The kaNtuba Fins

15 May 2013 19:44 - 15 May 2013 19:56 #56920 by intrepid
The kaNtuba Fins was created by intrepid
On a recent trip, coming down kaNtuba Pass, we encountered a fascinating set of small, free-standing pinnacles, which are better described as "fins" due to their narrow, elongated shape. Though these are not too far down the pass, I had not noticed these from the escarpment before. They are rather fascinating, especially the lower one!

View of the fins looking up the pass:

View of the striking lower fin, looking down the pass:

The lower fin just begged to be climbed and I couldnt resist having a go! Pics below courtesy of diverian.

Surveying the western arete route which is seen from the upper parts of the pass:

On the western arete, showing the thrilling exposure of the fin:

The crux of the climb, showing hand-jamb with left hand and reach for positive grip for right hand a little higher up:

Final, balancy move onto the summit:

On the spectacular, narrow summit:

I think the route is a crisp and technical D grade on pretty good rock. The crux move could arguably be an E, but if it is then it is briefly lived. It was soloed with thick hiking boots and the moves, footholds and handholds all felt pretty good. A very satisfying climb, albeit short.

I did have a go at the eastern arete too afterwards, from the downstream side. This required some foot smearing and wasn't worth trying with stiff hiking boots. The northern and southern flanks both have routes on them too. Definitely worth taking climbing shoes along in future.

Does anyone know more about these fins? Do they have names? Climbing history?

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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Last edit: 15 May 2013 19:56 by intrepid. Reason: typo
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Stijn, plouw, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, HFc

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16 May 2013 05:24 #56922 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic The kaNtuba Fins
Good going intrepid. Nice pics diverian.

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16 May 2013 17:57 #56940 by john mark 1
Replied by john mark 1 on topic The kaNtuba Fins
Ya, thanks for posting. Looks very inviting to stop and climb along the way.

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17 May 2013 05:17 #56943 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic The kaNtuba Fins
Interesting stuff indeed! There is a similar mass of rock on Judge Pass that I was looking at from a climbing point of view when I did the pass - not nearly as narrow, but roughly the same level climb.

Actually thinking about it, seems like lots of passes have these kinds of things:
- Mashai Fangs
- The Organ Pipes
- Bannerman Rib (kind of free standing)
- The unnamed thing on Judge Pass
- The Molar on Leslie's Pass

I'm sure there are more examples...

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