Trip Report
Lekker time on Yellowwood Amphitheatre, Du Toits kloof, South Africa
Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:03pm
From Snort’s posts about new routes at Yellowwood and the route guide he has put together of the area I gathered that climbing there was not a straight forward day out, but his enthusiasm for the place made me promise myself that I will go climb there someday.

Luckily when someday arrived, January 2018, WildX was holidaying in Cape Town and because he didn’t know about the walk in I could convince him to join me on Smalblaar ridge which I told him is the best introduction to how not to die on Yellowwood.

We followed Snort’s how to Yellowwood to the word, even leaving hexes behind, which off course brought about serious comments every time we came across perfect hex placements. But we finished Smallblaar and the sun only hit us once we were on top and then proceeded to burn us off the mountain. The walk down was painful and very unenjoyful making WildX declare that he will never come back, while I was just trying to not cry from the pain in my knees.

This time, January 2019, I couldn’t believe it when WildX wanted to join me again, and I had to talk him out of trying Divine Time, saying that after the suffering of last year let’s do Lekker Time(lekker is a South African word loosly translated as great or awesome) and see if we’ve really got what it takes to do one of the looong routes.

Our time in Cape Town coincided with a partly cloudy 20˚C Du Toit’s Kloof forecast so we got up earlier, took even less gear, making sure we carried nothing unnecessary and tried beating the sun on a longer and more difficult route. We left the car in the dark, unable to see the first land mark, the electricity pylon. But maybe because we’ve been there before or because of proper cairns along the way we easily found the path. The day was cool and the walking easier than we remembered.



Ching chong cha(rock paper scissors) and WildX sets out on the first pitch at 7:30.
Starting on pitch 1
Starting on pitch 1
Credit: Gymnogene
I decide to combine pitch 2 and 3 to try and save some time.
Starting out on pitch 2
Starting out on pitch 2
Credit: Gymnogene
It was cold and windy, we had to climb with jackets on, but that is better than unbearable heat. Then, on the big ledge, seeing the next two pitches, I felt bad that it looked like I combined the best two pitches of the route and offered my climbing partner that I will do the next two and he could lead the last two which looked better from where we stood. So I combined pitches 4 and 5, we had to simul-climb about 10meters to get this right, as the two pitches together is longer than 60meters, exactly like the route guide stipulates.


Wild X led pitches 6 and 7.
Airy pitch 6
Airy pitch 6
Credit: Gymnogene
The 7th pitch was the only place we weren’t sure where to go, but got it exactly right after WildX found a chalked layback jug under the roof.
Last pitch
Last pitch
Credit: Gymnogene
Having first lunch on top of the route
Having first lunch on top of the route
Credit: Gymnogene
We had a quick bite to eat on the ledge that leads down to the Timerity abseil(bolted rappel route). By the time we were at the bolts the wind had picked up and our ropes were blowing all over. But the abseils were uneventful and we were at the base finishing all the food and water we had(second lunch) before the walk down.
Wild X at the start of the rappel route
Wild X at the start of the rappel route
Credit: Gymnogene

We had a lekker easy day, arriving back at the car at 3o’clock, leisurely driving back to Cape Town, when the only serious event of the day arose when we got a flat tire in a road works area of the highway. There was a concrete barrier on the yellow line so no space to pull into to leave the lane open. But the concrete barrier had two pieces missing that we pulled into, parking between the yellow line and a meter deep trench dug next to the highway. Wild X changed the tire with no space to spare between the car and traffic in the left lane. That tire change was awful!

I only found my Peninsula Select (a heavy! route guide book for Cape Town) in the zipped pocket under my pack’s top the next day. So much for carrying only essentials.

  Trip Report Views: 1,117
Gymnogene
About the Author
Gymnogene is a trad climber from Pretoria, across the atlantic.

