Table Mountain National Park implements sport climbing and bouldering moratorium

In the interest of protecting the environmental integrity of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), SANParks hereby announces a temporary ban on sport climbing and bouldering in the entire Park.  Further, SANParks will be implementing a R500 per person fine for anyone found in TMNP embarking on one of these recreational activities.

  • See the for full details

Lower Silvermine Crag, Cape Town


35 Responses to Table Mountain National Park implements sport climbing and bouldering moratorium

  1. Jan POEPHOL Apr 1, 2017 at 1:19 am #

    You have really outdone yourself this time Justin.

  2. Peter Apr 1, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    Wow this is terrrible. What’s the MCSA going to do now?

  3. Richard Quantrill Apr 1, 2017 at 9:51 am #

    Please be an April fools joke x_x

  4. Jake Apr 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    If this is a april fools joke…then please let us know soon

  5. Justin Lawson Apr 2, 2017 at 8:10 am #

    This is all very much an April Fools joke

  6. Nick Telford Apr 2, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    This is in very bad taste and has potentially severe repercussions for the entire community. I do not see this as being constructive and beneficial to anyone and it has the potential to severely damage relations between TMNP/SANparks and MCSA who are the voice of the climbing community. The relationship between the two parties is already strained and this will further damage that relationship by bringing various issues into the public light. In the past this website has provided many clever and amusing April fools jokes but Climbza missed the mark hugely with this one. As a climber who is passionate about the environment (it’s my career!) and climbing I do not want to see any further negativity between the two parties and this certainly does not help in any way. We should all be working together to ensure that climbing community maintains a level of integrity and that integrity gets damaged by these sorts of negative events. If there are repercussions from the TMNP that affect the climbing community of Cape Town, I don’t think many of us will be very happy. Remember the actions of few can damage the reputation of many. Please remove the fake webpage that you created. It is in the best interests of us all.
    Nick Telford

    • Justin Lawson Apr 3, 2017 at 8:38 am #

      Nick, you will be glad to hear that SANParks were consulted beforehand (by an MCSA committee member no less) 🙂
      We were having fun, I’m sorry if it offended anyone.

      I’m sure that the website will be taken down soon – I’ll ask the MCSA committee member to sort that out (bows out of responsibility for that one 🙂

      I was of the opinion that SANParks and climbers had a pretty good relationship!? Sure we have our difference of opinions but I am quite sure that SANParks management would not get vindictive because of an April Fools joke?
      Please let me know if otherwise !!!

      Speaking of working together, I’ll take this moment to mention Adam’s request – Help needed for site visits (TMNP Bouldering EMP) –>

      If there is anything that ClimbZA can do to help out going forward, please let me know –

      • Nick Telford Apr 3, 2017 at 11:11 am #

        Hey Justin. That is welcoming to hear and thanks for the response. I would love to be able to help out with the last remaining site visits but unfortunately I am no longer a student with flexi-time and have spent many hours working on this EMP prior to handing over the responsibility to Adam.
        My concerns around this post are how boulderers are painted in a bad light and not the fact that it is an April Fools joke. An April fools joke can very easily be played without making any part of our climbing community be viewed as destructive and irresponsible people. I guess your post was just a little too close to home for my liking.
        As long as there is no impact on the climbing community via TMNP then all is well.

  7. Kai Apr 2, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    As April fools jokes go I thought it was pretty great. It had me going 🙂 Nice one!

  8. Dan Apr 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    I agree with Nick. Times have changed. See :

  9. Ray Apr 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    Justin, how did you manage to create a website? Seems like a lot of work went into this….

  10. Sam Apr 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    Ha…I think Jan Poephol hit the nail on the head. You are just TOO good at this Justin 😉

  11. Oubaas Apr 2, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Ja shame on you Justin for having a sense of humor 😡

  12. micky Apr 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

    good thing i checked the date and started email people at TMNP and calling them names

    • micky Apr 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

      oops typo, didnt start i meant

  13. Die Gestewelde Kat Apr 3, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    Ja dammit Justing. Now a lot of people will have to start anti Climbza social media campaigns to make up for the fact that you got them hook line and sinker

  14. Die Gestewelde Kat Apr 3, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    Ja dammit Justin. Now a lot of people will have to start anti Climbza social media campaigns to make up for the fact that you got them hook line and sinker

  15. Cuan Apr 3, 2017 at 8:44 am #

    lmfao 😛 That was really good…A lot of effort, especially into the website.

  16. G-Clamp Apr 3, 2017 at 9:13 am #

    I must admit, you completely got me Justin hahaha … I knew it was 1 April, but the fake website completely fooled me!

    That been said, it was a bit of a wake up call. One day you can wake up and access to an whole area can be gone 🙁 … it can happen that easily.

  17. Chris F Apr 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    Shame you guys will miss out on trying this out?

  18. Robert Apr 4, 2017 at 9:14 am #

    I am the author of this years’ April Fools’ joke. It’s become a bit of a tradition I suppose – I also wrote last years’ Ebert Nel public apology, and the ‘Virgin Active acquires CityROCK joke’ the year before. Justin is the willing accomplice in this – he hacked Ebert’s account, deletes the comments that give it away too soon, etc.

