Friday Photos: Rock Climbing Cape Town



Rock Climbing, everyone’s got their hobbies


This picture was taken in Montagu where I spent the past weekend with the University of Cape Town Mountain and Ski Club. It was a three day trip camping at De Bos Campground. Which is for the record–beautiful, though it IS full of roosters and horses. Very loud roosters. They have a pool though, and showers, so all and all, pretty cozy camping. My only real regret from this trip is that I didn’t take more pictures! Montagu is located about a two hour drive from Cape Town.

IMG_5081The picture to the left is also from Montagu. This wall was a little too difficult for me. It was all 30+ climbs, and was this massively beautiful long overhang. Over the weekend I went to the Steeple, Legoland, and the palace. Favourite climbs were at The Palace. It was awesome.

South African Rock Climbing Grades

For those interested, or who climb, South Africa follows a different rating system for its climbs. Its the same system as Australia and New Zealand and basically it begins at 1 which you can walk up to 38 which is the hardest reported sport climb. SO

  • 5.9 -> 17IMG_5078
  • 5.10a -> 18
  • 5.10b -> 19
  • 5.10c -> 20
  • 5.10d -> 21
  • 5.11a -> 22
  • 5.11b -> 23
  • 5.11c/d -> 24
  • 5.12a -> 25
  • 5.12b -> 26
  • 5.12c -> 27
  • 5.12d -> 28
  • 5.13a/b ->29
  • 5.13c -> 30

The Mine


The picture on the left is from an area closer to Cape Town. The Mine is mostly overhung area that doesn’t have very many ‘easy’ climbs. Most of the climbs begin in the 20s and go up from there. The nice thing about the Mine is that it generally doesn’t get very wet, and so you can climb there whenever there’s not a bad south-eastern wind (it makes the holds kinda slime-y). The Mine is about a 30 minute drive from Observatory, and the view is pretty wonderful. You hike up past a military compound-thing, and it overlooks Muizenberg, and the old pine forests.


IMG_5046This wall is Blaze of Glory ( i think), and its become one of my favorites in Cape Town. It’s beautiful, and despite my awkward picture, is actually I think slightly overhanging for the most part. A lot of the climbs have really cool sections through them–the rock here is sandstone, and it’s beautiful. Think lots of cool slope-y holds, tiny crimps, and lots of pinches. It’s super sticky, and has been pretty awesome so far. Silvermine is located about 30 minutes from Observatory, and it’s on top of the Mine (sort of). Basically the mine you climb up to from the bottom of the mountain, and Silvermine, you start closer to the top and walk down paths/gullys.


More Climbing Information!

South Africa is fairly unique in that you can sort of climb any type of Rock here. There’s limestone in Outshoorn and granite in Cape Town as well. Table Mountain/Lion’s head have a granite base, and then turn into sandstone further up. For those who are interested in coming here to climb, here are some really useful links.

If you need to find other people to climb with check out the Climbing Forum. That site provides one of the best guides to South African climbing, and has a forum where you can buy/sell gear, and find other people who need climbing partners. They also have a good wiki with more information about South African climbing crags.

If you are here on exchange and want to meet other to camp/climb/hike/hangout with check out the Mountain and Ski Club at UCT. (facebook link as well) They go to Silvermine almost every Friday, help people find lifts, and THEY ALSO RENT GEAR. So if you do come here and want to try climbing/ need to borrow a tent or rope, they’re a great club to join.

If you want to see a crazy video check out this video of Andy Court Slacklining taken in Echo Valley –which is a really really amazing bouldering area.

If you want to climb inside check out cityrock, they’re the only ‘official gym’ but there is also the UCT climbing wall. If you’re not a student, you can join the MCSA and use it I believe.

If you want to compete find someone who’s in BOULDER LEAGUE. Sorry there’s no link for it. It took me a long time to track down the information, but basically its a series that starts in Feb and there’s one every week either at the UCT wall or at cityrock. (Tuesdays or Fridays).

Lastly areas I still want to hit up and future climbing plans (AND I PROMISE BETTER PICTURES)

– Table Mountain (trad)
– Lion’s Head (trad)
– Rocklands –(APRIL :D)
– Oudtshoorn (get a chance to remember what limestone feels like)
– Kleinmond (March 8!)
– Paarl (March 16)

Other things coming up climbing wise! Montagu Rock Rally in April and the Easter Bouldering Festival! 

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About Lizz

I am a fourth year student at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. I am participating in the Students for Development Program this year and I will be going to work with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa for six months. I recently came back from Namibia where I lived for 11 weeks through the Namibia Scholarship Program at the University of Toronto. I worked with an organization called Physically Active Youth which is located in Katutura, Namibia near Windhoek. If you are a student interested in getting involved internationally or interested in doing a study abroad project, you should make sure to check out the CIE website: Also, if you are a student in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto make sure to check out the international exchanges available on the faculty website:

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