|Climbing Type||Trad / Sport|
|Rock Type||Quartzitic Sandstone|
Very nice multi-pitch tradding in a big amphitheatre. +/-10 Single Pitch Sport Routes and +/-30 Multi Pitch Trad Routes. 15min walk including an abseil down into amphitheatre The climbing is located on a farm called Bergplaas in the Karoo. The last time I was there the farm was for sale, so it probably be best to phone in advance and check on the situation. The climbing is on good sandstone, although it can be loose in certain places (bottom left hand corner in particular (take your brain bucket along for amphitheatre routes). There are only 2 sport routes (a short 24 and a 26) and more than 50 trad routes of good quality and the scenery around you is quite tranquil.
The owners are amenable to climbers visiting. The facility is up market and therefore unruly, scruffy and grungy visitors who lower the tone of the place will inevitably result in access being denied to all. Climbers should avoid the place if it is on a busy weekend and a phone call will establish the parameters for a visit. The present arrangement is that visitors can climb without staying over if they pay an effective fee of R150,00 per person but this fee may be waived in lieu of having a meal there and thus showing support. Always please phone in advance to suss out the latest parameters.
Rack of friends and nuts, long slings useful to avoid rope drag. Wear a Helmet and double ropes are advisable
The sport climbing is single pitch. The trad climbing is up to 4 pitches. The rock is compact sandstone, you will find loose rock in certain areas of the crag (far left hand side of the main amphitheatre), most of the routes however are superb with no loose rock. Grades vary from 10/4 - 28/7b+
From Cape Town, get onto the N1 towards Paarl, go over the Du Toits Kloof pass or through the tunnel. Stay on the N1 past Worcester, past De Doorns, up the Hex river pass and when you see a right hand turn to Montagu, you turn left into the Karoo1 Hotel and Village. Stop off at reception and declare your arrival!
Food and accommodation
Accommodation is up market and the hotel boasts a restaurant and bar.
Attractions & Activities
Nature walks and drives, Mountain biking, photographic workshops, Team building
Climbing is possible all year round all, though it does get VERY hot in December/January/ February and July/August is very cold (frost like cold) and you will see that there is snow on the Matroosberg (2251m).
Tel: 023 358 2131 http://www.karoo1.com
Many of the routes are described in the Mountain Club Journal of 1997.
There is a big overhang at the base of the wall that is unappealing. The climbing is above this overhang and is accessed from above. From the parking area walk to the top of the amphitheatre up on the left. Before reaching the end of the fence, scramble down angling right and then walk around the corner to the left.
THE GEM 22 45m Natural
Get down to a point where the waterfall is just to the right while looking down, place a nut and a cam and do a 45m abseil to a spot directly above the base overhang. Do this by placing a few nuts on the way down so as to stay in against the wall, and without abbing off the end of the rope. From a hanging stance climb up to a small roof to a piton. Move left and up the corner (crux). Climb the arete for 10 metres. Well protected. A real gem!
FA: David Davies & Hilton Davies, 19 July 1998
RUDD'S ROUTE 22 40m Natural
From the abseil point for The Gem, head along the narrow ledge to an abseil point with two pitons. Do a 40m abseil straight down to a small ledge, out of sight and just above the big overhang at the base of the crag. From the ledge climb up and right and then back left above the small roof to a piton. With some delicate face moves continue directly up, eventually joining the edge of an arete. Climb the arete to finish 5 metres left of the abseil pitons.
FA: Hilton Davies & David Davies, 19 July 1998
CRYSTAL ARETE 19 50m Natural
Use the same abseil point as for Rudd's Route but angle in towards the main amphitheatre to gain a ledge below a series of steps and just above the big base overhang.
Pitch 1: Grade 17, 20m. Climb directly up to gain a small ledge at the start of the prominent arete.
Pitch 2: Grade 19, 30m. Head up to the piton then right and up the arete. The arete is made up of millions of little crystal formations. Continue directly up the arete to a ledge. From the ledge descend easy ground to the left to regain the abseil point.
FA: David Davies & Hilton Davies, 19 July 1998
Temple of Sprad ***** 23 (35m) Sprad 3 bolts to start and natural
FA: C Edelstein Sep 2022 with contributions from Willem Le Roux, Clinton Marinengo (FFA) Rob Powell Tini Versfeld and Aiden Bennetts
Use the rap anchors of the sport route on the left to descend 35metres to the bolted stance. Climb the stellar crack system past 3 bolts to easier ground and continue past a 4th bolt over a detached looking block to the top. This route can be protected with nature gear but will be much harder at grade 25.
Absolutely superb climbing!