oNgoye Route Desriptions

Copyright: MCSA-KZN 2007 ©

Please pull up any chromolaena or bug-weed that you see growing near the boulders.

Please note the observation of Anthony van Tonder, a 20+ climber, "The climbing is a lot trickier than the grades would indicate!"  So please do not be put off from visiting this magic area by the apparently easy grades!  This is an interesting venue both from an environmental and from a climbing point of view.

Three areas have been developed so far.  There is potential for further routes in these areas, but there are also numerous undeveloped boulders and slabs scattered around the reserve that await the attention of enthusiastic climbers.


Barbet Boulder


This is the big boulder that is highly visible on your left as you drive towards the offices and campsite.  There is a vague track through the grass that leads past the base of the boulder.  It is easy to walk off (or up) the back of the boulder.  There are two green water tanks on top. The local game guards are very protective about these tanks and the connecting pipes. Try to stay away from them and on no account use the pipes for anchor points.  The boulder was not named after the famous Green Barbet, but after the Black Collared Barbets that were calling from the bush at the bottom of the crag when Richard Knott and I first climbed there in 1998.



The first seven routes are on the South Face of the boulder and the last six routes are on the west (inland) side of the boulder.  The last six routes lead up to anchors near the top of the slab but have not yet been bolted.  If anyone is prepared to make an adequate donation to the oNgoye Bolting Fund then I'll make the effort to bolt the remaining lines.

The Barbet Boulder gets morning shade and afternoon sun. The routes are listed from right to left.

Barbet Boulder: South Face




1. Pussyfoot (12) [6B] **


FA: Gavin Peckham (27 April 2007)

Start as for 'BES' but tend slightly right as you go up the slab.  Continue to the top keeping strictly to the right of the big pockets on the following route.  Interestingly thin.

2. Black Eyed Suzi (9) [5B] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (04 April 2007)

Start about 10m to the right of right of the big left-curving groove in the middle of the face. Climb up the increasingly steep slab to reach a large pocket about 10m up.  Climb straight up through the next two big pockets and then past a perched flake.  Continue easily up to the top.

3. Dogma (10) [5B] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (15 August 1998)

Start at a comfortable belay boulder in the grass at the foot of the slab about 5m to the right of the big left-curving groove in the middle of the face.  Walk straight up the slab and then up a gentle left-tending ramp.  Then, tending right, use steps and pockets to climb up between two clumps of vegetation.  Continue easily to the top.

4. Tarzan (15) [6B] ***

FA: Anthony van Tonder (24 September 2008)

Start about two metres to the right of the huge cleft in the middle of the face.  Climb straight up onto a ledge with large bulge of rock on the left.  Step up onto the bulge (crux), move up and through a gap in the vegetation then continue up the obvious ridge to the top.

5. Gecko (17) [6B] ***


FA: Anthony van Tonder (24 September 2008)

Start about two metres to the left of the huge cleft in the middle of the face.  Climb straight up to an overlap.  Pull through into the scoop above.  Step out left into a pocket and then tiptoe carefully up the line of bolts to the top.

6. Flakey (10) [6B] **


FA: Richard Knott and Gavin Peckham (15 August 1998)

Climb either the left-hand edge (RK) or the right-hand edge (GP) of the huge flake.  From the top of the flake surmount the bulging rock to enter a big scoop.  Exit the scoop, either via the ridge on the right or, more interestingly (p.k.f. of AvT), near the back of the scoop on the left.

7. Eish! (13) [6B] **


FA: Gavin Peckham (27 April 2007)

Start on the slabs at the bottom of 'Flakey' or 'Karma Chameleon' and head up diagonally left or right respectively to a point half way between the two routes.  Tiptoe up the slab towards the left-hand end of a narrow overlap.  Ease through the overlap and then enjoy the easy ride up pockets and grooves to the top.  For the safety of your belayer, be gentle with the exfoliating rock on the right towards the top.

8. Karma Chameleon (15) [7B] ***


FA: Gavin Peckham (15 August 1998)

Half way between the huge flake and the huge projecting block further left, there is a really neat route – a narrow groove of broken rock that runs straight up to the top of the boulder.   Walk up a gentle slab to the start of a 2m crack.  Climb easily up the crack and then friction very delicately straight up the groove to the top.  The first few moves up the shallow groove are really "interesting" and climbers generally adopt the position, style and speed of a chameleon as they inch upwards!

9. Get Knotted (13) *

FA: Gavin Raubenheimer and Gavin Peckham (28 March 2007)

On the steep, southern side of the Barbet Boulder there is a huge block sticking up out of the boulder.  Walk up the gentle slab to the base of the block and then grovel up the awkward corner on the right of the block.  Pull through awkwardly onto the top of the block and then follow the gentle ridge to the top of the boulder.  The route is named after the knotted slings used for protection on the first ascent.


Barbet Boulder: West Face




10. Khona Lapha (11) [C] ***

FA: Gavin Peckham (01 June 2007)

About 5m left of the pipe leading up to the water tanks there is a beautiful, right-facing corner that runs almost the full height of the boulder.  Start just to the left of the pipe.  Climb diagonally left up the off-width to reach the start of the corner and follow it to the top.  If it was much steeper it would be a classic.  Hope you notice the bilingual pun in the name!


