Injasuti

Copyright: MCSA-KZN 1998 ©


OLD WOMAN GRINDING CORN: Original Route (E)

(Map # 2 or 3 : BA: 66 : 2986m)

Opening Party: Brian Godbold, Charles Axelson and Norman Hodson.

Date: 25 July 1937.

Unable to break through the rock band on the east face, the original ascent scrambled up from the south side to the nek between the escarpment and the Old Woman. A grass traverse on the north side then leads to the nek between the two summits. A sensational traverse, easy but exposed, then leads across and around to the east face above the rock band, from where the summit is easily reached. Descend via one abseil on the east face.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1937, pg 84.

 

Approach: The following three routes on the "Old Woman" are approached in the same way. Walk up past Grindstone Caves to the contour path. Walk north along the contour path until it begins to dip downhill towards the Old Woman Stream. At this point turn off the path to the left and contour in towards the Old Woman Stream across the grassy slopes that run down to the south bank of the stream. Continue up the valley keeping to the grass slopes on the left (south) of the stream until you approach a prominent black wall at the source of the stream. Scramble up to the left and then through a long, low rock band to gain the crest of the Gibisila ridge. Follow this up to the nek between the Old Woman and her Grindstone. The first two routes described below start at this nek and the third starts near the right-hand side of the 40 m rock wall that starts at the nek and stretches across the east face of the peak.

 

OLD WOMAN GRINDING CORN: Direct Route (F3)

(Map # 2 or 3 : BA: 66 : 2986m)

Opening party: Anthony van Tonder and Gavin Peckham.

Date: 17 July 2001.

The approach to this route is described above. From the nek, scramble up about 10 m to the base of the rock.

30m F3. Climb up to an undercling flake that is clearly visible from below. At this point you will be standing on top of another flake that is not obvious from below. Stem up and then move awkwardly left onto a small sloping stance with some grass. This is about halfway up the rock face. Bridge up the recess on the left of the stance until it is possible to move left onto a small rock stance / platform. Climb up easily, tending right, to reach the top of the rock face. Take a rope to facilitate the descent and then walk straight up the grass slope above to reach the final rock band. Scramble easily up the obvious, large recess, heading diagonally right initially, then continue straight up to the summit. This scramble involves a couple of exposed D grade moves.

Descent: Back down the route with an abseil through each of the two rock bands. Alternatively it is possible to scramble down through the upper rock band via a gully on the north east side of the summit. A couple of unexposed D grade moves are required to enter the top of this gully and a rope is recommended for the faint of heart.

Comments: The rock on the main pitch is of excellent quality and provides very well protected and pleasant climbing. This is the quickest and most direct line to the summit.

Ref: MCSA Journal, 2002, pg - yet to be published.

 

OLD WOMAN GRINDING CORN: East Ridge (F3)

(Map # 2 or 3 : BA: 66 : 2986m)

Opening Party: Mervyn Prior, Elizabeth Davis, D MacDonald and A Jones.

Date: July 1975.

The approach to this route is described above. From the nek, scramble up about 10 m to the base of the rock - the same starting point as the previous route.

  1. 15m E3. Traverse left and around a corner on easy but exposed rock to reach a sizeable ledge. The final move is delicate.
  2. 25m E3. Climb a short face for about 5m, using a crack and vegetation. Move to the right around an arete for some 2m. Move up a few metres, then back into the crack until a steeply sloping stance is reached inside a chimney. Belay on a piton.
  3. 10m F3. Climb the chimney (strenuous) to the top of the ridge.
  4. C/D. Follow the ridge around to the right until an overhanging boulder blocks the route, then traverse to the left back onto the ridge. A few moves up a small face bring one to the summit.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1975, pg 119.

 

OLD WOMAN GRINDING CORN: East Face (F3)

(Map # 2 or 3 : BA: 66 : 2986m)

Opening Party: Steve Salmon, Andre Dalais, Rolf Persson, Jeremy and Linda Exelby, Dave Easton and Bryan Cooke.

Date: 13 July 1986.

Time: 4h30 for the party of seven.

