Sport and some Trad clmbing on quartzite & sandstone rock above the Hartebeespoort Dam.
All year round. Hot in summer with occasional thunderstorms, climb in the shade and you should be fine. In winter it gets warm during the day and cool in the evenings.
Sport Rack & 50m rope The Chosspile is a crag above the Hartebeespoort Dam wall. Unlike the crag's name there is actually good rock here with fine routes. The rock is a hard sandstone, semi quartsitic. There is a bit of a slog to walk in to the crag but you will have plenty shade in the trees at the base of the cliff. The sun leaves most of the face by early morning.
Getting there / Access
The owners of Chosspile (or Harties) have contacted us and are not happy about climbers accessing to climbing from the dam wall side. Please go through the main entrance at the picnic site and pay the R40.
To get to the crags you need to get into the Crocodile River picnic site, usually this costs R40 per car. No booking is necessary. From the dam wall driving away from the quaint town of Hartebeespoort turn right at the first stop street towards Brits. There is an Engen garage on your left. Follow the road for about 1-2 km until you cross over a river. Take the first right after this dip, pay the guard and follow the road to the right then straight. Park when the road runs out and find the path going along the water. It forks after 100-200m where there is a small flat rock with ripples in it to your right. Turn left here and then stay right, the path goes up a short rocky scree slope. Follow the path staying parallel to the water channel, just after some rocks you will see a steel weir gate where you cross. Scramble up the rock slightly right and back onto a path, follow this up to the crags.
SA Mountain Magazine - Issue No. 5 June 2003. A comprehensive Route Guide is hosted on the SACIN Website www.saclimb.co.za
Here follows the route guide as sourced directly from www.saclimb.co.za
Harry Potter Area
This is the cave lower and much further to the left from the main crag area. You can either walk left from the main crag until you reac this crag or cross the weir which can be a bit muddy or deep at times. It is basically uphill from the ablutions as you drive in to the usual parking spot. Rory Lowther, Roland Magg and Debbie Mulder have been developing this lower section to the Chosspile. There is still more potential for routes at most grades. The best climbing is done in the morning before the crag gets the afternoon sun.
DRAKO 24 ** [7D,A]
1. 21 [7D,A] ** The route starts on the right of the big Roof, scramble up easy rock to first bolt then climb slightly right to first stance on ledge just below roof. Currently no chains at stance to abseil from, but large tree stem out right works well to. 2. 21 [7D,A] Continue through small roof by doing an early crux move, finish the route with 15m easy climbing to chains. On 50m rope do two abseils to ground or two 50m will make it from top to ground. First Ascent: Unknown. Retro-bolted by Rory Lowther
BOLTS FROM THE BLUE 15 [N]
1. 15 (F2) 40m Climb the face left of HARRY POTHEAD, starting 7m left of HP. Tricky poorly protected start. Fire up to the top past two trees. Last 15m also poorly protected. First Ascent: Apr 2004 Stephen Mallory, Wessel, Cara
HARRY POTHEAD 19 *** [6D,A]
Short route with easy start, follows large flaring crack up to end of small roof on the left with anchors just around lip. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
HOGWARTS WARTED HOG 23 *** [9D,A]
Climb toward the left crack in the small roof. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
CHAMBER OF SECRETS 25 *** [8D,A]
Route starts 8m below small roof with decent climbing into a corner below roof then follows right crack out of corner and through crux roof to anchors on the face above. First Ascent: Steve Dunnet BB: Rory Lowther
DOBBY 23/24 *** [8D,A]
Just to the right of Chamber of secrets, climb overhanging rock on the right of small roof to anchors in small open book. First Ascent: Rory Lowther BB: Debbie Mulder
DODGY GLUE 19 *** [B,A]
To the right of DOBBY. A cruxy start next to a large root. Glue in anchors have been used.
MAN THANG 24 *** [B,A]
To the right of DODGY GLUE. Glue in anchors used.
THE PHILOSOPHERS STONE 20 **** [8D,A]
Climb the arÃªte 10m right of the small roof, keep to the left of route on harder climbing following bolts to a cruxy last move to decent jug. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
HARRY GOES TRADING 13 ** [N]
Easy climbing for 20m, starts to right of the Philosophers Stone in the open book, up to a stance on a ledge with big tree to abseil off. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
MOANING MURTLE 23 *** [7D,A]
Starts 20m to right of The Philosophers Stoned, on the small rock ledge. Line follows middle section of rock, with face climbing until over bulge of rock then into a small roof with the crux. First Ascent: Roland Magg
SPONGIFY 22 ** [8D,A]
10m to the right of Moaning Murtle. Climb into early crux move and continue to fun climbing on face above. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
VOLTAMOR 19 **** [8D,A]
Climb through 3 small roofs to ledge with chains above the last roof. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
DIFFINDO 20 ** [7D,A]
Short line with easy start, until crux move getting onto and through small roof. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
New Route 15? [?D,A]
In the corner crack, does anybody know the name/grade/first ascent details for this climb?
