Eastern Cape

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Eastern Cape climbing offers a variety of different rock types. There are many small crags with good potential for new route development. There is an Eastern Cape section of the MCSA and the Rhodes University Mountain club.

PDF Topo Downloads for Climbing Areas in the Eastern Cape


Map of Climbing Areas in the Eastern Cape

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Area Name Featured Image Climbing Type Description
Bouldering Small bouldering area near Grahamstown, access still being negotiated.
Bobbejaankop & African Rennaissance image needed ? description needed
Buffalo River image needed Sport & Trad Close to East London with short routes on dolorite, set in thick bush, 7 sport routes and over 100 trad routes. Good potential for more routes here. Contact Allen Luck 083 756-4290 for access.
Cape St Francis image needed Bouldering seaside bouldering
Trad A series of walls & kloofs (gorges) about an hour from Port Elizabeth. Mostly trad routes.
Coffee Bay image needed Trad Seacliffs, excellent short trad routes. Contact the Coffeeshack backpacker's lodge.
Compassberg image needed Multi-pitch Trad Multi-pitch trad routes near Nieu Bethesda. Contact the MCSA for details.
Coombs image needed Sport Short sport routes near Grahamstown, access permanently closed due to climbers not following access requirements. Please check access carefully at crags before just rocking
Crag-X Grahamstown
'The Celestial Omnibus', Crag-X, Grahamstown
Example Small crag with a bit of bouldering not too far from Grahamstown.
Fort Fordyce image needed Sport A few sport routes can be found here visit Climbing the Amatoles for more information.
Graaff-Reinet image needed Sport Sport routes near the caravan park. There is no routes bolted only single anchors but the hangers are with Neil Keyser. Take care for loose rocks. Area needs to be cleared before climbing at the anchors. Contact Neil Keyser or Willem Avenant for the hangers.
Groot Rivier image needed Sport There are 6 sport routes 25m long. From Plettenberg Bay head west along the N2 for about 32km. Some 8km past the R102 turn-off to Nature's Valley park at a gate just beyond the Groot Rivier Bridge. Go through the gate and walk left (east) on a forest road and then head north up the slope to the right of the fire break for about 5 minutes. A cairn of white stones is visible in the undergrowth to the left. Follow a vague trail for about 5minutes through the bush heading down to your left (south-west). Find bolted lower offs. The Groot River bridge is visible about 1km away. There are 4 routes of moderate grade (17 to 20) below the lower offs. The 2 routes visible to the right (when facing the crag) are harder the right one being about 21.
Grootrivierpoort image needed Sport & Trad At the start of Baviaanskloof, a.k.a "Grips". Sport and trad routes. Contact Steven Reed from the MCSA.
Hellspoort image needed Sport Crag near Grahamstown closed due to climbers littering!
Steven Reed on 'Starstruck', Hogsback, EC
Sport & Trad Sport & trad routes near the beautiful town of Hogsback. Hogsback in the Amatola Region, Eastern Cape.
Howissen's Poort/Scoops image needed Sport Short sport routes close to Grahamstown.
Joubertina image needed Sport & Trad Sport & Trad climbing in the Kouga mountains. Contact Steven Reed from the MCSA.
Keinrivier image needed ? description needed
Lady Slipper
Eric de Beer on After Dinner Mint Boulder at Lady Slipper, Eastern Cape
Bouldering description needed
Lalapanzi image needed Trad A dolerite crag some 80km from East London (on the way to Morgan Bay). Only 7 trad routes have been opened so far.
Morgan Bay image needed Trad Seacliffs, brilliant short trad routes with a few good sport routes on a mix of dolerite, sedimentary & granite. Route book at the Morgan Bay Hotel, or contact Derek Marshall on 083 681-8713 in East London. 315 routes here so far.
NSA, East London image needed Sport & Trad In East London, some sandstone with 12 sport routes ranging from 17-26 and an open project with a few trad routes too.
Pinnacle Gorge image needed ? You need to be a member of the Mountain Club of South Africa Eastern Cape Section to access this area.
Pompies Pillar image needed Trad A short dolerite crag in East London with 1 sport route and a couple of trad lines, limited potential.
The Grots image needed Bouldering Tiny bouldering area near Grahamstown.
The Shire image needed ? description needed
Van Stadens Gorge image needed ? description needed
Van Stadens River Dam
Hydrophilic, The Beach
Sport About 10 sport routes close to Lady's Slipper. Contact Steven Reed from the MCSA.
Hydrophilic, Donovan Willis showing his guns on an unnamed 29 in Waterkloof, Eastern Cape
Sport The kloof is a sport climbers dream. The area is pristine, the rock is excellent, the walk-in is short and in summer the kloof stays very cool.
Windmill Hole image needed Sport & Trad In East London with some sport routes on sandstone ranging from 14-25 as well as 10 trad routes.
Yellow Sands image needed Sport About 25km from East London, an amazing short dolerite crag. Access is sensitive please first contact Derek Marshall on 083 681-8713. There are 3 bolted lines graded 20-24 and a few trad lines with some development potential.

Eastern Cape Climbing Clubs

There is an Eastern Cape section of the MCSA and the Rhodes University Mountain club.