Makapansgat

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INTRODUCTION

Makapansgat has lain dormant on the climbing scene for the last 2 decades. The palaeontological sensitivity of the place has meant we have been denied access for that time. A more progressive approach is now being taken Limpopo Provincial Government and they have given the MCSA fairly easy and unrestricted access.

The place lies en route to Polokwane and is an ideal weekend trip, or a handy alternative if you’re rained off Blouberg. Its an all-trad venue with a super easy walk-in, very exposed, wild and beautiful camping, deep pools, high waterfalls and easy-to-access cragging. There is lots of new route potential.

ACCESS CONDITIONS

Access is granted based on the goodwill of the Limpopo Provincial Government. The hard work of the MCSA JHB Section, and in particular of Neil Margetts, has paid off and the MCSA has been granted pretty much full access. These are the access conditions. Please don’t screw it up for everyone else:

1. ONLY MCSA MEMBERS AND GUESTS ALLOWED. Each party must have at least one MCSA member. 2. Before visiting, phone the MCSA JHB Section to find out the latest access arrangements and to get directions 3. NO BOLTING 4. No littering, including cigarette stompies 5. No unnecessary damage to plants 6. No animals (i.e. dogs) 7. Fires are allowed but bring your own wood and keep it controlled 8. Swimming is allowed

GETTING THERE

Directions are not given here. Please obtain these from the MCSA.

CAMPING

Camping is right on the lip of the cliffs. There are many flat spots here in a superb position. Apparently there is also an old campsite near the river in the forest below the crags. This sounds like an unnecessary mission.

WATER

The river is perennial but the water quality is not guaranteed. If you’re worried its best to bring your own water.

ETHICS

NO BOLTING ALLOWED!!!!!

ROUTES

Routes are listed from right to left, looking up. The location of some routes could not be pegged down. These RD's are given under the heading HOMELESS ROUTES. If you climb them or know where they go, please update the wiki. The map below shows the main climbing areas: Makapansgat crag layout.jpg

And here's a map showing the location of some of the routes: Makapansgat map by Darryl.jpg

GULLEY AREA

At the western end of the amphitheatre is a descent gulley. The routes in this area climb the pinnacles, slabs and cracked blocks around the gulley.

HEIGHT

20 to 50m.

ACCESS

From the campsite walk west for about 200m until the cliff-edge becomes broken and curls north. Scramble down into the cracks on the right (looking up), then head down and left (looking up) over stacked boulders and through some chimneys. Finish off down a steep gulley blocked by a tree. Don’t screw it up here – you will hurt yourself. The scramble is probably a grade 10 (E). A more pleasant descent is to abseil off a tree to the left (looking up) of the gulley. This takes you down some grey slabs, basically down the route EAGER EAGLETS.

ASPECT

Due to the cracked and broken nature of this area the climbs face in all directions and one will usually find shade.

ROUTES

Here's a map of this area showing some of the older routes: