New Blouberg RD by Hector Pringle

Blouberg rock climbing routesHector Pringle has released an updated version of the Blouberg route description and a new photo guide of the North Wall.


To Climb at Blouberg is to touch the soul of rock climbing.” (Charles Edelstein, 1997 MCSA Journal).
Blouberg has a mythical feel to it, with its history engraved into its ridges, plateaus and valleys, and more recently into its cliff faces. For some people, the mountain is huge and ominous, shaking off all attempts, even on the walk up. It has always had that aura of a place only the brave or stupid go. Given a bit of time, however, and it starts to relinquish its secrets. The obscure paths and tortured boulders gradually become familiar and distinct. The cozy bivi spots, and comfy ledges start to form a pattern, and the links between the different routes become obvious. I have been coming to Blouberg now for more than a decade. I‟ve had my fair share of epics and adventures, good times and really bad times, but it truly is starting to feel like home.

I always seem to climb my best 200m off the deck with arms starting to tire, and mind starting to expand, lulled by the gentle cow bells and baboon cries far below. I have found, and continue to find, the soul of rock climbing on the Big Blue Mountain. I hope that this guide will inspire and motivate others to step off the beaten path a little bit and find out what African climbing is all about. The route descriptions in this guide are based for the most part on the RD’s in the old, out-of-print, Southern Rock route guide.
Huge thanks to Mike Cartwright for making these available for this guide.

Blouberg is owned as a tribal trust by the Tswana-speaking Hananwa tribe. Thus any climbing or other activities are by the good grace of the tribe. As things now stand, access onto the mountain itself is free, with payment usually being made for parking. Please treat the locals with respect. The tribe has been living on the mountain for at least 200 years so they call the shots!  There are numerous kraals up the sides of the mountain and I have even, after staggering up the three hour slog sweating and cursing, seen big mammas calmly starting the descent from the middle plateau with huge bundles of thatch on their heads.
None of these people have ever given problems, so be courteous.

PDF Topo Downloads

The updated Blouberg RD and The Blouberg Photo Topo of the North Wall can be downloaded below.  Route update can been seen on the Blouberg Wiki page.

6 Responses to New Blouberg RD by Hector Pringle

  1. Hector Dec 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    If you want to get psyched (saaiked?) read some of the stories at the back of the Blouberg guide. Private Investigations (about a rope solo ascent) and The Big Push (5 routes in a day) really make you want to get off your ass and do stuff.

  2. Dave Glass Dec 15, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Shot Hector! Man, I wish I lived in Joburg!

    Every Blouberg trip is so memorable. I miss it.

  3. Pierre Joubert Dec 15, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Absolutely amazing work Hector, well done man. Respect

  4. Justin Dec 15, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Awesome job Hector! Thanks for taking the time.

  5. Hilton Davies Dec 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Great stuff Big H! Superb job. Thanks buddy. So keen that you’re so keen. Chomping at the bit for next trip there – hopefully with you again!

  6. Andrejka Feb 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Mariaan Kruger – Sterkte met nuwe ugitaidngs. As jy op Blouberg kom, daar is n gastehuis Sonskynhoekie Eienares is Christina. Gaan maak n draai daar, sy maak die lekkerste ontbyte. Se jy ken ons en kom van Middelburg.Groetexxxx

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