Monteseel: Near Eastern Buttress RDs

Copyright: MCSA-KZN 1998 ©


The Pendulum Area (Pilgrims Progress to Republic Direct)

Reached by walking down the path at the western end of the central cliffs (directly below the parking area), and along a large ledge running eastward below the main climbing area.

The Camels Buttress (Source: Roger Nattrass)

Topo Key:

A. A Touch of Magic (26/27) * *
B. Soulbiter (26) * * *
C. Top Heavy (19) * * *
D. Knives in the Moon (24) * * * *
E. Superbrat (24) * * *
F. Dilemma (18) * *
G. Sweet Fanny Adams (17) *    
H. Sunset Boulevard (21) * * *
I. A Seal's Life is . . . (24) * * *
J. Telegraph Road (23) * * * *
K. Reluctant Newton (18) * *
L. Zig Zag (11) *
M. Pendulum Direct (18) * *
N. If Camels Could Climb (18) * * * *
O. Then Elephants Could Dyno (18) * *
P. Pendulum (14) * * *
Q. The Tears Behind Your Eyes (18) * *
R. Republic Left Break (17) * * *
S. Ape Call (21) * * *
T. Republican (12) * *
U. Pub Lunch (19) * * * *
V. Horizontal (14) *
W. Cain (10) * * * *

Pilgrim’s Progress (14) * * *

First ascent: Des Watkins, 1954

There is a bottom pitch which was opened by Sherman Ripley, but this is seldom, if ever, climbed, and best avoided. The top pitch described here is worthwhile, giving steep climbing on good rock. Start at the top of a pinnacle reached by scrambling up a gully (Tree Route) at the extreme eastern end of the main ledge.

Climb up the face from the top of the blocks, moving slightly left at first and then right. Protected by fixed pegs of dubious vintage.

 

Life’s a Bitch (15) *

First ascent: Adam Hanlon and Cavill Vermaak, 1986

Start on the clean blocks just to the left of the big roofs below Top Heavy. Climb the face heading slightly left towards the top.

 

Fringe of Freedom (21,20) * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts and Ian Wallace, 1979

Start on a short face between Pilgrim’s Progress and Top Heavy. There is a tree root growing across the face that provides protection for the take-off.

(1) A boulder problem start leads to easier ground. Continue up a shallow recess to stance on a huge block.

(2) Climb three metres up the face which is one metre to the right of a shallow corner. Traverse right for two metres and continue up the wall into a scoop to a roof. Break right to exit. Poorly protected.

 

A Touch of Magic (26/27) * *

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw, 1986

This very short roof problem takes the obvious break in the roof two metres to the left of Soulbiter. Climb up to the break and move strenuously up to a thin rail. Move left and climb the rubble and vegetation above to the ledge.

 

Soulbiter (26) * * *

First ascent: Evan Wiercx, 1987

Climbs through the large roofs below the start of Top Heavy i.e. one level below the large ledge. Start at the circle scratched in the rock.

Climb up to below the roof and then up and left to an undercling. Move through the roof following the seam and then on up the face.

 

Top Heavy (19) * * *

First ascent: Colin Shuttleworth and Jill Fothergill, 1971

Strenuous and technical, but well protected and offering a variety of climbing on good rock. Deserves more ascents. Start in a corner capped by a huge roof.

Climb the right hand side of the corner and then traverse left onto a ledge. Climb up to a recess and crack which is climbed to a large rail (sustained). Traverse left for two metres and move up diagonally right to a left-slanting recess which is followed to the top.

 

Knives in the Moon (24) * * * *

First ascent: Evan Wiercx, 1987

Starts as for Superbrat/Top Heavy. Climb the first moves of Superbrat, but break through the roof immediately to the left of the peg on the lip. Climb the face to a rail and then straight through the bulges above. Finish directly up the face above.

 

Superbrat (24) * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts, 1981

Starts as for Top Heavy. Climb up to the roof and move out right to a peg on the lip. Pull onto the wall move thinly right to the corner. Follow this to the top. Be warned that the tree in the corner has grown since the climb was opened, and a fall from the crux could result in a nasty encounter with some solid branches.

