Trad Climbing in Cape Town
Table Mountain is the defining landmark of Cape Town and the sheer cliffs on its buttresses and at the top offer some of the best traditional climbing in the world. Table Mountain in fact lends its name to the marble-like sandstone of which it is made.
Table Mountain Sandstone is comprised of horizontal cracks or rails, highly featured vertical cracks, flakes and gargoyles, all of which afford excellent protection on highly exposed faces. The only bolts are at abseil points making this magnificent venue a trad-only spot, with remarkably few climbers.
With over 100 routes in the vicinity of the Cable Car alone, there are climbs of all levels offering spectacular exposure on friendly rock. Some of the most spectacular climbs are of the easiest grades, suitable for beginners accompanied by our qualified guides. As for the more experienced, don�t worry! There is no shortage of more challenging lines. No trip to Cape Town is complete without a day on Table Mountain.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area, 3.5 hours north of Cape Town offers some of the most breathtaking hikes and pristine rock climbing in South Africa. And because of its remote location, when the sun goes down the stargazing is unparalleled!
The desert worn orange sandstone provides spectacular and bizarre formations for both the photographer and climber to enjoy. Witness unlikely balancing boulders, wind formed arches and water sculpted gargoyles of every description brightly colored by many different lichens. The rock is highly featured and extremely solid making it a perfect climbers playground.
Choose the hike to the top of Tafelberg for remote multi-pitch trad climbing while staying in a five star cave! After the initial hike in, this is country style climbing at its most convenient with short downhill approaches and descents, pristine multi-pitch climbing and a sunset deck for days-end relaxation.
Alternatively you can choose the Sundrift campsite/cottages for a mixture of multi-pitch trad, extensive sport climbing, hiking, and rest days filled with swimming, cave painting tours and fire-cooked meals. The Cederberg is a must for all mountain lovers.
Du Toits Kloof
Just a one-hour drive from Cape Town stands the Du Toits Kloof Mountains at 2500 meters above sea level. They form a ring of protection between the rich Cape wine lands and the semi-desert of the Great Karoo. In winter they often have a dusting of snow on their peaks.
Hellfire offers a mixture of 1 and 2 pitch trad and sport climbing. While bad weather moves in over Cape Town, you can still enjoy a day of superb climbing in the sunshine at this great crag.
Further above the kloof are a number of country climbs requiring strenuous approaches, a good head for heights and a strong sense of adventure. However, some of the best climbs are of moderate grades. So if you are looking for quality mountain adventure, look no further!
Interesting facts about the Western Cape
For much of the Peninsula the upper half is mainly Sandstone of the Table Mountain Group, originally deposited by rivers up to 520 million years ago, overlying older Granite, which is 540 million years old. The oldest rocks are on Signal Hill, north of Lion’s Head, which consist of the Malmesbury Group’s marine siltstones (560 million years old). Zircon crystals were used for dating these rocks, which formed part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana.