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Climbing TypeSport
Rock TypeLimestone
SeasonAll year round
ProvinceWestern Cape

World Class Sport Climbing 30 km north of Oudtshoorn (near the Cango Caves). The rock is limestone and the routes are mostly overhanging with awesome stalactites. There are +/-30 single pitch bolted routes, up to 35m long. The climbing is located around the De Hoek Resort camp site.

Getting There

Oudtshoorn is about five or six hours' drive from Cape Town. Take the N1 to Worcester, then turn off onto the R60 towards Robertson. Drive through Robertson and Ashton to Montagu. From Montagu, take the R62 and pass through Barrydale, Ladismith, Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn. From Oudtshoorn, follow the signs towards the Cango Caves. About 30 km from Oudtshoorn (and 1 km before the Cango Caves), turn left into the Prins Albert road. Drive for 5km to the De Hoek turnoff (on the right). De Hoek is about 1 km down the road.

Food & Accommodation

Oudshoorn is the nearest big town - so stock up on all your food and supplies before heading off tho the camp site. The De Hoek Campsite is great. Check out their website at http://www.dehoekmountainresort.co.za. Contact: Campsite - De Hoek Mountain Resort En Route to Swartberg Pass Tel. (044) 272 8214 phone for Reservations. If you are only climbing for the day, you will need to purchase a permit from the entrance of the campsite.


Sport Rack & a 60m rope, if you've got a 70m rope, even better.


All year round. It can be rather hot in Summer, but the main crag enters the shade in the late morning.

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Oudthsoorn Main Wall, a 30-40m high wall of steep and very featured limestone, has one of the best collections of climbs in SA. This impressive and steep wall can be seen on your left as you are driving towards the campsite. From late morning the Main wall goes into shade. The path to the main crag begins about 100m outside the entrance to De Hoek.

This crag was initially developed by Sean Maasch and Jono Fisher in the 1990s. It was revived again in 1996 by Arno Naude, Gunther Migeotte, Shannon Law & Jeremy Colenso. Please take care to not damage the bushmen paintings at this crag.


There are several limestone crags all of which are within short walking distance from the campsite.

Initiation Sector

This sector is located on the grey slab next to the path going to the main crag. The path to the main crag begins about 100m outside the entrance to De Hoek. There are routes from grade 16 to 22. As you are approaching the Main Wall you will pass a shorter grey wall with a few vertical routes, some are a little sharp.

Routes from LEFT to right.

1. Deja vu a la Buoux 22
2. Initiation 20
3. Pins and Needles 18
4. Southern Cross 16
5. Dr Stein 18
6. Ride the Sky 18
7. Victim of Fate 19

Main Crag

One of the best collections of climbs in SA. The path to the main crag begins about 100m outside the entrance to De Hoek.

Below is a draft topo of the Main Crag by Roger Nattrass

Routes (from left to right)

1. Streetfighter 34 FA: Grant Campbell (2006) a.k.a. 'Two to win' the name given by Canadian Grant Campbell who opened the route. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth the more popular SA variant has stuck. Was the hardest route in Africa until Mazawattee (35/8c+).
2. Kohler-Turkstra 31 FA: Tommy Caldwell (1998)
3. Bigfoot 26 FA: Jason Temple-Forbes (2006)
4. Paws ***** FA: Jeremy Colenso previously known as Tears for Fears
5. Mama Africa 31
6. Sid Vicious 27
7. Lost Safari 28 extension to Sid Vicious
8. Up for Grabs 31 FA: Tommy Caldwell (1998)
9. Fin Fang Fly 24 FA: Jason Temple-Forbes (2006) start up Goonie Goo Goo then branch off left.
10. Goonie Goo Goo 22 FA: Deon Hugo (1997)
11. Filthy Gorgeous 23 FA: Scott Miller (2006)
12. Phallic Mechanic 24 FA: Paul Schlotfeldt (1996)
13. Squeeze Play 22 FA: Scott Miller (2006)
14. Johnny Rotten 27 FA: Jeremy Colenso
15. El Niño 30 FA: Jeremy Colenso
16. Seven 32 FA: Tommy Caldwell (1998)
17. Seven (Wimp Finish) 29 FA: Jeremy Colenso (1998)
18. Rapscallion La Codge 24 Mike Roberts (1997)
19. Bitter and Twisted 26/7b 10B+A FA: Jeremy Colenso (1998) Hard 26. An awkward bouldery start on slopers leads to excellent climbing above.
20. Project
21. Jason's Route 25 FA: Jason Temple-Forbes (2006) This route is on the far right of the crag Originally bolted by Scott Miller and permission was given to JTF to open the route.

