Winston Park Route Descriptions

Currently there are four separate climbing areas at this crag.




Main Wall


The map on the main Winston Park page shows the general approach to the area. The path from down the hill reaches the crags in the vicinity of the main climbing area. This may be identified (from above) by a large, flat-topped, attached block. The usual descent was a scramble down the gully / chimney between the Main Wall and the block. Dave Drummond has recently placed chains near the top of this chimney and abseiling is recommended. The routes are listed from left to right. The first two routes are on the buttress on the left of the main face and the rest are on the Main Wall itself.

 

Note: Due to building operations at No 47 Montgomery Drive, the usual access is not available and the only way to get to the Main Wall and Wormhole Sector currently (October 2007) is via a 30 minute walk along the top of the crags from the Jan Smuts Wall.



 

1. Spirit and Image (23) [7B;C] ****

First ascent: Andy de Klerk and Steve Bradshaw (1985). Retro-bolted by Dave Drummond.

This route takes the wall on the buttress located on the left of the main face. Start from the top of a block and climb straight up on thin holds to a block just left of the arete. Climb a thin crack to a rail. Move up diagonally left and then exit straight up.

2. In the Beginning (15) [C] ***

First ascent: D. Seagreen; S. Peard and thousands more! (1985)

Climb straight up the narrow face on the buttress immediately to the left of the descent chimney. About halfway up there is a peg at a small roof.

3. Chimney (16) ***

First ascent: Andrew Friedeman; W Whiteford and S Hay (1977)

Scramble about halfway down the descent gully and then chimney straight up to the top. Gear is sparse.

4. Cosmic Muffin (18) [7B;C] **

First ascent: C. Leslie-Smith and Ian Manson (1985). Retro-bolted by Dave Drummond.

Immediately to the right of the descent gully there is a crack line on the main face that starts almost half way up the crag and runs up diagonally right to the top of the crag. Access the start of this crack from the descent gully and then climb straight up though the obvious key-hole shaped recess. The crux move is difficult to on-sight at the grade - layaway off a small hold to the right of the bolt.

5. Thunderflash (16) *

First ascent: D. Seagreen and C. Leslie-Smith (1984)

Start as for 'Cosmic Muffin' but continue a couple of metres further along the main crack before climbing straight up.

6. Lord of the Ages (23) ***

First ascent: C. Leslie-Smith and D. Seagreen (1984)

This line follows the vague, left-facing corner just to the right of 'Thunderflash'. Start at the bottom of the crag in a clearing below the corner. Boulder thinly up the wall then diagonally left and up to a large, obvious, detached block at the start of the corner. Continue up the gross-looking comer until it peters out. Tend left and finish up the last part of the main crack that leads up through the starts of 'Cosmic Muffin' and 'Thunderflash'.

7. Rumours of Rain (23) ****

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw (1984)

Start just to the right of 'Lord of the Ages' and directly below a black streak in the brown rock. Climb up to a rail and then continue up to a small protruding jug. Follow easier rock up to the base of the black streak. Move slightly left and up boldly on pockets to the next rail. Continue up to a block and exit on the clean rock.

8. Tabular Razor (24) [7B;C] ***

First ascent: Dave Drummond

Start about 3m to the left of 'Stairway to Heaven' and climb straight up the line of U-bolts.

9. Stairway to Heaven (22) [C] ****

First ascent: C. Leslie-Smith and D. Seagreen (1984)

Start about 4 m to the right of 'Rumours of Rain'. Climb up the thin crack through the steep bulge. Follow the break then undercling through the roof which curves off to the left. Exit diagonally left up the undercling flakes. A classic crack line.

10. Lonely Walls (26) [4B;C] ****

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw (1988). Retro-bolted by Dave Drummond.

This line takes the blank-looking water streak to the right of 'Stairway to Heaven'. Climb up passing a bolt (very rusted and subsequently fallen out!) to two rusted pegs beneath a roof. Copyright: MCSA-KZN 2003 © Pull through this and boldly up to a cubbyhole. Move out left and continue straight up. If it was brushed and rebolted it would be amongst the best routes in the province! [Your wish, Sir, has been granted!]

11. In a Matter of a Moment (23) ***

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw and A. Jardin (1984)

To the right of the cruddy section is a short crack. Climb up this and past on the right of a cubbyhole to reach a good rail. Move slightly right and up to another rail. Pull onto the thin white wall and climb this to a thin overlap. Move slightly right and up diagonally left.

