Lion's Head

From South Africa Rock Climbing Routes Wiki
Share/Save/Bookmark
Revision as of 22:58, 8 November 2010 by Q20 (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

General info

There are two crags on Lion's Head, one is Granite and the other is Sandstone. The sandstone climbing is on the concentric rings of rock at the top of the mountain (the Lion's Head part), while the granite climbing is on the huge Huguenot Slab, a short distance above the houses of Fresnaye/Bantry Bay and facing the sea and Robben Island.

There are some single pitch sport routes on the granite, but mostly they are multi-pitch trad routes. Climbing on the sandstone is all trad, with a mix of single pitch and multi-pitch routes, depending on the bands, ledges, vegetation and rock quality. The walk-in to the granite is about 15 minutes and to the sandstone about 25 minutes.

Guide book

A Climber's Guide to Lion's Head, David Mercer, 2008.


Getting there

Drive up Kloof Nek Road from Cape Town centre. At the intersection at the top where you can turn left to Table Mountain or continue down to Camp's Bay, take a right turn onto the Lion's Head/Signal Hill Road. Drive up the steep road. After about a kilometre the road flattens and you come to the first big parking area that also has a wooden guard house. This is the parking area if you want to climb on the sandstone crags. You will notice a steep dirt track with a boom heading up the mountain. This is it.

To get to the Granite continue driving along the road until you come up the small Muslim Kramat. This is a little white building with a domed roof. Park in this area. From this spot walk towards the Atlantic Ocean then turn left so you're walking towards Lion's Head but heading a little seawards (south-west). You will be on a good path, when you walk past the wood and concrete bench, look to the right for a small path which traverses across (aim for the Bluegum trees) to reach the Granite.

Food and accommodation

Nothing there mate.

Notes

Note that some of the sport routes on the granite require a 60 meter rope, always put a knot in the end of the rope). A visiting Scottish climber lost his life due to this aspect. There are both sport and trad routes at the granite. The really good routes are trad.


Lion's Head Granite

Getting there

Drive up Kloof Nek Road from Cape Town centre. At the intersection at the top where you can turn left to Table Mountain or continue down to Camps Bay, take a right turn onto the Lion's Head/Signal Hill Road. Drive up the steep road. After about a kilometre the road flattens and you come to the first big parking area that also has a wooden guard house.

To get to the Granite continue driving along the road for another kilometre or so until you come up the small Muslim Kramat. This is a little white building with a domed roof. Park in this area. From this spot walk towards the Atlantic Ocean then turn left so you're walking towards Lion's Head but heading a little seawards. You will be on a good path. When you walk past the wood and concrete bench, look to the right for a small path which traverses across (aim for the Bluegum trees) to reach the Granite. The walk-in takes about 15 minutes.

Notes

Some of the sport routes on the granite require a 60 metre rope. Always put a knot in the end of the rope; a visiting Scottish climber died because he failed to do this. There are both sport and trad routes at the granite. The really good routes are trad.

Routes

Popular routes:

  • Silhouette Crack /14 Natural
  • Millions /19 Natural
  • Heart of Darkness /23 Natural
  • Huguenot Crag /18 Natural
  • Tea Trolley Crack /17 Natural
  • Scratch /17 Natural
  • De Bruin Damage /19 Natural
  • Teatime is Over 7a/24 1B
  • Heart of Darkness 6c/23 7B
  • Free at Last 6c+/24 7B
  • Jono Fisher's Project 5+/18 8B
  • Return of the Edi 6c/23 8B

New routes

  • Raincheck 15 R/X (N)

Climb the face exactly between the hand crack of Huguenot Wall and the thin crack of the Huguenot Wall variation, directly to the bolted stance. (I am sure this pitch has probably been top-roped from the anchor before but not recorded as a 'lead' route that I am aware of.) Listed for sake of completion, there is no pro.
FA: R.Halsey (solo) Aug 2010

  • Itch Factor 19R (N)

The blunt arete between Tea-Trolley Crack and Daylight Robbery.
Start in the gulley near a small tree and scramble up over blocks. Follow a short right-tending crack that ends in a bulge. Delicately balance left and up into the next crack, which leads up to a large flake. Continue straight up arete and easy runout to stance on small platform (medium cams). Scramble to top.
FA: R.Halsey 4/10/2010

  • White Knuckle Wafer 19R (N)

Start a few meters right of Knuckleduster. Scramble up and delicately climb the right side of the fragile flake to an undercling. Traverse ~1m left (psychological micro nuts possible) and then straight up face to top. A fall just before topping out would be very serious.
FA: R.Halsey 13/10/2010

Lion's Head Sandstone

The sandstone climbing is on the concentric rings of rock at the top of the mountain (the Lion's Head part).

Climbing on the sandstone is all trad, with a mix of single pitch and multi-pitch routes, depending on the bands, ledges, vegetation and rock quality. The walk-in is about 25 minutes.

Getting there

Drive up Kloof Nek Road from Cape Town centre. At the intersection at the top where you can turn left to Table Mountain or continue down to Camps Bay. Take a right turn onto the Lion's Head/Signal Hill Road. Drive up the steep road. After about a kilometre the road flattens and you come to the first big parking area that also has a wooden guard house. This is the parking area. You will notice a steep dirt track with a boom heading up the mountain. This is your path.

New Routes

Clifton Sector

Mane Course 25? (N)

Single pitch located on the Gendarme level vegetated band, near the start of Cat's Pyjamas.
Start up a short crack and then a short face to first roof - pull through (tricky) to a rest below the second roof. Hard moves at the lip lead leftward to a rail and then up to a small ledge with a bush. Up easily to big ledge. Either walk off to the right, abeil from tree 5m to the left or continue up Juggernaut.
Concensus grading needed.

FA: R. Halsey 05/11/10

MainCourse.jpg
Mane Course 25? (N)

Power Struggle Area

An area on the lowest and largest band on upper Lion's Head facing Table Mountain. At the Camps Bay end is the large Wally's Cave. Most easily approached by taking the standard route up the mountain to the first chains at the large pines. Then take the signposted Recommended Route towards Camps Bay. Ten metres before reaching the crest overlooking Camps Bay head downslope to the top of the face and abseil down 20 metres.

POWER STRUGGLE (23)

20m Natural - This interesting and quite hard route ascends the face directly below the only prominent overhanging prow, clipping two pitons en route. Move directly up and through two sets of overhangs on strenuous and gymnastic moves using large cams for protection. End at a nice platform. FA: Hilton Davies, 8 February 2008

COLD WAR (16)

20m Natural - This unremarkable route lies a few metres to the left of Power Struggle. Ascend the broken recess to the left of the prominent overhanging prow. Towards the top a slightly harder variation to the right ascends a clean and steep corner. Finish at the Power Struggle platform. FA: Alan Ross & Hilton Davies, 5 February 2008. Variation by David Mercer, 8 February 2008.

KALASHNIKOV (18)

20m Natural - This good route lies five metres to the right of Power Struggle and forms a straight line on the side of the prominent overhanging nose. With a tricky start through a small overhang ascend the face directly below the right side of the prominent overhanging prow. Halfway up step left onto the prow and ascend the shallow recess clipping two pitons on the steep top section to finish at the Power Struggle platform. FA: Alan Ross & Hilton Davies, 5 February 2008

POWER STRUGGLE-POLITICAL SOLUTION AREA

POLITICAL SOLUTION (16)

20m Natural [Photo 5] - This route lies about midway between Power Struggle and the large pines at the first hiking path chains. It is easily observed from the car park as it is the crack between the appealing orange face to its left and a black face to its right. This nondescript route has one redeeming feature - it gives a great close up view of the orange face that offers a hard climber an excellent line (This line was opened by Phlip Olivier, 2010/07/03 - Ayoba [22]). The route has a committing lead as the first gear is about 10 metres up. Ascend the open book formed by the orange and black faces into an incomplete crack. Move directly up to a tricky finish onto the ledge above. Belay from the large boulders. FA: Karl Hayden, Lawrence 'Batch' Batchelor, David Mercer & Hilton Davies, 8 February 2008

AYOBA (22)

20m Natural [Photo 4] - Starts as per POLITICAL SOLUTION. After 5m break diagonally left over the blank face to the far left rails. Follow the thin crack to the top. FA: Phlip Olivier, 2010/07/03

FEATHERED DELIGHT (16)

20m Natural [Photo 3] - {Detailed Description to Follow} FA: Johann Papendorf, 2010/07/03

{Name to follow} (15)

20m Natural [Photo 2] - {Detailed Description to Follow} FA: Phlip Olivier, 2010/07/03

WINDY BLOCK (14)

20m Natural [Photo 1] - 10m Right of Kalashnikov. {Detailed Description to Follow} FA: Johann Papendorf, 2010/07/03

Geo-Cache Sector

JOHNNY CACHE (22/23)

Directly inbetween Folsom Prison Blues and Pounce. Start up the undercut face on thin rails and head up directly to the large roof. Proceed through the roof for about 2m using the thin vertical finger crack in it. Cut loose and head up the splitter crack directly above. Continue up faces to the top. FA: Hilton Davies, 11 February 2009

JOHNNY CACHE WIMP-OUT (18)

As for Johnny Cache but bypass the roof to the right, rejoining directly above. FA: Steve Pinfield & Hilton Davies, 11 February 2009

FELIX (19)

A few metres right of Kitty-Cat is a fairly big coffin roof a few metres off the ground. The route heads up and through this roof then up slabs and faces to the top. FA: Steve Pinfield & Hilton Davies, 11 February 2009

SCRATCH POLE (15)

Immediately to the right of Felix is an obvious recess. The route proceeds directly up this fault to the top. FA: Steve Pinfield & Hilton Davies, 11 February 2009