Tafelberg Main Wall

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Tafelberg, Main Wall, Maiden's Sector.
Tafelberg, Main Wall, Maiden's Sector. Original image from the guide book Tafelberg & Spout by Tony Lourens (with permission).
Blue = Amarula
Green = Cape Velvet
Orange = Make Tea Not War
Magenta = Danger Shrew
Red = Dithering Heights
Tafelberg, Main Wall, Frontal Sector.
Tafelberg, Main Wall, Frontal Sector. Original image from the guide book Tafelberg & Spout by Tony Lourens (with permission).
Magenta = Danger Shrew
Red = Dithering Heights
Blue = The Swan
Green = Stargate
Yellow = Crouching Tiger Hidden Giraffe
Dark Green = The Occidental Express
Purple = Iridium Flash
Orange = The Jedi Fish
Cyan = Vuvuzela
Tafelberg, Main Wall, Right Sector.
Tafelberg, Main Wall, Right Sector. Original image from the guide book Tafelberg & Spout by Tony Lourens (with permission).
Cyan = Vuvuzela
Blue = Freedom Feather
Yellow = Boombox
Red = Whistling Woozle

Amarula (23) ****

Maidens Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Takes some golden bulges and a wild roof just right of ‘Ice Tea’. Scramble up one level and find a beach/cave with a diving board (cairn) that offers footing to an undercut start. (Level with the first stance of Ice Tea)

  • Pitch 1. 25m (19) Step off the diving board onto the wall, up to the roof, traverse right to the thinnest part of the roof, and then continue up to the following ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 30m (23) An undercut start off of a big horn (there used to be two horns). Continue slightly right past some rails to the golden bulges, and climb the right-most crack. Continue up finger cracks on the right and carry on straight up to exit the crux. Continue up for another 10m.
  • Pitch 3 25m (21) Aim for the obvious 3m roof with an apparently off-width break. Jam inside the crack, stretch for jugs on the left lip, and make a mind-bending cutloose to finish on easy territory. Stance 5 – 10m above the lip.
  • Pitch 4. 50m (18) Straight, and follow the most appealing line to the top.

Cape Velvet (25) *****

Maidens Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

A varied route just right of Amarula with a stunning arete pitch and contender for the best designed belay stance on the mountain.

  • Pitch 1. 15 m (22) Start 5m right of Amarula on top of some blocks. Up easily to a large rail below a roof. Move left and pull through the roof onto a small platform. Head straight up the smooth recess to a good ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 20 m (25) Head up and left to a wide rail below an overhanging nose. On the left of the nose there is a narrow crack (tiny cam required). Pull up into the higher vertical crack and crank to a horizontal rail. Step right around the nose and up a short layback to a thin rail. Step back left across the nose and then up a series of laybacks to a fantastic stance above the prow.
    Gear: Very small cam (eg. C3 000) to protect the first move onto the nose.
  • Pitch 3. 45 m (21) Climb up and right into a bottomless chimney. Continue up and step right onto a large split block. Tackle the steep jam crack (with an offwidth to the right). Move right around the corner onto a ledge and straight up to the huge ledge.
  • Pitch 4. 20 m (16) Step off a wobbly block and climb a golden, polished arete (just right of a gulley) and then easy slabs to the top. This is probably shared with Ice Tea.

FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (March 2013)

Make Tea Not War (20) ***

Maidens Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

A line between Mothers and Cosy Corner. The rock quality for the first 10m is not great, but then improves greatly. The second and third pitches are excellent.

  • Pitch 1. 25 m (17) Start 1m left of Cosy Corner and head straight up and past a vertical crack in the steep section about 20m up. Tend slightly left, passing one ledge, to a stance on the second ledge in a wide corner.
  • Pitch 2. 45 m (20) Climb the largest layback crack in the wide corner to some large horizontal breaks, Move slightly right and up to below a steep crack and pocketed face on good quality brown rock. Pull through the bulge and straight up the face for about 15m to a rail below a slight overhang. Swing round 2m to the right and then straight up featured groove/face to a flat platform just below the large rocky ledge. Belay here, and then scramble up right to below the right hand wall of the huge corner.
  • Pitch 3. 15 m (17) The Power Hog pitch. Start up a vague layback and make a rising traverse across the compact white face (with wide vertical cracks) and under a projecting nose to a neat stance capped by a small roof on the left.
  • Pitch 4. 30 m (18) Pass the right side of the small roof, and up a few meters to a finger rail, below a very narrow overhang. Traverse left about 2m and then straight up to the top.

