Kasteel Buttress

From South Africa Rock Climbing Routes Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This Buttress is one of the easiest access buttresses on the Apostles, and its a shame it doesn't see more climbing. the crag has a distinct break one pitch up, meaning some routes start on the lower level, while others on the upper.


There are two options, but they amount to the same thing, with the first being much easier, and the second faster.

1. Take the Kasteel Poort path until one reaches the "Band-Stand", which is a prominent flat area which marks the paths change from walking up the west face of Kasteel Buttress to Kasteel Ravine.

2. Take the Valken Ravine approach but turn right for the start of Kasteel Buttress.

Castle Rib * F1 or 15

G. Athiros, A. Killick and Miss T. Snijders 1967

Allow plenty of time to find the start.

Start: The route lies up the curved rib which is capped by an overhang, 12m right of Valken Ravine (Right-Hand Route), and to the left of Kasteels Gully. (take the Valken Ravine approach).

Pitch 1. 18m (D) "Black Face Pitch." Climb the black face 13m right of Valken Ravine waterfall. Walk left to a corner 5m right of the Right-Hand Route.

Pitch 2. 28m (F1 or 15) Climb the corner to an overhanging flake. Step up onto the flake, then move up to a higher foot rail. Traverse right for 6m and climb s clean face with a tricky finish. Walk right for 19m to the next beacon beneath an overhang.

Pitch 3. 30m (E2 or 13) Climb a short distance up a crack beneath the overhang, then diagonally left. Once above the level of the overhang, move right, then climb an easy face.

Pitch 4. 8m (D) Climb the corner directly move to a stance shared with Valken Ravine RH. One is now beneath the prominent bulge on Castle Rib.

Pitch 5. 15m (E2 or 13) A few overhanging moves on the right of the bulge enables on to traverse to a chimney, which is then taken to complete the route.

Kasteels Gully C Route

K. Cameron, F.G. Clarkson and H.E. Walton 1912

"Another popular and well patronized climb. Allows much variation."

Start: Walk up Valken Ravine until a cave/overhang is reached level with the bottom of Barrier Cave. Continue up VR a few meters then walk right onto the wide ledge above the overhang. Walk up to the foot of the subsidiary buttress on the right of VR until directly below a prominent prong of ricks jutting out some 200m above. 3 or 4 nondescript scramble pitches up the gully brings one to move vertical rock. Keep over to the right and climb:

Pitch 1. 12m (C) A vertical crack with excellent holds. scramble left to the foot of the final chimney below prongs.

Pitch 2. 20m (C) climb the chimney on its right wall.

Kasteels Buttress Gully or "B" Route **

F.C. Barwick and G.F. Traverse-Jackson 1907

"This route starts on the left side of the Buttress and traverses across the buttress to the right hand side. By Examining the photo and following the obvious, well warn lines you should have no problem following the route."

Kasteel's Buttress North Face *** D

A.F. Bisschop, E.E. Vaughn and Miss D. Windsor. 1931

There are two variations to this route, however the left is so bushy that its not recommended. The right route has steep pitches and good holds, thus the 3 start rating.

Start:the Right route begins close to the bottom of the right edge of the North-Facing wall of the buttress. This is the point where the main face cuts back up towards the ravine. Up the corner is a pea-pod shaped cave, which cannot be seen from Valken, but lies to the left of prominent black streaks.

Pitch 1. 15m (E1 or 13) Climb the left wall then scramble up for 2 rope lengths until the "B" path is reached) Continue over to the right to the skyline and a square recessed corner above the "B" route.

Pitch 2. 21m (D) A delightful face on the left wall of the recess and then traverse right near the top to below a black streak.

Pitch 3. 9m (D) Climb up into the crack for 4m and finish via the face on the right. the top of this route runs close to the "B" route

Pitch 4. 21m (D) Just above ta large detached mass of rock is climbed to a small stance. Continue up the face to a good ledge. This face is exposed and overlooks the Kasteel Poort path.

Pitch 5. Above this face the route scrambles up the crest of the buttress to a short easy face to a similar face. After this, scramble up the ridge to the summit.

Band-Stand Routes

All these routes start off a large grass and bush ledge that wraps around much of the West base of the buttress. It is easiest to approach it from the KP at the Band-Stand.

There are several major features to this broken wall, and it is best to makes one's self familiar with them as one walks the KP path:

1. About 35m up in a ledge with a large rectangular roof complete with raising left lip. A pitch below this Castle Crag and Castle Premium start.

