Baboon Buttress All sport climbing51 routes in cliff
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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.
APPROACH As for Tranquilitas Crag, then.
A. from the parking at the farmhouse, cross over the road through the Tranquiltas Adventure Farm entrance, after a few metres take the path on the left towards the cliffline. After 100 metres the path forks. Take the smaller right hand fork down to the cliff top. Scramble down the obvious blocky descent gulley (past some short climbs). At the base of the gulley, head left for 10 metres and you will see the obvious crack of Grizzly bear.
B. from the Tranquilitas Adventure Farm camping, take the track heading northwestwards from the corner of the field, which initially follows a couple of electricity poles. After approx 200 metres you will reach a fork, keep left 27 and after 50 m the path leads down to a waterfall (listen and you will hear it). Cross the wooden foot bridge and follow the path through the forest for a couple hundred metres. After about 200 metres the path arrives at the obvious layback crack of Grizzly Behr.
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