Fern Kloof (sport and trad)

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Access is via the Bergheim Resort which offers good camping facilities etc. Get onto the R28 highway from Johannesburg or Pretoria and travel west towards Krugersdorp. When the highway gets to a 4-way stop at a Zenex garage turn right towards Tarlton. Follow the road to a T-junction at another Zenex Garage and Oak Tree shop where you turn right. Follow this road until you see a sign to "Bekker Skole", turn left (if you get to a T-junction before this turn you missed it by a few km. Pass "Bekker Skole" and turn right at the next T-junction. Follow this road towards Rustenburg until it curves and goes around a dam. A few kilometres further you take a right turn (The first right after the dam). Follow this road and after passing "The Wigwam" resort on your right look carefully for the "Bergheim" sign, also on your right. If you get to a tar road turning left you have gone a bit too far. This resort offers good camping facilities and there are a few chalets.There is secure parking for day visitors and a short flat path to the sport crags. The natural climbs requires a steep, hot walk or a tricky and damp ascent through the kloof. To access the kloof goto the bottom right corner of the campsite, climb over the fence and follow the path, always keep right until you get into the kloof.

Routes/ Gradings

There are about 82 climbs here with grades varying from 8 to 32. There are several classic sport routes which are relatively hard and steep, but good quality as well as many multi-pitch natural climbs of moderate grade.


The kloof is shaded and cool all year round with plenty of running water. You can climb all year round just avoiding the occasional thunderstorm in summer. In the sport crags wasps like to gather in the cracks in winter, but if not provoked never seem to sting.


This kloof is steep & scenically attractive featuring many natural lines and harder sport routes of grade 24 including a few classic routes such as Faberge and Stormwatch. Access is through the Bergheim camp ground. Park in the campsite. You can walk to a gate and along a road until you get to a good path leading toward the kloof. You can see the kloof directly in front of you as you walk along the path. There is always plenty of water in the kloof. The bolted sport routes are found in the lower areas all below the large pool.

Route List

Lower Fern

Lower Area Routes from the LEFT of the crag towards the RIGHT

1. <unknown> 15/5b <unknown> <unknown>
2. <unknown> 17/5c <unknown> <unknown>
3. Crook and Crime 24/7a 6 Bolts FA. S Middlemiss, J Colenso. 1988.
4. Vandals 26/7b 8 Bolts FA. K Smith. 1991. (On natural gear) Starts in the hole by the riverbed. This is the way.
5. Hoodlum 27/7b+ 8 bolts FA. Wesley Black. 2012. Steps out over the pool. Tend leftwards to finish on Vandals chains.
6. When the Music's Over 27/7b+ 3 Bolts, N FA. K Smith. 1991. Steps out over the pool. Follow 4B leftwards and finish up the crack. Additional gear required.
7. Mr Toad's Wild Ride 26/7b Natural FA. K Smith. 1988. Steep natural crackline just left of Fabergé. Beware of winter wasps.
8. Fabergé 28/7c 7 Bolts FA. R Nattrass. 1990
9. Storm Ova 29/7c+ FA. D Pinkas. Link up between Faberge and Stormwatch.Starts on Faberge and ends on the Stormwatch chains.
10. Stormwatch 31/8a+ 8 Bolts FA. R Nattrass. 1990.
11. Strong Arm of the Law 24/7a 7 Bolts FA. C Curson.
12. Breaking All The Rules 23/6c+ Natural FA. G Mallory. Climbs the crack of Strong arm of the law and then ventures of right to the top.
13. Lawyers, Guns & Money 26/7b 8 Bolts FA. J Colenso & T Rogers
14. <Project> BB. N Margetts. Line links up from TSID to LGM.
15. True Sailing is Dead 25/7a+ 6 Bolts FA. K Smith.
16. The Sultans of Swing 24/7a, [R] 5 Bolts FA. S Middlemiss.
17. <open project> [A] Takes the black streak right of SOS. Single U-bolt serves as anchor.

Mirror Mirror Area

100m upstream from the Lower Area through the small wade pool. Routes continue upstream to large pool. Mirror Mirror Area Routes from the LEFT towards the RIGHT

1. Aqualung 32/8b 5 Bolts FA. Paul Brouard. 2000. NB: No top Anchors
2. <open project> BB. A Pedley.
3. Acromax 29/7c+ 5 Bolts FA. G Murray. 1991.
4. Lost Ruby 23/6c+ <unknown> BB. N Margetts
5. Thunderstruck 23/6c+ <unknown> FA. J Orrick, D Margetts, M Seegers. 1991. Permission given to retrobolt.
6. Unknown 22/6c 3 Bolts FA. I Guest.
7. The Favourite Game 23/6c+ <unknown> FA. D Margetts, M Seegers. 1991. Opened on natural gear.
8. F2 Corner 16/5c <unknown> <unknown> Permission given to retrobolt
9. Beautiful Losers 20/6b <unknown> FA. D Margetts. 1991. Permission given to retrobolt.
10. Directly Unknown 26/7b <unknown> FA. J Orrock. 1991. Retrobolted by E Riemann. Starts on boulders above lower pool. Dyno lefwards to finish around the corner.
11. Naked Instincts/Slight Change 25/7a+ 6 Bolts FA. R Nattrass, S Bradshaw (Natural Gear). Retrobolted by A Hüfner (1998). Opened at 24 on gear. Then holds broke.
12. The Energy of Slaves 25/7a+ <unknown> FA. M Seegers, D Margetts. 1992. This climb starts on the steep face above a boulder which is ascended after the pool. Permission given to retrobolt.
13. A Will to Cower 30/8a 9 Bolts FA. Paul Brouard. 2001.
14. Glass Menagerie 27/7b+ 8 Bolts FA. R Nattrass. 1991.
15. Mirror Mirror 27/7b+ 9 Bolts FA. K Smith (Natural gear). 1986. Permission given to retrobolt.
16. The Looking Glass 25/7a+ 10 Bolts FA. P Lazarus. 1991. Permission given to retrobolt.
17. Liquid Glass 25/7a+ <unknown> FA. Eric Riemann. 2003. Starts on the island below Mirror Mirror wall. Climbs the open book.
18. Bambi and the Broken Leg 22/6c <unknown> <unknown>
19. Reflected Sins 19/6a+ <unknown> FA. N Margetts.

