Africa Amphitheatre, is the obvious North-East face that overlooks the City of Cape Town. It is home to three great routes, Africa Amphitheatre 20, the modern Africa Safari 22 and the astounding Roof of Africa 28 (the hardest, big route on Table Mountain)
The classic Right Face - Arrow Face traverses the amphitheatre more or less at its lower third and provides a convenient point to abseil to the bottom of the amphitheatre from a sturdy tree.
No Horizon (24?)
A lonely, exposed pitch consisting of a horizontal roof and steep crack that is visible from Tafelberg road, near the top pitch of Africa Amphitheatre. It could now be done as an alternative, hard last pitch to Africa Safari.
Access: To be done as a single pitch: From the upper cable station, walk towards Platteklip, passing two viewing areas with railings. The next lookout has a stone wall. From here, in the direction of Devil's Peak, one can see a huge, egg-shaped boulder on the edge. About 20m left, as viewed from here, is the top of the pitch. Abseil from good sling points above the left wall of the corner, to a platform. Scramble down over a boulder to another ledge below the route.
Route: 30m (24?) Gain the roof and crank through the obvious flake and crack (about 4m long) to the lip, and then follow the steep crack system, taking the right split at the top of the steep section. The top third is still a bit lichenous, but at this stage the business is over. Concensus grading needed
FA R. Halsey (rope solo) 6 Feb 2012
Kape Moss (22) ***
A direct line, with interesting pitches and the occasional run out. With some more cleaning it will be a four star route.
Walk along the Right Face Arrow Face traverse. On the climbers left of the tunnels is a low roof ~15m up. Higher up, there is a long roof about 30m up. Start ~20m to the left of the left end of this higher roof, at a point below an off width crack 20m above the path. Cairn next to the path at the base of climb.
Pitch 1. 25m (17)
Follow a crack and short face to reach a small ledge. Continue up the face to the left of a small corner to a narrow chimney with chimney with an arête on the right side. Follow this to the off width that was visible from the ground. Continue up to the ledge with a large sickle shaped rock to belay on.
Pitch 2. 25m (16)
Climb the corner above and then a layback crack to a ledge. Head slightly left on a face and then easily up to a wide ledge. Walk ~6m right to the base of a clean corner crack.
Pitch 3. 30m (22)
Climb the corner and finger crack to a ledge. Continue up the short right-arching crack until able to pull through the steep left wall to good holds below the left end of the roof. Traverse left over a vegetated ledge and onto a large block. Move up and right to an easy angled ramp. Head straight up to a small grassy ledge (this section is easy but a bit run out with one good rail for gear about 2m from the ledge).
Pitch 4. 15m (17)
Traverse left and then up to a long, wide edge. Continue left along this until a long pull gains good holds above, which are followed straight up to broad ledge (sparse gear). Walk right ~5m to a break in the lower overhang that runs across the back of the ledge.
Pitch 5. 20m (17)
Pull up to a wide rail and reach over the roof to good holds. Traverse left ~3m and the straight up until able to move easily left onto the big ledge with a tree at the base of a wide chimney.
Pitch 6. 35m (21)
To the right of the wide chimney is a left leaning ramp with good holds, which is slightly separate from the face to the right. Follow the ramp for a few meters and step right onto a narrow ledge. Head straight up the edges on the face above to the next horizontal break. Continue straight up to a large block under the roof. Step right and up to pass the roof, then go diagonally left up a low angle slab to some large pocket-type features. From here crank up until able to reach good holds above the slopers. Continue easily up the face to the next ledge at a point just left of the bushes. Stance directly below the roof crack above.
[An alternate pitch (20) that is slightly easier, but trickier with gear traverses right on the narrow ledge 5 meters up and over a slanted,squeeze type feature to a huge jug. Pull up to a smooth ledge with succulents growing at the back (but avoid the dangerous loose boulder to the left). Pull up and right, and then slightly back left to the low angle slab just over the roof and continue as per the direct pitch] Scramble right and up to a small platform below the final face.
Pitch 7. 25m (15)
Climb the left most side of the juggy face above to the top
Notes. - A #4 Camalot may be useful on pitches 3 and 5, but is not essential. - An alternative finish is to blast straight through the roof crack at the top of pitch 6. This was opened in 2012 as the stand alone pitch called No Horizon (~24)
FA: R. Halsey & T. Iliev (Feb 2018)
White: Kape Moss
Africa Safari (22) aka The Constant Gardener
Easiest approach along Arrow Face Right Face traverse. Abseil point from cherry tree below enormous detached feature mid traverse. Abseil down for first 2 pitches from “base camp”. 50 metre rope just adequate.
