Northwest Province

The main climbing in the North West Province is in the Magaliesberg which has over 1800 climbs, mostly multi-pitch trad routes in the beautiful kloofs (gorges).

These kloofs are up to an hours drive apart so directions are given per kloof where possible. Access to the MCSA owned kloofs must be obtained from the MCSA directly, together with permits for a nominal charge.  Please support them to help keep these areas open as well as to conserve them.

For further info contact the Johannesburg Section Administrator Uschi Magg at 011 807 1310 Monday to Friday between 8am and 10am or at admin@jhb.mcsa.org.za.

Each kloof (gorge) in the Magaliesberg range of mountains has about 50-150 climbs. Most of these are natural multi-pitch climbs with a few sport routes in one or two of the kloofs.  Fernkloof has a small concentration of good quality harder sport routes from 24-32. The rock is mostly quartzite and provides for excellent year-round climbing with mostly good protection in a very beautiful setting.  Most kloofs are no more than 1.5hrs from Johannesburg or Pretoria.

Eddie Harvey on the classic Slipstream (18), Boulder Kloof in the Magaliesberg. Photo Dean vd Merwe Boulder Kloof

There are about 60 traditional climbs here, mostly single pitch routes but generally of very high quality. The grades vary from 8 to 27 and many routes in the early twenties can be found here including many good classics.

Jonas Jaeggy on Boggle, Cedarberg Kloof, Magaliesberg Cedarberg

Over 100 natural climbs exist here, mostly multi-pitch natural lines. Routes of close to 100m high can be found at the junction of the kloof with Tonquani. The grades vary from 5 to 30 with the bulk of the routes in the 17-20 range. The kloof name deri …

Brian Weaver on the Violent Streak project at Chosspile. Pic by Andrew P Chosspile

The Chosspile is the closest proper sport climbing crag to Johannesburg, being a bit closer than Bronkies. It also has the full spectrum of grades, from super easy, to 33 and beyond. ‘Choss’ as it is affectionately known has provided a place keep fit and work on projects, get away from the big smoke and talk crap, for a couple of generations of Gauteng climbers.

David Wade Sending Vandals Direct (27) at Fernkloof Photographed By Benjamin Graham Fernkloof

Fernkloof is steep & scenically attractive featuring many natural lines and harder sport routes of grade 24 including a few classic routes such as Faberge and Stormwatch. There are 80+ climbs here with grades varying from 8 to 32.

Mark Millar attempting Absolute Beginners, Grootkloof (7a/24 trad).. Photo by: Graham Terrell Grootkloof

There are 129 traditional climbs here, mostly single pitch routes but generally of very high quality. A few routes are bolted or have some bolts but many of them are very badly rusted. The grades vary from 5 to 28 with some really good classics at most grades.

Ian composing himself on P2 of More Monkey Than Funky (21) in Lower Tonquani Lower Tonquani

Lower Tonquani is a long section of the kloof with 132 natural routes. The climbs are mostly multi-pitch natural lines. These routes see grades from 7 to 26. Some 90m and higher climbs can be found in the area where Cedarberg intersects Tonquani.

Hector finally sending Crystal Fire, Mhlabatini. Pic by Nic Grech-Cumbo Mhlabatini

Mlhabatini is truly beautiful kloof famous for its many crack climbs. The 136 routes are mostly multi-pitch natural routes, grades vary from 5 to 27 with many at each grade above 15 until 25.

Hector Pringle on The Empire Strikes Back (23) at Trident Kloof, Magaliesberg. Photo by: Alasdair Walton Trident

There are about 110 traditional climbs here. The grades vary from itch routes but generally of very high quality. The grades vary from 6 to 23.

Graham Terrell on The Moke 17, Upper tonquani, Magaliesberg. Photo by: Gehora Upper Tonquani Kloof

This is one of the most popular kloofs with almost 150 routes. They are mostly multi-pitch natural routes. These routes see grades from 5 to 25. Many classics can be found here such as Hawk’s Eye, Stone Needle and so forth.

PDF Topo Downloads

The Climb ZA – South Africa Rock Climbing Routes Wiki has detailed info on climbing in the North West Province.


Tick List for the Magaliesberg Classics

Russ Dodding gathered a list of classic climbs from Paul Fatti, Kevin Smith and Stewart Middlemiss which he edited into a list a excellent Magaliesberg classics. Try do all of these in a year!

Mhlabatini Straight Edge; Ego Whip; Jelly Beans Direct; Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained;Tales of Brave  Ulysses; Crystal Fire; The File. 8
Grootkloof Isolation Pinnacle; Dive Bomber (Direct). 2
Cedarberg Boggle; Tigatrix; Difficult Shapes and Passive Rhythms; Hang Dog; Golden Balls. 5
Lower Tonquani The Doppler Effect; Circuitbreaker; Just Hot; Red Column; Reign of Terror; Gnasher; Sands of Time. 7
Boulder Kloof Dogstyle; Raging Bull; Slipstream; Sabre. 4
Upper Tonquani Hyperadrenia; The Moke; Red Corner ; Last Rights. 4
Castle Gorge Donner en Bliksem. 1
Trident Apex; Swiss Army Knife. 2
Kranskloof Golden Goose; Fie; Fiona’s Folly; Clime of the Century; The Cruise; The Swarm (Direct finish);  Pistol; Arch of Time. 8
Dome Fallen Angel; Devil’s Advocate; Magic Dragon; Muffin Direct; Time Limit. 5
Eureka Dome Aftermath. 1
Hamerkop Quintessence; One Crack Mind; Amazing Grace Direct. 3
Fernkloof Dextrose; Lazarus. 2

1. There are some fine sport routes in the Magaliesberg; these are not included here.
2. Climb this lot in six months and then consider oneself a climber?
Compiled : 1998/12/22


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