CityROCK to open its doors October 17. Jozi gets a world-class climbing gym

After a year of construction and five years of planning, CityROCK Johannesburg has finally opened its doors.

FREE climbing this weekend
9-6 on both days.
only pay gear rental.
20% off in the Gear Shop.
come today from 2-6 to do your early bird belay test – avoid the mad rush tomorrow…..

The gym, a world-class facility, is located conveniently on Republic Road in Fontainebleau, Randburg.  CityROCK caters to a wide range of customers.  From complete beginners, to seasoned outdoor climbers, to kids and families.  The gym features roped climbing, bouldering and a phenomenal gear shop.
And in a first for South Africa, the gym will incorporate Yoga, cardio, weights and fitness, as well as a coffee shop, providing a 1-stop fitness and fun offering to Gautengers.

Cityrock Johannesburg

CityROCK Johannesburg gym building west facade


About Indoor Climbing:
Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across artificial rock walls.  The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling.  Indoor climbing combines exercise, problem solving, and fun and is a rapidly growing sport worldwide.

Cityrock Johannesburg

Top roping in the high climbing area


About Indoor Climbing gyms:
While CityROCK has been going in Cape Town for 13 years, Johannesburg has not been so fortunate.  That’s about to change – Johannesburg now joins the ranks of other large cities in having it’s own world-class, full service indoor rock climbing facility.  There are now 436 climbing gyms in the United States and Canada alone, according to the US Publication “Climbing Business Journal”.  Most US metropolitan areas have multiple gyms — ten in San Francisco, seven in and around Boston, four in Chicago, five more underway in Los Angeles.  The climbing gym industry started off as a training venue for outdoor rock climbers, but over the last two decades, the sport and business of indoor climbing has taken on its own life, catering to young and young-at-heart urbanites.

Cityrock Johannesburg

Gym climbers in action


About CityROCK Johannesburg:
This world class indoor climbing facility boasts 1,500m² of high climbing, up to 16m high; 600m² of bouldering, 4m high; a dedicated beginners’ climbing area for courses and a kids birthday party area.  The 150m² gear shop is South Africa’s largest specialist mountain gear shop.  The beautiful 140m² yoga studio and the cardio and strength training area make CityROCK a full service gym.  Last but not least, the Mountain Club of South Africa office and library and great coffee will make this a popular hang-out place for climbers and socialites.

Cityrock Johannesburg

Greg Carter testing out the Bouldering area


Indoor Climbing to go Olympic?
George Stainton, President of the SA National Climbing Federation, says: “Indoor climbing has been short-listed as one of the five new sports for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.  This really shows how popular the sport has become worldwide.  We are really excited about having CityROCK around to train at, and have fun at.  CityROCK Joburg is a truly world-class facility which will take competitive SA sport climbing to a whole new level.

Cityrock Johannesburg

Micheal Diala lead climbing


The CityROCK Gear Shop:
CityROCK Johannesburg is the home to the CityROCK Gear Shop.  Trish Breyer, retail shop manager and co-owner, says: “Historically, climbing gear used to be rather difficult to find in Johannesburg.  Our shop will obviously sell the kit for gym and outdoor climbers.  But the Gear Shop will take gear shopping in Johannesburg to a whole different level.
The CityROCK Johannesburg Gear Shop comprises 150 m2 of retail space, this will make it the largest specialist-climbing retailer in South Africa.
Trish continues: “The outdoor chains like Cape Union Mart, Trappers, Due South, etc. are in my humble opinion just glorified clothing stores.  My goal for this shop is to be the largest and best-stocked climbing, mountaineering and hiking specialist store in South Africa.  We will cater to the serious outdoor enthusiast.  From the casual Magaliesberg hiker to the mixed rock and Ice climber in Patagonia – we will be THE go-to-place.

The CityROCK Gear Shop will be home to only world-class imported brands like The North Face, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Camelbak, Buff, Boreal, Evolv, Five Ten, Mountain Equipment, Petzl, Osprey, MSR, and Sea to Summit.
In addition, we are proud to be importing brands that have never before been readily available in Johannesburg such as prAna clothing from the USA. and Mammut climbing gear from Switzerland.

