Thunderbolt Direct - Witteberg ***** Grade G1M2
Overall Grade: 23 (or 20 A2)
First Ascent: M Scott and H Graafland - 1967 (Pitch 1-5 & 12-13) A Dick and R Fuggle - 1970 (Pitch 6-11 & 12-13)
Best seasons: Summer, when it hasn’t rained and isn’t going to rain. Rock: Sandstone
Gear Rack of friends (small and medium) and nuts, long slings useful to avoid rope drag. Rope: 50m Double Ropes
Note: This description is of the direct variation pitches only. You will need the RD of the original route as well (http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/index.php?title=Thunderbolt).
After the fifth pitch, Thunderbolt traverses to the left under some large overhangs, later traversing back right. This variation, starting from the stance above pitch No. 5 of Thunderbolt, goes straight through the overhangs, joining up with the final pitch of the original route.
- 24m 16/17. Climb up and to the right, then slightly left to a smallish stance.
- 30m 14/15. Climb up to a spire below the overhangs. Climb the spire to a small but comfortable stance at its apex.
- 15m 20/21 A1. Move slightly left off the top of the spire and up (1 aid point) to below the large overhang above. Continue to the right and over the lip of the overhang to a small exposed stance above.
- 36m 18/19 A2. Move up the slab and then diagonally right through two small overhanging sections (6m F2/M2). Climb the recess on the left.
- 55m 16/17. Continue up the recess to where it ends and then to the left on to pitch 18 of the original route.