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Climbing TypeTrad and Sport
Rock TypeSandstone
SeasonAll year
ProvinceWestern Cape

How to get there

Fees & Permits

Accommodation & Food

Attractions & Activities


General Info

Also know as Gifberg.

How to get there

Map to Vanrhynsdorp

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="-31.69195" lon="18.844299" zoom="11"> -31.782521, 18.894746, Waterfall Resort -31.755649, 18.987293, Baievlei Crags </googlemap>

Access & Restrictions


To gain access to “Waterval” simply contact the lady in charge: 027 219 1005

It is a guest farm with rustic chalets and camping (the fee for camping is calculated in a complicated way)


To gain access to “baievlei” you’ll have to chat to Johan’s (the owner) son. Jaco 0272191472.

To get to the “baievlei” crags you’ll either have to walk about 1km or have a serious 4x4.

    • Please be courteous to everyone there and respect the land and its owners
    • NOTE that both Waterval and Baievlei's main water supply/catchment is at the individual crags. Please keep it clean.

Area Map

Area Map

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="-31.77931" lon="18.889983" zoom="16"> -31.782666, 18.894982, Waterfall Resort -31.780532, 18.884211, First Gully -31.781226, 18.884532, Johan's 19 -31.78097, 18.887515, Lowest Pool -31.78004, 18.886271, Warm Water Waltz -31.777632, 18.889167, Boom Straat -31.779365, 18.889039, Waterfall Storybook </googlemap>

Lower crag

Steep crag that lies above the resort. This is to your left if head towards the waterfall.

Approach (20 Min walk)

At the end of the resort you will find a path that starts between the two lapas. This is a well cairned and steep path that leads up the hill behind the resort. The path has some short scrambles close to the crag after which the path leads to the base of the crag which is further to the right.

Currently there are two sport routes opened by Hermie Venter

Swart strepie (25)***

Swart Strepie

Kaleidoscope (24)***


Upper Waterfall Area

Waterval Storieboek – (19)

FA: July 2007 - Phlip Olivier, Johann Papendorf, Johan Burger

On the main buttress to the right of the waterfall and left of the big overhang is a open book with two vertical cracks on either side of a column. Climb the left crack.

  • Pitch 1) ‘16’ Start on the grey lichenous face heading left to the small chimney / off width. Stance at top Chimney / off width on a small ledge.
  • Pitch 2) ‘18’ Climb the layback crack to a small ledge with a tree. Climb the face directly above the crack and to the left of the tree to a big ledge under a big roof and stance
  • Pitch 3) ‘19’ Walk 5m to the right and climb the crack into a corner with small roofs. Pull through the roofs to the summit.

Decent: Head right to the gully and path leading down and back to the waterfall.

Waterval Storieboek

Warm Water Waltz – (22)

FA: October 2007 - Phlip Olivier, Johann Papendorf.

Multipitch sport route breaking through the roofs to the left of the waterfall requiring 13 ‘draws

  • Pitch 1) ‘22’ 30m
  • Pitch 2) ‘20’ 27m
  • Pitch 3) ‘21’ 21m
  • Bolts kindly sponsored by the MCSA Hottentots Holland Section.
Warm Water Waltz

Grovel Road - (22)

FA: October 2012 - Albert Smit, Craig Turvey, Rufaan de Bruyn & Louis Smit.

On the Upper Waterfall Ledge, to the right of the waterfall and to the left of the big overhang is an open book with 2 vertical cracks either side of the column. Climb the right crack. This is a 45m off width, so bring your biggest friends along.

  • Pitch 1 (16) 22m

Start at the right hand base of the column and head up into the crack, a nice ledge on your right is reached after 22m.

  • Pitch 2 (19) 24m

Continue up the crack. At the little roof, head leftwards up into the off width, on to a big ledge, shared with Waterval Sorieboek. Pitches 1 & 2 can be combined if your rack lasts.