 

Dilemma (18) * * code: D

First ascent: Steve Salmon, 1987

Starts on the wall between Top Heavy and Sweet Fanny Adams. Climb up to a peg below a small roof. Move right and up to the corner level with the roof. Climb the face above, keeping to the left-hand side.

 

Sweet Fanny Adams (17) * *

First ascent: Sherman Ripley and Matt Makowski, 1962

A short crack climb with a strenuous take-off. Start in the obvious crack in the corner to the right of Top Heavy. It is advisable for a tall person to place the first runner!

Layback, jam and thrutch up the crack to a ledge. Move left onto a smooth grey face and climb up to a recess on the left-hand side of the large Zig-Zag ledge. Follow the recess (shared initially by Zig-Zag) to the top.

 

Reluctant Newton (18,15) * * code: RN

First ascent: Mike Roberts and Ian Wallace, 1979

The first pitch is poorly protected and the second pitch is scary because of two blocks that appear to be loose. Start below the Zig-Zag ledge, to the right of Sweet Fanny Adams.

(1) Climb the face to the big ledge.

(2) Climb up to the left-hand corner of the roof. Pull through and climb the recess to the top.

 

Zig-Zag (10,11) * * code: ZZ

First ascent: Charles Axelson, Sherman Ripley and Ted Gathercole, early 1940’s

Used to be a standard beginners route, but far too easy for beginners these days.

(1) Climb the obvious left sloping crack to a large ledge with a tree at the left-hand end.

(2) Climb the recess in the corner for one move and traverse left onto the clean face which is climbed to the top.

 

Sunset Boulevard (21) * * *

First ascent: Adam Hanlon, 1989

Start on the left-hand side of the Zig-Zag ledge. Climb directly up the face to the right of the start of the second pitch of Zig-Zag, passing a couple of pegs.

 

A Seal’s Life is Short, Hard and Brutish (24) * * *

First ascent: Grant Murray, 1990

Start on the Zig-Zag ledge. Takes the bolted line to the left of Telegraph Road. Technical moves lead to a rail about two metres from the top. Finish as for Telegraph Road.

 

Telegraph Road (23) * * * *

First ascent: Chris Jackson, Ian Wallace and Craig Attwell, 1983

Start on the right of the Zig-Zag ledge. Climb the crack past two pegs to a rail. Traverse two metres left and climb the break to the top. A direct finish (23) goes up the wall directly above the second peg.

 

Pendulum Direct (18) * *

First ascent: Roger Fuggle, Tony Dick and Jim Thomson, 1966

A strenuous and tricky crux. Climb the first pitch of Pendulum and break though the roof above the stance. Follow the recess above to the top.

 

Pendulum (13,14) * * * code: Pendulum

First ascent: Jim Thomson, Brian Hutchinson and Sherman Ripley, 1963

A pleasant route. Well protected on good rock. Start at the base of a shallow recess. The word "Pendulum" is painted on the rock.

(1) Pull up to a small ledge. Climb up past a peg and then left across the recess and up to a ledge. Climb the open book to a stance out on the left.

(2) Reverse the move onto the stance and traverse across the smooth face on the right. Continue along an obvious rail to a large flake. Traverse past this to a dead tree and climb directly up to a block. Exit easily above this.

 

If Camels Could Climb (18) * * * *

First ascent: Alan Manson and Paul Firman, 1980

A good route with an interesting crux. Starts in the recess immediately right of Pendulum. Climb up diagonally right to a small open book, and continue above this to the flake on the Pendulum traverse. Climb onto the flake, move left on thin holds and continue to the top.

 

Camel’s Direct (21) * * *

First ascent: Gerald Camp and Andrew Russell-Boulton, 1989

Start as for If Camels Could Climb, but move left at the top of the open book and then pull straight through onto the face.

 

Then Elephants Could Dyno (18) * *

First ascent: Gerald Camp and Andrew Russell-Boulton, 1988

A direct line up the wall to the right of If Camels Could Climb. Start beneath, and slightly to the left of the tree at the end of the Pendulum traverse.

Climb directly up the broken face through a series of small roofs, passing to the right of a stunted bush. Break onto the face one metre right of the peg and then up the face past the huge flake.