Trad RDs for Upper Fern available at

SACIN site - Fern kloof

Can anyone help with the exact position of this route ?
Trad route about 40m down stream from the top of the upper area. The route starts just left of massive overhangs (piton can be seen in small rail just below the overhangs)
1 21 23m Start on a jammed block in the river, gain access to a big jug just to the left of a crack with a layback/dyno move, once you gain the crack, climb it to the overhangs above and move left out to recess with two cracks, climb the left crack to a ledge with a tree on it.
2 15 15m Climb the finger crack on the right hand side of the ledge, follow the crack to an awkward move involving a handjam, this takes you into a chimney with a big triangular block above it, climb out of this to a larger sloping ledg3. 22 40m Above the triangular block is a jam crack that break through the slightly overhanging wall almost to the top, climb this till the crack disappears following as straight line to the top as possible.The protection is great all the way through this route, many nuts are very handy for the last pitch.
First Ascent: Robert Powell and Deon Grobelaar Dec 2000
RUBBER SOUL 17' (F3) L *** [N]'
The route takes a direct line up the front of a buttress 18m upstream from Ambush and 18m downstream from the 12m waterfall. The start is directly below an inverted V 8m up and at the centre of the buttress wall.
1 13 (F1) 14m Climb directly up to the inverted V, move above it and across left to a stance and peg belay, to the right of a tree.
2 17 (F3) 14m Climb diagonally right from the stance to the twin horizontal cracks in the red wall (peg runner 6m). Move left and pull strenuously over a bulge to a resting ledge. Move 1m left and make an awkward layback move. Then diagonally right to the ledge and peg or tree belay.
3 15 (F2) 9m Move up into the short steep groove, make a difficult move up it and up to a large ledge below the large overhang.
4 15 (F2) 25m Follow the ledge some 2m left and move up 10m over a bulge then right to good holds above the overhang. Continue traversing rightwards some 8m and ascend a short corner then easily to the top.
Note: A pleasant direct route on good clean rock.
First Ascent: May 1968 A D Barley and M White.
MOONRISE 13' (F1) L [N]'
This route follows a shallow crack/recess which runs almost to the top of the cliffs, to the right of Rubber Soul.
1 10 (E2) 30m Climb up to the tree 3m downstream of, and level with, the 'inverted V' of Rubber Soul. Follow the crack behind the tree to a ledge, and continue up a recess to a ledge on large blocks. (The grade of this pitch can be raised by avoiding the use of trees and roots).
2 14 (F1) 30m Continue climbing up the now steeper recess, starting from the left hand end of the ledge. This leads to easier rock which is followed to the top.
Note: From the right hand end of the ledge at the top of the first pitch one can climb to the top over E grade rock.
First Ascent: Jul 1977 KM Smith, P Bender
HITCH HIKER 15' (F2) L [N]'
Starts 4m to right of Rubber Soul.
1 13 (F1) 15m Climb crack to second tree and ledge.
2 11 (E3) 15m Climb recess (bushy) to below red face.
3 15 (F2) 35m The pitch follows a straight line to the top, except for the upper section where it turns diagonally left. The first section consists of crack climbing followed by various face moves.
Variation: From the righthand edge of the ledge at top of pitch 2, one can lower the grade to 10 E2 by climbing out to the right.
First Ascent: Nov 1976 E Druschke and R Stapley.
TWINKLETOES 10' (E2) L ** [N]'
The climb starts 20m to the left of Ambush and goes up the obvious chimney/corner to the left of the overhanging buttress.
1 10 (E2) 15m Climb the chimney to the inverted V roof, move right and continue up the obvious corner to the tree belay.
2 10 (E2) 40m Climb the face on the right side of the corner to the top.
A pleasant climb with a useful grade.
First Ascent: Early 1983 D Peters and A C Fatti.
AMBUSH 18' (F3,M0) L ** [N]'
The climb is 100m upstream of the junction with Great Gully. At this point there is a 6m overhang at the top of the face. The climb begins from a 2,5m long rock splinter leaning against the face.
1 13 (F1) 18m Climb sometimes at the crack and sometimes to the right, past a tree 8m up to a small stance at a chockstone.
2 15 (F2) 11m Traverse right for 9m, then ascend at the left of a minor overhang to the second ledge above this overhang.
3 18, A0 (F3) 13m Traverse left for 6m above the traverse of the second pitch to a corner. Traverse left around the buttress (awkward) until the ledge ends. Use a piton aid to climb diagonally upwards to the left onto a long narrow ledge (the pitch has been climbed free).
4 10 (E2) 6m Climb upwards and then diagonally left to a stance on which there are three trees.
Note: The climb is sustained.
First Ascent: Started 1950 R Davies and D Gillham. Completed 1957 R Davies, G Carter and J Barclay.
WARCRY 15' (F2) L [N]'
Start 12m downstream of Ambush next to a 3m high rock rib.
1 15 (F2) 22m Up onto the top of the rib. 3m up left, then ascend rightwards past a tree to a large tree and belay in an overhang bay.
2 13 (F1) 22m Ascend the steep wall immediately right of the overhang bay using tree and good holds. Continue up the groove to the top.
Note: A rather scrappy route compared with others in the area.
First Ascent: Jun 1969 A D Barley and M White.
BATTLE CRACK 13' (F1) L ** [N]'
Commence about 20m up Great Gully from its junction with Fernkloof proper.
1 13 (F1) 12m Climb a grey face to the left of an overhang which has a crack dividing it from the sloping grey slab on its left. Climb the slab to a ledge.
2 6 (C/D) 15m Climb up easy face for 6m. Traverse left and up onto a broad grassy ledge to a grey face 5m right of the largest tree on the ledge. (Battle Crack is the 3/4m wide crack starting about 8m above the broad grassy ledge. It has a tree at its base and a large undercut brown recess below it.)
3 11 (E3) 15m Climb the grey face right of the brown recess, up the side of a detached block, then follow a dassie traverse left to a tree on a small brown platform at the foot of the crack.