FA: Richard Halsey, Anthony Hall and Jonathan Hajos (April 2011)

Danger Shrew (24) ****

Maidens Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Finds a break through the big roofs above the walk-in ledge between Maidens Prayer and Bat. About 20m right of the start of Lost Chord is a set of rails heading up and right above the roof. This is the first pitch.

  • Pitch 1. 15 m (24) Start where you can easily reach the first rail. Move right towards a small prong underneath the first roof. Use this to reach through to a good, sloping hold around the lip. Place a small wire on the right and then, with the aid of a couple of diagonal edges slightly higher up, pull through to the next rail. Hard and committing. Traverse right and up until able to get onto a small ledge. Stance on the right end of the ledge by a small, orange open book capped by a roof.
  • Pitch 2. 55 m (21) Head rightwards up the book/arete then a bit left to a grey chimney. Above the chimney head up and slightly right again to a rail which is followed for a few metres right until one can pull up into a wide recess. Climb the recess and pull through the roof above using a layback crack. This move can be bypassed more easily 1m to the left. Head easily straight up to the large ledge below the massive open book.
  • Pitch 3. 25 m (19) In the corner of the open book, behind a massive block, is the easy layback crack of Maiden Voyage. Start up this crack then move diagonally left into the parallel crack. Up this then exit left below some blocks. Stance below the large, prominent, white open book capped by a triangular roof.
  • Pitch 4. 30 m (21) Pull up into the crack in the corner of the open book then move 3m right into a crack system that passes the roof on the right. Head up this system past the roof then easily straight up to the top. A superb pitch.

FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (March 2011)

Dithering Heights (25) *****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Starts about 10m right of Bat off a rectangular black block below a leftward pointing prong and short corner/crack. The route heads straight up through a large, dark red corner to the right hand side of the large roof then does an airy, Oceans Of Air like traverse left under the roof to escape straight up the blunt corner system to the top.

  • Pitch 1. 25 m (21) From the block use the prong to pull into the corner. Climb up and slightly right up a shallow recess then back left onto some blocks and through an overhang onto a large ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 15 m (25) The dithering pitch. Climb a layback flake into a dark red/brown corner below a roof. Rail 4m right to below a small prong. Hard moves up to a rail and up the groove to the big ledge below the huge roof. Stance on the left.
  • Pitch 3. 20 m (18) Rail left to a semi-hanging stance on the black rock past the huge roof.
  • Pitch 4. 50 m (18) Straight up to a large ledge. Up a shallow, yellow recess just to the left for another 15m to the huge ledge.
  • Pitch 5. 35 m (21) Climb the short, wide, overhanging crack at the left end of the ledge. Up and left past the blocky roof and up to the top.

FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (Jan 2011)

The Swan (24) *****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

This superb route follows a line just left of The Crow. The last pitch is just right of The Crow's final pitch. Start 20m left of The Crow's corner. A natural stone chair is found at the base of the route.

  • Pitch 1. 30 m (23) Pull onto the undercut face off a block. Up right to a thin crack. Tricky layback to roof. Undercling left to easier layback crack up to a ledge with blocks. Takeoff from block with hard pulls up to a layback feature. Up left to ledge (Bat's first stance is just to the left).
    Gear: Work in a couple of decent wires at the layback feature before the last move.
  • Pitch 2. 20 m (24) From the right of the ledge move up right to small ledge with a block. Hard pull to rail. Rail right for 2m. Hard pull up and right. Easier climbing straight up to just left of a large, pointed block sticking out from a big ledge. (Bat P2 comes up on the left and crosses to the right of the ledge). Walk to left end of ledge.
    Gear: Tiny Friend or Alien in vertical slot at waist level for first hard pull.
  • Pitch 3. 30 m (23) Up to roof. Rail left onto block/flake. Keep traversing left till possible to pull up to next rail via hollow flake. Undercling/jam left to corner. Up to huge roof. Rail back right until able to pull through roof on huge jugs. Up 5m to ledge.
  • Pitch 4. 25 m (20) Climb the crack with a grass tuft directly above the ledge. Continue straight up through an overhang to the massive ledge.
  • Pitch 5. 30 m (21) 3m right of The Crow's final pitch is another corner/crack starting above a low overhang. Take off from a large block and climb the crack to a small overhang. Rail right 1m then go up and left towards a small layback corner. Straight up to the top finishing up the middle of a superb whitish shield to a 1 foot square parapet.

