Deer Park

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Deer Park
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Latitude-33.9501
Longitude18.4127
Climbing TypeBouldering
Rock TypeQuartzite/Sandstone
SeasonAll year round
ProvinceWestern Cape
AreaDeer Park




Early bouldering on the foothills of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town CBD was confined to the “Contour Path” area traverse above the Lower Cable Station. Probably because it was on the way to Bombay Duck and such Trad classics. Often damp, and populated with hikers, it’s not, um, great. Some time in the late ‘80s “Garron's Boulder” became popular (although Garron didn’t do the first problems there, he did the first hard problems). A short walk down from and easily visible the parking area just past the Lower Cable Station, it’s easy to find and testpieces remain.

The Vredehoek boulders aren’t packed together like at Rocklands, but once you know your way around you can get a full workout of whatever your grade, within an hour after work, + sunset and city lights and a great atmosphere to boot. In summer when / if (?Eskom?!) the Table Mountain Lights are on take advantage off a night session at the Lights area. The boulders are either directly onto the gravel paths, or slightly off such that you are not likely to meet anyone and can have a private, wilderness experience right in the city. There are definitely more boulders and problems than those in this guide so far.

The general area is referred to as "C.B.D." (City Bouldering District).

"Deer Park" refers to the area between Tafelberg Rd and Upper Vredehoek and Upper Oranjezicht. Yum! Or Deer Park Café on the way up Deer Park Drive opposite Herzlia School are great spots for post bouldering beers and food. The problems higher up Deer Park are easier to walk down to from Tafelberg Rd

Deer Park is divided into Deer Park A: accessed most easily from the forested parking area via Deer Park Drive, being the extension of Upper Buitenkant St. Here you will find Split Boulder, Tree Traverse Boulder, Hamstrung Boulder, Triangle Boulder, Training Boulder Blackened Boulder City Vista Boulder Big Bad Block, Ross's Boulder, Yosemite Boulder, River Boulder and Surprise Boulder. These are the boulders pretty much alongside the gravel path zig-zagging between Deer Park Drive and Tafelberg Rd.


Deer Park B is the area most easily gained by parking at the top of Molteno Rd, the walking up the initially concreted road through the boom, which becomes gravel. AT the T junction, take a left as you face the Lower Cable Station, and follow the contour with most boulders along the Right side. If this path is followed it connects to the Deer Park A area. Boulders here are First Date Boulder, Garron's Boulder, Jerry’s Boulder, Path Boulder.

Thanks to Steve Koehorst and Dave Wilkinson for pics and info.

Map

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  • A: World Cup Boulder
  • B: Schadenfreude Boulder
  • C: Tree Traverse Boulder
  • D: Hamstrung Boulder
  • E: Triangle Boulder
  • F: Low Seam Boulder
  • G: Big Block Boulder
  • H: Yosemite Boulder
  • J: River Boulder

Access

Deer Park Area 1 Access: From Parking (P) at Deer Park to Parking (P) at Tafelberg Rd will take you about 15 mins walking very briskly up the gravel tracks. You are not likely to visit more than max 3/4 boulders per session however so it might be worthwhile deciding whether to park on top or below.

I generally Park below as the hassle of driving around to Tafelberg Rd doesn't seem worth it, especially in the height of Summer with Tourists ambling mindlessly in the centre of Tafelberg Road.

City Vista boulder kind of defines the midway.

Of all the boulders in CBD, I keep returning again and again to Tree Traverse boulder as this offers the best opportunity to tailor a session exactly suiting your mood / ability, it's about 40 moves long and no highballs.

Pay attention to the map alongside and the squiggles and the splits off the tracks.

Access to Deer Park 1 Parking lower: Drive up Deer Park Rd, it's a 1-way almost to the very top point (cunning cul-. de-sac). Just before top, duck right and join what appears to be 1-way down but actually heads through the boom onto a gravel jeep track for parking under the pine tree forest near the picnic spots. Very pretty etc. Park rangers regularly patrol here, and lots of people are generally found walking dogs, etc. BUT note carefully the Boom 1 closure time: they are serious (ask Guy Holwill) and will lock your car inside.

Walk through Boom 2 (permanently locked), heading diagonally left. Take the first (say 30m) up jeep track. The Split Boulder is not more than 3 mins, slightly hidden inside the first jig left behind bushes. You can see the top poking out from track. The boulder has obvious 40mm drill holes riddled across it. You cannot miss Tree Traverse Boulder, with it's obvious Pine Tree 4 mins further up on left of Jeep Track. From Tree Traverse Boulder to Hamstrung Boulder = 50m, and to Triangle Boulder another 50m as an indication.