2. Right of this roof is a series of breaks with a tree at the base, right of this another, higher roof emerges. A pitch below this Full Page Frontal starts on the ledge grey face, and 5m right is a crack which leads to a small open book above, this line is Consternation Corbel.

3. The Grey face (in 2. above) ends with a vague arete, right of which is a corner with brown overlaps on the right face, and a grey wall on the left. In the corner of this Castle Turret begins, and a few meters right of this is an obvious break in the face, which is taken by Castle Carousel.

Please could someone who has done Pillar and Laager edit the above to put them in perspective

Kasteels Pillar * F2 or 15

G. Athiros and M. Scott. 1967

Follows the natural line up the left corner of the "Kasteel".

Start: begin about 15m left of the second pitch of Castle crag.

Pitch 1. 15m (E2 or 10) Climb a diagonal recess (above a bush), with the appearance of large flakes leaning out. Pull up on the left, swing right then climb diagonally left. Gain the ledge by pulling between two blocks.

Pitch 2. 15m (E2 or 10) Traverse 6m left, continuing around the corner. Step up in the recess, then pull up around the corner on the right. Climb to a ledge.

Pitch 3. 15m (F2 or 15) There is a beacon on the right of the tree ahead. Climb up a meter or so, then traverse left to climb a recess. An awkward move around a large tongue of rock jammed in a crack leads to a stance above.

Pitch 4. 15m (E2 or 10) Pull out on top of the block on the right. Traverse diagonally right to a gully. Stance left of the gully

Pitch 5. 18m (F1 or 14) From the grey block 4m right of the gully, (and 8m left of Crag), pull up to a face. Traverse left before continuing up. Either proceed delicately left to the corner, before stancing on the ledge above.

Pitch 6. 12m (D) Scramble 6m up to another ledge, then climb the recess on the right to an edge on the right corner.

Pitch 7. 15m (E2 or 10) There is a vertical, flat corner ahead. Pull up and move left to a corner. Move along a ledge to the left into a chimney which leads up to a stance. A direct alternative(F2) is to proceed straight up to a ledge from the corner using a crack.

A short pitch above leads to a final beacon, 12m left of Castle Crag.

Castle Laager ** G1 or 19

P. Attenborough, J. Levy, T. Hughes 1970

"A fingery, technical first pitch and a rotten final one."

Start: Begin on a rib 1m left of Castles Crag's 2nd pitch crack.

Pitch 1. 40m (G1 or 19) climb 9m up a white V Shaped face, the 3m left and up through an overhang. Continue up keeping left of Crag to a huge block below a recess 3m left of Crag.

Pitch 2. 25m (F2 or 15) Continue up the recess and face above, then diagonally right to a stance.

Pitch 3. 28m (F2 or 15) Move up a meter or so, then left for 9m then pull through some overhangs keeping as far right as possible. Pull through tiny overhangs just right of Kasteels Pillar's Beacon, to end up on a jutting out platform below the final face.

Pitch 4. 15m (F2 or 15) Traverse 3m right, then up a flake before stepping right and up to the top. (Beware rotten rock on this pitch).

Castle Crag *** F2 or 15

P. O' Neill and B. Russel 1948

Start: This route starts below a noticeable square lipped cave (whose left end rises) about a pitch up. on the large grass and bush lined ledge which starts from the Band Stand.

Pitch 1. 10m (D) Climb through the obvious break.after a tricky start into a bottomless chimney, move left onto the face, then up to a short band of "slope."

Pitch 2. 12m (E1 or 11) Cross the slope, (and the traverse path from KP to Barrier), and climb a wide chimney directly above (easiest on the left-side). Climb past a large chock-stone to a narrow ledge before traversing left to a stance.

Pitch 3. 11m (C) Move left to a corner and then climb straight up to a broad ledge.

Pitch 4. 10m (F2 or 15) Above and right are two large blocks. From the top of the right one climb a bottomless recess with a strenuous start. Having reached good holds continue up until one can traverse right and up to a comfortable stance.

Pitch 5. 12. (E2 or 10) 6m right climb the recessed corner above the beacon to a narrow ledge, then walk left to a stance on a large block.

Pitch 6. 12m (E2 or 10) Climb up the face above the block and continue straight to a small stance.

Pitch 7. 10m (E3 or 13) A Delicate traverse right goes to a ledge which leads to the bottom of a 3m corner. Take this to another ledge.