12. The Olympic Dream (22) [5B;C] ***

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw and A. Jardin (1984). Retro-bolted by Dave Drummond.

Start at a point just before the ground begins to rise. Boulder up past a very bad ring-peg to a small roof. Pull through diagonally left and climb up to a black streak. Continue up to a huge jug left of some grass. Climb straight up the white wall to finish.

13. The Mists of Time (24) ****

First ascent: Steve Bradshaw and Ian Manson (1984)

This line takes the discontinuous seam to the right of 'Olympic Dream'. Start from a boulder. Climb up and slightly left to clip a peg. Follow the crack, passing another peg and continue straight up to the top.

14. Comfortably Numb (21) [C] ****

First ascent: C. Attwell (1983)

Climb the finger crack to the right of 'Mists of Time'. There is an anchor point on top of the crag that let's you reach the top anchors should you want to top-rope the line.

 

Wormhole Sector

 

Note: Due to building operations at No 47 Montgomery Drive, the usual access is not available and the only way to get to the Main Wall and Wormhole Sector currently (October 2007) is via a 30 minute walk along the top of the crags from the Jan Smuts Wall.

 

This area is about 150 m to the right (looking out over the top of the crags) of the scramble on the Main Wall. It may be identified from above by a fairly large area of flat rock that is split by a deep crevice - the 'Wormhole'. Descend via the wormhole (a bit tricky near the bottom) or abseil in off one of the gum trees, or ab using the chains at the top of 'Knickers'. The following routes are listed from left to right.

 

1. As Hard as You Like (13 / 17) [4B;C] ***

First ascent: Bruce Sobey and Bruce Tomalin (04 July 2004)

About 10 m to the left of the 'Wormhole' crack there is a large block that reaches halfway up the crag. Walk around the block to the small face located immediately to the left of the block. Climb the line of bolts near the left-hand side of the small face. The grade is about 13 if you keep to the left of the bolts all the way up and about 17 if you keep to the right of the bolts all the way up.

2. Gruntal (16) ***

First ascent: John Crumley and Bruce Tomalin (March 2005)

There is a rectangular gully about 6 m to the left of the 'Wormhole' scramble. There are two cracks at the back of the gully. The one on the left provides good protection. Walk up to the base of the gully or start just to the left of the 'Wormhole' and then make a rising traverse to the left. Once at the base of the gully ascend via two small overhangs - there is a loose block on the first. At the top of the gully step left onto a thin face and then reach up to a horn to enable an easy top out.

3. Wormhole (9) **

First ascent: Bruce Sobey (2004)

Climb up to the start of the huge crack that splits the face to the right of the block mentioned above. From here you can scramble up along the rising base of the crack and emerge on top via a narrow 'wormhole' - no significant climbing involved. Alternatively you can chimney up the crack from any position that takes your fancy.

4. Traverse (12) ***

First ascent: Andrew Friedeman; W Whiteford and S Hay (1977)

Climb straight up to the start of the 'Wormhole' crack. Traverse out to the right under the roof until you get to 'Knickers' then follow 'Knickers' to the top.

5. Traverse Direct (13) ***

First ascent: Andrew Friedeman; W Whiteford and S Hay (1977)

Start as for 'Traverse' but break through the roof before getting to 'Knickers'.

6. Knickers (14) [8B;C] ***

First ascent: Gavin Peckham and Bruce Sobey (02 July 2004)

This line climbs the face immediately to the right of the 'wormhole' crack. Start directly below the 'wormhole' crack and step up onto the face. Move to the right around a bulge and then follow the line of bolts up through a small roof to the top. Beware of the somewhat suspect block that is lodged under the small roof.


7. Wormwood (10) **

First ascent: Andrew Friedeman; W Whiteford and S Hay (1977)

Start about 5 m to the left of the 'Enil Dart' corner. Climb the off-width crack with a tree growing out of the top.

8. Enil Dart (14) [C] ***

First ascent: Gavin Peckham and Bruce Sobey (24 July 2004)

Climb the excellent crack that runs up the back of the big right-facing corner about 15 m to the right of 'Knickers'. Chains have been placed as it is pointless to top out through the crud at the top of the crag. Bomber gear.

