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The Rooiberg Mountain is on the farm of Nuwerus which is owned by Louise Esterhuizen and Steven Windell. The crags, which are situated about 40 minutes walk from the farmstead, were only developed recently and offer great routes on typical hard Cederberg rock with massive potential for literally hundreds of routes, so grab your drill (or your trad gear) and head on out.

The farm has good camping and chalets and has a large boma with a huge fireplace, outside pub and DSTV, with Steven and Louise offering great farm-style hospitality. It is best to climb here in the warmer months as the crag is westfacing and gets the sun from around 1.30 pm. In winter it gets hardly any sun and can be very chilly. Besides the climbing, Nuwerus Farm has some great hiking trails on which you can explore the typical Cederberg country, down spectacular valleys and over rocky mountains.

Bolting: Rooiberg is a trad and sport area, with plenty potential for single- and multipitch (up to 120 m high) sport and trad routes. Please take note that although bolting is permitted here, let the owners know that you would like to bolt and fill in the ‘new routes’ book. Also have the courtesy to check that your bolting project is not an existing trad line. Please also try and put top anchors on your single-pitch trad routes to facilitate descents.

Approach: To the left of the round swimming pool are some shed-like buildings. From behind these buildings make your way through a series of gates to gain the river bank. Boulder-hop across the river and find the start of the trail that leads up to the huge brown amphitheatre and over the Rooiberg. Follow the trail to the foot of the rock (about 40 minutes), then go left and up the slope for 100 m or so to the start of the climbing on a square protuding buttress.

Please note that the routes on these crags are quite long and it is advisable to use a 60 m rope. The routes are discribed from right to left, as this is the way you approach the crags. The two trad routes were saved from the drill at the last minute and are fine additions to the crag!

Route info here

For any enquiry please contact Louise at Nuwerust rest camp.

by email adress:

or by telephone:

+27 27 482 2813

This wiki is not complete, many of the routes only appear in the hardcopy guidebook "Rooiberg" for the crag.

New Routes

When putting up new routes, please check with the owners where the pair of black eagles are actively nesting.

Sport Routes

1. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 22

2. Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying 15

3. Book of Fun 16

4. Twice as Smooth 21 B Higgens, J Temple Forbes

5. J & B Rare 23 B Higgens, J Temple Forbes

6. Funky Town 20 S Miller

7. Coolio 21 S Miller

8. May the Vors be With You 20 S Miller

9. Slap the Donkey 19 S Miller

10. Too Hot To Handle 17 Kyle

11. Huge Jugs 17 D Hugo

12. 40 Ounce to Freedom 17,18,19,17 S Miller

pitch 1 (17) 28m start 3 meters to the left of the route "huge jugs" go past the lower offs at the top and carry on for 3 meters to the chains above.

pitch 2 (18) 29m traverse 4-5 meters right and head up line of bolts.

Pitch 3 (19) 25m traverse 5 meters left and follow bolts straight up.

Pitch 4 (17) 10m head up and left to diagonal offwitdth. The rock on the route is of excellent quality but the ledges along the way have loose rock on them, use caution and common sense, wear a helmet. Equipment needed- 12 draws, 60m rope Descent. abseil the route (NOTE 60m rope required) or from top of pitch 4 traverse up and left on easy terrain till you reach the top of Rooiberg. Follow cliff to the left until you find the descent trail cairns.

PLEASE NOTE The last 6 meters (roughly 5% of the route) of this sport route follow the last 6 meters of Dave Mercers excellent trad line. For the interest of completeness the route shares this section. In keeping with the mixture of sport and trade at this venue I hope that people understand the need for the last few bolts.

13. Starblazers 19 S Miller

Sport rooiberg.jpg

Single Pitch Trad

The following routes are located among the sport routes at the left side of the main wall. The first two are in the Rooiberg guide book.

  • Rosetta 18 (N)

Start at J & B Rare and tend right to small book. Traverse right into tricky groove, then diagonally right to stance on large pedestal.
R. Halsey & R. Zipplies 25/09/2010

  • Mars Ventures 21/22 (N)

Climb the corner ~15m right of J & B Rare, traverse right under roof until steep crack leads onto face. Straight up to stance on top of large pedestal. Small aliens useful to protect crux.
R. Halsey 24/09/2010

Rosetta 18 and Mars Ventures 21/22
For both routes, roped traverse to anchors on Twice as Smooth.

