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Africa, Mozambique, Mlema 3, African Light

Mlema 3, African Light. In July, Alard Hüfner and I headed up to northern Mozambique with one goal in mind: to climb the 700-meter east face of Mlema 3. After organizing with the local administrator and secretario, we pitched our tent under a mango tree, one hour’s walk from the base of our objective. On July 9, we started up the face, heading for the obvious line of weakness. Four pitches of enjoyable 5.10 climbing, including a small pendulum, saw us on Bundu Ledge. After a rest day, we jumared back up our fixed lines to Bundu Ledge. From here we headed up a clean crack system (5.10c crux) and a further flake pitch to Walk- The–Plank Ledge. The following day we stepped out onto the airy face to avoid the wet-looking cracks that follow the marked roof system that diagonally traverses the face. Thin fissures and flared cracks led us to another bivy high above the Mozambican landscape. The light in the morning was breathtaking as we prepared to climb the remaining 300 meters to the summit. The difficulty lessened after another two pitches of 5.10, as the angle eased, and the granite showed more features. On July 13, we completed the route, African Light (5.10c, 14 pitches), reaching the summit as a single ray of light broke through the clouds, and the sun was preparing its colorful descent.

Mark Seuring, Mountain Club of South Africa