1. Climb break in the centre of the wall in line with the abseil to a ledge. 20m (21)
2. Climb the short wall above through the roof. Up cleaned rock, slightly right at small overhang, pull through and diagonally left to cherry tree. 30m (20)
3. Scramble on the outside of anvil shaped feature and left to the tip. 15m (12)
4. From the tip of the anvil rail 1m left and climb straight up. Up the slab above to a thin crack break above small overlap. Up this, up to a higher rail to rest on the right under another small overhang. Up to small ledge above on the left. 25m (22)
5. Straight up to corner leading to the roof. Move left until an undercling and footholds enable one to reach above the overhang. Up the wall on the left to a ledge. 15m (22).
6. Walk 15m left to a corner leading to a rail through the roof. Climb up and left to the blunt arete. Straight up this. Continue in a straight line to chain on big block in middle of bushy ledge. 30m (22)
7. 5m to the left is a white arete. Climb up on the pockets, up the break above tending left to below the obvious undercut chimney feature. Puzzle this out and finish at a chain just above. 40m (22)
8. Up 5m to a ledge. Walk left and climb juggy wall to the top. 40m including walk (16)
On the same level on the ledge to the right is a chain abseil point. 4 abseils off chains around blocks take you back to the traverse line.
First ascent: Tinie Versfeld and Dave Birkett. 13 Dec 2014
Roof of Africa (28) / E7 6c
Start: The route starts in the middle of the amphitheatre where a table top-sized slab of rock lies at a diagonal angle against the rockface. Scramble up the slab and go right a metre or two on the ledge to the first break consisting of a vertical crack.
Pitch 1 20m 21: Climb the crack for a few metres. Step right and climb up to the roof. Rail left then go up to a big pocket on the left. Reach up to a rail and traverse right above the roof. Climb up to intersect the next roof on its left. Go up the corner then step out right onto the arête. Continue up to the big bushy ledge to stance where Pitch 2 directly begins up the whitish wall above;
Pitch 2 40m 23: Start up the white wall using little rails and pockets to reach a small rail 4m up. Rail right for 2m then climb a crack with a piton. Head up and leftwards over a couple of little ledges. On a ledge walk left along a solid rock razor. At the end climb up leftwards towards a roof. Climb through the roof and continue up to the Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse. Scramble up the back of the Breakfast Rock to stance on top;
Pitch 3 25m 26: At the entrance to the tunnel scramble up onto the rock shelf on the left. Stand on a jammed flake and climb up to the roof. Rail left for 8m (Camalot #3 and #4). At the horn lean out and climb up at a piton to reach the roof above. Rail right for a metre or two then climb a flake and a wall to reach a big rail. Continue up a corner to exit on the left and climb up to a good rail and ledge. (The Right Face Arrow Face Pitch);
Pitch 4 30m 23: Walk 3m right then go up the first break. Climb up to the corner that goes through the small roof. Climb the corner and the arête to the right for a couple of metres. Step across to the left and rail out for 3m. Pull up into the Post Box then up to a thin rail above it with a piton. From the piton go 1m right and climb the steep edge to a little ledge. Go diagonally up leftwards for some way to reach a hanging stance with a piton below the hanging corners.
Pitch 5 30m 23: Climb the hanging corners angling up leftwards. Break through the roof at the left end and climb the wall to a big ledge. Bring the party up then walk 10m up and over to the left and around the corner (passing Africa Safari’s arête) to make a stance directly below the big crack through the huge dimpled roof.
Pitch 6 35m 28: Climb up to the roof then hang upside down to climb the crack to the lip and then 2m up the wall to the first rail. Traverse a long way left and upwards to a break where you start up left then at a roof go a little right and up a finger crack and up to a roof with a good rail. Rail left to the little Diving Board, climb up onto this horizontally wedged flake without pulling it off, and continue straight up to the big camping ledge.