 

The Tears Behind Your Eyes (18) * *

First ascent: Craig Attwell and Steve Bradshaw, 1984

Starts just left of Republic Left Break. Climb the obvious groove with the loose block, onto the wall and up to the rail to the right of the tree. Continue up the wall and and exit right of the Pendulum gully.

 

Republic Left Break (17) * * *

First ascent: Roger Fuggle and Tony Dick, c. 1970

Slightly strenuous, but well protected with good moves. Start at a large block on the corner about five metres to the right of Pendulum. The climbing to the large ledge is easy.

Climb up to a small roof, move right and up to the large ledge (Republican stance). Climb the blocks in the back corner of the stance and move left onto the steep face using a flake handhold. Move up to a peg under a small roof and rail left to a small foothold on the corner. Move delicately up for one move to a flake and pull up past this. Move right and continue up a recess to the top.

 

Ape Call (21) * * *

First ascent: Adrian Jardin and Adrian Hill, 1982

A short pitch from the Republican ledge.

Climb as for Republic Left Break from the ledge to the peg. Pull through the roof and continue to the top.

 

Pub Lunch (19) * * * * code: PL

First ascent: Ian Manson, Chris Leslie-Smith and B. Milne, 1984

Very tricky and pumping for its grade. Starts from a boulder below the middle of the Republican traverse. Pull up from the boulder and continue directly up the wall, going through four successive roofs to the top. Whew!

 

Horizontal (14) * *

First ascent: Dave Castro, 1975

An interesting move pulling around the roof. Starts in the recess to the left of the Republican start. Climb straight up the recess to under the roof. Pull up and sidestep to the right to bypass the roof. The original route followed the bushy recess above, but it is more worthwhile to finish as for Republic Direct on the edge of the face to the right.

 

Republican (12,12) * * * code: Republican

First ascent: Vic Pearson and Brian Hutchinson, 1961

One of the more popular easier climbs on very good rock. The name is painted at the original start. A worthwhile variation at the same grade is to combine the second pitch with the start of Republic Left Break as a single, more direct pitch.

(1) Climb a crack in the recess, around the corner to the left of the Cain face, for four metres and traverse to the left around a corner into a second recess (taken by Horizontal). Continue traversing left across the face, past a peg under a roof, and up to the prominent ledge on the corner.

(2) Climb up the blocks at the back of the ledge and move right onto a small face up to a small roof and a peg. Move slightly right and then pull up left onto a block. Follow the recess to the top.

 

Republic Direct (15) * * *

First ascent: Unknown, c. 1960

This climb has nothing to do with Republican. It starts at an undercut face immediately to the right of the start of Republican.

Pull up strenuously but on good holds to the corner formed by this, and the left-hand edge of the Cain face. Continue up the left-hand edge of the Cain face and finish one metre to the left of Cain.

 

The Think Area (Cain to Awaiting His Return)

This is the main climbing area at Monteseel.

White Rider & Think Walls (Source: Roger Nattrass)

Topo Key:

A. Cain (10) * * * *
B. Adam (14) * * * *
C. Child of Darkness (25) * * * * *
D. Child of Darkness Direct (24) * * *
E. Think Twice (18) * * *
F. Think (16) * * * *
G. Think Thrice (18) * *
H. No Feet (13) * * *
I. Nog High (12) * * *
J. Noggon (22) * * *
K. Sleep of Unreason (27) * * * *
L.Stalking the Nightmare (26) * * *
M. White Rider (26) * * * *
N. Silverado (25) * * *
O. Powderfinger (22) * * * *
P. Awaiting His Return (20) * *


Cain (10) * * * *

First ascent: Unknown

The standard beginners route on excellent rock. Takes the furthest, obvious easy angled face visible from the path that leads down between the Eastern and the Lower Middle Buttresses. Start just left of a small tree below a big corner. Climb directly up the middle of the face and exit up the shallow crack.

Variations: You can wander around all over this face. The line that sticks mainly to the left of the face is known as 'Eve'.

 

Adam (14) * * * *

First ascent: Des Watkins

An excellent layback crack climb with good protection. Start in the big corner, on top of the blocks to the right of Cain. Follow the crack in the corner to the top.

