Sabie Gorge

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Drive out of town towards Graskop. Just as you cross the bridge at Sabie Waterfall, turn left and park in the parking area. Walk through under the bridge and follow the footpath for about 130m. To the right there is an easy path down. Stay to the right, back towards the waterfall. Height: 12 – 18m


Situated in the gorge below the Sabie Waterfall. Lots of indigenous vegetation and some interesting birds. (Louries and even Fish Eagles to name a few.) Facing South, and being above 1050m above sea level, the sun is rarely a problem. The routes can become very wet and slippery during a heavy rainy season. You can take a swim in the river or pools or take a jump from higher up into the pools. Please check for submerged rocks first. I wouldn’t drink the water!!


The Cauldron

These routes are on the cliffs flanking the waterfall above the pool and most of them are accessed by rappeling down from chains to a hanging belay above the water. The routes follow from left to right (clock wise) when faced from the bridge. Makes for some good spectator value. These routes are not very high but pumpy for their grades. Warm up before doing them. Take your shortest 30m rope. If you don't mind the potential swim or some wet climbing shoes or chalk bag, the more adventurous can give it a bash at deep water soloing.

For the show of it 13 (8D)
On the main face across from the bridge to Graskop. Rap down from anchors and steer left. Steeper than it looks but good holds. Some nice laybacks.
F.A. Jaco de Wet & Ruan Pretorius 2007

Een Donker Nag 19 (9D)
On the main face across from the bridge 3m right of FTSOI. Rap down to hanging belay. Short but pumpy for the grade. Crank the small roof with funky moves. Balancy.
F.A. Ruan Pretorius & Jaco de Wet 2007

Bombs are Great 18 (8D)
On the right hand arete of the main face just to the right of EDN. Rap down to hanging belay.
F.A. Jaco de Wet & Ruan Pretorius 2007

Routes in the gorge

(Downstream from the bridge)

Onnerie Brug 22 (12D)
Starts right underneath the bridge going to Graskop. Climb the face or the small overhang to a flake and into the roof. Some skip the 4th bolt but then you shouldn’t bugger up the next! Either go straight across the roof (FA: Tiaan Boshoff 1996) or move out to the right (FA: Jaco de Wet 1998).

Project 2?
Jaco de Wet / Tiaan Boshoff

Aalwynkrans (Direct) 20 (9D)
6-7m right of OB. The face above a huge overhang. Start on a little platform on the left and then traverse onto the face. Please be kind to the little cliff-aloe at the top. To reduce drag you can unclip the first draw after clipping the second.
FA: Craig le Roux 1996

Aalwynkrans (Variation) 20 (10D)
The same as the direct. At the 4th bolt traverse right and then climb to the same anchors. A bit of a zig-zag with some drag on the rope. Take your longest draws for the 4th, 5th, and 6th.
FA: Jaco de Wet 1996


(The Magician’s Nephew – Up in Smoke)

Around the corner from Aalwynkrans there is an open book with 4-5 routes. Start on the little platform.

The Magician’s Nephew 15 (8D)
On the left hand face. Try to stay away from the obvious crack on the left. Shares the 3rd bolt with PS.
FA: Jaco de Wet 2003

Pleasant Surprise 16 (8D)
In the middle of the left hand face. Climb to the anchors on the right.
FA: Tiaan Boshoff 1996

The Bulge 17 (7D)
Just to the right of PS. Share some of the bolts and the same anchors with PS. A thin start. Run out between 3rd and 4th but easy.
FA: Jaco de Wet 1996

Jaco at the crux of the "The Stair Case" (19) Photo: Heinz Kotze

The Stair Case 19 (8D)
The right hand side of the open book. The crux is right at the start. The rest is just a nice climb. After the second draw, keep left. Straight up is very easy but with no draws.
FA: Craig le Roux 1996

Piece of Cake 14 (7D)
To the right of TSC. Follow the obvious line from the bottom and share last bolt and anchors with TSC. First bolt is rather high, but easy.
FA: Tania Louw 2004

Up in Smoke 18 (9D)
Just to the left of POC. A tricky start. Don't fumble the third bolt.
FA: Jens Kock 2007

Pixy Toes 22 (9D)
About 13m right from POC before you get to a huge overhang. Start on an arête. The fun starts after you’ve clipped the third draw.
FA: Lourens Inggs 2005

Monster 24 ??
The obvious line under the huge roof, halfway between PT and KA. Climb into the open book to clip the 3rd. Use a longer draw on the 2nd to reduce rope abrasion. You can tie off on the 3rd, wile the be-layer unclip the 1st to reduce drag. Chimney up the open book to the roof. Here the route splits in two. Use a fist jam above you and then move right onto the face, Monster Crunch [F.A. Jaco de Wet 2007 (10D)] or go left, Monster Munch [F.A. Ruan Pretorius 2007 (9D)] and follow an arête to anchors.

Kid’s Arête 14 - 17 (7D)
Start in a little corner where there is an overhang on your left with a knobbly face above it. Start on the right and climb unto the face on the left as soon as possible. Go to the arête ASAP with your feet on the little bulge as far down as you can. Climb the arête to the anchors. The further left you stay the more difficult it is – the further right, the easier.
FA: Jaco de Wet 2003

Martiens de Necker on Kid's Corner (14)

Kid’s Corner 14 (9D)
The same as KA and share the same bolts with it. Stay on the face, though, and use different anchors as well as the last 2 bolts.
FA: Jaco de Wet 1996

Little leap of Faith (21) (8D)
From the boulder, 3m out from the start of HW and ID, jump to the first hold on the face above the huge roof. Be carefull when on top rope not to land yourself back onto the boulder if you miss the hold! Climb the face to a ledge and then across the horn to the anchors.
Jaco de Wet and Ruan Pretorius 2007