The approach to this route is described above. From the nek, walk to the right along the base of the rock face. About 30 from the right hand end of the rock band there is a crack leading up to under some overhangs. This line was tried by Brian Godbold's party in 1937 and an old peg is to be found under the overhang.

25m F3. Climb the crack/flakes. Avoid the overhang by traversing (unappetizing!) out right to a layback flake and exit strenuously upwards. By 'Berg standards this pitch is well protected by pegs and cams. Scramble to the summit via a gully on the north east side of the peak.

Descent: Same as for the 'Direct Route'

Ref: MCSA Journal 1986, pg 119 and 1937, pg 76.

 

THE SPIRE (F3/A0)

(Map #2 or 3 : AZ:66)

Opening Party: Gavin Peckham, Ivan van Cleef and Richard Knott.

Date: 7 December 1996.

From the top of Leslie's Pass walk north for about 40 minutes to reach this impressive pinnacle that is located about midway between the Old Woman and the Ape. Tie in a fixed rope at the edge of the escarpment at a point a couple of metres north of the nek between the Spire and the escarpment. Abseil down 15m, cross a narrow grass ledge then continue the abseil down to a larger grass ledge. Tie a second fixed rope onto the end of the first - no other secure point could be found - and abseil a further 30m down to the nek. Walk to the right along a grass ledge to reach a grassy shoulder on the south side.

  1. 35m F3/A0. From the grass shoulder climb straight up on easy rock to the base of a vertical recess or open book that is climbed (crux) to a small roof, pulling on gear at one point. At the roof move out to the right on small holds for a couple of metres until it is possible to climb up a metre or two to reach a tiny stance with excellent gear placings for a belay. Climbers following the leader will be more comfortable if they continue on to the next stance.
  2. 10m E. Move out left around a large block and then up to gain a grassy ledge. Scramble up and then left to a belay at the base of a short, black face.
  3. 30m F2. Climb the short black face by one of various routes. Continue up on steep grass to the final rock band which is climbed to reach a good belay. Scramble to the top.

Descent: Abseil off a block at the top of the last pitch. This reaches the tiny stance at the top of the first pitch. Abeil off a fixed peg down to the grass shoulder. Walk back to the nek. Prussik up 30m to the large grass ledge. Bypass the next rock band by a steep grass gully off to the left. Prussik up the last 15m up to the escarpment.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1996, pg 138.

 

INJAZACILA (The Thin Dog): South East Ridge (F2)

Opening Party: Andre and Alistair Schoon

Date: 5 July 1977.

Time: 9 hours

Injazacila is a free-standing pinnacle opposite (NW of) the Greater Injasuti Buttress. Walk up past Marble Baths to the start of Leslie's Pass. Take the valley on the left that leads up to the little used Injasuti Pass. An adequate camp site will be found in this valley about one kilometre from the start of Leslie's Pass.

A 30 minute slog up the grass shoulder at the bottom of the south east ridge leads to the first rock band. Follow the ridge easily from here, deviating slightly to the left or right of the crest and climbing through short rock bands to the base of the first serious rock step (300m total, with various steps of C/D and one E).

Start approximately 30m below the point where the grass abuts the rock on the crest of the ridge. Scramble 25m up a grass ramp on the left of the ridge to reach a belay just below a cubbyhole.

  1. 40m F1. Continue easily up the grass ramp until it just before it peters out below a steep slab. Climb up for 2 or 3m and step to the right across a slight groove. Climb up to a series of small, steep, stepped grass ledges. Continue up the stepped ledges until a belay can be found at a point where a prominent 2m rock 'nose' is visible on the skyline about 15m away and diagonally up to the right.
  2. 30m D. Traverse 10m to the right to below the rock nose. Climb up for 10m, moving to the left past the nose and then continuing up diagonally left to reach a broad grassy shoulder.
  3. 140m C. Scramble about 70m back to the crest of the south east ridge and then scramble another 70m up the ridge to the second major rock step.
  4. 25m F2. Climb up diagonally left on mixed rock and grass to the left of the crest of the ridge. Pass under an overhang and continue on for about 5m to reach a steep rock face. Ignore the tempting recess that can be seen a further 10m to the left. Instead, climb the face for about 3m to the base of a smooth scoop. Move up into the scoop and exit it on the left (tricky). Scramble up to a small, steep grassy stance.
  5. 15m E. Climb up in the left-hand corner on a slab and then work diagonally to the right. The ropes can be coiled at this stage.