 

Child of Darkness (25) * * * * *

First ascent: Andy de Klerk, 1985

A superb route on a steep wall. Start as for Adam. Pull through the small triangular roof and continue up the wall keeping to the left of the Think Twice corner. Move left and then up to the bolt. Finish up the break.

 

Child of Darkness Direct (24) * * *

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw, 1985

Instead of moving left at the bolt on Child of Darkness, move right and finish directly onto the block above the Think Twice finish. There is a three metre runout at the top.

 

Think Twice (18) * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts, 1978

A good route with an interesting crux. Harder for people of restricted growth. Start on the same blocks as for Adam.

Climb the steep face to a peg and continue up the recess to a roof. Pull through the overhang, initially using a crack on the right, and then move left onto the face and up onto the block.

 

Think (16) * * * *

First ascent: Sherman Ripley and Jim Thomson, c. 1963

One of the most popular routes at the crag, and one which lives up to its name. This gently overhung face is usually the culmination of any beginner’s first day at the crags. Start slightly right of Think Twice, below a block jutting out of the face above.

Climb the steep face on good holds to a thin ledge with a peg on the left. Continue straight up and move right onto the obvious block. Climb directly up to the top exiting up a steep crack.

 

Think Thrice (18) * *

First ascent: Andy Alcock and Bryan Cooke, 1988

Start on the block to the right and slightly below the start of Think. Climb the face past the peg to the small ledge. Pass the block above on the right hand side. Finish up the same crack as Think.

 

No Feet (13) * * *

First ascent: Unknown, c. mid 1970’s

The original line, opened by Archie Cockburn in 1956, takes the corner with the tree and traverses left near the top to finish up a recess. It has been superseded by a much better line up the middle of the face which is well protected with small to medium wires and Friends, contrary to statements in previous guides. Takes the face around the corner to the right of Think.

Climb diagonally left for a few moves and then move right to the middle of the face. Continue straight up finishing on the right hand side of a prominent block at the top.

 

Nog High (12) * * *

First ascent: Tony Ferrar and Arthur Aylen, c. 1960

A steep traverse in a fine position. Start in the corner of the No Feet face below a tree. Climb the corner to just past the tree. Step right onto the face at the level of the obvious hand rail. Traverse at this level until it is possible to climb up diagonally right to a cubbyhole on the corner. Move around the corner and climb the vague crack in the face to the top.

 

Nog Low (15) * * *

First ascent: Sherman Ripley and Jim Thomson, 1961

A variation of Nog High using its foot rail (at the level of the tree) as a hand rail.

 

Noggon (22) * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts and Pete Muir, 1978

Contrived, but technical with some good moves. Start as for Nog High and continue on this climb until four metres along the traverse from the tree. Climb straight up from this point keeping left of the shallow open book. Move right to exit.

 

Sleep of Unreason (27) * * * *

First ascent: Andy de Klerk, 1988

Start as for White Rider/Stalking the Nightmare to the blank section with two bolts. Thin moves past the bolts lead to the top. Copyright: MCSA-KZN 1998 ©

 

Stalking the Nightmare (26) * * *

First ascent: Evan Wiercx, 1987

Start as for White Rider, breaking throught the roof at the slight recess directly above the layaway start. Climb the face above to the last rail, and then finish as for White Rider.

 

White Rider (26) * * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts, 1981

Probably the first route of this grade in South Africa. Starts below a short face to the left of a section of crumbly rotten rock. Climb the short face up to the roof using a layaway. Move slightly right and pull desperately onto the wall above. Continue straight up the face and finish as for Noggon.

 

Silverado (25) * * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass, 1989

Start as for Powderfinger. Pull through the roof between White Rider and Powderfinger. Thin moves past a peg lead to good rails. Finish as for White Rider.

 

Powderfinger (22) * * * *

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw, Andy de Klerk and Andrew Forsyth, 1983

A very popular route that lives up to its name - follow the splodges. Climb the recess on the left-hand side of the crumbly rock and pull through the roof onto the wall above. Continue past a flake to the Nog High rail. Move left and pull through the roof above to finish straight up.

 

Awaiting His Return (20) * *

First ascent: D. Woods, 1992

Start as for Powderfinger but step right at the roof and then continue up the face above. Finish about two metres right of Powderfinger.