    I am writing this follow-up reply in my capacity as MCSA Vice chair and only remaining rock climbing committee member.

    This April Fools’ joke was supposed to be a wake up call to the Cape Town sport climbing and bouldering communities. What I wrote could in fact happen. Maybe that’s why some people didn’t think it was all that funny. Too close to home?

    This years’ post was carefully planned. I got approval from the MCSA chairman Martin before writing this, I also informed TMNP Central Section Manager Gavin Bell of it, so there is no need to worry about repercussions. Adam Ludford and I also wrote one or two inflammatory posts in order to prime the pump so to speak for this one. Cally Bishop, City ROCK Johannesburg manager, spoofed the TMNP web site. Registering a new domain is easy and cheap.

    The issue I want to highlight:
    I am the lone holdout in the Cape Town section of the MCSA representing rock climbing. The rock climbing sub-committee, once headed up by Andy Davies, has been disbanded. Cormac is still active with some ARF stuff. Jed Johnson and Andy Davies organise the annual Montagu Rock Rally. Beyond that, there is nothing. No-one. Nada. Niks nie. Rien.

    Some months ago I restarted the bouldering EMP with TMNP. Adam and Maciej have donated some of their time to go on site visits, but the EMP has now ground to a complete HALT as the bouldering community cannot muster up a single individual to go and show TMNP rangers where our beloved bouldering spots are. So the EMP has been stalled for three months. Not sure how much patience TMNP has, but nothing lasts forever, as they say.

    Yes, this post gives boulderers and climbers a bit of a bad name, as it should. Consider that people still boulder at Red Hill, despite the area being clearly off limits. Topos are passed around freely, with no mention of the ban.

    Sport climbers are just as guilty. Most sport climbers don’t have Activity Cards. And then they lie about what they do when they get caught by a ranger.

    We bith that TMNP isn’t doing anything with our sometimes paid funds, such as fight crime at Peers Cave.
    Unfortunately crime is not the sole responsibility of TMNP, it’s mostly a SAPS problem. It just so happens that TMNP is in the midst of South Africa’s second largest City, which has the highest per capita crime rates in the country. It’s a bitch, and TMNP Management can’t fix SA’s demographics I am afraid.

    Unlike other user communities, we climbers aren’t doing at all to help, except complain.

    We complain about paths – yet the mountain bikers just achieved what I thought was impossible. I co-authored the first mountain biking EMP 15 years ago, and back then mountain bikes were really Enemy #1 as far as TMNP goes. Four months ago TMNP and Kirstenbosch opened up huge areas to mountain bikes. TMNP spent millions getting Tokai reopened for primarily mountain bikes. Pedal Power and many individuals literally spent hundreds of thousands of Rands on an EMP, built kilometers of paths themselves over the course of a year. We climbers do nothing, actually worse than nothing, we blatantly ignore the rules that have been put in place to give us access.

    So if you want to make sure that TMNP remains open to sport climbing and bouldering, I suggest you get involved and do something. Actually do something, not just be an armchair back seat typist contributor on this forum. Like meeting me at the monthly MCSA First Tuesday, 4 April, 7 pm, or email me. Or maybe next year this won’t be an April Fools joke.

    – Robert Breyer

    • Zoe Apr 4, 2017 at 10:42 am #

      Robert you’d be pleased to hear that I’m taking the TMNP out to visit some Topside areas this week.

    • mike Apr 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

      You guys hacked into a forum member’s account? And this is ethically ok how?

      • Nick Telford Apr 11, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

        Great point there mike!!

        • mike Apr 12, 2017 at 11:30 am #

          Justin? Care to answer this

          • Justin Lawson Apr 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

            Ebert’s account was not hacked.

      • Patrick Apr 13, 2017 at 11:34 am #

        As far as I can recall, a dummy profile was created. It used Ebert’s profile pic but the user name was “Forkett” not “Forket” which is what gave it away to the very observant. Sadly I missed that and showered him with praise for his altruistic and conciliatory words. So no hacking as I see it.

        • mike Apr 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

          haha, thats classic actually. The sneaky double profile trick. Totally fair game then. If accounts are ever hacked/opened/edited by admins this is off limits in a big way. Even editing posts or subtracting/adding words is a serious forum offense I’d say.

  19. aclimber Apr 4, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    “as the bouldering community cannot muster up a single individual to go and show TMNP rangers where our beloved bouldering spots are.”

    This is both wrong and incredibly dismissive of the people who have put countless hours into trying to sort out the bouldering EMP over the last 5 years.

  20. bclimber Apr 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    aclimber – yes many people have contributed numerous days to the EMP effort over the last five years. That doesn’t change the present-day reality.

    • Cuan Apr 4, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

      bclimber – The reality of being blatantly lied to about the community currently not making a plan to take rangers out to the field. Perhaps people should be checking their facts

    • aclimber Apr 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

      You’re right about the present-day reality. But suggesting that the problem is a lack of effort by the bouldering community is frankly just insulting.

      For example, there has been more than one occasion when TMNP rangers have simply not shown up for a viewing hike that they’ve agreed to go on.

  21. Curtissige Apr 5, 2017 at 8:05 am #


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