Cityrock Johannesburg

Entrance to the Gear Shop

Cityrock Johannesburg

Johannesburg shop team


The Mountain Club of South Africa:
CityROCK is going to become the new home to the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) Johannesburg Section.  The MCSA is the largest and oldest outdoor organization in South Africa, 125 years old today.  The MCSA will relocate its office to CityROCK. In addition, the Club’s Wednesday night films, slide shows and speakers will all now have a great venue.

Roland Magg, Club Admin Manager, explains that partnering with CityROCK is a win-win. “CityROCK is obviously about indoor climbing.  Our focus as the Mountain Club is the great South African outdoors.  We will make the transition from gym to the crag or the mountains easy.

Cityrock Johannesburg

MCSA members at the preview day held last weekend


One-stop Fitness:
CityROCK Johannesburg will offer 1-stop fitness.  The Yoga, cardio, fitness, weights and training area will be completed in December this year.  Newcomer Tarryn May says: “I live down the road from CityROCK.  I have always wanted to try indoor climbing.  When I heard that the new gym will also offer Yoga and Fitness, it was a no-brainer.  I am cancelling my Virgin Active membership this weekend.  R490 for a monthly membership is good deal”.

Cityrock Johannesburg

The Johannesburg gym team


– Adult pricing:  R130 for a day pass, R490 for adult debit order.  3 month minimum commitment.
– Includes climbing, bouldering, cardio and fitness.
– Reduced pricing for kids, students and families.

Cityrock Johannesburg

Cityrock Johannesburg east entrance


Kids, Kids, Kids:
From December onwards, CityROCK will offer Birthday parties for the younger generation.  The price will be R230 per child for a 2-hour party.  CityROCK will also be offering more serious dedicated coaching.

CityROCK Johannesburg by the numbers:

  • 1,500m2 of high climbing terrain, up to 16m high.
  • 100 top ropes, grade 12-26.
  • 80 lead routes, from grade 15 to 30.
  • Four Tru-Blue automatic belay machines.
  • 15m, 5 degree wall – allowing us to run IFSC speed comps.
  • Four cracks, from a grade 19 hand jam to grade 23 fingers.
  • 230m2 of kids and beginner climbing & bouldering terrain: 15 top ropes and 5 automatic belays.
  • 600m2 of serious bouldering terrain, up to 4.4m high. Top out central boulder.
  • 100 problems from French grade 5 to 7b+.
  • 15 staff members, and counting.
  • Currently 90 secure parking bays.
  • Lot size 6,000m2. Building size 2,700m2.
  • 13 months to build.
  • Three containers worth of specialty goods imported from the USA. Foam, grips.
  • 18,000 polyurethane grips.
  • 50,000 t-nuts.
  • 3 km of dynamic rope used.
  • 80 tons of steel.
  • 3,000 m2 of plywood.
Cityrock climbing gym Johannesburg

Lead climbing


Owners Bio:
Robert Breyer grew up in Johannesburg and became involved in the climbing gym business while living in San Francisco. Planet Granite is one of the leading operators of climbing gyms in the USA.

Charles Edelstein, a.k.a. Snort, has been a fixture of the South African climbing scene for over 30 years. Originally from Johannesburg, he used to call the Magaliesberg Kloof his hunting ground.
Charles is an orthopedic surgeon on rest days.

Trish Breyer grew up in Cape Town and came to CityROCK via the merger of the CityROCK and Mountain Mail Order in 2012. Trish runs the retail side of the business.

All three owners are active outdoor climbers and live in Cape Town.

About CityROCK:
CityROCK started in Cape Town 14 years ago, and has been going from strength to strength.  The business incorporates a Yoga Studio, as well as South Africa’s leading Gear Shop.  CityROCK also owns Mountain Mail Order, the leading online mountain shop in Southern Africa.

For more information contact: Robert Breyer
Visit us online:
Email us:
Call us: 010-007-2732
Address: 173 Republic Road, Fontainebleau, Randburg (entrance in the back).


14 Responses to CityROCK to open its doors October 17. Jozi gets a world-class climbing gym

  1. CliveP Oct 16, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Is the guy in the first picture taking a wizz?

    • Lee Oct 23, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Lol, he was actually eyeing out the paving stones that were left outside on the pavement.