The Hallucination Area (Adam's Apoplexy to Pot Boiler)

Hallucination Wall (Source: Roger Nattrass)

Topo Key:

A. Adam's Apoplexy (12) * * * *
B. Adam's Ap. Variation (15) * * *   
C. The Entertainer Direct (23) * * *
D. The Entertainer (22) * * *
E. Pin Up (20) * * *
F. Pin Up Direct (21) * * * *
G. Zone Five (27) * * * *
H. The Empty Void (23/24) * * * *
I. Hallucination Direct (23) * * * *
J. Hallucination (22) * * * *
K. The Tears of a Clown (24) * * * *
L. Granny's . . . . (23/24) * * * * *
M. No Hands (15) *
N. Obscene Stone Call (24) * *
O. Fallout (20) * * *
P. Chariots of Fire (25) * * *
Q. Powertools (22) * *
R. Fiddler in the Roof (19) * * * *
S. Gerry's G (16) * *

Adam’s Apoplexy (12) * * * *

First ascent: Des Watkins: c. 1953

An excellent beginner’s route and probably every local climber’s first lead (or midnight solo). Takes the first big, easy angled corner visible from the path. Pull up on a blocky flake to a small ledge and follow the layback crack to the top.

An obscure route known as 'None' (12) follows the edge of the face to the left of Adams Apoplexy.

 

Adam’s Apoplexy Variation (15) * * *

First ascent: Unknown

A short variation with some technical moves on steep rock. Rarely led, but worth a top rope at least. The pegs are useless.

Climb Adam’s Apoplexy to the small ledge before the final moves (about 3/4 up). Traverse out right onto the steep face past a battered peg to a shallow recess and corner. Continue right onto good holds around the corner. Climb up diagonally right and finish up the large flakes.

 

The Sting (21) * *

First ascent: Clive Curson and A. Smith, 1986

Start on the small ledge on The Entertainer and climb up to the jams under the left-hand side of the roof. Continue up the face above to The Entertainer and exit straight up.

 

The Entertainer (22) * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts and Ian Wallace, 1979

Contrived, but technical climbing. Starts from the large block at the base of Pin Up. Step off the block and traverse left immediately using a thin hand rail for about two metres. Climb the wall and move back right to a shallow recess and then onto a block below a small roof. Pull through the roof and continue up a thin layback flake to the Pin Up flake. Traverse left (reversing the Adam’s Apoplexy Variation traverse) to the shallow recess which is climbed to the top.

 

The Entertainer Direct (23) * * *

First ascent: Adrian Jardin and Steve Bradshaw, 1984

This variation is completely independent from Pin Up. From the thin flake above the roof, move left and up the thin crack to the traverse. Move left and exit on thin holds.

 

Pin Up (20) * * *

First ascent (aid): Sherman Ripley and Jim Thomson, 1960’s

First Free ascent: Mid 1970’s. There is some doubt as to whether Dave Cheesmond or Mike Roberts first led the route without using pre-placed runners.

Originally opened as an aid route, it was freed to produce one of Monteseel’s most popular routes. Starts from a large block on a wide ledge above the path.

Climb up to a rail below a small roof. Stretch through the roof on a hand jam to an inset jug on the left. Continue up the steep face above. Move left to a large flake and exit easily to the top.

 

Pin Up Direct (21) * * * *

First ascent: Adrian Jardin, 1981

A superb finish to a great route. From the peg or the flake move up to a block and then straight up the face via a couple of crimper edges.

 

Zone Five (27) * * * *

First ascent: Andy de Klerk, 1985

A direct line between Pin Up and Hallucination. Start in the middle of the Hallucination flake. Climb up to a smooth face protected by a peg and continue to a small ledge. Move up to a pocket (good No. 3 Friend placement and rusty peg on the left) and then climb straight through to the top on teeny weeny holds (crux).

 

Hallucination (22) * * * * code: HN

First ascent: Mike Roberts, 1978

Originally an old aid route opened by Colin Shuttleworth called Wobble. Start at the flake to the right of Pin Up.

