I stole a quick cursory glance at my knot as I stepped off our airy stance.
The next pitch followed a slightly overhanging rail out to the skyline, with nothing but clear blue sky between my heels and Llandudno Beach a mile below. The moves were beautiful, the gear mind-settling, and the situation beyond sensational. The pitch went smoothly enough and I pulled up onto the stance, set up a belay and sat back and drank in the setting, endorphins kicking and playing around my brain.
I've always loved climbing on Table Mountain's Bee Buttress, one of the lesser-known, but better buttresses stuck high up on the slopes of Llandudno Ravine overlooking the stunning coastline of Llandudno Beach and Sandy Bay. I mean, there's nothing quite like starting a route with 80 metres of wild exposure tugging at your bowels from the very first move. route that morning when I glanced off to my left. Ensconced as I was, on my belay stance, I noticed that there was quite a gap between the route we were on and the one way off to the left; but what excited me was the line of weakness I saw running directly up that part of the wall breaking through a few roofs en route. I quickly pointed this out to Willie (Koen) when he joined me on the stance. We immediately decided that it looked spectacular and we should have a crack at it.
It was the height of summer, so we returned very early one morning to claim our new route, but it was not to be. On reaching the supposed crux, a thin pull across under a roof to gain a break, I found that the holds were disconcertingly bushy and covered in lichen, so I bypassed this and stanced out to the right. After Willie came up, I traversed back in above the bushy section and lowered off to do a bit of gardening, which revealed perfect white quartzite and good holds. At this stage the sun was creeping around the corner and we had to get off the wall, so we escaped up an adjacent route and scampered back to our bags for tea... read more>>
IMAGE: Tony on the first Ascent of the sensational crux pitch (19) of Flight of the Bumble Bee, Bee Buttress, Table Mountain