HARRY CATASTROPHE LEFT HAND 13 [7D,A]
Start about 4m left of HCRH. Three independent bolts before joining HCRH at the latter's third bolt. First Ascent: May 2004 Dylan Morgan
HARRY CATATROPHE RIGHT HAND 15 [6D,A]
Start just left of SLITHERIN. Turn the overhang with one hard move before following the shallow recess to the ledge and face above. First Ascent: May 2004 Mike Grant
SLITHERIN 14 **** [10D,A]
Of the 4 routes on the face this is the left most route, climb short layback crack into an under cling, step out left to easy climbing up to an open book 8m short of the chains. Fun climbing for 20m. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
RAVENS CLAW 17 *** [9D,A]
Follow the obvious line off bolts to the right of slitherin face climbing for 20m to chains. First Ascent: Roland Magg
GRIFFENDORE 17 *** [10D,A]
This route is to the right of Ravens claw and heads up the middle of the face/slab with 3 crux moves otherwise some good climbing. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
HUFF 'N PUFF 18 *** [9D,A]
The Right most route on the face/slab at 22m with a cruxy start and crimpy end, but easy section in middle. First Ascent: Rory Lowther
CRAMCAKES AND SCUMBAGS 20 [6D,A]
Starts about 10m right of HUFF 'N PUFF and starts on a rocky ledge in a corner. It has a tricky start and an easy top out. First Ascent: 2004 Louis Smit & Wiliam Graham
New Route 16? [?D,A]
right of CRAMCAKES AND SCUMBAGS, does anybody know the name/grade/first ascent details for this climb?
Lord of The Rings
This is the central 'cave' area just left of the gully. This was the first developed area and sports the majority of the routes including the hardest lines and some projects. The crag is shaded most of the day, gets some sun late afternoon.
PIPE WEED 22 ** [8D,A]
Starts with an easy scramble about 5-10m left of SHORTCUT TO MUSHROOMS. The first bolt is about 3m off the ground, scramble up carefully. Continues on a straight line through a cruxy roof to an easy end. First Ascent: Dewald Kloppers
FRODO 18 **** [9D,A]
Following the crackline through a small mantleshelf and a cunning ending. First Ascent: Rob Brinkworth
A SHORTCUT TO MUSHROOMS 21 **** [B,A]
The leftmost route on a yellow, lichen covered face which gets sun in the afternoon. Excellent route.
VOICES OF SARUMAN 23 * [B,A]
Starts just around the corner and to the right of A SHORTCUT TO MUSHROOMS, try stay out of the corner higher up.
GANDALF 25 *** [B,A]
A nice route about 2m right of VOICES OF SARUMAN, tends slightly right with a single crux move. Used to be 26, but is easy 25.
MOURN NOT OVERMUCH 25 *** [B,A]
About 2m right of GANDALF, finishes on same anchors as GANDALF.
Use the first three bolts of MOURN NOT OVERMUCH, follow the bolts slightly right up a dark pillar. Finish on the chains of GOLLUM. Bouldery. First Ascent: Jun 2004 Andrew Pedley
GOLLUM 25 **** [B,A]
1m right of MOURN NOT OVERMUCH, tending slightly rightward, quite cruxy. Take care of the lower-off as the edges are sharp on the rope. Was 24 but is 7a. Great climb.
UNKNOWN 26 [B]
The second pitch to GOLLUM, no details available.
OPEN PROJECT [B,A]
Was Sean Cremen's project but is now open, has the first bolt placed at the base. Starts 2m right of GOLLUM and angles slighlty right to join BULLY FOR BRONTASAURUS. Ends on same chains as BULLY.
BULLY FOR BRONTASAURUS 28 *** [10D,A]
Scramble up to the big cave in the middle of the crag. Move left to where you will see the first bolt and clip with long sling. Move out and left onto the face. Great. Low in grade. First Ascent: Peter Lazarus
TYRANASAURUS PEX 27 *** (B)
Same first bolt as Bully, then move right to jugs then hard up the face rightwards to chains. Brilliant steep rock. First Ascent: Willem le Roux 2006
PIETER'S PROJECT [B,A]
Pieter Martin's project started in 2001. Scrambles up as for BULLY FOR BRONTASAURUS and then right from the cave, through the roof on the first x bolts of Richard's old project and then up the bulge to the top. First Ascent: BB Pieter Martin
OPEN PROJECT [B,A]
Starts from the same cave as BULLY heading right through the roofs. This will be fairly hard and the rusted bolts need to be replaced. Please use stainless steel Hilti anchors! This was Richard Lord's old project.
