Big Groove Sector

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Tafelberg, Big Groove Sector.
Tafelberg, Big Groove Sector. Original image from the guide book Tafelberg & Spout by Tony Lourens (with permission).
Blue = Optimist Prime
Red = Groove Amandla
Tafelberg, Big Groove Sector.
Tafelberg, Big Groove Sector.
Green = The Realist
Blue = Optimist Prime
Red = Groove Amandla


Tafelberg, Big Groove sector. 1. Groove Amandla

The Realist (19) ***

Big Groove Area, Tafelberg

Is this the same as the first pitch of The Optimist? It doesn't match the description but it does take the most sensible route at a moderate grade to The Optimist's abseil point.

  • Pitch 1. 25 m (19) Scramble up the black rock to the right hand end of a large ledge below the orange rock in the deep recess. Step right onto the face and pull up past two rails to a ledge on the right. From the left side of the ledge, move up to a rail, step right and up a thin crack to the split block abseil point.

FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (March 2013)

Optimist Prime (26) ****

Big Groove Area, Tafelberg

This superb single pitch follows a steep, straight line directly below the abseil point on The Optimist (which is from a large split block 25m up on a ledge). Would be 5 stars if it weren't for the rest ledge .

  • Pitch 1. 25 m (26) Scramble up to the top of a conical pillar. Pull up to underclings in the roof above the short, smooth face. Make hard moves right and around the roof onto a wedged block. Pull up and left to good pockets below a curved finger crack through a bulge. Once over the bulge, climb dead straight to the abseil point.

FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (March 2013)

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).

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