FA: Adam Roff, Douw Steyn, Gosia Lipinska (Pitches 1 & 2) (2010)

Stargate (20) ****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Fills in the gap between Bat and Crouching Tiger which is protected by the impenetrable, huge roof at the bottom. Use a space portal to teleport to the start of the route in the middle of the black face above the roof. Alternatively, climb part of any route on the side of the roof and then traverse in to the middle of the black face. The traverse is at the level of the second stance of Crouching Tiger or pitch four of Gotham City. Make a hanging stance just above a large, black flake about 10m left of Tiger's third pitch.

  • Pitch 1. 40 m (18) From the belay climb almost straight up tending just slightly leftwards towards a 1m wide, featured roof. Pull through the roof on underclings and continue straight up to the huge ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 30 m (20) Between Tiger's and the Frontal's final pitches is an overhanging corner with some vertical cracks. Starting off some large blocks, climb the cracks and up on the right. Up to the top with a final, tricky move past a left pointing flake.

FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (Jan 2011)

Crouching Tiger Hidden Giraffe (24) *****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Takes the big corner system dodged by Grappler, then up the hanging nose above. Has a spicy nip in the last pitch. Need a #4 Camalot for pitch 2. Start midway between Gotham City and Grappler at pockety rock below a layback edge at 5m.

  • Pitch 1. 15 m (21) Up the pockety rock to the layback. Up this then diagonally right to a flake. Up past rails and right to finish.
  • Pitch 2. 30 m (23) Start off a block just right of the first pitch. Climb up onto a narrow ledge, move right and up into a wide rail below the roof (#4 cam). Hard move up into the open book. Climb the corner crack to the roof with the giraffe. Turn the roof on the right and reach out left above the roof. Swing left and up onto a small ledge trying not to pull on the big, loose block. Up to a stance on another small ledge level with Grappler's "galloping hand traverse".
    Gear: #4 Camalot to protect the hard move into the open book.
  • Pitch 3. 20 m (24) Traverse 3m right to below the next big open book (at the start of the "galloping hand traverse") then do a hard, traddy pull into the corner crack above (grade 23 if you're tall). Climb up to the big roof. Undercling right to the corner and up to ledge.
  • Pitch 4. 40 m (21) Climb the nose directly above where you came up. Reach up left for a rail just above the roof. Rail left until able to stand up. Step left then onto the nose. Romp to the massive ledge below the last pitch of Tafelberg Frontal. Walk left about 20m and scramble up onto a big, rectangular block under a low overhang. This is just left of a big, jumbly, blocky corner system. If you are in the right place there will be a Fred Flinstone briefcase just left of the block.
  • Pitch 5. 30 m (23) Reach far left from the block and place gear (Camalot #2 in the handrail under the overhang). Traverse left under the overhang then do a hard move up to laybacks. Reach up left to a crack. Straight up to the summit past a thin move near the top.

FA: Adam Roff, Francie Buhrmann, Gosia Lipinska (2008)
FFA: Gosia Lipinska, Douw Steyn, Willem le Roux (2009)

The Occidental Express (23) ***

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

This sustained route features a wild, pumpy traverse in an airy position.

  • Pitch 1. 15 m (16) About 10m right of Grappler, climb a recess with a chimney and layback crack to the huge ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 15 m (22) Start from a large block 5m left of Grappler P2. A tricky start up a short recess leads to a wide rail. Move 2m left to where you can pull through on laybacks. Follow a steep corner to the roof. Traverse left to a cramped stance shared with Grappler.
  • Pitch 3. 15 m (21) Head up ~2m to the first rail (below Grappler's rail). Traverse right around the protruding corner and then keep going until just past the first flake in the roof. Make a hanging stance where a #3 Camalot fits the rail.
    Gear: Big cams of the Camelot #2 - #4 range are required. Doubles are useful although not absolutely essential.
  • Pitch 4. 8 m (23) Rail ~4m right and pull through the roof on a dubious flake just before the rail pinches out. Pull onto the face above and up ~2m to a semi-hanging stance at a narrow ledge. This could be combined with the previous pitch but would add a couple of grades.
  • Pitch 5. 30 m (20) Climb straight up toward a roof ~10m up. Pull through on the large layback on the left and continue to a large ledge, and then a few meters up to a smaller ledge.
  • Pitch 6. 20 m (20) Head up an orange wall on small flakes and edges to an obvious arch/bridge in the grey rock. Pull through the roof and straight up on featured rock to wide ledge.
  • Pitch 7. 25 m (21) Start up a short crack, followed by a rising traverse through a series of inverted steps and underclings to a shelf. Step left and straight up, aiming for a right tending crack through a slight bulge. Tend left to the large ledge.
  • Pitch 8. 12 m (17) Walk 10m left to a corner crack. Climb the corner crack into a smooth right facing corner. After ~5m, step left onto the arete and up to the top.

FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (March 2013)

Iridium Flash (26) ****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

The route breaks through the big roof between Grappler and The Frontal with steep and spectacular climbing. Starts ~30m left of The Frontal, just left of a big roof and under a hook shaped feature at the base of a layback crack. Some extra medium size cams are useful on pitch 2.

  • Pitch 1. 20 m (23) Head up ~5m to the hook, then up a short layback crack. Step right and up to the roof. Traverse ~2m right to the top of an arete, then up to a huge ledge. After belaying, walk 7-8m right to below a featured, hanging block under the narrowest section of the double layer roof above.
  • Pitch 2. 25 m (26) The superb In-Your-Element pitch. Climb up and slightly right for ~7m to a roof below the hanging block. Rail ~2m right then pull strenuously left across to the right hand side of the block. Continue up to a wide rail, then over the first layer of the roof to another rail. Crank hard to a hidden, but fantastic jug over the final roof, and make more hard moves diagonally right until you can establish on the face above using good side pulls. Make a hanging stance 3m up at a good rail (small/medium cams).
  • Pitch 3. 25 m (16) Climb straight up towards a projecting block on the skyline. Stance on the large ledge.
  • Pitch 4. 30 m (21) Start just right of Sorcerer. Head up a series of two curving layback flakes until able to traverse 2m right to gain a small, right facing corner. At the top step left onto the gray face and up several meters to a ledge. Continue up to the big ledge and stance on the right of a large block (shared with Sorcerer).
  • Pitch 5. 35 m (20) Traverse 3m right to a short, undercut crack (shared with Jedi Fish P3). Start up the crack then head right onto the face. Make a rising traverse to the right, passing above a fragile white flake. Continue traversing until directly below an obvious smooth-looking corner with a layback crack in the golden rock ~15m up. Climb straight up to the layback, then a short face above to the top.

FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (Jan 2013)

The Jedi Fish (20) ****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Takes a fairly direct line to the right of Sorcerer. Start a few meters left of Tafelberg Frontal at a 'tower' cairn.

  • Pitch 1. 42 m (20) Climb straight up for 2 m on a red face with pockets leading to a grey wall. Pleasant grad 12 climbing to a ledge. Continue up little ledges aiming for the open book on the right (Sorcerer takes the easier line even further right). Climb the open book to the roof, take 2 steps to the left and pull through to good holds just left of a lonely small bush. Step right and move up the face to a good stance 10 m above the roof (tower cairn).
  • Pitch 2. 30 m (19) A tricky move gets one onto the face. Follow a faint straight line of red lichen and then a white streak to a block on a ledge. Say 'Hello' to the 'Fish jumping out of the waves'-feature below a layback crack. Use the fish's back, delicately, to gain the crack, follow that to a hollow sounding flake and another one with better rock. Move left below the little roof and up to the ledge. Stance at the splitter crack.
  • Pitch 3. 40 m (19) Climb the splitter crack and over some blocks. Tend leftwards to avoid the roof, 2 moves up into a leftwards slanting break. Don't follow the break all the way, instead move right onto the face. Straight up to the top. The last 10 climbing meters are on superb orange, featured rock.

FA: Anita Hintringer and Uwe Pitsch (Feb 2012).

Vuvuzela (23) *****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Follows a direct line just right of Digeridoo on the main wall. Prominent features are the purple nose on pitch 3 and the massive corner system on pitch 4 right of the last pitch of Central Direct. Start by doing any two pitches to get to the belay at the end of pitch 2 of Tafelberg Frontal

  • Pitch 1. 15 m (16) Climb straight up to the left facing corner to a ledge. Belay on a large block on the right.
  • Pitch 2. 25 m (20) Climb into the awkward, undercut feature above the block and reach left to a finger crack. Go up past an overhang on the right, then do some thin moves and exit left. Stance on the left under the roof crack (as for Digeridoo).
  • Pitch 3. 30 m (19) Traverse 3m left, up 3m, then back right onto the purplish nose. Climb the steep break just left of the nose. Exit right and climb straight up easy rock to belay next to a block. (If you step right around the nose and go straight up the grade drops.)
  • Pitch 4. 30 m (23) Step off the block into the fierce, thin crack up to the small roof. Reach desperately through then move diagonally up left into the massive, left-facing corner system. Climb this to the huge roof and stance on the right.
  • Pitch 5. 10 m (22) Climb the short, sharp layback crack just right of the stance.