DONT DECK 23 **** [B,A,R]
This route starts about 3-5m left of FOSSIL FUEL. It ends below a roof where another route continues but we have no details for it. Retro-Bolted by Rob Brinkworth & Mark olver. A classic route.
This is the second pitch to DONT DECK, it may be opened or may be a project, grade probably in the late twenties going through the roof.
FOSSIL FUEL 32 *** [B,A]
Starts on some smooth coloured rock on the sloping slab about 5-6m left of GRIMSLADE. Some thin moves tending leftward and up to the roof and then through it. Not great for lowering off, take care. Some of the drop-in bolts also need replacing. Just before going for the big pinch there was a drilled pocket which was never used in any of the ascents and is now filled up to avoid cheating. Getthe the beta and its low in grade. First Ascent: 2000 Ralph Brucher (BB Peter Lazarus)
RALPH'S PROJECT [B,A]
Ralph Brucher's project just right of FOSSIL FUEL started a few years back! This one is also into the thirties, probably harder than FOSSIL FUEL.
OPEN PROJECT [B,A]
Project bolted by Pieter Martin just right of RALPH'S PROJECT, this is into the thirties!
COLIN CRABTREE'S PROJECT [B,A]
The steep line between GRIMSLADE and PIETER MARTIN'S PROJECT, this will probably go in the thirties too. Started by Colin in 2002.
GRIMSLADE 27 (7b+) ** [6D,A]
This route was once called SLANTED & ENCHANTED, some good power moves on small grips moving left and over the lip. Take care lowering on this route there are some rough edges for the rope. Was 26 but concensus is 27 now that the key rest hold before the crux broke off.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS 23/24 ** [7D,A]
This route needs the first bolt cheat-clipped. Starts just right of GRIMSLADE climbing diagonally right and then finishing up about 1m left of where HOBBITRY IN ARMS FINISHES. Take care not to venture onto HOBBITRY IN ARMS as it makes the route much easier, also do not start the route too far right either.
HOBBITRY IN ARMS 20 ** [6D,A]
A short line with some long moves.
RAMBLE ON 18 ** [B,A]
The rightmost route on this section of the crag starting just left of the gully and just right of a large crack in ther crag. Take care there is still some loose rock on this climb. It is marked as a 19 on the rock.
Wall Of Aglarond
The rightmost section of crag to the right of the main gully. These are the first climbs you come to when following the usual walk in, basically the crags to the right of the gully.
SEVENTEEN 17 ** [B,A,R]
This route is between RAMBLE ON & LADY OF LORIEN. From RAMBLE ON go back over the gully and carry on at the same level until you get to the base of the next cliff on your right. The first bolt is very high, please take care.
THE KING OF THE GOLDEDN HALL 17 ** [8D,A]
Starts 3 metres to the left of MR GAMGEE. Keep left, and use the topout on the small roof. First Ascent: Apr 2003 Derek Pienaar & Andries Smit
MR GAMGEE 20 ** [9D,A]
Crux is reachy, but fun. Route has its own topouts, dont use TKOTGH's topout. First Ascent: Apr 2003 Andries Smit & Derek Pienaar
TARRAWANKIE 19 *** [9D,A]
The route starts about 10m on the same crag and to the left of LADY OF LORIEN. A pleasantly sustained climb with some fine moves to get over the first nose. First Ascent: Sep 2002 Derek Pienaar & Andries Smit
LEGOLAS 22 **** [14D,A]
A splendid route almost reaching 25m with a number of stylish moves on some fairly sizable grips. Keep left at the small roof. Gets quite pumpy at the top. First Ascent: Aug 2002 Derek Pienaar & Andries Smit
LADY OF LORIEN 22 *** [11D,A]
As you walk up the normal path to the crag you will get to a cliff right of the main crag, it is well before you cross a small gully and at a lower level to the main crag. As the path gets to the base of the cliff walk a little left & you should see this line of bolts. A long and pumpy, but fun 22.
ARAGORN 21 *** [14D,A]
Two types of climbing styles on this route. A bouldery climb to a flat area in the middle, and then some balancing needed to proceed past the crux. Interesting. First Ascent: Nov 2002 Andries Smit & Derek Pienaar
UNKNOWN 22/23 [B,A]
This route goes up left of a recess. First Ascent: Unknown.
SAURON 18 ** [7D,A]
This route has the first bolt quite high, take care as the second bolt is placed on a hollow section of rock. First Ascent: Unknown
BLUE FLOWERS 15 ** [6D,A]
The route is about 20m right of SAURON on a low slab with a crack running down the middle. First Ascent: Rob Brinkworth