- 1 Logistics
- 2 Ethics
- 3 New Routes
- 3.1 Main Wall
- 3.2 Black Ice Area
- 3.3 Big Groove Sector
- 3.4 Spout
- 3.5 Pillar Box
- 3.6 Apathy Wall
The best information is in the Tafelberg & Spout guide book by Tony Lourens, available from most climbing shops.
Just about the best trad climbing around!
Tafelberg is a pure trad area. No bolting is allowed at all.
There is an existing bolt and chain at the top of the ascent/descent gulley and (to my knowledge) only one old route (Oscillation) that has an ancient, hand drilled, small bolt. This in no way means that any more bolts may be placed. There are also a few old pitons scattered around but even this is seldom necessary. Modern removable gear allows virtually all climbable parts of Tafelberg to be adequately protected.
Amarula (23) ****
Takes some golden bulges and a wild roof just right of ‘Ice Tea’. Scramble up one level and find a beach/cave with a diving board (cairn) that offers footing to an undercut start. (Level with the first stance of Ice Tea)
- Pitch 1. 25m 19 Step off the diving board onto the wall, up to the roof, traverse right to the thinnest part of the roof, and then continue up to the following ledge. Stance 3m left
- Pitch 2. 30m 23 An undercut start off of two big horns (big pull) Continue slightly right past some rails to the golden bulges, and hand-jam up the right-most crack. Continue up finger cracks on the right to find a long crimp, and use either an undercling above and/or a finger pocket on the left to exit the crux. Continue up for another 10m.
- Pitch 3 25m 21 Aim for the obvious 3m roof with an apparently off-width break. Jam inside the crack, stretch for jugs on the left lip, and make a mind-bending cutloose to finish on easy territory. Stance 5 – 10m above the lip.
- Pitch 4. 50m 18 Straight, and follow the most appealing line to the top.
Make Tea Not War (20) ***
Main Wall, Tafelberg
A line between Mothers and Cosy Corner. The rock quality for the first 10m is not great, but then improves greatly. The second and third pitches are excellent.
- Pitch 1. 25 m (17) Start 1m left of Cosy Corner and head straight up and past a vertical crack in the steep section about 20m up. Tend slightly left, passing one ledge, to a stance on the second ledge in a wide corner.
- Pitch 2. 45 m (20) Climb the largest layback crack in the wide corner to some large horizontal breaks, Move slightly right and up to below a steep crack and pocketed face on good quality brown rock. Pull through the bulge and straight up the face for about 15m to a rail below a slight overhang. Swing round 2m to the right and then straight up featured groove/face to a flat platform just below the large rocky ledge. Belay here, and then scramble up right to below the right hand wall of the huge corner.
- Pitch 3. 15 m (17) The Power Hog pitch. Start up a vague layback and make a rising traverse across the compact white face (with wide vertical cracks) and under a projecting nose to a neat stance capped by a small roof on the left.
- Pitch 4. 30 m (18) Pass the right side of the small roof, and up a few meters to a finger rail, below a very narrow overhang. Traverse left about 2m and then straight up to the top.
FA: Richard Halsey, Anthony Hall and Jonathan Hajos (April 2011)
Danger Shrew (24) ****
Main Wall, Tafelberg
Finds a break through the big roofs above the walk-in ledge between Maidens Prayer and Bat. About 20m right of the start of Lost Chord is a set of rails heading up and right above the roof. This is the first pitch.
- Pitch 1. 15 m (24) Start where you can easily reach the first rail. Move right towards a small prong underneath the first roof. Use this to reach through to a good, sloping hold around the lip. Place a small wire on the right and then, with the aid of a couple of diagonal edges slightly higher up, pull through to the next rail. Hard and committing. Traverse right and up until able to get onto a small ledge. Stance on the right end of the ledge by a small, orange open book capped by a roof.
- Pitch 2. 55 m (21) Head rightwards up the book/arete then a bit left to a grey chimney. Above the chimney head up and slightly right again to a rail which is followed for a few metres right until one can pull up into a wide recess. Climb the recess and pull through the roof above using a layback crack. This move can be bypassed more easily 1m to the left. Head easily straight up to the large ledge below the massive open book.
- Pitch 3. 25 m (19) In the corner of the open book, behind a massive block, is the easy layback crack of Maiden Voyage. Start up this crack then move diagonally left into the parallel crack. Up this then exit left below some blocks. Stance below the large, prominent, white open book capped by a triangular roof.
