Frog - Rock Climbing Guide

Guide Book




Turning left to the rifle range, mentioned in the approach to Ndeiya, a long line of east-facing cliffs is reached which overlook the road. These provide a great variety of readily accessible short climbs which are cool in the afternoon. The track also offers an alternative and much less popular access route to the Embaribal cliffs which can be seen on the far side of the seasonal lake.

This area was developed by Claude Dufourmantelle with the idea of providing an easily accessible, mainly sport-climbing site. Climbs are well protected, where it matters, by bolts; thus often several slings with a few karabiners provide the essential basic equipment. Cliffs are located by distance from the turn-off. All routes have a painted number (#) at their base, making identification easy. Numbering is from south to north. Star rating is derived from the comprehensive MCK Frog guide.

The area lies in Maasai country, respect their rights to be there and do not take photographs of them. Insist they do not stand directly below where you are climbing.

The Kenyan army uses the rifle range occasionally. If they are near where you are climbing, see the officer in charge and request permission to climb. Generally they are friendly and obliging. If the red flag is flying it is sensible to avoid climbing on Target Buttress (!) and cliffs to the right.

At 1.5km a small buttress provides a variety of short, middle grade routes. One identified by 2 bolts stands out (VI+, 20m*).

Target Buttress At 4.3km a rifle range barrage is passed. 100m north of this the left edge of a tall buttress is climbed by the classic Naked Edge (#70, V+, 30m **) I F Howell, C Dufourmantelle, 1986). Climb a steep wall, right then left, passing prominent small fig tree at 8m. Up wall leftwards past bolt to arete and hence top.

Shock the Monkey (#66, VII-, 35m ***) U Carlsson, N Ganzin, 1995). Tackles the cliff at its highest. Ascend a boulder at base of chimney. Hard move right below first bolt to gain a detached flake, then up this and wall past second bolt. Ignore obvious crack and step L; now leftwards up wall past 4 bolts.

Note #69 (VII ***) climbs steep pillar left of #70. Also #64 (VII- ***) which takes front of buttress left of cave, 4 bolts.

Archway Crag At 5.7km a buttress with a great natural arch above it provides 2 excellent climbs. Lie of the Mind (#49, VI+, 25m *** I J Allan, 1986) starts 40m left of the arch at the edge of the cliff. A wide crack leads to a ledge (possible escape L); above take a right-trending crack in the bulging wall (bolt and peg). Pocket Wall (V+, 30m***) starts 20m left of the arch on top of a great boulder. Climb steep wall, go right across steep slab, then up contorted pockets to top.

Sailor's Crag Some 400m south of Archway Crag. The Sword in a Stone (#32, VIII-,***, P R Littlejohn, 1992) climbs thin crack right of chimney with projecting chockstone, to a horizontal break. Go right along this to a groove. Climb latter, move right to obvious flake (all hard) and finish.

Note #33 (VII+ ***), a groove (2 bolts) to thin crack through roof. Also #37 (VI+ **), left slanting crack, over bulge then right to ledge, thus left to the top.

Frog Buttress At 6.7km it is possible to drive easily to the very foot of the original Frog Buttress; this provides some hard routes. Paulette (#20, VII+, 30m.**) starts in bushes at the right edge of the very steep main area, Climb steep wall; at half height either take a bulge direct (VII+) or move left to easier ground (#19, VII-*). Frog Chimney (#16, V+*) is the obvious chimney left of the steep walls.

100m further left a crack with a fig tree at half height (just left of vast overhang) is climbed by Cutlass (#12, VI+ **). Also note #2a(VI- *), an easy sport climb - 4 bolts.

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ALW 25/05/13