Evans Route ** E1
A.W Evans and E. Hill 1963
" A pleasant mountaineering exploration, well beaconed and in the shade all the way"
Start: The Molenaars fortress is a large, free standing curtain wall flanked by two red towers, it can be seen to advantage from the parking area of the hotel.
Ascend langrivier kloof to its head where the ravine drops down from the neck behind the fortress
Description Ascend this ravine until a grassy ravine comes in on the left- this faces the neck behind the fortress. Ascend the grassy ravine to the top, where a fine view o the pinnacles is obtained, the route continues to the right along a ledge, about 2m higher, above the ravine already ascended. The ledge continues to a traverse that bears diagonally left, over a spectacular drop, and round a corner to a point below the rim of a waterfall. The waterfall is overcome by a 5m pitch. Thereafter, ascend the open ravine on the right side. This enables you to avoid the overhang which bridges the ravine halfway up. A short traverse left at the top of the ravine brings you to a point below the needle.
Berrisfords Easy Route Cleft Buttress
Fortress * E3
H. Graafland, C Inglis, A Schoon and P. White 1959
"Flamethowers needed to attack this bush castle"
Start: This Fortress is the large, freestanding curtain wall, flanked by two red towers which can be clearly seen from the hotel parking area.
The Approach is via Langrivier Kloof, and the route commences from a beacon more or less in the center of the curtain. A gigantic red amphitheater is on the right.
Pitch 1. From the starting beacon traverse diagonally right for 30m to the bottom of a bushy crack with a hottentot cherry tree. Climb a short face 3m to the right of the tree and then traverse back diagonally left to a point above the starting beacon.
Pitch 2. &3. Climb up a couple of pitches until one reaches the right of a long, dark chimney.
Pitch 4. Straight above the last pitch, a watercourse crack leads to a narrow, bushy stance about 8m higher. The start is undercut and fairly strenuous. Move out right and up a pleasant face.
Pitch 5. 22m (D/E1) Climb up the face above for 9m, then traverse across a bushy recess to a lay back crack which is climbed for about 10m to a comfortable ledge.
Pitch 6. 15m (C) Traverse right along the ledge for 9m, then ascend an obvious break.
Pitch 7. 30m (C) Continue up on clean, but very exposed rock. This pitch is only the start of a great sweep of rock curving dentally for about 140m to the base of the vertical wall at the top.
Pitch 8. 30m (D) Climb up slightly right towards the great, red amphitheater to a good stance.
Pitch 9. 18m (D) Continue up to a stance. a line of red overhangs starts on the right, running diagonally left.
Pitch 10, 12m (E1) Climb straight up to a comfortable stance under the overhangs.
Pitch 11. Traverse out left on the ledge for 25m, then start climbing upwards and diagonally left for another 25m until about 30m from the large chimney between the face and left tower.
Pitch 12. 22m (D) Continue climbing straight upwards to a broad ledge. Traverse along a narrow ledge to the right as far as the right hand tower.
Pitch 13. 24m (E3) The route now runs up a break between the wall and the right tower. Climbing on very attractive rock brings one to a good stance.
Pitch 14. Continue upwards for 55m left of the gully until the summit ridge. The neck between the fortress and Molenaarsberg is reached by descending a gully near the northern tower and then by descending over to the right.
Keens Ridge *** F2
T. Bright, E. Keen, P. Petoussis, L. Schaff
"Hard, safe climbing. Mostly delightfully steep."
Start:Molenaarsberg has 4 distinct ridges when viewed from the Du Toit's Peak side of the N1. This route lies on the ridge on the extreme left, which rises thinly from the neck behind a huge pinnacle on the lower slopes. Most of the pitches avoid the crest by climbing on the left side. The crux however is on the right at the level of a prominent, Sheer section.
To Approach the neck, cross the river at or soon after the weir ( this is at the second gate on the left after passing the hotel). Slog up and contour left around the base of the pinnacle, to enter a gully running up behind it, which leads to the neck. It is possible to go up via the front of the pinnacle (over the top) if you want more rock than slope.
Note: All distances below are only indicative
Pitch 1. (D) From the neck climb a vegetated straddle gully to a big platform ledge.
Pitch 2. 12m (F1) Starting from some blocks piled near the face of the rib, step to the corner and climb up a blank face with a finger slit and a helpful bush on the left.
Pitch 3. Scramble along the ridge to the next steeply rising step.
Pitch 4. 15m (F2) Start from a small belay block next to a bulging grey section left of the crest and right of a crack. After strenuously moving through the bulging section it is possible to continue straight up to the stance, alternatively take the crack, which is easier and leads to the same stance.
