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Access: Coronavirus COVID-19 Alert level 2

Physical distancing and restrictions on leisure and social activities to prevent a resurgence of the virus.

Alert level 2 will be in place from 31 May 2021. Alert level 2 was in place from 18 August to 20 September 2020. Adjustments to the regulations will be updated as soon as possible after it is published.

https://www.gov.za/coronavirus/alert-level-2

See warning details and discuss

Created about a year ago - Edited 22 days ago

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Description

All informations are taken from the wiki with the authorization of the main author and crag developer, Charles Edelstein. Special thanks to him since he shared this while publishing a guidebook:

Yellowwood and Chess Pieces – A Climber’s Guide

152 pages – full colour - 148mm x 210mm – A5

AUTHOR(S) Charles Edelstein and Tony Lourens

ISBN 978-1-990927-83-6

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

Mountain Club of South Africa: www.mcsa.org.za - Look at “Who we are” for the different sections of the MCSA ClimbZA Wiki: http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/Yellowwood_Amphitheatre Welcome to the largest & most comprehensive online database of Southern African climbing information. ClimbZA Forum: https//www.climbing.co.za/forum/ A south-african climbing forum where you can find climbing partners or more about different climbing areas and climbs.

Access issues

The Ravine, Amphitheatre and most of the climbable rock is on the farm Gevonden 733 and is privately owned by the Dave Richter family trust. There is tacit permission to climb at Yellowwood by the beneficiaries of the trust provided we do not engage in any eco-unfriendly practises.

Approach

Yellowwood Amphitheatre is in Du Toits Kloof on the Worcester side of the Huguenot Tunnel, approximately an hour's drive from Cape Town. The amphitheatre is on the south side of the N1, so the right hand side coming from Cape Town.

From Cape Town, drive along the N1, through the tunnel and into Du Toit’s Kloof, and continue past the Du Toit’s Kloof Resort/Hotel on the left. There are two spots you can park. About 3 or 4 km from the resort, you can squeeze a car behind the barrier on a long left bend, just before Yellowwood Ravine. Alternatively, about 1km on you can park at the first break in the barrier just below Yellowwood Ravine – this is a farm access road, so don’t park in front of the gate.

A path winds up the right-hand side of Yellowwood Ravine to reach the foot of the Amphitheatre. The path leaves the N1 several hundred metres down from the large pylon on the right hand side of the gully. The path passes beneath this pylon and is marked by cairns the whole way. The walk-in is steep, involves an 840m elevation hike starting at 360m above sea level to the base of the main amphitheatre that is at 1,200m, and takes about two hours.

Where to stay

There is no facilities, and only limited bivvy spots on site. There is a water drip near the base of Yellowwood that is unreliable and seasonal - June to December.

Ethic

The prevailing ethic for Yellowwood is tread lightly.

"Tread lightly" means no bolting of belay stances unless all possible alternatives have been completely exhausted. No placing of bolts for running belays that are not absolutely essential. No use of pitons, unless necessary. No use of power drills is accepted!

Climbers are asked to respect the prevailing ethic which is intended to preserve the aesthetic appeal of Yellowwood as a world-class Trad climbing destination.

It is essential for first time visitors to do an ascent of one of the existing classic trad routes to appreciate the committing and adventurous nature of the climbing at Yellowwood. Older routes such as Armageddon Time (and the direct), Blood is Sweeter than Honey and Time Warp are all test pieces for their grade. And newer routes such as Prime Time (and the direct) and Fantastic Time as well as "routes in progress" of which there at least 3, are no less demanding at the grade. Most, if not all the trad routes on the main wall have at least one "R" (run-out) pitch but none are "X" rated. There is minimal fixed gear and very few fixed stance

A new route on Yellowwood, Fighting The Dark Side Of Gravity, has had all its bolts removed, except for two that are essential for the leader on Pitch 3. Two non-essential pitons have also been removed.

There has been much debate about Yellowwood and the most active Yellowwood climbers have talked extensively so as to settle the ethos of this high-value cliff.

In a recent meeting Adam Roff, Jeremy Samson and Hilton Davies distilled the following:

Yellowwood is a very special Trad climbing venue and there have been some mis-steps in route development at the crag. Newborn was bolted many years ago before locals had given much thought to bolting and ethics. It is a legacy that shall remain, but should not be seen as guidance for route development at Yellowwood. More recently four new routes have been established by visitors who have made extensive use of non-essential bolting. Whilst route development is encouraged, non-essential bolting is not; and these new routes are getting their non-essential bolts removed. They will remain as good adventurous routes.

2014: There have been no less than 10 new multi-pitch trad routes established at Yellowwood in the first 5 months of this year. Together they constitute no less than 60 pitches or, combined, more than 1500m of climbing. All the routes have been free-climbed with the vast majority of the pitches of being moderate grade and only 2 pitches of grade 22 and one of grade 24. The routes are all well protected and no fixed gear was necessary.

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