New route at Blouberg

New Areas. New routes. Retrobolting. Add-ons. Re-grading. etc.
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New route at Blouberg

Post by Hector » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:12 am

In December Rushad and I finally opened a longstanding Blouberg problem. It’s a fine route with some exposed and steep pitches, and is well protected. Any takers for the second ascent? Three of the pitches still need to go without rests, so the FFA is up for grabs.
Look out for an article on the route and the rescue that we helped with halfway through in the next SA Mountain Sports magazine.

BLUE MOON **** 24 [2B, 1P, N]
Takes a direct line up the wall, between SOMETHING OF VALUE and TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC the entire way. Start about 5m right of SOV below an obvious overlap crack which turns into a short, right-facing corner higher up.
1. 35m 22 The One-More-Time Pitch. Climb 5m to the small roof, crank rightwards to get into the overlap. Climb up to another small roof and rail right, then up the right-facing corner above. The crack pinches out here so traverse 3m right on hidden grips to a hidden crack. Up this to just below where it dies, then traverse 4m back left to rejoin the original crack line. Climb this to a ledge shared with SOV.
2. 40m 18 Up then slightly left from the stance, through some steep rock, to a ledge. Traverse right to a small amphitheatre with a short corner on each side and a big roof above. Climb up to the apex of the left hand right-facing corner, layback round the small roof to under the big roof. Rail left to a ledge.
3. 40m 17 Traverse 10m left. Climb a shattered pillar to the next ledge. Head diagonally right then up to the grassy ledge.
4. 40m 20 Rolling Stones Pitch. There are big roofs above the right hand half of the ledge. A massive corner with three roofs breaks through to the left of the biggest roofs. Climb the recess to a ledge beneath the corner (shared with WOW FUCK). Climb the corner, railing right under the first and second roof. Just after the second roof, traverse right across the face to an outrageous foot ledge on the skyline. Climb up the prow then step back left into the corner (now above the final roof). Climb this to a good small ledge.
5. 50m 20 Climb the crack directly above the right hand side of the ledge to the next, larger ledge. Traverse about 8m right to a vertical crack, up this then rail right to another vertical crack. Up again then step right to belay beneath the middle of 3 cracks (the right hand diagonal crack in a very yellow wall is TBP, SOV breaks through the roofs about 20 or 30m left).
6. 35m 24 Legoland pitch. Climb the right-facing corner crack to 2m below the small roof. Step left onto the face, then up to an undercling crack. Step left to a right-leaning pillar. Climb this to a roof and crank through to a rail with a fixed wire. Climb straight up for 1m, then traverse left to the bolt. Keep traversing left to below the next bolt then straight up to it. Climb 1m above the bolt then rail left to juglets. Climb up to a good ledge.
Walk left to below the large right-facing corner. TBP goes up the face with 2 bolts to the right of the corner.
7. 35m 23 Knifeblade Pitch.Climb the corner, past a peg, to get to good fingerlocks and gear. Traverse right to a small ledge. Climb the crack above the left hand side of the ledge and follow the break curving up left. Traverse left until able to easily climb up to a good ledge.
8. 50m 21 Walk 5m right to a sheltered ledge in an alcove. Climb the left-trending thin diagonal cracks to where they peter out. Move up and right and then back left to easier ground. Continue up recess and slabs above until rope drag stops you.
9. 50m 16 Move left and scramble/climb to the summit.

1. A well-protected route. Pitches 6 and 7 are bold, but safe.
2. Gear: double rack of small cams, small wires on pitch 1, #3 Camalot on pitch 7.
3. Pitches 4, 6 & 7 cleaned and inspected on abseil and mostly top-roped before being led.
4. Bolts (60mm, M10 stainless steel, placed in 2005) and peg (BD knifeblade, 2005) placed on abseil.
5. Pitch 6 opened with 3 rests, and pitches 7 and 8 with 1 rest each. These pitches still need a free ascent.
FA: Complete ascent Hector Pringle and Rushad Nanavatty 2008-12-13 to 2008-12-15 (with a rescue of some other climbers by helicopter halfway through!).
Pitches 1, 2, 3, 8 & 9 Hector Pringle and Alan Grant 2004.
Pitches 4 & 5 Hector Pringle and Graham Terrell 2007.

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by MarkM » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:02 pm

'bout time Hecci!

:thumright Good job :thumleft:
Open hand, open mind...

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by Stephen » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:58 am

Awesome work Hector and co, those upper pitches must be superb, some of the best rock ever is to be found on those upper pitches at Blouberg. Great effort and time invested in that route, I know you been at it for a while. I'm inspired to get stronger and climb it some time. Keep up all the excellent new routing and photo's! Have you managed to get back on Psycho Reptile yet?

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by Hector » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:53 pm

Thanks Steve. Yes, pitches 4 to 8 are very nice. Great rock, good gear, tons of exposure and steep climbing. Pitch 4 is wild and puts you on one of the most exposed perches on the wall. Pitch 6 is probably the best on the route. For the second half of the pitch you follow a small crease in an otherwise completely blank wall. The route did take a while though - more than 4 years.
Havent been back to Psycho Reptile. But its still on the list. Maybe when Ian has finished making babies he'll go back up there with me...

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by RichS » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:24 pm

Hey Heccie

Happened to be perusing the forum and spotted your post. Good effort! Must say, I'm rather enviouse.

aka Runningman

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by Hector » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:02 pm

Thanks Rich. I've sent you a pm.

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by gert » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:06 pm

Good job Hector, it sounds an excellent addition to Blouberg.
I'll have to do it the next time I'm back in South Africa.

For the record, reading the route description, I think pitch 4
is the same as something Snort, Rat & I climbed in 1994
one rainy weekend when there was not much else doable.
There was a vague plan of incorporating it into a route at some
point, but nothing came of it & we never wrote it up.
It certainly is a great bit of rock.


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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by Hector » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:30 pm

Hey Stewart. You guys must have climbed past a big, nasty very loose block on that 4th pitch? The first time I tried it I got up under the block and it looked like a horrorshow. So I came back later and cleaned it on rap. Would be great if you gave the route a shot. I really want some grade consensus for the harder pitches.

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by SNORT » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:35 pm

Hey Hector. Well done on the route and I am definitely gonna give it a whirl this year. But then you have to climb The Dream of White Dogs or Dog Day in Heaven. Neither route has had an independent ascent. Remember that both routes were opened bottom up so they are still good routes even if you pull on a piece of gear here and there.

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by Hector » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:35 pm

It’s a deal! Gonna try Dog Day on 24 Jan. Do I need a #4 cam or can I leave it at home? Apart from your detailed beta from awhile ago is there anything else I should know? Bear in mind I’ve been involved with 3 rescues there and the S&R guys probably wont come if there’s a 4th one…

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Re: New route at Blouberg

Post by fanta » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:21 pm

Of course we will Hec but we might have to launch an investigation into exactly what it is that you do up there :eye:
Or are you just trying to make a point: you want the place to yourself?
Perhaps its a calling for you to join the team and come to a few trainings :lol:

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