Tea Garden Closed to Climbers

Tea Garden has been closed to boulderers by the landowner. This is a recent development following the closure of the Black Shadow boulder to climbers after the boulder was the victim of substantial amounts of graffiti, a myriad of unofficial paths sprung up in the area and the farmer’s fence was broken down.

Although the MCSA feels that the graffiti was not the work of climbers, we cannot deny that it is climbers who caused the unofficial pathways and who did damage the fence.

Despite the boulder being closed to the bouldering community, some climbers did not listen and the landowner recently found toilet paper strewn about the boulder and fresh chalk marks on the boulder itself. This has only served to anger her substantially and she has closed all her lands to boulderers.

Anyone caught climbing on her property will be prosecuted for trespassing, will be liable for a fine and may even have their vehicles clamped.

The prominent areas closed to bouldering as of 28th July 2013 are:

1. Black Shadow
2. Tea Garden Roof
3. Tea Arch

The Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) is doing all that they can to try to mend the relationship between the bouldering community and the landowner but this may prove futile if climbers continue to ignore the ban and boulder there anyway. This will no doubt prove the complete undoing of bouldering in Tea Garden indefinitely. It was reported to the MCSA that the Sunday following the announcement of the closure of Tea Garden, a known white vehicle was seen parked alongside Tea Garden – evidence that climbers continue to ignore the rules and completely disrespect the wishes of the landowner.

The MCSA urges all boulderers to please obey the rules and the ban on Tea Garden. We cannot help you win this fight if you continue to give climbers a very bad reputation. Continued climbing in Tea Garden may result in it being closed to climbing for good. The landowner can and will put measures in place that will make it impossible for people to access her land such as electric wire fences, armed guards and the like. We do not want to see it come to that. Please don’t climb in Tea Garden? Allow the MCSA to speak on your behalf as we have been doing for many, many years – mostly completely unknown to you. Let us work together to re-open Tea Garden.

– Notice by Delaney Carpenter, Chairperson of the Rock Climbing Committee of the Mountain Club of South Africa, Cape Town Section

13 Responses to Tea Garden Closed to Climbers

  1. Mike Jul 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    So how exactly are you going to tell this to all foreigners? the local community visits this page but it is unlikely that foreigners will…i think quite a few of them have no idea of the access issue.

    • Cyrille Jul 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      Foreigners also read the news ! I live in France but I’m coming with my daughter and my wife in 1 week… I hope climbers will understand the need to respect landowners and nature ! Climbing is not just a question of grades…

  2. Cuan Jul 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Delaney is working on a plan to inform all the international climbing websites about this as well, so hopefully the word wil spread…unless you have any other ideas one could also include?

  3. Alan Jul 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    Delaney announced that the bouldering area was closed to a group of around 90 climbers (mostly foreigners) at Rockstock this past weekend. As far as I am aware, the above article and the other regarding the “Rocklands bouldering Crisis” has been forwarded to most of the well known global climbing websites.

    From our side, as local climbers, it is our responsibility to inform and if necessary reprimand foreign climbers if we see them disregarding the rules we abide by. Being proactive about it is one way to help protect our climbing areas from closure.

  4. Richard Jul 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Might be a bit old fashioned but posters/notices at the campsites and other accommodation venues.

    Permits could have closed areas listed on them.

    Big thanks to Delaney and co. for all their hard and on-going work!

  5. Jurie Jul 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Tragedy of the commons. Rocklands summons disgust and disappointment. At least the vibe is pretty great…

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  6. Mike Jul 30, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Perhaps contact the landlord and get them to put a sign along the fence…that way its pretty obvious to climbers that they are trespassing

  7. Delaney Jul 30, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Hi All

    As per Alan’s comment, I did announce this at Rock Stock.

    Yesterday, I got in contact with the following websites and the news will be going out soon on them as well:

    Rock and Ice
    Climbing Narc
    B3 Bouldering
    UK Climbing

    I have also asked the landowner to perhaps put a sign up on the road side but she says she’ll just bring her shotgun 😀 and ask Joane at Klein Kliphuis to call her when she sees a car parked on the side of the road so that she can come and remove the climbers. Of course, if the landowner has to do this, it really doesn’t bode well for all climbers. It will just make my job soooooo much harder trying to reopen it to the climbing community.

    We are also working on an online permit system for all the landowners in Rocklands – hoping to have this site ready for us before next season. It’s all unfortunately a very lengthy process.

    Any other suggestions are most definitely welcome and I trust that us locals will inform the foreigners we come across and assist in policing the area – great behaviour from the bouldering community will go a long way to mending the damaged relationship between landowners and boulderers.

    Thanks so much

  8. Chris F Jul 31, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Perhaps foriegn climbers like Cyrille can post links to this to their local climbing websites? There must be hundreds across the world, in dozens of languages, Delaney can only do so much.

  9. Ebert Jul 31, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Maybe tourists will start coming to other cool crags in SA now

    or develop rocklands in the other 200km direction

  10. Ty Jul 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    Is the area still closed ?
    I’ve seen ascents recorded on some websites…

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