4 11 (E3) 15m Chimney up crack to a flake-like chockstone and move left onto arete, then onto blocks at foot of final crack.
5 8 (E1) 10m Move right, past the crack continuing from the top of the chimney and up an easy recess to the top.
First Ascent: Dec 1948 E Scholes and M Estill.
PIGDOG 15' (F2) L * [N]'
1 13 (F1) 12m This pitch is the same as the first pitch of Battle Crack.
2 7 (D) 16m Climb the easy rock for 6m, then traverse left along a broad grassy ledge. At the base of Battle Crack there is a large recess, containing a large bushy tree in its base, and another fairly large tree at 8m.
3 15 (F2) 35m Climb up the shallow recess on the righthand wall of the corner above the bushy tree. Move right before reaching a small overhang, and continue up to a ledge at 7m. (This is the dassie traverse of Battle Crack.) Climb up diagonally rightwards from the lefthand end of the ledge for 4m, then traverse right onto the arete. Follow this up, breaking through a gap in the overhanging rock, 2m to the right of a prominent open book. Carry on to tree belay at top.
First Ascent: Jul 1977 P Bender and K M Smith.
SOMETHING ELSE 13' (F1) L ** [N]'
Start 8m right of Battle Crack and 12m left of Key Route where a medium-sized tree grows out of a split in the overhang above.
1 13 (F1) 10m Move diagonally left in a recess past a fixed piton, past the tree and onto a ledge.
2 6 (C/D) 20m Scramble up diagonally left to the broad grassy ledge below the main krantz.
3 13 (F1) 28m Climb the grey recess to the left of the large tree which lies below Battle Crack. Beyond a small tree about 10m up the recess becomes a narrow chimney. Climb the chimney to the top passing a chockstone and a deep narrow cave high up.
3a 15 (F2) (Something Further) From the small tree 10m up, climb the brown vertical wall to the left. Zig-zag up and enter a conspicuous brown square recess with blocks at its base. Swing around the block to the right and re-enter the chimney on to the top. Sep 1979 R Fox and D Scott.
First Ascent: Date and party unknown.
About 10m up the third pitch of Something Else there is a small tree. Climb the vertical brown wall to the left. zig-zag up and enter a conspicuous brown square recess with brown square blocks at its base. Swing around the block to the right and re-enter the chimney on to the top.
First Ascent: Sep 1979 R Fox, D Scott
KEYHOLE 13' (F1) L [N]'
1 12m F1 13 The first pitch is same as Battle Crack.
2 22m E2 10 From tree at top of first pitch go straight up grey nose on the left, into a corner, then again straight up a grey block to a stance on top.
3 25m E2 10 Go straight up the corner above the block and into a chimney, past a big tree near the bottom of the chimney. Carry on up the chimney to a ledge and a tree.
First Ascent: Nov 1957 P Harris, R Forsyth and Miss J Humphreys.
KEY ROUTE 7' (D) L ** [N]'
Commence in Great Gully at its junction with the main kloof.
1 12m D 7 Climb recess behind a 35cm wide smooth blackish tree. Bear slightly left to large sloping ledge.
2 10m C 5 Traverse left and ascend a bush covered recess to a tree.
3 12m D 7 Climb through recess on right to a triangular patch of grass and a small tree.
Note: Pitches 2 and 3 are seldom climbed and the variation below is the more usual route.
Variation: 2 & 3 25m E2 10 Instead of traversing left, climb directly up to small tree in recess. Move right onto nose and up diagonally right into a brown recess. Climb recess past a stamvrug tree. Continue up and left over blocks and step left under nose to triangular patch of grass.
4 25m D 7 Climb crack at back of ledge and move left to enter final chimney to top.
First Ascent: 1947 F G Petousis, E Ruhle and K Ruhle.
QUIVER FACE 15' (F2) L ** [N]'
Commence in main kloof approximately 15m below junction of Great Gully. There is a small overhang 18m above the starting point.
1 15 (F2) 18m Climb 3m to bottom of small smooth recess. Traverse to right into a small crack which is ascended, after which climb a face on the right on small holds to a broad platform and small tree.
1a 10 (E2) 15m Avoid the first pitch as described by starting 3m downstream from Great Gully. This is the more obvious route.
2 10 (E2) 5m Reach another platform by a layback in a corner.
3 7 (D) 30m Traverse to the left and upwards over a number of blocks until underneath a conspicuous "prow" jutting out from the top of the kloof. Traverse under a nose to the triangular grass patch described under pitch 3 of Key Route.
4 10 (E2) 22m Climb exposed nose on right of grass patch then up underneath and to the right of the prow to a ledge. Traverse to the right along the ledge and up a short chimney.
First Ascent: Dec 1950 E Scholes and M Estill.
QUIVER DIRECT 19' (G1,M1) L **'
Start as for Quiver Face, about 15m downstream ofjunction of Great Gully below a small smooth recess, and 18m below some overhangs.
1 28m G1,M1 19 Climb directly up the recess, stepping out left at the top (crux). Traverse 3m left, move up 2,5m and then traverse back right for 3m and pull up onto a ledge and resting point. Standing in a sling from a piton, move up into the base of a steep recess above the ledge and climb this to the overhangs. Traverse left under the overhangs to a good ledge and piton belay.
Variation: (Quiver Directer)
1a 28m F3 17 Start in smooth recess (same as Quiver Direct). Climb up and move left at top (15 F2). Move 2m left and climb 2,5m up. A number of delicate moves brings one to ledge below overhang with two breaks. Move delicately up to the left of the lefthand break until a very thin slit below the overhang acts as a handhold. Move right to the break in the overhang and then make a difficult move up the recess to below the second overhang (17 F3). Move left to belay point. (This recess is 2m to the left of the original route which climbs the righthand recess with the aid of a peg.) Variation opening party unknown.
2 28m F1 13 Layback up the corner above the lefthand end of this stance and continue straight up to ledge and block belay below and slightly to the right of a steep red recess.
3 25m F2 15 Climb the recess strenuously for 9m and then swing out right on good holds. Continue straight up and finish up a deep chimney past chockstone at the top.
First Ascent: Nov 1972 P Fatti, R Davies with B Penzhorn. (pitches 2 & 3 only).