Walk about 50m up a heather terrace to the base of a turret. Bypass the turret by some C grade scrambling around to the left. About 200m of walking and scrambling up the crest of the south east ridge leads to the summit.

Descend back down the SE ridge for about 20m until it is possible to traverse around the base of the summit cone on a grass ledge. This ledge leads across the NE aspect and around to a shoulder on the escarpment side. Climb down steep grass and rock just to the left (facing the escarpment) of the shoulder. Continue scrambling down towards the escarpment until the next un(down)climbable step is reached. Abseil off a peg located about 2m back from the lip of the step. This 40m abseil reaches the knife-edge arete that connects the peak to the escarpment. Scramble along the knife-edge and over a hump to reach a good peg on the far side. A 20m ab off the NE side of the knife-edge reaches a peg belay on a tiny ledge - virtually a hanging belay. A 40m abseil reaches a broad grass ledge. Walk along the ledge towards the escarpment to gain entry to a broad gully that is followed back down to the base of the peak.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1977, pg 64 and photo pg 65.

 

GREATER INJASUTI BUTTRESS : North East Arete (G2 - 21)

Opening Party: Paul Fatti and Mike Cartwright

Date: 7 November 1999.

Approach : From the head of the Injasuti valley, walk up the grass ridge, opposite the approach walk to the North West Ridge of the Western Injasuti Triplet (1970 MCSA Journal, pp 67-8). Continue up and then into the gully leading up to the col between the Greater Injasuti Buttress and Scaly Peak (2 ½ hours to the col). Start at the base of the rock buttress on the left. 

  1. 25m 15. Climb the arete (tricky at start) and continue up to the top of the buttress. Scramble up grass ledges to the base of the main rock face and traverse around right to the end of the ledge.
  2. 30m 17. Traverse right around the corner and climb up on good, but poorly protected rock to where it is possible to traverse right to the arete. Step up with difficulty and continue up to a stance below and to the left of the right-hand of two steep recesses.
  3. 20m 21. Step right and up into the base of the recess. Climb this with difficulty to an overhanging block. Pull through this to where the angle eases and then step right and up to the base of a steep grassy groove. Step back left and climb up to an awkward stance below an overhanging crack.
  4. 30m 21. Climb the crack with difficulty until the angle eases and then step delicately left to a ledge. Continue traversing left around the corner below a large overhanging block and then climb up to where the angle eases. Continue up to a stance on a grassy ledge in the main recess.
  5. 30m 13. Step right and climb up easily to a grass ledge below a steep black recess.
  6. 20m 15. Climb the recess and continue up to where scrambling leads to the top of the buttress.

 Descent: Careful scrambling down the gully between the Greater and Lesser Injasuti Butresses and an abseil leads to easy grass slopes which are followed down and around left (facing downward) to the long grass slope leading down into the valley.

Note: Paul first spotted the possibility of a route up this buttress while making an early ascent of the NW ridge of the Western Injasuti Triplet with his brother Carl in January, 1971. It says a lot about the untapped potential of the Drakensberg that this project remained unchallenged for nearly 29 years!

Ref: MCSA Journal 2000, pg ??

 

WESTERN INJASUTI TRIPLET: Original Route (G)

Opening Party: David Bell, Bob Davies.

Date: 3 July 1951.

Time: 5 hours climbing and 3 hours down.

The Western and Middle Triplets are connected by a remarkable knife-edge with big drops on either side. The knife-edge steepens into an arete as it approaches the Western Triplet. The arete does not lead to the summit, but abuts the peak below a final 40m vertical face.

Scramble down from the escarpment directly opposite the Middle Triplet to the nek between the escarpment and the Triplets. Then descend the gully to the West, until the start of the original route on the Middle Triplet is reached.