Pitch 5. 15m (F1) Continue up the wall above pulling though a delightful little overhang on good holds.
Pitch 6. 15m (E2) Climb a wide crack behind a huge flake to a ledge. Scramble towards the next step.
Pitch 7. One is now confronted with the imposing step that catches the eye when looking at the ridge from the road: A very difficult jam crack splits it. This crack has not yet been led (Circa 1985, please update) The crux section lies to the right of the ridge. A traverse past some blocks on the corner leads underneath an overhanging crack, then a micro crack and finally to a jam crack. The stance for the start of this pitch is on a platform on the left of the crack.
Pitch 8. 30m (F2) Descend and swing around the edge from the stance, and into the base of a V-groove, with a crack at the back. Some height can be made using the 2 flanking walls on delightful little holes in the rock, until it becomes easier to jam up the crack and exit right onto a small stance. Climb straight up the steep recess above with strenuous straddling to a big ledge, scramble up to the rib again.
Pitch 9. 12m (F2) Climb diagonally left into a chimney below an overhang. Traverse out on the right wall and pull up into a slit which leads to a stance.
Pitch 10. (F2)A slightly easier pitch. Continue up the steep wall on the left of the crest, starting at some flat thick flakes stuck against the wall, and moving u=out right and up to a stance just left of the narrow crest.
Pitch 11. 25m (D) Move right up the chimney then climb out on the right face. An ascending traverse on grassy ledges leads to the end of the main climbing.
Pitch 13. Scrambling up the crest of the ridge eventually leads to a saddle against a wall of rick. Take a "D" chimney on the right, then along the shoulder immediately in front of you to the end of the scrambling.
Descent: Traverse right until the big "A" gully on Berrisfords route is reached. The gully is beaconed and is descended to a point where a ledge leads around the corner on the left as you face out. A beacon is on a large block at the start of this ledge. Traverse around some distances until on the buttress on the skyline. Descend following beacons until open slopes are reached. It is easier to follow the direct diagonal line down to the river instead of attempting to contour back around the front of the peak.
Honey and Hartleys Ridge ** F2
D. Hartley and B. Honey 1966
Start: Molenaarsberg has 4 distinct ridges when viewed from the Du Toit's Peak side of the N1. This route takes the second ridge from the left. The ridge on the extreme left is Keens Ridge. The route starts in the center at the bottom of the rocky ridge.
Pitch 1. 40m (F1) Climb up the middle of the face, moving slightly right after a couple of meters and then to the left into a recess, and ascend to a stance.
Pitch 2. 19m (F2) Move left into a crack and then climb it to the top of the first large step in the ridge.
Pitch 3. 18m (F2) Move left to an overhanging recess with a tree at its base. Stand on the tree and pull up into the recess. Climb the recess where it narrows into a chimney.
Pitch 4. 12m (D) Climb to the top of the buttress.
Pitch 5. 30m (E2) Traverse to the right of the next step to a well-defined chimney. Ascend the chimney and continue up to a stance which is slightly to the left.
Pitch 6. 30m (E2) Continue across easy rock and then climb past a number of loose flakes and blocks. Traverse left to a stance.
Pitch 7. 30m (E2) Go up and right for about 2m before winging around to the right into a recess, which is climbed.Continue upwards, moving slightly left to a small stance.
Pitch 8. 25m (F2) Move up and left into a chimney. Climb this to a comfortable stance.
Pitch 9. Five or six rope lengths of D/E1 up the crest of the ridge leads to a point about 30m blow a group of enormous blocks that form the apex of the ridge. From here walk right along the grass band to a gully leading to the summit.
Left Turret on the Fortress
Millstone Wall *** F3
G. Athiros, H Graafland, M Scott 1966
The easiest way up an intimidating wall
Start: Cross the river about 500m further down the road from Leeuwklippieskloof which leads to the big climbing wall on Du Toit Peak. Slog up to the ridge(which is the 3rd from the left) which runs into a steep face above. Traverse into wooded ravine from the ridge and ascend it until minor scrambling and a traverse lead to the orange and grey wall on the let. This takes about 2 hours and buy-passes the lower sections of the buttress.
Pitch 1. 10m (D) Climb a recess in front of the platform to a higher stance.
Pitch 2. 35m (F1)Climb slightly right up a continuation of the recess to a stance, or traverse right below the overhanging section past a tree and then up to the stance via some interesting bulging corners.
Pitch 3. 20m (E2) Traverse diagonally right and then left to a stance next to a massive pillar/boulder.
Pitch 4. 30m F3) Traverse diagonally right and climb straight up the crack in the corner. Phalanx Pinnacle traverse Watson's South-West Route