Start as for Quiver Direct.
1 45m 16 (F2) Climb the first pitch as for Quiver Direct, then continue up in a vertical line to a large ledge, belay at the base of a steep jam crack.
2 15m 20 (G2) Climb the crack, and finish through notch in short overhang. Belay on the broad ledge.
Scramble to the top.
Note : Protection on the second pitch is excellent and climbing is trenuous.
First Ascent: May 1987 P S Greenfield, R Dodding, T P Wilmot
LAZARUS 15' (F2) L * [N]'
Start 3m downstream of the start of Quiver Direct and 3m upstream of the big chock boulder above the wade pool. The pitch follows a crack system on the lefthand side which is entered by starting on a large boulder just downstream of it.
1 25m F2 15 Step up onto a small footledge and move by an awkward hand-swing left around the bulge to gain the start of the crack (3m). Follow the crack via two bulges (good nut runners) to a horizontal break (8m). Climb the wall above moving diagonally right and then back left to stand on top of a large flat block at the start of the reddish rock (9m). At this point one is below the downstream end of some large overhangs. Move right to gain a small crack and climb this to the belay ledge (tree belay to right) (5m).
2 43m F2 15 Climb the obvious corner and system of easy broken ledges, moving slightly right, to a short free-
standing pinnacle at the base of a steep shallow red corner (23m). One can belay here. Climb the pinnacle corner above until it is possible to move right with difficulty to a sloping ledge on the arete (9m). Move up the left side of the deceptive face by an awkward move onto a large ledge (5m). Climb the righthand edge of the next wall (3m) to a large ledge and walk 6m to a large tree belay. Scramble to top.
Note:The first pitch is the same as that of Quiver Face apart from the first few moves.
First Ascent: Sep 1973 M Makowski and P Fatti.
PINNACLE GULLY 10' (E2) L ** [N]'
The pinnacle is situated on the lefthand side of the kloof about 100m below the junction of Great Gully and is only detached at its top. Slightly upkloof of the pinnacle is a small gully on the left. The route starts by entering thegully by a short pitch, after which the pinnacle is climbed in the corner formed by its upstream side and the main face.
1 12m E2 10 Take off from a large tree onto a greasy wet slab, from which a short chimney is reached. (As an alternative, a recess to the left may be climbed, avoiding use of the tree.)
1 10m E2 10 Climb the very steep, clean corner/recess directly in line with the gully proper.
2 15m E1 8 After walking up the gully for about 10m, climb out on the pinnacle side up a slight recess to a stance on the top of a block.
3 22m E1 8 Start in a large chimney separating the pinnacle from the main face, below a large chockstone forming a bridge between the pinnacle and the main face. Climb secondary chimney on the right and over blocks and face to a narrow ledge. Traverse left onto top of chockstone.
4 12m E1 8 About 2m back along the traverse referred to under pitch 3 the pinnacle proper may be climbed. (This is actually part of the last pitch of the Frontal route.)
First Ascent: Jan 1951 R W Charlton.
PHALLUS DIRECT 17' (F3) L **** [N]'
The route follows a direct line up the front of the Fernkloof pinnacle. Start 5m to the right of Pinnacle Gully on a smooth sloping slab facing upstream, slightly left of prominent open book breaking through the overhangs.
1 35m F2 15 Ascend the sloping slab to a boulder pinned under a roof. Break through the first roof using this. Climb into open book, moving diagonally left to the left ridge. Climb this until the bulge. Move 1m right into the recess again, which is climbed up a handjam crack to a sloping ledge below the overhanging headwall.
2 30m F3 17 The crack continues above. Climb up some boulders on the left and step left into an overhanging jamcrack. Climb this (strenuous) to a ledge. Step up and right onto the front of the pinnacle. Up this (airy) to below summit overhang. Break through the roof on big holds to top.
Note: This route is on superb rock and is exposed.
First Ascent: Jun 1985 T Hoole, G Muller and I Guest.
The route commences at an overhung damp, grey face immediately below the summit.
1 12m E3 11 Start on right and climb up to a dassie traverse below the overhangs, then traverse left round an awkward corner to a tree and good stance.
2 18m F1 14 From the tree, traverse diagonally up to the right for 2m to the bottom of a steep recess. Climb the recess to a large tree.
3 12m D 7 Climb chimney to top of a large block.
4 22m E2 10 Climb on upstream side of pinnacle to top.
Variation finish, F1 ****
4 15m F1 13 From the point at which the pinnacle becomes freestanding, ascend middle of upstream face in slight chimney and move right into the gap beneath the huge top block of the pinnacle. Crawl to outside tip of pinnacle and pull-up spectacularly. Rope work is very tricky here. Continue easily to top.
First Ascent: Feb 1951 E Scholes, J Fowler and M Prior.
PULLOVER 16' (F2) L **** [N]'
The climb starts three metres downstream of the start of 'Fernkloof Pinnacle'.
1 16 (F2) 30m Climb 3m to a small, obvious nose. Surmount the nose and continue up the recess above and slightly right of it. Move out about 2m on the lft hand wall to bypass a thin section about half way up the pitch. Continue up to a comfortable stance.
2 16 (F2) 30m Climb a short chimney to the left of a thion hand-jam crack. (Paul climbed the upper section of the crack.) Move right under an overhang until the ledge peters out, then lean awkwardly across and up to a small ledge. Ascend face to next ledge. Again move right around ledge until it is possible to reach up to jug-holds above it and pull up. Continue to top of pinnacle.
First Ascent: Jan 1997 P Fatti, M Prior, M O'Reilly
HOROSCOPE 15' (F2) L [N]'
This route follows a line about 6m to the right of Pinnacle Frontal, ending at the top of the pinnacle on its north (downstream) side.
