Fantastic Time (23) *****
Fantastic Time is a true Yellowwood Test piece with varied, exciting and bold climbing in exhilarating positions. However, unlike the other routes on the Main Wall there are no X or R rated pitches and experienced and competent climbers can climb this route safely. Nevertheless, as with all the routes on Yellowwood, there are sections of dodgy rock that must be treated with respect!
The red triangles on the photo topo show additional stances. If you do not know the route, you will get rope drag....
Half Time, in its own right, is a great outing of 4 excellent pitches that gets you relatively quickly to the Half Way Ledge. It is the equivalent in length of doing a route on the Chess pieces but without the extra walking and there is an easy 2 rap escape using Down Time which should be easily spotted by walking left for about a rope length. Despite the reputation of Down Time, normal 60m ropes are just fine as additional abseil points have been built since the original route was made.
Start The route starts about 50m further right of Armageddon Time just past a boulder and Yellowwood tree that is against the base of the wall and where the trail along the base levels out. The start is marked by a cairn and ahead and to the right is a dense clump of Yelowwoods.
- Pitch 1 : (18) 30m Climb easily to a short left facing corner topped by an overhang on the left. Pull through into the crack and continue to the good ledge in a left facing recess.
- Pitch 2 : (20) 20m Stem up the yellow-red recess. The hollow sounding flakes on the right are quite stable but use with care. Move up right to below an overlap and pull through using the scary looking jammed block. Climb diagonally left up the ramp to stance on a tiny ledge close to the arête.
- Pitch 3 : (21) 45m Climb straight up 12 or so metres tending to stay on the left arête avoiding the dodgy rock on the right. Step round left at the highest overlap visible and do airy steep lay back moves on small holds to good holds and then exit to the right. Continue up 3m and exit right past the overhang to gain a ramp. Climb 20m up the ramp to stance on the highest ledge on a cantilevered block.
- Pitch 4 : (19)25m Climb the left facing corner and exit diagonally left just before the corner ends to gain the Halfway Ledge
Walk left 40m or so past the start of Armageddon Direct and past the huge left facing corner system to stance below a right leaning thin crack system in gray rock.
- Pitch 5 : (19) 30m Climb up the recess using the thin crack and exit right after 7m where the holds run out. Continue round the corner right and up a crack to stance on large sloping blocks.
- Pitch 6 : (23) 45m. Step left off the ledge onto the exposed arête and climb the yellow overhanging fin on lay backs and crimps and stemming moves. Continue into the lichen covered rock and past the slightly grotty groove to exit to a good ledge. (This is a long and intense pitch and a big rack is useful.)
One can escape easily from here by walking left about 30m along a ledge system to the Down Time abseil point. A belay is recommended as there is one exposed but easy move.
- Pitch 7 : (23) 23m Step right off the ledge and climb the crack above to attain the obvious overhanging jamb crack. Climb this to a small perch.
- Pitch 8 : (21) (22 for shorties) 35m Climb up the a obvious short right facing recess on lay backs on lichen covered rock. Climb the recess to easier ground and follow your nose straight to the top passing a classic traddy chimney but avoiding the easier grot on the right.
FA 2010: C Edelstein (snort) Neels Havenga pitches 1 to 4. C Edelstein and Dave Vallet Pitch 5 C Edelstein Pitch 6 C Edelstein, Neels Havenga and Farrell Davids Pitches 7 and 8.
FFA C Edelstein with Neels Havenga 13 April 2011
EITHER walk right to the gulley between Smalblaar ridge and the chesspieces. This involves three short abseils.
OR use the DOWN TIME Rap Route