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Deep Water Solo along the Orange River

I’ve never really tried deep water soloing.  It’s a climbing style that seems very appealing – bikinis, board shorts and rock.

Trying a problem and falling in soft azure water… in Thailand perhaps, but South Africa?  Recently I went on a non-climbing trip with some friends and stumbled on this little gem – a short piece of steep rock, with limestone type pockets plummeting into the warm Orange River.

DWS South Africa

Approaching the DWS sport just below the put in from the Felix Unite Camp.

DWS South Africa

Gosia starting off

 

Although the stretch of rock is not very long, it holds some great routes.  The rock is sharply overhanging with the river flowing deeply below – awesome! You can’t hurt yourself and the rock provides some interesting features, with perfect, solid rock.  And some of the routes are hard  – probably 8A or more.  I wasn’t very brave and didn’t go very high up, but the features keep going for quite some time – you could easily get 10m or more off the ‘ground’.

DWS South AfricaDWS South Africa

 

The site is between Oewerbos (the Felix Unite camp site) and the Growcery (the Umkulu camp site). If you’re driving on the South African side, it’s the rock below the small mountain you drive over that sports an abseiling site. My recommendation – if you’re going on a rafting trip – pack your climbing shoes and plan to spend the day there. It’s a great vibe floating down the river, even better when you can plan a great day climbing!

Photos: Ian Finch and Duncan Souchon

Gosia climbs for:  Black Diamond, Beal, Saltic and First Ascent

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DWS South AfricaDWS South Africa

 

DWS South Africa location

DWS location



DWS South Africa

Deep Water Solo on the Orange River

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5 Responses to Deep Water Solo along the Orange River

  1. Justin Lawson May 29, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Watch out for wasps that sometimes nest at this spot ;)

  2. Myburgh Van Zijl May 29, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    Stop scaring the Yellowfish! :-)

  3. Max Basler May 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Does anyone know how accessible this spot is re. who’s land it is, restricted access, or anything? Heading up there in a couple weeks and would really love to stop by.

  4. Gosia May 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    You can only access it by water (ie kayak/croc etc), but this is very easy to do – its just past the Felix camp, so if you launch a boat from there you’ll definitely hit it. I doubt you’ll have any access issues – everyone scrambles along the sides of the river there and considering you don’t go through anyone’s land (apart from launching a boat from Felix which you’d have to organise) I can’t really foresee any problems.

  5. Matthew Jun 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Tell us more – who do we book with.

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