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Tsavo

Great climbing, remote, wild and a very tough walk to the biggest/best climbs on Kichwa Tembo.

Elephant Rocks

Nice cliffs in a wild place with a reasonable walk-in.

Elephant Rocks
5+ Monkey Arete

Immediately L of Elephant Rocks a vegetated descent gully is bounded to its L by a great fin of rock. The arete of this fin is covered in green lichen and has vertical seams. Monkey Arete (V+ **) climbs this (keeping R where possible) on good rock.

4+ Earl Grey

At the L-most end of the terrace is a R-facing comer, reached by making a short descent before the Tusker start, then traversing. Just L of a block at base of the cliff climb a crack then traverse L into chimney; tree belay (25m.). Traverse L from chimney onto a steep wall; climb this to a bulge, then traverse R across chimney; climb a wall then move R below over­ hangs. Cross a dirty gully and, avoiding chockstones by going R, scramble to a big tree 5m. up gully (30m.). Traverse L below tree along an ever widening ledge, step round a nose and climb slab above, keeping where possible near the L edge (45m.). A fine pitch. Descend in 2 abseils.

The Omen

Start at the third comer L of Ivory Corner. Climb a chimney for 4m. and traverse L onto a juggy wall. Climb an arete (hard), move Rand L, then follow arete to a stance (40m.). Continue up ar§te to a ledge with twin cactus trees (20m.). Surmount roof between the cacti, move up then L to arete and at spikes move further L (thin) for 3m. Make 2 moves up then go back R to lip of a roof; climb a crack then a wall and easy slab to the top; cactus belay (45m.). Descent: abseil from a tree 8 m. L of top.

4+ Tusker

Mainly grade III, a few moves of IV+. A beautiful climb.

Start as for The Omen, climb easy rocks Rof chimney till a passage leads to base of chimney in the 2nd corner L of Ivory Comer (20m.). The chimney, mainly on R w a ll, to a slabby ledge on R (15m.). Make an exposed traverse to the arete L (keep low) and go round this to ledge (15m.). Move up and R to reach a spike on arete. From here climb L and up (hard) to reach a black slabby wall. After a few moves make a thin step Rto a sandy ledge on arete (pitch 3 could be fin ished here in order to give the second a top rope on the traverse). Big holds now lead to a horizontal cleft (40m.). Var: a rising traverse at the start of the 3rd pitch leads to spike on the arete which is climbed direct to the cleft (V -, better climbing). Now go over the bulge and follow nose till it steepens. Move R to a juggy wall and go straight up this; cross arete and climb slabs, keeping R where possible, to a commiphora tree at top of corner (45m.). Descend in 2 long abseils from top of corner.

6- White Owl Chimney

The corner L of Ivory Corner; three sustained chimney pitches and a fine wall finish. Scramble into base of comer from the L. The chimney to a cramped stance on jammed flakes (25m.); possible to move on to L wall to get a runner. Climb to block overhang, good stance above (25m.). Continue to a runner in the roof then traverse Rout of chimney (hard) and bridge up comer to good stance (30m.). Climb corner for 2m. then move Rand directly up the wall (hard at first) to move L at top to tree (45m.). Descend by 2 abseils, the first diagonally into the Tusker corner.

6+ Exodus

Pegs useful. The walls R of White Owl Chimney. Halfway up, an obvious bottomless chimney is gained and followed to the top. Start near Rend of terrace and climb a groove to tree at its top (15m.). Move L and climb a shallow groove till a thin traverse R is possible to a scant ledge leading up to a niche (35m.). Follow cracks to ledge and tree (35m.). Climb an overhanging groove till easy ground on L of the fault leads to top (45m.). Descend by abseil starting from a good tree on rim of the L wall of Ivory Corner.

6+ Ivory Tower

A serious, sustained climb.

Start one m. L of Ivory Corner and climb a slab directly for 35m. up a brown streak, passing the R-hand end of an overlap at 20m. Traverse 5m. L till easier rock leads to a bushy bay at far R end of terrace (45m.). Step R from bay onto a wall and climb a steepening to loose blocks. Move R, then up and R into Ivory Corner; a messy pitch. Good stance at a pinnacle R of comer (35m.). Place a runner in the comer, move down and swing onto a steep grey slab on L. Traverse L to arete and climb this to a bolt and peg slightly higher. A steep wall (VI+) then jugs lead to a quartz hole and thread runner. Hand traverse L and swing onto a ledge above the big roof. Now L, then up and back R to a small stance on a sloping ledge (30m.). Climb wall above stance for 8 m. to a resting place. Move delicately L and up to excellent runners in a crack above a rocking-block. From here climb direct (VII-) to a resting place R of a big detached flake. (This section can be avoided by traversing 3m. L from rocker, climbing (VI+) to a ledge, and R to the detached flake). Bridge up, step Rand climb cracks to a ledge below a comer. Bridge up comer to a loose block and roof, traverse L to easier ground and climb to the great horizontal break in the cliff. Belay on white ledge to R, pegs in place (40m.). Surmount roof just L of stance using hidden pocket (protection peg 2m. L), climb good grey rock to a steep wall, move 2m. L, then climb to better holds and a resting place on the R (V I, steep and poorly protected). Ascend 3m. to a better ledge then move 3m. R to easier ground; go up good rock to small stance below a little bulge/ roof (40m.). Climb bulge to easier ground and the top (10m.). Descend as for Ivory Corner.