Crazy Town (22)

Follow the narrow, right facing corner to the right of Funky Town. Step left at the roof and fight through the crack above. Continue straight up the face then traverse left ~1.5m to the anchors on Funky Town .

FA: R. Halsey & D. Manners (June 2016)

Dead Parrot (19)

Climb up to below the roof to the left of Ethel the Aardvark. Pull through on the left and traverse around to the right to pull onto the face. Head up the face and then step left to finish up the arete at the top. Can use anchors on Ethel to descend.

FA: R. Halsey (Jan 2018)

Norwegian Blue (18)

Climbs a fairly direct line between Ethel the Aardvark and Lock Stock. First gear is a bit tricky.

FA: R. Halsey and T. Dunnett Jan 2018


Left to right: Dead Parrot, Norwegian Blue

Keeling Squids (20)

Follows the groves, arete, and acute right facing corner between Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Fetch me a Shrubbery. After the corner, head straight up the face and then move left to the anchors on LSTSB.

FA: R. Halsey (June 2016)

Pining for the Fjords (19)

Climb the face to the right of No Shrubbery on this One to gain the hand crack above (this is to the right the crack through the roof used by No Shrubbery). Continue straight up to finish the last few moves on No Shrubbery.

FA: R. Halsey and T. Dunnett (Jan 2018)

The following two routes are located on each side of a cave at the right side of the River crag. This cave is just left of the sport route Mantis

Descent: The is an abseil point up and left of Little Urchin Foot. Scramble from the ledge where the route ends to the next level up and find a touch point with tat/biner.

Little Urchin Foot (18)

Climbs the left side of the cave which is to the left of the sport routes on the far right hand side of the crag.

Scramble up and tend right to below two small left facing corners. Pull through these and then tend diagonally right up the face above the centre of the cave

FA: R. Halsey & T. Dunnett (June 2016)

The Ghetto Gecko (17)

Climbs the right side of the cave which is to the left of the sport routes on the far right hand side of the crag.

Follow the right side of the cave to below a small, right facing corner. Pull up through then then straight up to the top.

FA: R. Halsey, M. Bosman & T. Dunnett (June 2016)


1. Little Urchin Foot, 2.The Ghetto Gecko

Multi - pitch

Topo of Rooiberg showing the latest new trad routes ver 3.jpg Rooiberg Trad Routes

  • Kif Kids G1/19

FA: C.Turvey, D. Mercer, G. Dondel 24/9/2010

Start: At the point where the approach path meets the rock face and turns left there is a large, flat, and marble like slab of rock on the right close to the base of the cliff. Approximately 30 – 40m to the right of this an easy scramble leads to a ledge some 5m above the ground. The climb starts from the right hand end of this ledge.

P1 - 25m F3/16: Above to the right are two projecting roofs. Climb the bird-lime splattered face tending rightwards, to below the left-hand roof. Pull up into the recess on the right of the roof and follow the corner crack to a large belay balcony on the left.

P2 – 35m G1/18: Traverse left over shattered rock the up and left following a corner crack that arches up and left across the undercut face. Where the crack ends pull up into an awkward, but short, open book. At the top of the open book exit right and onto a thin ledge sporting a large, precarious looking block.

P3 – 45m F3/16: From the right end of the thin ledge climb up a short crack. Follow a layback and jam crack up and rightwards and when this runs out move straight up into an open book corner. Climb the open book corner and then a short, broken face to stance on a long ledge.

Follow the ledge 6m to the right to the off-width crack in the corner of the enormous square recess. The next pitch starts at the base of this recess.

P4 – 12m F2/14: Climb diagonally right up the face to a shattered ledge below some large roofs on the front of the buttress

P5 – 30m G1/19: Above and to the left is a short, square, undercut face capped by a large roof. Climb diagonally across the face to a small stance on the arête on the left (good pro can be found in the roof crack). Climb straight up on easy rock. Belay where the angle eases.

A short scramble gains the top.

  • Meanderthal F3/16

FA: D.Mercer and C.Turvey 25/01/2014

A fantastic meander on superb rock. Easier than it looks all the way. Every pitch a classic! Highly recommended.

Start: Starts a metre or two to the right of Swazi Kings. ie at the same point as the single pitch route - Awkward Ape

P1 - 30m F3/16: Climb up a few metres before starting a long climbing traverse to the right crossing Crackattack just above it's first cruxy roof. Continue to a ledge that runs out to the front of the buttress. Climb up and right following a stepped recess to a ledge at the base of an obvious off-width corner crack.

