a short, red wall above the first pitch to a handrail under the overhang. Traverse to the right, then climb up to a stance at the foot of a broken recess.

Pitch 3. 12m (F1 or 14) climb the right hand wall of the recess to a ledge, with several big blocks, under the "Elbow Traverse" on Barrier Frontal.

Pitch 4. 4m (F2 or 15) Stand on he right of three blocks to pull up to a stance shared with Frontal.

Pitch 5. 11m (F3 or 16) Climb a thin crack in the right hand wall of the recess which is used by Frontal. Move 3m up to a handrail, traverse to the right, then climb a shallow recess to a dassie ledge under an overhang.

Pitch 6. 9m (F2 or 15) Climb through a gap to the left of the stance, move 3m up to a sketchy handrail, then traverse to the right on a corner formed by a broken rib. Climb the rib to a ledge.

Pitch 7. 9m (E1 or 10) Traverse 3m right, then climb up the right handed edge of a white recess. Move Diagonally right to stance.

Pitch 8. 15m (F1 or 14) Climb diagonally right onto an exposed nose. Climb the broken recess to the top of the buttress.

Barrier Edge **** F1 or 14 LD Schaff, O Shipley, J Davis 1947 Another moderate route well worth doing. For the most part the line takes the vague arrete. The route was originally done in 7 pitches, and so the modern version is described below.

Start: The line basically starts on the right corner of the front face of the buttress, but to get there traverse right around the corner, scramble up a short corner to an earth platform with a large tree. this is Just right of the prominent red face where Enterprise starts.

Pitch 1. 18m (13) Climb the recess to the overhang, then move left onto a sitting ledge, which narrows as it runs out onto a jutting nose. Move around the nose, then up to a good stance.

Pitch 2. 25m (14) Move 3m left to a sharp-edged boulder. Moveup a meter, then back right and up an obvious fault that runs left to a stance.

Pitch 3. 18m (12) Move slightly right and up to skirt the overhang, then traverse 5m right and up a gap between two blocks. Traverse about 12m right along a wide ledge to a stance at the end.

Pitch 4. 22m (14) Climb the recessed face for 2m, then traverse right around the exposed corner. Move up via some mantelshelf moves on a narrow ledge. Climb the obvious chimney up and right.

Barrier Corner * (E2 or 11) E. Berrisford, RCF Burton, C Catell, WH Crump, I Swan, CA Smith, S Rose 1933

Start Traverse about 16m past the Barrier Pool [ the waterfall I think] to a beacon which denotes the start. about 2m left of a Hottentots Cherry Tree.

Pitch 1. 12m (E2 or 11) Traverse Diagonally right and up a meter or so past a loose white block, and up a white recess (with a flake in the back of it) to a ledge under a brown face. wriggle up behind a large block on the right to a stance.

Pitch 2. 18m (E2 or 11) Move to the left for 4m to a recess, the left wall of which is white, the right brown. Ascend the recess. Take a 6m right dassie traverse to a stance.

Pitch 3. 60m G4 (this "G4" is verbatim out of the 1978 MCSA guide, I assume it is a typo rather than a grade 24 pitch!) Continue to the right along this ledge, which eventually becomes a dassie crawl again, right across the souht side of the buttress. The Exit from the traverse needs care if its wet.

Pitch 4. 3m (D or 9) Ascend a short black crack immediately above the end of the dassie crawl.

Pitch 5. 60m (C or 8) Pleasant scrambling up minor cracks, faces and recesses, following the most direct line of least resistance.

Pitch 6. 10m (E1 or 10) A start is made in the corner of a broken overhanging recess. climb out right onto a face and up.

Pitch 7. 10m (C or 8) Ascend a bush V-shaped chimney directly above the last pitch.

Pitch 8. 11m (B or 7) Scramble diagonally to the right over a number of large blocks to the foot of a wide grassy gully.

Pitch 9. 10m (B or 7) Climb the gully, exit to the right at the top, and continue to the top of the buttress.


T. Dunsby, M. Scott. J. Watson, G. Young

This route is for those that know the buttress well as it cuts through routes like Edge regularly

Start: same starting point as Barrier Edge at the earth stance

Pitch 1. 10m (F2 or 15) climb the middle crack and dassie traverse to the left to share a stance with Edge.

Pitch 2. 10m (F1 or 14) Ascend behind the ledge avoiding the easy bits which belong to Edge. Swing to the left, using a block to get to the ledge shared with Enterprise.

Pitch 3. 10m (F1 or 14) Pull up onto a white face on the right of the easy Enterprise recess using a small hole and some fingery grips. Move diagonally right into the gully Edge uses.

Pitch 4. 10m (E2 or 12) Step right, Crossing Edge and meander through "Vygies" on the wall to end on the ledge to the right to a pronounced block with a cleft in it. The Edge crosses here again.

Pitch 5. 12m (F2 or 15) Pull up onto the wall under the long overhang. traverse right to the corner, using suspicious looking flakes, until it reaches the recess where the crux of Edge starts. Continue up the corner then step across the top of a recess onto a ledge below the layback crack which leads to a dassie traverse used by Edge ( which comes from the right). Step to the right (crossing Edge) then mantelshelf up to a stance.

Pitch 6. 12m (F2 or 15) Climb the steep brown face above to stance beneath the overhangs. (The Edge, which was crossed again at the stance uses the easy chimney on the right.

Pitch7. 3m (F1 or 14) Straddle around the bulge on the right, then scramble to the top.

       Barrier South Face

This face has a water drip more or less in the middle of it's base. the drop is in a large crack partially hidden by a tree.

Fingertip Face


Thirty-Nine Steps Hang Ten