Boulders

River Boulder

Three or four bold problems by Steve Koehorst F7a FA Adrian Kohler climb the steep corner onto mantle on Table Mtn corner

World Cup Boulder

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  • World Cup 6C (FA Steve Koehorst). The bold picturesque line on the Table Mountain side finishing up the exposed wall
  • Registered Rhymenecologist 7A

Schadenfreude Boulder

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  • Schrodinger 7C L of Schadenfreude to TO via slot higher and slightly R. All big stuff on L is off.
  • Schadenfreude 7B (FA Serle Shuman). The steep undercut central line with heel hugs in centre. "Schadenfreude (on the jeep track boulder) - one of the best problems in Cape Town (if you're tall)."
  • Tarzan 7A (eliminate)

Tree Traverse Boulder

Zip 6A, Zap 5, Zup 6A
Zoop 5, Zep 6A
Tree Traverse


  • Zip F6A+. SDS with opposing sidepulls L of roof and climb straight up via good edges on face. Harder for shorter people.
  • Tree Travesty F7A FA Steve Koehorst. Start as above, finish up the hard corner to the R. Good edges on face above are off
  • Kabuki F6B+ FA Niel Mostert. SDS in same spot as for Zip and Tree Travesty with BH on L facing diagonal edge/sidepull. Climb up and L and TO via small crimps on the vague groove/slab slightly to the L
  • The Edge of Reason F6B FA Niel Mostert. SDS on the obvious thin flake on the face L of Kabuki, climb straight up via the slab. Good edges to L are off. (NBNB! Starting flake is fragile please be careful not to break it off)
  • The Reason for an Edge F5+ FA Niel Mostert. SDS on the obvious thin flake on the face L of Kabuki, climb straight up and slightly L via the good edge at the start of the slab. (NBNB! Starting flake is fragile please be careful not to break it off)
  • Tree Traverse *** F7B, SDS FA Michael Janata

Starting at the low jug on the corner R of the Tree base, traverse around the boulder finishing to TO back at the tree, at the top this time. Stay low under the first very undercut corner, using a devious toe hook with R toe to rail along the lip. Short semi-rest at the first open book, then rail right around the crux 2nd corner, feet low, hands on small gaston edges at the arete. Match feet on the small knob on face around corner, long reach with RH to gain sloping edges along vague break tending diagonally up R. Round the 3rd corner to gain horizontal flakes (please don't snap them off!) on the face for rest on crimps on the slab. Drop down under the final roof to move R and then TO at the final corner before the slab where the Tree is. A fine 40+ move problem to test all your skills.

  • Zap F5+ SS, climb the slab face statically.
  • Life Doesn't Have to be this Hard F7A FA Niel Mostert. The SDS on low crimps to Zap slab face.
  • Zup F6A SDS on good holds under prow, head up and L along edge of prow and TO via slab and short face above
  • Serle's Corner * F7A, FA Serle Shuman

Climb the final corner of Tree Traverse Problem, from the SDS with RH on sloper R of arete, and LH on hold under roof under arete.

  • Back in Black F7B+, FA Niel Mostert

Almost same start as Serle's Corner, but with RH on lower sloper R of arete, LH on hold under roof. Throw R up to another sloper, snap out with L to small hold on arete, climb arete.

  • F6b FA Serle Shuman

Easier if you are tall. Climb the crux arete of Tree Traverse Problem to TO, starting off RH gaston on crimp, and LF on blackened ramp.

  • F5+ *** SDS, FA Steve Downing

Climb straight through to TO, starting with LH on sloping 2 digit ramp on the diagonal break, LF on the low know out left. Don't rush the top out and stay left to find the good edge high left as you exit the face to the slab.

  • Treat F6a FA S Koehorst SDS CBD side
  • Zep F6b Crouch start on lowest diagonal edge in middle of face on City side, climb straight up
  • The Metropolitan Glide F7a FA Dom Riordin Crouch start on diagonal edge in middle of face as for Zep, move L out to arete and climb straight up
  • Dingus F6A+ FA Niel Mostert Crouch start on R arete, R of Zep, with rounded layback hold for R and good edge for L on face, climb arete diagonally L. May be much harder for shorties.

Split Boulder

Tri 6A


  • 5 Glass ** FA SD, SDS climb undercut RH corner as you face boudler with back to Table Mountain.
  • 6A Wine ** FA SD, standing start climb LH corner using slopers outside LH arete then moving into middle of undercut face to TO
  • 6C+ ** Wine SDS FA Damien McHendry

Triangle Boulder

Tri 6A


  • A. Slab 3, climb the easy slab on the city side
  • B. 4, * Climb the RH arete as you face the city side, Table Mtn at your back.
  • C. 7A+ Adrian Kohler ***Climb the route parallel to and in from the RH arete, staying far from the arete to gain the vertical openbook and TO.
  • D. 4 ** SDS, climb the LH arete as you face the city.

Big Bad Block

Notable as a large free standing block with an obvious roof on the Devils Peak Corner side overlooking city.

  • Gaston roof 6C *** FA SK start under the overhung corner on jugs, traverse diagonally right, get feet high and reach up left for LH Gaston and grunt your RF up keeping tension

A few others but this is an awesome problem