|Season||All year round|
World Class Sport Climbing 30 km north of Oudtshoorn (near the Cango Caves). The rock is limestone and the routes are mostly overhanging with awesome stalactites. There are +/-30 single pitch bolted routes, up to 35m long. The climbing is located around the De Hoek Resort camp site.
Oudtshoorn is about five or six hours' drive from Cape Town. Take the N1 to Worcester, then turn off onto the R60 towards Robertson. Drive through Robertson and Ashton to Montagu. From Montagu, take the R62 and pass through Barrydale, Ladismith, Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn. From Oudtshoorn, follow the signs towards the Cango Caves. About 30 km from Oudtshoorn (and 1 km before the Cango Caves), turn left into the Prins Albert road. Drive for 5km to the De Hoek turnoff (on the right). De Hoek is about 1 km down the road.
Food & Accommodation
Oudshoorn is the nearest big town - so stock up on all your food and supplies before heading off tho the camp site. The De Hoek Campsite is great. Check out their website at http://www.dehoekmountainresort.co.za. Contact: Campsite - De Hoek Mountain Resort En Route to Swartberg Pass Tel. (044) 272 8214 phone for Reservations. If you are only climbing for the day, you will need to purchase a permit from the entrance of the campsite.
Sport Rack & a 60m rope, if you've got a 70m rope, even better.
All year round. It can be rather hot in Summer, but the main crag enters the shade in the late morning.
Oudthsoorn Main Wall, a 30-40m high wall of steep and very featured limestone, has one of the best collections of climbs in SA. This impressive and steep wall can be seen on your left as you are driving towards the campsite. From late morning the Main wall goes into shade. The path to the main crag begins about 100m outside the entrance to De Hoek.
This crag was initially developed by Sean Maasch and Jono Fisher in the 1990s. It was revived again in 1996 by Arno Naude, Gunther Migeotte, Shannon Law & Jeremy Colenso. Please take care to not damage the bushmen paintings at this crag.
There are several limestone crags all of which are within short walking distance from the campsite.
This sector is located on the grey slab next to the path going to the main crag. The path to the main crag begins about 100m outside the entrance to De Hoek. There are routes from grade 16 to 22.
- Deja vu a la Buoux 22
- Initiation 20
- Pins and Needles 18
- Southern Cross 16
- Dr Stein 18
- Ride the Sky 18,
- Victim of Fate 19
One of the best collections of climbs in SA. The path to the main crag begins about 100m outside the entrance to De Hoek.
Routes (from left to right)
|#||ROUTE NAME / AREA||GRADE||# BOLTS||RATING||BOLTING/OPENED INFO||DESCRIPTION|
|1.||Streetfighter||34||FA: Grant Campbell (2006)||a.k.a. 'Two to win' the name given by Canadian Grant Campbell who opened the route. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth the more popular SA variant has stuck. Was the hardest route in Africa until Mazawattee (35/8c+).|
|2.||Kohler-Turkstra||31||FA: Tommy Caldwell (1998)|
|3.||Bigfoot||26||FA: Jason Temple-Forbes (2006)|
|4.||Paws||*****||FA: Jeremy Colenso||previously known as Tears for Fears|
|7.||Lost Safari||28||extension to Sid Vicious|
|8.||Up for Grabs||31||FA: Tommy Caldwell (1998)|
|9.||Fin Fang Fly||24||FA: Jason Temple-Forbes (2006)||start up Goonie Goo Goo then branch off left.|
|10.||Goonie Goo Goo||22||FA: Deon Hugo (1997)|
|11.||Filthy Gorgeous||23||FA: Scott Miller (2006)|
|12.||Phallic Mechanic||24||FA: Paul Schlotfeldt (1996)|
|13.||Squeeze Play||22||FA: Scott Miller (2006)|
|14.||Johnny Rotten||27||FA: Jeremy Colenso|
|15.||El Niño||30||FA: Jeremy Colenso|
|16.||Seven||32||FA: Tommy Caldwell (1998)|
|17.||Seven (Wimp Finish)||29||FA: Jeremy Colenso (1998)|
|18.||Rapscallion La Codge||24||Mike Roberts (1997)|
|19.||Bitter and Twisted||26/7b||10B+A||FA: Jeremy Colenso (1998)||Hard 26. An awkward bouldery start on slopers leads to excellent climbing above.|
|21.||Jason's Route||25||FA: Jason Temple-Forbes (2006)||This route is on the far right of the crag Originally bolted by Scott Miller and permission was given to JTF to open the route.|
Up and right from The Watch Tower, a large crag with a slabby base
- Curiosity killed the cat (22)
FA: Scott Noy 2006 (may need higher chains because of rope drag)
The Watch Tower
Left of the Main Crag, the small tower-like crag. Follow the path from the main crag up and across to access. From Left to Right:
- All along the Watchtower (19)
FA: Scott Noy (2006)
- Dust till Dawn (21)
FA: Scott Miller 2006
- Supafly (21)
FA: Scott Miller 2006
Skinny Legs wall
Follow the path on from the street fighter side of main crag, head down a bit, across a bit and up a bit to the Bushman's cave (Cave entrance obscured by bushes), Scramble up to a blocky ledge left of the cave using the metal staples (Thanks to Douw Steyn). L to R
- Closed project Sean Maarsch - follows break veering left
- Skinny legs (27) 30m
FA: Jimbo Smith (2008) start on tufas, up yellow wall to top tupha system
- Open project Douw Steyn
up slab onto overhanging face
The Incredibles wall
Follow the path on from the street fighter side of main crag, head down a bit, across a bit. Continue down the path where it branches up to skinny legs. Dodge some pot holes.
- Mr Incredible (31/32) FA: Jason Temple Forbes (very long line running up the entire left side of the overhang) - Check the knot in the end of your rope!
- Elastigirl (25) FA: Beth Higgins (step off viewing platform to finish at chains of Mr Incredible)
- Dash (28) FA: Jason Temple-Forbes
- Dash Be Quick - The extension of Dash (31) Grade to be confirmed FA: Jason Temple-Forbes
- Right Hand extension of Dash Closed Project
- No Caped (28) FA: Jason Temple-Forbes
Short Circuit Sector
On the other side of the road from the Main Crag. As of Dec 2008 there are some new routes/projects not listed here.
- Short Circuit (31)
FA: Jeremy Colenso (1998)
A roof climb on the obvious looong roof.
- Live Wire. (32) FA: Jamie Smith (2013)
- Behr Hug (24)
FA: Mike Behr (1997)
- Chicks Dig It (18)
- Chicks Dig It Too (20)
- Gillette (20)
A small cave with two short boulder problems inside. The cave is on the Short Circuit side of the road. Crosses the river as the approach to Short circuit, but head more in the Main crag/downstream direction (to the right) before entering the forest. The cave is small and the walk is tough. Worth the while if you want to climb short hard routes.
- Unknown (31/8a+)
- Bobbejan (32/8b)
De Hoek Campsite is a great place to camp as it is walking distance from the crag and has swimming pools, hot showers and other niceties.
Chalets are available at the De Hoek Resort. A four-sleeper costs R250 per chalet per night (March 2009).
De Hoek sells sweets and cold drinks and firewood. The closest place to buy other food is Oudtshoorn.
There are some caves near the crag. Ask the locals where they are, if you know what you are doing. Otherwise guided trips through the Cango Caves are your best bet. You can also ride ostriches, camels and quad bikes, or check out the big cat breeding programme at the wildlife ranch just outside of Oudtshoorn. The Swartberg pass offers a nice alternative route back to CT via Prince Albert and the N1.