1 18m F1 13 Start about 3m right of the start of the Frontal route. Ascend right up to the overhang which is about 6m above stream bed, and traverse left (i.e. above the dassie traverse of the Frontal route) to the bottom ofa V-shaped recess which is about 5m right of the recess in which the second pitch of the Frontal route is situated. Climb up the recess for 5m, traverse left onto ridge, ascend a further 5m, traverse right (overhang above) onto the righthand wall of the recess and then ascend the ledge.
2 9m E1 8 Traverse left into recess (above overhang at the top of last pitch) and continue directly up to rock ledge.
3 9m D 7 Walk right along down-sloping ledge and enter gully on immediate downstream side of pinnacle. Ascend gully past chockstone jammed against tree, and then climb on face of pinnacle. This brings one to the level of the neck between pinnacle and kloof wall.
4 9m F2 15 Climb steep crack on downstream face of pinnacle.
Note:The route is a little artificial, as escape to the right is possible at the top of every pitch, except the third.
First Ascent: Nov 1957 R Davies, I Cohen and G Carter.
SANDANISTA 19' (G1) L *** [N]'
This route goes up the front of the pinnacle starting 5m to the right of Horoscope, but otherwise following a direct line. Start below a V groove directly below pinnacle. A jam crack can be seen 30m up.
1 28m F2 16 Climb straight up to base of V groove, climb up it, passing several small overhangs, to ledge with tree belay.
2 26m G1 19 Start in slight recess behind small tree, ascend jam crack above (strenuous) to small ledge. Step up and right onto small ledge on face, and climb up to second large ledge below top. Move 2m right, pull through final overhang to top.
First Ascent: Oct 1985 S Middlemiss and S Kellet.
PANCAKE 15' (F2) L [N]'
70m downstream from Horoscope to the right of a large pool at first obvious break in rock face.
1 15m E2 10 Climb diagonally left up a recess break in rock face. Up to a tree belay behind large block.
Now walk to the right (facing rock) to a gully. Walk up this (4 B) to very large cave (60m).
2 15m D 7 Start pitch at righthand corner (facing the cave) and belay from tree above cave.
3 25m F2 15 Traverse to the left of this tree for 1m and then climb straight up for about 5m (crux) then traverse delicately to easier rock on left. An alternate route can be made by moving left to the far corner and then up. The latter route is easier (E1). Continue up easier rock to two small bushes on a large flat sloping platform. There is a tree for a sling runner just before the two small bushes are reached.
4 15m E1 8 From sloping platform move left along traverse to break through in corner.
First Ascent: Mar 1969 J E Stapley, R L Stapley, S Rademeyer and P Finsen.
Start at end of long earth ramp which commences about 50m above the junction of Middle Gully, just downstream of an exceptionally large chockstone blocking the kloof.
1 12m D 7 Start at the highest point of the earth ramp and traverse right for 6m past a small nose, then climb recess to a tree.
2 18m C 5 Traverse left along an upward sloping ledge into the bottom of a very narrow chimney behind a large block.
3 8m D 7 Climb chimney.
4 9m D 7 Climb sloping recess.
2a 6m E1 8 Move up leftwards then back right along a ramp to a block belay.
3a 22m F2 15 Traverse up right, round the arete and up a bulging crack. Step left and up a shallow corner crack to the top.
4a 15m E2 10 Traverse round a nose on the right and climb a crack in an exposed position.
First Ascent: Nov 1948 E Scholes, B Chadwick and H Taylor.
RAMPART 15' (F2) L [N]'
From Middle Gully Left go up the kloof keeping high on the righthand side until all further progress is barred by a great column which protrudes from the face.
1 28m F1 13 Ascend the face to the right by means of the four opposing ramps. The F1 move is getting onto the final ramp. (An E2 variation is possible by chimneying the crack between the column and the face above the start of the third ramp.) Tree root belay point.
2 29m F1 13 Behind the column a delicate move gives access to an open book on the opposite lefthand face. The route bears up and left until a downward sloping ramp leads to a tree at the base of a gully. Ascend to the left on the face behind the tree which leads onto ramp which ends at the base of a deep crack.
3 18m F2 15 Ascend the crack (crux) and then bear left up a ramp through a rounded section to the final stance. A variation crack of equal standard may be found directly above the crack crux.
First Ascent: Feb 1968 R Duff and B Tyson.
About 70m upstream of Dexter, on the lefthand side of Fernkloof, is a steep wall of auburn rock with the bottom of the kloof forming a ramp.
1 15m F1 13 In the middle of the face, and approximately 10m up, is a small tree as thick as a man's wrist. Starting on the left where the ramp meets a sloping ledge,traverse 10m right over sloping rock and climb up steeply, directly below the tree, to a stance.
2 35m G1 19 Above are two cracks. Climb the one on the right for 5m. Move right and diagonally up across a steep slab to vanish around the corner. Climb the off-width crack through the roof to a stance.
First Ascent: July 1983 M Brunke and J Cheesmond.
Same start as State of Independence.
1 30m F3 17 Climb the first pitch of State of Independence and continue up the lefthand crack for 5m. Traverse awkwardly left to a small tree.
2 25m G2 21 Step right from the tree and climb the steep crack above to a small stance. Continue up the recess on the right.
Note: Opened using one rest.
First Ascent: Date unknown: M Brunke, M Giddy and A N Other.
GET IT UP FOR ADA ! 14' (F1/F2) L ** [N]'
Situated halfway down Middle Gully Left, the route takes the pronounced groove (cairn) 25m upstream of Chockstone Face and follows the left-leaning openbook/ramp system to the top (wormhole visible from bottom).
1 14 (F1/F2) 45m Pad up the right extremity of the ramp next to the crack to the wormhole. Worm through this moving out leftwards under pressure. The face steepens here. Continue up openbook to roof and straddle through this favouring righthand wall to clear. Move up ledge behind to gain groove with narrow overhanging crack system above. Straddle and jam up crack to comfortable belay stance at top.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 T P Willmot and P S Greenfield.
About 40m upstream of Scar in middle gully left is a cave with a left facing open book above.
