Climbing Routes on Mitre

11 Apr 2012 19:25 #53511 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Re: Climbing Routes on Mitre
Thanks for the photos!

I'm always struck by the amount of helichrysum bush there is on these fire excluded summits. Without human-set veld fires the high berg would have a lot more of this vege and would be much harder to walk in too.

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19 Nov 2018 16:35 #74230 by ghaznavid
Over the weekend, myself and Ross climbed Mitre. The full story of the hike is at

I made a point of taking photos of key points on the climb, well, as much as I could. So hopefully this helps anyone out there planning on heading up it.

So the trick is to find the correct gully to start with. When you stand at the bottom of the gully, you can clearly see two gullies between the cliffs at the top. You want to aim for the right hand one (the split is right near the top)

When you reach the top of the gully, the first sequence is pretty obvious. Basically move up and left through the first very short and easy rock band. It is probably only B-grade. We roped up here, since the first step is onto a tuft of grass that has been undercut and is above a massive drop. The stance is poorly protected, but if the lead falls, they would be on opposing sides of a ridge, and would be unlikely to pull the belay off the mountain with them.

The start of the climb looks like this:

Before someone points out that my anchor is working against itself in this photo - I will point out that I changed the configuration before I started climbing, so the yellow Alien (which was a really solid placement) was a piece on the rope rather than part of the stance:

Looking down at the gully where the climb starts:

Ross topping out on pitch 1:

The climb itself includes 4 cliff bands. The first (immediately above the saddle) is easy, the second is negotiated by an easy scramble fairly far to the left from the start. This caused a lot of rope drag as the rope was running across a heavily vegetated patch of ground. I got 2 cams in below the second cliff (which made things worse), so I set up my stance off a large boulder above the second cliff band. There was tat around it, so it has been used for abseils before.

The 3rd cliff includes the only real move of the climb. Talking to Andrew afterwards, I think I missed something and there was probably an easier way up this cliff, but anyway - I roped up and headed up it. Here's what the only move on the route looks like:

I got 2 cams in and then found a bad nut placement in the cave above this. I extended this with a 1.2m sling - so no rope drag this time. Remarkably this nut didn't pop out, although Ross removed it very easily.

The 4th cliff band is negotiated very easily by an easy scramble to the right.

Once above the 4th cliff, simply walk up towards the lower summit, and traverse around it to the left (south).

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19 Nov 2018 16:46 - 19 Nov 2018 20:30 #74232 by ghaznavid
The final scramble is very far around the peak, basically overlooking Twins (so the west side of the summit).

You end up on top of a loose ramp, which feels very exposed, but is not actually that bad.

This ridge leads to the summit: 

To get back down, we reversed our line to the top of the 4th cliff band

There is a large block here that we used to ab down the top 2 bands, although the lack of tat tells me that this is usually down scrambled - further making me think we didn't have to climb that block through the 3rd cliff band. In this photo, I have also drawn a red circle around the block we anchored the final abseil with.

Once below there, there were two spots with tat, and I have no clue why no one was using the block we used. We tested it and found it to be solid. It was right next to the edge of the cliff (making it a fairly intimidating abseil), but meant that retrieving the rope would be easier, and we would have additional reach to continue abseiling down the gully (i.e. it is faster to abseil down steep grass than it is to walk down it).

As expected, the rope came through fairly easily when we pulled on it, so the anchor worked perfectly. After the problems I had in a similar situation on Thumb last year, this is something I am much more aware of these days.

We abseiled off two ropes. Andrew had suggested that I just take one, which probably would have been fine (definitely fine for the ascent). But we opted to be overly-cautious mostly because of concern over the descent. I think a 60m rope would be fine, but I don't think we would have been covered with my 50m rope.

From there you simply walk down the gully back to the Bell Traverse trail.

If you are good at route finding, this route is very easy. The views are amazing. I am not sure why so few people climb it - it doesn't really have excessively scary points and only really has one move sequence (I guess I have just answered my own question on why no one climbs it). The Outer Horn felt far more dangerous.

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Last edit: 19 Nov 2018 20:30 by Smurfatefrog. Reason: removed duplicate pic
The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, MarkT, tonymarshall, Viking, Dave, Rhinoandhedgehog, PJordaan

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