To date there are two routes up the Ngopane spire: one moderate three-pitch sport route to the summit with fantastic exposure and an easy 45m trad line almost half-way up the crag. There is also an easier scramble off the back of the crag from the top-out of the trad line.
Mma-Mogašwa (11, trad, 45m)
Opened in a single 45m pitch on double ropes, this line follows the right hand crack on the south-eastern side of the crag to a point 50m below the summit. To get down, scramble under the boulders to the left at the top of the climb and scramble down the steep gully on the crag's southern side (to your right as you exit from under the boulders).
FA: Vince Egan & Ed McLenaghan - October 2009
Lekgowa, You're Going to Fall! (16, sport, 3 pitches, 100m)
This line is the first sport route to the summit of Ngopane, taking three pitches up the eastern arete.
- Pitch 1 (16, 35m): Start on the very thin, low-angle slab at the base of the eastern arete to bigger holds after the third bolt. Follow the undulating terrain to the first stance.
- Pitch 2 (12, 18m): Move up from the stance, then right to the arete to the comfortable ledge.
- Pitch 3 (14, 50m): Pull the thin move off the ledge to easier ground above until you reach a second ledge. Pull a bulge on good holds, then move up and right to the summit ridge. Follow the narrow ridge to the summit anchors.
- Descent: Abseiling twice (from the top of third and second pitches) with two 50m ropes will get you to the ground - just!.
FA: Vince Egan & Ed McLenaghan - 1 April 2010; 2nd ascent and first solo ascent: Jeremy Tucker - 25 May 2010 [BB: Vince Egan & Ed McLenaghan]
Ngopane is a granite spire, nearly 100m in height, about 50 km to the north-east of Wellington's Dome, in the village of ga-Mashashane. The crag is in the middle of the village and the general reception there is friendly and chilled out.
Access is currently being negotiated via Kgoshi Mashashane - watch this spot for details! Note that, regardless of the access agreement agreed to, all climbers need to report at the tribal authority office before climbing and should phone Robert (078 360 3555) at least a day in advance to inform the community of your impending arrival. Need more details? - contact Vince at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any feedback on the crag would be appreciated!