The Cemetery

  • Grade context: UK
  • Ascents: 51




From the South Picnic Tree Cemetery and Eagle's Nest cliffs form the upper skyline. Walk up the gully behind the Picnic Tree and then left-handed to the base of the cliff. The whole area lies to the left of the gully of Fig Tree Face with the two very large fig trees at the foot. The face consists of two parts, the break being at the angle of the cliffs between Epitaph, the right-hand climb of the Cemetery and Eagle’s Nest Crack, the left-hand climb of Eagle’s Nest Face. The climbing is mostly steep and clean with good rock. These are not beginners’ cliffs.

Recommended routes: Cemetery corner—Severe


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.



Park at Picnic tree then walk up the gully, when you reach the cliffs take a left and go past Eagle's Nest crag until you reach Cemetery wall (it's on a higher platform). An alternative option is to go past Archway crag and up the gully (passing Cave Crag) until you reach Cemetery wall.


Descent notes

Abseil off obvious tree above Swog.


Ethic inherited from Lukenya

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


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


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Grade Route

Start in gully left of slab at foot of grey tree root. Climb to platform, move up right-handed to poor stance and belay at 35'. Traverse left across face to good holds and ascend wall until under point of boulder on left. Pull up on jugs to finish.

Start at the base of groove behind bush between Coffin and point of slab. Ascend groove, move out right to grassy ledge, move to left edge of sand-coloured slab. Ascending traverse right across slab, move right-hand over point of corner to easier rock and top. An alternative finish (Severe) may be followed from the grassy ledge by ascending to vertical crack and moving right in an ascending traverse. Cross onto Tombstone and to the bulge directly below the fig tree. Finish above.

FA: Alt. Finish: Luther Bros, 1969

Start almost precisely halfway between Tombstone and Hammer and Sickle and go straight up to the right- angled corner at the left-hand end of the overhang. Climb to corner and finish on the upper slab.

Start at the very base of slab at small bush some feet right of boulder. Climb centre of 3m nose and 8m slab above to vertical wall. Traverse left and climb directly into groove above. Up groove to prominent horizontal crack. Move left onto wall and climb to fig tree belay.

FA: W. M. Adams, A. Owen & Horsfall, 1959

This route is a 8m boulder problem at the top of a nondescript slab, which is located some 8m left of the start of Cemetery Corner. The lower slab leads easily to the first bolt, and the route continues straight up past a second bolt to the top. Near the top it is difficult staying clear of Tombstone. Worth doing but the climb would be far superior with one less bolt.

FA: Ulf Carlsson & Nicolas Ganzin, 1991

Start at base of crack at right-hand corner of slab where there is a prominent fault. Move left-handed under edge of overlapping slab. At left-hand point of overlap climb onto wall and move back right-handed to smooth wall and chimney. Back up over chockstone boulders to platform (root belay). Delicate move onto left-hand wall and traverse until wall can be climbed directly or a swing up can be made on small block. Move left- handed to finish.

This climb is basically an improved direct finish to Cemetery Corner. Ascend Cemetery Corner until the end of the chimney and the obvious roof. Instead of moving out left, continue up the steep polished wall just left of corner to overhang. Surmount this right-wards.

FA: Iain Allan & Ian Howell, 1977

Start right of Cemetery corner until corner/chimney. Layback up leftwards to groove, up this a bit then break out onto right wall by way of steeper groove. Move up to slab and finish on left.

FA: Greg Mortimer, Ian Howell & Iain Allan, 1977

This climb which is of no value whatsoever, starts 3m left of Cemetery Wall at the bottom of the gully just right of Corpse. Climb over a small overlap then make difficult moves up using a finger-crack to reach a good ledge, which is shared with Cemetery Wall. Traverse delicately left and turn the corner to better holds. Straight up.

FA: Clive Ward & Philip Winter, 1989

In middle of face is a pile of boulders with a large fig tree in groove behind and dead tree stump on platform. The climb starts from this platform. Routes leading to platform: (a) 6m Diff. Up fig tree root and move left to platform. (b) 7m Severe. Right-hand corner of pile of boulders into small sentry box. Hand-traverse left-handed and climb boulders to platform. From platform awkward step leads to wall and 3m of climbing left-handed leads into crack. Follow this line of weakness until quartz band is reached. Move left-handed and up to finish. Alternate finish: (very hard, no protection) move right on quartz and take slab direct.

FA: R. Caulkwell, 1954

5m to the right of the start to Cemetery Wall is a thin crack which begins to open at 6m. Start from the tree stump at blank wall. Move up on thin flakes to a old bolt. Layback and jam to the widening of the crack. Strenuous. Continue more easily up the crack. Step right onto face from two moves then back into the crack. Tree belay.

FA: P. Snyder, 1970

Start up the chimney on the right of Coffin. Ascend chimney and then rightward-trending gully to top.

This line is more obvious than Coffin, so I’d be surprised if it hasn’t been climbed before.

FA: Crushy McCrush Face, 5 Dec 2013

To the left of Coffin’s gully is a slab with a small overhang at 5 m and a bulge above it. Climb directly to overhang, then step left to surmount bulge. Straight up to ledge under roof. Traverse left past end of roof, and then follow gully rightwards to top.

This climb’s actually alright, if a bit short.

FA: Crushy McCrush Face, 5 Dec 2013

At left end of Mr. Cod’s slab is a shallow chimney which thins and shallowens as it rises until finishing about 6 m up. Climb chimney and then up crack to grassy ledge. Escape upwards through boulders and trees, and then join finishing gully of Mr. Cod.

This is also not terrible, but the good bit is a bit short.

FA: Crushy McCrush Face, 5 Dec 2013

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