Upper Warrior Wall

Copyright: MCSA-KZN 1998 ©

Routes on the Warrior Wall are described in two sections, the Upper (upstream) and Lower (downstream) sections. These are separated by the 'Sands of Time' dihedrals. The quickest approach is to scramble up to the Access Ledge on the Power Wall and then walk downstream along this ledge until you reach the bottom of the Rocky Gully separating the Power and Warrior Walls. From here a short walk downstream brings you the base of Upper Warrior Wall. There is a large, permanent sandbar that stretches across the base of the Upper Warrior Wall, but the base of the Lower Warrior Wall is usually under about a meter of water.

When climbing on the Upper Warrior Wall it is a good idea to take a rope bag or towel to keep your ropes out of the sand. The climbs are listed from left to right. The prominent, blocky, right-tending corner of 'Batman' and the pronounced right-facing dihedrals of 'Sands of Time' are obvious reference points for climbers new to this venue.


1. Hummer (26) [5B] ***

Opening party: Damion McHendry (16 June 1997)

About 10 m downstream from the 'Sands of Time' dihedrals is a major left sloping recess. Climb the U-bolted line up the orange prow on the right of this recess. Exit left via the crack at the top of the recess. There are no anchors as yet.

Note: [07 July 2003] The bees seem to have moved off now and it appears that not only top-anchors, but also the top one or two bolts are missing. I cannot see how it is possible to climb this line - if you are capable of climbing this grade, please sort out the bolting and update me on the details. Thanks, GP.

2. Pass the Ammo (19) **

Opening party: Rodney Owen, Gavin Peckham and Jonathon Wigley (27 October 1996)

Start a few metres left of 'Sand Jam'. Climb easily up to the start of a short, left-sloping finger crack that is followed to the top. Well protected except for the fact that the best gear placings are also the best handholds.

3. Sand Jam (17) **

Opening party: Eric Penman and Harley Green (1993)

About 25 m left (downstream) of 'Batman' are two pronounced, right-facing dihedrals. By various means, (usually through the middle of a small fig tree!) climb easily up to a ledge at the base of the dihedral on the left. Climb the left-hand dihedral. It is probably better to start up 'Sands of Time' and then move across to the base of the 'Sand Jam' dihedral.

4. Sands of Time (16) [C] ****

First known ascent: Richard Knott (1992). Probably first climbed by Stewart Middlemiss in 1986.

This line takes the dihedral just right of 'Sand Jam'. Climb an easy ramp to the base of the right-tending dihedral, which is then followed to the top. This is an excellent and well protected route.

5. A Piece of the Action (18) ***

Opening party: Shaun Cooke and Neil McQueen (1992)

Start from the same position as 'Sands of Time'. Boulder directly to a solitary bolt then move left around a small bulge. Continue right to a recess then back left to a ledge. Finish straight up for the last four metres.

Note: Shaun Cooke writes, "I named this route to reflect my good fortune at being able to open a route at a time when such prestigious climbers [McQueen; Camp; et al] were involved in developing the area. Neil [McQ] completed 'The Works' later that day and before coming up with that name he jokingly suggested calling his route 'The Action' but decided that this might reflect too negatively on my route !"

6. Cally's Line (17) [6B;C] ***

Opening party: Gavin Peckham and Anthony van Tonder (15 June 2003)

Start 2 m upstream from 'Sands of Time'. Step up onto a large block. Clip the first bolt then move strenuously onto a small ledge at the base of a smooth sided recess. Climb the recess to reach another small ledge and then climb straight up the face above to reach a large ledge with chains. The top part of this route possibly coincides with 'Piece of the Action'.

7. Peaceful Protest (17) [7B;C] ****

Opening party: Craig Pearman (1992) Retro-bolted.

About 5 m upstream from the 'Sands of Time' corner there is a smooth sided, right-facing recess which is capped at about 4 m by some bulging rock. Start up the left-hand edge of the recess and pull through the overlap just left of the recess (strenuous) to reach a small stance. Climb straight up for a couple of metres and then continue up to the chains on a big ledge by tending slightly left using good layaway holds. If you can't pull through the overlap, you can 'cheat' by starting up the 'Conan' crack, stepping far across left onto a flake and then moving easily through onto the small stance.