Climb the flake to the rail. Continue up the face via a hidden hold on the right to another rail with a peg. Move one metre right and then up past another peg to the top rail. Traverse right onto the good foothold (ie onto Granny’s) and then pull up until able to stand on the rail. Do one move left and finish.

 

The Empty Void (23/24) * * * *

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw and Andy de Klerk, 1983

A tougher finish to the already pumping Hallucination. From the good rail near the top, head slightly left and up to a small overlap. Finish straight up.

 

Hallucination Direct (23) * * * *

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw and Andy de Klerk, 1983

A harder finish to Hallucination that does not touch on Granny’s. From the top rail of Hallucination, move slightly right and then straight up to the finishing holds via a sloper.

Devoid (25) * * *

First ascent: Greg Streatfield (2003)

The route starts on the blank looking section between 'Empty Void / Hallucination' and 'Tears of a Clown'. This is a new start to 'Empty Void'. Start with a layback undercling for the left hand and reach up to a crimper for the right hand. Use a sloppy crimp for the left, get set up and lunge for a good crimp. This takes you to a good rail about 4 m up. Traverse slightly left to join 'Hallucination / Empty Void' below the first crux which is a move up to a hidden hold where you rock onto your left leg and then reach up to a sloppy pinch with the left hand. There is no gear until you join 'Hallucination / Empty Void'. If you come off before this on lead, you will have a rough landing.

 The Tears of a Clown (24) * * * *

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw, 1986

Boulder up the wall left of Granny’s to a pocket in the rail. Follow the thin verttical seam straight up the wall to where it joins Hallucination. Finish as for Hallucination Direct.

 

Granny’s Souped Up Wheelchair (23/24) * * * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts and Ian Wallace, 1979

One of the most climbed routes in KwaZulu- Natal, and the "hard climbing" entrance exam for any aspirant rock star. It has always had a reputation as a tough 23.

Start three metres right of Hallucination and climb directly to the top. Avoid moving on to the ledge halfway up. The crux is protected by two adjacently placed pegs.

 

Obscene Stone Call (24) * *

First ascent: Tim Goodwin, 1986

Start at the left hand edge of the Fall Out bouldering wall. Climb directly up to a small roof, do one move right and climb up to the ledge. Continue up the face just right of the No Hands crack to the rail. Traverse two metres right and move up to via a jug to the next rail. Climb diagonally left to exit.

 

Fall Out (20) * * *

First ascent: Sherman Ripley and Jim Thomson, c 1969/70 (1st pitch)

Mike Roberts and Roy Gooden, 1977 (2nd Pitch)

This route is a combination of two climbs, the original Fall Out up to the big ledge, and an aid route opened by Des Watkins, called Lollipop, from the ledge to the top. The aid route was freed by Brian Gross on top rope in 1976. The result is a good introduction to steep and technical climbing.

Start in the middle of the face. Climb up to the rail and using a hand jam, stretch up to a thinner rail. Continue up a crack, past a ring peg to a narrow, sloping ledge. Move right and climb a crack to the large ledge. Climb the overhanging crack above to a rail. Move left and finish up a recess.

 

Chariots of Fire (25) * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts, 1985

Climb the wall just right of Fall Out to the ledge. Follow the discontinuous crack right of Fall Out to a rail. Move right and up a diagonal crack to exit.

 

Hokkaido (20) * *

First ascent: Tony Dick and Roger Fuggle, 1970

Start to the right of Fall Out and climb up past the boot-shaped rock in the face. Finish on the ledge.

 

Powertools (22) * *

First ascent: Roger Nattrass and Grant Murray, 1989

Start as for Hokkaido to the ledge and continue up the short, steep wall above, passing two bolts.

 

No Hands (14,15) * *

First ascent: Des Watkins, c. 1950’s

The top section provides interesting and enjoyable climbing. Start at a small tree and a wide crack in the corner to the right of the Fall Out wall.

(1) Climb up the corner to the roof. Move left onto the face and climb the slanting crack to the ledge.

(2) Walk to the left-hand end of the ledge. Layback into the wide crack and continue until about half way up. Move around left onto the face and continue to the top.

Variation: Make a direct start just to the right of Granny’s and climb straight up to the top in a single pitch.

