Moonlight Direct 24
Arrow Buttress, Table Mountain
Start: From India Ravine traverse left under Arrow Buttress on the left for about 70m to get to the start of Fraser’s Variation. About 20m further along come to a prominent blocky pinnacle that stands away from the face. This pinnacle is the start of the route. This route takes its name from the excellent traversing route Manoeuvres by Moonlight, through which it cuts a steep, sustained and direct line in improbable situations.
Start: At the front of the blocky pinnacle.
Pitch 1 30m 17:
Climb up the front of the blocky pinnacle to its flat top. Walk across to the face and head up smooth rock to reach a big ledge with huge overhanging roof. Belay 6m to the left where a seam leads up to the roof that is 3 or 4m above the ground.
Pitch 2 10m 23:
A handrail runs rightwards underneath the roof and ends in a break through the overhang on the right. Ease up the face at the back then rail out right using half a dozen cams to prevent ground fall potential. The rail is unrelenting with poor foot placements. At the break head up and slightly right on steep rock to reach a small ledge with a good rail on the left for making a hanging stance. It is necessary to keep the pitch short to prevent a possible ground fall for the second.
Pitch 3 30m 24:
Head directly up to the break in the first roof above. Move up and right through the break to reach a disappointing rail below the Manoeuvres by Moonlight rail. Continue up to Manoeuvres by Moonlight (excellent sharp rail) and trending right go through a few more overlaps. Pull through on small holds to get established on the vertical wall above. Head up and slightly left to reach a disappointing rail again. Overcome the bulge to get onto easy ground leading up to a good ledge below the next big roof.
Pitch 4 20m 24:
Off to the right is a huge overhanging nose that protrudes far out from the buttress. Head off to the right for 3 or 4 metres to reach a gully. Move up into the gully for 2m then using a decent rail head out right over space. Place two good large cams at the end of the rail! Using small edges, a small vertical fingertips lock and tiny flakes move up the overhanging wall to eventually reach a good rail to place gear (Need a strong-head day). Proceed directly up easy ground, about grade 19, to top out on the nose at a good ledge with a small tree.
Use the small tree to rappel off. Two 60m ropes get the party to the ground.
First ascent: Hilton Davies and Bruce Daniel, 19 March 2010
Left Hall-G1/2 on Lower (Arrow) Butress
Earlier ascents of this or similar lines have occurred but have not been written up. The route provides an nice straight line up steep rock. Unfortunatley while the second pitch provides fun climbing, the rock is rather vegitated. Hopefully more ascents will clean it up some what. The third pitch makes up for it, with great moves on an exposed wall. Start in obvious recess 10m right of the start of Fraser’s Frontal.
Pitch 1 20m F2:
Starting at the wide crack, climb straight up clean rock, crossing two ledges to a stance beneath a roof, 4m left of the first stance on Fraser’s
Pitch 2 40m F3:
Climb up to the roof, passing it on the right. Climb approx. 10m up the (mossy) wall above to a ledge. Above & to the right is a small overhang capped by a nose. This nose can be passed on the either side but it’s more fun on the right. Climb diagonally right up the mossy wall until one reaches a prominent rail level with the 2nd stance of Frasers. Travers right to the same stance.
Pitch 3 35m G1/2:
Above is a shallow scoop running up the centre of the obviuos flat wall. A third of the way up the wall is a prominent arrow head flake (more solid than it looks !) Start beneath the flake, climbing diagonally leftward for about 5m before moving rightwards up to the flake. Climb onto the flake & then straight up the scoop above on small holds. Some small Camalots – around C3 # 0 – are very useful for this section. The wall is topped by a roof split by a hanging open book. Pull strenously up this to the top.
Simon Larsen & Ant Hall 2005