1 10 (E2) Gain the left page of the open book by climbing up some poised boulders just left of the apex of the cave. Move into the crack on the right and ascend till under the roof. Break out left.
First Ascent: Jun 1985 I Guest.
NOT NOW JOHN 17' (F3) L [N]'
15m up the gully to the left of Dexter is an obvious chimney/crack on the true lefthand side. Scramble up easily to a stance.
1 17 (F3) 45m Climb the recess and step left about halfway into a chimney. Continue up the chimney past a chockstone to a stance.
2 10 (E2) Step left onto steep rock and climb up the vague break or scramble up at the back of the chimney.
First Ascent: Jul 1983 M Brunke and J Cheesmond.
THE SCAR 19' (G1) L ** [N]'
Located 10m upstream of Chockstone Face up middle gully left.
1 19 (G1) 12m Ascend prominent narrowing crack that slopes left strenuously to ledge on left.
2 10 (E2) 25m Traverse right to the chockstone crack and up it to a stance under a roof.
3 17 (F3) 35m Break through the roof on the left using the ridge. Above the roof traverse left onto sloping grey slabs which are ascended to the top.
First Ascent: Jun 1985 I Guest, G Muller and T Hoole.
This route commences in a recess at the actual point where the face of Middle Gully Left meets the face of the main kloof.
1 7 (D) 25m Straight up recess to tree and big stance.
2 10 (E2) 22m Climb 4m in a chimney to a chockstone, which is avoided by a face climb on the right and a pull up to a rock above the chockstone. Continue out to left, reaching a many-boughed tree.
3 7 (D) 15m Climb crack and face.
First Ascent: Nov 1948 O Shipley.
DEXTER 15' (F2) L **** [N]'
20m downstream of Middle Gully Left is a wide red slab at 9m, both undercut at its base and overhung above. This slab is traversed from left to right. Start behind a large boulder at the upstream extremity of the slab.
1 15 (F2) or 19 (G1) 25m Ascend the recess for 5m and step right onto the slab. Traverse 2m to a peg runner (in place). Either continue at this level (19 G1) or step down 1,5m (15 F2). Traverse 3m to a shallow groove and up this to an overhang on the left. Make a descending traverse (peg runner in place) then up rightwards to a tree belay in a chimney. A very fine pitch.
2 10 (E2) 12m Ascend the chimney to a huge ledge and belay.
3 2 (A) 25m Walk up leftwards.
4 7 (D) 18m Scramble up the corner to the top.
Direct finish:
3a 20 (G2) 43m Immediately above pitch 2 the wall is split by two steep cracks. Ascend the right one strenuously and up to a ledge on the right. Move up left past a tree and up another short steep crack. Continue in this line to the top. Feb 69 A D Barley and M White (with aid).
First Ascent: Oct 1966 P Fatti, J Anderson, A C Carmen and MMakowski.
DEXTROSE 19' (G1) L *** [N]'
Start as for Dexter.
1 19 (G1) 30m As for Dexter (using lower (15 F2) variation) to the shallow groove in the middle of the face. Climb up this, past the overhang on the left, to the second overhang. Step left to a crack, climb up past the overhang and continue up the recess above to stance and tree belay.
2 13 (F1) 10m Traverse right along the ledge to a huge block on the skyline. Climb up this and continue up to a large ledge.
3 13 (F1) or 15 (F2) 30m Climb diagonally up left to the base of a big recess. Climb the crack in the lefthand wall, stepping out left at the top. Continue up to the top, either via a shallow groove above (13 F1) or by stepping right and pulling up spectacularly through the overhang on good holds (15 F2).
First Ascent: Oct 1979 L P Fatti and R Georgeson-Cecil.
1 23 (GH1) 35m Starts directly below Dexter and Dextrose. Pull through bulge at bottom (strenuous and devious) and up onto slab above. Up slab and move slighlty left and up steep bulging rock/croner past peg to rejoin Dextrose at 20m. Follow corner to tree.
First Ascent: Jan 1991 S Middlemiss
THE RIGHT STUFF 21' (G2 ) L **** [N]'
If the Q.E.D. variation (direct start) to Dexter is combined with the direct finish an excellent climb is the result.
1 21 (G2 ) 20m Start directly below the stance at the end of the first pitch of Dexter. Climb up short open book to a roof. Awkward moves through the roof, then climb the corner above moving left onto the face at the top to gain the stance.
2 10 (E2) 12m Scramble up the corner and chimney behind the stance to a belay point on top of a flat boulder on the right.
3 20 (G2) 43m Ascend the righthand of two cracks to a ledge with a tree. move left behind the tree and up another short crack and continue to the top.
First Ascent: FFA Aug 1987 S Middlemiss and M Hyslop. FA Pitch 1: 16 Nov 1986 R Dodding and P Greenfield. FA Pitch 3: Feb 1969 A D Barley and M White.
This is a route starting about 10m below Middle Gully Right and sloping back at an easy angle except for the final 6m.
First Ascent: Nov 1948 J P K Roux.
HIGH NOON 19' (G1) L **** [N]'
60m downstream from Middle Gully Left a downstream facing slab cuts through the overhangs which guard the base of the crag. This route follows the slab through the overhangs, then breaks up right below further overhangs to finish up a series of steep cracks above.
1 17 (F3) 14m Start from a boulder and climb up the centre of the whitish slab using a flake crack. At the overhang traverse left and around the arete to a small stance and peg belay.
2 19 (G1) 12m The slab continues through the overhang as two thin cracks. Layback up the left crack to reach a small tree. (A peg was used on the opening ascent, but since climbed free.) Make a long step right to reach an easy angled slab at the top of the righthand crack and continue to a good ledge and peg belay.
3 10 (E2) 18m Go diagonally up right to avoid the overhang and over wide ledges to belay below a steep chimney-crack.
4 19 (G1) 15m Follow the shallow chimney-crack which is difficult for 6m until a small ledge is gained on the left. Continue more easily to a wide ledge and block belay on the left.
5 11 (E3) 9m Continue in the same crack line to a wide ledge below a right-angled corner.
6 15 (F2) 20m Climb the corner crack on layback holds, step left and up to a cave with an awkward final move above.
First Ascent: Sep 1968 A D Barley and R P Barley.