- Pitch 4. 30 m (21) Pull up into the crack in the corner of the open book then move 3m right into a crack system that passes the roof on the right. Head up this system past the roof then easily straight up to the top. A superb pitch.
FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (March 2011)
Dithering Heights (25) *****
Main Wall, Tafelberg
Starts about 10m right of Bat off a rectangular black block below a leftward pointing prong and short corner/crack. The route heads straight up through a large, dark red corner to the right hand side of the large roof then does an airy, Oceans Of Air like traverse left under the roof to escape straight up the blunt corner system to the top.
- Pitch 1. 25 m (21) From the block use the prong to pull into the corner. Climb up and slightly right up a shallow recess then back left onto some blocks and through an overhang onto a large ledge.
- Pitch 2. 15 m (25) The dithering pitch. Climb a layback flake into a dark red/brown corner below a roof. Rail 4m right to below a small prong. Hard moves up to a rail and up the groove to the big ledge below the huge roof. Stance on the left.
- Pitch 3. 20 m (18) Rail left to a semi-hanging stance on the black rock past the huge roof.
- Pitch 4. 50 m (18) Straight up to a large ledge. Up a shallow, yellow recess just to the left for another 15m to the huge ledge.
- Pitch 5. 35 m (21) Climb the short, wide, overhanging crack at the left end of the ledge. Up and left past the blocky roof and up to the top.
FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (Jan 2011)
The Swan (24) *****
Main Wall, Tafelberg
This superb route follows a line just left of The Crow. The last pitch is just right of The Crow's final pitch. Start 20m left of The Crow's corner. A natural stone chair is found at the base of the route.
- Pitch 1. 30 m (23) Pull onto the undercut face off a block. Up right to a thin crack. Tricky layback to roof. Undercling left to easier layback crack up to a ledge with blocks. Takeoff from block with hard pulls up to a layback feature. Up left to ledge (Bat's first stance is just to the left).
Gear: Work in a couple of decent wires at the layback feature before the last move.
- Pitch 2. 20 m (24) From the right of the ledge move up right to small ledge with a block. Hard pull to rail. Rail right for 2m. Hard pull up and right. Easier climbing straight up to just left of a large, pointed block sticking out from a big ledge. (Bat P2 comes up on the left and crosses to the right of the ledge). Walk to left end of ledge.
Gear: Tiny Friend or Alien in vertical slot at waist level for first hard pull.
- Pitch 3. 30 m (23) Up to roof. Rail left onto block/flake. Keep traversing left till possible to pull up to next rail via hollow flake. Undercling/jam left to corner. Up to huge roof. Rail back right until able to pull through roof on huge jugs. Up 5m to ledge.
- Pitch 4. 25 m (20) Climb the crack with a grass tuft directly above the ledge. Continue straight up through an overhang to the massive ledge.
- Pitch 5. 30 m (21) 3m right of The Crow's final pitch is another corner/crack starting above a low overhang. Take off from a large block and climb the crack to a small overhang. Rail right 1m then go up and left towards a small layback corner. Straight up to the top finishing up the middle of a superb whitish shield to a 1 foot square parapet.
FA: Adam Roff, Douw Steyn, Gosia Lipinska (Pitches 1 & 2) (2010)
Stargate (20) ****
Main Wall, Tafelberg
Fills in the gap between Bat and Crouching Tiger which is protected by the impenetrable, huge roof at the bottom. Use a space portal to teleport to the start of the route in the middle of the black face above the roof. Alternatively, climb part of any route on the side of the roof and then traverse in to the middle of the black face. The traverse is at the level of the second stance of Crouching Tiger or pitch four of Gotham City. Make a hanging stance just above a large, black flake about 10m left of Tiger's third pitch.
- Pitch 1. 40 m (18) From the belay climb almost straight up tending just slightly leftwards towards a 1m wide, featured roof. Pull through the roof on underclings and continue straight up to the huge ledge.
- Pitch 2. 30 m (20) Between Tiger's and the Frontal's final pitches is an overhanging corner with some vertical cracks. Starting off some large blocks, climb the cracks and up on the right. Up to the top with a final, tricky move past a left pointing flake.
FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (Jan 2011)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Giraffe (24) *****
Main Wall, Tafelberg
Takes the big corner system dodged by Grappler, then up the hanging nose above. Has a spicy nip in the last pitch. Need a #4 Camalot for pitch 2. Start midway between Gotham City and Grappler at pockety rock below a layback edge at 5m.