 

Jan Smuts Wall

Jan Smuts Wall in Winston Park is at the end of Jan Smuts Avenue close to the traditional Winston Park climbing area. To access go to the stop street after the lane of trees at the end of Jan Smuts Avenue.  Turn left at the stop street and carry on down and park at the end of the road (which is still Jan Smuts Avenue).  Do not turn off into Montgomery Drive as per the directions for the traditional Winston Park area. There is a lookout point at the parking lot with a fine view towards Durban and the sea. Follow the path to the East from the lookout point down to the cliffs where you will see an obvious point to scramble down.  You will see some concrete and corrugated iron which was put up to stop access by the ungodly, but it is still fairly easy to scramble down on the Northern side of the concrete.  Alternately, abseil off a tree, or from the chains at the top of “Oubaas”. 

 

After the scramble, walk north about 12 m and you will see the start of the bolted routes up on your left.  Alternatively just before the concrete there is a path off to the right.  Follow that around the Southern Tip of the crag.   This is a fairly easy scramble own.

 

This has to be one of the most easily accessible climbing venues in the area, and is starting to see quite a lot of traffic.  The lines have been well bolted, even overbolted.  The idea is that someone climbing at their limit will still be safe. Feel free to miss bolts out. Generally to keep in line with the old Winston Park the grades have been kept on the low side.  For instance if there was indecision whether it should be a 17 or 18, it has been graded a 17.

 

This is an ideal hot summer cliff.  It is in the shade in the afternoon, generally with a pleasant breeze.  Because the cliffs are so overhanging they are generally dry and can be climbed, even after a lot of rain.  The first five routes are shown in the photo below:


1. Irene (12) [4B;C] ***

First ascent: Gavin Peckham and Bruce Sobey (21 March 2009)

This is the first route on the left.  Climb straight up, move left behind a bush and then continue up to the chains.  (Some history: This is the name of Jan Smuts' farm.)

2. Slim Jannie (16) [5B;C] ***

First ascent: Bruce Sobey and David Sobey (29 April 2006)

The next line is sustained at the grade.  Don’t wimp out, start to the right of the first bolt.  It can be climbed with a number of variations:  left of the bolts is balancy - over the bolts is easiest and to the right of the bolts is the most tiring).  Although tiring for the grade, each clip is made from a solid stance so it is a good lead.  It is unnecessary (and probably unwise) to do a full layback off the small flake at the top.  (Some history:  Slim Jannie was one of Jan Smuts' nick names.)

3. One for the Oubaas (19) [6B;C] ****

First ascent: Bruce Sobey and Eric Penman (29 July 2006)

This is the next route under the overhang.  Start up at the bolts and climb straight up to the overhang.  At the overhang work higher on the left (easier for the taller people) to latch onto a large spike, before traversing out right under the overhang (crux) and climbing up to the exit. This is a good sustained route at the grade. There is an extra bolt at the top for protection while setting up a top rope.  (Some history: Oubaas was one of Jan Smuts' nick names.)

4. Rocky Rhodes (20) [C] ***

First Ascent: John Sargood  (07 September 2007)

This route, just to the right of the start of 'Oubaas' uses the last bolt and exit chains of 'Oubaas' but takes the direct line through the overhang.

5. Lost Airport (19) [?B;C] ***

First Ascent: Bruce Sobey and Anthony van Tonder (16 September 2007)

To the right of the 'Oubaas' line.  Currently starting from the main stump of a tree, or just left of the stump.  The line goes up to the overhang.  At the overhang rail right on fine footholds to exit.   It is easiest to clip the top bolts after exiting.  There are two bolts on the last clip. The right hand (higher) one didn’t tighten up and is a bit loose, but probably safe.

6. Amajuba (17) [6B;C] ***

First Ascent: Eric Penman and John Sargood (25 August 2007)

This is the second last line on the right of the first face before the large overhang at the bottom.  The route tends right to a large ledge.  At the ledge the route starts slightly right and goes straight up.  The crux is after the ledge and the lead is quite bold and sustained, hence the name 'because I expected quite a battle'.

 The chains are over the top on the most solid rock available, so if you are top roping, or want to lower off, take a long sling to extend over the edge.  It is safe and easy to retrieve the gear from the top afterwards.

7. A Fresh Start (20) [7B;C] ***

First Ascent: Bruce Sobey and Cedric Sobey (12 April 2009)

This is the direct line for 'Amajuba' and was only possible once most of the dodgy looking large overhang to the right of the 'Amajuba' start fell down the mountainside.  Take the line of bolts through the overhang to the right of the “Amajuba” start.   From the ledge, finish up 'Amajuba'.  A nice sustained line. You will need a sling for the top as noted for 'Amajuba'.

