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Standard Route D

Standard Route D


Page Type: Route

Location: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Africa

Lat/Lon: 28°S / 28.00000°E

Object Title: Standard Route D

Route Type: Walk and two climbing pitches

Time Required: Less than two hours

Difficulty: Beginner's climb (D)

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Smalltimeclimber

Created/Edited: Nov 3, 2004 / Nov 3, 2004

Object ID: 162750

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The climb starts in an obvious recess on the west side of the Sentinel, about 100m above the contour path and about the same distance diagonally up left from the nek between Sentinel and Beacon Buttress.

Route Description

Opening Party: W J Wybergh and Lt N M McLeod.
Date: 29 September 1910.

Climbing the recess involves only one D grade pitch of about 15m. The pitch starts with an easy ramp that leads up to a scoop. The scoop is often wet and slippery after rain. At the top of the scoop, exit to the right and belay at a good peg with a ring.

The rest of the route is simply a walk with a bit of scrambling. From the ring-peg, head diagonally right and up to a knife-edge overlooking the south west face. A path should be visible along this section. From the knife-edge, turn left and head for the base of the north west summit ridge on the left hand skyline several hundred metres away. In order to do this is necessary to make your way diagonally up and left across a huge, sloping, bushy ledge with a few minor rock bands. The path, which is initially clear, fades and splits as you get onto the huge ledge. By this stage, however, the objective, namely the base of the summit ridge on the left skyline should be obvious.

The summit ridge involves a C grade scramble that is a somewhat exposed. Beginners may want a rope here, particularly during the descent. The path then leads along and up a ledge on the north western face, giving access to the summit.

Descent: Follow the same route down. A short abseil is required from the ring-peg above the D pitch.

McLeod's Variation: Once on the huge ledge, instead of walking diagonally left up to the north west summit ridge, walk up diagonally right. Pass below the right hand end of some rock bands and then head straight up the steep grass slope to the final rock band below the summit. Climb a 15m E grade chimney. This starts off wide enough for easy foot-and-back chimneying, but tapers towards the top where it is blocked by a chockstone. Pull through over the chockstone to exit. The summit cairn is just a short walk away.

This route is somewhat quicker than the standard route and involves two pitches of climbing rather than one. Descend by the standard route.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1964, pg 42.

Essential Gear

Harness and rope. Helmet. Normal hiking gear.


(Map #1 : G:23 : 3165m)