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Summary

The cliffs tend to be north facing and as such will be very hot in summer. The best time to climb will be winter, although spring and autumn will not be too bad. There are a lot of black-jacks present in the early winter which will make the descents a little less fun.

Description

Manoutsa or Strijdom Tunnel is a good traditional climbing area in Mpumalanga. The area was first 'climbed' back in 1975 and slowly more and more routes have been added. The climbing is generally very good with superb views of the lowveld. The routes are all natural mostly 5 to 7 pitches long. The rock varies from one climb to another, but is normally excellent. It tends to be rather featured making apparently blank faces quite climbable, while providing excellent gear in both vertical cracks and on the faces themselves. The cliffs tend to be north facing and as such will be very hot in summer. The best time to climb will be winter, although spring and autumn will not be too bad. There are a lot of black-jacks present in the early winter which will make the descents a little less fun. Take plenty of water, and allow for a 2 hour descent back to the car.

Access issues

For more information on routes, access and permits please see the following websites:

Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) http://www.mcsa.org.za/ Look at “Who we are” for the different sections of the MCSA

Mountain Club of South Africa – Johannesburg Section website https://mcsajohannesburg.org/ Click on “Access and Properties” for more information Click on “Contact” to get in touch with the MCSA for more information.

ClimbZA website http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/South_African_Climbing_Wiki Welcome to the largest & most comprehensive online database of Southern African climbing information.

http://www.climbing.co.za/forum/ A forum site to find climbing partners or to find out more about different climbing areas and climbs.

Approach

From the N4 travelling towards Waterval Boven take the road to Lydenburg just after the Machadadorp Toll Plaza. After about 15km, turn left onto the R36 towards Lydenburg. Continue along the R36 through Lydenburg and Ohrigstad and down the Abel Erasmus pass to the tunnel. The climbing area is just upstream of the JG Strijdom tunnel on both sides of the road. This road leads down the escarpment on the Abel Erasmus pass towards Tzaneen. Manoutsa is broken down into a number of climbing areas, each with their own parking, approach and descent. They are thus described in more detail in these sections.

Where to stay

The Restaurant is about 1.5 hours away. Alternatively, continue to the Manoutsa Campsite a few kilometres beyond the tunnel. Chalets and camping are available.

Activity

Check out what is happening in Manoutsa/Strijdom Tunnel.