Black Slab

  • Grade context: UK


A quarter of a mile from the South Picnic Tree going left. Beyond Egyptian Crag turn right towards Edinburgh Castle on the skyline. Directly in front is a long dark slab. An excellent place to introduce beginners to balance climbing as several easier grade routes may be tackled in a short time. Leader protection is, however, poor.

Recommended routes: Blackjack—V.D. Black Death—S


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 daily membership (KES400 for Kenyan citizens, KES800 for others, payable by Mpesa Paybill No. 880926, account: guest fee). No commercial groups are allowed without prior agreement from MCK. Some climbs are occasionally off-limits when eagles are nesting (in particular Eagle's Nest Face). If this is the case it is normally communicated on a notice in the sign-on book at the gate, through a climber Whatsapp group and on the relevant page on theCrag. There are many other wild animals that call Lukenya home, including a resident leopard, snakes, hyenas. In general, these will all stay well out of your way, but be aware at night and avoid confrontations with bigger grazers like giraffes or eland. This is a wild place, so treat it with respect, pack out any rubbish, and bury human waste at least 30 cm underground (bring a spade or trowel!).


Ethic inherited from Lukenya

Lukenya is mostly trad, with some specific sport crags. No bolting is allowed without special permission from the Mountain Club of Kenya - get in touch with them if you think you have spotted a sport route, think there should be an extra bolt on a climb, see some degraded equipment, etc. Avoid cutting down any vegetation beyond a few bush branches - if you think a particular tree poses a real danger to climbers please bring this to the attention of MCK. Don't harass any of the local, sometimes rare wildlife.


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


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Grade Route

Start just below and to left of corner where slab sweeps down. Climb prominent flake to small tree at 5m and move slightly right-handed to come out on top.

Start 12m to right of corner at point of slab on small block. From this climb up slab to overhang, climb this direct.

7m right of small block mentioned in Black Magic is a small crack with a quartz streak in it. Start 1m to the right of this and ascend blackest part of bulge above to underside of slight overhang. Traverse beneath overhang right-handed to finish. A very pleasant, steep climb.

FA: Grading Committee, 1959

Prominent crack and flake leads to shallow scoop which is crossed to right. From there directly to top.

The bush-filled chimney directly behind the small tree.

Most obvious deep chimney in middle of face. Back up and awkward move leads to left hand wall which is ascended to small overhang at top; this is taken direct.

Between Black Chimney and the fig tree a simple route leads directly to the top.

Thin start 3m right of fig tree. Move right-handed clear of tree to finish. A worthwhile route requiring good balance.

Start at very bottom of slab, 3m to left of quartz inset. Climb leads up to grassy gangway from which an obvious route follows series of flakes up face, leading to thorn tree on skyline.

From the quartz inset mentioned in Black Treacle mantleshelf onto grassy ledge. Straight up from small bush on right via shallow scoop to top.

Start at right hand point of overhang. Tricky move leads to ledge above overhang. From there climb continues to groove above, finishing out over left wall of groove.

Start 1.5m to right of Black Groove start. Up waterchute line and black streak of wall above to finish.

An exposed traverse with little protection. Start up Black Steps until at about three-quarter height a thin quartz fault leads rightwards horizontally across the face. Follow this using the thorn tree of Black Treacle as a belay

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