Grootkloof (trad)

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This kloof is owned by the MCSA and permits should be obtained - see the main page for details. Contact the MCSA for access details.

Routes/ Gradings

There are 129 traditional climbs here, mostly single pitch routes but generally of very high quality. A few routes are bolted or have some bolts but many of them are very badly rusted. The grades vary from 5 to 28 with some really good classics at most grades.


Water is always available in the river. It is usually quite shaded and cool in the kloof.


The usual approach is through Ysterhoutkloof (Kleinkloof), the customary camping kloof, and then scrambling into Grootkloof via Grootkloof Gully at grade 8. Water is always available as the stream flows strongly throughout the year. The meet point is 20m upstream from the base of the gully, next to a large 15m high rock buttress in the kloof. Walking upstream from the meet point is straightforward; alternative access to the upper end of the kloof being via Easy Gully. Access downstream necessitates wading, and climbing or abseiling down Pool Descent 10 to get past a 20m waterfall. Continuing lower down the kloof requires frequent wading. Slab gully on the true left provides alternative access to the lower part of the kloof, requiring one abseil; otherwise one can walk into the kloof from where it opens out about 75m downstream. On the true right-hand side, Woody Gully provides easy access into the upper part of the kloof, and Walking Gully into the lower part. The watercourse opposite Grootkloof Gully provides a convenient 7 descent to the meet point for climbs on the right-hand side. One should scramble down the true left-hand side of this watercourse to enter it about 25m up from Phoenix. For those not familiar with this descent, an abseil down the last 15m is recommended. A unique feature of the kloof is a huge suspended chockstone with trees growing on it straddling the whole kloof midway between Sonderbroek and Trumpet. The climbs are up to 60m in height and the rock is generally excellent. There is a good selection of climbs in all grades. BLACK EAGLES nest from April to October inclusive and the following climbs should NOT be done during this period. NEW ERA CRACK, LILLIPUT RIDGE and THE CRYSTAL SHIP.

Route guide

MCSA site - Groot kloof