  1. 20m E. Climb the obvious crack (or break) up the western edge of the Middle Triplet.
  2. 20m E. Traverse left and around the corner (northwards) to reach the lowest point of the knife-edge mentioned above. (There is a tunnel through the rock here).
  3. E. Cross a 3m wide gap by descending and ascending on the other side.
  4. Climb the arete (mainly C) to where it abuts on the main wall. The first 10m step is climbed initially on the right and then up the left (F). The next 20m step is climbed on the left (E).
  5. 20m F. From the top of the arete, traverse right (northwards) to a small but conspicuous grass platform.
  6. 35m G. Follow a shallow vertical crack directly above the grass platform. After 8m, traverse left into a wide recessed face, steep and dirty and made more serious by rotten rock. This recess is followed straight up to the summit. The opening party attribute the G grade to the unsound nature of the rock and poor protection. They placed 2 pitons for runners.

Descent: Abseil to the top of the knife-edge, then again to a grass ledge below. One more abseil regains the gully. Be careful to abseil into the gully above the large chockstone.

NOTE :This route is described by Martin Winter as being 'rather hairy' and to date has had only two ascents.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1951, pg 16.

 

WESTERN INJASUTI TRIPLET: North West Ridge (Standard Route) (F3/A1)

Opening Party: Hans Graafland, Bob Davies, Mike Scott and Y Pipich.

Date: July 23rd and 24th 1969.

Time: 8 hours climbing.

This superb line is the usual route up Western Triplet. The north west Ridge is the right-hand skyline of the peak as seen from the Injasuti Valley below. Approach up the central spur directly in front of Middle Triplet and then scramble up diagonally to the right to reach the grass ledge across the base of the Western Triplet. Walk to the right and about 100m before the start of the NW ridge, there is a reasonably good cave which makes a convenient base camp (no water). Walk to the right and scramble onto the NW ridge itself. Scramble up the ridge. When the going becomes trickier, rope up for a 40m E grade pitch. This leads to a grass ledge below a steep section.

The next section climbs a 100m gendarme and is the crux section of the climb. Start up a groove some 6m to the left, where the lower part of the ridge abuts against the gendarme, directly below a balcony overhang 25m up.

  1. 20m F3. Take off with difficulty. Ignore the tempting recess that tends left. Instead, step right and then up to an obvious traverse line that runs off to the right. Just before the right hand skyline, climb a recess and pull through a small overlap to reach a good stance on a small platform adjacent to a large block.
  2. 20m F3/A1. From the platform, climb straight up a shallow brown scoop using a peg or two (not in place) for aid. Continue up strenuously until it is possible to do a tricky mantleshelf move up to a cubbyhole. This pitch has been freed, sometimes directly and sometimes by traversing to the right from the stance, and around a corner before continuing upwards to rejoin the previous line.
  3. 25m F1. From the cubbyhole, step out to the right and ascend a short steep section, then climb diagonally to the left and continue up the gully to a good stance on a ledge.
  4. 40m C/D. Continue up the ridge. Thereafter, scramble up and over the top of the gendarme and dopwn to the nek on the far side. Alternatively, scramble round to the right hand side of the ridge to reach the nek.
  5. 30m F2. Climb up left, then right, left again and continue straight up to a short, smooth face which is bypassed by moving to the right. Continue up to a rocky stance just to the right of the crest of the ridge and next to a series of large grass ledges that run off to the right across the escarpment face of the peak.
  6. 35m F1. Scramble diagonally up to the right across the left hand ends of the grass ledges mentioned above, to reach a large, left-tending recess. About half way up this recess, stop following it to the left and instead, climb straight up another shallow recess and continue up to a good stance near the crest of the ridge.
  7. 30m F1. There are two steps in the ridge above. Climb straight up to the top of the second step.
  8. 45m D. Continue easily up the ridge.
  9. 20m E. Climb easily up to a large block with a 4m, right-tending fist jam crack that exits onto the summit.

Despite the apparently obvious line, route finding on the upper half of the climb has confused many parties, who have taken a wide variety of lines to the top. These have generally been both more difficult and time consuming, often resulting in benightments. The trick is to try and stay as close the crest of the ridge as possible and to regain the crest by the shortest line whenever a deviation becomes necessary. Copyright: MCSA-KZN 1998 ©

Descent: Abseil back down the ridge.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1970, pg 67.

