Multi pitch Trad Climbing north-east of Bronkhorstspruit in the Gouwsberg valley on the banks of the Wilge river.
Wilgepoort has been a firm favourite with a small but enthusiastic number of adventure climbers from the Pretoria/Johannesburg area since its discovery in 1966. It has been described as the best winter single day, adventure crag in the Pretoria/Johannesburg area. The crag is located north-east of Bronkhorstspruit in Mpumalanga, situated in the Gouwsberg valley on the banks of the Wilge river, in a unique, subtropical middleveldt setting. The crag is approximately 110 metres high at its highest. Please first contact the MCSA for the latest access, it is 'delicate'.
VERY HOT in summer (Dec/Jan/Feb). An Ecellent winter crag.
Waterberg sedimentary rock. Vertical Crack climbing
Standard trad rack + some extra cams. Helmets should be worn. 50m rope.
There are about 70+ traditional routes, each consisting aof our 3-5 pitches in length. The rock comprises weathered Waterberg sedimentary rocks of excellent quality, and vertical cracks predominate on the Main crag. There is some loose rock at the top of some routes, so you are advised to wear a helmet. Most routes follow cracks, open books, grooves and chimneys. A standard trad rack, supplemented by additional camming devices usually suffices. The size and duplicates of camming devices to be carried can usually be determined in advance, once the width of the crack to be climbed is observed. (If ever in doubt, take MORE). There are some routes which feature bolts and pegs, however no route is entirely protected in this way. Therefore be prepared to place gear, and be proficient in this skill. Most routes will require some jamming at some point.
The roads are passable with normal cars. Contact MCSA for latest access details (fees apply). The MCSA has been working hard over the years to keep the access to this area open. Please be quiet, don't litter or do anything else that would upset the owners of the property and possibly close access in the future, always please first contact the MCSA.
Food and accommodation
Camping was traditionally done on the western shore of the large pool, and this venue remains popular due to its proximity to the Main crag. However, another campsite closer to the parking area has become popular in recent times; it is located on a beach immediately upstream of the rocky ridge which one scrambles over after 100 metres from the cars. There is space for approximately five tents.
A comprehensive Route Guide is hosted on the SACIN Website www.saclimb.co.za
The crags are located in an area of wild, African scenic beauty. It is not uncommon to see a pair of Black Eagles, the resident gymnogene, giant kingfishers and otters fishing in the Big Pool, nor to hear the bark of baboons. When the leaves on the trees and bushes are turning colour, especially those located at water level, the place is a sight to behold. Please keep all gates closed. Camping and parking at present are allowed and a fee is charged - contact the Johannesburg or Magaliesberg Sections of the MCSA for details. River water must be sterilised (note that the usual access route requires fording the river). Fire hazard is high: take all precautions. All rubbish shall be removed, not burned or buried. Climbing is not allowed on the separate Western crag (also popularly known as The Pillar of Eros and situated 800 metres upstream of the Main crag) during the Black Eagle Nesting season (April to Mid- November).
Note that Wilgepoort is known for rockfalls - wear a helmet, take care and climb with a cellphone.
JESD Direct, 23, **** JESD climbs the steep and exposed corner to the left of the top half of Bottleneck Bulge. The original route traversed left around the arête some 7m below the top , avoiding the thin finger crack above the piton. The direct version fires straight up the finger crack. For extreme fun do it as a massive long pitch from the big scrappy sloping ledge. Climb a crack of your choice to this ledge. 1. 23 50m Climb to the wide Bottleneck Bulge crack. Climb it, then move out left on airy jugs to a small ledge. Commit into the shallow corner above and climb it to the peg. Don't look left or right: rather get your torque on straight up. FA: Hector Pringle, Andrew Porter, Warren Gans 2013-05-25
Johnny Walker, 24, **** Climbs the obvious rightwards diagonal crack on the right hand wall of Cabernet. The climb starts from the rap anchors at the base of the diagonal crack, although it's better to belay lower down on the big, sloping ledge above Cabernet's first pitch. 1. 24 20m From the rap anchors climb the crack to the right skyline. A #1 and then a #2 Camalot are useful about two-thirds of the way up the crack. FA: Hector Pringle and Andrew Porter 2013-03-16
Hot Rod 19 **** Climb The Key or Some Like it Hot to small ledges and belay near the tree some 40m up.
2. 30m 18 Climb up Some Like it Hot's crack to the ledge immediately below the main chimney in the corner (5m). Move right onto the seriously exposed, orange downstream facing face, traversing up and right under a stepped roof. Climb up to a ledge with tree. Climb easier ground close to the arête to the large ledge with tree belay (shared with Some like it Hot) 3. 30m 18 From behind the tree, climb the easy angle crack system right of Some like it Hot's obvious chimney recess, topping out through a smallish square roof with a bit of grunt work. FA: Craig de Villiers, Tim Dunnett, 2013/05/26.