South East Arete

Page Type
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Africa
Route Type:
Technical rock climb
Time Required:
Most of a day

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Created On: Nov 12, 2004
Last Edited On: Nov 12, 2004


This line faces across the Tugela gorge directly towards the Devil's Tooth. It is more spectacular and probably less serious than the north face route. It is approached by a pendulum abseil from an expansion bolt just on the east side of the north-east corner of the Sentinel. The bolt/s should be tested and replaced if loose. Climbing begins on the arete proper where the south face falls away into the gully between the Sentinel and Beacon Buttress. Recent reports indicate that the rock on several pitches is dangerously loose.

Route Description

Map #1 : G:23 : 3165m
Opening Party: Tony Dick and Roger Fuggle.
Date: 5 April 1969.
Time: 7 hours climbing.

40m F2. Climb slightly to the right of the arete, returning to the left to a comfortable, sloping stance.
40m F3 and A2. Climb the cracks above the stance. Move left onto the south side of the arete and climb on loose pegs to a small stance. (This pitch has been freed by climbing to the right of the pegs (20).
40m F3 and A2. An open book leads to a triangular overhang. Peg through the roof on sound channels, moving out to the right and up into the large levelling on the arete.
50m F2 and G. Follow the only break which, after 10m, traverses to the right under a large block, and then up to the right of this block (G). Continue diagonally to the left to a comfortable stance at the base of the large overhang that blocks the route. (An awkward stance lower down has better belays.)
30m E. Traverse to the right along the obvious break to a grassy stance below a peculiarly rounded face.
40m F2. Climb the face bearing slightly to the left (lacking runners), past a ledge with protection to a sensational stance on the nose of the arete.
30m F3. Climb an open book to the right of the nose. The rock is poor but nut runners are found to the right, half way up. Continue to the left more easily onto the arete which is followed to the summit.
Descend by the standard route. Only the roof on pitch 3 has not been done free at some stage.

Ref: MCSA Journal 1969, pg 78.

Essential Gear

Trad rack and abseil gear with a good supply of nuts and long slings. Spare expansion bolt or anchor placements for abseil.

Miscellaneous Info

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South East Arete

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