Nursery Ravine

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Nursery Gambols

Getting There

From the city, take De Waal Drive (M3) in the direction of Muizenberg, at the first traffic light intersection turn right (southwards) into Rhodes Drive (M63) and follow the signs to Kirstenbosch.


Nursery Gambles

Leave the Nursery Ravine path about 100m from the top. There is a faint path through the thick fern overgrowth leading to the rock face on the right, about 25m long. Move up along the foot of the rock, through a clump of trees to a recess, which after 7 meters changes into a long, narrow overhang. This overhang stretches some 20 meters across the bottom section of the buttress. The recess is directly under the left-hand end of the 20m overhang.

1. 21m ‘13’: Climb 5m up the recess, then traverse 15m to the right under the overhang to a widening ledge. Traverse another 2m to the right to set up the stance below the obvious right-angled recess. Crux is the wet mossy beginning of the traverse. A large yellow or blue camalot protects a step-over at the end of traverse.
2. 10m ‘9’: Climb a right-angled recess which ends in a crack with a chockstone in it.
3. 11m ‘13’: Climb up into the recess, continue to a small ledge, then traverse around to the left into a deep chimney.
4. 7m ‘9’: Climb a chimney to a ledge under a big overhang. Walk 7m to the left to a notch in the overhangs with a dassie-ledge (a dassie is a small animal) immediately under it.
Editors note: we could not find pitches 3. and 4. so we did P3 of Buccanneer (20). For this we started in a right-facing corner 10 m to the right of P2. This pitch is just to the to the left of the big tree and follows a corner about 20m up to another very large ledge. The pitch has a bottomless start, and a tricky move or two higher up as well. Gear placement is a bit tricky. For confident 20 leaders only. 5. 10m ‘16’: Move 5m to the left. Climb into the right-facing corner, using the crack system. Start is the crux, reach high for good hand holds to pull through. Feet are the challenge here. Good gear protects the crux move (cam or hex in the "notch"). Continue on easier terrain up the recess to a stance.
6. 7m ‘9’: Climb a chimney, passing to the left of a projecting flake/block. There is a stance in the cave.
[This is not a grade 9 chimney. More like 12. We linked pitches 5. and 6.]. 7. 13m ‘14’: Climb up into the crack, then move out right underneath and along it to round the overhang. Climb the right-hand one of two recesses above the exit to the crack. This pitch is extremely exposed, takes good gear, but is not for the faint at heart. The airy traverse is probably the reason that this whole climb exists to begin with. Think of the first ascentionists that probably opened this thing ground-up in an era before cams were invented.

Descent: Walk of to the left to the top of Nursery Ravine.
Heni Snijders & Marie Kotze 28/01/1967


Nursery Buttress from Kirstenbosch


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