The Coven Mostly sport climbing26 routes in cliff
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When the climbers first arrived at the Coven, the candles and grafitti made them wonder what sort of ceremonies were conducted here. Probably just a Zionist clan… anyway, this crag hosts a few amazing technical climbs. This crag used to be one of the busiest around but these days it‟s quiet, break the trend and go tick the classics; Lucifer Goes to the Gunks, Screaming Demons and Shout at the Devil and plenty of others.
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.
A. Drive up the hill from Roc and Rope. 300 metres past the hospital there is a gravel road on the left leading down the ACRA Retreat Bed and Breakfast. Park INSIDE the ACRA retreat – just ring the bell and the owners will welcome you. Be sure to have a beer on the deck afterwards, its stunning.. From the house. walk down the hill a little then diagonally down left along the cliff top. Cross over a small stream before finding an obvious gulley. Scramble down here and follow a trail keeping left and along the base of the crag.
B. Approach as for Flying is Fun. Then walk down a trail at the base of the route Midnight Mission, turn left and over a huge flat rock. Pass through the stream and up the other side.