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  • Grade context: UK
  • Ascents: 9

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Description

Access issues inherited from Hell's Gate

The cliffs are located within the National Park, you need to pay entrance and abide by park rules.

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Ethic inherited from Hell's Gate

No bolting unless you're doing a new route (then please check with the MCK that it is a new route beforehand).

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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

Start about 12 m right of Stiletto at thin crack.

  1. 40 m Up crack for 9 m. Over blocks to continuation of crack. Up this and move slightly right to ledge. Climb wide crack above then left around corner to another thin crack. Up this and left to ledge.

  2. 40 m Traverse right 6 m then up groove to easier rock and broken terrace. Move right around corner and up thin crack to a steep shattered wall. Up this to recess and belay. Peg belays.

  3. 40 m Up and left then straight up to obvious line leading to shattered cave. Traverse left for 9 m from cave then up wall to top. Seriousness: 3

FA: Dave Cheesmond & Iain Allan, 1975

Start about 15 m left of 'Isis' where a prominent bulging narrow grey column rises some 12 m. The first pitch ascends the obvious groove immediately right of this column.

  1. 25 m Move up easily for 9 m to small roof. Step left around roof (1 aid nut), and up groove to top of column.

  2. 40 m Move to ledge on right. Straight up to overhang. Climb overhang (peg runner low down and 1 aid nut on lip), into steep corner. Up corner 5 m (peg runner), then move left and up to ledge. Move right and swing around good edge and pull up to easier ground.

  3. 30 m Move right round corner and onto big vegetated ledges. Traverse right 15 m along this until good cracks can be seen above. Up this to good belay ledge on left. (Same as last belay on 'Isis').

  4. 30 m Move left 9 m to large broken corner. Finish up this. Seriousness: 3

FA: Doug Scott & Iain Allan, 1976

FFA: Henry Barber & Iain Allan, 1978

Start 25 m left of Vertigo there is an area with a band of overhangs at 40 m. Below the overhangs there is a prominent white streaked wall. This route starts up the steep left crack of this wall.

  1. 39 m. Move up leftwards to join crack above a bush at 6 m. Climb crack completely free to a hanging belay 2 m beneath roof.

  2. 9 m. To the right is a steep slab. The problem is to reach the small ledge on the other side of the slab. Gain peg up on the right then tension or pendulum across to ledge.

  3. 15 m. This is mostly aid spaced out by difficult free moves. Step right to corner then up to roof. Work right to groove then up to second roof. Move right to slab and belay 3m further right.

  4. 24 m. Move up through vegetated area and slightly leftwards to large sloping ledge.

  5. 36 m. Climb up steep wall behind ledge (peg runner), then move right to easier ground. Traverse left 6m then up and back right to steeper ground with prominent cracks. Move up right crack then left to ledge and belay.

  6. 30 m. Climb up and move right underneath large block to gain finishing crack. Up this to top. This final pitch is the same as the last pitch of Vertigo.

Variation: An alternative to Pitch 3 has been climbed which involves less aid than the original pitch. 3. 25 m. Move up with aid from a peg to arftte above left, and climb shattered crack above to roof. Move left and up to second roof. Move right round this (2 aid pegs) and (1 aid nut), move left and climb vegetated wall above (2 aid nuts). Move right to belay. Pitch 4 of the original route is omitted after this.

Seriousness: 3

FA: Dave MacMullan & Robin Harper, 1975

FFA: Alex Fiksman, 24 Sep 2011

Start some 15 m left of Vertigo where broken rock leads up to an obvious finger of rock at 10 m.

  1. 27 m. The finger is reached by a rising line from the right. From the top of finger step up left then move right to niche. A steep narrow crack above leads to a good jug, from which two hard moves are made up to groove. Climb groove (2 aid pegs, 2 peg runners), then free to belay on sloping ledge below overhang.

  2. 25 m. Move up left to obvious ledges then up right over grass bulge to niche. Climb overhang (2 aid pegs), then move right along sloping ledge 2 m to slab. Move up slab (peg runner), then move up left to belay on grassy ledges.

  3. 38 m. Traverse right 6 m into vegetated groove. Up this to obvious corner. Swing right onto arete and move up rightwards making for prominent tree. Belay here.