Curiosity Crag

Up and right from The Watch Tower, a large crag with a slabby base. Routes from LEFT to right.

1. Curiosity killed the cat 22 FA: Scott Noy 2006 (may need higher chains because of rope drag)

The Watch Tower

Left of the Main Crag, the small tower-like crag. Follow the path from the main crag up and across to access. From Left to Right:

1. All along the Watchtower 19 FA: Scott Noy (2006)
2. Dust till Dawn 21 FA: Scott Miller 2006
3. Supafly 21 FA: Scott Miller 2006

Skinny Legs wall

Follow the path on from the street fighter side of main crag, head down a bit, across a bit and up a bit to the Bushman's cave (Cave entrance obscured by bushes), Scramble up to a blocky ledge left of the cave using the metal staples (Thanks to Douw Steyn). L to R

  • Closed project Sean Maarsch - follows break veering left
  • Skinny legs (27) 30m
    FA: Jimbo Smith (2008) start on tufas, up yellow wall to top tupha system
  • Open project Douw Steyn
    up slab onto overhanging face

The Incredibles wall

Follow the path on from the street fighter side of main crag, head down a bit, across a bit. Continue down the path where it branches up to skinny legs. Dodge some pot holes.

  • Mr Incredible (31/32) FA: Jason Temple Forbes (very long line running up the entire left side of the overhang) - Check the knot in the end of your rope!
  • Elastigirl (25) FA: Beth Higgins (step off viewing platform to finish at chains of Mr Incredible)
  • Dash (28) FA: Jason Temple-Forbes
  • Dash Be Quick - The extension of Dash (31) Grade to be confirmed FA: Jason Temple-Forbes
  • Right Hand extension of Dash Closed Project
  • No Caped (28) FA: Jason Temple-Forbes

Short Circuit Sector

On the other side of the road from the Main Crag. As of Dec 2008 there are some new routes/projects not listed here.

  • Short Circuit (31)
    FA: Jeremy Colenso (1998)
    A roof climb on the obvious looong roof.
  • Live Wire. (32) FA: Jamie Smith (2013)
  • Behr Hug (24)
    FA: Mike Behr (1997)
    A classic!
  • Chicks Dig It (18)
  • Chicks Dig It Too (20)
  • Gillette (20)

Bobbejan Cave

A small cave with two short boulder problems inside. The cave is on the Short Circuit side of the road. Crosses the river as the approach to Short circuit, but head more in the Main crag/downstream direction (to the right) before entering the forest. The cave is small and the walk is tough. Worth the while if you want to climb short hard routes.

  • Unknown (31/8a+)
  • Bobbejan (32/8b)


De Hoek Campsite is a great place to camp as it is walking distance from the crag and has swimming pools, hot showers and other niceties.

Chalets are available at the De Hoek Resort. A four-sleeper costs R250 per chalet per night (March 2009).

De Hoek sells sweets and cold drinks and firewood. The closest place to buy other food is Oudtshoorn.

Other activities

There are some caves near the crag. Ask the locals where they are, if you know what you are doing. Otherwise guided trips through the Cango Caves are your best bet. You can also ride ostriches, camels and quad bikes, or check out the big cat breeding programme at the wildlife ranch just outside of Oudtshoorn. The Swartberg pass offers a nice alternative route back to CT via Prince Albert and the N1.