8. Conan (21) ****

Opening party: Neil McQueen (1992)

About a meter to the right of 'Peaceful Protest' is a thin crack line capped by some overhanging rock at the top of the crag. Climb the face on thin holds keeping just to the right of the crack to reach a large ledge just below the overhanging rock. From the ledge, handrail out to the right, over the nose of the overhang. From the furthest point out on the overhang continue straight up.

9. Mandela's Choice (16) ***

Opening party: Gavin Raubenheimer and Gerald Camp (25 October 1997)

Start as for 'Yush' but move left at the nose and continue up a slab. Move left past a small fig tree to a recess which is followed to the top.

10. Yush (20) ***

Opening party: Gerald Camp and Ian Manson (1994)

Start one meter left of 'Batman'. Climb up two metres to below a nose. Step right and climb a steep shallow recess with a good crack line to reach a large ledge. Scramble up easy rock to the top or move off to the right and abseil off a fig tree. Well protected.

11. Batman (17) *****

First known ascent: Gerald Camp (1992). Probably first climbed by Stewart Middlemiss in 1986.

Climb the prominent, blocky, overhanging, right tending (!) corner. The crux move is low down on an easy looking slab that reeks of bat pee! Sustained higher up, but well protected. You can either top out or lower off the chains at the top of 'Cat Woman'. Please take some mothballs and toss them into the big crack. Hopefully this will persuade the bats to go and live somewhere else !!!

12. Cat Woman (18) [9B;C] *****

Opening party: Gavin Peckham (23 September 2002)

This route follows the line of bolts up the face to the right of 'Batman'. Climb up to the second bolt either continue straight up - fairly tricky - or move across to the right and pull up onto a small ledge at the base of a large, flaring recess. From here, follow the bolts up the face to the narrow overlap near the top. Apparently you are supposed to pull through the overlap and continue straight up to the chains. This is much harder than18 and in practice almost everybody moves left at the overlap and finishes up the last couple of moves of 'Batman'. This line is an old classic that has been top roped for years due to the total absence of gear. It has only recently been bolted and properly 'opened'.

13. Bird Child (16) ***

Opening party: Unknown

Start as for 'Cat Woman'. From the step at the base of the recess, climb the right tending corner and then exit up the Mfecane dihedral. Copyright: MCSA-KZN 1998 ©  [Comment: The dihedral at the top is at least 18 and if you have fat fingers, it is even harder.]

14. Mfecane (23) [5B] ***

Opening party: Gerald Camp (1992)

This line provides a tricky exercise in thin slab climbing. Start a couple of metres left of 'Dingane's Manoeuvres' and climb straight up the smooth wall past four bolts to a ledge, then continue up the short dihedral above. The bolt placing is not ideal and there are no top anchors.

15. Dingane's Manoeuvres (18) ****

Opening party: Neil McQueen (1992)

Climb up the large, left-facing corner just upstream from 'Batman'. Towards the top, move out right into the cubbyhole at the base of an off-width crack on the right hand face. Climb the off-width to the top (crux). This route requires several large hexes or cams and a few small wires. The off-width can be protected with a #6 Friend if you have one. A #4 can be positioned at the base of the off-width but will be liable to 'walk'. Make sure you have bomber gear in the rail level with the base of the cubbyhole. This will give a safe, but spectacular fall if you come unstuck on the off-width. Variation: Instead of moving out right to the off-width, carry on straight up the corner to the top (19) Linden Feirrera and Kanji Yoshimura (02 October 2005)

16. Shaka (23) ****

Opening party: Neil McQueen (1992)

Follows the arête right of 'Dingane's Manoeuvres'. A bouldery start leads to a mantleshelf move protected by a bolt. Move onto the right hand face and then up on easy holds, tending back to the arête and a second bolt. Thin moves to a jug are followed by a pleasant finish.

17. Cetshwayo (25) ****

Opening party: Brett Clarke (1992)

Just right of 'Shaka' is a corner with a tree growing halfway up. Climb the left tending groove/corner to the right of this. Strenuous, and a little difficult to protect.

18. Open Project

Start just right of Cetshwayo and climb straight up through the roof to the coldshuts. The grade is probably about 26 to 28. There are chains at the top of the route.

19. Project - Craig Robertson.

An open project by now?

20. The Works (24) [6B;C] ****

Opening party: Neil McQueen (1992)

Follow the line of bolts through the inverted "V" in the centre of the wall. This is a fine route that somehow uses every type of climbing technique to make it to the top, hence the name.

