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Kloof - "The Canyon" Route Descriptions

Copyright: MCSA - KZN 2004 ©

IMPORTANT : This crag is usually closed from 01 October to 31 December to protect a pair of nesting Wahlsberg eagles from disturbances. The exact dates of closure vary from year to year. Please check for details in the climbing register when signing in.

The "This and That" Wall

The wall is reached by a scramble of the far left of the wall as you stand on top of it, look out over the crag. The climbs are listed from left to right when standing at the base of the crag and facing it. The first route follows the exposed arête. All of the original bolts have recently been replaced with U-bolts.

1. The Beta Master (27) [5B;C] * * * * *

First Ascent: Roger Nattrass (1991)

This is a wild swinging ride up the overhanging arête on the extreme left-hand side of the crag. This superb line with a technical crux, relies on a cunning series of heel-hooks and side-pulls to fight your way to the top - put your thinking shoes on!

2. Mantra (29) [6B;C] * * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1991)

Start as for the Beta Master but after the first bolt continue straight up the face. The technical crux is at the third bolt but the last moves may feel impossible 0n a red point attempt. This is a powerful and sustained route that is hard from start to finish. It is particularly strenuous for the vertically challenged.

3. Inferno (27) [2B;C] * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1991)

This line follows the natural break to the right of 'Mantra'. This pumper has huge buckets that you won't believe you fell off. It is protected by two bolts and Rocks # 2, 7 and 5. The crux of this firey pump is is hanging in there for the last few moves. This route is often damp.

4. Viper (27) [5B;C] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1992)

This line has a nasty combination of crunched moves and slopers. Pull powerfully through the first roof. Extend the quick-draw on the second bolt if you don’t like the strenuous clip. A great route like all the others.

5. Venom (26) [4B;C] * * * * (photo right)

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1991)

This is the most popular line on the wall. A roof start and steep climbing lead to a fingery and technical exit where most people struggle to make the transition between steep jugs and thin tweaky holds. The flowing sequence of moves creates a classic introduction to the hard routes on this wall and this route a valuable notch on the belt of any aspirant rockstar.

6. Vampire Direct (29) [5B;C] * * *

First ascent: J. Vlasto (1992)

A super powerful and bouldery start leads into the sustained climbing of Vampire. This route sees few repeats.

7. Vamperama (30) [8B;C] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1994)

This line is a combo that uses the Vampire Direct start to Pumperama.

8. Vampire (27) [4B;C] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1991)

Climb the blocks to the right until level with the second bolt on Vampire direct. After leaning across to clip, traverse left to the bolt line which is then followed straight up with sustained climbing. The crux is a powerful lock-off on an undercling. A positive ape index and fancy footwork help in the crux section.

9. Pumperama (28) [7B;C] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1993)

Start as for Vampire but climb follow the diagonal line of bolts leftward to finish at the top of the Beta Master.


Note: The following routes are found towards the right-hand side of the wall and are not shown on the topo.

10. The Contortionist (24) [1B] * * *

First ascent: Craig Robertson (1993)

This steep line is the left-hand line found on the short wall at the base of the scramble. It is largely protected by wires but has a single bolt to protect the crux. Powerful climbing on clean rock leads to a crux which lives up to the route's name. This route is seldom climbed.

11. Magnus Powermouse (23) [4B;C] * * * *

First ascent: Brett Clarke (1990)

This route was originally opened as a traditionally protected route but has been retro-bolted. Climb just right of the obvious break, up the centre of the wall to the left of the scramble. This is an excellent and juggy route to warm up for the other routes at the crag. Be prepared for a sting in the tail.

12. Communique (25) [1B] * * *

First ascent: Gerald Camp (1989)

This was the first route opened at the "This and That" wall. It is three metres left of the scramble. Easy climbing on interesting holds leads to a single bolt below a contorted crux which is protected by smaller wires. Medium cams are required for the start.


The "Eroica" Wall

The Eroica Wall is one of the most impressive faces in KZN. To get to the base of the wall, walk away from the "This and That" wall with the canyon on your right. The base of the crag is most conveniently reached by abseiling down the big corner on the left of the Wall - just to the left of La Boheme. This is also a convenient exit route at about grade 15 but most people simply leave a fixed rope to haul on when leaving. Alternatively you can walk in and out via the "inner" canyon. Be aware that some of the bolts at this crag need replacing.

1. La Boheme (27) [7B;C] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1990)

Start up first, the thin crimpy section of Phantom of the Opera until you reach the third bolt. From here tend left and then straight up the headwall to the chains.

2. Phantom of the Opera (28) [7B;C] * * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1990)

Without a doubt one of the best routes at the crag. A bouldery start is followed by three powerful cruxes which are capped by a psyche-rending dyno to the finishing jug. The long series of sustained and powerful moves will sap both strength and morale.

3. Eroica (26) [8B;C] * * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1989)

The unique and powerful crux will have you in mid-air again and again. A super redpoint and difficult onsight. Two additional bolts have recently been added to the route making the prospect of falling at the crux a little less unappealing.

4. Copelia (29) [7B] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1991)

A route that turns out to be more difficult than it looks from the ground. The lower moves constitute the technical crux leaving many hanging on the first bolt. This steep, powerful start leads to a long dyno which is followed by a technical crux on micro footholds. Rest at the rail before cranking up the strenuous headwall.

5. Figaro (27) [6B] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1992)

This is the rightmost route on the wall. The devious boulder problem start may leave you dogging for hours. From here good climbing leads to the top of the crag.

6. The Lat Cracker (30) [10B;C] * * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1994)

This is a composite route that starts up Figaro to the third bolt and then up diagonally left past two bolts to reach the fourth bolt on Phantom of the Opera - up this to the next bolt and then across to the second last bolt on La Boheme which is followed to the top.


The "Spectre" Wall

This is the clean face to the left of the corner scramble at the Eroica wall. The base of the crag can be reached by scrambling down a gulley near the top of La Boheme or by abseiling down the face from the top. The existing bolts are in poor condition.

1. The Spectre's Bride (26) * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass (1990)

This is the left hand route on the wall. A bouldery start leads to a good rest at the rails halfway up the wall. Then move left and follow the hairline crack on good finger locks to the top. A couple of small wires are needed.

2. The Days and Nights of Love and War (24/25) * * *

First ascent: Grant Murray (1990)

This long line is the rightmost route. Buckets lead to an unconventional crux that is well protected by a couple of bolts that are currently in a poor condition.


The Inner Canyon

1. Carpe Diem (24) * * *

First ascent: Gerald Camp (1989)

This line was unfortunately opened during an exceptionally dry year and has suffered from seepage ever since. If it is dry and if the bolts have rusted into oblivion, give it a go. It is apparently a good route requiring a few Friends to supplement the bolts.