 

The next two routes are protected by a bolt at the top to retrieve draws or set up a top rope and are shown in this photo:


8. Two Treaties (18) [5B;C] ***

First Ascent: Bruce Sobey (16 September 2007)

This is the first of two routes about 30m right (North) of the other routes.  Initially it required a layback in the crack, but when cleaned a new small hold appeared on the face which dropped it at least a grade.  Follow the bolts straight up through the black crack on the face.  (Some history – Jan Smuts is the only man to have signed the treaties ending both world wars).

9. Scorched Earth (17) [5B;C] ***

First Ascent: Bruce Sobey (26 August 2007)

Start to the right of the first bolt and pull through the small overhang.  At the ledge there is a good bolt to move out, but as for 'Amajuba' the crux move is a bold committing lead.  The name comes from the huge amount of cleaning that was required


The next two lines are about 120 m further North of the previous two routes.  You can walk or scramble around the base of the cliffs where you will see the obvious wall (with bolts), or you can abseil in from the top. 

10. Jameson Raid (17) [6B;C] ***

First ascent: Bruce Sobey and Cedric Sobey (5 August 2006)

There is a bolt at the top to safely access the top of the route while starting the abseil. The route is quite different with small holds, pockets and balancy moves.  It is also fairly sustained.  You should top out as the exit move is quite interesting.

11. On Commando (14) [5B;C] ***

First ascent: Neil McQueen, Bruce Sobey, Warrick McQueen (01 September 2006)

This is the line of bolts to the left of 'Jameson Raid'.  For a 14 it will make you think, but the holds are there.

Old Man's Crag

Access:  Go to the stop street after the lane of trees at the end of Jan Smuts.  There is an open Escom Servitude on your right. By car turn right and right again at the T-junction.  Go through the gate and then turn left (sometimes the grass is long) and park under the old pylons overlooking Giba Gorge.  From the pylon follow a path going to the right (facing out) below a new fence. After 10m take the path on the left hand side down the hill to come out at the top of the climb.  The climbs are close to some strelitzias on the cliff edge. They are on the direct line between the pylon and the second house from the left on the opposite hill.  Abseil down on the face to the side of two large cracks using the three large blocks as anchors. Take long slings or cord for this.  Although the strelitzias have been used to abseil off, it is not recommended.  Alternatively there is a scramble about 50 m to the left of the gully (South side), which you will have seen on your left as you descended.  This is not recommended.  It gets hot working one’s way back along the base of the cliffs.  The gully has been sealed with corrugated iron and is not an access route.

 

1. B & B (17+)  ***

First Ascent:  Bruce Sobey and Bruce Tomalin (14 April 2004)

'B & B' is the route up the cracks. There are two parallel cracks. The climb is up the better left hand crack (facing the rock).  Start on the right hand crack to avoid the broken rock at the bottom.  Traverse left under the tree at the first opportunity and ascend to the top.  Apart from usual gear you will need large friends (no 4 or larger if available) or hexes although there are some good chockstones as well.  Well protected, but a strenuous crux.  An interesting off width if you avoid using the opposite face.  Grade 17, depending how much the opposite face (and tree) are used.  Probably a grade or two higher if the opposite face is not used at all at the crux.

2. A New Lease of Life (13) ***

First Ascent:  Bruce Sobey and Gerald Camp (12 January 2008)

This climb goes up to the right of 'B & B'.  Start on the face to the right of the right hand crack and traverse right to the arête and climb straight up to the top. The protection is good.  The last move is the crux which can be protected by a small wire on the right.

3. Touch and Go (18) ***

First Ascent Bruce Sobey; Pierre Bill and Bugs Sprouse (15 July 2008)

This route climbs the face to the right of 'B & B', between 'B & B' and 'A New Lease of Life'.  Start at the crack directly below the peg and traverse slightly right to pass the overhang.  As soon as possible traverse left on to the face again and straight up past the peg to the top.  An easier variation is to climb to the right of the face, but you will end up on top of some loose blocks before you traverse on to the face.

The "Touch and Go" Face


4. Cross Stitch (16) ***

First Ascent:  Bruce Sobey and Pierre Bill (28 June 2008)

This route starts as for 'Touch and Go', but instead of traversing back on to the face, it spirals right to take in the crux of 'A New Lease of Life'.  It is the chicken run route variation for 'Touch and Go'.

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