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Climbing TypeBouldering, Sport, Trad
Rock TypeQuartzite/Sandstone
SeasonAll year round
ProvinceWestern Cape

The Houdenbek climbing areas surround the Houdenbek Farm Cottages on a farm called Môrester.

Directions: From Ceres, take the R303 north. Take a right just after Op-die-Berg and drive for another 20 minutes.

For accommodation (guest houses or camping) please contact Johalet van der Merwe. Details are on the website http://www.houdenbek.co.za/.

Weather forecast: http://www.yr.no/place/South_Africa/Western_Cape/Houdenbek/long.html

Mountain bike trails: http://www.irideafrica.com/portfolio/houdenbek-mtb-trails/


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blue pin = bouldering
green pin = trad
red pin = sport


Large boulder fields at Houdenbek remain unexplored. There are some great boulders amongst many others that are too blank, too covered in holds, too small, or too large. It is therefore difficult to compare with well-documented bouldering destinations like Rocklands.

Valley of Kings

  • Bushman Beats 6C
  • Tipping Point 6A. Nice slab.
  • Rocking Point 6A+. Right of Tipping Point.
  • Wacky Baccy 6C
  • Thievery Corporation 6C Harder if you're short.
Grexit 6C. GPS: -32.95618, 19.41738. Sit start under the rounded overhanging arete/prow. Climb up on crimps/edges then lunge direclty up for sloping lip of the boulder. Match, then lunge again and top out.

Matt's Magic Line 7A+
Unknown problem at Valley of Kings

The Incredible Health Area

Trolling 6C+. GPS: -32.95530, 19.42976. Start deep in a cave on the back of the Hulk boulder. Traverse left around the corner (core intensive). Don't dab! Keep traversing left then top out. (Overhanging wall behind your back is out.)

Stocking 7B+. Climb the overhanging arête from the bottom. Top out at the top.
Hulk 7B. On the other side of Stocking. Near the top of the sport crag (southern side).

Holdin' Back 6A+. GPS: -32.95282, 19.43133. Sit start on a jug on the right of the boulder just left of two big blacks streaks that go up the whole boulder. Right hand up to sloper and then continue straight up. Bullet hard rock!
Hackerman 7B. GPS: -32.95281, 19.43137. Stand start on large undercling/layback. Left hand out to the arete. Right hand to undercling. Move left and up to top out. https://vimeo.com/132746668

Top Drawer 6C. GPS: -32.95292, 19.43150. Sit start at the bottom of the arête. Big move up to the obvious shelf-like jug. Even bigger move to the top of the boulder. Super-fun moves. Harder (easier) if you are short (tall).
Anthill Dawn 7A+. GPS: -32.95211, 19.43296. Start both hands on the shelf jug at the back of the roof (same hold as for Tomorrow Never Flies). Heal hook the jug and move out to smaller crimps in the roof. Hold the cut loose then continue through the roof and top out.
Tomorrow Never Flies 6C. GPS: -32.95211, 19.43296. Start both hands on the shelf jug at the back of the roof (as for Anthill Dawn). Move backwards/outwards to a big jug system behind you. Follow this along to the lip of the boulder and top out using the same holds as Anthill Dawn.

One Orange Crescent 6C. GPS: -32.95205, 19.43259. Sit start at the crimp edge at the bottom of the arête. Move up to the sloper and then straight up. Easier if you sit start on the sloper. Even easier (and still really good) with a stand start (6A ish).

Poison Morph

Little Green Grovel 6B. Close to Hulk. Sit start, matching on crimps. One hard move to biggish crimp on left. Top out direct. Difficult if you are tall!
Fountain of Youth 6A+

South Side

Bear Grylls 7C
Lazda 6C
Half Nelson 7B
Chocobanana 7A
Long Lock to Freedom 7A

Slave Trade 7A+
Emile1.jpg Emile2.jpg

Emile3.jpg Emile4.jpg


Roly Poly 6A+. GPS: -32.95398, 19.42567. Goes up the scoop face visible from the campsite. Sit start on the jug. Two moves left then roll into a mantle--palm down position and top out. Stand start has been done hands-free.


Topo download: http://www.climbing.co.za/topo/download/53648/

In general, people should exercise caution when climbing on some of the lower wall sections which have sections of very hollow and loose/sandy rock. Anything could break and does! We broke off a number of pieces whilst climbing. It will get better with time but as its a new crag people need to be safe and perhaps climb with a helmet. After about the 3rd bolt on each route the rock gets much better and more solid.

At least one bolt has popped out: "The bolt in question was the first bolt of ‘Get Some’ (18) – I was leading and saw it was loose so gave it a tug and it just popped out."

Left to right:

  • Twin Towers (21) Richard Halsey 2011 (BB Russell Warren)
  • Circus Sideshow (18) Scott Miller May 2014
  • Beats Working (17) Rolfe Van Breda May 2014
  • Rapture (16) Scott Miller May 2014
  • Yo Gabba Gabba (14) Scott Miller Nov 2014
  • Undertow (16) Scott Miller April 2014
  • Serious Callers Only (23/24) Rolfe Van Breda May 2014
  • Chunga’s Revenge (23/24)Tony Lourens March 2015
  • Slim Shady (20) Scott Miller Feb 2014
  • High Times (15) Scott Miller Nov 2014
  • Amazaballs (15) ** Scott Miller Feb 2014
  • Applestar Galactica (21) *** Gareth Meder 2011
  • Granny Swish (23) Richard Halsey 2011 (bolted by Russell Warren)
  • iClimb Fujitsu (24) Richard Halsey 2011 (bolted by Russell Warren)
  • Mothers of Invention (22)Tony Lourens 2014
  • Keeps the Doctor Away (20) *** Russell Warren 2010
  • Tropic Thunder (19) Scott Miller Feb 2014
  • Attitude Adjuster (21+) Rolfe Van Breda April 2014 (could be harder, lots of holds have broken)
  • The Grand Wazoo (20) *** Tony Lourens Dec 2014
  • Get Some (18) *** Scott Miller Feb 2014
  • Pink Lady (16) *** Charl van der Merwe 2010
  • Golden Delicious (18) *** Catharina Warren 2010
  • Eating Crumble Pie (19) *** Russell Warren 2011
  • Crumble Pie and Cream (20) Tony Lourens 2014. Start on Crumble Pie, then breaks right


NEW ROUTES (these are left of Peaches En Regalia)
Yellow line Hou Jou Bek (23) ***** FA: C. Tooze 27/09/2020

Red Line No More Heroes (21) **** FA: B. Watts 09/09/2019

  • Peaches En Regalia (21) **** Tony Lourens June 2014
  • More than I could Chew (22) *** Russell Warren 2010
  • Unwitting Accomplice (22) *** Rolfe Van Breda May 2014 (bolted by Russell Warren)
  • One more Bite (20) ** Catharina Warren 2010
  • Overnite Sensation (21) Tony Lourens Feb


LATEST TOPO UPDATE NOV 2015 Topo download: http://www.climbing.co.za/w/images/9/9c/Houdenbek_Trad_topo_170529_96dpi.pdf

If you open any trad routes, please contact Richard Halsey (email in the guide) and he will update the topo.