 

MIDDLE INJASUTI TRIPLET: Original Route (F2)

Opening Party: Lorna Peirson, Gillian Bettle and Des Watkins.

Date: December 1951.

Time: 3 hours.

From the Upper Injasuti Cave scramble down to the nek joining the Middle peak to the escarpment. Follow the steep gully down left until a short climb enables one to reach the start of the almost continuous chimney cutting the western nose of the Middle Peak right to the summit some 120m above.

  1. 45m E. Up the chimney, over a face, past a lovely layback and over a steep section. This is a very pleasant pitch.
  2. 30m F2. On up the chimney, over some alarmingly loose blocks, then traverse out left, up and back in on a big ledge. Disappear into a sort of rabbit's hole.
  3. 30m D. A gloomy deep moss-hung chimney leads to the summit.

Descent: A 45m abseil reaches to the nek. There is no need to stop at the intermediate ab point on the grass ledge about 15m below the summit.

Comment: The rock on the second pitch is exceedingly unstable and dangerous.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1951, pg 12 and photo facing page 14.

 

MIDDLE INJASUTI TRIPLET: Escarpment (SW) Face (F2)

Opening Party: Paul and Carl Fatti.

Date: 3 July 1991.

The route follows the obvious slanting crack/chimney line that leads up from the bottom right to slightly left of centre on the side of the middle Triplet facing the escarpment. This is a pleasant climb on generally good rock. It is easily accessible from the Upper Injasuti Cave and may be followed at close range by observers on the escarpment.

From the escarpment edge scramble down to the chockstone at the heads of the two gullies which lead down in opposite directions behind the Triplets. Continue down the east gully for less than a hundred metres to a flat 'table-top' of rock which is just above a 15m drop.

  1. 5m F1. From the 'table-top' traverse out to the right around a ridge of rock on very exposed rounded holds to gain a belay in a narrow gully with vertical walls on both sides.
  2. Scramble up the gully for about 40m to the base of a chimney which is then climbed (E). Scramble up to a stance on top of a grassy, sloping ledge.
  3. 35m F2. Climb steeply up the left hand crack line and continue up to a pair of chimneys. Ignore the wide chimney on the left and climb the very narrow chimney on the right. Squeeze up this to where it widens and continue up more easily to a large rocky stance behind a pinnacle which is on the left hand side of the gully.
  4. 25m F2. Straddle up between the pinnacle and the left hand side of the chimney to a position just below and left of a small roof. Step across onto the left face of the chimney and then move to the right to a position underneath the roof. Follow an awkward hand jam crack up diagonally to the right. After exiting the crack, a short, easy scramble leads to the summit.

Descent: A 45m abseil reaches to the nek. There is no need to stop at the intermediate ab point on the grass ledge about 15m below the summit.

 

EASTERN INJASUTI TRIPLET: North Ridge (G1/A2)

Opening Party: Tony Dick, Paul Fatti and Richard Smithers.

Date: 29 March 1975.

Time: Approach from the Injasuti Valley - 2 hours and then 7 hours climbing.

The route follows a prominent ridge of the Eastern Triplet that faces into the upper section of the Injasuti Valley. It is best approached from a campsite in the valley about 1½ hour's walk upstream from the Lower Injasuti Cave.

Walk up the grass ridge leading up to the peak from the valley, avoiding any difficulties by easy route finding, to reach the base of the hump at the foot of the ridge proper. Starting at the beacon (hopefully!) near the middle of the hump, 70m of C grade scrambling, straight up at first and then spiralling up right, leads up the sloping grass ledge at the foot of the climb. Start at a beacon below a steep groove slightly to the right of the crest of the ridge and about 20m below the left end of some overhangs.