21. Supreme Being (27) [5B;C] ****

Opening party: Roger Nattrass (1993)

This is a technical and powerful line. A bouldery start leads to a rest under the overlap. Long stretches and cranks are the solution to this imposing problem.

22. Project [5D] Andrew Russell-Boulton

An open project by now?

23. Iklwa (23) ***

Opening party: Gerald Camp (1992)

Climb the face past two bolts then continue up the corner above. The line has good gear and an enjoyable crux at the second bolt.

24. Purple People Eater (21) ****

Opening party: Craig Robertson (1993)

Start just right of Iklwa. Climb diagonally right to the cubbyhole - very strenuous. Tend left up the face above on good fingerlocks and edges. This is one of the best routes on the Warrior Wall.

25. Dingiswayo (16) **

Opening party: Gerald Camp (1992)

Start at the obvious left-facing corner with a small fig tree at the base. Climb the corner until it steepens, then follow the easy ramp to the left and continue straight up to the top. The ramp (crux) is unprotected.

26. Open Project

Start as for Dingiswayo and then try to make it through the roofs.

27. Project - Angus Lamming

An open project by now? Start a couple of metres right of Dingiswayo and try to make it to the top. Two bolts have been placed low down.

28. Mthethwa (18) **

Start about 20 m right of 'Dingiswayo'.  Climb up through an upside down "V" shaped crack.  Continue up to the left of a tree then on up a smooth recess to the top blocks.

29. To Be Free (A2)

Opening party: Gerald Camp (April, 1999)

Start 7m to the right of 'Mthethwa'.  Climb the beautiful, thin, left-slanting, crack and then climb directly up the face above.

30. Senzangakhona's Sin (16) **

Opening party: Gerald Camp and Allison Pridgeon (now Camp!) (1993)

Starts about 20 m left of the upstream end of the Warrior Wall. Follow the obvious right-tending crack until near a tree, then continue left up a shallow dihedral.

31. Arachnid Left Break (16) ***

Opening party: Richard Knott; Gavin Peckham; Rodney Owen (25 April 1999)

Start as for Arachnid. From the small stance below the fig tree, step left onto the face to reach an exposed position below a small ledge that forms the base of a large recess. Move up onto the ledge and then climb to the top via the back of the recess, or up the arête on the left (easier).

32. Arachnid (15) **

Opening party: Eric Penman, Donovan Gosher, Kirsten Head (1993)

About 10 m before the arête at the upstream end of the wall there is a right-sloping ramp with a thin flake line on the adjacent face. Climb a short face to the ramp and then climb the ramp using the flake line. Mantle onto a small stance below a fig tree and then step right below the tree. Exit up to the right of the tree by following the line of least resistance.

33. Scorpion (14) ***

Opening party: Gerald Camp, Donovan Gosher, Kirsten Head (1993)

This line takes the blocky arête at the upstream end of the Warrior Wall. Start on the rock ledge, just to the right of the arête, in the Rocky Gully between the Warrior and Power walls and then climb the arête, moving left around the arête near the top.

34. Flaming Haggis (16) **

Opening party: Gavin Raubenheimer and Gavin Peckham (12 October 2002)

Start on the rock ledge about 3 m to the right of 'Scorpion'. Climb straight up the face to a ledge 3 m below the top. Climb the final rock band to top out about 3 m to the right of the arête. Protection is adequate but tricky. The route would be greatly improved by some decent gardening.

35. The Deadly Goldfish (11) **

Opening party: Gavin Peckham and Des Porter (21 March 2003)

Start about 2 m to the right of 'Flaming Haggis' at the beginning of a crack line that runs up diagonally to the right. Climb the crack line to a point about 2/3 of the way up the face. Tend slightly left and then finish straight up. Well protected with some interesting moves but tends to get sandy and vegetated.

36. Taylor's Halt (08) *

Opening party: Des Porter (21 March 2003)

Start up the gully about 4 m to the right of 'Deadly Goldfish'. Climb straight up to a small tree. Pass this on the left and then head to the left to finish up 'Deadly Goldfish'.

37. Guppy (11) **

Opening party: Gavin Peckham (21 March 2003)

Start about 2 m to the right of 'Taylor's Halt' . Climb easily up a slab and then up the crack to the right of the block at the top of the crag. A very short but pleasant line.