Monteseel Anchors and General Beta

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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:38 pm
Real Name: Chad Knight

Monteseel Anchors and General Beta

Post by Eastward » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:10 pm

Hello All,

I hope I don't come off too ignorant here: I'm a beginner trad climber, and I'll be in Durban visiting family later this year. I've researched Monteseel quite a bit where ever I can find information (MCSA site in particular) and I'm still a bit in the dark as to what expectations to have at Monteseel regarding anchor building, top-out, rappelling etc. The main reason I ask is that where I currently climb trad, its common to have bolts/rings at the top of single pitch routes, so I'm not too well versed in building natural anchors other than for multipitch when I've hiked off or rapped using stations.

Particularly for beginner routes at the crag (let's say up to 18), could any of you provide a bit of info on climbing a typical route? is it normal to hike down the gully prior to leading? Is it typical to belay the follower from the top of the pitch then hike back down to the next route? Will I need a big length of rope (> 6m cordelette) to build anchors?

Thanks in advance for your help, I imagine the information offered will be a big help to me as a beginner, not just as it applies to Monteseel.



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Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 9:12 pm
Real Name: Graeme B
Location: KZN

Re: Monteseel Anchors and General Beta

Post by grae22 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:51 pm

Hey East

There's many, far more experienced climbers with waaay more knowledge about Monteseel... but my 2c (as a relative noob):

There's no anchor bolts, chains, rings etc. that I'm aware of around the typical beginners area (Think Wall, pendulum area, Hallucination Wall). There's plenty of rock to build anchors with, but not many trees. For top-roping I typically use either a 7m or 18m cord to build a cordelette type anchor (I find the 7m is often too short at Monteseel) attached to gear (with maillons or biners), and the odd sling around a rock or knotted in a crack.

The area mentioned above is about halfway between Eastern and Western Buttresses and the walk down is short (~5mins). It gets a lot of sun and bakes this time of year - climb early.

The rock is awesome.

- Graeme

Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:36 am

Re: Monteseel Anchors and General Beta

Post by DaveD » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:04 pm

Hi Eastward.

As stated already, there are typically no fixed anchors on the routes at Monteseel.

I use an old rope (about 30m long) to set up a top anchor. You can use a shorter rope but on some of the routes it can be difficult to find sufficient placements close to the cliff edge.

You park at the top of the crag (about 50m away), so the walk in is nominal. If you are climbing in the "main area" (Pendulum to Fiddler in the roof)you can do the short walk down (about 5min). So we typically will set up a toprope, walk down, warm up, and then lead a route or two. Cleaning of routes is usually done by belaying the second up from the top and then walking back to the base if you want to do another climb.

If you are climbing at the east or west ends of the crag, you will again approach from the top but rap down, and then climb out. There are fixed rap anchors strategically placed in these areas to make thus easier. Be aware that walking out from the ends is very difficult, so once you pull your ropes you are more or less committed to the lead out. Again, clean routes by belaying the second from the top.

I hope that helps. Enjoy the climbing, be safe.
Feel the Qui

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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 11:12 am
Real Name: Kieran richards

Re: Monteseel Anchors and General Beta

Post by KieranKP » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:03 pm

Get your hands on the KZN Guide book by Roger Nattrass :thumright Its worth it just for the pics, and there is excellent info in there for the whole of KZN.


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