  1. 25m F2. Climb the groove for 15m till it is possible to step out left onto an exposed corner. Continue up to the base of a short layback crack which is climbed to a narrow grass ledge below and to the left of the overhangs. Traverse a few metres left to a stance with peg and nut belays.
  2. 30m F1. Traverse left around the corner and then climb up, bearing slightly left initially and then following the easiest line up to a stance with nut belays under a prominent overhanging boulder.
  3. 40m F2. Starting from the left-hand end of the stance pull up strenuously onto a block and then traverse left for 4m before climbing up on easier angled rock. Bearing slightly right to avoid a steep corner, continue up, using an awkward move to get past a small hollow in the rock, to a comfortable stance with nut and peg belays. This stance leads onto the huge grass terrace that cuts across the entire north east face of the Eastern Triplet. Scramble up to a stance on the extreme right hand end of the terrace below a very steep recess with a small overhang 4m up.
  4. 20m G1 and A2. Climb up on poor rock to the overhang and climb past it on the left with difficulty using a peg (in place) for aid. continue up the recess to where a further two pegs are required to overcome an overhanging bulge. Climb up with difficulty to where a final peg and small nut are used to climb out left on to easier angled rock and up to a stance with peg belay. (An angle, a wide angle and a blade peg were used in the opening ascent).
  5. 8m E3. Traverse right around the corner to a comfortable stance on a grass ledge.
  6. 20m F3 and A1. Climb up directly above the stance using a wide straddle and a hollow sounding layback crack till a good hold for the left hand is reached. Using this and a series of awkward laybacks, move diagonally up right to an uncomfortable resting position about 3m below a small overhang. Using a peg for aid, place a small nut behind a block below the overhang and use this to make a tension traverse left to a good foothold. Step up using another peg for aid and continue up to a comfortable stance with peg and nut belays.
  7. 25m F3. From the left hand end of the stance move diagonally up left into a steep recess. Climb this, making a difficult exit at the top of the steep section, and continue up more easily to a stance and thread belay below an overhang at the top of the recess.
  8. 35m E3. Traverse left for 3m to where it is possible to climb up onto easier rock which is followed to the top.

Descent: The quickest way down is by abseiling back down the ridge. This can be done in four full rope length abseils by climbing back down pitch 8 and using the thread belay at the stance on top of pitch 7 as first abseil point.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1975, pg 117.

 

EASTERN INJASUTI TRIPLET: East Ridge (G1/A0)

Opening Party: Ian Slatem and Roland Magg.

Date 2 May 1998.

Time: 1 hour from the camp to the start and 6 hours climbing.

Walk up the long grass ridge above Lower Injasuti Cave and traverse left around the irregular basalt ridge. A camp site was found on a spur about three quarters of the way across to the main gully. Water is available in the gully - higher up rather than lower down. The climb is approached from the camp site by continuing up a vague path towards the north ridge before traversing diagonally back left and up towards the east ridge of the Eastern Triplet. The climb follows the east ridge without deviating from it by more than a few metres at any time.

Traverse left on a high grass ledge to a small (2m) chimney on the arete leading to the highest, thin grass ledge. The climb, named 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' by the opening party, starts on the left extremity of this ledge.

  1. 55m E2. Traverse 10m left onto the arete before climbing diagonally steep left then on easy rock to a stance.
  2. 30m E2. Climb 25m on the right of the arete to below a steep, almost overhanging wall. Traverse 5 to 8 m left onto the arete to a good stance at a big flake/block under the overhang on the arete.
  3. 20m F2. Traverse 3m left under the overhanging wall, past a leper peg and into a small, blind, white corner. Pull up leftwards onto a sloping ramp and then climb steeply to a huge ledge. This grass ledge extends left across the south face of the Triplet.
  4. 55m F1. Walk, scramble and then climb the ridge on steeper, good rock to top out over some loose rocks. This leads to the left hand extremity of the high grass ledge on the east face of the Triplet. Walk up for 50m to the extreme, upper, left hand end of the grass ledge and a stance besides the narrow rib of the ridge above.
  5. 55m F3. Climb the thin rib and then bearing slightly to the right, climb up to the base of an impossible steep corner. Traverse to the right on blocks and step on a horizontal flake to move to the base of the next vague scoop. Using a high under-cling / finger-lock, move up and then using tufts of grass, climb steeply up. Climb easier rock tending to the right then move back left to a pillar / spike block to a stance below a steep, blank open book.
  6. 25m G1/A0. Traverse left and climb up onto some blocks on the arete on the left. Move up on steep, good rock using high holds and then layback moves, to stand higher. Step 1m left to the left hand corner above. Climb this corner crack with one aid move and pull through on steep, excellent rock onto the small ledges above. Climb easier rock up diagonally to the right, then left to a good stance.
  7. 45m F1. Climb the rib through the gunsight to the top and stance at the summit beacon.

