Valken Buttress

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Like Barrier Valken Buttress has two sides: West and South facing with a vague arete in between. The West Face is dominated by a 3m horizontal roof which spans over 25m of the wall, beneath which is a large orange slab. To confuse us this is called Barrier Cave. on the left side of this is a smaller tea cave.

Approach: as for Barrier, take the Kasteel Poort path until it cuts a steep ravine between Valken and Kasteel. Take this Ravine until a left path is found which ultimately goes on via Valken to Barrier.

Descent: as for Barrier the easiest is to walk down between Barrier and Valken then take the abseil to the base. This is called Barrier Ravine. Alternatively you could walk over and take Kasteel Poort down, but its not clear which is easier as they are both straight forward.

Slumber Crag ** F3 or 18

D. Berrisford, K. Fletcher, B. Kohler 1962

"Very Steep . Unlikely that anyone will fall asleep on it"

Start: Left of the Hottentot Cherry Tree situated to the left of Valken Face.

Pitch 1. 10m (F3 or 18) Climb directly up the face until its possible to step right using a flake- and up to the stance above.

Pitch 2. 9m (F3 or 18) Move up on to a block on the left then climb the face above until a sloping stance below an overhang is reached.

Pitch 3. 18m (F3 or 18) Climb 1m left then continue diagonally left on the face (delicate) before ascending to a small ledge, then climb the face above to another ledge. Traverse 2m right and climb up a short face, past a tree for 3m. Traverse left to some blocks, then up the the face to reach the ravine above.

Pitch 4. 15m (D) avoid the overhang above by climbing up right then left until a recess is reached. Climb the face until its possible to move diagonally left to a stance.

Pitch 5. 15m (E2 or 14) climb through the overhang above and continue up a 6m ridge right until traversing right underneath another overhang. Proceed to a stance above.

Pitch 6. 25m (E2 or 14) Climb onto a thin block that peters out to the right. Climb the face right of Valken Parapet for 9m. An overhanging face with large grips will be seen above. Climb this overhanging section, traverse 1-2m right, then proceed diagonally left to a stance.

Walk up the ridge to the top sections. The next pitch is in recess of a ridge right of the start of Valken Crag.

Pitch 7. 40m (E1 or 13) A Number os short recesses will be found to the right of the ridge. After 8m of climbing one reaches the first ledge. 10m of recess takes one to the next ledge,. A recessed corner with a large tree next to it is ascended for 22m for a bushy stance.

Pitch 8. 30m (F1 or 16) Climb about 2m up a coerner above the beacon, then traverse left to a recess with a number of flakes lying against it. Climb the recess to until it is possible to exit left. Traverse 6m left and break through to the right of an overhang. climb 8m up a recess to a large ledge.

Pitch 9. 35m (F1 or 16) Climb the vertical face left of Valken face

Valken Face **** E2 or 14

P.H.Andrews, H. Exner, J.W. Fraser 1924

"A popular route for the average party"

Start:10m left of Barrier Cave was a Hottentot Cherry Tree.

Pitch 1. 13m (E2 or 14) Climb the face slightly right of the tree, moving left towards the top.

Pitch 2. 13m (C/D or Very Easy) From the ledge directly above the tree climb up and diagonally right.

Pitch 3. 25m (E1 or 13) Straight up through a gap in the overhang, continue to the gully.

Pitch 4. 20m (D or 12) Climb the sheer but easy face which faces Barrier Ravine.

Pitch 5. 20m (B/C or scramble) From 4m behind the last stance climb through a wormhole to a ledge From there climb on the right and then in the gully facing Barrier Ravine.

Walk to Upper Buttress. Approach via the minor rock steps between the bushy ledge to the right of the amphitheater. When two steps up, bear left until directly below s large overhang chimney on the buttress above.

Pitch 6. 11m (C/D or 11/12) The face on the right of the bushy recess is climbed. Walk to the left for a few meters.

Pitch 7. 7m (E2 or 14) A white open book recess. start on the left wall, end on the right wall.

Pitch 8. 5m (C) Walk left along the ledge until it peters out. Climb via a jutting 0 out fllake to the broad ledge above. Walk to the left for 12m.