Holy Water 20+ (10D)
Start on some blocks in the puddle under a roof. (Keep your feet dry!!) Crank the roof through the obvious line with some good under clings to a chock stone. Climb the face only (20+) or the chimney (9) to anchors. F.A. Jens Kock (2007)

The start of "Holy Water" and "Intelligent Design". Photo: Herman Landsaat

Intelligent Design 20+ (9D)
Start the same as HW. Do not climb onto the chock stone after the roof, but stay on the arête to the right all the way to top. F.A. Jaco de Wet 2007

Blitz Krieg Project 24/25?? (2A)
Starts about 3m to the right of HW and ID right underneath the power lines. Jens Kock

Treebeard’s Towers

(The Nameless Fear – Jungle Gym)

Next to and in the shade of an old Yellow Wood, (Treebeard) there are a couple of pillars. Check out the Louries if you’re lucky.

The Nameless Fear 17 (7D)
The obvious line 5 – 6 m left of SP. Climb onto the face on the right after the third bolt and before you reach the small tree. F.A. Jaco de Wet and Jens Kock 2007

Spread-eagle Pillar 24 (7D)
Climb a small face (one bolt) to a platform on the right and then onto a little pillar to a small roof and straight across to anchors. Use the pillar only!! Exposed, run out and risky!! Not a nice route.
FA: Jaco de Wet 2001

Do not chimney 17 (5D)
Just to the right of SP. Do not climb into the crack and the idea is to not use chimney moves at all. If you do its probably a 12. Run out from last to anchors. When in doubt – chimney!
FA: Jaco de Wet & Ruan Pretorius 2001

Ruan Pretorius on Baboon's Neck

Baboon’s Neck 23 (6D)
From the same ledge as DNC. Stay on the right of the arête and climb over the first bulge to a roof. Traverse right underneath the Baboon’s head and then up to anchors.
FA: Jaco de Wet & Ruan Pretorius 2004

Smaug 16 (8D)
The steep arête 3m to the right of BN. Stay on the arête and to the left all the way to the top. Good holds all the way. Share anchors with BN.
Jaco de Wet (2007)

Born Free 12 (7D)
Starts in a recess. The face on the left. Can be wet and slippery in rainy season. Harder if you only use the face and not the layback or chimney.
FA: Jens Kock 2006

Tania's Project Project
The chimney with the roof halfway up, at the back of the recess. Tania Louw 2008

Long Drop 14 (8D)
Starts in the same recess as BF. The face on the right. Steeper than it looks but with good holds.
FA: Tania Louw 2005

After the Piece of Cake 15 (8D)
Climbs the arête to the right of LD.
FA: Tania Louw 2005

Mello Yellow 19+ (7D)
The line just to the right of ATPOC. Duck under the branch at the top. Thanx for cleaning it up, Jens.
F.A: Jens Kock 2006

Quickbeam 18 (7D)
In the middle of the face there is a fist size hole (good for a jam). Angles to the right – don’t go onto MY on the left.
F.A: Jaco de Wet 2006

Shelob’s Lair 9 (5D)
The little chimney that climbs to a chock stone at the top.
F.A: Jens Kock 2007

The taming of Smeagol 19 (7D)
Climbs the face just right of SL and angles right. Do not use the big blocks in the middle of the face – unless you don’t like your be-layer. The blocks can make it much easier and maybe dangerous.
F.A: Jaco de Wet & Jens Kock 2007

Harder for Hobbits 22 (8D)
Starts on the arête and climbs right, into the roof. More than one way of cranking the roof. Shares last bolt and anchors with JG.
F.A: Ruan Pretorius and Jaco de Wet 2007

Jungle Gym 14 (7D)
The last climb on Treebeard’s Towers. Climbs the easy lichen covered steps to the right of HFH. Steps left after the forth bolt and shares last and anchors with HFH.
F.A: Jens Kock 2006

Bush Baby 20 (7D)
Starts 2m left of Brandwag. The start is easy but climbs into a tricky roof and end. Harder for midgets.
FA: Jaco de Wet 2005

Brandwag 18 (9D)
4m left of DOTW. Climb straight up to a small roof. Do not go right – the crux is to go straight across with a layback on your left hand.
FA: Jaco de Wet 1997

Dancing on the Wall 17 (9D)
The first route you find as you come down into the gorge. The 1st small brownish face you find. After the 3rd bolt traverse in direction of B. The 4th is very loose. Into same roof and anchors as Brandwag. Keep B’s bolts to your left. Some rope-drag as you start to traverse.
FA: Jaco de Wet 1999


CFE.. Boulders in Sabie are abundant, just needs to be cleaned up.lots of projects just waiting to be 
climbed and lots of Problems needing a second ascend.

Lone boulder
The boulder in the open,100m down the path to the waterfall on your left.

Purple Rain 7a+ / v7
Starts on the small crack line up to the flake, Dyno to jug and top out. (the small rock at the bottem is in as a foot grip)
FA: Johnny steenkamp 2007

Rath-Of-God 6b+ / v5
Same line as Queen of the Golgari, Skip the Dyno and travers out left.
FA: Johnny Steenkamp 2003

Ants 5+ / v2
Starts just left of R-O-G, Standing start top out. Short and sweet
FA: Lourens Inggs 2003

Project ?
Start on the thin crack same as the other, follow crack right onto Mono and slopers top out.
Good spotters is a must on the top out.

Fog boulder
The boulder at the old yellow wood, under the roughts on the right of the path.
To the bottem of spread eagle pillar.

FOG 6c+ / v5
Start on the pocket at waist height, bad foot grips, slap out left then top out on top of the boulder. ( Boulder nexto it is out )
A big armspan helps alot.
FA: Johnny steenkamp 2003