Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Iain Allan 1967
Page Views: 280 total · 9/month
Shared By: BigRed11 on May 8, 2016
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Another classic that finds its way up the right side of Main Wall, about 100m to the right of the massive grey rockfall scar. Find the start up the hill, just below and right of a bushy tree growing one pitch up. Its easy to go off-route so get the guidebook. Also watch for loose blocks on the last pitch.

1. 30m Up a good crack and step right to a ledge. One of few bolted belays at HG on your right.

2. 25m Up slightly and step right on buttress and up to ledge. Move up left then back right to steep black wall (poor pro) which is climbed to belay at triangular flake at the base of a clean wall.

3. 20m Left up the ramp and up to belay below final overhangs.

4. 40m The business: left from belay, up blocks through a break, then right again across some slabby sloping corners to the final gully.


Abseil off the large tree just on the edge of the top of the cliff, to the right of the topout. 2 60m ropes are needed for this wild rap - otherwise walk off to campsite far left or to road far right.


Standard rack. Micronuts won't hurt on the final traverse.


I was interested to note that a bolt has been placed as a belay at the top of the first pitch! This was not placed by myself when I made the first ascent of Stiletto in 1967. I find it sad and distressing that climbers find it necessary to do this these days, "carrying their courage in their backpacks" as Messner once stated. Good climbers will find more than adequate placements at the end of this pitch, as I did in 1967.

As an interesting piece of history, when I led the last pitch during the first ascent I used a piton to swing out over the small overhang to gain the awkward slab above. After Stiletto had received several ascents I repeated it with a friend, who tried to lead the final pitch. He fell off the slab, pulled out the piton, which I'd left in place on the first ascent, and stopped, unhurt, 15 feet below me. It was late, descending wasn't an option, but we had no hammer to replace the piton. I tried hammering it with a piece of rock I pulled off but this didn't work. After a while I saw no alternative but to climb it free, which I did, completing the first free ascent of my route. This would have been around 1974.

Iain Allan
Nairobi, 2017 Mar 29, 2017