Pitch 8. 18m (E2 or 13) Climb directly above using flakes to a narrow ledge, from where two large cracks continue to the top.

Pitch 9. 10m (E2 or 13) Climb the left crack immediately above the last stance to reach a comfortable stance.

Castle Premium *** F3

R. Bailie, L. Birch, B. Clark and T. Lloyd 1962

The below RD is from the 1978 MCSA guide book, however it does not correspond with Cape Peninsular Select's RD

Start: From the KP path 9m right of Crag.

Pitch 1. 18m (E2 or 13) Climb 5m of easy rock left of a nose. From a broad ledge climb a 4m flake diagonally left until the overhang is reached, then traverse 5m left to a block. Climb the recess 3m then traverse left to the top of the pitch.

Pitch 2. 22m (F3 or 17) This pitch runs up a grey face forming the right side of a corner. he face has a shallow recess on the upper section. Climb diagonally left 3m to a corner which has a tiny resting place, From there traverse right 3m along a small horizontal crack to the bottom of the small recess on the right. Climb the recess for 11m to a ledge. From the small ledge continue directly up for 8m to a stance on a broad ledge. Scramble up to a ledge beneath a band of overhangs. Traverse right to a tree and large detathed block. (Kasteels Frontal beacon can be seen on the right).

Pitch 3. 15m (F3 or 17) From an awkward position on a large block under the overhang on the left below the nose: Reach for the lip left of the undercut overhang and pull up to a ledge on the left corner. Climb 2m up the recess, then a tricky move right to gain the crest of the nose. Continue up the crest for 3m for a small ledge. Kasteels Frontal traverse left along this ledge to the recess. Climb the face above.

5m of "D" leads to the bottom of the next pitch.

Pitch 4. 20m (F2 or 15) Climb a the ceiling capped recess next to a bush for 8m to the ceiling. Traverse left around the corner to a small ledge. Climb onto a small detached block about a meter long which projects from the face. Climb the bulging face before stepping right into a shallow, vertical recess which is ascended 12m to a ledge.

Pitch 5. 12m (E2 or 13) Climb up an overhanging crack immediately above for 3m, then traverse diagonally right for 6m onto a broad ledge. Continue traversing right to another broad ledge at the base of a recess.

Pitch 6. 10m (F2 or 15) Head up and right to the bottom of a flake which is followed diagonally left to a recess. take this recess to the summit.

Full Page Frontal *** 19

D. Tromp, M. Scott 1994

Start: about 20m left of the Castle Carousal crack, or 10m right of a bushy crack in the right fault of the rectangular roof above. the line starts up the middle of the grey face.

Pitch 1. 37m (15) Step up the pillar and crack to a small overhang, passing it on the right to gain a shallow recess which is climbed on flake edges. At the ledge go up a slab and finish on the left corner by a large hottentots Cherry Trees.

Pitch 2. 15m (19)There is a large block on the ledge that seems to have dropped out of a square recess above. From the top of that block move awkwardly into the brown groove on the left, which has two fixed pitons.

Pitch 3. 25m (17) Climbing diagonally left to below the roof, ones pulls up and steps left to some tricky stretch moves up a face to a narrow groove (part of Castle Crag). Climb this to a ledge. (At the start of this pitch one crosses Premium).

Pitch 4. 15m (13) Climb an orange wall with black stripes to below a tall crack on a white face. Step left and up to a long ledge.

Pitch 5. 35m (17) Pull up to a steep face right of a grass filled crack (used by Crag). Climb a "Swiss Cheese" feature, then diagonally right up using a thing finger crack to get into a tall crack. Climb this to easy rock beneath the overhang, before traversing right until a corner which takes you to the top.

Castle Turret *** F2 or 15

A. Blacquire, B. Fletcher and R. Varns 1950

Start: the route is up a corner 50m from the Band-Stand on the KP. Its most noticeable feature is a large square block about 35m above the start.

The Route begins in the large recessed corner left of the black waterfall which forms the lower right wing of the buttress, just above the path which traverse across the buttress from the Band Stand to Barrier traverse.

Pitch 1. 26m (13) Climb the corner for 18m to a roof, traverse left to a wall before climbing diagonally left around the corner and up to a stance.

Pitch 2. 15m (10) Climb the face to a dassie ledge, traverse right 12m to a corner stance below a large square roof.

Pitch 3. 18m (16) climb the face then move right onto the corner. Ascend the corner to a broad ledge.

Pitch 4. 7m (12) Climb the corner directly above, then scramble to the summit.

