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Archway

  • Grade context: UK
  • Ascents: 31

Seasonality

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Description

150m from the South Picnic Tree to the left there is a grey slab surmounted by a tumble of huge boulders with a fig tree growing out of them. This crag is one of the most pleasant at Lukenia and is an excellent introduction to the type of climbing in the area. Two old routes, Subway and Boiler Plate are worthy inclusions on anybody's day and their altered descriptions are mentioned below.

Recommended routes: Standard Route—D. Tramlines—S. Subway—V.S. Boilerplate--V.S.

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Access issues inherited from Lukenya

Lukenya is owned by the Mountain Club of Kenya and entrance is free for members. Non-members have to pay for a daily membership (KES400 for Kenyan citizens, KES800 for others, payable by Mpesa paybill no 880926. Account: guest fee). No commercial groups are allowed. Some climbs are occasionally off-limits when eagles are nesting (in particular Eagles Nest Face). If this is the case its normally communicated on a notice in the sign-on book at the gate and through a climber whatsapp group.

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Approach

Park at picnic tree then walk along the base of the cliffs to the left (facing the hill) until you get to Archway crag. This is the first crag that you'll encounter without having to climb up.

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Descent notes

Depending on the climb, you can either scramble down to the left side of the cliff, or traverse to the right (there are also some holes you can squeeze through). Either way, you'll end up going down a gully.

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Ethic inherited from Lukenya

Lukenya is mostly trad. No bolting is allowed without a special permission from the Mountain Club of Kenya.

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Some content has been provided under license from: © Mountain Club of Kenya (Copyright Mountain Club of Kenya)

Routes

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Grade Route

Start on dark rock 6m to the left of lichenuous slab, a groove with quartz at the foot. Follow groove to finish.

Lies between South Climb and Long Layback. Start in centre of slab and climb direct for 6m then slightly right to top.

FA: P. Le Pelley & N. A. Fumiss, 1959

Scramble up crescent shaped gully to tree belay. Using lip of crack for layback, climb to end of crack and final belay.

Start on right at point of gully. Simple traverse right leads behind small tree. Climb up moving right then left to the top.

Start at base of face below apex of groove 2.5m' to right of tree at ground level. Climb left to overhang at easiest point, surmount this and move up to reasonable rock that leads to finish.

Start at point of slab directly below tree on overhang, a pigeonhole 1m above ground. Move right-handed to platform, ascend steep wall behind to ledge. Climb wall and slab directly behind to finish in bushy trees. Abseil from here Two alternate starts may be made: Superdirect and Supersuperdirect.

Alternate start to Archway Direct. Start on corner of buttress to right of normal start (point of slab directly below tree on overhang, a pigeonhole 1m above ground). Leads to platform. Finish as for Archway Direct: ascend steep wall behind to ledge. Climb wall and slab directly behind to finish.

Alternate start to Archway Direct. Further round corner to right at narrow crack with fig tree. Climb crack in entirety, including section above ledge. Rejoin route at ledge and finish as for Archway Direct: ascend steep wall behind to ledge. Climb wall and slab directly behind to finish.

Start 5m left of the Tramlines gully below a steep wall with a scoop above. Climb wall for 4m then delicately into scoop, and up to small flake. Stand on this with difficulty (crux), and up to good holds. Continue to ledge. Directly up from ledge to abseil bush. Or step down and right across ledge and ascend wall some 2m right of big slash in cliff.

FA: Barry Cliff, Collette Brown & David Lockwood, 1962

Start as for Tramlines. Step across to ledge. The face is taken direct avoiding the vegetated crack on the left.

FA: R. Smith & G. B. Cliff A. M. Waber, 1962

Start at foot of large fig tree in gully. Layback to top of flake on right. Traverse left a few feet to ledge at foot of upper gully. From here thin twin cracks up right- hand corner of gully take route out onto face on right which is then climbed direct.

Start just right of big fig tree on boulder below steep slab. Climb this for a few unprotected moves to a ledge at 9m below small overhang. Bolt below overhang. Move up wall left of bolt (crux), up overhang and easier wall above to finish.

FA: Michael Adams, Ron Searle & Peter Le Pelley, 1960

About 6m right of Junction there is a chimney crack above the ground. Climb easily up this to the righthand end of the Junction ledge, some 2m right of bolt. Move up right above obvious "pigeon-hole" (crux), then straight up wall above.

FA: Iain Allan & Clive Ward, 1988

It has been said that one member of the Mountain Club makes the journey to Lukenia once a fortnight solely to do battle with this little beauty, If he succeeds on one safari, the only certainty is that it will defeat him on his next Originally climbed by traversing in from the Junction ledge on the left, parties in recent years have preferred a more direct approach. Start 3m left of Bandana at a "pigeon-hole" about a meter off the ground. Climb wall by "pigeon-hole" and step left at 3m to diagonal crack rising rightwards. Move right and over the overlap at 5m, directly above start. Climb face above moving slightly right to ledge. Mantle shelf up leftwards to ledge below black streak, and climb delicately up slab (crux), on right of bolt to top. Original route was to climb up to shallow cave and the move up rightwards.

FA: Michael Adams & Alan Owen, 1959

This route ascends the steep wall and arete between Boiler Plate and Bandana. Start just left of Bandana where a difficult move leads left to a good hold. Move straight up to where pro can be placed above right end of overlap. Step right and up steep lichen wall to good jug. Mantle shelf. Move up right and ascend wall left of grassy Bandana gully with difficulty.

FA: Iain Allan & Clive Ward, 1988

About 8m to the right of Boiler Plate there is a steep vegetated crack. Climb through tree then up crack to steep bulge (crux), continue up grass to top.

FA: Iain Allan & H. Smith, 1968

The ultimate finger-tingler! Start 3m right of Bandana, Climb thin crack to obvious "pigeon-hole" at 4m. Move up bulge above on good holds, then two hard moves lead out rightwards across wall and up to easier ground.

FA: Pete O' Sullivan, Ron Corkhill & Andrew Wielochowski, 1981

The steep corner some 6m right of Matatu. Five fierce moves up thin crackline past bolt on right, leads to blank wall. Cruxy move right then easier step left below small roof. Over roof on good holds and to top.

FA: Iain Allan, 1988

A short way up the gully right of Hit and Run there is an obvious scoop near the ground. Up to this, then harder move out of scoop, and straight up to top.

FA: Iain Allan & Clive Ward, 1988

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