by DOUW STEYN
pic by RICHARD HALSEY
On the right-hand side of the Africa Bust Up prow is a beautiful, clean, white face dissected by some rails. The widest gap between these rails is split by a tiny tantalising crack offering a glimmer of hope for a way through. Early this year, Gosia [Lipinska] and I started exploring this possibility.
The climbing is a little steeper than it appears at first glance, but it offers a slightly leftward-tending corner that provides impeccable moves and enough gear to make them quite safe. This gets one to the section with the rails. A couple of easy pulls between the first rails brings one to the bottom of the crack. And it turns out to be surprisingly wide, offering some good holds . . . for about 40 centimetres. Then it pinches out to almost nothing for the next two metres except for one little mono finger hole. Literally the keyhole. The crux move using that hole is hard and takes one up to the smallest of finger rails where our tiniest cam (000 C3 Camelot) provides the protection for the last hard and reachy move above. Fortunately, the wide part of the crack at the bottom also provides space for a bomber purple Camelot which protects the crux move superbly.
The crux move involves a strenuous layback on this mono with…