Pitch 7 25m 22: Step off the big flat rock and pull up to get onto a semi-sitting ledge. Go a metre or two to the right to the obvious post box for a Camalot #2. Climb the break up on the left to get onto the wall. Go up and left to the attractive white wall. Climb the blunt arête and head up to a good ledge;
Pitch 8 15m 23: Lead off to the right and climb the crack through the enormous roof. Go up the corner then exit left onto a small stance;
Pitch 9 15m 28: Go up right into the crawling ledge. Climb the underside of the biggest part of the roof to get to the pointy tip. Get onto the wall and climb the arête and the wall to the left to get up to a small ledge and stance. Bring the party up then scramble and then walk left along the ledge. Scramble up to the obvious rock platform below the big arête to stance;
Pitch 10 20m 20: From the platform pull up the steep arête and continue up to the roof. Go left for a few metres to a break through the small roof. Continue directly up to the top.
Descent: Cable car or India Venster walk.
First ascent: Tinie Versfeld, Dave Birkett and Hilton Davies, 28-29 January 2018
Horn of Africa (26)
Approach: The route starts at the top of Africa Ravine. There are several good ways to get to it. The nicest is to get to the Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse tunnel and then do a 50m abseil off the big cherry tree using the lowest link in the big chain.
Start: The route starts at the far left of the amphitheatre on clean white rock below the big overhangs 60m above. A few metres right from the tree in the very corner find a cairn below a clean vertical crack.
Pitch 1 42m 20: Climb the crack for 10 metres to a ledge. Step right and climb the big, thin flake for a few metres. Start up leftwards on the pocketed brown wall then angle to the right. Step around into a corner and head up for a few metres. Climb the 10m face on the right up to a good ledge. Walk out right and stance at the end;
Pitch 2 27m 16: Go up for a few metres then angle up rightwards for 10m then go straight up a big corner to stance on the bushy Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse. Walk left (east) for 15m to just beyond a big tree. Stance at the big detached block beneath an overhang;
Pitch 3 27m 20: Stand on the block to place gear at full stretch in the thin horizontal rail. Rail to the right for a couple of metres then crank hard to get onto the ledge. Climb up on the left for a few metres to a ledge. Climb the slab close to the right end up to a small ledge. Climb the next slab in the middle up to a big ledge;
Pitch 4 27m 22: Start up the appealing corner on the left and get up into a big groove. Continue straight up and right up laybacks for 10m to a small roof. Climb around the roof on the left. Climb 10m up cracks and a pod to reach a big ledge. Walk a few metres left to stance at the huge block;
Pitch 5 15m 20: Start in the chamber behind the huge block, and scramble up left to the base of a crack system . Follow this for a few meters and pull up and left to a little platform. Pull onto the face on edges and up left to top of the crack taken by Kape Moss pitch 3. Traverse right on the sloping ledge to a stance below a very thin crack in the face over the roof;
Pitch 6 25m 26: Crank over the first roof by the thin crack to a shelf below the second bigger roof. Rail right to below the steep bottomless corner at the right side of the roof above. Get a few micro/small wire placements in the horizontal seam at the base of the corner before launching into the crux sequence. Hard moves past a narrow, vertical finger slot lead to a good rail at the next overlap. Traverse left until the end of the rail, below a bulging section. Pull through and step left on the face above. Continue straight up to a final rail, step 1m left and then up onto the slab that is followed to the bivvy ledge. Walk a few meters left to a split block below a break in the low overhang. (Maybe 27+ for onsight);
Pitch 7 20m 19: Pull through the low overhang onto the white face and head straight up to the left side of a small roof in the middle of the face. Pull through and step right to above the roof and tend right for two or three metres. Continue up through at a break and then left to stance below a large corner (taken by Africa Amphitheatre);
Pitch 8 30m 20: Climb over some blocks to the white face that forms the left side of the huge corner. Head straight up the middle of the face. Crank off the 4 or 5 horizontal ripples then run it out until the rail. The holds are positive but don’t fall off - that landing would be bad. At the roof move left to the break through the roof on the left side, then up the ramp to the left and easy face to the ledge;
Pitch 9 20m 15: Climb the juggy wall on the left to the top.
Descent: Cable car or India Venster walk.
Notes: Double rack of cams, full set of wires including micros and 50m ropes are recommended. The crux pitch could be done with a single point of aid at about 23 A1. A free link-up at grade 22 would be to skip the crux pitch by moving from Pitch 5 into the top part of Kape Moss pitch 3 until the Bivvy Ledge.
First ascent: Richard Halsey and Hilton Davies, 25 November 2018 (Anthony Hall on first two pitches in 2016)
The Africa Amphitheatre Full Direct Routes
Horn of Africa (green), Roof of Africa (red), Africa Safari (blue), Africa Amphitheatre (yellow),