Africa Ledge

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COCK and Bull Buttress

This area is below and just left of Arrow Final (facing the mountain) . From the Tea Cave, walk back a short way along the path toward India Venster and you will find the buttress on the left.

Routes on the SW face
Routes on East face

Matador 25

Start just left of Crank and Pull. Climb the easy crack to the break. Using an undercling in the roof crank onto the steep face and slightly left to a rail. Continue up a steep layback to a wide rail and then fight straight up over the narrow roof onto the smooth face above.

FA: Richard Halsey, 16/02/2012

Local Legend 24

A hard and bouldery route that is serious to lead. It is named in honour of local legend David Davies.


The route is found on Africa Ledge, Table Mountain, and cuts through the zig-zags of Atlantic Crag. A couple of metres to the right of the Oddshouter’s Outing tea cave is the Ruminating Crag chimney. Immediately beyond the chimney is a pillar with an ugly brown crack and wall to its right. Local Legend commences a couple of metres further right in the centre of the white wall. Africa Link-Up starts in the same place and goes off to the right.

Pitch 1 30m 19:

Step off the large sloping block onto the centre of the left-facing wall. Ascend the face in the centre (tricky lead). At 15m reach a ledge then directly above ascend the right-facing wall finishing up its left edge to reach Upper Africa Ledge. Cross the ledge and scramble up 3m to stance on a big ledge one level below the overhanging white wall.

Pitch 2 12m 24:

Scramble up on the right to get to the overhanging recess. At this point the Atlantic Crag fourth pitch crack is 3m to the right. To the left is a massive undercut white wall. Ascend the recess trending rightwards, making use of the highest wired nut protection available. Turn the overhanging wall and with difficulty ascend the easier angled rock face above your last protection (crux). Head directly up easy ground to stance on the large ledge. This pitch is a serious lead.

Pitch 3 12m 22:

The face to the right is wildly undercut to start. Step up onto the microwave oven-sized block and clip the old piton. This pitch is an aid pitch on Little Jack Horner and the peg was placed in 1980. Stretch up to reach an edge with the left hand and a flat prong with the right. Crank hard to get up and ascend the difficult face towards the right. On easy ground head up and left and then right to a big ledge. This pitch is a serious lead.

Pitch 4 12m 18:

Head up broken ground to arrive at the big overhang above to the right of the hanging block. Rail out left on the block and then head up a crack to the ledge above. Walk rightwards to the end of the ledge.

Pitch 5 12m 20:

From the stance traverse to the right with hands at the level of the overhang to a bottomless recess. Pull into this recess. So far this is the famous crux of the classic Atlantic Crag. Now rail out wildly to the right to the dark and forbidding bottomless recess. Ascend this for 5m to a ledge. Continue up the steep wall ahead for another 4m to another blocky ledge and stance at the big detached flake.


To abseil off the Africa Corner bolted anchors scramble up easy ground to the left for 25m. To finish at the cableway station scramble up to the right.

First ascent:

Hilton Davies, Neels Havenga and Andy Davies on 26 January 2011.

Arms Race Direct 25

Skips the grade 18 scramble to the start of the real first pitch and instead extends the crux pitch by adding a hard, direct start. Below and slightly right of the grade 23 crux pitch is a leftward-trending, thin layback crack starting just above a small roof split by a vertical crack. Start 5m below this roof.

Pitch 1 20m 25:

Scramble up to the roof. Place a bomber wire just around the lip and some small gear a bit higher, then pull through and into the layback crack. Continue up and into the overhanging groove that forms the crux pitch of the original route.

Pitches 2 and 3:

Next two pitches the same as for the original Arms Race.

First ascent:

Douw Steyn and Willem le Roux, December 2010

Flaky Dog 21

Flaky Dog 21

Despite the lichen that plasters the second pitch of the climb, this route has the potential to become a classic if it is “climbed into condition”. It is a moderate 2 pitch route that involves classic sustained TM climbing on steep rock, with excellent protection.

Start: The route starts just to the right of the Africa Gullet crack on the upper Africa ledge.

Pitch 1 25m 21:

Climb the face just to the right of Gullet’s crack to a cruxy section. (One can cheat by straddling across Gullet’s crack). Pass this to a good rail. Rail right to steep juggy rock that leads you to a stance. Belay off the abseil bolts.

Pitch 2 30m 21:

Climb the “staggered crack” that diagonals up to the left to a grassy stance. Don’t stop here but rail easily left above Odd Shouters crux and then up to a stance. Continue wandering easily to the top back to the abseil anchors.

First ascent: C Edelstein February 2007

Mad Dog 22

“Mad Dog” is a direct variation of the Africa Lunch second pitch. It is easier as it avoids the pumpy lie back at the top of Lunch but has its moments particularly for the “on-sight” lead.

Mad Dog 30m 22:

30m 22: Climb the overhanging lie back crack of the start of the second pitch of Africa Lunch. At the second peg continue straight up past the next rail to where Africa lunch moves right. Continue straight up using some mentally challenging flakes into the easy groove that leads directly to the fixed peg and nut abseil point.

First Ascent 16 February 2007: Charles Edelstein and Robert Breyer.

Prowling 26

A long, steep prow near the last pitches of Right Face and clearly visible from Tafelberg Rd near the Platteklip Gorge parking.

Prowling (26)

Access: From the upper cable station, walk towards Platteklip Gorge, passing two viewing areas with railings. Continue past the next lookout with a stone wall to the following lookout. From here scramble down to the top of the Africa Ampitheatre cliffs, and walk right (East) for about 50m on a ledge until you get to a drop-off above a gulley. There is an abseil point in situ overlooking the gulley, and a 40m abseil brings you to a ledge (abseiling directly above the prow will leave you hanging in space). Bring some screwgates and two 120cm slings to extend the anchor over edge so rope pulls easily. Walk about 10m back in the direction of the cable station to the base of the route.

Route: 40m. Start under a short vertical crack and move up to a hand rail. Traverse a few meters left until you can pull up to a platform and walk left to below the prow. Use the crack and sidepulls to gain a good rail. Pull up about 1m to a horizontal slot (medium cam), where you move left across the arete, and continue up on the left to the next ledge. Step right and ascend up and slightly right to a good sidepull in the steep, grey scoop. Some hard moves straight up lead to a thin rail below a small roof. Use a sloper above the roof to move left and strenuously up to good holds. Up easily to the left of the diving board (wobbles). Finish out right over the void using a good rail and side pulls.
Consensus grading needed.

FA: R. Halsey, J.Smith & D. Steyn 9/03/2012

FFA: R. Halsey & J. Möhle, 11/03/2012