P2 - 15m F3/16: Climb the corner, using the off-width where necessary and good hold on the face to the left. At the top of the off-width bunch up under an overhang and using a good undercling turn the overhang on the left. Continue up to the large balcony ledge above.

The next pitch starts a couple of meters to the right and follows the undercut and blocky right hand arete.

P3 - 20m F3/16: Stepping off a protruding shelf (cairn) climb straight up the blocky arete and continue up to the long ledge above.

Walk to the right. Continue past Blunt Brothers recess for some 30m to a point just before the next large recess starts. There is a square block on the ledge below a short vertical crack capped by a low overhang breaking right.

P4 - 20m F3/16: Climb up to the overhang and rail right and pull up onto a protruding square block. Climb diagonally up and right onto the blunt arete. Follow the arete easily and continue past a ledge to a higher ledge below a steepening in the face.

P5 - 30m F3/16: Traverse to the right following the ledge to the off-width corner crack. Climb up a couple of metres till able to move right onto the face to the right of the off-width. Pull through a low overhang and continue up the deceptively easy face to the top.

  • Blunt Brothers F3/17

FA: D. Mercer and C. Turvey 3/02/2010

Good rock all the way, pitch 4 is particularly good - recommended.

Start: Where the path to Rooiberg meets the rock face it turns left to follow the wall. It soon climbs steeply up into the prominent corner below the great red roof. A short way up on the right hand side is a ledge on a corner under a large overhang. On the end of the ledge is a pointy white block.

P1 – 30m F2/15: Traverse right from the white block across the easy angled face to the corner. Hand traverse a further 5-6m to a detached block. Belay at the block.

P2 – 40m F2/15: Climb straight up the face above the block. Move slightly left at the top of the face and continue up to stance at the base of a recess capped by a triangular roof.

P3 – 20m F2/14: Climb the left hand wall of the recess heading diagonally up and left to a block stack on the edge of the overhang. Climb the block stack, pull through the small overhang above and continue up to a long broad ledge.

Walk 10 – 15m to the right to a big recess capped by a huge triangular roof. The next pitch climbs the layback crack at the back of the recess on the left.

P4 – 16m F3/17: Climb the crack till forced left. Do a tricky move up to gain a hand rail below the dassie ledge. Follow the rail (and sparse footholds) to the left till forced to pull up onto the dassie ledge. Follow the dassie ledge to the left to a broad, bushy ledge.

P5 – 20m F2/14: 8m to the left of the dassie ledge climb an obvious weakness in the face above. Jug-haul up the face to where the angle eases.

Scrambling leads to the top.

  • Swazi Kings F3/17

FA: D. Mercer and C. Turvey 28/03/2010

Good rock all the way, destined to become a classic!

Start: The climb starts at the base of the big red recess below the huge red roof. This is some 6 or 7m up slope from the start of Blunt Brothers. A convenient block on a ledge marks the start on the right hand wall of the recess.

P1 – 45m F3/17: Climb straight up from the ledge trending right to gain the base of a wide crack on the right hand wall (a loose block blocks the bottom of the crack). Follow the crack to a wide rail. Move left to a large flake in a vague recess. Climb the flake and a smaller one above it and continue straight up the recess to another wide rail. Above is a small roof. Climb up to the roof and pass it on the left – a finger crack a metre to the left provides a good layback hold (crux). Continue up to the short off width crack through the overhang above. A hand/finger crack to the left provides good gear and holds. Continue up to the ledge above.

Scramble 6 or 7 metres up and right to an obvious stack of blocks.

P2 – 25m F2/15: Climb up and left beneath a large roof. Rail left beneath the roof to the left hand corner. Pull up and climb easily to the ledge above.

The next pitch starts 5m to the right, below a narrow crack that flares and cleanly splits a roof some 4 or 5 m above.

P3 – 20m F3/17: Half a metre left of the flaring crack is a thin finger crack. Climb the thin finger crack to the roof, hand-swing right below the roof and pull up awkwardly onto a small ledge below a bottomless chimney. Follow the chimney and where it narrows move onto the face on the left. Follow the crack to another roof. Move out onto the face on the right and climb straight up to the bushy ledge above.

Some 6m to the right is an obvious break in the face above – this is the last pitch of Blunt Brothers.

P4 – 20m F2/14: About 2m to the left of Blunt Brothers’ generous beacon climb straight up (above a smaller cairn) pulling through a small roof on excellent juggy rails. Continue straight up to where the angle eases.