Climbs through the large overhangs guarding the base of the crag near HIGH NOON. This is approximately 50-70m downstream of DEXTER. The route follows some obvious cracks through the roofs (about 5m above the streambed) into a shallow chimney/corner, which is followed to easier ground.
1. 21 (G3) 15m Climb up to the roof & move gymnastically through to the chimney, follow this past a small tree to easier ground.
First Ascent: 1989 S. Middlemiss & M. Hislop
THE CRACKED MIRROR 18' (F3) L *** [N]'
Start at the lefthand of the two parallel cracks mentioned in the location of Bee Sting. About 15m above are two recesses, each containing a single tree.
1 18 (F3) 35m Climb the crack for 2m, step left and ascend the smooth face directly without reference to either crack. Protection is by tying-off the thick tree root. Gain the blunt arete above (between the two recesses). Follow this delicately to the grassy gully above. Tree belay. (Common stance with Amputation Chimney.)
2 18 (F3) 15m Traverse 3m right and ascend the steep appealing crack system above to a ledge with a tree. Good protection.
3 15 (F2) 15m Follow the sharp, stepped arete above, move left and follow a short corner-crack to a broad, vegetated ledge. Scramble to top.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 R Dodding and P S Greenfield.
BEE STING 19' (G1) L * [N]'
Start by a large tree at the base of two parallel cracks which lie midway between High Noon and Amputation Chimney.
1 15 (F2) 30m Climb the righthand crack for a few metres then step left to the other. Continue up this to a ledge and then climb the recess above. Above the large tree, break out to the right. Ascend diagonally right to a hidden stance.
2 13 (F1) 25m About 18m above is a slanting overhanging crack with a short bottomless chimney below it. Climb up to the chimney, into it and then break out right. The stance is a tiny sloping ledge below and to the right of the crack.
3 19 (G1) 25m Make an awkward step-down to the right, below a short overhanging wall. Using a layaway grip for the right and poor pinch grips for the left hand, move up to reach good holds. Getting as high as possible on these, move up and find an excellent jug up to the right. Bridge up the corner above.
First Ascent: Sep 1973 P Fatti and P Anderson.
Start 7m upstream from Sustagen at the base of a 4m long crack. Above lies a downstream-facing buttress, which has a mass of tangled roots at its' base.
1 35m F2 16 Step off a boulder to start, ascend the crack, then move right behind a tree. Follow the Sustagen openbook to the second tree, step onto the lefthand face and take a leftward-trending line to belay at a bushy tree, below an obvious chimney/groove capped by a huge chockstone.
2 15m F2 15 Climb the chimney/groove, through the hole, and belay on top of the chockstone.
3 15m F3 17 Ascend the left wall of the corner above, keeping just left of the true corner. Mantleshelf delicately onto the huge ledge above. Walk left and belay at a bushy tree below a rightangled corner.
4 20m F2 15 This rightangled corner is pitch 6 of High Noon. Follow this to the top.
Note: Rather scrappy first pitch. Good climbing above that.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 P S Greenfield and R Dodding.
SUSTAGEN 16' (F3) L * [N]'
The climb starts 5m upstream of Amputation Chimney.
1 25m F2 15 Start the climb beneath a large block with layback holds on the right. Layback for 5m and carry on straight up an open book to an old horizontal tree. (Not more then 2 persons should occupy this tree belay stance.)
2 25m E3 11 From the old tree traverse to the right and up a chimney to a large ledge.
3 20m F3 16 Climb the face to the right of the bushy recess and move out left into a narrow chimney which carries on out to the top.
First Ascent: Nov 1979 S Akers and B Schumacher.
The chimney is an obvious 1m break in the wall about 80m below Middle Gully.
1 10 (E2) 30m Commence on the lefthand side of the chimney and carry on up for 7m to a break. Continue up the second half of the chimney to a large ledge and tree.
2 5 (C) 7m Scramble over some looshish rock and traverse right into a corner with a sheer face on the right.
3 15 (F2) 20m Climb up for 7m in 40 degree recess formed between the vertical face on the right and a small subsidiary ridge as far as an overhang, then step out left and climb a further 7m to a good tree.
4 10 (E2) 23m Carry on straight up the recess which now takes an easier angle to the top of the climb.
First Ascent: Nov 1948 E Scholes, P Petousis and O Shipley.
THE OPPOSITION 17' (F3) L ** [N]'
20m downstream from Amputation Chimney, on the same side, is a group of three large trees. Climb starts up face directly opposite these trees with a very small corner at the base of the face (cairn).
1 25m F2 15 Move up corner onto face above. Climb through bulge into recess above and continue to top of pinnacle. (Protection sparse on first half of pitch.)
2 22m F1 13 Climb large rightward-leaning crack above until a large rightward-sloping ledge is reached. (The crack is blocked above by loose looking rock.)
3 20m F3 17 From the righthand edge of the ledge move right (2m) onto steep wall. Move up using opposing layaways until angle lessens. Climb corner to top.
First Ascent: May 1985 S Middlemiss and G von Maltitz.
LATE IN THE EVENING 19' (G1) L *** [N]'
The climb starts 25m downstream from Amputation Chimney. The climb ascends a shallow openbook which continues as a crack through a bulge near the top. A large tree is found just upstream and the openbook is flanked by a greyish slab to the left.
1 15m G1 19 Ascend the short crack into the openbook. Continue up steep section to crack. Ascend layback crack with difficulty (crux). Continue up to good ledge with tree belay.
2 15m F1 13 Move leftwards for 2m then ascend crack/ chimney to good belay on top of buttress.
3 25m F2 15 Continue up the face above following the righthand tending crack system. Take a good stance on top of a series of blocks.
4 35m F2 16 Traverse right for 5m (1 move F2 16) to the attractive grey face. Ascend the grey face tending right to the arete. Unsustained.
Notes: Pleasant climb, well protected. Last pitch has 1 move of F2. The rest of the pitch consists of very pleasant E1 climbing.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 D Margetts and A Mercer.
