Dog Day in Heaven is a modern route at Blouberg and requires imaginative climbing at times. The crux moves on the harder pitches are well protected but it is the middle grade pitches that are, in some ways, more challenging. The route is graded for onsight climbing and if one has the beta it knocks off a grade and with repeat ascents it gets more do-able.
1st Pitch. There are no surprises and it has it’s moments but if you find it taxing and you gippo it by getting off the clean rock and heading for the grassy crack on the right, you are probably not gonna “style” the rest of the route.
There is often a tuft of grass at the very start of the route that can be pulled out and/or avoided and there is a good small cam for pro. About 2/3 up the pitch one gets onto clean yellow rock with some lichen and then one climbs a thin crack to the left to avoid gippo-ing into the grassy crack. There is a tricky step up in this crack but there is pro. After this there is a slabby section.
2nd Pitch The peg that is visible will probably deteriorate over time but is mechanically good. However, when hanging around at the peg one can place a bomber Blue Alien in a slot just a little up and left. This is the crux of the pitch and is strenuous. One then gets into a sort of recess and it’s awkward exiting on the right. A little higher the rock is dubious for pro but one gets to good square holds and a critical one is often wet. One can stand there and use a bit of toilet paper to dry it! It is probably better to split this pitch if you haven’t done it before and stance on the blocks 3 or 4 metres up.
The 2nd half of this pitch is easier. After moving right and then up (shared with Another day and Hell) one moves up and a few metres left into a shallow right facing corner just about 4 m right of the perch that is visible at the end of the pitch. This corner takes a good nut but it is a little intimidating continuing up it to top of the corner and then stepping left onto the slab. The perch stance is well protected by a large cam.
3rd Pitch. As small cam is placed in the rail for pro and then climb up below the sliver of the overhang. Then step right directly above the stance. One can fiddle in a RP here but it’s awkward and followed by a tricky move to easy ground that continues for a long way to a steeper section below the stance. One can get some pro far right at the shattered crack. Climbing up to the stance is steep and the rock is better and the climbing easier than it looks. Really is just jug hauling at grade 17 or so.
4th Pitch. The RD mentions an RP. This is a no 5 sideways. The last time I climbed the route I broke of the lay back hold mentioned in the RD and took a long fall onto the RP. It held! At the RP there is now a very tricky stemming move.
5th Pitch is actually only about 22 if you get it right and that means that at the pegs you must step up to the left! There is a little square hold up to the left!!!! If you try going right which seems the obvious thing to do you will probably fall off as it is desperate!
6th pitch The tricky move for short people that is mentioned in the RD is also run out with only a small RP for pro. Further up where one crouches the are good medium cam placements and it seem obvious to go straight up as there are good starting holds and also a crack for gear placements. But ensure you climb to the left of this crack onto the lichen face before moving to the stance.
7th Pitch: The start is easier than it looks and is quite intimidating. The crack is always filled with bird shit but if you brush it away there are good holds. The last few moves to the stance are not obvious and if you find it very strenuous you are doing it wrong.
8th Pitch: The start is serious and requires careful climbing on dodgy rock but one soon attains easier rock with bomber gear especially under the roof. At the roof one pulls through to reach a ledge and there is a slot at the back. Find it! Move quickly though this move with your left hand in the slot – its hard but you are safe!. Then you can rest and even make a stance if you are shattered.
Climb up to the first bolt, clip it and then come down again to rest if needed. The crux is climbing up past the last bolt which I have subsequently freed on lead. It is very difficult and unnecessary clipping the last bolt. And there is also small alien (purple) placement which is easier to place than to clip the bolt as you are in a lay back position with the bolt behind you. Get the rail and place a good medium cam. Railing left is very strenuous. This pitch is 25 to free!
9th Pitch is probably 19 or even 20 but straight forward with good pro and actually quite an excellent pitch even though it’s on that gray gnarly rock.
I have climbed this route at least 6 times. It’s excellent!
Swop tips on moves, route conditions, etc.
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