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Silverstream-Ledges


Location: This is a variation of Silverstream Ravine and Ledges routes that avoids the Grade 5 pitches on both routes by traversing a ledge below the summit band of rock to connect the 2 routes. One can go up the Ravine, traverse around and go down Ledges, or the other way round.

Overview:  Ledges route is the only climb up onto the Eastern Table from the Saddle, but is somewhat overgrown at the time of writing (March 2012) so best to have someone in the party that knows Ledges route well, failing which it is probably preferable to do this combination route by going UP Ledges and traversing round to Silverstream for the descent. 

Key Statistics
Grade: *** avoids the difficult top rock pitches of both Silverstream and Ledges routes
Height gain: 500mfrom Tafelberg Road 380m to approx 900m traverse ledge
Time: 7 hrs hrs up and down depending on party

Route Description: A short distance beyond the Platteklip sign on the contour path level, there is a large triangular rock above the path and a cairn (rock beacon) indicating a faint track. Take this and traverse diagonally up leftwards towards Silverstream ravine behind the triangular rock, heading for a noticeable large clump of trees in the stream bed about a third of the way up the ravine. This avoids some scramble pitches in the ravine's lower sections. At the head of the ravine, a rock barrier prevents further progress, so step up to the left and out onto a broad rocky ledge which is traversed around left until you have to step up to a higher ledge (NB if you had continued to a cairn on the corner, the lower ledge ends!) See [A] below for an alternative.

A bit further, this higher ledge ends also and one has to climb up onto a block barring the way to get onto the continuation of the traverse ledge. Further along is some more excitement as you move around an exposed corner, and later duck under an overhang on a narrow ledge. Now the traverse becomes easier, though bushy in places, and you move along under the top sections of the famous Silverstream and Saddle climbs, until reaching the Ledges route, which is used for the descent.

[A] An easier alternative is to traverse at a lower level and about 100m around the corner go back right to find an easy ramp up to the higher rockband.  At the time of this update (May 2014) this ramp has become obsurred behind a clump of trees and what was an open grass ramp is now behind trees and quite difficult to find. This is a photo of how the ramp looked in 2008:







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Tony Heher,
May 7, 2014, 3:39 AM
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Ledges & Silverstream.gdb
(16k)
Tony Heher,
May 7, 2014, 3:38 AM
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