DOWN TIME Rap Route
The abseil descent is very user friendly and over time has been much improved and you would have to be rather unlucky to have an epic on it. The descent nevertheless is very airy and a wonderful high mountain experience if you have never done anything like it. 60m ropes are adequate provided they are not shorter. 70m ropes allows for combining the first two and last two abseils. The descent can be done with 55m ropes but is not ideal and you will have to leave some gear if you only have 50m ropes but it is not necessarily an epic.
The top anchor is quite easy to find unless it is dark but even then a cairn along the rim of Yellowwood marks the origin and there are no cairns of stones anywhere near. From the top of Smalblaar the cairn can be found by walking west quite steeply down to where it levels off. The cairn is located about 20m after passing the gulley where the one and only massive right facing corner is found on the Amphitheatre and where "Fantastic Time" tops out.
At the cairn peer over the edge and you will see a ledge system and the anchors. There are 2 sets of anchors connected with a blue rope at this time. Use the lower set as this will be safer, provide more rope length and make for easier retrieval of your rope.
Connect yourself safely to the lower anchor and then after feeding your rope correctly through the Singing Rock Red Blocks (courtesy of CityROCK) and also with the one rope also backed up through a chain link start your abseil preferably with a prussik and individual knots at the end of the rope. Do not tie the lower ends of the rope together as twisting may cause problems.
- Abseil (Rap) 1: 40m. Rap straight down, past an overhang then free-hanging for a bit. When you touch rock again place a #0.75 cam in a vertical slot or at the next overlap and clip the rope in short. This will get you past the next bulge. The anchors are just beneath the bulge on a blank hanging stance.
- Abseil (Rap) 2: 30m. Rap off two bolts with nice long chains on them. Straight down to a ledge. Completely free-hanging rap. You can just reach the ledge if you lean out. The next anchors are just to the left. You can combine Abseil 1 and 2 with 70m ropes and 60m ropes may also reach but clip in short at the chains with a biner if you do not stop here.
- Abseil (Rap) 3: 50m. Rap off another Red Block straight down to the jumbo halfway ledge. Scramble down 3m to the lower ledge to find the next anchors where there are two sets. Use the one at the edge of the ledge on the right facing outwards (west edge of the ledge). This point has a Red Block, allows extra length of the rope and allows easier retrieval of the rope.
- Abseil (Rap) 4: 58m This is a full length rappel. Tie individual knots on the ends of your ropes. If your ropes are less than 60m you will find a single bolt at a stance after 45m on the left just before you go over the last overhang.
The rappel ends on a small ledge with three bolts and a Red Block
- Rap 5 58m Abseil till you are level with the top of the final ramp just below the very steep yellow rock band. Look about 5m left (west) to find a 2 bolt, chain and Mailon stance. Swing left to it. With 70m ropes you can get to a walk-off ledge about 6m above the ground. Walk off right (east) above the trees and then scramble down right-wards.
When the last person to come down reaches the walk off ledge using 70m ropes he/she should pull down some rope to reach the ground. Otherwise the rope will be caught in the trees if you walk off and scramble right with it. Once on the ground pull the rope from there to the left of the trees.
- Abseil (Rap) 6 20m. A single threaded rope will get you down from here.