|Climbing Type||Trad and Sport|
|Season||All year round|
How to get there
From Cape Town, get onto the N1 towards Paarl, then take the N7 turnoff towards Malmesbury. Stay on this road past Piketberg and over the mountain pass. About 25 minutes past Citrusdal, take the Cedarberg; Algeria turnoff. Follow this dirt road (past Algeria campsite) for another +- 33 Kms until you get to Dwarsrivier farm. (normally about a 45 minute drive).
Fees & Permits
Contact details for Sanddrif Campsite:
- Tel: +27 (0)27 482 2825
- Fax: +27 (0)27 482 1188
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: www.cederbergwine.com
You must obtain a permit to go up to the cracks area. You can obtain a permit at the Sanddrif reception desk (you need one if you are going walking as well) or you can contact MCSA in Cape Town.
Accommodation & Food
The last big town you pass is Citrusdal, this town or the petrol station (100 meters after the turnoff to Citrusdal) is the last place to grab any supplies. Camping at Wolfberg (Sanddrif Campsite) is extremely pleasant, with a big green field for tents. There are fireplaces and hot showers/toilet facilities. Cottages are available, sleep six people and supply the following: Basic cooking utensils, eating crockery/cutlery, fridge with a small freezer, beds (no bedding). The area does get visited a lot so you should definitely book before going out (especially holidays). You need to take your own food for the duration of your trip. As this is a wine farm, excellent wine is available by the bottle or case (this can lead to late starts however!)
Stay at Sanddrif Campsite. The owners stay at Dwarsrivier Farm, just up the road. A small selection of food is available and excellent selection of wine can be bought at the reception office. Fire wood is also available.
Attractions & Activities
Superb quality Trad climbing on hard sandstone, gear placements are solid. Multi Pitch Trad Routes on stunning rocks and a sport crag at the base. The drive is +/- 2½ hours drive from Cape Town up the N7 highway and the a 45 minute drive on a dirt road. A 45min walk gets you to the base of the climbing. There is good bouldering in the Valley of the Gods. There are many places to go for a swim, one of the best spots however is Malgat.
The Rock is Superb quality Sandstone. The climbing is multi pitch using Trad gear. The routes are typically between four and seven pitches long. The rock is awesome compact sandstone with great friction. Once you have summitted, you will need to walk back down (you may also have to jump a small crevasse :). The walk up to the climbing area can be anything from 20 to 60 minutes depending. Ask at Reception where the path starts (very straightforward). Some of the routes offer an awesome amount of exposure (suck it up while you can). Grades vary from 3/10 - 7a+/25.
At the bottom of the mountain is a sport crag called 'Sanddrif' there are a number of bolted routes there.
- Please note as of October 2005*** there is currently an 'access/permission' issue with climbing. You can still climb there.
- January 2006 The situation has changed and you are welcome to climb at Wolfberg. You must obtain a permit to climb at the cracks and at the Sanddrif crag. Not doing so you jeopardise access for everyone!!
No Bolting is allowed until further notice.
Climbing is possible all year round all, though it does get very hot in December/January/February - July/August are very cold (frost like cold!) and you will probably see some snow on the higher peaks. Spring and autumn are choice times. In Summer, the trick is to be up early, walk up in the shade climb in the full shade all day.
A standard (but full) trad rack is advisable, double ropes and long slings are usefull to avoid rope drag. 50/60m rope/s will get you by.
Classic Trad Routes
- Energy Crisis
- Celestial Journey
Sanddrif Crag has some great easier (up to grade 22/23) routes.
Truitjieskraal is a short drive away.
Trad Routes RD
The following PDF files can be downloaded from: http://sites.google.com/site/wolfbergrd
- Mountain Club of SA – 1979 Route Guide
- Western Cape Rock – 1986 Route Guide
- Additional Photographs
Whinge Direct (25R/X)
An alternative third pitch to Whinge taking the blank face left of the arete.
Start about 4m to the left of the arete at a good rail.
P3. 15m 25R/X: Climb up a few meters to some small crimps in a thin rail. Traverse right on hard, very thin moves to an undercling flake and then climb up and left to better crimps. Continue directly up a vague break to a good rail where one moves right to join the arete. Finish as for Whinge.
