This is the single pitch crag that runs left from Hout Bay Corner. The routes are the sneaky type that look short and simple until you get on them, and realise they actually climb better (and longer) than you might expect.
The info on the wiki is not complete, but gives an overview of what is there until the first ascensionists add the remaining routes
Great winter crag, or morning summer crag as the sun does come around lunch time. Excellent crag in the South Easter. If you're looking for a new Facebook Profile Picture we recommend Deep Blue.
Until we settle on the names of the various walls the area is broken up as following: there are 3 tiers, with the main path taking you to the middle tier:
The bottom tier offers the fewest number of routes, but some of the best climbing and is a great place to remember when the cloud is hanging low over the mountains.
Middle Tier offers the largest quantity of single pitch routes in a wide range of grades and styles. unfortunately the wall isn't uniformly good, and many of the routes are excellent for the bottom 3/4, but often the last 5m climbs over messy rock- typically Lychenous.
Top Tier is really an extension of Bee Buttress herself, but approached a different way. She offers 1-4 pitch lines in excellent quality. So much potential here!
- 1 Top Tier
- 2 Middle Tier
- 2.1 Mesopotamia Wall
- 2.2 Lourie's Nest
- 2.3 19 Corner crack area
- 2.4 Deep Blue Wall
- 2.5 Right of Deep Blue
There is a loose path up the obvious break at the end of Sea Buttress which leads to a small band of climbable rock. Some routes start above this band on the main level above, to approach this walk right at the head of the descent gully and scramble around to less steep ground. The scrambling isn't over here as you zig-zag your way to the base of the wall thru a second level of rock. Looks cool thou right?!
At the top of the cliff, between the finish of BG and PGA, find a fixed abseil point. Abseil to a mid rap point near the same height as the top of the second pitch of PGA (long piece rope around a large feature). This second rap will take you to the top of the Approach Gully, and make you appreciate how steep the wall is.
Breeding Ground (21) ****
Great, sustained route with a fantastically exposed 3rd pitch that requires a confident leader.
1. 20m (17) Start as for Home Ground Advantage, but head slightly left up the face to large boulder on next ledge. Go up the vague arete a few meters right of the yellow face. At the big ledge, move 2m right to belay below white rock, at wobbly boulder (which is on the left side of the ledge below the brown wall to the right).
2. 20m (19) From the block, head up the light gray rock for about 3m to gain a ledge, then step left to a vague recess. Follow this straight up to a square ledge under the roof at the base of the arête.
3. 20m (21) A great pitch. Exposed and pumpy. Move left and pull through a bulge, traverse back right to the airy arête. Head straight up and at a finger rail, move right to gain a vague groove, which leads to the next ledge.
4. 30m (19) Just left of the belay spot, there is a thin crack forming a flake about 2m up. Use this to gain a rail. Step right and up using a good pocket. From the ledge, head up and right to gain a wide corner. Follow this diagonally left to a small platform. Now continue up and slightly right until the top.
FA W. Gans and R. Halsey, Aug 2016
Home Ground Advantage
Play Ground Advantage (22) ***
A fun line taking some rad features between comfortable stances. The line is pumpy and like all lines on the wall enjoys great views and exposure. The opening party scrambled up the gully and then to the right before walking left to the start, however one could add another pitch below.
Pitch 1. 28m 18 About 3m right of the microwave sized wobbly block that is the start of the second pitch of Breeding Ground is a vague open book with a rather thin looking start. Take this until a shelf about 5m up, then head gently left over excellent rock for several meters, then vertically to the left side of a proud pillar which terminates 2.5m below a small roof. Take the left side of a a hanging buttress beneath a roof, then traverse right over the buttress to a stance just over the lip.
Pitch 2. 20m 21 Head up the right of two open books directly above the stance. Negotiate the overlap and cracks above on pumpy face climbing to exit on a comfortable ledge. P2 and P3 could easily be combined.
Pitch 3 8m 16 Walk about 4m right to take an obvious crack to the ledge. Have fun on the See-Saw, you'll need it!
Pitch 4 18m 22 Yes, that crack through the roof you saw from the path- the one the two of you have been fighting over. Actually its more of a thick flake in the roof, and while it does make some noise when to tap it the thing is solid. But first start on the left end of the See-saw at a break with a pocket under a small corner of rock, then keep going up the face until the roof. About 2m after you pull through the roof take the series of parallel cracks heading slightly left to a block protrusion, then up to the top. Excellent pitch to finish you off!