  • Pitch 3 (22) 15m

Walk 12m right along the ledge until you reach a tree where the ledge tapers out. Break through the small roof and continue up into the recess. Head leftwards at the top overhang to top out. An alternative finish would be to join the last pitch of “Waterval Storieboek”.

Grovel Road


FA: October 2019 - Albert Smit, & Willem Fouche

Approach : As for rest of Upper Waterfall crag, walk up and past 2'nd pool. Just before big roofs on approach to Waterval Storieboek, path splits off to the left. Follow cairns to base of rock.

  • Pitch 1 (17) 30m

Climb the recess at base of the crag. After 8m and a ledge, get into the beautifully clean off-width, and follow this to a big ledge.

  • Pitch 2 (22) 25m

Get into the off-width. After 4m break out left, following the rails and finger cracks diagonally up and leftward, staying left of the main off-width. After the big roof, off-width and left breaks merge. From here follow the obvious slanting off-width to a big ledge with a tree on.

Descent : Big tree on ledge offers an abseil down to base of crag with 60m rope. Alternatively top out, follow escarpment over stream and back to main descent/ascent gully.

Maybe just on a side note about gear: Doesn't take a standard rack, bring your biggest friends. And nuts.... 😉

Approach view
Aerial view

Driving Miss Daisy Area

On the buttress to the far right of the waterfall. Approach either by following the path past the waterfall to the top and following the plateau or by crossing the river via the jeep track and making your way directly over the hill. There is no path for the second option, but is probably closer and quicker.

Driving Miss Daisy - '17'

October 2007

Johann Papendorf, Phlip Olivier

  • Pitch 1) ‘15’ Between a red face on the right and a grey face on the left is a ledge above a tree. Climb the white face to gain a crack. Follow the crack to the ledge 15m up.
  • Pitch 2) ‘17’ Follow the crack and finish by pulling though a small roof.

Little Miss Sunshine - '17'

June 2008

Nicholas Le Maitre, Dirk Kruger

  • Pitch 1) ‘15’ Climb the face of the left of P1 of 'Driving Miss Daisy'. Climb the corner to the large ledge 15m up.
  • Pitch 2) ‘17’ Climb from the extreme righthand edge of the belay ledge. Climb the face via the rails and the vertical crack. Finish by pulling through a small roof.

Herbie Goes Offroad - '19R'

June 2008

Johann Papendorf, Phlip Olivier

  • Pitch 1) '19'
  • Pitch 2) '18R'
Driving Miss Daisy Area

Boom Straat

Getting There: +/- 40min Follow the footpath along the river past the 1st pool and up to the gully to the left of the waterfall. Continue up the gully and top out to the right. Move along the top till you reach the waterfall. Follow the river against the stream staying to the left of the kloof. At the fork, scramble down into the kloof and head down the right hand branch. At the next fork the crag is on your left.

Info: All the routes at this crag use natural gear. An easy scramble around the left of the crag gives you access to the top for putting up a top rope or retrieving gear at the end of the day.


- 1 - With a little help from my Friends (15)

Climb the tree till you can reach the rail. Continue to top / FA (2008), Nic Le Maitre

- 1 - (Direct) - Without help from my friends (20)

Ignore the tree / FA (2008), Phlip Olivier

- 2 - Passing the Pocket (18)

FA (2008), Phlip Olivier

- 3 - Fire in the Sky (17)

FA (2008), Phlip Olivier

- 4 - Deep Purple (16)

FA (2008), Phlip Olivier

- 5 - Smoke on the Water (17)

FA (2008), Johann Papendorf

- 6 - Get me to the Church on Time (18)

FA (2008), Phlip Olivier


First Gully Area

First Gully

Getting there: Follow the footpath along the river past the 1st pool, then past the turn to the 2nd pool keeping left to the path and up to the gully.

Info: There is a mixture of Sport and Trad routes at this gully. I do not know the names of these routes and am just putting down the names we normally use to refer to them.

First Gully Area A
First Gully Area B
A. Enjoying the Improbable B. The Physics of Tears, 1. Johan's 19

- A - Enjoying the Improbable (23)

Follows a series of left leaning fins to a puzzling crux on the face.

