INTRODUCTIONA line of small outcrops situated slightly further from Nairobi than Embaribal. The climbing, birdlife and situation is not as good as at Embaribal, but the style is similar, the access to routes easier and locating them is greatly assisted by numbers painted on the rock. Temperatures are pleasant at most times and there is often a cool breeze. Facing east, it is coolest in the afternoon. Small campsite among boulders and trees below Central Crag. Garage facilities and water are available at Ngong town (25km).Access: As for Embaribal to the small church. At this junction turn right. After 4.7km ignore a turn off left to a rifle range and the Frog Buttress Area. Continue for 1.5km to another turn off left; again take the right fork and follow this for 6km to the start of the rocks. The first major outcrop is Red Crag, followed by a broken area. Central Crag appears 600m right of Red Crag. A rough track turns off at a point directly opposite the descent gully on right side of Central Crag; this leads in 150m to campsite. Matatus rarely pass the rocks. Red Crag is prominent at the south end of the cliff line. The first 3 routes are located here.
89 Giant's Steps IV 45mR J H Chambers, G Hodges, R Pillinger, 1964. A pleasant route. After the first move the climbing is III. At left end of crag, note large left-facing corner. Start 5m right of this below a wide crack (painted 1). Attain crack with difficulty (shoulder?) and climb it to a block at top (15m). Walk left to end of big ledge (7m). Climb a chimney-crack, walk to left end of a ledge and climb past small tree to a big ledge (16m). An obvious crack in wall behind (7m).
90 May Day V 30mM S Harris, C & J Powell, 1966. An escapable line with some excellent moves. Right of R.89 note a big fig tree at base of crag. About 30m further right a vast slab lies on the ground below cliff. Start 10m further right in a corner, with several rock pillars standing close to base and painted 5, 6, 7. Climb a steep corner to loose-looking rock below a big roof; 2m below roof step right to a rounded block below the chimney line bordering roof to right (4m directly above a big fig tree growing out of the cliff). Step right and up then left to a corner and resting place. Go up for 2 moves, then layback to a sloping ledge (25m). Continue to layback to the top (5m).
Left of May Day and starting from the top of a pinnacle, Gag (III) takes a clean right-facing corner, then a slab to a cave and finishes by an athletic move. Immediately right of May Day, a line of polished cracks leads right to just above the fig tree mentioned in May Day, then on to a 2nd tree; from here straight up via a narrow chimney to top (Harambee, III+). 13m right of May Day, a white root hangs down an overhang halfway up the cliff. Below this is the start of Plumb.
91 Plumb IV+ 30m*J Mbithi, 1965. A fine sustained route. Climb a shallow chimney to the root, move up then swing right to a ledge and climb more easily to regain the crack above overhang after 2m. Follow this to the top.
The following are all on Central Crag. Straight above the camp site a fine tall buttress has 3 grooves cutting it. The central one is taken by Party Grooves and is painted 43; one of Ndeiya's best climbs. 25m left of this a huge block forms a tunnel and chimney at base of the crag. Here starts Morning Shade (painted 40). 75m. further left a similar block lies against the cliff forming a chimney and passage. Left of this is the start of Ridge Way (IV+ *). Fracture starts in the chimney - one of the best easier climbs; painted 32 and 33 respectively.
92 Fracture IV 30m **P Carslake, R J H Chambers, 1964. Pleasant, well protected, varied and on clean rock. Climb chimney, exiting at top through hole. Now left side of a pillar up fractured blocks; belay on a pinnacle (15m). Traverse right across wall to gain ledge with tree (5m). The corner above, taken direct with fine jamming to the top (10m). Or finish up an easier wide crack on the right (III *).
From just below the pinnacle belay on Fracture an excellent alternative is to climb the top pitch of Ridge Way; hand traverse left and mantelshelf onto a ledge on the ridge. Follow ridge to the top (III+).
30m right of Fracture in a shady bay between boulders and trees, a steep corner leads to a slab with caves and nests below big overhangs. Veerog (VI- *) starts at base of a groove (painted 36); some fine moves and positions on this climb, but the first pitch (originally aided) is now unpleasantly free; after the groove traverse a steep slab right-wards to gain a ridge; climb a slab on right to a small tree. Above this balance into a corner on left and climb this past a tree to the top.
93 Morning Shade IV 45m *R J H Chambers, H Mwangela, 1964. Pleasant but rather bitty and not well protected on 1st pitch. Go up chimney to right-most chockstone, then corner on right to a big fig tree (15m). Move left, go up then left again to gain a short corner with a root; climb this to a 2nd big fig tree. A pleasant corner on right to big platform (18m). Climb a corner left of platform to the top (12m).
Left of Morning Shade rises an overhanging prow called The Mummy. Just left of this is a steep corner, and left again a shallow chimney leading after 5m to a ledge: above this the chimney divides. The right half has a repulsive roof, the left a projecting block. The left one gives a pleasant climb (Cliff's Route, IV *) which turns the projecting block left. 15m. right of Morning Shade is the start of Crackpot (VI, painted 42), being the leftmost of the 3 obvious main grooves of the Central Buttress. Just right of this is:
94 Party Grooves VI 50m.**M S Harris, J Powell, R J H Chambers, 1966. Sustained, fine climbing. Start at the painted 43 and climb a steep slab on poor rock to an obvious crack breaking through bulges above. Climb crack (peg runners, crux) to a ledge below the corner proper. Go up this initially using the right wall till a step left leads to a ledge and belays on left (25m). Step right into corner and climb the groove, overhanging at first; at a chockstone climb the right wall then continue to the top (25m).
Just right of the slab start of Party Grooves is a small, short right-facing corner, marking the start of the next route.
95 Nutcracker VI+ 45m ***At the painted numbers 44, 45 and 46, climb to a bulge and surmount it by a shallow crack to a resting ledge. From right side of this a short right-facing corner leads to base of groove proper. Take it by a steep, strenuous jamming crack. Belay on a ledge above and on right (25m). Move right and up to a ledge in the next corner; step back left to finish by the main corner (20m). The direct finish is a fine, sustained and well protected pitch climbing the main corner throughout.
96 Knight's Move V+ 45m*R Pillinger, R Baillie, 1964. The description below is amore pleasant variation of the original way which, above the tree belay of pitch 1, moves up and traverses right across a smooth wall and slab, with the help of a sapling, to gain a tree and hence the top. Start one m right of Nutcracker (painted 45, 46, 47). Climb a crack up the wall, then take the right of twin cracks to a big tree above (25m). Reach a ledge on the nose to left (tree not required): Climb to a corner, then to a ledge below a very steep corner (15m). Step left from ledge to top part of the steep corner which is the finish of Nutcracker Direct; take this to the top.
97 Surprise IV+ 45m**M S Harris, R J H Chambers, 1966. A good route. A few in right of Knight's Move are several trees at base of the cliff; start in a deep corner behind the first tree and climb the cracked corner on good jams, then bridge onto an easy slab on left. Climb steep blocks then move right across ledge to belay (25m). Now a steep crack to overhang; turn this by a mantelshelf on left and climb to a ledge and thread belay (12m.). The right crack to top (8m).