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37 sport routes between 17 & 27. More than 250 trad lines & some bouldering.

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Normal trad rack or just sport draws with a 60m rope.

The climbing

Hog One is more of a trad area. there are more than 250 trad lines. There are 32 bolted routes on Hog One & 5 in the Waterfall Sectors. For the medium grade climber (18-22) the Hog offers some stunning routes, Most pitches are 20-30 metres long, with a couple of monster pitches like the 'Bad Influence', 19 (45 metres, 17 draws).

Recently, some excellent boulders were discovered and developed by Marijus Smigelskis (the "Stone Tear" boulder, near the "Big Tree"), Heinrich Kahl (Madonna and Child area), Carlien de Bruyn (Madonna and Child area) and Herman Lombard. Not all the information on the boulders is currently available, but a topo for the Stone Tear boulder can be found on Cutloose Bouldering (http://www.geocities.com/marijus3/topos.html).

Getting there

Take the Fort Beaufort road from Grahamstown. From there go though Alice and follow the signs to Hogsback. Once in Hogsback take the road leading to the right past Hobbiton to reach view point for the Madonna & Child Waterfall. For the Robertson's Fall routes carry on to the dam and park just on the other side. For the Hog, carry on past the dam, then take the left fork at the 4x4 sign.

Food and accommodation

The Hobbiton or the campsite at "Away with the Fairies" - Backpakers Lodge. You can hire mountain bike too. Transport to the crag is also available. For a list of places to stay in nearby locations, and help with booking contact:HOGSBACK TOURISM CENTRE + 27 45 962 1340 PO Box 56, Hogsback 5721, SOUTH AFRICA

Bouldering areas

Big Tree

Park your car at the police station, and then walk away from the town. Just at the last corner (the road curves right), you'll find the "Big Tree" hiking trail sign on your left. Walking down, you'll find a marked split in the path: take the "Big Tree via the Saw pits" path. About 30 minutes' walk will land you on the forest floor and a small distance further on you will find a massive boulder directly left of the path. This is "Stone Tear" boulder. It has some ugly trail markings painted, so you won't miss it. There are many other good boulders waiting to be cleaned and developed.

Stone Tear boulder

Madonna and Child Falls

"Sweet Child of Mine" Boulder

Head down to the Madonna and Child falls with the usual path. When you get to the bottom you'll walk into a t-junction on the wooden cat-walks, turn right. Follow the path until you see a large, roughly oval-shaped boulder directly left of the path - it's about 5 minutes' walk from the junction. It has a distinct flat face, with an open book and arête feature on the right (these features are closest to the path). The routes are numbered starting at the arête, moving clock-wise around the boulder.

1. Rub it, it may stick! 6C *** Stand start with LH on friction undercling and RH on friction sidepull, feet against the face under the roof, and use the friction holds to climb the balancy arête to top out straight.

2. Kortverhaal 6C **** Sit start with LH on good crimp and RH on big sloper higher up. Climb the open book to top out straight. FA:Heinrich Kahl

3. Live and let die 7A+ *** Sit start with right hand on good crimp (same crimp as for "Kortverhaal") and LH on credit card hold to the left. Move up to the diagonal feature and top out. Do not use the open book's features - stay left of it. FA:Herman Lombard

4. The Bride's Veil 6C ** Stand start with both hands on the crimper rail about shoulder height. Top out straight above. This problem can be done with a sit start, which would probably up the grade to 8A or maybe harder. FA:Heinrich Kahl

5. Sonny's Cigar 6B+ **** At the tree, start with both hands and a heel on the sharp, very sloped edge on the LHS of the big face. Move around the corner and top out at 3. FA:Heinrich Kahl

Bridal Veil Falls


SA Mountain Magazine - Issue No. 1 June 2002;