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The best information is in the Tafelberg & Spout guide book by Tony Lourens, available from most climbing shops.

Just about the best trad climbing around!


Tafelberg is a pure trad area. No bolting is allowed at all.

There is an existing bolt and chain at the top of the ascent/descent gulley and (to my knowledge) only one old route (Oscillation) that has an ancient, hand drilled, small bolt. This in no way means that any more bolts may be placed. There are also a few old pitons scattered around but even this is seldom necessary. Modern removable gear allows virtually all climbable parts of Tafelberg to be adequately protected.

New Routes

Main Wall

Tafelberg, Main Wall, Frontal Sector.
Tafelberg, Main Wall, Frontal Sector. Original image from the guide book Tafelberg & Spout by Tony Lourens (with permission).
Red = Dithering Heights
Blue = The Swan
Green = Stargate
Yellow = Crouching Tiger Hidden Giraffe
Cyan = Vuvuzela

Dithering Heights (25) *****

Main Wall, Tafelberg

Starts about 10m right of Bat off a rectangular black block below a leftward pointing prong and short corner/crack. The route heads straight up through a large, dark red corner to the right hand side of the large roof then does an airy, Oceans Of Air like traverse left under the roof to escape straight up the blunt corner system to the top.

  • Pitch 1. 25 m (21) From the block use the prong to pull into the corner. Climb up and slightly right up a shallow recess then back left onto some blocks and through an overhang onto a large ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 15 m (25) The dithering pitch. Climb a layback flake into a dark red/brown corner below a roof. Rail 4m right to below a small prong. Hard moves up to a rail and up the groove to the big ledge below the huge roof. Stance on the left.
  • Pitch 3. 20 m (18) Rail left to a semi-hanging stance on the black rock past the huge roof.
  • Pitch 4. 50 m (18) Straight up to a large ledge. Up a shallow, yellow recess just to the left for another 15m to the huge ledge.
  • Pitch 5. 35 m (21) Climb the short, wide, overhanging crack at the left end of the ledge. Up and left past the blocky roof and up to the top.

FA: Douw Steyn and Richard Halsey (Jan 2011)

Stargate (20) ****

Main Wall, Tafelberg

Fills in the gap between Bat and Crouching Tiger which is protected by the impenetrable, huge roof at the bottom. Use a space portal to teleport to the start of the route in the middle of the black face above the roof. Alternatively, climb part of any route on the side of the roof and then traverse in to the middle of the black face. The traverse is at the level of the second stance of Crouching Tiger or pitch four of Gotham City. Make a hanging stance just above a large, black flake about 10m left of Tiger's third pitch.

  • Pitch 1. 40 m (18) From the belay climb almost straight up tending just slightly leftwards towards a 1m wide, featured roof. Pull through the roof on underclings and continue straight up to the huge ledge.
  • Pitch 2. 30 m (20) Between Tiger's and the Frontal's final pitches is an overhanging corner with some vertical cracks. Starting off some large blocks, climb the cracks and up on the right. Up to the top with a final, tricky move past a left pointing flake.

FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (Jan 2011)

The Swan (24) *****

Main Wall, Tafelberg

This superb route follows a line just left of The Crow. The last pitch is just right of The Crow's final pitch. Start 20m left of The Crow's corner. A natural stone chair is found at the base of the route.

  • Pitch 1. 30 m (23) Pull onto the undercut face off a block. Up right to a thin crack. Tricky layback to roof. Undercling left to easier layback crack up to a ledge with blocks. Takeoff from block with hard pulls up to a layback feature. Up left to ledge (Bat's first stance is just to the left).
    Gear: Work in a couple of decent wires at the layback feature before the last move.
  • Pitch 2. 20 m (24) From the right of the ledge move up right to small ledge with a block. Hard pull to rail. Rail right for 2m. Hard pull up and right. Easier climbing straight up to just left of a large, pointed block sticking out from a big ledge. (Bat P2 comes up on the left and crosses to the right of the ledge). Walk to left end of ledge.
    Gear: Tiny Friend or Alien in vertical slot at waist level for first hard pull.
  • Pitch 3. 30 m (23) Up to roof. Rail left onto block/flake. Keep traversing left till possible to pull up to next rail via hollow flake. Undercling/jam left to corner. Up to huge roof. Rail back right until able to pull through roof on huge jugs. Up 5m to ledge.
  • Pitch 4. 25 m (20) Climb the crack with a grass tuft directly above the ledge. Continue straight up through an overhang to the massive ledge.
  • Pitch 5. 30 m (21) 3m right of The Crow's final pitch is another corner/crack starting above a low overhang. Take off from a large block and climb the crack to a small overhang. Rail right 1m then go up and left towards a small layback corner. Straight up to the top finishing up the middle of a superb whitish shield to a 1 foot square parapet.

