The Shadows Wall to Cryptotermes Buttress

  • Grade context: SA
  • Ascents: 9

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Created 12 weeks ago




This is a broken and vegetated section of the cliffs with climbs tending to start from ledges that are best reached by abseil. The Shadows Wall is the clean overhanging wall above a big ledge. Cryptotermes takes a line up the prominent buttress seen as the skyline of the western cliff from the main climbing area and MCSA hut. Local knowledge, and reference to the topos in "A Climber’s Guide to Natal Rock" by Roger Nattrass is recommended.

Access issues inherited from Monteseel

No form of booking, notification or registration is required to climb at Monteseel. Although the public currently has right of access to these crags, the usual norms of civilised behaviour obviously still apply.

Ethic inherited from Monteseel

Climbing is allowed as long as no plants are damaged. No bolting is allowed. Most pegs have been cut. No damaging the rock in anyway. There are people living below so no throwing things off the cliff. There are also people living above the cliff so be respectful.


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Grade Route

Start from the blocks on the left of the Fear of Flight ledge, below an imposing, clean wall. Climb the wall past a peg to the ledge. Break through the roofs and continue up to another peg on the left of the Shadows’ headwall. Move left on undercut holds to finish.

FA: Andy de Klerk & Ed February, 1987

Instead of moving left to finish, climb straight up to the top from the second peg. Run out.

FA: Andy de Klerk & Ed February, 1987

An imposing face offering excellent moves on superb rock. Unfortunately the face gets very dusty and covered with sand, hence the four star rating. You have to brush the entire headwall beforehand in order to enjoy the line, but rest assured that half an hour of brushing is well worth the effort. Start just left of the crack at the base of Fear of Flight. Pass a bolt and climb up the thin seam to the roof. Move left along the rail to below a peg. Pull through the roof and up to the rail. Move slightly right and up the headwall.

FA: Steve Bradshaw, 1984

Start on the big ledge below the clean overhanging wall. Climb the crack to the roof and continue straight up to a small ledge. Climb directly to the top.

FA: Mike Roberts & Brian Shuttleworth, 1979

Climbs the narrow face to the right of Fear of Flight. Good climbing past two bolts, but a little contrived as you shouldn’t step off the wall at the second bolt.

FA: Roger Nattrass, 1990

Start on the ledge around the corner to the right of Fear of Flight. Traverse left across the wall to the foot of the thin crack. Climb up the crack to where it peters out. From here, move diagonally right across the face to finish up the vague recess. This has superseded the original line which traversed lower down the face, but is very contrived. It is also possible to finish directly above the crack.

FA: Mike Roberts, 1978

A more direct version of Daydreamer offering aesthetic moves on clean rock. Climb directly up the middle of the face. Supplement the bolts with a medium (No. 2-3) Friend and two opposed No. 1 Rocks near the top.

FA: Gerald Camp, 1989

Climbs the steep wall to the right of Daydreamer. One can abseil onto the ledge from a tree. Climb up from the ledge on a ramp leading to the corner for nine metres, then traverse right to the base of an overhanging crack. Climb up to a ledge with a small tree on it. Move right and do a hard move to gain the obvious block. Climb up this and continue to the top. Loose!!

FA: Charl Brummer & Bern Henriksen, 1981

The route starts around the corner to the right of Daydreamer. The first and last six metres provide the interesting climbing. Climb up a rounded face moving left around a small roof into a small recess. Climb up past two small bulges to a ledge. Continue up a recess to below a roof, traverse right and up a chimney to the top.

FA: Brian Shuttleworth, Carless Freer & Mike Roberts, 1978

Start immediately right of Sabbatarian in the dank recess below the obvious water chute. Climb the recess for fifteen metres, moving right at one point. Traverse two metres right and finish up an easy recess.

FA: Brian Shuttleworth & Henry Bro, 1976

1 17
2 19

Start in the same corner as Come Short.

  1. Climb the corner to a large rail. Traverse left for two metres, pull up and move left to the base of a huge recess. Climb this moving right at one point to avoid a roof. Traverse right at the top of the recess to a good stance.

  2. From the stance, move up for two metres to an overhanging recess with a peg. Climb up around the bulge to a ledge. Finish slightly left.

FA: Adrian Hill & Roy Gooden, 1981

1 15
2 15

The second pitch is somewhat different, being easier for people of restricted growth, hence the name. Start at the base of a huge corner.

  1. Climb a short recess for three metres and traverse left onto a ledge, continuing up to a second ledge. Climb a shallow recess and move diagonally left onto blocks. Continue left and then up to a large stance.

  2. Traverse left along the obvious grassy rail and exit easily to the top.

FA: Carless Freer & Harry Bourquin, 1972

The hardest route at Monteseel to date. Fully bolted. Abseil onto the big ledge halfway up Sunshine Chute where there is a two-bolt belay on the ledge. Long cranks on tiny, yet positive edges are the solution to this continuous problem. Have a good pair of edging shoes.

FA: Roger Nattrass, 1991

A surprisingly clean and interesting line up the vegetated recess to the right of Come Short. Climb the right hand side of the recess to the top

FA: Des Watkins, 1953

A short route that is well worth doing. Completely separate from Schadenfreude. Starts from the left hand side of a large ledge that is easily reached from the bottom. Climb onto the face and move immediately left to a small recess. Ascend this to a ledge on the left and continue up a steep wall to a rail. Traverse left to the corner and climb up, moving right to exit behind a large block.

FA: Alan Whittaker & Paul Bridgman

The route takes a bold break through the big roof to the right of Schadenfreude Direct and has an airy crux. Start from the same ledge as Schadenfreude Direct. Climb the large crack to a ledge under the roof. Pull up into the roof and traverse left to pull onto the nose of the roof. Climb the off-width crack to a ledge and continue easily to the top.

FA: Mervyn Gans, Rich Smithers & Carless Freer, 1977

A short route following a large crack in the corner to the right of Sigmund Freude. The climb is spoiled by a heavily vegetated top section. Pull up on blocks to gain the recess and follow this to the top.

FA: Des Watkins, 1953

Starts on the huge ledge about one third of the way up the arete. Climb the overhanging arete on excellent natural gear.

FA: Kevin Tonkin, 1992

Starts beneath the ledge on Violent Haze. Climb the arete then move to the left of the Violent Haze ledge. Climb the blocky face to the left of the arete.

FA: Kevin Tonkin, 1992

A worthwhile route, but unfortunately spoiled by some poor rock, particularly the first pitch. Start around the corner to the right of Schadenfreude.

(1) Climb up through a roof onto a steep face. Traverse to the right, around a block, onto a good stance. A more strenuous alternative is to start just right of the tree halfway up the face and climb the short recess to the stance.

(2) Climb a steep face to reach a recess. Climb this and move right to exit.

FA: Des Watkins, 1953

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