REACH FOR THE SKY 19' (G1) L ** [N]'
The climb starts directly below the lower overhangs on the buttress on which Private Eyes is located, and starts from the top of a boulder adjacent to a whitish face and large root.
1 30m F1 15 Gain the sloping ledge 3m up and traverse diagonally up left into the recess. Climb up to tree belay. (May be undergraded.)
2 30m F3 17 Traverse diagonally up right, over a small arete, to a sloping ledge and openbook. This is on the main arete of the buttress. Climb the openbook to a ledge.
3 25m G1 19 From the belay ledge move up and right onto the buttress' downstream face. Climb the recess aboveusing layback and chimney moves. At the top of the recess move left onto easier rock and climb up to the top.
Notes: An old piton was found on the ledge below the openbook of the second pitch. On pitch 3 the rock at the base of the recess appears to be loose, although it was solid when climbed.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 R Dodding and P S Greenfield.
PRIVATE EYES 19' (G1) L ** [N]'
Devious route finding, sustained climbing. About 80m downstream from High Noon is a buttress with several prominent noses about 20m up. The downstream face is red and is capped by several white roofs. The route starts about 15m above the stream and winds its way up the face, finishing on the right.
1 30m G1 19 Start in a corner that faces the river and has a roof 2m up. Climb the left face of the corner into a chimney position. There is a recess 2m to the left but move up diagonally right to under a small triangular roof. Pull up diagonally right to reach a large open book. Traverse 4 metres left to a hanging stance.
2 25m G1 19 From the hanging stance move up diagonally right past some hand jams to easier rock. Continue to the top of this scruffy recess. Step across right and climb up easy rock to the top.
First Ascent: Feb 1984 G Mallory and S Mallory.
GRAND BIZARRE 20' (G2) L ** [N]'
The climb starts about 30m downstream of the prominent undercut buttress on which Private Eyes is located, therefore being about 15m upstream of the wade pool at the lower end of the kloof. At the base of the climb is a cave-like recess, and at its' entrance a tree which is growing across the kloof. High above, and slightly to the left, is a prominent openbook. The climb starts on the extremity of the lefthand wall of the recess, the initial line being capped by a chockstone and cubbyhole at 5m.
1 20 (G2) 25m Climb the vague recess on the lefthand wall of the main recess to reach the cubbyhole. Traverse left to the first ledge, then move up and further left to second ledge. From this ledge climb the undercut vague openbook, and take the recess above, to a tree at the base of the prominent openbook.
2 16 (F2) 37m Climb the openbook to grass ledge and belay.
3 14 (F1) 15m Climb short wall and blocks above to top.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 P S Greenfield and T P Willmot.
BLAND HUZZA 19' (G1) L ** [N]'
The route takes the right-slanting line starting at the apex of the cave mentioned in Grand Bizarre. Cairn.
1 19 (G1) 25m Climb the righthand wall of the cave moving left into the apex recess. Heave up and through to easier ground. Follow this to the cave above where a stance can be taken.
2 16 (F2/F3) 40m To avoid the fractured rock in the natural line above the cave take a ballsy traverse right to the arete. Move up this until crampons can be donned for the mixed climbing above to a stance on top.
First Ascent: Nov 1986 T P Willmot, G Zippel and S Middlemiss.
LAST FLIGHT 13' (F1) R [N]'
On the right side of the kloof below Middle Gully Right is a small prominent buttress. The climb makes its way up the centre of this buttress.
1 10m E2 10 Move up from the bed of the kloof until it is possible to gain a ramp slanting up to the right. Belay in a cubby hole.
2 15m F1 13 Climb steeply out of cubbyhole on the left and then move diagonally right to an alcove on the righthand edge of the buttress.
3 15m E3 11 Traverse back left until it is possible to move up the wall. Pleasant and exposed climbing leads to the top.
First Ascent: 1977 C Baker, D Hughes and P Goodridge.
BREAKING THE RULES 23' (H1) L *** [N]'
Fernkloof forms a short narrow gorge just before it opens out to the north. Halfway down the steep lefthand wall of this gorge is an upstream facing dihedral.
1 23 (H1) 20m Climb the dihedral, move right, and continue up a groove to the top.
First Ascent: Jul 1986 K M Smith.
THE JOKER 17' (F3) L [N]'
Please tell us where this climb should slot in.
1 17 (F3) 30m Climb a steep face for 3m to reach an alcove at the foot of a shallow groove slanting to the right. Climb more easily up the groove top a good ledge and belay. Even using every possible assistance from covniant roots the move into the alcove is extremely akward.
2 13 (F1) 40m Behind the stance is a buttress spllit by a broad crack. Climb the buttress for 25m to a tree and then finish up a groove.
First Ascent: Feb 1974 A Firth, D Hughes, P Goodridge
ENTREE 13' (F1) L [N]'
Please tell us where this climb should slot in.
The climb starts from the tree in the gully 30m from the corner of Quiver Face.
1 13 (F1) 25m Climb the tree for 7m and do a delicate step across onto the face. Move 7m right to a right-angled diedre. Climb diedre for 11m using the parallel cracks which are 1.5m apart to a stance at a small tree. Chockstone belay.
2 13 (F1) 25m Ascend the crack above the stance for about 3m. Traverse 6m to the right to a small pinnacle. Continue upwards for about 11m to the top.
First Ascent: Jul 1974 M Prior, A Firth
The route starts about 75m up the kloof, past the cascades where the kloof widens slightly. Walk past the cascades to where the kloof is blocked by a large boulder on the right and one or two on the left. The stream makes a small waterfall here. Climb up on the left using the thick roots of a tree growing on the left wall and the boulder closest to it. Walk left and find the cairn. Look up and you will see three large roofs above you. Dyno for a nice jug on the face above you and climb to the open book.
First Ascent: Dec 1997 A Steyn & Noki