King's Kloof

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West Rand sport climbing in an unspoilt, tranquil valley near Krugersdorp.


N.B. THIS GUIDE IS VERY MUCH A WORK IN PROGRESS. PLEASE BEAR WITH US AS WE UPDATE THE INFORMATION


DSC00191b.JPG A view of King's Kloof looking South, taken from the top of the North East sector. The camps of Rocky Valley and Achterbergh can be seen on the right and left respectively.


Contents

Seasons

Buttresses facing North, North East and North West. Hot in Summer but shade can be found at various times of day. Warm and sunny in Winter - a great Winter crag. As a general rule the crags on the right of the river (facing downstream) are in shade in the morning while the crags on the left are in shade in the afternoon.

Rock and topography

Quartzite with marked variations in colour and texture. A friable shale layer lies under the quartzite and is very visible just North East of the crags along the river. Some areas, particularly the NW sector, have a very ‘alpine’ feel with unpleasant falls awaiting the unwary belayer. The very uneven terrain can be disorienting. Please consider using the belay safety bolts (painted black) provided at the start of some climbs.

Gear

60 metre rope and up to 12 quickdraws. So far there are 5x25m climbs and one link-up of 31m, in addition to many shorter lines. Extra slings and screwgates may be useful for use with the belay safety bolts. Climbs are equipped with the finest stainless steel hangers made in SA, attached by Hilti HSA-R M10x68mm stainless steel bolts, for your climbing pleasure! 8mm Maillons rated at 15kN are used at anchors and/or rated galvanized chain. Many hangers are painted to lessen environmental impact, more will be painted over time.

Getting there

King’s Kloof lies in the Chancliff district of Krugersdorp

From Krugersdorp: Leave Krugersdorp taking Paardekraal Road NE. Take the exit for Robert Broom Drive and left (uphill) at RBD. Turn first right into Clifford Road and second left into Edward Road. Drive all the way to the brick wall ahead and follow the road next to it which takes you to the Achterbergh gate. Continue (slowly) down to the bridge.

From everywhere else: Get to the big 4-way robot at the SW end of the Pretoria Highway (N14 meets M47 {Hendrik Potgeiter} meets R28). Large Sasol garage on corner. Go up the long hill towards Krugersdorp (R28) and take the exit for Robert Broom Drive and left onto RBD. Turn first right into Clifford Road and second left into Edward Road. Drive all the way to the brick wall ahead and follow the road next to it which takes you to the Achterbergh gate. Continue (slowly) down to the bridge.

Go over the bridge and parking is immediately on the right as you come over the bridge. Try not to park further down the field than the obvious climbing information sign.


Rocky Valley Map.jpg


Booking in

On arrival, please book in with Derek Schneider, the manager of the Rocky Valley camp (083 326 8618). He lives in the house on the left nearest the bridge. Pay R30 per person and sign the indemnity form. If you cannot find Derek the indemnity form is in a grey metal box on a post next to the house. Sign in, put your money in the tin and please be honest! Your money goes to the landowners who have been kind enough to open this area up to us.

Accommodation

Accommodation is available by contacting Derek Schneider at Rocky Valley (083 326 8618), or Betsie Slippers at Achterbergh (011 954 5533). There is no camping or bivouacing allowed.

Guide conventions

Route names are followed by the consensus grade and (number of bolts + two anchors). Thus you will know how many quickdraws you need to climb the route and you can choose an appropriate belay method at the anchors. ‘S’ indicates that a safety bolt has been provided on the climb. Routes are described left to right. Comments on grades, etc are welcomed at http://www.climb.co.za/forum/ under ‘Area Updates and New Routes’. Be nice, we’ve done our best!

The climbing

The climbing is divided into four areas: Kings Kloof NW, NE, SW and SE. The river runs downstream pretty much northwards so the arrangement of the areas should be obvious. There is a prominent sign along the path to King’s Kloof NW which shows the climbing areas. Currently the most developed area is NW, with routes appearing at NE and soon some harder routes at SE. Watch this guide for updates.