FA: Adam Roff and Francie Buhrmann (2008) FFA of Pitch 5: Douw Steyn and Ant Hall (2009)

Freedom Feather (21) ****

Frontal Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Another line starting above the massive roof just right of Tafelberg Frontal. Do the first two pitches of the Frontal and walk right along the ledge to about 10m left of where Boomerang goes up. Start at the right hand end of some roofs above you, about 1m right of an obvious recessed corner, and below a white nose.

  • Pitch 1. 20 m (16) Head directly up to the white nose just right of the corner. Reach up to an awesome jug on the tip of the nose and climb up to a big ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 35 m (19) Pull up onto the face above the stance and up a small, left-facing corner system towards the right hand side of a detached roof that is almost an arch. Rail 2m right to skirt the roof and up to a ledge.
  • Pitch 3. 25 m (20) The Improbable Pitch. Start off a block a few metres left of where you just came up. Climb up to the second rail then traverse left past an obvious vertical crack. At some loose blocks head up and slightly left to a small stance.
  • Pitch 4. 20 m (21) Head straight up past some delicate moves to a huge ledge. Could be combined with the previous pitch.
  • Pitch 5. 20 m (21) Walk about 8m left to some blocks at the base of a blunt, white nose with layback cracks on either side. Climb up the easier right hand side until able to reach across to the left side. Climb up to a small overlap. Pull through and head up to the base of an impossible looking, smooth, round corner below the summit. Traverse 8m left past a short finger crack to a small stance below a recessed crack.
  • Pitch 6. 10 m (17) Climb the crack and a delicate move to finish.

FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (January 2012)

Boombox (24) ***(*)

Right Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Takes a fairly direct line to the right of Boomerang Direct. Start by doing any approach pitches to get to the right-most end of the ledge where pitch 3 of Boomerang begins.

  • Pitch 1. 10 m (17) Start directly below some underclings that allow you to reach a higher rail. Pull up to a second, wide rail below a roof and traverse over the void until you can move easy diagonally right to a ledge. Stance in an oblique corner, where the right wall is very smooth and rectangular (3m x 1.5m).
  • Pitch 2. 30 m (21) Up the corner and left around a slight bulge to a ledge. Pull through a series of steep, inverted steps and pass the last roof on its right hand side. Move slightly left and then straight up to a big ledge with a large triangular block on it.
  • Pitch 3. 25m (17) Starting about 2m left of the block, follow a vague crack and then move slightly right to another crack. Above this pull through the right hand side of the roof at big upside down slot. Head up and slightly right to a huge ledge.
  • Pitch 4. 20 m (24) This pitch climbs the large left facing corner (to the left of a wide roof at 5m height) and exits left across the face. A tricky start through the thin crack/bulge into the corner. Climb up several meters until the first inverted step, where you traverse left, and then pull up to the next overhang. Hard moves up to, and left under the final roof until you gain the face above. Stance a few meter higher at the base of a wide, left lending crack. A fairly demanding pitch and solid at the grade.
  • Pitch 5. 10 m (17) Climb the arched crack to the top.

FA: Richard Halsey and Uwe Pitsch (Oct 2011). FFA of Pitch 4: Richard Halsey.

Whistling Woozle (22) ****

Right Sector, Main Wall, Tafelberg

Another route starting off the ledge above the huge roof right of the Frontal. Start at the right hand end of the ledge (as for Boombox).

  • Pitch 1. 30 m (17) Start as for Boombox directly below some underclings that allow you to reach a higher rail. Pull up to a second, wide rail below a roof and traverse out over the void. Continue to traverse right below a white dihedral then diagonally up and right to a ledge below a big, vertical crack capped by a double roof.
  • Pitch 2. 15 m (22) About 3m right of the crack climb straight up to a narrow roof with an obvious undercling on the lip. Pull through to the rail below the next roof. Move 1m right then up into the break through the top roof. A beefy layback leads up to stance on a small ledge with a bush.
  • Pitch 3. 35 m (19) Climb straight up to the black roof about 10m up. Pull through on flakes at the widest part. Go up past one big ledge to a second, massive ledge below an obvious corner crack system right of a big roof.
  • Pitch 4. 35 m (20) Climb the corner crack system exiting right at the top onto a tiny corner ledge. Tricky pull past a layback. Climb the face right of the obvious, black corner crack heading to the right of a projecting arete. Up the grey corner to the top.

FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (Jan 2012)

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