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Blind Gully & Porcupine traverse

Location:  On the Atlantic side starting from Theresa Avenue, between Blinkwater Needle and Porcupine Buttress. Start on Diagonal route, then Blind Gully.   

Overview: An interesting and fun alternative to both Blind Gully and Diagonal.  Not well known but well worth doing. The traverse is not exposed and there is a path most of the way. Also a better way to get to the Traverse-Jackson traverse on Jubilee Buttress  as it avoids the long slog up the eroded Diagonal route. 

Key Statistics
Grade:  2 ***  Little exposure. Exit at the top of Porcupine is the most difficult move. 
Height gain:  740mfrom 180m at Theresa to 920m
Time:  3-4 hrs up, 1-3 hrs down depending on route

Route Description:

Start up Diagonal path.  After the first rock step, traverse left over the low rise into Blind Gully.  Follow the Blind Gully path up to 680m level which is about 2/3 of the way up.  The turn off out of Blind Gully path is in a clump of tall trees shortly before the Blind Gully path crosses the stream bed

There is a prominent nose slightly right of center in Blind Gully.  Traverse below this nose and then diagonally right up to the level of the traverse. Follow the ledge all the way around the corner, then down slightly, through a low cave, out through a hole on the other side of the cave, cross a small water course and then up onto Porcupine Buttress overlooking Diagonal route and Porcupine Ravine.

Three options from here. Quickest (but least interesting) is down Diagonal. Continuing up Porcupine buttress is more fun.  When forced into the ravine, choose either the Travers-Jackson traverse onto Jubilee Buttress or continue on up Porcupine all the way to the top. Straight forward except for a 3m step near the top which can be tricky if wet (grade 3 maybe).

The exit from there is a pleasant stroll down Ark Valley to met the Apostles path.  For the more adventurous, go left at the path junction (instead of right) going back onto Porcupine Buttress ridge and continue along this to Blinkwater peak and then continue until meeting the Apostles path near the top of Blind Gully.  

Return via Kasteels Poort, Diagonal route or whatever takes your fancy. 

Opened by? This is an old route well known in the 1930s, so origins
 in the mists of time. Attribution is the best of all - owned by all who use the mountain.

Blind-Porcupine .gpx
Tony Heher,
May 19, 2014, 2:19 AM
Tony Heher,
May 19, 2014, 2:37 AM