Kalk Bay

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Kalk Bay
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Climbing TypeSport
Rock TypeSandstone, All types of holds but lots of slopers.
SeasonAutumn and afternoons. In winter there is water seepage in places and in summer onshore winds make the rock greasy.
ProvinceWestern Cape
AreaCape Town

37 Single Pitch Sport Routes, Grades 4 to 8b 20min walk up to crag.


Sport Rack of 8 draws & a 30m rope will do for most routes. Bring more draws and 50m rope for routes at the Treasure Chest. The top rope problems listed here do not require extra gear, however if you wish to explore other problems some slings and locking carabiners as well as a small selection of trad gear will be necessary.

The climbing

This Crag features powerful, short, bolted routes on steep rock, surrounded by some of the best views Cape Town has to offer.

New Route Development (Bolting)

There is potential for a few more high quality lines at the crags. Bolting is strictly only allowed with a special permit, contact the Rock Climbing subcommitte of the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) Cape Town section to apply for this permit. Only certain of the potential lines have been pre-approved for bolting (contact Brent Jennings at the MCSA or Greg Hart for details), all other lines are to be left unbolted - you can climb these by setting up a top-rope. NB: Strictly no further bolting is allowed on the lower tier crags, this is an archeological site.

How to get there

Note the old path recommended in 'Western Cape Rock' has grown over. Two other paths have become well trodden by hikers, please use these instead to minimize erosion and damage to plant life.

East side: At the end of Boyes Drive is a cul-de-sac (Godfrey Rd.). Park here and follow the hiking trail up toward the saddle. Near the saddle, after the second switchback where the path goes briefly down hill, look for a path sneaking off left up a short hill towards a large boulder. From the boulder follow the path up the final slope to arrive just east of Neptune's cove.
West side: From Main rd turn into Clovelly avenue then take the right fork up Mountain road. Park at the top of the rise, the path leads up from a concrete driveway. Climb the paved path to just below the saddle then turn right onto an obvious well-trodden path 10metres before the saddle. Follow this between two boulders, past a cave, then just above a mini-gulley take a not so obvious turn-off left towards what looks like two boulders, aiming between them. The left "boulder" turns out to be Mermaid wall.


Kalk Bay crags access map, view from space2.jpg

Topos / Routes

Routes are listed from right to left (east to west).

The Upper (Main) Tier of Crags

The Boatyard

Spinning Jenny 20/6b FA Julian Fisher
The route climbs out the left of the large cave east of Dockside crag (no topo).

The Back of the Boatyard


There are some old top anchors and a single bolt right on top of the wall. Origins unknown.
1. The Drunken Master 25/7a+ (trad) FA Phlip Olivier Jan2012
Climbs the steep crack to the right of the arête. Sangbag if you don't bring your boxing gloves.
2. Project (trad) will go at around 27/28 if you can find someone willing to belay you.
Start as for Drunken Master. After the crux, move left to top out over the arête.


Left Sector

Dockside left sector.jpg

1. Piracy 23/6c+ FA Marijus Smigelskis 2004

2. Stowaway 20/6b FA Ross Suter 2004.
Route ruined by soot from vagrants fire, needs a serious scrub!

3. Wide Ride 24/7a FA Marijus Smigelskis 2004

All bolts Hilti HSAR 316

Right Sector

Dockside right sector (from east).jpeg

Dockside right sector (from west).jpg

1. Talamasca 26/7b FA Marijus Smigelskis 2004

2. Blood & Gold 20/6b FA Marijus Smigelskis and partner 2003.

3. Lil Fishees 21/6b+ FA Greg Hart 2003

4. Dolphin 23/6c+ FA Dale Posthumus 2003

5. Sushi 25/7a+ FA Dale Posthumus 2003

6. Import Tax 26/7b FA Marijus Smigelskis 2004

All bolts Hilti HSAR 316

Neptune's Cove

Left Sector

This is a good place to warm up by traversing around right of these three routes.