FA: W. Gans and R. Halsey 18/9/2016
New Ground Breaking Route (22) ****
Another fine line, this time with three very different pitches, however plenty of air and arete.
Start: Right of the large platform on which PGA starts ( and the start of the second pitch of HGA) is a stand of tall bushes which marks the base of a beautiful, but slightly intimidating wall. The first pitch starts about 3m right of the platform, maybe 2m left of a very vague buttress.
1. 30m (21) A committing and sustained starting sequence. head to a thin rail (at time of opening had grass on the left end), then up to an open pocket maybe a bit larger than a fist. Above the pockets is an obvious rail, then onto the much larger ledge above. Step right 2m, then pretty much straight for a while on big holds to a stance underneath an overhang, on top of a bit of a tower.
2. 25m (19/20) From the stance climb diagonally left to an obvious protrusion that marks the base of the arete. Join HGA for maybe 3m until the crack left of it emerges, then follow this until a right facing lay-back crack takes you to a good ledge capped by a rounded, featured crack. Confidently follow this to the Sea-saw ledge for a stance. Best use the large thread thru for a stance
3. 30m (22). Immediately left and above the large thread thru is a thin vertical crack (facing left). Follow this and exit right, then up to a dodgy looking/sounding/feeling but obvious laptop sized flake left of the arete. Continue onto the arete, then up it to the base of the right tending overhang above. Take the right side of the arete to a left tending break to gain the arete, then straight onto a vertical crack on the face and continue up to the top.
FA W Gans and R Halsey, Feb 2017
Breeding Ground - red, Play Ground Advantage - yellow, NGBR - white
Sections are arranged left to right looking at the cliffs, and routes are also left to right per section.
This slab looking wall lies between an arete to its right and a prominent open book to the left and offers some fun easier routes.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea 16 **
The open book on the left of the wall. Cross to the left side of the open book and top out at the top of the crag. FA: W. Gans and Y. Cloete Oct 2016
Tigris (21) and Euphrates (19)***
Take the crack thru the stripes! Starts about 3m left of the right end of the crag. Like the real thing Euphrates and Tigris share a few moves at the bottom, however unlike those Mesopotamian rivers the Tigris takes the left line (those stripes needed to be stroked), while the Euphrates dances up the Arette before merging again with the Tigris to wonder right, past a tree (a shame its not a Date palm really) to a prominent ledge.
FA: W.Gans ( Tigris) and L. Eberhard (Euphrates) winter 2016.
This wall has a blank looking roof about a third the way up it, marked with a lourie silhouette feature in the middle.
Descent: There is a large boulder above Bird in the Hand with abseil tat.
Blue Devil (23) ***
Start at the left end of the Loerie Cave.
From some large square boulders, pull on the short face perpendicular to main wall. Traverse left under roof and pull on wall above. Step right and up to the next blocky roof. Head up and left to an exposed and undercut recess. Pull into this (crux) and up the good rail above. Continue up and tend right across the face above, moving right under some grass and up to a ledge. Find a good stance with a rap point.
FA: R. Halsey (Sept 2016)
The Pelican Eel (24)***
Start: On the furthest right boulder at the left end of the Loerie cave.
Pull up into the corner and move left onto a grey nose. Pull up right to some pockets and then left to follow a hairline crack to the right-facing, hanging corner above. Pull around left and up to the roof. Crank through and over on great holds to the face above. Head up and slightly left to join the last moves of Blue Devil. Abseil from touch point.
An easier version could take a line starting about about 2.5m right and running parrell up to the roof, traverse left and finish the same.
FA R. Halsey & W. Gans Oct 2016
Bird in the Hand (26) ***
Rad line thru horizontal ground. Start under the right end of an obvious step-thru overhang. Negotiate this, then head slightly left to an obvious cream block at the base of the imposing roof. Gain the Lourie silhouette before hatching out to the lip of the cave, then (after preening) follow the buttress above until it terminates maybe 7m short of the top of the crag. Don't be tempted by the open book to your right as there are things in there best left alone!
FA: W Gans, October 2016
Blue Devil - black, Pelican Eel, yellow.
Octopus Orgy (20)**
Start left of [route up orange face] at short gray face. Pull up to a rail and then continue up the centre of the blunt prow. Continue up a left facing corner and at the top step right and then straight up the face to the top.
FA: R. Halsey & W. Gans (Sept 2016)
19 Corner crack area
Kingklip buffet (24) ****
Left of the Ironborn corner, Kingklip Buffet follows the short arête to the steep crack system in the centre of the overhanging face.
