Africa Ledge Proper
New routes (since the last guidebook) are arranged from left to right on Africa Ledge.
Varied climbing, with a short, fierce section on the crux pitch.
Pitch 1.10m (18) Climb the Bust Up crack to the small ledge on the left.
Pitch 2. 15m (22) Start by an old peg and climb up ~3m to a thin rail. Traverse left to the next old peg and follow the crack system up and very slightly right to reach the stance shared with Daddy Long Legs (peg under a small overlap)
Pitch 3. 15m (25/26) Follow the crack on the right side of the stance to the left end of a narrow roof. Pull up to some underclings and traverse ~3m right and then up to a thin rail (micro cams usefull). A hard move up to the next rail and then a long pull to a pocket above the narrow overlap. Head diagonally left to the wide rail below the main roof at the height of the Bust Up flake.
Abseil point (hex and cam) in situ.
The pegs on pitch 2 were from a potential alternate start to Bust Up attempted by Greg Mosely and Andy Killick in 1971!
FA: R. Halsey & J. Smith (June 2016)
Daddy Long Legs (27)
Hard line in a great position. From the Uber Huber platform, dassie crawl left to a ledge where the route starts.
Pitch 1. 28m (22) Climb Bust Up pitch 3. At the first big ledge (where Bust Up pitch 4 heads up and right) continue straight up a small left facing corner.
Continue straight up to a stance with an old peg under a projecting block.
Pitch 2. 20m (27) A key tufa-like hold on the original pitch has broken, which means you need to climb closer to the big corner on the left. This prompted a better, right hand version that keeps you away from the big corner, but may be harder for shorter folks.
Move out diagonally left from the stance and then straight up for a few metres to a hand rail below an overlap. For the RHV, move right to where the overlap narrows and make a long, hard move to a large pocket, and continue up to the narrow roof. (Alternatively, climb the face about 1m right of the big corner, resisting the temptation to step on the left wall, to the narrow roof and rail ~1.5 right). Head straight up and right of a large right-facing flake feature using strenuous underclings, and then tend right to finish under the large roof.
Abseil from fixed gear (two large hexes). Advisable to place at least one piece on the way down, as it is steep. While 50m ropes should work, this has not been tested so recommended to use 60m ropes.
FA: G. Lipinska, R. Halsey & J. Wakeling (Jan 2016)
FFA: G. Lipinska & C. Martinengo (Jan 2016)
Barking Spider (28/29)
Superb climbing with an airy finish
Climb either the first pitch of Daddy Long Legs or Redback to reach the peg stance.
Pitch 1. 25m (28/29) From the left side of the peg stance, climb straight up for about 8 meters to gain a rail under a small overlap. Climb past a rather useful pocket and pull through the next overlap (just left of Redback anchor) to another rail. Place good gear in this rail below the vertical seam on the head wall. Gain this seam boldly (but safely) from the left and follow it to the anchor for Daddy Long Legs. A 0.4 camalot is useful for the last section.
FA: J. Smith (June 2016)
Golden Orb (28R)
Fun for the whole family Start: Half way along the dassie crawl ledge about 3 meters right of Bust Up. Belay by a large boulder.
Pitch 1.28m (24) Climb the left leaning crack to a powerful move about 7 meters up. From this climb straight up to a wide break. Pull through the overhang and and continue straight up and then move right 2 metres to stance on a small triangular ledge with good gear (finger size cams) in an intermittent vertical crack at about head height.
Pitch 2. 25m (28R) Climb straight up for about 5 meters (Shared with Bust Up). Move right onto the arête for a couple of moves then follow the break diagonally left to the rail 2 meters below the big roof. Move ~1.5m left, then up and right to the next rail using a square pocket. Pull through the roof and move back right for ~1.5m. Place a crucial wire (No. 7 BD stopper) on the lip and run it out on pumpy, technical moves to the anchor in the next rail (the fall from the last hard move is scary but safe).
Variations: A direct version that is more suited to taller folk still needs to be climbed (Platinum Orb, 29ish). This avoids the left detour by using 2 large pockets and pulling directly through the large part of the roof.
An even more indirect version moves left to the Redback anchor (Silver Orb, 26ish)
FAs Golden Orb: J. Smith & R. Halsey (June 2016), Silver Orb: R. Halsey & J. Johnson (June 2016).
Black Widow (25)
Pitch 1. 28m (24)
Start as for Incy Wincy Spider. At the first rail move left and then up over easy ground aiming for the bottom part of the darker grey face. At this point there is a sickle shaped flake up and right (very loose). Traverse 1m left at the finger rail and then straight up the steep face to the next set of rails. Move 1.5m left and follow the right side of the vague arête, then up the short slab to the narrow ledge. Stance at an old peg and ring.
Pitch 2. 15m (25)
Bring small and micro cams for this pitch. Place a high wire on the Bust Up pitch, and then move back down and left across the blunt arête. Follow the good holds just left of the arête until the wall blanks out. From the undercling, traverse ~2m left using two small uncut holds and then up to a large sidepull below a hand rail. Head straight up past some large pockets to rail below the roof (and garden above). Move slightly right to a hanging stance with a good foot hold.
Pitch 3. 20m (22)
Traverse right, under the Bust Up roof flake, and all the way to join the last few moves of Uber Huber. Abseil from fixed gear to start of route.
If you want to top out, traverse right then join Bust Up.
FA: R. Halsey, J. Theron & G. Lipinska, Aug 2015. (Pitch 1, R. Halsey & W. Gans )
Black Widow Direct (26/27?)
A harder, more direct first pitch to Black Widow.
Pitch 1. 27m (26/27?)
Start as for Black Widow. After the dark grey face, instead of moving left all the way to the right side of the vague arête, head straight up (via a long throw out left to a large flat hold) and then up to gain an intermittent finger crack. This is about 1.5m right of where Black Widow goes. Climb the tricky crack and straight up to the ledge. Move left to stance. Consensus grading required
FA: R. Halsey & S. Jansen van Rensburg (Aug 2015)
The Huntsman (25)
A steep, sustained pitch up to the Bust Up ledge.
Pitch 1. 27m (25)
Start as for Black Widow but at the first rail continue straight up. Follow a slab to the right of the loose flake (slight run out) to a curved series of sidepulls. Traverse ~1.5m left until able to pull up to the good rail. Step right and pull up to the next set of rails. Move left to the large undercling and blast straight up to the far right end of the Bust Up ledge. Consensus grading required
FA: R. Halsey & C. Martinengo (Sept 2015)
Incy Wincy Spider (29)
Climbs the beautiful white face between David And Goliath and Uber Huber left of the Africa Crag nose. From the left end of the Upper Africa Ledge, traverse under the Africa Crag nose, climb up 6m to a ledge, and walk left to where the ledge becomes a crawl under a low roof.
1. 30m (29):
Start at the left end of the ledge where one can still stand upright. Climb the shallow corner tending slightly left as it steepens. Head towards the obvious, thin crack through the widely spaced rails above. Climb this and continue up another 5m to a hanging belay at the big rail below the narrow roof at the same level as the huge roof to the right. Probably a couple of grades easier if one is tall enough but this still awaits confirmation.
2. 20m (26):
Start up a short, vertical crack to a big undercling. Move right to a good layback hold and then up past a couple of flakes and a rail to another rail at a small roof. Traverse left to the arete. Do a couple of moves up to a peg (shared with David And Goliath) and then left to a hanging stance at the base of the big roof flake of Africa Bust Up.
3. 40m (17):
Finish by doing the top of Africa Bust Up. Climb the flake through the roof and up to a big ledge (optional stance). Continue up and right through some vegetated terrain to a huge ledge from where one can scramble to the top.