Pitch 1: (23) 30m

Start up the short black-streaked wall, passing to the left of a hanging bush 5m up. At the ledge pull up onto the first fin (marginal gear), then great climbing just right of the fins to the dark orange face (crux) below the final overhang. Pull right onto platform and then to the top. Abseil point from tree and touch point in situ.

FA: R. Halsey (May 2016)

- B - The Physics of Tears (20)

Takes a direct line up the centre of the face to the left of Johan’s 19

Pitch 1: (18) 20m Start up the centre of a short brown face up to a wide crack formed with a boulder. Pull onto the face above and continue up and right along a series of three small, right-facing bulges. Belay at small ledge.

Pitch 2: (20) 30m Continue straight up the face on layback features. At the height of the large, vegetated ledge to the left, continue up the face, where a tricky move leads up and right to access the shallow corner just below the top.

FA: R. Halsey & M. Bosman (May 2016)

- 1 - Johan’s 19 (20)

  • Natural
  • FA (200?), Johan Burger & Co
  • FFA (2008), Johann Panpendorf & Phlip Olivier.

A fantastic 3 pitch grade 20 This route can be done in 2 or 3 pitches. It is a beautiful dihedral. An easy description for it will be: “Follow the dihedral crack to the top.”

The Pinnacle Route

- 2 - The Pinnacle Route (17)

  • Sport / FA (200?), Johan Botha & Co.
  • As you enter the gully this fully equipped sport route is on the obvious pinnacle to the left.

- 3 - The Extension to the Pinnacle (18)

  • Sport / FA (200?), Johan Botha & Co.
  • Start at the top of the pinnacle. You can either walk around to the top or do route #2 and #3 as one.

- 4 - The Easy Trad Route (16)

  • Natural with Chains / FA (200?), Johan Botha & Co.
  • To the right of #3. Follow the easiest way to the anchors at the top.

- 5 - The Easy Trad Route Direct (19)

  • Natural with Chains / FA (2007), Johann Papendorf.
  • Climb the direct line to the anchors.
Johan's 20 & Fransie's Arete

- 6 - Johan’s 20 (20/21)

  • Sport / FA (200?), Johan Botha & Co.
  • This route is on the opposite side of the gully. You’ll pass it if you opt to walk from #2 to #3.

- 7 - Fransie Buurman’s Arete (19?)

  • Natural / FA (2007), Fransie Buurman.
  • Climb the obvious arête.

Above the Verreaux

- C - Above the Verreaux (24)

A massive, varied pitch with a demanding crux section that climbs the entire length of the buttress.

Start at the far right end of the ledge (accessed from the main gulley). This is about 7m up from the forest below.

Pitch 1: (24) 55m

Head straight up the dark brown face to the recess above. Continue up passing the right side of a ledge with blocks. Follow more recesses and cracks to a narrow roof with black streaks above. Step left and follow two sections of finger cracks in orange rock to an overlap. Use the steep layback crack to gain a horizontal break up and right. Hard moves up and left to the next wide rail. Pull up and right into a small right facing corner. Finish up the face just right of the arête.

FA: R. Halsey (May 2016)

Lowest Pool Area

Lowest Pool Area

AquaDucks – '20'

  • First Ascent: Johann Papendorf. April 2010

From the lowest pool scramble against the face and scree left. Gain the “Grey Ledge” via first moves of “Teardrops from Heaven” (RD to follow) From the “Grey Ledge” find the obvious corner crack.

  • Climb the corner crack in 1 pitch.

Descent: Rap from the prow in 25m to gain the Grey Ledge. Alternatively, scramble up 10m and follow the path down.


Teardrops From Heaven - '11'

  • First Ascent: Johann Papendorf, Dalene Viljoen, Ulli Deutschlander, Phlip Olivier. April 2010

From the lowest pool scramble against the face and scree left. Scramble until the bottom of the Grey Ledge.