  2. Justin Lawson Oct 16, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    yes that guy looks like he is taking a whiz 🙂

    FREE climbing this weekend !!

    9-6 on both days.
    Only pay gear rental.
    20% off in the Gear Shop.

    Come today from 2-6 to do your early bird belay test – avoid the mad rush tomorrow…..

  3. Ebert Nel Oct 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    This gym is amazing. It’s clean. Its sparkly. You are welcomed in at the door. Registration is easy and fast. The walls are beautiful, high and filled with amazing routes. The bouldering looks really good. The auto belays are sooooooo much fun to just go at when you dont have a belayer. The staff are also very polite and mostly helpful. The coffee is amazing, proper coffee at a reasonable rate:D. The gear shop offers a wide variety of amazingness that will probably leave me broke for the coming months. The staff in the shop are very helpful and approachable.
    I however found it unprofessional the amount of people that were denied access on condition that their belaying ability didnt meet the standard of the gym/evaluate. Its unacceptable to be told you have to come back another day to do your course again. A better approach would be to force the person to take the course (toprope/lead) and have them try pass again. This is an issue that needs to be addressed or clients will be lost.
    All in all a pleasant experience, everyone clearly has a bit to learn:)
    Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

    • CityROCK Johannesburg Oct 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      Hi Ebert, thank you for the comments. We have changed our belay test procedure and now offer a 10 minute Grigri refresher so you can take the test again the same day….

      • Ebert Nel Oct 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

        You guys are winning!!! Thanks a million. Keep up the good work:D

      • Ebert Nel Oct 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

        Now I can pass:’)

  4. Gustav Oct 16, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    This is totally incredible. A dream come true for climbers in Gauteng and surely for Robert and his team! Well done to you guys. Over the years, many climbers and business players started the process with grand ideas to create some sort of work-of-art, without any notable results.

    You guys have created a masterpiece and there is no doubt that your success will spill over to positively strengthening the sport of climbing in South Africa for years to come. Congratulations!

  5. Robert Oct 17, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    A heads-up: It’s going to be a MAYHEM weekend. Do NOT come Saturday morning. There will be queues for everything, from belay tests to harness rentals.

    If you are flexible, come late afternoon on Sunday.

    If you want to buy something from the shop, rather come Monday and we will honor the 20% OFF sale if you mention the magic keyword P L E A S E.

  6. andrew p Oct 19, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    Ya, So it opened ,so what, who cares….errr like the 20,000 people there on the weekend! Couldn’t believe it! It They definitely went with the go large or go home attitude, its large so they didn’t go home. And I though the route setting would suck..but no its excellent, every route and problem I did was well thought out, almost too well thought out, there was a foothold placed just where I needed one! I never do debit orders but after climbing at CRJ on Saturday, FNB details are no longer private, please look after them oke who served me. So, after Boven and some stuff in the kloofs, its the best thing to happen for Joburg climbing in 2.3 billion years, well done Robert, Trish, Charles, Mike, Ruth. And please look after those amped youthful staff or there will be trouble! See you there..later today. Andrew

  7. MarkD Oct 19, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Id love to know the feet count over the weekend and how many people signed up.

  8. Robert Oct 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    In one word: MAYHEM.
    Weekend stats: 500 top rope belay tests, 600 cups of coffee, 1,500 feet through the door. At 2 pm Sunday we had to temporarily resort to Nightclub management: “we are only letting more people in when some people have left”.
    We were too busy to deal with people wanting to take out memberships, so we extended the 25% off membership sale to next week Monday.
    One of the boulder mats vinyl split, but it was a Friday afternoon rush job to get it done. Several plasters were handed out, mostly for flappers I guess. I saw one customer asking an ICE pack, but I dont think it was anything major.
    And oh yes we ran out of Cokes and paper.

    • Chris F Nov 2, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      Hopefully not the important sort of paper! This looks brilliant, wishing everyone involved good luck with the venture.

  9. Arnold Oct 19, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    Awesome place! So much potential, and I say potential cause I think the easy part is building it. I hope this wonderful place is well supported and well managed for years to come!

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