Scramble to the top.

  • Pyramid Scheme F2/15

FA: D. Mercer and C. Turvey 2/02/2010 P1 – The Knights Who Say Ni: FA by Tony Lourens

This is a great route on good rock – recommended.

Start: The route starts up the crack of “The Knights Who Say Ni” on the left hand side of Block Buttress.

P1 - 20m F2/15: Climb the crack to an easy and obvious traverse. Follow the traverse right and climb easily up to a bolted stance on a good ledge.

P2 – 35m F2/15: Climb up and left onto a shattered shelf. Follow the shelf to the left. Where it runs out pull up through a small overlap and continue up to a ledge on the right (pitch could be broken here). Climb the undercut corner crack at the back of the ledge and then climb diagonally up and left across a face split by horizontal rails. At the left side of the face continue straight up the arête/corner to a good ledge above and to the right. This is at the right hand base of the blocky pyramid that provides the key to this route.

P3 – 20m C: Scramble up and to the left to the top of the blocky pyramid.

P4 – 15m F2/15: Climb up into the recess on the right, reach high for an excellent rail and move across the corner onto the face on the left, directly above the belayer. Continue straight up a vague recess to a narrow ledge under another large roof.

P5 – 35m F2/15: Traverse easily to the right for 6 or 7m. Climb up to a rail beneath a roof and traverse back left for 3 or 4 m to bypass the overhangs. Climb straight to the top.

  • Ménage-a-trois G2/20

FA: D. Mercer, G. Dondel, G. Shillington 26/9/2010

Start: The route starts up the bolted sport route to the left of “May the Vors be With You” on the Coolio Wall.

P1 30m 17/18: Follow the bolted line and continue past the top anchors. Belay from the broad ledge above.

P2 – 20m F3/16: On the right is a blocky buttress. Climb the ill- defined corner where the buttress meets the face. Pull through a square roof and continue up the face above to a large ledge with large blocks.

Walk 6m to the right to a large rectangular block. Above is an undercut face beneath a very large roof. Two rails lead across the face to a corner prow/prong on the left.

P3 – 12m G2/20: A bouldery start gains the rails. Follow these out left to a corner prong/prow. Pull up onto the prow safely past the overhang. Continue Straight up to a rail below a higher roof. Rail left 2 – 3m onto the corner and pull up to a fantastically in-cut ledge.

P4 – 30m G1/18: Climb up and left. Climb straight up a steep overhanging face on superb in-cut grips and pull up onto a ledge to the left of an enormous square block. Climb onto the block. Climb the short but tricky wall above to a good belay ledge.

Scramble to the top.

  • Pre-Nup G1/19

FA: D. Mercer and A. Wienand 25/01/2009

Start: The route starts from the same level as the sport climbs on the Coolio Wall, approximately 4m to the right of “Too Hot to Handle”.

P1 – 30m F2/14: Climb straight up the wall to the ledge above.

P2 – 30m F2/15: Directly above the last pitch is an undercut bulge. Climb to the left of the bulge till able to move right and onto the top of the bulge. Move straight up for 6m to a rail beneath a large overhang. Traverse left along the rail for 3m and pull up where the overhang peters out. Climb up to a ledge on the right. Walk right along the ledge for 5m till able to climb a recess and exit left onto a long ledge.

P3 – 12m E1/11: Climb a crack that flares higher up into a narrow chimney. At the top of the crack follow a ledge to the left for 4 m to belay below a small tree growing from a crack below an overhang.

P4 – 30m F3/16: Climb onto a thin projecting slab/shelf on the left and then stem across the corner above the tree. Follow the corner crack to the next ledge. Climb easily diagonally up and left to belay beneath an overhang in the top left hand corner of the face.

P5 – 10m F3/17: Climb the awkward layback/off width crack through the right hand end of the overhang. Exit onto a ledge on the left above. A number 4 Camalot just fits at the bottom of the crack and can be backed up with a dodgy nut behind a chock stone

Note: An easier alternative to P5 would be to traverse around the corner on the left and then climb a short stepped face to the top.

  • Paramour F3/17

FA: D. Mercer and C. Turvey 30/03/2010

Challenging some impressive roofs on excellent rock, it is better than its neighbour, “Pre-Nup” but also more sustained.

Start: About 10m to the left of the sport route “Huge Jugs” on the Coolio wall is an undercut, juggy crack/fault in the middle of a face.

