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The Cemetery

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Description

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

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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 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!).

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Approach

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.

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Descent notes

Abseil off obvious tree above Swog.

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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.

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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

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: Alex Anderson, 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: Alex Anderson, 5 Dec 2013

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: Alex Anderson, 5 Dec 2013

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

A superb direct finish to Corpse. Instead of heading right as for Corpse, hang on a big jug, place a nut, and blast upward with some steep, gymnastic moves through the shallow groove at half height. Pause to get some gear in before continuing on direct on very thin and balancey moves to get onto the final slab finish. Combined with the first half of Corpse this makes a sustained, varied and interesting route. Well worthwhile! (First top rope ascent by Hamish and Max)

FA: Hamish & Max Weiner, 2 Jul 2022

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

Pumpy, then delicate. Start at 2m left from the far right end of the overhang (this avoids the start for The Quick and the Dead). Layback 10 feet up a short but nice finger crack and reach up to a jug just over the roof. Reach high and left for a second good hold, then hard moves to gain the black slab above. Very delicate moves up the slab for 20 feet to easier ground and finish on the slab above. Done on top rope. Anyone up for leading / placing a couple of bolts?

FA: Max Weiner, 2 Jul 2022

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

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