From the large boulder, pull up into the crack in the centre of the face and move right to the short, undercut arête. Continue up to the first roof and follow the vertical cracks through overlaps to a bottomless corner. Hard moves out right lead to the backrest of the ‘Throne’. Continue straight up to a wide horizontal rail and then up to a fin on the right. Pull back left to exit onto a ledge left of the bushes, continue up to next ledge where there is a rap point.
FA R. Halsey & S. Cunnane (Oct 2016)
Start about 10m left of the '19 corner crack' Climb the recess, and swing left into some wild roofs. Continue up to the triangle-cut overhang, and turn it on the right.
FA: Anthony Hall and Marian. Penso (2016)
The Dusk Whales (22)***
Start about 5m left of the 19 corner crack. Follow the vague arete to reach a wide vertical crack. Follow this to the crack leading through the roof. Continue up the short corner above to the vegetated ledge. Move right to a rap anchor (wire and touch point)
FA: R. Halsey & W. Gans (2016)
Southern Rights (22)***
Start about 3m left of the '19 corner crack'. Head straight up the centre of the face to a mini arete projecting from the wall. Follow the left side of this to a wide rail. Pull over a shield type feature and up to a point where you can traverse left to finish up 'The Dusk Whales'.
FA: R. Halsey & S. Cunnane (Sept 2016)
19 Corner Crack (19) ****
The big obvious right facing crack. Been open for ages! What a keeper! follow the enormous open book at the right end of the Ampitheatre to a break at the base of steeper ground. Step right and charge forth through the chandelier of rock to a small facy finish. Find a tatted touchstone for a sweet descent. To come to this crag and not climbing this route would be a shame.
FA Unknown, but long time ago. Anyone know the name?
Kingklip buffet - blue, Ironborn - white, The Dusk Whales - yellow, Southern Rights - red
Devonian Stonefish (25/26)****
Takes the steep arete at the right end of the wall to the right of the 19 crack.
Take a crack below the arete, and follow this directly into the arete via some powerful moves. Key cams under a small, square overlap protect the crux top section of the arete. Move left to under the roof, and pull through where the crack in the roof meets the short face above. Continue easily up and right to a ledge. Stance here or continue up to the tat anchor ~7m higher. Consensus grading needed. Would be very hard onsight.
FA: R.Halsey (Sept 2016)
Right Open Book (18)***
A surprisingly tricky route, but well worth your time. FA Unknown
Bottle Knows (18)***
Start 3m left of where the roof above the tea cave ends. Pull onto the wall at a broken crack that splits the face above. Head straight up and right keeping between the two large, vague cracks. At a roof (about 15m up), climb the wide crack on its left. At the next ledge continue up over the next roof where a projecting block hangs under the roof. Continue easily up and left ~7m to reach a tat anchor at a touch point.
R. Halsey & S. Cunnane ( Sept 2016)
Devonian Stonefish - red, Right Open Book - white, Bottle Knows - yellow
Deep Blue Wall
The best looking wall of the middle Tier, especially at sunset! a set of fine lines will keep you entertained with interesting starts and beautiful scenery.
Descent: There is tat at the top of Deep Blue, however you can walk off the top by a vague path heading towards Hout Bay.
Sea Fever (23)
Start in the bottomless right facing open book, then run up the face- don't get sucked into either of them- even when you really really want to! The line keeps prety much straight and ends as the head wall tends left.
FA: S. Cunnane 2016
Sunset Straight Jacket (19) ***
Takes the next, wide bottomless crack to the left of Shore Break, after the roof, and continues up this moving slightly left. Where the crack becomes wide and bushy, tend rightwards onto the wall to take the obvious breaks on cleaner rock to the top.
FA: Johann Lanz & Marian Penso 2016
Shore Break (22) ****
Takes the crack a metre or two left of Deep Blue and goes straight up, parallel with that route.
FA: Johann Lanz 2016
Deep Blue (22) ****
Takes the obvious crack about 5m left of the arete, then climbs almost on the arete through the second roof. Bring a cameraman for an amazing profile Pic!
FA Johann Lanz 2015
Right of Deep Blue
There are a number of short routes in this area, some of which have clearly been done in years gone by (tat found on trees etc)
Little Fish in Boat (19)**
Start up the wide crack feature, but at a good horizontal pocket, head up and right on white rock. Continue up, passing a ledge (which is on your right) until a ledge system is reached. Belay here and then rope traverse left to abseil from the big tree above the wall on the left wall of the wide corner.
FA: R. Halsey & W. Gans (Sept 2016)
Richard Halsey on the FA of Devonian Stonefish (25/26). Photo by Tony Lourens