6- Ivory Comer

Named after an elephant tusk found by the first party. Mainly straightforward, airy on the last 2 pitches and vegetated on the pitches in the comer. Easy belaying and an obvious line. Brief description:

Start 20m. L of central grassy bay at a groove with tree. Climb crack for 65m., vegetated in parts, till the L wall overhangs; take an overhanging jamming crack (crux), keeping out on the slabby R wall wherever possible. Easy chim­neys above lead to the upper sections of the corner where the chimney becomes unpleasantly wide and is adorned with hornets nests. From just below the highest tree in corner proper, traverse L then move up into a bay. Trend R to a small R-facing comer and climb this to a belay. Take the crack above to top. From a tree near the finish several abseils down the comer lead to the bottom.

6- A1 Ivory Pillar

The arete R of Ivory Comer is climbed by Ivory Pillar (V I-, A1); near the top a slab L of pillar is taken.

[not sure whether the following description by Andrew Wielochowski belongs to this route or the next] R of this is another huge comer system. The top sections of the L-hand walls are red and overhanging. A giant roof caps the whole system.

5+ Call of the Wild

The comer and slabs to the R of Ivory Pillar are climbed by Call of the Wild (V+).

6 Vampire

Though rather devious, gives varied climbing of high quality. Start just R of cave, on top of a pedestal formed by a huge fallen block resting against the cliff.

Climb slab just R of pedestal or move up from pedestal to a white crack (runner) and traverse Ronto slab. Climb this to top of the white crack (VI-). Traverse L and down (good holds below the overlap) to gain a stance on the jammed blocks (15m.). Jam then hand traverse L (VI-) to reach a groove slanting R. Climb this to stance above a grassy ledge (15m.). Continue up slanting crack for 6 m. to chockstones (runner). Above, the crack widens to a chimney; below this step L onto a steep wall. Move up to a big hold, mantelshelf onto this (VI+), move L then climb an easy slab to a tree (20m.); from here one abseil reaches the bottom. Traverse R for 2m., climb a slabby wall till a break leads R into a grassy bay; above this traverse further R across a blank slab to reach grooves leading up to R-hand end of a roof line. Small stance several m. below roof (30m.). Climb to a corner R of the roof and take this till it is possible to traverse out L, round a nose and to a comer on L below cactuses and a small tree (25m.). Climb past cactuses to a roof (Shifta comes in here from the R); take a tapering slab above to reach a horizontal cleft splitting the cliff at half height (25m.). Move slightly L, pull over the roof of cleft (difficult) to a slight recess on R. Climb this (peg runner) to easier slabs and go up these keeping slightly L to a ledge and belays in a wide crack (35m.). Follow this crack, breaking out L where i t steepens. Move up, then back R into the now thin crack and go L across a slab to climb a wall to easy ground. Descend by abseiling down Ivory Comer.

5+ Shifta

R of Vampire the slabs are unbroken till another major slightly vegetated fault is reached. From a pedestal just L of this fault climb to a high runner to protect a thin traverse R across a black slab, to gain the start of the fault line by tree roots and above a roof. Climb past two trees then an awkward traverse leads R to the arete; go up this to a ledge (45m.). Climb arete then move L and up a clean crack just R of a chimney. Take a stance before the crack ends (25m.). Take the R w a ll, step L across the corner and go up more easily till a long traverse L across the steep wall leads over an arete to a tapering slab (Vampire). Climb this (crux) to the horizontal cleft (25m.). Crawl L to a stance near trees (10m.). Surmount the roof at a point 20m. directly below the R-most end of the giant roof on the L; climb to this, passing it just to the R. Trend R to ledge and belays in a wide crack (40m.). Now as for pitch 8 of Vampire. Descend as for Vampire.

Routes without description

R of Shifta several routes climb the crack systems to the horizontal fault and slabs above. All are good. The Rend of this cracked area ends in a long black comer, leading up to a vegetated bay below the L end of a long overhang above the hori­zontal cleft which splits the cliff. Beyond this the base of cliff drops, and R of a blunt nose a sweep of black slabs appears. Several climbs start here. The R end is bounded by a L-facing chimney system, vegetated in its upper half. At the bottom a big fig tree grows out of the R wall of the corner, 5m. above the ground.

4 Arc of a Diver

The blunt arete above the fig tree and R of the corner. A delightfully open slab climb, very popular and the easiest route in the area; rarely exceeds III+. Start 20m. beyond the buttress nose, below and Rof fig tree, at a long, wide L-trending crack; climb this to belay on top of a pinnacle (15m.). Var: climb direct, starting below the fig tree. Now the wall above pinnacle, R then L, to slabs; climb a crack and belay near its top (15m.). Follow rib to an overhang (unprotected), turn this on R and at next overhang traverse L to a tree (45m.). Gain the top of overhang from L side. Follow nose to the top (15m.). An interesting descent from this route is via the Bat Cave. At the top go 3m. Rand descend onto a lower overhung ledge system leading into the cave. At the other end a window leads to top of an easy gully; scramble down this for a few m., till it is possible to traverse R(facing cliff) and across into a waterworn gully leading to the bottom.

