Morgan Bay

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Seaside Trad Climbing on Dolerite rock. About 575 routes.

Best Season

Morgan Bay offers good all year round climbing. Summers are hot, but there are plenty of shaded crags & sea breezes cool it down. Winter has less rain & humidity.

Rock

Dolerite & some sandstone.

Gear

Normal trad Rack. There are some routes with 13mm removable bolts holes on them. These are indicated on the guide. The bolts on the sport lines are old & dangerous. The sea semi-tropical sea environment at Morgans is ultra harsh on fixed stainless steel hardware. Skip these sport lines. Don't visit Morgans to climb sport. Morgans is essentially a trad area.

The climbing

Morgan Bay is home to the only established sea cliff climbing in South Africa. The climbing is on Dolerite and is charachterised by an abundance of vertical cracks & good friction. The routes are widley scattered over several headlands & the crags are at a variety of levels above the ocean. Most of the routes are vertical or slab. The routes are generally faily short (about 8 -18m) and tend to follow crack lines. They range in grade from 11 to 27 with a majority being between grades 14 and 20. All but 7 of the routes are trad lines and most of them can be toproped if necessary. There are currently about 575 routes with some potential for more.

Up dated guide is here http://www.easterncaperockclimbing.co.za/location/morgan-bay

Getting there

Morgan Bay is situated about 90 km from East London and about 5km south of the Kei River mouth. After turning off the N2 there is good tar road all the way into town. The turn off to Kei Mouth and then to Morgan Bay are well sign posted. Any old school road map will show you how to get there, but you could use google.

Food and accommodation

If you turn left at the beachfront T-junction, you will find a campsite on the left within about 100m. This pleasant campsite on the banks of the Inchara Lagoon has all the usual facilities but tends to be fairly crowded in Season. Alternativly you can turn right at the beachfront T-Junction and follow the road to the crags. When you get to the gate across the road carry straight on until you wind downhill to the Double Mouth Campsite, which is about 4km from the village. This is a much more secluded site within 50m of the beach and very close to another lagoon. Otherwise, stay the Morgan Bay Hotel, if you dont feel like camping. You can buy petrol and provisions (food & beer) in the village.

References

Information & Photographs by: Gavin Peckham, Steve Cooke, A. Van Tonder. The Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa 2001 Morgan Bay Website: http://www.morganbay.co.za; http://www.wildcoastholidays.com/morganbay/yellowwood/yellowwoodforest.html

Updated route guide http://www.easterncaperockclimbing.co.za/location/morgan-bay

Notes

Morgan Bay is an ideal family holiday venue offering numerous activities such as hiking, bird watching, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing. The area is renowned for its surf fishing. There is a large game ranch and several othe tourist orientated venues nearby.