The next four routes, Eeny, Meany, Miny and Mo, all start from the same ledge and share a single set of top anchors. The ledge is at the same level as 'Khona Lapha' and starts just to the left of it.  To reach the top anchors for these routes, walk up to the top of the boulder.  As you approach the summit with the water tanks on your right and the summit bulge on your left, keep on walking for about 10m past the tanks, tending left as you go and then continue over two narrow 'strips' of low vegetation to reach the anchors at the top of the clean slab below.  With a little care these anchors can be safely approached from above but exercise caution as a slip could lead to a continued and accelerating descent, otherwise known as a plummet!  A 20 m ab leads to the ledge below.

11. Mo (9) [C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (22 April 2007)

Start about 5m to the left of 'Khona Lapha' at a bonsai fig tree growing on the rock face about ½ a metre up off the ledge.  Head up the slab keeping close to the vegetation on the right higher up.

12. Miny (9) [C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (22 April 2007)

Start about 3m to the left of 'Mo' at a thin crack line and below a small flake about 3m up.  Use good edges to climb up past the flake and then continue easily up to the anchors.

13. Meany (13) [C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (22 April 2007)

Start about 3m to the left of 'Miny'.  Climb the thin, right-tending crack line and then continue easily up to the anchors.  Called 'Meany' instead of 'Meeny' because it is quite 'mean' compared to the other routes on this ledge!

14. Eeny (9) [C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (22 April 2007)

Start about 4m to the left of 'Meany' at the extreme left-hand end of the vegetated ledge where you can touch the top of the adjacent Flat Crown.  ('Eeny' and 'Meany' start at opposite ends of a large, elongated boulder on the ledge.)  Climb straight up a thin crack line and then continue up to the anchors on the block near the top of the boulder.


The final route, 'Albizia', starts just to the left of the ledge but several meters lower down.  To reach the top-anchors for this route walk past the water tanks as described above but tend right rather than left.  After about 10m you will see a large block on your right with two bolts on top.   From here you can abseil down to and / or top rope 'Albizia' or any other adjacent line that tickles your fancy.  You must abseil through an obvious gap in the vegetation to reach the clean rock below and then continue to the base of the crag.  A doubled 60m rope will only just reach the bottom – be careful !

15. Albizia (10) [C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (22 April 2007)

Start around the 'back' of the Barbet Boulder and about 20m to the left of the pipe line running up to the water tanks.  Against the base of the slab there is a Flat Crown tree on the left and a large Water Berry tree (Umdoni) on the right – both of them to the left of the water pipe.  Walk up to the Flat Crown and start just to the right of its trunk.  Head straight up the slab, passing to the left of a small clump of vegetation about 10m up.


Baboon Boulder




To get to this boulder walk or drive along the track up to the abandoned tower and wind generator that are located on the high grassy knoll and view point about 200 or 300m north-east of the offices and camp site.  From here walk inland along the crest of a vague spur and you will see the boulder about 200m ahead of you.  Alternatively, from the Barbet Boulder walk north-east, straight across the gentle valley.  The routes are located on the steeper, south face of the boulder.  There is potential for a couple of new routes to the right of those listed below.  Beware of the big, perched flake at the top of these routes.  I have tried my best to trundle it without any success, so I presume that it is safe, but treat it with caution.

1. King Kong (9) [4B; C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (27 April 2007)

Start at the left-hand side of the steep south face of the boulder.  Climb a thin groove for about 3m.  Step to the left and carry on up a sort of vague arête.  Shares the top bolt and the anchors with the next two routes.

2. Pink Panther (10) [4B; C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (27 January 2007)

Start up a vague recess about one metre to the right of 'King Kong'.  Climb straight up a broad and shallow groove to a large pocket.  Climb straight up through the pocket to the anchors.  The line of bolts is on the right of the route and is shared with the next route.

3. Rafiki (13) [4B; C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (27 April 2007)

Start one metre to the right of 'Pink Panther'.  After a tricky start, climb straight up a thin groove and then continue up to the chains.  The line of bolts is on the left of the route and is shared with the previous route.


oNgoye Slabs

(bring an abseil rope!)




Drive or walk up the track from the offices towards the abandoned tower on the grassy knoll to the north.  About two thirds of the way up to the top of the knoll there are some flat granite slabs in the grass on the left and a clump of bushes about 30 m away to the right on the edge of the escarpment.  At this point(*) move off towards the grassy area just beyond (north of) the bush.  Walk down a gentle grassy ramp towards the escarpment.  At the end of the grass walk onto some very gently angled granite slabs.  Walk down these increasingly steep granite slabs and between scrub for about 20 or 30m until you see a moderately sized boulder with a rounded point on its uphill side.  Copyright: MCSA-KZN 2007 © There are two abseil bolts 5 m to the left of this boulder – as you look out towards the sea and two more anchors on the top of the block immediately below the 'pointed' boulder. A 40+ m abseil from these bolts takes you to the bottom of the slab.  You can wander around all over this slab, so the named routes are generally just the lines of least resistance!   If you find a route is too easy for your liking, you can straighten the line, keep to the left of the bolts, keep right of the bolts or just generally meander around finding any line that you find interesting and challenging.  This slab gets morning sun and afternoon shade.  Enjoy the fantastic view and the refreshing breeze !  There is a large flake leaning up against the slab towards its northern (right-hand) side.  The location of several routes is described relative to this flake.  The routes are listed from left to right.

