Africa Amphitheatre

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Africa Amphitheatre, is the obvious North-East face that overlooks the City of Cape Town. It is home to three great routes, Africa Amphitheatre 20, the modern Africa Safari 22 and the astounding Roof of Africa 28 (the hardest, big route on Table Mountain)

The classic Right Face - Arrow Face traverses the amphitheatre more or less at its lower third and provides a convenient point to abseil to the bottom of the amphitheatre from a sturdy tree.

No Horizon (24?)

A lonely, exposed pitch consisting of a horizontal roof and steep crack that is visible from Tafelberg road, near the top pitch of Africa Amphitheatre. It could now be done as an alternative, hard last pitch to Africa Safari.

Access: To be done as a single pitch: From the upper cable station, walk towards Platteklip, passing two viewing areas with railings. The next lookout has a stone wall. From here, in the direction of Devil's Peak, one can see a huge, egg-shaped boulder on the edge. About 20m left, as viewed from here, is the top of the pitch. Abseil from good sling points above the left wall of the corner, to a platform. Scramble down over a boulder to another ledge below the route.

Route: 30m (24?) Gain the roof and crank through the obvious flake and crack (about 4m long) to the lip, and then follow the steep crack system, taking the right split at the top of the steep section. The top third is still a bit lichenous, but at this stage the business is over. Concensus grading needed

FA R. Halsey (rope solo) 6 Feb 2012

Location of No Horizon relative to upper cable station. The face where you abseil in is about 10m to the right of the route from this perspective.

Africa Safari aka The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardiner V2.jpg

Africa Safari (The Constant Gardener) 22

Easiest approach along Arrow Face Right Face traverse. Abseil point from cherry tree below enormous detached feature mid traverse. Abseil down for first 2 pitches from “base camp”. 50 metre rope just adequate.

1. Climb break in the centre of the wall in line with the abseil to a ledge. 20m (21)

2. Climb the short wall above through the roof. Up cleaned rock, slightly right at small overhang, pull through and diagonally left to cherry tree. 30m (20)

3. Scramble on the outside of anvil shaped feature and left to the tip. 15m (12)

4. From the tip of the anvil rail 1m left and climb straight up. Up the slab above to a thin crack break above small overlap. Up this, up to a higher rail to rest on the right under another small overhang. Up to small ledge above on the left. 25m (22)

5. Straight up to corner leading to the roof. Move left until an undercling and footholds enable one to reach above the overhang. Up the wall on the left to a ledge. 15m (22).

6. Walk 15m left to a corner leading to a rail through the roof. Climb up and left to the blunt arete. Straight up this. Continue in a straight line to chain on big block in middle of bushy ledge. 30m (22)

7. 5m to the left is a white arete. Climb up on the pockets, up the break above tending left to below the obvious undercut chimney feature. Puzzle this out and finish at a chain just above. 40m (22)

8. Up 5m to a ledge. Walk left and climb juggy wall to the top. 40m including walk (16)

On the same level on the ledge to the right is a chain abseil point. 4 abseils off chains around blocks take you back to the traverse line.

First ascent: Tinie Versfeld and Dave Birkett. 13 Dec 2014

Roof of Africa 28 / E7 6c

Start: The route starts in the middle of the amphitheatre where a table top-sized slab of rock lies at a diagonal angle against the rockface. Scramble up the slab and go right a metre or two on the ledge to the first break consisting of a vertical crack.

Pitch 1 20m 21: Climb the crack for a few metres. Step right and climb up to the roof. Rail left then go up to a big pocket on the left. Reach up to a rail and traverse right above the roof. Climb up to intersect the next roof on its left. Go up the corner then step out right onto the arête. Continue up to the big bushy ledge to stance where Pitch 2 directly begins up the whitish wall above;

Pitch 2 40m 23: Start up the white wall using little rails and pockets to reach a small rail 4m up. Rail right for 2m then climb a crack with a piton. Head up and leftwards over a couple of little ledges. On a ledge walk left along a solid rock razor. At the end climb up leftwards towards a roof. Climb through the roof and continue up to the Right Face – Arrow Face Traverse. Scramble up the back of the Breakfast Rock to stance on top;

Pitch 3 25m 26: At the entrance to the tunnel scramble up onto the rock shelf on the left. Stand on a jammed flake and climb up to the roof. Rail left for 8m (Camalot #3 and #4). At the horn lean out and climb up at a piton to reach the roof above. Rail right for a metre or two then climb a flake and a wall to reach a big rail. Continue up a corner to exit on the left and climb up to a good rail and ledge. (The Right Face Arrow Face Pitch);

Pitch 4 30m 23: Walk 3m right then go up the first break. Climb up to the corner that goes through the small roof. Climb the corner and the arête to the right for a couple of metres. Step across to the left and rail out for 3m. Pull up into the Post Box then up to a thin rail above it with a piton. From the piton go 1m right and climb the steep edge to a little ledge. Go diagonally up leftwards for some way to reach a hanging stance with a piton below the hanging corners.

Pitch 5 30m 23: Climb the hanging corners angling up leftwards. Break through the roof at the left end and climb the wall to a big ledge. Bring the party up then walk 10m up and over to the left and around the corner (passing Africa Safari’s arête) to make a stance directly below the big crack through the huge dimpled roof.

Pitch 6 35m 28: Climb up to the roof then hang upside down to climb the crack to the lip and then 2m up the wall to the first rail. Traverse a long way left and upwards to a break where you start up left then at a roof go a little right and up a finger crack and up to a roof with a good rail. Rail left to the little Diving Board, climb up onto this horizontally wedged flake without pulling it off, and continue straight up to the big camping ledge.

Pitch 7 25m 22: Step off the big flat rock and pull up to get onto a semi-sitting ledge. Go a metre or two to the right to the obvious post box for a Camalot #2. Climb the break up on the left to get onto the wall. Go up and left to the attractive white wall. Climb the blunt arête and head up to a good ledge;

Pitch 8 15m 23: Lead off to the right and climb the crack through the enormous roof. Go up the corner then exit left onto a small stance;

Pitch 9 15m 28: Go up right into the crawling ledge. Climb the underside of the biggest part of the roof to get to the pointy tip. Get onto the wall and climb the arête and the wall to the left to get up to a small ledge and stance. Bring the party up then scramble and then walk left along the ledge. Scramble up to the obvious rock platform below the big arête to stance;

Pitch 10 20m 20: From the platform pull up the steep arête and continue up to the roof. Go left for a few metres to a break through the small roof. Continue directly up to the top.

Descent: Cable car or India Venster walk.

First ascent: Tinie Versfeld, Dave Birkett and Hilton Davies, 28-29 January 2018

Roof of Africa photo topo.jpg