FA: Gosia Lipinska and Douw Steyn (2015)
A steep, sustained pitch, which mirrors Synapse. Access the left end of the Flakes Traverse (several route options)
Pitch 1 20m (25)
Start as for Out to Lunch. At the first roof, rail about 3m right (120cm gear extensions useful) and pull through the break (shared with Cuckoos Nest). Continue up to the next rail, where Cuckoos heads up the crack to the left. At this point move right about 1m and up the steep face on sidepulls, past a thin rail, to below an overlap. Traverse right on underclings and pull over the slight bulge to reach the vague corner, which ends at a finger rail. Traverse about 3m right to the Synapse anchor. Consensus grading needed, not technically too hard, but pretty pumpy!
FA: R. Halsey & W. Gans (May 2017)
The Squeal Deal (24)
A direct line, with a short but powerful and technical crux in a great position. The easier finish makes for a good, consistent route up the wall.
Pitch 1. 30m (18/19)
Start as for Odd Shouters Outing P3 from Upper Africa ledge but continue up the middle of the face between Hole in my Sole and Odd Shouters, passing a large grass tuft (at the base of wide crack) by climbing the face to left. From the next ledge, continue up and slightly left to just underneath the pivoting block on Gullet. Pull through about ~1m right of this and then step left to stance on the ramp and blocks to the left.
Pitch 2. 15m (24)
Move up and left to follow a short, blunt arête to a small ledge. Step right to the pegs on Odd Shouters and then straight up, just to the right of the pegs, to the roof via some cool sequences. There is a bomber #1 and #2 Peenut in a narrow horizontal rail just right of the pegs. At the roof traverse 1m left and then pull through the left end of the roof onto good holds and easy climbing to the large ledge above. Consensus grading needed.
An alternate finish (16) moves left along the ledge from the pegs and follows good holds on the vague arête and then up to the big ledge.
Walk left and finish up Africa Crag.
Lower sections of this route have likely been climbed before as linkages between other routes, and at least one party has tried the crux section above the pegs.
FA: R. Halsey & G. Bird (Mar 2018)
Odd Squeakers Shouting (24)
A long, sustained pitch with a variety of trickyness. A tad heady in places. Start just right of the Gullet crack.
Pitch 1. 45m (24)
Pull up onto the centre of face to the right of the Gullet crack. Continue up to below the blank looking section, at the base of vague, wide U shape formed by sloping ramps. Head straight up the middle of the face to a rail. (Flaky Dog P1 is to your left, and there is a very narrow horizontal break for micronuts). Continue up the centre of the wall via difficult moves past an undercling to a wide rail. Pull out and right over the next overlap and then tend left to another cryptic bulge. Pull through the next steep section to below a sandy recess, which is avoided by pulling up left to a layback crack in the grey face. Follow this to join the crack on Oudshouters, and finish through the roof crux on that route. Traverse off left and easily out to top (end of Africa Crag). Consensus grading needed, might be a tad harder .
FA: R. Halsey (2017)
Flaky Dog 21
Despite the lichen that plasters the second pitch of the climb, this route has the potential to become a classic if it is “climbed into condition”. It is a moderate 2 pitch route that involves classic sustained TM climbing on steep rock, with excellent protection.
Start: The route starts just to the right of the Africa Gullet crack on the upper Africa ledge.
Pitch 1 25m 21:
Climb the face just to the right of Gullet’s crack to a cruxy section. (One can cheat by straddling across Gullet’s crack). Pass this to a good rail. Rail right to steep juggy rock that leads you to a stance. Belay off the abseil bolts.
Pitch 2 30m 21:
Climb the “staggered crack” that diagonals up to the left to a grassy stance. Don’t stop here but rail easily left above Odd Shouters crux and then up to a stance. Continue wandering easily to the top back to the abseil anchors.
First ascent: C Edelstein February 2007
Mad Dog 22
“Mad Dog” is a direct variation of the African Lunch second pitch. It is easier as it avoids the pumpy lie back at the top of Lunch but has its moments particularly for the “on-sight” lead.
