Cape Town Weather
If the wind is blowing SE which is common in summer, we have what Cape-Climbers refer to as the "Schlauk Factor" at some of the crags; the rock becomes so slippery and even damp that it seems as if someone smeared oil onto the holds. Climbing is near impossible unless you have a bucket of chalk to compensate! This effect is caused by sea water being blown onto the crags (from afar that is).
Crags affected: The Mine, The Hole, Silvermine Crags, Elsies Peak, Kalk Bay Crags, Peers Cave...
The rock friction is rarely if ever altered on the climbs that start at the "Ledge" on Table Mountain, Clifton sector of Lions Head and the Apostles
When the North Wester blows, it generally means that bad weather is on the way (but it could take a day or two to arrive.) The air can be warm and balmy before the clouds race in from the Atlantic. If Lions Head mountain is covered in cloud there is a high chance its going to rain in the next couple of hours.
When the Cloud is low
Stay low! The trick is to know what crags are low enough:
Trad: Lions Head granite, Lower Buttress of Table Mountain, single pitch Apostles, Above Llandudno.
Sport: Eish, this is a complicated question! Typically low cloud comes in from SE, which will write off Hole (and surrounds), Mine, Kalk Bay, Peers Cave. Basically you're left with Silvermine and Higgovale Quarry.
Where to climb when it's raining in Cape Town
When a so called cold "front" approaches then the best escape is to head to Montagu where a rain shadow protects the area from rain. As the front moves in from the sea over the peninsula there will be some delay before it gets to Paarl and then the Du Toit's Kloof range will also hold back the front for half a day or so. So one can climb at Paarl Rocks or Hellfire crag for a morning or afternoon. Unfortunately, as the "front" approaches it can get very windy in the Du Toit's pass as it acts as a chute.
The Cedarberg can also be considered but depending on the size of the front, it can rain there too.
Of the crags within an hour two of Cape Town, Karbonaatjies Kraal is the last crag to be affected by wet weather.
Map of Cape Town Climbing Areas
Cape Town Trad Climbing
- Barrier Buttress
- Valken Buttress
- Kasteel Buttress
- Postern Buttress
- Spring Buttress
- Slangoelie Buttress
- Corridor Buttress
- Bee Buttress
- Sea Buttress
Cape Town Sport Climbing
- Silvermine Crags
- The Mine
- The Underside
- The Hole
- Foreign Policy
- Peers Cave
- Lakeside Pinnacle
- Kalk Bay
- Higgovale Quarry
- Hout Bay - Bokkemanskloof, Chapman's Peak, Skoorsteenkop, The Sentinel
Cape Town Bouldering
- New Joshua Tree
- Silvermine Boulder
- CBD: Deer Park, Bright Lights, The Terrace
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