  • Pitch 1) ‘11’ Gain the Grey ledge and traverse right. Climb to the next large ledge and walk right to right of the big block.
  • Pitch 2) ‘11’ Climb towards a 2m tall crack. Climb the crack. Traverse into the exposure until below an obvious short corner. Climb the corner to a ledge under roofs. Walk past the blocks on the ledge and stance at the end of the ledge.
  • Pitch 3) ‘11’ Step onto the black blocks. Step right and climb to the top.

It is recommended to climb only when the waterfall is completely dry, but it may be possible to climb if there is a small waterfall.

Half Jack - '23'

  • First Ascent: Phlip Olivier. April 2010

From the lowest pool scramble against the face and scree left. Gain the “Grey Ledge” via first moves of “Teardrops from Heaven” Walk to the right most edge of the “Grey Ledge”

  • Head up and right till the black and grey ledges run out. On the face in front of you you'll find an ear-shaped flake. Use this and slopy rails to gain the roof above. Pull through this and the next roof, over a thin black face and onto the big ledge shared with “Teardrops from Heaven”. From a block on the ledge pull strenuously through the roof onto a short black face leading to the top.

Descent: Follow the path down. Alternatively rap 52m from the lip of the fall.


Baievlei (see above for access arrangements

1st Upon a time – ‘19’

January 2007

Phlip Olivier, Johann Papendorf.

Start in the small corner on the Column.

  • Pitch 1) ‘18’ Follow the corner and crack to a hand traverse. Traverse left to a ledge under a roof. Stance on the upper right block.
  • Pitch 2) ‘19’ Take off from the block and move right onto the face and break past the roof. Continue on the face through rails to a big ledge. (rap anchor under blocks)
  • Pitch 3) ‘19’ Climb the face, keeping to the right. Through difficult and deep rails. Pass some vegetation. Continue on the face on the right to a ledge with a bottomless chimney.
  • Pitch 4) ‘18’ Climb the chimney on the left. Pull through the overhangs and step onto the face left of the chimney. Continue up the arête to the top.
1st and 2nd

A Second Coming – ‘20’

May 2007

Phlip Olivier, Johann Papendorf.

  • Pitch 1) ‘20’ Start just to the left of the arête 10m from to the right of the corner. Climb thorough the break in the small roof. Continue up the face on the left to a dassie ledge 12m up. Traverse right onto the arête. Climb up and left to the bottom of the white patch. Handjam traverse to the right. Climb up past the left of the roof to a ledge and a stance under a big roof.
  • Pitch 2) ‘18’ Climb in the corner directly above the stance and up to the roof (#4 cam). Traverse out right onto the nose. Climb the rails straight up to the blank face. Hanging stance.
  • Pitch 3) ‘17’ Traverse right until able to continue up onto the big ledge with the massive blocks. Walk to the right of the ledge and climb up to a small horizontal fin. Move left past the fin and immediately up to a good ledge and stance.
  • Pitch 4) ‘16’ Step up to the left and climb towards the arête. Climb the arête and face to the top.

3 to Thunder – ‘24’

FA: July 2007 Phlip Olivier, Johann Papendorf. FFA: April 2010 Phlip Olivier

Below the RD for the first ascent.

  • Gain the “Thunder Ledge” via “Initiation Scramble” (D grade).
  • Follow the main rightward leaning crack in the middle of the face in 3 pitches.
  • Pitch 1) ‘21’ Stance under a small roof against a slab.
  • Pitch 2) ‘24’ Stance on the ledge.
  • Pitch 3) ‘23’ Follow the crack to the top. Finish through the overhangs to the left.

Alternative RD (As per 1st free ascent)

  • Pitch 1) ‘24’
  • Follow the main crack,
  • Traverse the handjams under the roof,
  • follow the crack through the roof to the main ledge.
  • Stance on the ledge.
  • Pitch 2) ‘23’
  • Follow the crack to the top.
  • Finish through the overhangs to the left.

3 to Thunder


3 to Thunder

Check out Pics of climbing at Vanrhynsdorp

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