(*) At this point there is a vague path leading through the grass to the bush and then through the bush to a fantastic view point on some granite boulders which are great for sundowners!

0. Long Line

There is a 40m route to the left of the next one.  It is very easy at the bottom, then there is a short blank section followed by a steep slab before the angle eases off and continues up to a huge block at the top of the crag. Bolt it and open it and its yours !

1. This Way Up (10) [6B; C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham  (27 January 2007)

Towards the left hand side of the slab there are three parallel, right facing cracks about 3m long that tend up slightly to the right.  Climb to the top of these cracks and then continue straight up keeping to the left of the next route.

2. Dotage (10) **

FA: Gavin Peckham (27 January 2007)

Start at the base of the rock about 3m to the right of the previous route and climb up pockets and jugs to reach a black water streak which is followed to the top.

3. Green Goblin (10) [9B; C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (23 March 2007)

Abseil straight down from the anchors on top of the block immediately below the abseil block.  Continue down a long and very narrow spur of rock that leads down to about 40m below the anchors.  Climb straight back up to the anchors.  If you are abbing on a doubled 60 m rope then you might as well stop at the bolt after 30m, as the bottom 10m is barely a scramble.

4.  Cuckoo  (10) [6B; C] **


FA: Gavin Peckham (23 March 2007)

About 10m left of the big flake at the base of the oNgoye Slab there is a rounded rocky spur that continues down the slope at a gentle angle. Walk up onto the crest of this spur.  Climb up, tending slightly left along a vague black water streak, and heading for the left-hand end of a long, narrow overlap.  Step up over the overlap and continue straight up the black water streak to the chains which are about 10 m below the Abseil Block.

5. Plectranthus (10) [6B; C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (27 January 2007)

Start at the same place as 'Cuckoo'.  Head straight up and step up over the right-hand end of the long, narrow overlap.  Climb the left-hand groove of an inverted "Y" and then carry on straight up to the top keeping just to the left of a black water streak.  The chains are located very close to the huge clump of vegetation below the abseil block.

6. Zig Zag (10) [7B; C] **


FA: Gavin Peckham (27 January 2007)

Start about 3m to the left of the big flake at the base of the slab and about 2m to the left of a prominent black water streak.  Climb up diagonally left along a line of small pockets for about 3m to a recess.  Follow the recess up diagonally right for 2m.  Climb up diagonally left to a recess.  From this recess move up diagonally right towards a black water streak.  The water streak runs just to the left of a large clump of aloes that is on the sky line when viewed from the start of the route.  Continue up near the black water streak to the top.  A set of chains is located about 3/4 of the way up to facilitate top-roping.  Variation: Zig Zag Direct (12) (FA: Dylan Salt & Dario Tedeschi – 24 March 2007)   Ignore the easy zig-zag line and climb straight up the line of the bolts.

 
The next 3 routes are variations on the same theme.  The original route, 'Drum', followed a meandering line of least resistance.  'Black Widow' was then added to give a 3-bolt direct start to the upper part of Drum.  Finally 'Drum Direct' was added and simply went straight up after the first two bolts of 'Drum'.  Between 'Black Widow' and 'Drum Direct', the original line has virtually become redundant!

7. Black Widow (14) [7B;C] ***

FA: Dylan Salt and Dario Tedeschi (18 August 2007)

Start 1m left of the big flake and climb straight up the prominent black water streak.

8. Drum (12) [7B; C] **

FA: Gavin Peckham (27 January 2007)

Start about 3m to the right of the base of the big flake.  Head up diagonally left to reach a 2m vertical recess that is about 5m above the tip of the flake.  Just before reaching this recess you pass left across the base of a slight bulge of rock that resonates like a drum when you pat it.  From the top of the recess, friction delicately up a black water streak (crux) or up the adjacent face for 3m to reach a small ledge with an aloe.  Continue up the black water streak using the flake / crack on the right to reach the large clump of aloes mentioned in the previous RD.  Follow the black water streak to the top – this last bit coincides with the top of 'Zig Zag'.

9. Drum Direct (15 / 12) [6B; C] **


FA: Gavin Peckham (14 December 2007)

Climb up past the first two blots of 'Drum' and then instead of moving off left, continue on straight up to the top.  The grade is about 15 if you keep just left of the bolts but is reduced to about 12 if you go up the shallow groove just to the right of the bolts.

10. Charlie Brown (9) **

FA: Gavin Peckham (27 January 2007)

Start at the same point as 'Drum'.  Climb a shallow groove diagonally right for about 4m to where the rock meets grass.  Head up the obvious, left-tending, narrow line of broken rock to the clump of vegetation.  Climb diagonally left just below a couple of blocks, then up a short crack. Continue easily to the top.       
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