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Description

This crag offers fantastic sustained easy and moderate climbs. If only it was a bit taller…

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

8

(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

Park at the Elandskrans Reception, as described for The Restaurant. A good path leaves the Elandskrans Resort just by the corner of the basketball court (past the swimming pools). Walk along the trail over open rocky grassland heading in the direction of the township until you arrive at the cliff edge (from where the Coven can be seen on the other side of the valley). Go down and right about 10 metres and there is a scramble down. If you have dogs or non-climbing friends there is a less defined but easier path about 70m to the left when you arrive at the cliff edge.

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Resequence Bulk edit
Grade Route
1

The arete at the bottom of the access gulley. A classic!

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

2

Takes in the hand crack 4m right of the VOCD. Uses the lower offs to the left or right.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

3
SA 11 * MRI Sport 8

The wide crack just right of TCM.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

4
SA 13 ** Fly for Life Sport 7

The recess just right. Shares 3 bolts with MRI. Can be awkward going right past the roof without technique. Trend back left to lower-off.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

5
SA 22 ** Dwarf Tossing Sport 7

The slab just right of the arete. Head for the arete after the 4th bolt. Going straight up the face is trickier.

FA: Clive Curson, 1992

6
SA 21 ** Rip Sport 8

The prominent crackline, using the tree or traversing in under the roof to start.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

7

Direct start is 23/24 - height dependent.

FA: Clive Curson, 1993

8
SA 18 ** Midnight Mission Sport 9

The seam 2m right of RIP, using anything. Climb only the seam for a somewhat more specific exercise.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

9
SA 16 Floating on the Storm Sport 9

Crackline just right of MM. Fine line but there is a great temptation to step right onto THERMAL'S block at the crux. Probably 18 if you're short.

FA: Clive Curson, 1992

10
SA 11 * Thermal Sport 9

The easiest break in this area. Up the corner to a recess, using 5 bolts on FOTS. Step back left to FOTS lower-offs after surmounting the block.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

11
SA 13 Blood in the Dust Sport 9

Starts in the recess just right of THERMAL/FOTS. Pull through to a ledge. Continue up the recess and arete above. Go out right to STONE COLD'S finish.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

12
SA 15 * Stone Cold Sport 8

Takes the slanting crack just right of BITD. Continue up the arete and out right to the loweroffs at the high point.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

13

Start up FROZEN FLESH'S crack. Move up left to climb the face just right of the arete. Finish at the same lower- offs as STONE COLD.

FA: Clive Curson & Barbara Marcus, 1992

14
SA 24 ** Frozen Flesh Sport 8

Follows the crackline right of the arete into a shallow corner. Climb the face straight above.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

15
SA 19 * Doa Sport 8

The fierce-looking handcrack. Harder for midgets.

FA: Clive Curson, 1992

16
SA 20 * Blood Transfusion Sport 9

Start up DYING TO FLY. Move 2m left at half height to a vague seam. Climb this.

FA: Clive Curson, 1992

17
SA 20 * Dying to Fly Sport 8

The first right leaning crack off the ledge, about 6m right of DOA. A bouldery move to gain the slab.

FA: Clive Curson & Grant Murray, 1991

18
SA 20 * Three Blind Mice Sport 8

The other right leaning crack - more technical but easier than DTF. Step right from the ledge - the first 5m are off-balance. Probably 19 if you work out the moves quickly.

FA: Clive Curson & Grant Murray, 1991

19
SA 21 * See How They Run Unknown 9

This is the direct start to THREE BLIND MICE, follow the crack from ground level.

FA: Clive Curson, 1993

20
SA 20 * The Carving Knife Sport 9

From the base of the THREE BLIND MICE crack, move diagonally right on the face to the 3rd bolt. Climb straight up, joining THREE BLIND MICE to the top.

FA: Clive Curson, 1995

21
SA 21 ** High Noon Sport 7

4m right of the ledge edge. A bit reachy. There is a lot of climbing around the 4th bolt.

FA: Clive Curson, 1992

22
SA 17 ** Bolted Bones Sport 6

The beautiful fingercrack 4m left of the corner. Start off a little ledge.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

23
SA 14 * Recovery Room Sport 7

The jamcrack/layback in the corner. Finishes up the face on the left wall.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

24

The short crack 3m right of RECOVERY ROOM'S corner.

FA: Clive Curson, 1993

25
SA 13 * Fly By Day Sport 6

On face holds 1m left of FLY BY NIGHT; uses same recess in the upper reaches, and the same bolts throughout.

FA: Clive Curson, 1993

26
SA 14 * Fly By Night Sport 6

Face move at left hand bolt line. Climb recess above.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

27
SA 13 * Bridget Flies Again Sport 6

Face move 2m right of FBN avoiding the corner. Uses BCA's bolts.

FA: Clive Curson, 1993

28
SA 8 * Bridget Climbs Again Sport 6

Using the corner where needed and the same bolts.

FA: Clive Curson, 1991

29
SA 23 * Bolder Problem Sport 5

The steep face on the boulder behind BRIDGET CLIMBS AGAIN. (Sandbagged and opened at 18!)

FA: Mike Cartwright, 1992

30

The first route as you turn the corner to the left of LES TROIS MEUFS. Opened by one of the local Police officers.

FA: Alwyn Venter, 2001

31
SA 12 ** Les Trois Meufs Sport 5

To the right behind BOLDER PROBLEM is another block. Climb the crack.

FA: Gustav Janse van Rensburg, 2001

32

The face right of the crack in the middle of the boulder.

FA: Johan Olivier & Deon Vermeulen, 2003