No More Bells

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No More Bells Castle Chess Piece

Approach Walk up to Yellowwood Amphitheatre then do a rising traverse to the right to reach the skyline. Ascend a little way up the ridge of Smalblaar then descend to the path on the other side. Walk past the grassy sleeping cave and ascend to the huge descent gully to reach the huge chockstone obstruction. Traverse 40m out to the right until at the turn of the ridge coming down from the Castle Chess Piece immediately right of the descent gully. The rock on the buttress is as good as Table Mountain or the Cederberg. The face is 200m high and is definitely worth the three hour walk. The start is marked by a beacon.


  • 45m 15: Climb up from the beacon for 3m then move right up the corner for 2m. Move right onto the white face with the big Cape jugs to a big ledge.
  • 45m 19: Walk 10m to the left to a beacon. Climb up the obvious crack to the left of a left-facing recess. Halfway up the crack runs out. Then climb the grey face on small holds; this looks blank from below but goes on good, small holds to a ledge.
  • 25m 19: Move to the right then up a crack to the top. Step around the corner to a ledge below the overhang.
  • 45m 19: Climb up to the base of the roof then move left on flakes to a break through the roof. Once over the roof climb out right to the edge of the buttress. Climb up a thin orange crack to a small stance.
  • 45m 19: Climb the crack to a jam crack then through a small roof and up a further series of cracks to the top.

First Ascent: David Davies and Alan Ross, March 1992.

New final pitch

  • 25m 20: The route previously ended on the prominent walk-off ledge. A new pitch was added to finish at the summit. This pitch heads up the white face using the slightly overhanging recess with a razor sharp vertical flake. At the first overlap head up left and then with balancy moves head out left to the break in the big roof above. Tricky and serious.

First Ascent: Hilton Davies, Bruce Daniel and Neil Havenga, November 2009.

Descent Make your way carefully southward down rock ribs and slabs to the head of the gully on the left of this Chess piece. Descend the gully, abseiling over the huge chockstones (rap-slings in place) where necessary to arrive back at the base of the route.