Nettle Tree

  • Grade context: UK


Nettle Tree Face, appropriately named, is to the north of lower Cliffs, the junction being the square corner of the Rood. Descent is easiest by abseil.


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

The obvious square corner on the left of the face has now been climbed free. Not as good as it looks. Hard start up corner leads to very difficult bridging at 9m. A mantleshelf enables easier climbing to be reached 6m below top.

FA: Iain Allan, Roger Higgins & Chris Wilson, 1968

This old route begins 6m right of The Rood. Hard moves up to bolt on right. Step left (crux) and up to easier ground. Step right and up groove to ledge. Traverse right to leftwards rising crack. Follow this to fig tree.

FA: Tony Bennet & party, 1959

Start as for Graunch but continue in water groove over eye of scoop until faced by unclimbable wall. Move left handed so 2m up left hand water groove. Ascend wall on right direct to tree belay. Easy rock to finish.

FA: Grading Committee, 1959

Start at root of large tree. Climb tree then over flakes to wall. Taking easiest line move slightly right, leaving nettle tree to right, then left to tree. Finish over boulder to top. An alternate start is 1.5m to left of tree in corner.

Start 4.5m right of Tree Route. Thin start leads to scoop at 6m. Move slightly right and ascend twin cracks. Ascending traverse left-handed to red buttress which is climbed on nose to belay.

Start 2.5m left of Flake Route, and layback on to wall. Up steep conspicuous crack and straight on delicately to top.

FA: John Temple & Robin Harper, 1974

Start on pile of boulders 6m to right of Twin Crack Wall where nettle trees grow in horizontal crack under small overhang. Climb to small pigeon hole. Traverse slightly right to twin pigeon holes then up to wide ledge and move right. Ascend crack on right to easier rock. Traverse left across detached boulder to extreme left edge and ascend to platform. Ascend groove in wall behind to finish.

FA: Grading Committee, 1959

Start on left-hand piece of a broken block below the left end of an overlap which extends to Lancelot, 3m right of clump of nettle trees. Follow a vertical line of holds over the overlap, past a small pocket, to easier ground. Then go up a vague crack to the white-streaked arete on the right. Go up this to a bushy ledge and straight over the overhang on a large hold.

FA: Francis Hllman

FA: Philip Winter and, 1990

Start on right-hand piece of the broken block. Go delicately over the overlap trending right to the obvious pocket at 7.5m. Cross easier ground and up to nettle tree, then right to the overhung corner. Up this and exit right by the tree on good jugs to a ledge. Finish up the face above.

FA: Philip Winter & Steve McCormick, 1990

At the far right end of the face is a groove with a small fig tree at 4.5m. Climb corner and groove until it peters out, move right-handed on small holds up a series of steps on a flake to platform. Climb wall and groove to finish.

FA: P. Snyder & D. Burkhart, 1970


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Wed 23 Feb
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