Kitchwa Tembo

Long and tough walk in, massive face with a few adventurous routes.

Kitchwa Tembo
HS Covenant

Climb a chimney, step L and shortly move back R into chimney; go up for 3m., move L onto the arete and up to small cave stance (35m.).

The chimney to a platform at top (20m.);

the L wall can be climbed in the middle section of this pitch. Step R (thread runner) and climb a quartz band, moving R on slabbier ground to belay block on nose (20m.).

Now L across slabs, then easier rock leads to ridge (30m.).

Var: the quartz band can be climbed direct (excellent, V I-). Follow ridge across a crevice to base of the final step.

Either climb this (The Link), or scramble down a gully on L for 40m. to a tree on the R wall, from where a 45m. abseil leads into South Gully. It is also possible to abseil down the climb itself.

HVS Great Tsavo Chimney

A superb chimney climb; long pitches of fine bridging on good rock. The line is obvious, briefly as follows.

Enter chimney with difficulty, then 2 ways are evident for the 2nd pitch: at a narrowing, climb face to L (VI-) till it is possible to regain chimney, or avoid the face by going deep into chimney and climbing in semi-darkness (IV). The 4th pitch involves a hard move L round a chockstone (V+). Near the top stay on the outside of chimney. For continuations, see Covenant.

L of Great Tsavo Chimney another chimney splits the E face but does not reach the ground. Falcon (well-protected, exposed, VI- **) climbs this area of rock: a slab leads to base of the wall which is climbed by steep cracks trending R. A ramp system slanting to R leads to the chimney which is followed for 5m., then a slab on R leads to a hidden ledge with tree; steep cracks above L end of ledge lead to the top.

HVS The Link

A fine continuation to Covenant, the Great Tsavo Chimney or Falcon, taking steep exposed slabs R of the headwall. Although not technically hard, the poor belay, sparse protection, difficult route finding and complex rope handling make this a serious route. Step across Great Tsavo Chimney to a ledge; move 2m. R to a spike then climb direct to a grassy ledge on L and poor belay, peg (10m.). Move R onto slabs and climb these trending initially slightly R; after 2 mantelshelf moves, go L and down across a holdless slab to reach easier ground above. If climbing on a double 9mm. rope it is best now to untie from one of them, join them together and continue up the much easier ground to a belay a long way back (55m.).

E2 Mastodon

Mastadon and Behemoth are situated on the E face proper. Both provide excellent wall climbing rarely exceeding V -. Belays and protection however need a lot of care. A small selection of pegs is recommended for Mastadon.

Start R of the biv. boulders, where a tree 1 0 m. up has roots hanging down to the ground. Climb the roots then a chimney to a small niche (35m.). Go up to a overhang, traverse 3m. R onto a blunt arete and follow this to a steepening. Traverse back L to a corner (30m.). Go back R then up diagonally R till a line of holds is taken diagonally L (hard), then a wall to a small L-facing comer and hanging belay below a ledge (30m.). From ledge go L then 5m. direct to big holds. So L again (difficult) to runners, then up 2m. and L again. Several more L-then- up moves lead to a ramp which crosses face from L to R. Belay on ramp, L of a thin semi-detached rock pillar, pegs (40m.). Climb ramp to a good ledge(45m.). Go up diagonally L across slabs to top of a second, higher ramp line; block belay (25m.). Move up then R following an arching crack to reach a grassy overhang; surmount this (hard) to base of a chimney cutting the headwall (25m.). Climb chimney to small ledge (35m.). The chimney narrows to a crack; bridge over narrowing into a niche (runners), step onto L wall and climb a slab above trending L (45m.). A sustained and poorly protected pitch.

E1 Behemoth

Start 40m. R of Mastadon, at the bottom of a long L-facing chimney. Climb this for 6 m., traverse onto wall R and take this over a bulge to a big ledge (40m.). Go up direct for 40m. first trending L then R. Traverse 6 m. L to a ledge above a band of roofs (45m.). The next belay is directly above on a big ledge and can be reached either directly, or more easily by moving L and up to a spike, then back R and straight up, pegs (45m.). Climb L on easier slabs; after 20m. pass the belay ledge at end of the Mastadon ramp pitch. Continue to block belay as for Mastadon pitch 6 (45m.). Traverse horizontally L below the headwall till you can almost see the Great Tsavo Chimney. Take the wall above (unprotected) till a hard move L leads to a hanging belay from a spike and nut, level with top of Great Tsavo Chimney (45m.). Ascend to easier ground and go up L to a ledge overlooking the top of Great Tsavo Chimney, some 12m. below (30m.). Continue as for pitch 2 of The Link (55m.).

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