Neptunes cove, left sector.jpg

1. Hang Thang 20/6b FA Greg Hart 2005

2. Cling Thing 24/7a FA Malcolm Gowans 1996

3. Kill Bill 23/6c+ FA Greg Hart 2005

4. Salami 27/7b+ FA Guy Holwill 2000

Right Sector

Neptunes Cove, Right Sector.jpg

1. Unnamed 22/6c FA Unknown. Starts from the raised ledge right of the cave.

The following top-rope problems are all to the right of the cave starting from a raised ledge. The lines have single rings in place on top to thread your rope through, reach these by climbing up the gully at the left end of the ledge leading leftwards out of the Neptune's Cove cave, then clambering over atop the cliff. Please watch out for the large flake right of (facing the crag) the rings, which is loose - don't stand on it!!! - easy to avoid though.

2. Arete 18

3. Flake right of Arete 19

4. Thin grey face in middle 23

5. Right edge of thin face 21

6. Juggy line right of thin face 16

Espionage 29/7c+ FA Marijus Smigelskis 2003 (bolted by Guy Holwill 2000. Bolt type unknown), The next bolted line right.

The Needle 26 (trad) FA Phlip Olivier
Obvious crack a couple of metres to the right of Espionage. Grade needs confirmation.

Oyster Box

Oyster Box.jpg

Catfish to Art of War.jpg

Routes 14 & 15 in the book 'Western Cape Rock' are wrong. Oyster is actually 15m left of these two (see topo above).

1. Oyster 16/5c FA Ross Suter 1996

2. Lurchin' Urchin 24/7a FA Malcolm Gowans 1996. Standing-start on right.

2a. Lurchin' Urchin direct 26/7b FA Paul Schlotveld. Direct sit-start.

2c. Lurchin' to the Left 23/6c+ (mixed line) FA? Phlip Olivier. Start as for Lurchin' Urchin. At second bolt traverse left to vertical slots. These slots and some pockets take you straight up to end just left of chains. Couple of small cams/nuts will do the trick. (Note: this line has probably been done before. Now its been documented)

3. Open Project 8b/c? (bolted by Greg Hart 1998? Hilti HSAR 316)

4. Catfish Rising 22/6c FA Tony Lourens

5. Heartbreak 29/7c+ FA Marijus Smigelskis 2005

6. Pocket Rocket 27/7b+ FA Jason Orton

7. The Art of War 32/8b FA Marijus Smigelskis 2004


1. Sinbad 18/6a FA Ross Suter

Mermaid Wall

This wall faces west and is sheltered from the SE wind.

Mermaid wall.jpg

1. Jack in the Green 22/6c FA Beth Higgins

2. Songs from the Wood 18/6a FA Tony Lourens

3. City Rockers 19/6a+ FA Greg Hart 2004. (Hilti HSAR 316 bolts) Bolts sponsored by City Rock Gym.

4. Mermaid 16/5c FA Ross Suter

The lower tier crags

K Bay lower tier topo3.jpg

Blackbeard's Cave

1. Open Project 8c/+? In the left part of the cave. (bolted by Sean Maasch 1996. Bolt type unknown)

2. Dark Angel 30/8a FA Marijus Smigelskis 2004. (Hilti HSAR 316 bolts)

3. Xses 24/7a FA Greg Hart. Start from cheater stones at second bolt 2005. (Hilti HSAR 316 bolts)

3a. Excessive Xses 28/7c FA Marijus Smigelskis. Start from the back of the cave as for Dark Angel 2006.

4. Dickless Ticks 24/7a FA Jason Temle-Forbes

5. Space Wasp 26/7b+ FA Marijus Smigelskis 2006. (Hilti HSAR 316 bolts) Starts from on top of the Block right of the cave, finish as for Dickless Ticks.

6. Sunset Arête 19/6a+ FA Greg Hart 2004. (Hilti HSAR 316 bolts) The arete in between Blackbeard's Cave and the Treasure Chest.

The Treasure Chest

One can warm up by traversing the base right of Golden eye.

7. Open Project 8b? (bolted by Andy Davies 1996. Bolt type unknown)

8. Golden Eye 30/8a FA Nick Mathews

9. Wysiwig 25/7a+ FA Paul Schlotveldt. Traverses right edge of overhang then diagonally up leftward.

10. Tetris 24/7a FA Jeremy Samson. Start as for Wysiwig then straight up.

Mini Roof

Approach from west side parking (pic below as seen from parking)
Kalkbay mini roof.jpg Kalkbay ninja warrior.jpg
1. Roofie 23 (trad) FA Phlip Olivier
2. Ninja Warrior 26 (trad) FA Phlip Olivier. Grade needs confirmation.