Exploring routes that climbers have forgotten can be committing. Especially when the local guidebook offers you a hand drawn topo and no one could understand the descriptions of the routes. Worse of all..no one seems to have climbed the route in the last few years. Great, thats what we needed for an training trip.. Surprises.
It was exciting for me since i saw a lot of potential in Bukit Takun, besides the leeches. Kelly and i did some route finding and decided on a corner that we thought could potentially be Pussey Key. We were putting in gears as back up since we didnt know how old were the bolts and where the anchor was.
Pitch 1 was a beautiful slightly steep corner leading up to a ledge, where the vegetation covers a climbable face. I put in some trad gear and lead up a crack to the right of the route before going back left into the vegetation. Thats where the anchor was hidden.
Pitch 2 has a off width crack leading up to a mini roof which looks damn hard but climbable. Kelly ignored that line and followed the bolts rightwards before coming to a overhanging tufa. This line is traversing at least 4m to the right before going up, so we had some crazy rope drag at the bolted anchor. The pitch is long but not too hard climbing probably clocking in at 6a+ or 6b.
Pitch 3 is where we had the most fun. Notice the line that veer all the way left? That is where i thought was possible to climb until i pull off a rock about a football size rock and was stopped by a pile of sandy choss with lots of overgrown. I gave up and left some old tape before descending back to P2 anchor. As i was being lowered off, i saw a single bolt in the middle of the face just right of where i was. So we traverse out left from the bolted belay into air and back on to the wall and I was presented with my all time fav wide cracks.
Great! Just what i needed right now, since the biggest cam in my rack is a Camalot 2 and the Camalot 3 and 4 are in the bag with kelly at the bolted belay. I felt like a donkey since i brought 2 big ass cams up a multi pitch without having a chance to use them! I decided to run it out and aid up the tiny finger crack that follows after the wide cracks.
I couldn’t fit my fingers into the tiny cracks and was pinching my way up the raindrop weathered limestone features on the sides. My brand new C3 which i bought from Campers Corner served me well since the climbing was hard, i didnt have the endurance to deploy nuts. Black Diamond C3 truly saved the day.
The climbing on P3 is mind blowing and at some point of time scary. If you are new to crack climbing, this will beat the shit out of you!
Thats how we looked after pitch 3. Haha.
Kelly checking out the topo at Pitch 3
Pitch 4 was overgrown. I had no idea where to go, no bolts, no slings, no chalk mark, just lots of green. The climbing on pitch 4 was easy but not really enjoyable and the rope drag was horrible as they were rubbing against trees and plants on the way up. I arrived at a tree after about 15m-18m of climbing and saw what looked like a old rappel anchor. We decided the weather was not going to hold any more and the climbing was not really worth it although we were just one more pitch away from the top. Kelly was also having a mild heat exhaustion from the hot sun in the afternoon. We decided to descend from our high point.
During the descend the clouds started to form rapidly just when we pulled our rope from the ground, it started pouring. Although we didn’t submit, i learned a valuable lesson from this little adventure, we should never be afraid to back away from a climb. We could have easily finish the route, but the rain would be pouring on us during the descend which could be very dangerous.
Well, it was a good training trip after all and we are looking forward to climb more multi pitches in Takun!
2 thoughts on “Exploring forgotten routes..”
Hi QX, finally, I’ve been looking at you photos on facebook. Got the ones on climbing in the Free State, not bad! Cheers, Robert
Hey Robert, how is everything for you? Its a long time since i was in the Free state, and im not sure if im returning there next year.. Really hope to see you guys soon. Do keep in touch alright?