  4. 30 m. Directly behind the tree there is a small cave. Take the headwall above this. Good holds lead up rightwards for 6m. Move up left 6 m and surmount bulge. Now up lichen rock and traverse right to obvious pointed flake. Step right, then back left and up to top. Seriousness: 3

FA: Mark Savage, Ian Howell & Iain Allan, 1976

FFA: Alex Fiksman, 10 Dec 2011

This is the bulging crackline left of 'Vertigo'. Start about 12 m left of 'Vertigo' at short corner beneath prominent tree which grows some 18 m up cliff. Climb corner to ledge on right. Move up good cracks which lead to widening. Ascend this (3 aid nuts), then move left to ledge. Up and left again to obvious tree. Abseil off tree. Seriousness: 3

Start about 12 m left of 'Quo Vadis' where there is a steep buttress with fine cracks splitting it.

  1. 40 m. Climb up left side of semi-detached column until it is possible to stand on top of it. Move rightwards over wall to foot of crack which is climbed direct to belay.

  2. 42 m. Move up corner to overhang. Over this to flake then move up leftwards to grassy terrace.

  3. 40 m. Move left to obvious corner crack, which is entered with difficulty and followed to top. (On the first ascent of this route Pitch 1 was done with aid. The first free ascent of this pitch was done on 2/1/77 by Iain Allan and Dave MacMullan ) Seriousness: 3

FA: Ian Howell & Iain Allan, 1968

This is the crack/groove some 6m right of the first pitch of 'Vertigo'. Move to foot of groove from the right. Climb the main crack which becomes easier with height. Move left at top to join 'Vertigo' at ledge at the top of first pitch. Seriousness: 2

FA: Iain Allan, Brian Thomas & Mark Savage, 1976

Start just left of Quo Vadis where an obvious white barked tree grows approximately 6m up. Scramble up and belay here.

  1. 18 m. Move up columns and cracks on right to a good ledge.

  2. 18 m. Move up left to steep wall. Gain wall (2 aid pegs). Step left from pegs and continue to groove. Ascend groove for 8 m to belay on narrow ledges beneath bulge.

  3. 30 m. Ascend steep crack which leads to bulging overhang. Move over this (2 aid pegs, 1 aid nut), onto steep ground. Straight up for 6m until it is possible to make right for a ledge. Peg belay.

  4. The climb now moves rightwards to join Pitch 4 of Quo Vadis, which is followed to the top. Seriousness: 3

FA: Dave MacMullan & Iain Allan, 1976

First climb done on the main wall (excluding Dog Leg). The climb starts from the highest point of the base of the grey cliffs. At 30 m above and to the left is a prominent green tree. Two old rusty pegs mark the start.

  1. 25 m. Move diagonally right to a crack which is followed until a short traverse left leads to a good stance and belay.

  2. 25 m. Step left and up a steep corner to bulge. Over this (aid peg), then step right and up to sloping ledge beneath overhangs. Peg belay.

  3. 15 m. More left to good hold on the edge of slab, then further across to the steep rib which is climbed to easier ground. Up right to belays.

  4. 30 m. Climb broken rock bearing rightwards and up to the big grassy terrace.

  5. 30 m. Up leftwards to a little shelf and a leftward sloping slab. Climb slab and a short wall to ledges and flakes. Move left to recess.

  6. 6 m. Move up rightwards and finish above. Seriousness: 3

FA: Iain Allan, Peter Sutcliffe & Chris Wilson, 1967

Between Beelzebub and Quo Vadis there is a prominent big corner. The route climbs up this keeping on the wall to the left.

  1. 37 m. Start up the corner and work left when forced to. A high peg is used to pendulum further left into a crack below a flake. Up this and onto flake (two aid pegs). Move right with difficulty to a crack which is ascended past a block. Up the corner and move left to belay. Peg belay.

  2. 25 m. Move up directly behind belay (1 aid peg) and gain the corner crack. Move left into niche, then left to slab. Descend this and move round corner on left and into slot. Up this to a grassy ledge. Step right and up to stance and belay on right.

  3. 30 m. Move left slightly and up steep rock. Move right and gain ledge from where one can move right (peg runner), round a corner and up slabs to grassy terrace.