Mad Dog 30m 22:
30m 22: Climb the overhanging lie back crack of the start of the second pitch of Africa Lunch. At the second peg continue straight up past the next rail to where Africa lunch moves right. Continue straight up using some mentally challenging flakes into the easy groove that leads directly to the fixed peg and nut abseil point.
First Ascent 16 February 2007: Charles Edelstein and Robert Breyer.
Africa Arete Direct (26)
A variation to the last pitch of Africa Arete.
From the Flakes Traverse stance, head straight up the arete rather than moving around to the right and using the fragile holds as per the original route.
FA?: M. Bush
Vapour Trail (28)
Upper Africa Ledge, Table Mountain
Located on the right hand side of Upper Africa Ledge almost directly under the Africa Corner abseils. It starts around the corner to the left of, and at the same level as, the crack pitch of Atlantic Crag.
Pitch 1 15m (28):
Start off blocks on the left end of the ledge. Reach up to a jug on the prow at the first rail. Rail right for 5m then up a recess to the left side of the upper roof. Rail right for 5m along the upper rail past the bulge and then pull through the roof using a wedged dinner plate and up to the big ledge above.
Gear: Critical cam (blue, 0.3 Camelot size) in lower rail before ascending the recess.
Pitch 2 20m (23):
On the left side of the ledge, above the recess of pitch 1, is a featured face with a shallow crack system. This is at the same level as, and a bit right of, pitch 1 of Mellow Steady Flow. Climb the crack system tending slightly left at the top to a small ledge. Scramble up and right to the abseil rings and stance there.
Pitch 3 35m (21):
Climbs straight up above the abseil rings. Ascend two short, white faces and a small, dark corner with a friendly layback crack to a ledge. Climb slightly left up the big, white block above to stance below a short, steep, white face.
Pitch 4 10m (22):
Climb easily to a small, blocky roof. Rail 1m right and go up a small corner/crack. Head back left and up on some juggy rails to the ledge with the top abseil rings. Can be combined with pitch 3 but the leader is out of sight of the belayer on the top moves and a long way up so a fall could result in hitting the blocks below. Probably best to split into two pitches.
FA: Mark Seuring and Douw Steyn (2013)
Local Legend 24
A hard and bouldery route that is serious to lead. It is named in honour of local legend David Davies.
The route is found on Africa Ledge, Table Mountain, and cuts through the zig-zags of Atlantic Crag. A couple of metres to the right of the Oddshouter’s Outing tea cave is the Ruminating Crag chimney. Immediately beyond the chimney is a pillar with an ugly brown crack and wall to its right. Local Legend commences a couple of metres further right in the centre of the white wall. Africa Link-Up starts in the same place and goes off to the right.
Pitch 1 30m 19:
Step off the large sloping block onto the centre of the left-facing wall. Ascend the face in the centre (tricky lead). At 15m reach a ledge then directly above ascend the right-facing wall finishing up its left edge to reach Upper Africa Ledge. Cross the ledge and scramble up 3m to stance on a big ledge one level below the overhanging white wall.
Pitch 2 12m 24:
Scramble up on the right to get to the overhanging recess. At this point the Atlantic Crag fourth pitch crack is 3m to the right. To the left is a massive undercut white wall. Ascend the recess trending rightwards, making use of the highest wired nut protection available. Turn the overhanging wall and with difficulty ascend the easier angled rock face above your last protection (crux). Head directly up easy ground to stance on the large ledge. This pitch is a serious lead.
Pitch 3 12m 22:
The face to the right is wildly undercut to start. Step up onto the microwave oven-sized block and clip the old piton. This pitch is an aid pitch on Little Jack Horner and the peg was placed in 1980. Stretch up to reach an edge with the left hand and a flat prong with the right. Crank hard to get up and ascend the difficult face towards the right. On easy ground head up and left and then right to a big ledge. This pitch is a serious lead.
