The Island Mostly Sport climbing49 routes in crag
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The distinctive „island‟ of rock; the locals refer to this outcrop as „Loskop‟, literally meaning loose (standing) head; try to keep yours screwed on. The climbing has an old school feel, one of the first to be developed in Boven along with the Restaurant. The crags are not as steep as some of the newer areas but for some 4-star technical face and slab climbing this is the place to visit, especially for 18 to 26. These days these crags don‟t see much traffic these days and the forest is taking back the crags; don‟t let this put you off though, have a retro day and tick a load of old classics.
Access issues inherited from Waterval Boven
Best is by car but see bus info below. There is actually no need at all to venture into Johannesburg itself (not that it‟s such a bad place, some people love it!). From Johannesburg airport (O R Tambo International) take the R21 south for a few kilometers then the N12 east towards Witbank, which becomes the N4. These are excellent highways and within two hours (several kilometers after the second toll gate) the turn-off to Waterval Boven is reached on the right. Note: the highway splits into two
1.5 kilometres after the second toll gate. Both are still signed N4 Nelspruit, but only one of them passes Boven! Keep straight, don‟t take the left fork, many first time visitors make the mistake of going left which leads in completely the wrong direction!
The expensive toll gate just before Boven can be fairly easily avoided by turning off (right) at Machadodorp, approximately 15 kilometres before Boven. Drive into Machadodorp then take the tar road towards Badplaas (signed) for approx 13 kms, then turn left towards „Nkmomati Mine‟. After 3.2 kms turn left onto a gravel road signed Waterval Boven. Keep on this, keeping left at the fork at 6.5 kms, the road leads past the Tranquilitas Adventure farm and the Wonderland crags and after another 8 kilometres or so into Boven town, about 10-15 minutes later than if you had gone through the toll. If it‟s been raining very heavily this road can be unpassable in a normal car, however it dries very quickly (within a few hours).
Once in Boven, Roc „n Rope Adventures is easily found, on the opposite corner is the Shamrock Arms pub. Stop in and say “howzit” and get directions, either to the Climbers‟ Lodge or to Tranquilitas. While in town pick up some beer and some cheap (but excellent) steak and boerewors from the butcher (Slaghuis), be sure to ask for the climbers‟ discount.
There are a couple of shuttle-bus services that leave/return to Joburg once a day. At the time of writing „Jereh‟ will drop you off at roc and rope. Contact them on 082 378 3614; they will soon have a website. The other service is the Lowveld Link
(www.lowveldlink.com) but they only drop at the Boven turn off from the N4 but its only 1-2 kms from there to Roc and Rope. Expect to pay between R 300 and 400 return.
Park at the Elandskrans Resort, as described for the Restaurant Crags. Walk past the swimming pools. At the corner of the basketball court a good path leads out over the grassy plateau. After approx 300 metres, take a faint path on the right, perpendicular to the main path. This leads to a large cairn (pile of stones) and a view across to the Island. Go steeply down (no path) into the little valley, into the trees, then up the other side on a path that leads up past some big cairns to the middle of the Island.
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