  4. 42 m. Move left and finish up the last pitch of Quo Vadis. Seriousness: 3

FA: Ian Howell & Iain Allan, 1975

About 15 m left of Stage Fright there is a roof some 10 m off the ground. Start here. Scrambling from the right brings one to a good ledge and belay 5 m below the roof.

  1. 37 m. Move left to crack below left side of roof. Up this and over bulge to holds. Traverse left along block ledges to recess. Move left across wall on small holds to buttress with a good wide crack in it. Up this to good ledge beneath the overhangs. Peg belay.

  2. 24 m. Descend right from ledge and traverse far right across slab. Back left and up groove to overhang. Up this (1 aid peg), then wide step left and around flake to ledge. Up a few feet then left to crack which is followed to grassy terrace.

  3. 30 m. Traverse left 6m to break. Up this 3 m then move right on good holds and up to ledge system. Move right to blocks below wall. Up this to niche. Peg belay. 4) 12 m. Move up left to ledge (peg runner), then step right and finish above. Seriousness: 3

FA: Tony Charlton & Iain Allan, 1974

This route ascends the obvious tramline cracks about 30 m left of The Devil Drives. The left crack is wider and is capped by a triangular block.

  1. 27 m. Move up to the foot of cracks and into right hand crack when possible. Up this for 12 m until a move left can be made into the wider crack. Up this to belay on block on left (peg belay).

  2. 27 m. Step right to thin crack and up to roof. Move right under roof (1 aid peg), then lower off nut to gain obvious crack low down on the steep right wall. Up crack (1 aid nut), then step left to corner (1 aid peg), and sloping ledge. Up onto large ledge above and belay. Freed by H Barber - Step right to thin crack and continue traversing right to niche below headwall.

  3. 28 m. Move up then traverse left around corner and descend slightly to ramp. Follow this to steeper wall which is climbed to broken ground. Scramble off right. Seriousness: 5

FFA: Henry Barber

FA: Ian Howell & Iain Allan, 1975

At the extreme right end of the Main Wall there is an obvious corner where the cliff bends sharply into Entrance Wall. This route makes its way up to the left of the corner. Start below the prominent nose by a large detached block.

  1. 25 m. Climb onto block then up steep crack to ledge. Follow crack above until it is possible to step right, then up blocks to good belay.

  2. 25 m. Climb above belay and step right to ledge. Now up to higher ledge, from where a traverse leads left for 5 m to a crack. Up this and belay on a detached block. Peg belay.

  3. 30 m. Straight up slabs above for 10 m to recess (peg runner). Descend a few feet then traverse left across steep wall to crack. Up this to ledge then finish up broken rock to the right. Seriousness: 3

FA: Iain Allan & Alan Walker 24/9/72, 1972

  1. Start 5 m right of Devil Drives, in a left-facing crack. Jam up crack up to small roof. Step left and traverse for 3 m to enter a vertical gully. Up this and left to reach first belay of Devil Drives. Up this to belay in corner under steep grey crack.

  2. Lay-back and jam up crack, up over the protruding flake. Continue up easier to the end of grey rock to base of red shattered wall. Move left and up the final section of Devil Drives.

FA: Alex Fiksman & Alex Anderson, 25 Aug 2013

Great route with spicy bits. The climb takes the wide crack to the right of Death-Proof, then shares a pitch and belay with Devil Drives and finishes up to the left.

  1. This pitch follows the wide/fist crack. You can start with few moves on the thin crack just to the right of the wide crack. Climb over the bulge and into the alcove. Either belay here or combine pitch 1 and 2.

  2. Take a step left from the alcove onto the arrete (you're now above Death-Proof) then straight up to below the small overhangs, traverse left and up on blocks until you reach a good belay with a few cracks.

  3. Go up over a few bulges for 3-4m then traverse left for 3 meters, then up a steep block and crack (this is the same pitch as Devil Drives). Belay at the rusty pegs.

  4. Go up the slab for 4m, then take a left around the corner to a foot traverse, along this for about 2m which brings you onto a small block (gear), over the bulge above you and into the crack which is followed to the top. (This pitch was climbed by Emmanuel a while before but he can't recall who with)

FA: Emmanuel F & Alex Anderson, 30 Jul 2019

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