Comments
clode

Trad climber
portland, or
  Jan 29, 2019 - 03:25pm PT
Nice job! Neat looking scenery. Is that sedimentary rock, like limestone, or metasedimentary rock, like gneiss?
Gymnogene

Trad climber
across the atlantic
Author's Reply  Jan 29, 2019 - 03:41pm PT
It is sandstone
fgw

climber
portland, or
  Jan 29, 2019 - 03:56pm PT
Nice! Were there right after Xmas 2017 & climbed both of those fun routes. Things were still smoldering a day after a fire scorched much of the approach. So many big & uncrowded objectives right outside of Cape Town while all the visiting climbers are gunning for Table Mtn.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
  Jan 29, 2019 - 04:23pm PT
totally lekker!


what'dya bring for lunches? elevation at yer crag?


http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/Yellowwood_Amphitheatre

what's up with the local flora and fauna there? any pokey or particular best-avoided critters in the cracks and on ledges?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jan 29, 2019 - 04:43pm PT
You can sit in the grass there without something biting you? 🙀
Gymnogene

Trad climber
across the atlantic
Author's Reply  Jan 29, 2019 - 04:52pm PT
@cowboy
we had left over barbeque meat and sausage, boiled eggs and some tinned sardines.

this from the route guide:
"There is no track record of anyone being attacked by wild life or insects at Yellowwood. Leopards are endemic to the area and are spotted from time to time. Read Johann Lanz’ account of the first ascent of African Time in this regard. Baboons will bark at you and you may see scorpions and snakes. I have never had any insects bother me other than the odd fly. Theoretically there should be many puff adders but in all the years of climbing there I have only seen one tiny one all curled up and minding its own business at the start of the 4th pitch of Fantastic Time from the halfway ledge."


There is a plant called blister bush in the Western Cape mountains that secretes a photo sensitive sap. If you touch the plant and then expose the area to sunlight it forms painful blisters but they are easily recognised and avoided.

regarding elevation, also from the route guide:
"The approach to Yellowwood Amphitheatre involves an 840m elevation hike starting at 360m above sea level to the base of the main amphitheatre that is at 1,200m. The main wall then continues vertically top out at just below 1,500m above sea level."

thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
  Jan 29, 2019 - 04:48pm PT
thanks for a view to that exotic (to me) outing! do post up again next time you get out!
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
  Jan 30, 2019 - 06:22pm PT
Baie lekker.

Thank you.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jan 30, 2019 - 06:34pm PT
Cool! It looks fun climbing. We’re used to barking baboons on this website.
My wife is from Cameroun, you don’t lie in the grass there. 😉
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jan 31, 2019 - 03:46am PT
Good stuff,
Cloud cover can be a savior.
Thanks
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Jan 31, 2019 - 05:03am PT
Very cool report. Being in the N. Hemisphere, it took me a few to answer the subliminal question WHY THE HEAT?

Our thanks to the WildX, too.

Reilly exaggerates, he's the only baboon here.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jan 31, 2019 - 05:22am PT
Sweet! Some righteous runouts in those pics.
Rustie

climber
Coeur d\\\\\\\'Alene
  Feb 5, 2019 - 02:31pm PT
Bei danke me kerels (excuse the grammar).

Yup.......that's a big mountain!

Is Yellowwood Canyon anywhere near the classic NW Frontal?

Good to see some pictures of Real climbing..........
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Feb 7, 2019 - 09:33am PT
So, gymno, despite having some SA friends here in LaLa Land I am ashamedly ignorant about SA. I’m finally planning a trip there and I just read:
“There are leopards in the Kogelberg, Groenlandberg and Hottentots-Holland mountains though note that they are far smaller than the leopards of Kruger due to a restricted diet.”
“There are still leopards in the Cape Mts “surprisingly close to Cape Town.” So your lolling in the grass was far more dangerous than you let on!
‘The Fynbos Guy’ does demur that there are only 5 species of deadly poisonous snakes. LOL
Can’t wait! (I actually love snakes)
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Feb 7, 2019 - 12:00pm PT
Nice work lads. I had to GOOGLE the word lekker.

Lekker: Adj; "Tasty/yummy."

Its a Dutch word/phrase. Look....Supertopo teaches me something new every day.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Feb 7, 2019 - 12:14pm PT
‘Lek’ is a germanic root which in Norwegian/Swedish (my German is non-existent) means play. A ‘lek’ in the ornithology world is a place boids gather to strut their stuff and ‘hook up’.
Gymnogene

Trad climber
across the atlantic
Author's Reply  Feb 8, 2019 - 08:14am PT
Thanks everyone.
Rustie, forgive me for saying so but your Afrikaans is a bit rusty. Yes, Yellowwood is in the same valley as NW Frontal, very close but a different peak. If you are the Rusty Baillie, then I know of you!

Reilly! A South African trip is a great idea! I can gaurantee you won't see a leopard or a snake in the wild while you're in SA. Although these guys might have a different opinion

http://www.climbing.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=6887&p=39454&hilit=leopard#p39454












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