- Pitch 1. 15 m (21) Up the pockety rock to the layback. Up this then diagonally right to a flake. Up past rails and right to finish.
- Pitch 2. 30 m (23) Start off a block just right of the first pitch. Climb up onto a narrow ledge, move right and up into a wide rail below the roof (#4 cam). Hard move up into the open book. Climb the corner crack to the roof with the giraffe. Turn the roof on the right and reach out left above the roof. Swing left and up onto a small ledge trying not to pull on the big, loose block. Up to a stance on another small ledge level with Grappler's "galloping hand traverse".
Gear: #4 Camalot to protect the hard move into the open book.
- Pitch 3. 20 m (24) Traverse 3m right to below the next big open book (at the start of the "galloping hand traverse") then do a hard, traddy pull into the corner crack above (grade 23 if you're tall). Climb up to the big roof. Undercling right to the corner and up to ledge.
- Pitch 4. 40 m (21) Climb the nose directly above where you came up. Reach up left for a rail just above the roof. Rail left until able to stand up. Step left then onto the nose. Romp to the massive ledge below the last pitch of Tafelberg Frontal. Walk left about 20m and scramble up onto a big, rectangular block under a low overhang. This is just left of a big, jumbly, blocky corner system. If you are in the right place there will be a Fred Flinstone briefcase just left of the block.
- Pitch 5. 30 m (23) Reach far left from the block and place gear (Camalot #2 in the handrail under the overhang). Traverse left under the overhang then do a hard move up to laybacks. Reach up left to a crack. Straight up to the summit past a thin move near the top.
FA: Adam Roff, Francie Buhrmann, Gosia Lipinska (2008)
FFA: Gosia Lipinska, Douw Steyn, Willem le Roux (2009)
Vuvuzela (23) *****
Main Wall, Tafelberg
Follows a direct line just right of Digeridoo on the main wall. Prominent features are the purple nose on pitch 3 and the massive corner system on pitch 4 right of the last pitch of Central Direct. Start by doing any two pitches to get to the belay at the end of pitch 2 of Tafelberg Frontal
- Pitch 1. 15 m (16) Climb straight up to the left facing corner to a ledge. Belay on a large block on the right.
- Pitch 2. 25 m (20) Climb into the awkward, undercut feature above the block and reach left to a finger crack. Go up past an overhang on the right, then do some thin moves and exit left. Stance on the left under the roof crack (as for Digeridoo).
- Pitch 3. 30 m (19) Traverse 3m left, up 3m, then back right onto the purplish nose. Climb the steep break just left of the nose. Exit right and climb straight up easy rock to belay next to a block. (If you step right around the nose and go straight up the grade drops.)
- Pitch 4. 30 m (23) Step off the block into the fierce, thin crack up to the small roof. Reach desperately through then move diagonally up left into the massive, left-facing corner system. Climb this to the huge roof and stance on the right.
- Pitch 5. 10 m (22) Climb the short, sharp layback crack just right of the stance.
FA: Adam Roff and Francie Buhrmann (2008) FFA of Pitch 5: Douw Steyn and Ant Hall (2009)
Boombox (24) ***(*)
Main Wall, Tafelberg
Takes a fairly direct line to the right of Boomerang Direct. Start by doing any approach pitches to get to the right-most end of the ledge where pitch 3 of Boomerang begins.
- Pitch 1. 10 m (17) Start directly below some underclings that allow you to reach a higher rail. Pull up to a second, wide rail below a roof and traverse over the void until you can move easy diagonally right to a ledge. Stance in an oblique corner, where the right wall is very smooth and rectangular (3m x 1.5m).
- Pitch 2. 30 m (21) Up the corner and left around a slight bulge to a ledge. Pull through a series of steep, inverted steps and pass the last roof on its right hand side. Move slightly left and then straight up to a big ledge with a large triangular block on it.
- Pitch 3. 25m (17) Starting about 2m left of the block, follow a vague crack and then move slightly right to another crack. Above this pull through the right hand side of the roof at big upside down slot. Head up and slightly right to a huge ledge.
