NSA, East London

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Directions

From the N2 take the Western Ave turn off. Turn right towards Cambridge. At the rail bridge intersection, turn right. Go past the Cambridge Town Hall. Take the RH fork under the rail bridge. Soon after the Highgate Hotel, turn right into Baden Powell Rd. Drive down for about 1.5km, then turn right onto the second dirt track that leads to the car park. Park...obviously! Follow path into dense bush, walk over riverbed to the prominent white/grey rock face.

WALK IN

+-250m, 3 - 5 min, flat. After heavy rain the Nahoon River rises. Take care! Don’t take any chances. Please take a machete to help keep the path clear.

TIME & WEATHER

Shaded from 10H00 in summer. All day shade in winter. Can be cold in winter. All year round crag. Fairly sheltered from the wind & dries fairly quickly. POTENTIAL: All the projects are opened now & there is very little scope for new lines. But there is always one more.

GENERAL

45 bolted routes and a fair amount of trad. Flat base & close to East London.

ROCK TYPE

Mix of mud stone & silt stone. Smooth & often covered in a white fungus. Fairly brittle. Very vertical.

HISTORY

It is called NSA, because you can see the New South Africa in progress – new schools, houses etc...in the nearby Cambridge Location. The first phase of development at NSA began in July 2000. Chief instigator was Jochen Gantert, an engineering student from Stuttgart, Germany. Whilst studying at Daimler Chrysler in East London he was desperate to find some thing near town, to climb after work. NSA was seriously covered in veg when it was first discovered. Some of the routes could not even be seen for the jungle. A lot of time was spent clearing veg & dropping loose blocks. The first route to be opened was Legends of the Fall, originally called Wild Coffee Tree. Some time later Micheal Johnson took a major fall from about 10m up on Wild Coffee Tree. Landing flat on his back & putting a deep dent in his helmet. But with no major injuries. Was renamed Legends of the Fall. The first line bolted was Star Dust. Unbelievable that this non-prominent line was the first sport line. After 13 routes, NSA was deemed climbed out, with no potential for any more new lines. The face over the rock pile had been discovered, but was deemed too loose & vegetated to be any good. This has become the most popular sector, with a high density of worthwhile lines. But for a few years all was quiet. The Buffalo Bastards were busy with The Hog, Morgan Bay & The Buffalo. Garvin Jacobs was injured from a fall he took from Truth and Reconciliation...crushed 2 disks in his spine. Many of the routes were bolted after work with a static & jumars...often into the night. And always lead to a serious piss up at Bernie’s or Trafford’s. The second phase of development has transformed NSA into the most bolted crag in the Eastern Cape. Kalashnikov Culture, the second last route bolted, but probably one of the best at NSA. Amazing to see, what was not first seen & yet becomes the best. There is an old piton on the crag. Perhaps, a mystery climber from the dark ages of Eastern Cape climbing? As usual, there is no info from pre 2000.

HAZARDS

Loose Rock: There is a fair amount or loose rock that is still coming off the routes, as well as tons lying loose on top. Wear your helmet... it’s a smart thing to do! Chicks dig helmets! Crime: NSA has the potential to become a crime spot. Only one vehicle has been broken into thus far (Jan 2006). NSA is isolated enough to be considered very dangerous when proximity to human traffic & dwelling is taken into consideration. A machete may come in handy for more than just the path. Take care...especially if there are women in the party. No couples on their own! Bigger groups are better. Snakes: Not really. But a few puffadders have been spotted over the years.

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