 

No Thoroughfare (12) * *

First ascent: Sherman Ripley and Jim Thomson, c. early 1960’s

Start up the first part of No Hands. Climb the crack to the level of the roof and then traverse out to the right on a greasy rail under the roof using spaced footholds. After rounding the corner, continue up to the top on easy rock.

 

Fiddler in the Roof (19) * * * *

First ascent: Mike Roberts and Rich Smithers, 1977

Start up the centre of the face just to the right of the No Thoroughfare corner/crack. Move up and left to reach a left-slanting, off balance crack. Alternatively, and more popularly, pull up on a jug to the right of the No Thoroughfare crack and move up and right to gain the left-slanting crack. Climb this until it is possible to move up left to a position under the roof which is split by a crack. Jam in the roof and reach around to good holds on the face above. Pull through and then finish up easy rock to the right.

A fine introduction to the subtleties of a roof crack. The moves up to the overhang were done together with Dave Cheesmond and Roy Gooden in 1978, and provide a sustained first section in keeping with the rest of the climb. A lot of 'pretenders' climb the No Thoroughfare corner to reach the roof - this is definitely 'not cricket'.

 

Gerry’s G (17) * *

First ascent: Gerald Walsh, 1955

Start below the small roof at the left-hand end of the Pot Boiler face. This is the easy-angled face to the right of the path leading down to the bottom of the crag between the Eastern Buttress and the Lower Middle Buttress. Climb up to the roof and pull through using a flat hold on the edge above. Finish straight up the face above. This popular problem is easy to top rope but daunting to lead. It involves only about two grade 17 moves through the roof - the rest is barely grade 8 !

About 3 m to the right of Gerry's G is a very similar line that requires a completely different sequence of (about two) moves through the roof - also about grade 17. 

 

Hot Plate (9) * *

First ascent: Charles Axelson, Sherman Ripley and Ted Gathercole, c. 1941

Start next to a bush at the base of the wide crack in the easy angled face on the right of the path leading to the bottom of the crag. Climb the face next to the crack for about two metres and then traverse left to the corner. Climb up the blocky face to the top.

 

Pot Boiler (8) * *

First ascent: Charles Axelson, Sherman Ripley and Ted Gathercole, c. 1941

A great meeting place for ex-climbers introducing their children to climbing. Start as for Hot Plate and climb the wide crack to the top, moving left to avoid a bulge.

 

Girdle Traverse (19) * * *

First ascent: Pitches 1-7 Mike Roberts and Roy Gooden, 1977

Pitches 8-9 Dave and Carless Freer, and Roy Gooden, 1978

Monteseel’s longest route, including nine pitches and approximately 200 metres of climbing, it traverses most of the Central Buttress. The climb was possibly opened in 1972 by Dave Cheesmond and Paul Bridgman using aid to avoid existing climbs. The current route follows sections of existing routes to eliminate any aid. Starts at the base of the Pot Boiler crack.

(1) Traverse across the Hot Plate face to the end of the No Thoroughfare traverse. Reverse this to reach the Fall Out ledge (12).

(2) Traverse past the tree and continue across the Hallucination face to the large flake on Pin Up. Reverse the Adam’s Apoplexy Variation traverse to stance on Adam’s Apoplexy (19).

(3) Move around the corner and drop down to reverse the Nog High traverse to the tree (13).

(4) Continue across the No Feet face and move around the corner onto the Think face. Traverse at the level of the fixed peg on Think to make a difficult handswing from a small layback hold to reach Adam. Move across the Cain face to stance above the start of Republican (19).

(5) Traverse as for the 1st pitch of Republican to stance on the big ledge (13).

(6) Climb as for Republic Left Break from the big ledge to the corner. Do not move up to the flake, but continue left on small holds to reach the end of the Pendulum traverse. Reverse this to reach the Pendulum stance (18).

(7) Traverse left and drop down to reach the Zig Zag ledge. Move to the end of the ledge and stance at the tree (13)

(8) Traverse across the face that forms the second pitch of Zig Zag to a stance above a roof. Reach down and left to a layback hold which enables one to reach a handrail under the roof. Continue left past Top Heavy to stance near Pilgrim’s Progress (15).

(9) Climb the open book just to the right of Pilgrim’s Progress.

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