Eagle Crag

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Park 100 m or so before the chalet and do not block the road. Walk to the residents parking area of the chalet, just before the wooden bridge/deck, go left into the bushes, you will find a small trail leading past a boulder. The path goes up a bit before heading right. To get to Eagle Crag climbs, leave the trail and head up through the grass and bushes.

Crag Photo

Harrismith guide 39.jpg

Route List

# ROUTE NAME / AREA GRADE # OF BOLTS (INCL. ANCHORS) RATING BOLTING/OPENED INFO DESCRIPTION
1. Take It Easy 18; 20; 11 15D **** FA: Grant Murray and Mike Cartwright (1994) 1. 18 (40m; 13D) Scramble up a slab to a ledge. Walk across to the left-hand side of the ledge and you will find the first bolt tucked away in some gnarly rock, just after the smooth face ends. Climb straight up to a large ledge. Continue straight up the steep, narrow slab bounded on the left by a right-facing corner and on the right by vegetated rock. At the top, just below a small overhang, make a couple of moves to the right and then step down to a 1-bolt belay on a large boulder. Just to the right is a large ledge at the base of the overhanging Red Wall.
2. 20 (25m; 15D) From the stance, clip the last bolt of the previous pitch and then climb up diagonally left to a position under the small overhang. Pull through on small holds then continue more easily up the face, past a tree to the anchors. This is an exposed pitch with excellent climbing.
3. 11 (25m; 6D) Climb up the buttress keeping the arête on your right. Towards the top, tend left to reach the anchors. This pitch takes you to the top of the crag, but most people don't bother and ab off after the second pitch.


Descent: Abseil back down the top pitch. From the anchors at the top of the second pitch, abseil off to the right, over the corner and out into space. A free ab down The Red Wall ends up on a large, vegetated ledge which is located just to the right of the boulder stance at the top of the first pitch. The final anchors are located on the clean rock face adjacent to the extreme right-hand side of the ledge. Knot the end of your ropes because the ab is almost 35m long. At the end of the ab it is necessary to scramble several metres down an easy gully to reach the base of the crag.

2. Riding Fences 20 12D ** FA: Mike Cartwright and Grant Murray (1994) This route starts a few metres right of 'Take It Easy'. Scramble up the slab to the ledge. Walk towards the right-hand side of the ledge. The first bolt is (currently) partly hidden by the leaves of a tree that brushes against the rock face. Climb the steep pocketed face then continue more easily tending right towards the top. Scramble up onto the ledge and descend as for the last ab of 'Take It Easy'.

The Red Wall

At the top of the first pitch of 'Take It Easy' there is a large ledge comfortable at the base of the huge, right-facing corner. Anyone attempting these lines should be very capable of soloing up to the ledge. The over-hanging wall forming the left-hand side of the corner is known as the Red Wall. It has two bolted lines that are now open projects.

# ROUTE NAME / AREA GRADE # OF BOLTS (INCL. ANCHORS) RATING BOLTING/OPENED INFO DESCRIPTION
3. Open Project - Grant's Red Wall Project (aka Mass Extinction) Bolted by Grant Murray The line of bolts up the left-hand side of the steep Red Wall. 30 metres of steep climbing on crimps and flakes, take a stick clip! Probably 32/33 ish.
4. Open Project Rat's Red Wall Project Bolted by Mike Cartwright. The line of bolts up the right-hand side of the steep Red Wall. Rock looks quite bad on this one.
5. A Steyn On Our Reputation 17 Trad *** FA: Jacques Raubenheimer ; Alex Steyn; Laurent Marais (1995) This route lies about 30m to the right of 'Take It Easy' and just to the right of the huge right-facing corner that incorporates the Red Wall. Scramble up a somewhat vegetated section for about 5m to reach the ledge at the bottom of the face proper and start in a left-facing corner below the huge right-facing corner mentioned above – this is the last part of the descent from 'Take It Easy'.

For this route and the next one, Jacques R comments that it makes more sense to swop the top (fourth) pitches of both routes, although they are described here as they were opened
1. 16 (25m) Climb the corner, passing some ab chains on the left, about 6m up. Continue up to the large ledge at the base of the two Red Wall projects and belay at some more chains.
2. 14 (30m) Climb straight up from the chains at the right corner of the ledge (above the crack of the first pitch) and belay when you get to a slight angled ledge with some loose blocks.
3. 17 (30m) From the stance climb the broken face above to a steeper section. Break through this on the right to gain a crack line above. After the crack peters out, continue up to a large ledge.
4. 12 (25m) Climb to the top following the easy slabs next to the big corner on the left. Walk left and scramble down to the ab point on 'Take It Easy' or walk off to the right and then down the Eagle’s Head gully.

6. A Steyn-less Route 18 Trad FA: Jacques Raubenheimer and Hennie van Zyl (1999) This route shares the same first pitch as 'A Steyn on Our Reputation'.
1. 16 (25m) Climb the corner, passing some ab chains on the left, about 6m up. Continue up to the large ledge at the base of the Red Wall projects and belay at some more chains.
2. 18 (30m) Climb the open book / crack to the right of the Red Wall projects. Continue up to the tree below the roof. Gear is sparse.
3. 17 (25m) Climb up from the tree into the chimney to place a #3 Rock and a small Friend behind a large chockstone. Extend these with a long sling - they are the only protection for the traverse. Downclimb to just above the tree then traverse out from under the big roof with your feet on the slight rounding on the face. Once clear of the roof, continue up the crack with bomber pro until you get to the ledge and tree.
4. 12 (25m) Climb straight up the face to the top.

Descend as for the previous route.

7. Hennie Boekwurm 18 Trad FA: Jacques Raubenheimer and Hennie van Zyl (1999) This route takes the first pitch of 'A Steyn on Our Reputation' and follows the first 2 – 3m of the second pitch of 'A Steynless Route' before breaking left behind the huge pillar on which 'Take It Easy' is located. The object is to traverse through behind the pillar and then up the other side. Don't bother with this one unless you like led-out, uncomfortable chimneys.
1. 16 (25m) Climb the corner, passing some ab chains on the left, about 6m up. Continue up to the large ledge at the base of the Red Wall projects and belay at some more chains.
2. 18 (20m) From the chains move left to the big crack/open book. Climb the crack for 2 – 3m and as soon as the angle eases there is a point where you can traverse left and through the gap between the pillar and the face. Climb up slightly until you get to a good block at a tree.
3. 13 (30m) Chimney up until you get to the top. Belay from a tree. There is not much protection except for a sling around a tree just past half way.
4. 9 (10m : 9) Scramble up onto the pillar.

To descend, use the chains on 'Take It Easy' or walk off to the right and then down the Eagle’s Head gully. The next route is located on the good-looking steep yellow walls up and right of the chalet, about 50m right of the big arching, right-facing corner (Red Wall).

8. Dark Desert Highway 27/28? 14D ***** FA: Mike Cartwright (1994) One of Everest’s best lines on some gorgeous golden rock! If standing by the Arendskop chalet, you can see a nice yellow wall with a bulging brown upper part. This climb takes the middle of this, passing a roof at half-height. It’s a bit of a bush-wack to get to the face..Start up the boulders then move left onto the face. The second pitch is still an open project.
9. Open Project - Running For the Door Project 28; 28, ? ±14D Bolted by Mike Cartwright Start about 20m to the right of 'Dark Desert Highway'. Seems to feature a demon dead-point dyno to a gnarly little pinch on the first pitch - open project.