Pitch 4 12m 18:
Head up broken ground to arrive at the big overhang above to the right of the hanging block. Rail out left on the block and then head up a crack to the ledge above. Walk rightwards to the end of the ledge.
Pitch 5 12m 20:
From the stance traverse to the right with hands at the level of the overhang to a bottomless recess. Pull into this recess. So far this is the famous crux of the classic Atlantic Crag. Now rail out wildly to the right to the dark and forbidding bottomless recess. Ascend this for 5m to a ledge. Continue up the steep wall ahead for another 4m to another blocky ledge and stance at the big detached flake.
To abseil off the Africa Corner bolted anchors scramble up easy ground to the left for 25m. To finish at the cableway station scramble up to the right.
Hilton Davies, Neels Havenga and Andy Davies on 26 January 2011.
Hole in My Sole 24
A super-straight new route on the Africa Crag nose off Upper Africa Ledge.
This route starts at the left end of the platform where Africa Crag, Africa Gullet and Oddshouters Outing start.
Pitch 1 35m 22:
Start up an obvious big crack/layaway then continue straight up on the blunt arête for 35m to stance on a small ledge slightly to the right and at the top of the Africa Gullet crack system that has been on the right the whole time.
Pitch 2 20m 24:
Start up what locals have been referring to as Oddshouters Direct. This is the steep, left-leaning, white corner. Above the corner step left and continue up a hard white slab to a good rail below the big roof. Slightly to the right, reach far out to the slit through the roof. Crimp and jam up the crack and layaway to a stance 2m above.
Pitch 3 25m 20:
Head up slightly rightwards then leftwards on small crimps and holes to reach a ledge. Do a pull-up to get going on the wall above. Head straight up and slightly rightwards all the way to the top.
Abseil off the Africa Crag bolted anchors to the right else scramble up to the top.
Hilton Davies and Guy Paterson-Jones, 26 December 2015.
COCK and Bull Buttress
This area is below and just left of Arrow Final (facing the mountain) . From the Tea Cave, walk back a short way along the path toward India Venster and you will find the buttress on the left.
Straight Jacket (22)
A variant that goes through the lower roof.
Start as for Cock and Bull but continue straight up to the big roof. Use an undercling in the roof (green alien placement) to move left until able to pull through the roof to a large flat hold over the lip. Pull up and right to the next roof. Pull onto the face just right of the groove, step right again and straight to the top.
FA: Richard Halsey & Warren Gans 16/04/2016
Start just left of Crank and Pull. Climb the easy crack to the break. Using an undercling in the roof crank onto the steep face and slightly left to a rail. Continue up a steep layback to a wide rail and then fight straight up over the narrow roof onto the smooth face above.
FA: Richard Halsey, 16/02/2012
Access: To access Prowling and Orion, walk from the upper cable station towards Platteklip Gorge, passing two viewing areas with railings. Continue past the next lookout with a stone wall to the following lookout. From here scramble down to the top of the Africa Ampitheatre cliffs, and walk right (East) for about 50m on a ledge until you get to a drop-off above a gulley. There is an abseil point in situ overlooking the gulley, and a 40m abseil brings you to a ledge (abseiling directly above the prow will leave you hanging in space). Bring some screwgates and two 120cm slings to extend the anchor over edge so rope pulls easily. Walk about 10m back in the direction of the cable station to the base of Prowling and Orion. For Beetle Juice, scramble up and right to a small platform with a large, perched flake on the right. If needed, you can scramble out to the right of all the routes.
Either abseil in to narrow ledge at the start of the route, or climb the first part of Orion P1, and traverse left.
- Pitch 1. 25m (18) Start at the left end of the narrow ledge. Climb the series of recesses and vertical cracks. Near the top, pull through the sttep section just left of a horzontal roof on the right.
FA: R. Halsey & J.Smith, 2016
A long, steep prow near the last pitches of Right Face and clearly visible from Tafelberg Rd near the Platteklip Gorge parking.