Descent: The opening party abseiled down the Standard Route, but suggest that abseiling back down the east ridge would probably be much easier.

Note: The route was opened with 60m ropes. Parties using shorter ropes will need to rearrange the stances. The crux will go free if the finger crack is cleaned of soil and moss.

 

EASTERN INJASUTI TRIPLET: Standard Route (F2)

Opening Party: Ted Scholes, Lorna Peirson, Robin Forsyth and Des Watkins.

Date: December 1951.

Time: 6 hours.

This route described below is a slight variation on the original route. The variation was opened by Malcolm Moor, Martin Winter and Neil Fairall in July 1956. From the upper Injasuti Cave, scramble down the escarpment edge to the nek between the Middle Triplet and the main Berg. Walk under the huge chockstone and descend the gully between Eastern Triplet and the escarpment to an unclimbable 15m drop. Abseil down the drop and continue down the gully - it may be necessary to leave a fixed rope especially if the chimney on the left (facing down the gully) is wet. Scramble out of the gully and up to a large grassy scoop on the side of the gendarme. From the top of the grassy scoop, scramble up diagonally to the right to gain a shoulder on the gendarme. The shoulder is visible against the skyline from the gully.

  1. 25m D. Climb up to a second, smaller shoulder and then scramble to the top of the gendarme.
  2. 10m D. Step across the 1m gap from gendarme to main peak. Avoid a tempting traverse right, and climb up to the cubbyhole above.
  3. 20m F1. Climb out left and then up for 2m until it is possible to traverse to the right just above the roof of the cubbyhole. Continue traversing to the right for several metres and then move up diagonally right to a small, grassy stance. With careful rope work, pitches 2 and 3 can be led as one.
  4. 25m F2. Almost straight up above is a recess in a face. Climb up the right hand side of a semi-detached nose of rock in the recess, then diagonally up right, and finally up a tricky short recess which leads to a long rock ledge. Continue to below the obvious 'bent chimney'.
  5. 15m F1. Climb out to the left, up and back to the right again and then into the bent chimney. This is broad and easy at the bottom but becomes very narrow and strenuous towards the top. The top of the chimney is blocked and it is necessary to exit to the right. (The original route did not climb the 'bent chimney' but went up to a narrow crack 15m up and to the left. The crack is graded G).
  6. Scramble up diagonally left to the lowest corner of the sloping summit of the peak.

Descent: Abseil pitches 4 and 5 in one - i.e. abseil from near the top of the bent chimney to the small grass ledge. Be careful because the grass ledge is significantly to the left of the ab point and it is necessary to 'walk' across the rock to reach it. If contact with the rock were lost, a pendulum out into space would result. An abseil off a large block on the left of the grass ledge reaches the top of the gendarme. Scramble down the gendarme to a small grassy shoulder and abseil off a fixed peg. Do not abseil back down the first pitch. Instead, abseil off the side of the gendarme towards the escarpment and down to a large grass ledge. A final abseil is made off a chockstone 2m up in a small chimney at the back of the grass ledge. This abseil reaches the main gully. Scramble back up the gully and climb the fixed rope or the chimney on the right of the step. Continue back up to the escarpment..

Note: Eastern Triplet can also be climbed from below. From the Lower Injasuti Cave, follow the long grassy ridge on which the cave is situated. After about 2 hours, traverse left into the gully separating the Eastern Triplet from the escarpment. Water is usually available and parties can camp here. Approach the climb straight up the gully. Shortly before the traverse out to the route, a short E pitch has to be done on the right to miss an obstruction.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1951, pg 11 and 1956, pg 58 and sketch on pg 59.

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