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Devils Peak Eastern Buttress

Location: Devil's Peak above Rhodes Memorial. The photo above shows climbers looking at the route on the ridge over on the left. 


Overview: Some people refer to the
Eastern Buttress on Devil's peak as the East Ridge. The GPS track of this as well as that of Mowbray Ridge, is shown on the attached jpg file below. The lower sections are not often climbed and have become bushy, while the more popular ascent is to do Mowbray Ridge, which finishes at the Minor Summit, so the top part of the Eastern Buttress route is used and accessed as shown in the attached slide show pictures. 

Key Statistics
Grade: 3 **
Height gain: 820m: from 180m to 1000m
Time: 3-4 hrs up, 3hrs down depending on route

Route Description: 
Refer to the photo on the 1st Waterfall Ravine page which shows a dotted line of the full route that starts off the contour path. 
The Route up the lower part of the buttress is shown on the attached GPS track below, but is not easy to follow and getting through the various rock bands can be tricky. 

It is more pleasant to climb Mowbray Ridge, and from the finish at the Minor summit, cross the little ridge leading to an open steep slope going up to the rock cliffs on the main peak. Traverse left and scramble up rocks to a higher traverse ledge, which is followed some distance round to the left towards Newlands. A few awkward steps slow you down until the ledge ends at a series of steep vegetated gullies which are climbed. The very top one is quite difficult and it is usual to traverse left around the corner to get to some easier steeply vegetated and grassy steps to the summit. 

If you insist on doing the full route, this following description is taken from the MCSA Table Mountain Guide (now out of print).
Although the Buttress lies between 1st and 2nd Waterfall ravines, the start off the Contour path is sometimes done by using a short section of 2nd Waterfall ravine before traversing out to the right onto the Buttress DANGER do not proceed up 2nd Waterfall ravine too high as that is why so many accidents have occurred there.
Work your way up to the foot of the rock and the crest of the Buttress. Follow the steep bushy slope, which runs up between 2 rocky ridges, as high as possible. It is then necessary to ascend on easy but poor and friable rock for some distance. The top of the lower part of the Buttress at 650m is reached after about 75mins hard going. The middle part of the Buttress forms a fairly rounded ridge. Keep to the ridge OR slightly to the right avoiding the rock. At about 800m the ridge ends under a slightly overhanging mass of rock. From this point to the summit the route finding is tricky and it is important to not go wrong. Hikers who do not like big drops and narrow exposed ledges should rather traverse off to the right below a needle of rock into 1st Waterfall ravine and finish going up that to the nek and then down the zig zags on the Cape Town side.
If continuing then traverse carefully to the left close to the rock face for 10-15 mins then move up about 5m where the traverse continues round the Buttress ascending a bit until reaching a subsidiary gully. Scramble up in this steep eroded gully for about 45m to a waterfall, then traverse out again to the right on narrow ledges. After a first corner of rock comes a slight descent, and after that go around the Buttress at about 60m above the point where the first traverse began. Now go up the steep slope keeping near the line of the Buttress using several short rock pitches of 'B' grade until at 920m you join the high traverse near where it turns around the Buttress. The continuation to the summit is the same as from the Minor summit. 
ą
Mike Scott,
Aug 10, 2015, 6:38 AM
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