Pitch 9. 33m (E2 or 14) Climb the vertical while face for 6m to a narrow ledge. Traverse along this to the right for 12 to the base of a crack. Step right onto the lip of the overhang, move up 1m, then left to the crack which is then climbed to the stance 15m above.

Pitch 10. 13m (D) The Grooved Traverse Pitch: Climb the chimney for 3m until under the overhang. swing left for 3m on good holds, at the corner ease into the groove, then continue along and down for a total of 7m into the head of the gully.

Pitch 11. 10m (C) Traverse left along a narrow exposed ledge. Walk about 12m left.

Pitch 12. 20m (D) Climb first the right then the left wall to the top of a deep chimney. Behind is another short chimney which exists on the left.

Valken Parapet *** F1 or 16

D. Carter, B. Fletcher, W. Martley 1949

Good route of moderate difficulty. Would be more popular but for the walk in the middle.

'Start: The route starts on the extreme left corner of Barrier Cave, about 3m Right of Valken Face, and 3m left of the Fireplace.

Pitch 1. 9m (F1 or 16) climb a small overhang at the corner and up a difficult crack to the ledge above.

Pitch 2. 26m (F2 or 17) Start midway between Face and Barrier Ravine routes. Climb a straight face for 6m until a small overhang is reached.step right then up another 4m to a ledge, continue up for 8m ( this is the crux of the lower sections. An easy crack slightly left is ascended for 6m. Stance beneath the the left of two cracks.

Pitch 3. 27m (E1 or 14) Climb the left crack and continue up the widening crack above to below an open face.

Pitch 4. 15m (D) Scramble the face directly above the slope below the upper buttress.

Pitch 5. Walk up to the upper sections which start about 13m from the corner overlooking Barrier Ravine.

Pitch 6, 37m (D) Ascend the easy face veering left to the ledge above, and then up a small exposed chimney to a higher ledge/

Pitch 7. 27m (F2 or 17) stand on a small ledge about 2m above the stance to a rail which allows one to traverse left into a shallow recess. Climb this to below a minor overhang, then traverse out to the left for about 5m, then up diagonally right to climb a small chimney, out for which you traverse diagonally left onto a large stance.

Pitch 8. 10m (D) Climb an easy chimney in a corner to the right, then up a short face to the next broad ledge.

Pitch 9. 15m (D) Walk along the ledge 30m to an obvious corner which is climbed all the way to the top of the buttress.

Penetration Face ** F3 or 18

K. Fletcher and J. Goedknegt

"The simian crux from the cave is a big challenge" in 21st century speak that means its a bouldery start. I also contest the grade here.

Pitch 1. 15m (G1 or 19)Climb the recess by standing on the block forming part of the fireplace. Climb the recess to the overhang, then traverse left for a meter to mantel for a ledge, then continue traversing left about 3m until one stances with Valken Parapet.

Pitch 2. 15m (F3 or 18) move diagonally right for 5m to a handrail which is followed for 2m to a corner on the right. Just a little left of the corner is a small stance, climb past it and continue 4m up the corner to a good stance.

Pitch 3. 15m (F3 or 18) Climb the face directly above bearing slightly left for 4m to an overhang section. Swing across (Right I think) to the bottom of an overhanging recess. Take the recess for 3m to where is joins an overhanging section, ascend this section for 3m then head diagonally left for 4m to a good stance (those grips appear to be rotten but are sound). . traverse 6m right to a large semi-detached block overlooking the crux of Valken Frontal.

Pitch 4. 20m (F2 or 17) Directly above the overhang shadowing the stance is a smooth face. to reach the face ascend the block on the right before moving left 3m. Climb up for 6m on small grips and traverse right to a small stance. Take another 6m face, moving left to a ledge.

Pitch 5. 10m (E1 or 13) 4m of flake climbing leads to the ceiling of an overhang. Traverse 6m right to a good stance below a large crack.

Pitch 6. 18m (F1 or 17) Climb up a short face into the crack before continuing to a small stance.

Pitch 7. 26m (E3 or 15) Climb 5m up the corner above to a small overhang. Traverse around the corner back into the crack, and keep on traversing onto the face on the right to a ledge. Proceed along the ledge for 7m. (Notes: Sorry for the bad grammar here, its verbatim out the 1978 guide)

Pitch 8. 24m (F3 or 17) Either climb 5m up and move to the fault, or climb the fault directly to the top of the Buttress.