Climbing info.jpg


Special Access Conditions

Access has been granted through negotiation with the two religious organisations who own the land. There must be no alcohol at the crag and names of new routes must have respectful Christian connotations. Remember: the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away (Job 1:21) so please heed these conditions. Please read ‘Crag Rules’.


King’s Kloof NW

From the parking area take the path downstream until you can see a rising rock ramp with the obvious chain scramble at the top.

Care with rope management, drag, sharp edges, top-roping and pendulums – so that’s about everything, really!

River face: pass to the right of the rock ramp, taking the path to a steep and broken face.

DAMNATION (15M) 17* [?B+A]
Traverse left to the roof, over this and back right to the anchors. The start can be wet in Summer. First Ascent: Neil Margetts June 2010.


Main faces: Approach up the rock ramp to the chain scramble

There are at least three lines to the left as you ascend the ramp. They are essentially highball boulder problems which will probably be bolted due to the very bad landing. There are anchors. Please take care with top-roping here so as not to swing out and send passers-by to their doom!

Open Project – not yet bolted (?B+A) Open Project – not yet bolted (?B+A) The Disciple (Neil’s Project) 24? – not yet bolted (?B+A)

The next two routes start just before the chain scramble:

EVE VARIATION (25M) 18** [9B+A] S
The left start to Adam’s Rib, starting up the steep crack and block at 18, then joining the main route. Rope drag may be a problem when lowering off. First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

ADAM'S RIB (25M) 16** [8B+A] S
Starts to the right of Eve and takes the left line of bolts on the wall above, over the two overhangs. Again, rope drag may be an issue. First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

And, above the chain scramble:

WALL OF JERICHO (15M) 14*** [5B+A] S
Line of bolts just left of the dead tree at ¾ height. Very serious injury will meet both climber and belayer if the climber falls before clipping the first bolt. Note safety bolt. First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (10M) 15*** [%B+A] S
Start at the sentry box and traverse right across the wall, to exit up the roof-capped corner.. First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

THE SERPENT (10M) 20** [5B+A] S
Powerful moves left and up to exit on the right side of the headwall; easier if you’re tall.. First Ascent: David Tapp, July 2010

THE APPLE (8M) 21*** [6B+A] S
Strenuous moves up and left to the large block then up to the chains. First ascent: David Tapp January 2011

ELIJAH'S FLYING CHARIOT (6M) 21** [5B+A] S
Climb just right of the green groove. Anchors shared with Genesis. First Ascent: Neil Margetts, August 2010. Bolted by David Tapp.

GENESIS (7M) 18** [5B+A] S
Climbs the crack up the short face 2m to the left of the tree. This was the first climb opened at King’s Kloof. First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

ZACHARIAS' TREE (5M) 19* [4B+A]
This climbs the short blank face behind the tree. To get the grade, climb just right of the bolt line. Left is easier. . First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

R.I.V. (25M) 13*** [8B+A] S
Start just left of the cross. Traverse gently left to finish on the arête at the top. Climb bolt to bolt; no escaping onto the big ledges! First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

DRAGON SLAYERS (12M) 15 [5B+A] No star rating yet Start as for CFD, on the block. Traverse left and up the wall to curve back right to the anchors. First ascent: Neil Margetts January 2011

CRAZY FLYING DEMONS (12M) 13 [5B+A] No star rating yet
Start on a block in the corner. Climbs the corner chimney/crack. Anchors shared with DS. First ascent: George Stainton January 2011 Variation 19: Climb the left face only, not using the blocks/jugs in the corner nor the right wall of the corner. First ascent: Neil Margetts January 2011

Variation 19 No star rating yet
Climb the left face only, not using the blocks/jugs in the corner nor the right wall of the corner. First ascent: Neil Margetts January 2011

The next routes to the right are found on the Dark Side Buttress with the large and prominent overhang:

HELLFIRE (15M) 23*** [7B+A] S
Bridge up the wide crack and move right onto the wall. Difficult moves over the overhang lead to a finish back left. First ascent: Neil Margetts November 2010. Bolted by David Tapp

