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Tired of the crowds? Need some time away? Look no further than Krakadouw....
Krakadouw is an area of the Northern Cedarberg. It is similar to the better known Tafelberg and Wolfberg climbing areas, but has a different, more remote vibe. The walk-in is easier than tafelberg, but takes about as long. The climbing takes place on amphitheaters on the Southern and Western sides of the Groot Krakadouw peak, as well as some single pitch routes on middle Krakadouw. You'll need a Cape Nature Conservation permit. No bolting allowed, and no fires. Need further convincing? Picture gallery [here]
Drive up the N7 for 215km.
Take the R364, passing through Clanwilliam and over the Pakhuis pass (Rocklands). Turn right after 42km on to a gravel road towards Wuppertal / Biedouw.
Turn right after 26km towards Heuningvlei (signposted), then follow the signs to Heuningvlei.
Just after the final descent and stream crossing, about 1km before Heuningvlei village you will notice a turn-off to the left (not signposted).
Turn left and drive about 300m up the road where you can take a road to the right. About 75m up this road you will see a gate and a Cape Nature Conservation signboard. Park in the cleared area before the gate on the right.
NB: GPS maps think that the 11km road directly from Pakhuis to Heuningvlei village is do-able. Unless you have friends in the CNC, keys for the gates and a good 4x4/donkey cart you'll need to follow the directions above...
NBB: Safe parking at the Heuningvlei village - See: Crime at Krakadouw
Walking in (3hr)
From the parking lot, follow the road to the Heuningvlei hut (a small stone hut). From the hut, leave the road and cross the marshy stream (heading South) and walk up a steep, clearly defined path to vlakte.
On this vlakte there is an obvious pointy beacon. Here, you must choose whether to follow the path to the summit, or to take the climbers track to the neck between groot and middel Krakadouw.
Summit path (clearly marked): From the beacon on the vlakte just above the hut follow the path along the vlakte. You will pass though a line of cedar trees and the path will take you up a valley towards the summit. From the top of the valley (last reliable water) you can follow a cairned path towards the Southern trig beacon (some scrambling required). Roughly 250m NE of the S summit beacon there is an obvious S facing cave which can sleep several people.
Climbers Path to Nek: From the beacon on the vlakte just above the hut leave the summit path and walk towards and through a clump of dead cedar trees. Walk up a sandy gully and onto another vlakte. Keeping a cedar grove on your right head up the valley towards the nek following the cairns. Camp on the Nek or traverse towards the amphitheaters to a small bivvy cave.
General Climbing Info
32.21519S; 19.08976E (Good for overnight, Close to water)
32.2196S; 19.08487E (Keep Left/South for Summit, Keep Right/West for Saddle)
Saddle Camp (Middle Krakadouw)
32.22861S; 19.06724E (Sheltered, but NOT rainproof)
32.22618S; 19.07009E (Drip under a rock. Reasonably constant)
Groot Krakadouw - Cave marked in RED on Summit Map
32.2395S; 19.06323E (Good Cave. Sleeps 5 to 7. Water close by)
Abseil Point at Gendarme (Approximate)
Map drawn by Mike Hislop, 1992 journal.
Map Origin Ernst Lotz
Ernst Lotz - Click here for more information on this climbing legend
Version 1: Follow stone beacons from the trig survey summit, down to a grassy vlakte. A beacon indicates where one breaks left, towards Clanwilliam, down a subsidiary gully. From here, follow from 'Wolfberg Cracks-like' passages, climbing down chockstones until eventually emerging the massive grey tower separating the two climbing amphitheaters. Follow the right hand (i.e. Heuningvlei side) gully behind it, down more chockstones till above the saddle halfway up the tower. Three abseils down on the Heuningvlei side to get down. Note: The directions are given as one descends, facing outwards. Written by Mike Scott, 1988 MCSA journal.
Version 2: Walk and scramble into the large grass filled gully between the main and subsidiary amphitheaters. Follow this towards the wall. Water will be found here. Just after this point stay left and scramble down into a grassy gully. Follow this to a point where you can traverse right (facing out). Just above and to the right of the gendarme a good abseil anchor shall be found (look around for it). 30m takes you into the gap. The next abseil anchor is towards the subsidiary amphitheater. Author unknown!
MCSA Journal Articles
Smith, K.M. King Kong. A new route on the Krakadouw Amphitheatre, Cedarberg. 83: 69, 1980. Tec.
Smith, Kevin. Some recent climbing at the Cedarberg Krakadouw. Nobody-sauras; Juggernaut; Rastus; Leviathan. 86: 94-96, 1983. Tec.
Lomax, Chris. New routes on the Krakadouw, Cedarberg, Cape. Monkey Tricks; Kayaman. 86: 97-98, 1983. Tec.
de Klerk, Andrew. New routes at Krakadouw. God of Thunder; Icthyasaurus. 87: 137, 1984. Tec.
de Klerk, Andrew. New routes at Cedarberg Krakadouw. Exodus; Random Winds; Total Eclipse. 89: 140, 1986. Tec.
Curson, Clive. New roofs in the Cedarberg. Coming of age; Chicane. 90: 124-125, 1987. Tec.
Scott, Michael. Krakadouw Amphitheatre. An updated description. 91: 139, 1988. Tec.
Middlemiss, Stewart. A new route on Krakadouw. Hanging Round. 91: 145, 1988. Tec.
Shewell, D.V. New routes in the Cederberg. Clash of Wants. 91: 142, 1988.
Hislop, Mike. More Routes On Krakadouw. 94: 188-189, 1991. Map, Tec. 2 rtes.
February, Ed. Monkey Tricks. Krakadouw, Cederberg. 94: 199, 1991. Tec.
Neither the artist nor origin of these drawings are no known to the poster.
Australopithecus and The Last of the Great Explorers - 23
"Another masterpiece in route finding. The absolute must do" FA: T. Versfeld, E February, C. Jackson - 1993
Gorilla Grooves - 22
' "A totally anthropoid experience!!!" D. Cheesmond in his 50 Selected Routes ' FA: G. Orilla, G. Lacey, D. Cheesmond - 1977
Icthyosaurus - 21
"The obvious layback crack up the amphitheater. Mega!" FA: E. February, A. de Klerk, T Versveld - 1983
Piltdown Man - 21
(Previously: On Hold) FA: L. Rust, T. Versveld - 2001 "Just Pull down man!"
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