- Pitch 1. 40m (26) Start under a short vertical crack and move up to a hand rail. Traverse a few meters left until you can pull up to a platform and walk left to below the prow. Use the crack and sidepulls to gain a good rail. Pull up about 1m to a horizontal slot (medium cam), where you move left across the arete, and continue up on the left to the next ledge. From the right of the block on the halfway ledge, move 2m up and then slightly right to a good sidepull in the steep, grey scoop. Some hard moves straight up lead to a thin rail below a small roof. Use a sloper above the roof to move left and strenuously up to good holds. Continue up easily to the left of the diving board (wobbles). Finish out right over the void using a good rail and side pulls.
FA: R. Halsey, J.Smith & D. Steyn, 9/03/2012
FFA: R. Halsey & J. Möhle, 11/03/2012
Features a cool 4m roof with great exposure.
- Pitch 1. 25m (21) Start as for Prowling, but climb straight up to the ledge via a wide vertical crack. Now follow a left tending crack, which starts very thin (with good holds on the right) to a good rail. Move ~1.5m right until below a tiny roof. Pull up and right to good holds on the right of the tiny roof. Continue up the right side of a white bulge to stance on a small ledge with a large horn on the left.
- Pitch 2. 20m (24) Head straight up for ~6m to a wide rail. Traverse ~2m left until you can pull up to the good rail in the roof (small/medium cams). Move out on this rail until it terminates, then reach a good hold in the roof. Crank to some good holds over the lip, do some circus moves and pull onto the face above. Stance ~8m up at a huge boulder. Consensus grading needed.
FA: R. Halsey & J. Möhle, 28/01/2013
Beetle Juice (22)
Tackles a strenuous horizontal rail under a roof.
- Pitch 1. 30m (22) From the little platform, head straight up and then use the hand jam rail that heads out left under the roof to the lip. Pull up on great holds and continue easily to stance at the top under a convenient overhang formed by a boulder. Consensus grading needed.
FA: R. Halsey & C. Martinengo, 04/03/2013
The Under Ward
A steep crag about 100m east of Prowling Buttress. Infested with underclings.
The Under Ward offers treatments for: fear of heights, vertigo, feeling faint and motion sickness. However, it is advisable to be confident at the grade.
Approach: From the upper cable station walk past the last lookout (called Eves Footprint). Find a path down to level overlooking city. Traverse right (facing out) and down to another level (with a long dead tree pointing down hill). Continue at the lover level until you find a triangular rock marked with thin tat. Set up an anchor and abseil (about 50m) from here passing a ledge about 8m down. Easiest is to bring a separate abseil rope so that you can use it to descend after each route without pulling the lead ropes each time. Also allows you to avoid climbing out the last 8m above the ledge where the routes end.
Fear of Hates (21)
The least steep and most friendly route at the crag.
Climb up to the left side of the first narrow roof. Pull up onto the face to the left of the steepest part of the crag. Head up and right to ledge.
FA: C. Burden & R. Halsey 22/09/14
The prime line at the crag. A tad intimidating and pumpy. Swim up the overhanging sea of undeclings of all sizes. Take care with gear.
Starting just left of the pillar, climb straight up to the long narrow roof that crosses the crag. Follow a series of underclings to the penultimate roof. Pass this on the left (a small slanting arete) to the final roof. Pull through a break on the left side and up to the ledge.
FA: R. Halsey & D. Steyn 22/09/14
Feeling Fate (22)
Takes the obvious left leaning break in the centre of the crag. At the largest roof, move left to avoid a grovel and romp over the huge exposed flake.
FA: R. Halsey & C. Burden 22/09/14
Motion Fitness (23/24)
Start up the right side of the pillar using a left tending hand crack. From the top of the pillar, pull onto the face via tricky moves, with nasty fall potential. Continue up to a thin horizontal rail about 2m below the biggest roof. Traverse left and finish up Feeling Fate.
FA: R. Halsey & D. Steyn 22/09/14