FA: Guy Paterson-Jones and Hilton Davies. November, 2011.
NB: This route requires very small micronuts and was headpointed on pre-placed gear.
Pecking Duck (18) ****
FA: Ant Hall, Moritz Thilo, David Nel, Matthew Young; Dec 2013
Mildred has long been topless. Pecking Duck completes the line with something a little spicier than its classic neighbour ‘Little Red Rooster’
P1: 17 (35m) As for Mildred. Climb the arête to the right of LRR. After 20m, at the overhang, step right around the corner before continuing to the top.
OR: 20 (35m) Start 4m right of the arête, on a pedestal and up a thin seam, and straight up cracks to join Mildred at half-height. Step around the corner and continue to the top as for Mildred.
P2: 18 (35m) Start 3m right of LRR, and trace LRRs pitch 2 and 3. Face-climbing leads to a right-facing open book, and a headwall ramp leads the stance.
P3: 15 (15m) LRR’s final pitch arcs right-to-left via gargoyles. Instead, climb directly diagonally up and left over the void, via an overlap and clean orange rock to the summit.
Classic Trad Routes
- Satisfaction Guaranteed (19) 165m
The main feature on this route is the big left-leaning grey groove to the left of the overhanging bands on the south-west face.
Start from the ledges directly below the groove.
P1. 10m "F3": Climb past some suspect blocks into a short corner. Avoid a poised white flake by hand-traversing to the left so gaining a narrow ledge at the foot of the main groove.
P2. 30m "G1": Superb climbing leads up the back of the groove and out to the left around and overhang. Climb up the short corners above to a massive ledge on the right.
P3. 25m "F2": Go horizontally to the left on a narrow rail to a niche and then climb directly up on jugs to a belay ledge.
P4. 90m: An easy chimney gives access to an escape ledge whence scrambling on gargoyles leads to the summit.
FA: David Davies and Robin Barley. October, 1978
- Energy Crisis (20) 90m
The route follows a line to the left of "Lone Wolf" up a spectacular prow of red rock between the western-most Crack and the "Gaper's" Crack. It starts strenuously in the recessed corner to the left of the crest and then continues up easier but very exposed rock to finish on the incredible projecting nose at the top of the prow.
Start: In the left-facing corner with the obvious layback crack on the left side of the buttress between the first and second cracks.
P1: 15m 20 Climb the corner crack to a good ledge.
P2: 35m 15 Climb a groove for 5m then traverse right to the edge of the buttress and go straight up to a ledge.
P3: 20m 13 Climb the groove to a big overhang then traverse left onto an exposed face.
P4: 10m 18 Move up to a rail and traverse left around the buttress to a ledge.
P5: 40m 17 Climb up on the right of a hollow flake then step right and continue up bulges to a large ledge.
P6: 25m 17 Climb the red corner and traverse right to an exposed ledge then follow the grey wall to the top.
FA: R. Barley and R. Smithers with M. Hafner on P5 and P6 1979
- Little White Mind Games (22)
Start: 10m right of Day of the Jackals below a long shallow recess.
P1: 26m 22 Climb the recess, then move slightly left and pull through the roof three meters right of Day of the Jackals. Move right to belay on a tiny sloping ledge.
P2: 12m 16 Move up and right past white flakes and traverse right on a good handrail to a semi-hanging stance at a threadpoint on a red block, 6m below the white patch.
P3: 23m 22 Move onto the thin ledge then climb the steep slab 1m right of the white patch (micronuts useful) to follow a diagonal crackline which leads into a vertical, orange hand-jam crack. Belay on the ledge above.
P4: 40m 20 Climb the obvious overhanging corner (Gallows Bird P3) and continue diagonally across the face to the skyline. Go up to a small ledge then up a blunt arête to another ledge. Move up to a big rail at 2,5m, traverse right and finish up a shallow red corner.
P5: 22m 21 From the center of the left face, climb diagonally left past a recess (Wolfgang P6) and below an obvious pocket to the top left-hand corner of the buttress. Walk back to a grassy patch below a smooth orange face, right of a large chimney.