- Pitch 4. 20 m (24) This pitch climbs the large left facing corner (to the left of a wide roof at 5m height) and exits left across the face. A tricky start through the thin crack/bulge into the corner. Climb up several meters until the first inverted step, where you traverse left, and then pull up to the next overhang. Hard moves up to, and left under the final roof until you gain the face above. Stance a few meter higher at the base of a wide, left lending crack. A fairly demanding pitch and solid at the grade.
- Pitch 5. 10 m (17) Climb the arched crack to the top.
FA: Richard Halsey and Uwe Pitsch (Oct 2011). FFA of Pitch 4: Richard Halsey.
Black Ice Area
Spice Dice (22) *****
Black Ice Area, Tafelberg
A direct line up the face just to the right of Pure Mania. A single, superb pitch up the whole face.
- Pitch 1. 50 m (22) Start as for Pure Mania, but traverse right under the big hole until able to pull up and then through the roofs just right of Pure Mania's crux. Move 2m left then straight up to the top, taking a crack and featured slab after the ledge high up. Long slings and a large cam are useful for the start.
FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (Jan 2011)
Diced Ice (22) *****
Black Ice Area, Tafelberg
Below the Black Ice route is a trapezoid (triangle with a flat top) shaped roof. Start on the left side of this.
- Pitch 1. 50 m (22) Climb up 2m to the wide rail under the roof (a friend size 4 or bigger is useful, but not essential), move out leftwards around the corner and continue railing for about 2 meters (strenuous), before thin feet allow you to climb onto the narrow ledge. Alternatively, do a harder (a grade or two) move in the recess at the start of the narrow ledge. From the ledge, continue for about 15m at grade 19 up to a tiny triangular belay ledge just up and right from a small right-facing red corner.
- Pitch 2. 25 m (19) Continue climbing straight up, doing a stretchy move for a good hold to get through the blank rock band, and continue upwards aiming for the rightward trending layback flake just next to the abseil point.
FA: Uwe Pitsch, Robert Zipplies, 1 January 2012.
Big Groove Sector
Tafelberg, Big Groove sector. 1. Groove Amandla
Groove Amandla (26) ****
Big Groove Sector
Amandla! Great stuff. Start about 20m right of Big Groove P1, on some boulders below an obvious V in the roof above.
- Pitch 1. 15 m (26) The Bugger pitch. Climb the left tending crack to a triangular platform. Move up to the roof and fight your way through the V-shaped break. Climb a few meters further to the blocky ledge and stance several meters left below the two cracks about 1.5m apart.
- Pitch 2. 35 m (25) The Super pitch. Climb the two left tending cracks each side of a rib to a small roof. Crank through the bulge on the left side of the roof (crux) and up, to gain a narrow ledge with a half-moon shaped feature in the middle. More tricky moves on the short face to the left of the half moon lead you to a large layback flake and crack system above. Stance in a corner below a triangular roof.
- Pitch 3. 15m (18) The Victory lap. Traverse right and slightly up to the huge flake feature on the right of the wall. Climb up this and the interesting shapes above until you can traverse right below a large rectangular block. Move up and left to exit via a chimney to the top.
Note: Two micro cams (black alien or equivalent) are useful, one to protect each of the crux sections on pitch 2. If you are not up to the challenge of pitch 1, or don't what to be completely exhausted for the rest of the route, you can access the excellent second pitch from Big Groove.
FA: Richard Halsey and Joe Möhle (Nov 2011).
Tafelberg, Spout, West Face. 1. Bazooka Rodeo
Bazooka Rodeo (25) ****
Spout, West Face
A varied route with an improbable start, and then consistently good climbing. Start about 15m right of Dogmatix, below a pocketed roof.
- Pitch 1. 25 m (25) Up a short easy wall, and a left leaning break to a wide rail (#3 and #4 Camalot) below the pocketed roof. Use a deep C-shaped pocket to launch to the lip, and do some circus moves to establish on the face above. Climb up and slightly right for about 7m to a semi-hanging stance.
- Pitch 2. 10m (18) Straight up steep face to the ledge, again #3 and #4 Camalot useful.
- Pitch 3. 15m (19) Traverse left along narrow ledge for a few meters, then pull up to some underclings above the slab. Continue traversing left until able to easily pull up to large ledge.
- Pitch 4. 40m (20) Start directly under a narrow roof, at about 10m height, that has two small left pointing flakes. Up to the first break, then to the narrow roof and use the flakes to gain the face above. Tend diagonally right across the face to pass the next larger roof on the right side. Continue tending slightly right and up, just left of the wide arete. Stance in a small right facing corner on the ledge.
