Lichen Face

  • Grade context: UK


This is a rough broken crag with a selection of climbs in the lower grades. Generally they are poorly protected and the rock lichen covered. It is best approached via the gully to the left of Sentry Box Crag and then by crossing rough flatter ground for 100m to the foot of the face. Lichen One to Lichen Three are on a steep sand-coloured boulder some 50m to the left of the face. Immediately to left of gully bounding the left of Lichen Face is a pile of grey boulders, where 'Lichen Two-and-a-half' and 'Lichen Three' are located. The rest of the climbs from 'Rotten' to 'Lichen Chimney' are on the face itself. Recommended route: Lichen Eight—D


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!).



Lichen face is best approached via the gully to the left of Sentry Box Crag and then by crossing rough flatter ground for 100 yards to the foot of the face.


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 slightly right of the middle of the face. Climb wall direct.

FA: Grading Committee, 1959

Start on right-hand corner of face of boulder. Climb corner.

FA: Grading Committee, 1959

Start just to the left of tree growing out of top of boulder. Step onto quartz block, pull up over overhang onto face of boulder to ledge. From point of ledge step onto wall above and climb to left of rotten tree stump.

FA: W. M. Adams & R. Searle, 1960

Start in a corner at middle of boulder foot. Straight up corner 2.5m and right onto ledge; climb wall behind.

Lies on the extreme left of the face to the left of Twin Crack Groove. Climb to horizontal crack, then direct to top keeping left of the large loose flake.

FA: R. Smith & P. Walker., 1962

Start at foot of groove in gully bounding left of face.

Start on wall 1.5m to left of undercut flakes some way up wall. Cross flakes moving right and then to top.

Start 3m to the right of waterchute line where there is a small flake 3m up on wall. Mantleshelf and continue straight up.

Start 9m left of tree at base of slab, find watergroove. Ascend this 4.5m then move slightly left to top.

Up the wall 4.5m to the left of Lichen Eight.

Start directly behind tree. Ascend vertical watergroove.

Start some 9m right main waterchute at boulder lying on edge. Climb to boulder, then into groove and out at eye of groove.

Start below pigeon hole. Into pigeon hole, move a few feet left, continue straight up.

Start in watergroove behind tree, where tree touches rock. Continue to top of crag.

To the right of 'Lichen Eleven', on the second boulder around the corner of the face, is an open chimney. Awkward move at the base of the chimney leads to easier climbing and platform; further short climb leads to top.

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