P6: 18m 22 Climb the middle of the orange face passing a sloping mantleshelf. At the next rail move left to the arête which is followed to the top.
FA: J. Orton and G. Fish 1998
- Omega (19) 168m
The route traverses in from the right under the "BP Overhang" on the corner between the south-east and south-west faces and takes the obvious line of weakness through the lower band of overhangs onto a grey face. It breaks through a prominent vertical step in the upper band of overhangs and finishes up the orange faces above.
Start at the left-hand end of the ledge below the south-east face.
P1. 23m "F1": Traverse to the left under the "BP overhang" to a small platform on the corner and continue around the corner on good rails to a narrow ledge.
P2. 15m "F2 and A0": Reverse the last part of the traverse and use a concealed flake and a peg to pull up into the recess below a ceiling. Traverse to the right across a face using a fixed peg for aid and move out under the overhang into a niche.
P3. 22. "F2": Climb up for 3m, traverse back to the left and climb a steep crack with some blocks in it to the level overhang. Traverse to the right past the overhang to a ledge below a short grey crack.
P4. 20m "E2": Climb the crack and continue up over large blocks into a cave-like recess. Move to the right and then back to the left onto a nose leadingto the broad ledge beneath the second band of overhangs. Walk to the left for 20 m to a wall forming a vertical step on the overhangs.
P5. 18m "G1": Use vertical hand jams, a peg and 2 nuts to move to the left across the wall and up to a small ledge at the base of a vertical crack on the corner above the overhang. Follow the crack to a stance on some jammed blocks where the crack narrows to a slit 5m below another overhang.
P6. 24m "E3": Traverse to a ledge on the right with a grey face above it, climb the exposed projecting corner and move back to the left belay directly above the previous stance.
P7. 16m "F2": Layback and jam up a tricky crack and then climb up easily past the pinnacle leaning against the face under an overhang to a large ledge on the left. Scramble 20m through a short steep band of rock to an undercut face.
P8. 30m "E3 and F2": Pull up through the overhang onto the face ("F2") and climb the face and a short recess on huge jugs to the top.
FA: Pete du Preez and Andre Schoon. November, 1978
- Alone in Space (22) 200m
The route follows the curved yellow crack system on the right-hand side of the south-east face and finishes on the magnificently exposed orange walls above.
Start in the vertical crack line directly below the huge detached yellow pedestal at the bottom of the curved crack.
Start: At the base of the obvious huge yellow crack system which splits the SE face.
P1: 50m 15 Climb the crack past a yellow pedestal to belay on the ledge below the 'Guillotine Flake' wedged in the crack.
P2: 20m 22 Climb up to a chockstone runner then descend and cross the roof crack. Continue up the crack to belay below the chimney.
P3: 15m 15 Step left and climb a smooth chimney to a sandy ledge.
P4: 33m 19 Climb up inside the attic, go through the window then follow the crack system straight up to a ledge.
P5: 40m 20 Walk left until able to climb onto the orange wall. Climb diagonally rightwards to the right edge of the face until able to pull over an exposed overhang above the arête to a stance.
P6: 5m Scramble up jugs to the top.
FA: D. Davies and R. Barley 1978
FFA: M. Roberts and R. Smithers 1978.
- Old Timer's Disease (21)
Start: On a ledge at the base of the wall around the corner to the right of Energy Crisis.
P1: 35m 19 Climb to a ledge then follow hollow flakes rightwards to honeycomb-like pockets. Rail left to a ledge.
P2: 20m 19 Climb up rightwards on a blunt arête to belay at a cave.
P3: 40m 19 Traverse left past some flakes and a smooth wall to a blunt arête. Move up this to a massive ledge.
P4: 15m 21 Climb the exposed arête past 2 pitons to the top.
FA: D. Davies, H. Davies and R. Barley 1992
- Afterglow (21)
Start: In a left-facing corner some 20m right of the Celestial Journey boulder.