- Pitch 5. 30m (19) Climb the corner for about 2m then traverse right and up on rails. On the right edge of the long roof is a thin, left tending finger crack. Pull up into this, and then again tend right across the face to the next ledge. A short wide crack on the right then leads to a blocky ledge. Stance in a right facing corner under a bottomless chimney about 10m up.
- Pitch 6. 15m (20) Climb the short steep cracks to a rectangular roof. Pass this on the right side and then step left into the chimney that leads to the top.
FA: Joe Möhle and Richard Halsey (Nov 2011).
Aqua Spring (22) ***
Start on a large block right behind the water point. Jump for a good rail and then follow the crack system up and through two recesses on the left. At the good rail where the rock above deteriorates in quality, rap from a nut/chock anchor (<30m).
FA: R. Halsey 31/12/11
A deceptively steep wall just to the right of the route Thumbelina. It is easily visible as you walk from Spout cave toward the water point. Approach by scrambling up The Central Route. There may be potential for a route or two more to the right, but they will be brick hard.
Flaming Woozel (24/25) ****
Start off a large, flat boulder more-or-less in the centre of the wall and climb up easily to a break. Follow a slight right leaning groove to a finger rail (small cams). Traverse 1m right and use two short slanted rails and the golf ball to reach the next good rail. Traverse about 2m left until able to pull up to another good rail, and the ledge above. Move slightly right to a darker brown, steep prow and climb the left side till the top.
Consensus grading required, probably harder if you are short.
FA: R. Halsey 12/11/2011
Solitaire wall - Left Side. 1. The Inventor, 2. The Cynic, 3. Go Go Gadget
The left side of the Solitaire wall is easy accessed by the path leading to the water spot. Good warm up area in cold weather.
The Inventor (21) ***
Start up a featured face (just right of the path leading to the water spot) up to the steep orange rock. Pull through some rails and then easily up to a featured layback. At the small ledge, move about 1.5m left and up to a rail. Use good holds on the face to reach the next ledge and follow the short left facing corner to the top.
FA: R. Halsey 6/11/11
The Cynic (18) ***(*)
Climb easily up to the layback from the right. At the ledge traverse left to the blunt arete and climb this to the top.
FA J. Möhle 6/11/11
Go Go Gadget (23) ****
What a little gem! Pull onto the orange face from the boulder and tend slightly right up the steep wall to the narrow overhang. Pull directly through and up a series of flakes to a hand rail to the left of a small roof. Crank onto, and across the roof on good holds in the grey rock, and then tend slightly left to a small ledge. Straight to top.
FA: R. Halsey 7/11/11
Painted Desert (26) ****
Climb the aesthetic line between Time Stone and Woodro. Start up a small recess and step right. Use small layback edges to reach a thin rail where you move about 1m right and climb straight up where the orange rock on the left meets the grey rock on the right. A tiny cam (black alien or equivalent) is useful to protect the lower crux, while a large wingspan is handy - for the top crux in particular.
R. Halsey 10/12/11
The Amber Phantom (24) ***
Climb the face between The Edge of Time and Serenity, Tranquility, Peace. Start up the first few moves on the arete, but then move right and up into a dark brown recess. Climb straight up the blank face above on edges to a good hand rail, where you move slightly right. Pull up to the next rail and then straight up to the top.
R. Halsey 30/12/11
Apathy wall. 12. Mucho Gusto 13. Shack Shake
Some new route variations:
Mucho Gusto (23) ***
Climb the 'Africa Shield', move right under the roof, and up the crack on Gusto. Then do the 'Metolius move' left and across the face, up the small corner on Gusto to a narrow ledge. Traverse left at the rail until the blunt arete, and straight up to the top.
R. Halsey 23/10/2011
Shack Shake (21) ***
Step off the boulder onto the face and climb directly to the Hackaroo layback, then straight up a crack to a small roof. Reach right to another crack, pull up and tend right up a vague corner. Straight to top.
R. Halsey 22/10/2011
Two easy but fun routes on a short face perpendicular and about 30m right of the Apathy wall.
Either rap from a good mushroom to the right of Sundial, or scramble down opposite Arete route.
1. Hourglass 2. Sundial
- Hourglass (17) ** R. Halsey 23/10/2011
- Sundial (15) ** U. Pitsch 23/10/2011