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Climbing at Waterval Boven

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:08 am
by trj

I'm planning a climbing/surfing trip to SA for July and have been reading about armed robberies at some of the crags. I want to climb at Waterval Boven and the Rocklands . We have a five year old and I do now want to expose him to stuff like that. Is it isolated/bad luck or something that really might happen?


Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:11 am
by mokganjetsi
he trj. i do not know of any incidents at rocklands so i think it is pretty safe. there were a few incidents at boven a year or more ago, but there has not been any confirmed robberies at boven the last year. the robberies at boven happened at the crags adjacent to an informal settlement - there are a number of great crags a few kms out of town where there has been no robberies that i know of. i suggest you contact gustav at roc n rope to get an update on the security situation and advice on where to climb.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:55 am
by mkboy
NOT good news!! :evil: Going to have to add a baseball bat to my climbing gear kit! petty theft is one thing but armed robbery in this manner is a little more serious!!

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:30 am
by jeanpant
If you want to feel safe on a surfing/climbing trip, South Africa might not be your best option. Sad but true...

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:34 am
by Scott
Rocklands and the cedarberg areas seem very safe. Boven is hit or miss if you ask me Ive had a great time climbing there but evreytime it has been with a largish group so I felt safe. I would check with Gustav about Boven but muggings happen there on a regular basis. Crags in western cape are relatively safe. A few muggings on Table Mtn but Silvermine, Rocklands and montagu are almost crime free. Your car is always at risk at all those places but personal attacks are extremely rare. Oudtshoorn is another crag that is very safe and very kid friendly.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:44 am
by Brent
I am seriously dismayed to read of the attack as described.
Confirmed reports would indicate that many of the climbing areas in 'Boven, as well as the campsite written about above, cannot be guaranteed safe.

Climbing in the Cape is a lot safer. The campsite that most people now use to access Rocklands is De Pakhuis. This is on a private farm and can probably be considered one of the safest camping/climbing areas around.

There have been no reported incidents at any of the Cape Town crags. There have only been muggings on the normal walking paths of the Table Mountain National Park. Some crags could be considered less safe than others, however. Peers Cave, Kalk Bay crags, the Hole and the Mine (due to where one parks one's car and walks in) should be viewed as slightly higher risk than others.

I would prefer to see the problem of safety properly addressed, than to see the 'retreat' approach of avoiding certain crags. This goes for 'Boven too, and I really feel for guys like Gustav who are trying their best.

Quite frankly, if it's a bunch of guys climbing, by all means use whatever force is necessary to vigorously repel any attack. My feeling (not shared by everyone, I know) is that passive acquiescence is not an appropriate long-term solution, despite what our so-called leaders would indoctrinate us into believing. However, when it comes to family, that's different. In that case, do what you can to keep them out of harm's way.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:12 am
by mokganjetsi
i'm also very grrrrrrr about the robbery. we should not put up with this. it is clear that the guys are a bunch of ruthless amateurs.

should climbers not set-up a reward system to incentivise the community to give-up these guys? the local township benefits from the employment generated by the climbing-tourism and it is maybe a case of education and mobilisation to get them to flush out the rats themselves. i refuse to accept that we should live in in fear and lock ourselves up in some freekin security estate.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:14 pm
by trj
Thanks for the info-I'll contact Gustav and look into some of the other areas suggested

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:22 pm
by paddy
trj - we go climbing with our daughter - age 11. We feel very comfortable with this at all the Cederberg and Montague venues as well as all the Cape Town crags and bouldering spots. The only exception would be the Hole and the Kalk Bay crags as there have been muggings in the past on the walking paths in the vicinity of these crags. You would need to watch out for car safety at those places indicated above. We also take her to Oudtshoorn (which has the added advantage of being a few hours away from some prime surfing venues). I also imagine Mt Everest in the Free State would be safe as that is in a private reserve.