Neil’s project (Hellfire Direct)

Dave’s project (17m) 21??(6B+A)

TURN OR BURN (17M) 23**** [6B+A] S
Start 4m to the right of Hellfire. Climb up and over the overhang, then boldly up the headwall to the anchors. First Ascent: Wesley Black September 2010

ARMAGEDDON (23M) 19*** [7B+A] S
Starts 1m right of ToB at a vertical crack. The route crosses WoS at half height to finish 2m right of it. Climb up the thin crack until one can traverse right, crossing WoS. Climb up to a small ledge. Continue above the ledge on steep rock to a recess in the roofs above, and the anchors. First Ascent: Neil Margetts, September 2010. Bolted by David Tapp.

THE WAGES OF SIN (20M) 22**** [6B+A]
Starts just right of Armageddon, crosses it at half height and finishes 2m to its left. Traverse right under a bulge using obvious underclings and up to easier ground. Continue straight up to a large rail near a prominent, diamond-shaped white block. From here climb straight through the roofs directly above exiting left at the top to the anchors. First Ascent: Neil Margetts December 2010

GOLGOTHA (25M) 18**** [10B+A]
Technical lower section leads to a slab and a step left across the abyss. Exposed finish (17) up the overhangs. Note: Having clipped the bolt past the slab, unclip the slab bolt to lessen rope drag. First Ascent: David Tapp June 2010

THE FOURTH BEAST(7M) 18 [?B+A]
Start 3m left of TFH. Move up on large holds and left across a slab. Strenuous moves with fingery holds lead to a groove. Up this to the anchors. First ascent: George Stainton January 2011. Bolted by Neil Margetts.

VARIATION 15 No star rating yet
Move up on large holds as for the main climb. Continue up and traverse left into the groove on good holds. First ascent?

THE FOUR HORSEMEN (25M) 12*** [8B+A]
Start in a crack and corner feature at the left end of easy slabs. Climb up and over the bulge just right of the bolts, then up the slab, trending left until under the overhangs. Climb the groove above, to the anchors. First ascent: Taryn Van Olden December 2010. Bolted by David Tapp.

VARIATION 15
An alternative start which takes the off-balance groove/crack on the left of the bolts. First ascent: David Tapp February 2011.


King’s Kloof NE

Directly across the river from KK NW. Approach this buttress along the Rocky Valley path from the car park and cross the river via stepping stones among the eucalypts. The next two climbs can be run together as a 31m outing. A 60m rope will allow an average-weight climber to get down on rope stretch. Tie a knot in the end of the rope just in case!

THREE WISE MEN (20M) 15 No star rating yet [?B+A]
Lower tier, starting at a shield-shaped bulge just left of the middle of the main face. Climb up and over the bulge into a small recess and easier climbing. Scramble to anchors. First Ascent: David Tapp February 2011.

ANGEL OF MERCY (11M) 17 No star rating yet [?B+A]
Upper tier – continuation of TWM - Scramble slightly left until below a balancy face. Climb this to a short traverse left and up steeply left to the anchors on the left side of the overhang. Use 60m rope if lowering to the ground. First Ascent: David Tapp February 2011.

Again, the next two climbs can be run together as a 30m pitch, though you’ll fall a long way on rope stretch if you come off at the top of SITW. Don’t hit the platform! A 60m rope will allow an average-weight climber to get down on rope stretch. Tie a knot in the end of the rope just in case!

NARROW IS THE GATE (22M) 13 No star rating yet [?B,A]
Lower tier. Start 4m right of TWM. Follow the bolts as they wander right and left to the platform under SITW. First ascent: David Tapp February 2011

STRAIGHT IS THE WAY (8M) 19/20? No star rating yet [?B,A]
Upper tier. From the large platform between upper and lower tiers climb the prominent z-crack and traverse left to the chains. All praise to the first ascensionist (name?) who climbed this line on trad gear in the 1970s. Bolted by David Tapp Feb 2011.

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