P1: 50m 19 Climb the corner past a ledge until forced out left. Move up to a roof then out right and up a crescent crack. Rail left to a groove then go up 25m to a ledge.
P2: 40m 21 Move right off the ledge and climb up rightwards, then back leftwards under thin overhangs and past a peg to a ledge. Walk to the left end of the ledge.
P3: 10m 19 Step left and climb the grey face past a peg to a wide ledge. Scramble back over ledges to a rounded crack.
P4: 20m 18 Climb the crack until able to rail left to a large ledge.
P5: 30m 18 Climb up the grey wall above to a square, right-facing orange recess. Rail right and climb to the top.
FA: R. Smithers, M. Hafner and R. Barley 1979
FFA: M. Roberts and C. Leslie-Smith 1984
- Celestial Journey (22) 180m
Start: At a boulder below the smooth grey groove on the smooth SE face.
P1: 35m 22 From the boulder, climb the crack and follow the groove to a ledge on the right.
P2: 15m 20 Climb the groove and corner above to a large ledge.
P3: 30m 22 Climb the smooth grey face until a rail at 10m enables one to move 3m left to a peg and up to a small ledge. Continue to another ledge. Belay across to the left.
P4: 10m 19 Step left and climb the grey wall past a peg to a big ledge. Scramble up and right to the groove in the orange wall.
P5: 20m 21 Climb the left-facing offwidth and crack to a big ledge.
P6: 30m 20 Climb the crack above past a block to a groove which leads up to a hole. Rail 3m left then go up and left to a ledge and the top.
FA: D. Davies and R. Barley 1978
Day of the Jackals (19)
Start: Below a brown recess about 30m left of the BP Overhang.
P1: 18m 15 Climb the recess to a platform out on the left.
P2: 20m 19 Traverse back right and move up into a niche. Climb a shallow corner passing a triangular roof on the right to a ledge. Follow a vertical crack and smooth face on the left to a stance.
P3: 35m 12 Continue up the corners and move left to a stance below and right of the large grey ramp.
P4: 5m 18 Climb a corner and then traverse left on poor holds to a ledge on the ramp.
P5: 35m 10 Climb the ramp on jugs.
P6: 6m 10 Climb the rock band above then scramble up and walk right to a crack 15m right of a deep chimney.
P7: 30m 13 Follow the crack and move up the right side of a small amphitheatre and then back left through the overhangs.
FA: P. du Preez and A. Schoon 1978 (by a slightly different line around pitches 3 and 4). FFA: R. Barley and co. 1978
The easiest method of descending from most of the routes on the Front Face is to walk north towards Tafelberg and then turn east and descend the Gaper Crack. For routes finishing on the southern end of the Front Face, find the deep gully cutting across the top between the Blocked crack and the Front Face, walk to it's eastern end and scramble easily down into to it. There is tat on a huge chicken head to the left as you look into the Blocked crack. Abseil 15-20m to a ledge. Follow the beacons, first slightly up the crack and then scramble easily down the crack until you can cross over on to a ledge on the left (looking out of the crack). There is tat on a chockstone between two boulders on the right hand side of the ledge. Abseil or scramble (somewhat dodgy) down 5-10m to a ledge. This is where the first pitch of Little Red Rooster tops out. Walk left (facing out) and scramble down the sloping boulders before walking back right to the large tree with lots of tat. Abseil 32m to the ground.
Gaper Crack and all other routes
Walk north and keep a look out for tat to abseil down into Gaper or continue north until you can scramble/walk down into Gaper.
Sanddrif Crag has some great easier (up to grade 22/23) routes - its a five star climbing venue!
From the last route in Western Cape Rock guide on the left of the crag "impaled on the wall" go left 5 meters
Starting in the chimney crack is Bananarama 6 bolts grade (18)
Ayoba.....for Petes sake (21) First three bolts of Bananarama then step left and follow bolts to the top of wall
Venus (20) 7 bolts
Way left about 18 meters is Monkey Love 5 bolts (16)
A further 3 meters to the left is Milo Monkey 5 bolts (17)
From the last route in Western Cape Rock guide on the right of the crag go right 5 meters
Finding Neo 9 bolts (23)
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