Castle Carousal *** 16

G. March, J. Moore 1967

Start:The route takes an obvious crack and small tree 5m right of the Turret corner, or about 8m left of a vague arete.

Pitch 1. 22m (16) Climb the crack to a cubby hole then exit the crack right onto a small platform.

Pitch 2. 18m (11) continue up the short face to a wide ledge, then climb an easy face on the left to the stance (below the crux of Turret).

Pitch 3. 22m (16) Climb diagonally left, then traverse left 3m to the base of a short face. climb straight to a cubby and continue diagonally left to a ledge next to a large block.

Pitch 4. 15m (16) From the blocks on the right end of the ledge, climb the corner to a short ledge below an overhang. Traverse right to the tip of a nose, then straight up to a wide ledge. Scramble to the top of the buttress.

Consternation Corbel ** F2 or 15

R. Baillie, I. McMorran, K. Pilcher 1960

Harder for the shorties.

Start: about 15m left of the Turret corner is a grey face with a break running up its center. this line takes that break.

Pitch 1. 27m (E3 or 13) Start on the right edge of the crack and move up to a small cave. Traverse right over a slightly broken face the climb left to a mantelshelf and stance. I think this is below a small stepped overhang.

Pitch 2. 22m (F3 or 18) Above and right is a fine belay among some boulders on a ledge. From this ledge continue diagonally left to an obvious break (2 pitons).Continue to directly below the overhang, then up to a curious crack.

Pitch 3. ?m "D" Continue straight up a crack. my copy of 1978 guide has a misprint over this part, please someone complete the missing details here.

Pitch 4. 18m (E2 or 12) Climb an easy overhang above and left to the ledge and move right to a good stance.

Pitch 5. 21m (F2 or 17) Either take the recess of an easier crack on the right.

Pitch 6. 5m (E1 or 11) Take an obvious chimney type crack on a boulder. again, my 1978 copy has a misprint here

Band-Stand ** F2 or 17

R. February, A. Goldberg, M. Scott. 1978 "A One for the Road Climb. It had to be some someday."

Start: From the band-Stand there are two obvious cracks, this line takes the first one, which is on an orange recess capped by overhangs and left of black water worn rock. Yes, its that obvious line.

Pitch 1. 25m (F2 or 17) Ascend the recess to the first overhangs where you are forced right then up a slightly bulging, striped slab. Continue up the square recess above before a long diagonal left until a large ledge is taken.

Pitch 2. 20m (F1 or 15) Take a tall chimney at the back of the ledge, left of a flat face. The chimney degenerates to a short, tricky bushy gully at the top

Water streak area

Much better than it looks. Good climbing, good gear, 22-30m single pitch - easy walkin and walkoff. Result!

May well have been climbed before, but no records found.


1. Kdonk-adonk, 2. Wobble Fest, 3. Rain Maker, 4. Winning Streak, 5. Day Zero, 6. Hydro Flower

Kdonk-adonk (21) **

P1: 30m, 21 Start up an undercling into two layback flakes. Continue up the face to the right of the wide crack and to the left of the orange rock. Once on the big ledge move to the gray face to the right of the chimney.

P2: 20m, 19 Up the grey face to the wide rail. Pull over roof on brown and black rock and the move right to arete. Near top step left and scramble up to abseil tree.

R. Halsey & R. Strate (Nov 2020)

Wobble Fest (20) **

P1: 25m, 20 Straight up the face at a break in low roof. Pass a higher roof on right and then left of a black roof to reach the ledge.

P2: 20m, 18 Pass the roof on the grey face on the right, then arc back left with a tricky move near the top.

R. Halsey & R. Strate (Nov 2020)

Rain Maker (17) ***

Pull through the lower roof then up the black streaks to the right of the beige rock in the middle. Tend a bit left near to top into a short, vague corner then straight up.

FA?: R. Halsey (Nov 2020, rope solo)

Winning Streak (18) ****

Up the steep orange and black stripes to the right of the bigger recess. The route tends left, alwars just right of the recess. Very satisfying.

FA?: R. Halsey (Nov 2020, rope solo)

Day Zero (16) ***

Up the crack, step slightly right and then follow the weakness to the top.

FA?: R. Halsey (Nov 2020, rope solo)

Hydro Flower (18) ***

Climb the black, left facing corner, step right and then follow the weakness that is parallel to Day Zero. Sting in the tail

FA?: R. Halsey (Nov 2020, rope solo)