Valken Frontal **** F2 or 17 B. Russel. L Schaff and L.C. Thomson 1949

A good and popular route with exposed and exciting pitches. This route is best described in Cape Peninsula Select, below is the original RD.

Start:Just around the corner of the right end of Barrier Cave, below a pocketed face.

Pitch 1. 12m (D) Start in the right hand corner underneath the overhang and climb to the stance.

Pitch 2. 10m (E2 or 13) Climb out 3m and then 7m to a dassie stance on the left. I lake this to mean 7m left to the dassie stance.

Pitch 3. (F1 or 15) Continue along the stance until a dassie crawl becomes too narrow, then descend about 3m. traverse on tiny holds to the corner and cntinue to a stance above a nose.

Notes: The direct route starts by moving up and around to the right to a narrow ledge on the extreme right hand edge of the overhang containing the cave. Stretch up to a small grip and move up the face past a slab block into the corner. Traverse left to the stance on the nose (F2).

Pitch 4. 25m (F2 or 17) Climb straight up for 15m, traverse 3m right then up onto a small block and continue to a stance to the right.

Pitch 5. 14m (F1 or 16) Climb straight from the right edge of the ledge onto the face and continue up over some packed boulders to a large stance on the right.

Pitch 6. 18m (E3 or 15) Ascend the staircase looking corner for 13m, at the top traverse onto the face then continue 5m to a small stance on the right.

Pitch 7. 28m ( E2 or 15) Climb the Fault straight above to the top of the buttress.

Valken Ravine ( Left Hand) Valken Ravine ( Right Hand)

Valken Crag ** F1 or 16

D.M. Carter, B. Fletcher, L. Scoble 1950

A pleasant route with a disjointed top section.

Start: about 6m left of the tree at the start of Valken Face.

Pitch 1. 8m (F2 or 17) Pull through a black corner. climb up about a meter on the face and traverse left to a small corner. Pull up, then move right and up to the ledge above.

Pitch 2. 9m (F1 or 16) Scramble left over a boulder to a small black amphitheater to the left of the second pitch of Barrier Ravine. Climb unto a small cave under an overhang, using the block to the left swing around the block and move up to a stance.

Pitch 3. Scramble up some minor rock-work and slog up Barrier Ravine to the upper sections. Where the slope abuts the main buttress, there is a large and apparent overhang. The Parapet Starts immediately to the left of the overhang, but Crag continues way over to the right where there is a square shaped overhang about 20m up. In a fault slightly to the right are the pitches which lead up to and turn this overhang. Scramble up about 6m to a large beacon.

Pitch 4. 15m (E3 or 15) Layback up the edge of some large clean-cut flakes, below an obvious fault to a stance about 6m up. Continue up a smooth, slightly overhanging right angled recess. Beneath the overhang at the top of the recess traverse left to a stance around the corner on top of the square overhang.

Pitch 5. 5m (E2 or 14) From a huge poised boulder on the left, climb a clean, mildly exposed face to a broad ledge.

Pitch 6. 7m (D or 12) The next stance is reached via an easy corner to the right.

Pitch 7. 10m ( E2 or 14) A tricky start up a crack for 3m. Above this, traverse left and up to a ledge 3m wide. The ledge to the left tapers down to about 0.5m. Continue aling for about 12m where the ledge boradens slightly before petering out on the face.

Pitch 8. 14m (E3 or 15) Climb 3m up a black projecting corner on the left face, to a narrow ledge. Traverse 5m left along this ledge where, by a wide step across onto a broken face a small stance 5m up and left is reached. {Sorry, the grammar here is horrendous, but this is a verbatim copied from the 1978 guide. Please climb it and better this!}

Pitch 9. 14m (E3 or 15) climb a 6m crack above the stance and continue up easy rock to a broad ledge. It is possible to traverse off from here.

Pitch 10. 23m (E2 or 14) Start up a corner 7m right. After a hard start the route veers right to the final beacon.

Valken Frontal Shock Absorber Valkenism Valken Surprise Thunder and Lichen When I'm 64 Valken Corner Valken Edge Valkenetti

Helter Skelter Humdinger Penetration Slumber Crag Valken "D" Valken Face Valken Needle Valken Parapet Valken South Face Valken Wall