P1 – 35m F2/14: Climb the juggy break and continue up to below a small roof. Turn the roof on the left, step back right and continue straight up to a large ledge that broadens to the right. Climb up on the left onto a large block and from here up another couple of metres to a long narrow ledge.

P2 – 30m F3/16: Walk 3m to the right and climb up easily. Continue up and slightly to the left on spaced protection to below the roof. Immediately to the right is a fault that breaks through the overhangs. Move right to follow the fault through the roofs. Above the next narrow ledge the fault continues as a wide crack, climb to the left of this wide crack to the next broad ledge.

P3 – 25m F2/15: Continue straight up a narrow crack that trends slightly right. Follow the crack through the first roof and pull through the next roof directly above to stand on a gently sloping shelf. Step right and pull up the next face using a protruding, loose block. (By stepping 2m to the right one can climb Pre-Nup’s recess avoiding the loose block) Climb diagonally up and left to stance beneath an overhang on the extreme left of the face.

P4 – 10m F3/17: Move to the right to pull through the overhang using the off-width crack. A number 4 Camalot just fits and a dodgy nut can back it up. This pitch is shared with Pre-Nup and can be avoided by going left around the corner from the stance and following very easy rock to the top.

  • Ice Robics 60m; 19 (N)

Start from the top of the big ledge above the left most sports climbs, ~5m right of Pre-Nup, just right of a white bulge.

P1 (30m, 17): Climb up a small brown corner and pull through bulge at top onto white face. Straight up to stance on ledge below the reddest part of overhangs about 5m below a small vertical slot.

P2 (30m, 19): Move up to a tiny roof just right of the narrow vertical slot about 5m above the stance. Climb to the slot and then move right and under a small bulge and continue up over 3 aesthetic white flakes. At the ledge traverse right 10 to 15m to stance at edge of amphitheatre. Scramble to top.

FA: R. Halsey & R. Zipplies 26/09/2010

Ice Robics 19

  • Cleaning Boys 100m; 24 (N)

The route follows a line below and through the right hand break of the massive Rooiberg roof. The route can be climbed at a comfortable 21 grade with one easy aid move through the crux.

The climb starts ~5m left of Swazi Kings through some slightly undercut brown rock onto a white wall just left of the corner. The climb very soon then traverses onto the wall just right of the corner.

P1 (35m, 18): Climb up through brown slightly undercut rock onto a short white face and trend rightwards. Cross a small ledge and now continue on the red wall right of the corner and climb a slightly left-ward trending crack. Climb through a rectangular roof and continue up through a wider, rounded crack onto some thin moves to eventually exit between two blocks (the left one being larger) onto a belay ledge just below a continuing crack above.

P2 (40m, 21): Continue up underneath stepped roof, pass on left, and then climb across the face above trending right. Continue up into a groove, up left hand face and then up a wider crack, which involves an awkward crux move over a loose block (beware!). Continue up into the top of the corner, before railing out left and then through the small overhang (just right of a dead shrub and old eagle’s nest) onto a ledge below the massive roof. Scramble a few metres right to belay below the obvious break (a #4 Camalot or equivalent is useful) .

P3 (25m, 24 or 19, A0). Climb through the overhanging crack (one hard boulder move) and up to another roof and rail out left onto the arête (spectacular) and then straight up through the middle of narrow long roof to gain a large ledge.

FA: R. Zipplies & R. Halsey; 25/09/2010

Cleaning boys 24

  • That's What She Said (15****)

FA: Nicholas Le Maitre, Tristan Firman and Justine Cole

An improbable line at the grade on good rock.

P1 35m (15), starts 10m to the right of Kiff Kids, climb up on a large boulder and climb up a face below the right hand of two roofs. Climb left below the roof to gain the recess between the roofs. Step onto the right hand arete and continue up to another large ledge 20m above.

P2 55m (15), start a few meters to the right of the stance. Climb a face, using an undercling on a thin flake, before tending slightly leftwards to to avoid a huge roof directly above. Turn the roof on the left before doing a long rising traverse to the right until you can gain a large ledge.

P3 45m (15), Climb the finger crack between the brown smooth rock on the left and the white slab on the right for 10m to a ledge. Move right 2m to a large crack/offwidth, climb the offwidth up to the roof, before traversing right about 15m, around a corner to a break through the roof. Be careful as you pull the final move there is lots of loose rock on top.

Thats what she said.jpeg

That's What She Said 15 (photo: Matthew Young)
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