Soitpus is a fine cliff whose profile is a prominent feature to the we of the pipe-line track from Sultan Hamud to Loitokitok. The rock face loo. south towards Kilimanjaro and is over 500 ft. high at its highest point. There are two main groups of buttresses leading up to a western and an east summit. Between these summits is a col with a vague path leading down diagonally towards the west, which is the normal route of descent.
The crags are large and complicated and in the past great difficulty has been experienced in locating routes^ it is often possible to work things out from below, but from close up, especially under the western face, it is not easy to tell exactly where you are. A good landmark is the bead buttress, which looks like the bottom of a boat. The best photograph of the western face available is on display in the Club Library. It is one taken by Peter Campbell from the air land is thus not much use to people looking sharply upwards. The diagrams have, therefore, been drawn from slides taken from below and a little to the east (right) 5 that is from the normal approach route. The diagrams and some of the descriptions were written some time later from memory. Some of the routes have not been repeated since 1961 and their exact line is not known. On the diagram they are shown by numbers at the top and bottom. The other routes have numbers and a dashed red line.
There is still plenty of scope for new routes and major variations. The plum, if the crest can be gained, is boat buttress. There is scope at two points where unsuccessful attempts have been made to the right of Daphne's Delight. To the west of the main crags is a smaller untouched buttress. To the east are some rather broken rocky areas. If you do a new route or repeat an old one, the description of which is unsatisfactory, please write a new description in the New Climbs Book in the Club House.©
Please be considerate of locals and do not pay for climbing (outside of National Parks) without first consulting the Mountain Club of Kenya.©
Approachs The crag is on a hill called Soysamba, 5*679 ft. Drive to Suitan Hamud which is about 70 miles from Nairobi down the Mombasa road. Turn right and cross the railway and follow the pipeline road for about ten miles. The road passes over the side of a small hill where there is a watering point on the pipeline and several houses. Turn right here along a small but reason able track, (easy to find in the day but a little tricky after dark). This heads towards the main hill and just before the lower slopes it crosses a depression with black cotton soil before passing through a broken belt of trees. Here it swings right and leads to the wrong side of the hill. Leave the track and drive across country to the left, contouring round the base of the hill for two or three miles, and passing a Masai manyatta. Do not g high too.soon as there are rocks and gullys. Only when opposite the very large overhangs on the eastern buttress go almost straight up towards the crag. It is possible to get to camping places within a couple of hundred yards of the steep slope — beware of ticks!©
If you want to open new climbs in Kenya, kindly contact the Mountain Club of Kenya (www.mck.or.ke). We'll be happy to help!
Here is our bolting policy, please abide by it: http://mountainclubkenya.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Bolting-Policy.pdf©
The crag was brought to the notice of club members by Don McCahnan who also first discovered the Kalama rocks. Early visits and climbs were described in Bulletins No. 42 and 43 in 1957* and in Bulletin No. 52 in 1961 Mike Adams, who had led the harder routes, produced a dia gram drawn from a slide and gave very brief descriptions of all the routes. Two of these older routes. Central Buttress X.S. and Vajolet Tower Route S. have not been repeated in recent years, the former because nobody has attempted it and the latter because it cannot be located, Robert Chambers wrote a better description of Sella Tower in the New Climbs Book and added a couple of routes. Colin Powell and Martin Harris spent several days getting nowhere attempting new routes, before repeating Daphne's Delight and Sella Tower. Martin wrote new long descriptions of these in 1967 when he and Ian Howell added three new routes on the eastern buttress. Ian returned in 1969 and added a route with Reg Pillinger.©
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