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How to get there
Fees & Permits
Accommodation & Food
Attractions & Activities
+/-40 Single Pitch Sport Routes. Multi Pitch Trad Routes. Awesome quality rock. 1 - 1 ½ hour drive from the Cape Town. 40min walk up to crags. Hellfire is situated in Du Toits Kloof which is a 1 hour drive from Cape Town. There is both trad and sport climbing of superb quality. The rock is solid, compact sandstone. Most of the routes are single pitch and most of the trad routes have big cow ring bolts of which to belay/abseil. There are also various descent anchors located around the crag.
There are about 145 trad routes and 35 sport routes at Hellfire. Most trad routes are one or two piches and 40-50m in height, although there also some four pitch test pieces. Sport routes vary in height from 15-45m. The rock is generally excellent quality hard sandstone. Some trad routes have the odd loose block so be aware of what you are pulling on and wear a helmet. All grades are present from short grade 8 beginner climbs to a grade 30+ open sport project of 40m in length. Although any grade of climber will be happy climbing here the real meat of the crag is in the intermediate grades 18-23.
There is a comprehensive guidebook available from climbing stores in Cape Town or direct from the publisher. To order direct from the publisher e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . The price is R185 excluding postage.
From Cape Town, get onto the N1 towards Paarl, drive past Paarl and you will get within a kilometre of the mountains. You have the choice of taking the tunnel (toll is R18) or driving over the pass which is very scenic. Once on the other side of the mountain, drive 2,2km past the Du Toits Kloof Hotel (you will see the band of red rock on the opposite side of the road), and make a U-turn immeditely after the Klipriver bridge. This is done from the fast lane so check the road is clear behind you before slowing down, slow right down as you will turn onto gravel. Drive 400m back westward and park well off the road immediately after a large sign and roadside barrier. Walk back about 50 meters to the path that takes you up a ridge to the crag. If you drove through the tunnel double check that your car lights are switched off before going climbing!!
The best season is Autumn or Spring although you can climb year round.
In Summer it gets very hot, arrive early to beat the heat. The crag stays in the shade until 11am in Summer. Varying orientation of the outcrops guarantees that some routes will be in the shade at any time of day. Shade can be sought at the base of the Burnout wall, in the Pit of Despair and under the trees at Smokescreen wall and the Gates of Hell. Take sunscreen and lots of water (3l).
Winter can be excellent in between cold fronts. Drizzle in Cape Town after the passage of a cold front can mean sunny and great weather at the crag, the deep valley often producing a hole in the clouds. The rock dries very quickly after rain although there can be seepage on some routes in late Winter.
Food and accommodation
There is a MCSA hut nearby to stay at for members and guests otherwise there is the hotel. camping is available outside of the valley in Paarl and in the Goudini area. Food should be taken out with you as there are no shops in the area. The nearest town is Rawsonville east of the valley (follow signs) or continue to the Mall alongside the Freeway just outside Worcester. The pub in the Du Toits Kloof Lodge hotel in the valley is an excellent place for an after-climb pint!
The climbing is situated in the Limietberg reserve which is managed by Cape Nature. You MUST obtain a permit to climb at this area. Book permits by contacting their office in Rondebosch Cape Town and asking for a permit for the 'Hellfire trail' in the Limietberg reserve.
Cape Nature:www.capenature.co.za tel: 021 659 3500.
Permits can also be obtained at the Du Kloof resort (hotel) from the curio shop, useful if you decide to go on the spur of the moment and have not prebooked permits.
Some of the sport routes are runout or have sections where a fall could result in injury. Please exercise caution. Plan your climb from the ground noting possible dangers, climb within your grade and keep a cool head!
Below is a sample of some of the routes at the crag.
Key: (B)olted, (T)rad, (M)ixed Trad/Bolted
- Combustion Chamber Routes -
- 1. Spontaneous Combustion 21/6b+ (B)
- 2. Bright Spark 18/5+ (B)
- 3. Monoxide Man 20/6b (B)
- 4. Overdrive 21/6b+ (B)
- Hellfire Crag Routes -
- 1. Some Like It Hot 16,17 40m (T) ***
- 2. Wounded Warrior 15 18m (T) **
- 3. Burning Ambition 19,19 40m (T) ****
- 4. Fallen Angel 21/6b+ 18m (7B) ****
- 5. Sacred Soul (project)
- 6. Forked Tongue 19,23or19 40m (M) *****
- 7. Fire & Ice 22/6b+ 12m (T) ***
- 8. Too Cold to Hold 25,22 27m (12B) ****
- 9. Too Hot To Handle 24,22 48m (T) ****
- Burnout Wall Routes -
- 1. The Melt Down 23 48m (T) *****
- 2. The Burnout 21 48m (M) *****
- 3. Crossfire 22 Direct Finish. Exit up corner on Left after last clip (bolt belay above direct)
- Hellfire Prow Routes -
- 1. Fireballs 23+ 45m (M) *****
- 2. Hellfire 24 42m (T) *****
- 3. Wildfire 22 42m (M) ****
- 4. Sapphire 20 40m (T) ****
- 5. Skewburn 17 40m (T) ***
- 6. Sideburn 19 40m (T) ****
- 7. Flintstone 17 25m (B) ***
- 8. In The Heart Of The Moment 17 23m (T) **
- Wall of Flames Routes -
- 1. Flamethrower 24+/7a 22m (B) *****
- 2. Pyromania (project)
- 3. Inferno 23+/6c+ 22m (B) ****
- 4. Scorched Earth 22/6b+ 22m (B) ****
- 5. Wastelands 22/6b+ 22m (B) ****
- 6. Bonfire Arete 19/6a 22m (B) ****
- Magma Wall Routes -
- 1. Magma 18/5+ 12m (B) *****
- 2. Flowin 21/6b 12m (B) *****
- 3. Lava 22/6b+ 12m (B) *****
- 4. Glowin 20+/6b 12m (B) ****
- Crown Crag Routes -
- 1. Holey Smoke 22/6b+ 15m (B) ***
- The Pit of Despair Routes -
- 1. Heathen's Hangout 23/6c 16m (B) ***
- 2. Down in the Doldrums 22 (T)
- 3. The Beast 25 (B)
- 4. Trails and Tribulations 20/6b (B)
- 5. Wild Justice 25/7a+ 28m (B) *****
- 6. Judgement Time 22 (T)
- 7. Judge Dredd 22/6c
- 8. Wicked and Wild 25/7a 24m (B) *****
- 9. Cardinal Sin 20 (T)
- The Pillar of Pain Routes -
- 1. Painkiller 18 20m (T) ****
- 2. Anaesthesia 22/6b+ (B)
- 3. Moses' Tablet 17 40m (T)
- Smokescreen Wall Routes -
- 1. Take me to God 26/7b 17m (B) *****
- 2. Hot Box 20 47m (T) ***
- 3. Heat Pulse 22/6b+ 16m (B) ****
- 4. Hot Flush 21/6b 16m (B) ***
- 5. Red Hot Smoker 18 45m (T) ***
- 6. Still Smoking 20 45m (T) ***
- 7. Joker Smoker 18 42m (T) ***
- 8. Up In Smoke 21 42m (T) ****
- 9. Sizziling Salamanders 22 40m (T) ****
- 10. Smokescreen 17 35m (T) ***
- 11. Smokering 19 38m (T) ***
- 12. Demolition 15 (T) ****
- Brimstone Block Area Routes -
- 1. Fire Escape 17 15m (T) ***
- 2. Brimstone Backfire 19 20m (T) **
A grade aggregator for the routes is available at UKClimbing logbook