FA: Adam Roff, Douw Steyn, Gosia Lipinska (Pitches 1 & 2) (2010)

Crouching Tiger Hidden Giraffe (24) *****

Main Wall, Tafelberg

Takes the big corner system dodged by Grappler, then up the hanging nose above. Has a spicy nip in the last pitch. Need a #4 Camalot for pitch 2. Start midway between Gotham City and Grappler at pockety rock below a layback edge at 5m.

  • Pitch 1. 15 m (21) Up the pockety rock to the layback. Up this then diagonally right to a flake. Up past rails and right to finish.
  • Pitch 2. 30 m (23) Start off a block just right of the first pitch. Climb up onto a narrow ledge, move right and up into a wide rail below the roof (#4 cam). Hard move up into the open book. Climb the corner crack to the roof with the giraffe. Turn the roof on the right and reach out left above the roof. Swing left and up onto a small ledge trying not to pull on the big, loose block. Up to a stance on another small ledge level with Grappler's "galloping hand traverse".
    Gear: #4 Camalot to protect the hard move into the open book.
  • Pitch 3. 20 m (24) Traverse 3m right to below the next big open book (at the start of the "galloping hand traverse") then do a hard, traddy pull into the corner crack above (grade 23 if you're tall). Climb up to the big roof. Undercling right to the corner and up to ledge.
  • Pitch 4. 40 m (21) Climb the nose directly above where you came up. Reach up left for a rail just above the roof. Rail left until able to stand up. Step left then onto the nose. Romp to the massive ledge below the last pitch of Tafelberg Frontal. Walk left about 20m and scramble up onto a big, rectangular block under a low overhang. This is just left of a big, jumbly, blocky corner system. If you are in the right place there will be a Fred Flinstone briefcase just left of the block.
  • Pitch 5. 30 m (23) Reach far left from the block and place gear (Camalot #2 in the handrail under the overhang). Traverse left under the overhang then do a hard move up to laybacks. Reach up left to a crack. Straight up to the summit past a thin move near the top.

FA: Adam Roff, Francie Buhrmann, Gosia Lipinska (2008)
FFA: Gosia Lipinska, Douw Steyn, Willem le Roux (2009)

Vuvuzela (23) *****

Main Wall, Tafelberg

Follows a direct line just right of Digeridoo on the main wall. Prominent features are the purple nose on pitch 3 and the massive corner system on pitch 4 right of the last pitch of Central Direct. Start by doing any two pitches to get to the belay at the end of pitch 2 of Tafelberg Frontal

  • Pitch 1. 15 m (16) Climb straight up to the left facing corner to a ledge. Belay on a large block on the right.
  • Pitch 2. 25 m (20) Climb into the awkward, undercut feature above the block and reach left to a finger crack. Go up past an overhang on the right, then do some thin moves and exit left. Stance on the left under the roof crack (as for Digeridoo).
  • Pitch 3. 30 m (19) Traverse 3m left, up 3m, then back right onto the purplish nose. Climb the steep break just left of the nose. Exit right and climb straight up easy rock to belay next to a block. (If you step right around the nose and go straight up the grade drops.)
  • Pitch 4. 30 m (23) Step off the block into the fierce, thin crack up to the small roof. Reach desperately through then move diagonally up left into the massive, left-facing corner system. Climb this to the huge roof and stance on the right.
  • Pitch 5. 10 m (22) Climb the short, sharp layback crack just right of the stance.

FA: Adam Roff and Francie Buhrmann (2008) FFA of Pitch 5: Douw Steyn and Ant Hall (2009)

Black Ice Area

Tafelberg, South Wall, Blue Planet Sector.
Tafelberg, South Wall, Blue Planet Sector. Original image from the guide book Tafelberg & Spout by Tony Lourens (with permission).
Yellow = Spice Dice

Spice Dice (22) *****

Black Ice Area, Tafelberg

A direct line up the face just to the right of Pure Mania. A single, superb pitch up the whole face.

  • Pitch 1. 50 m (22) Start as for Pure Mania, but traverse right under the big hole until able to pull up and then through the roofs just right of Pure Mania's crux. Move 2m left then straight up to the top, taking a crack and featured slab after the ledge high up. Long slings and a large cam are useful for the start.

FA: Richard Halsey and Douw Steyn (Jan 2011)