Around Cape Town and the Western Cape area there are many excellent rock climbing areas, as well as the world class bouldering at Rocklands in the Cederberg Mountains.
The area around Cape Town offers a significant number of good sport climbing areas, across a variety of different rock types, with routes to suit climbers of all abilities.
Montagu is one of the best sport climbing areas in South Africa, with many different crags located along the Keisie River. There are around 400 routes here that are predominantly one pitch long though there are some multi-pitch routes as well. The climbing at Montagu is very varied and ranges from slabs and vertical wall, to super-steep overhangs. There are routes across the whole grade range, with the climbing on excellent hard sandstone. Montagu has exceptional weather (with very little rain), and it normally has perfect conditions for climbing as the crags face multiple directions so the sun or shade can always be found.
The Cape Peninsula is blessed with a string of good quality sandstone and quartzite crags across a wide range of grades and offering different styles. These include; the bulging quartzite crags of Trappieskop and Peer’s Cave; the ever-popular faces of the Silvermine crags; to the very steep and mega-pumpy crags such as Lakeside Pinnacle, Lower Silvermine, and Higgovale Quarry.
Paarl Rocks is probably the best and most prolific granite-climbing venue in South Africa. These beautiful granite domes provide both single and multi-pitch sport routes in a magnificent and tranquil setting. The style of the climbing is very different to the rest of the climbing around Cape Town and the routes tend to be more run out.
Hellfire is an awesome venue offering long single-pitch and two-pitch sport routes, in a wild mountain setting on hard red sandstone rock. Hellfire is a sport crag with a mountain attitude that is dwarfed by the huge Du Toit’s Peak.
Kleinmond is a seaside village, where there are a cluster of charming crags overlooking the Indian Ocean. There are some excellent face routes, in the mid-grade range as well as some short hard routes, all on coarse sandstone and solid quartzite rock.
Oudtshoorn is South Africa’s only limestone crag with around 100 routes. The climbing is beautiful and steep, with the Main Wall having a plethora of world-class routes that are mostly in the higher grades on tufa formations. The routes on the Main Wall range from F6c to F8c, with the majority of them in the F7a+ to F8a+ range – you need to feel strong to climb here. Away from the Main Wall there are some other sectors with a clutch of easier routes from F5b to F6b+.
The Cederberg Mountains are famous for the bouldering at Rocklands. However scattered throughout the mountain range are a series of excellent sport climbing crags. The climbing is on typically hard, red, rough sandstone with many high quality routes.
The Garden Route is one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, taking in the spectacular southern Cape coastline to the east of George. The climbing is fairly varied, but seldom steeper than vertical, and offers some interesting locations, particularly the Old Forest Crags.
The Cederberg Mountains boasts an array of outstanding trad climbing in wild and remote settings. It is a place of unique beauty and incomparable to any other rock climbing place in South Africa.
Table Mountain and its associated rugged mountain chain also offers a good range of multi-pitch trad routes. Places like Paarl and Hellfire also have a number of trad routes alongside the sport routes.
The Western Cape Rock guidebook details over 1,350 sport routes around Cape Town
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