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Rocklands Info Update

Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 10:10 am
by MarkM
Hey all here is just a quick update with regards to climbing at Rocklands:

First up just to let you all know you require a permit to climb at Rocklands (even at the Campground boulders). The cost of this permit is now R70 per person per day. This 100% increase (it used to be R35 per person per day) happened mid April (just in time for the climbing season!!!). It has been sugested that if climbers have an issue with this insane increase that they address there concerns to the Porterville CNC office via fax 022 931 2913 or via e-mail

The Wild Card which can be obtained from the Porterville (or on the net at office for a meare R195 per person covers the permit fees so it's worthwhile to invest in one if you plan to climb there for more than 3 days. Our foreign friends will have to cough up R600 more for a card.

The campsite is R100 per day for the site which allows for 6 people per site.

There is also some camping further down the road at Klein Kliphuis for R25 per person per night although I think the space there is limited and it is just not as nice as the Kliphuis campsite. The person contact for Klein Kliphuis in Joan Penburthy on 027-482-2564.

I'm currently not sure what is happening with Alpha Excelcior or what the prices are etc.(Guy?)

That's as much as I have. If anyone has some more info please post it.


Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 12:19 pm
by Fool
Holy Smoke :evil:

For that amount are they gonna provide dedicated spotters, cheer leaders and refreshments!!!!!!!!

Wildcard is the way to go

But still this is rediculous...

Roclkands caretaker

Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 12:35 pm
by Andy Davies
Thanks Mark for that update...

I was in Rocklands this weekend and was pleased to see so many new faces enjoying this awesome spot. However I was dissapointed with:

a) The cost of entry without wildcard. R70 is a frigging rip-off and CN must be asked to reduce this to R10ish. Considering the entrance fee to say Silvermine where there are facilities. CN have done nothing to develop Rocklands.

b) The amount of short cuts and damage from bouldering.

Rocklands needs a caretaker who can make sure its well taken care of - and it should be a boulderer - come on guys / girls...... they will have full MCSA support.....

Live in Rocklands

Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 12:59 pm
by Unio
Hi, I'm Unio a M student at the Uni in Stel. Doing a masters on heritage development with Climbing in mind. The Focus area is the Northern Cederberg and will be staying in Rocklands for the next year!!!Please e-mail if you have some ideas.Mail the fools at Cape nature (R70) is cazy!!!
Will keep the place safe!!!

Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 1:46 pm
by MarkM
I'm not sure if CNC are aware of just how popular Rocklands is? The place is going to continue to see an increase in foreign & local climbers on a yearly basis. A lot of foreign guys & girls that you meet say that they have come through due to a pic they saw in a mag or a video clip off the net.

I feel that both CNC and local climbers really need to be proactive about getting some sort of balace. We really need to start thinking seriously about long term effects. Perhaps one idea would have areas on a yearly rotation basis where certain areas are closed for a year to allow vegitaion to regrow etc... or ensure footpaths to areas are correctly marked, perhaps using neat wooden boards with the areas name burnt in to ensure people only use one path to gain access to a particular area. Unfortunately this will require time mostly from the community itself, however perhaps CNC could provide the necessary materials.

Another good idea would be to draft a short letter letting climbers know what the ethics of the area are and how to shit in the woods etc. Then perhaps when this is finalised in english the letter could be translated into perhaps French, Spanish or German since often foreign visitors speak little or no english.

These are all just ideas for now. Perhaps people have comments or sugestions?

The other problem is that regardless of the number of good ideas that we may come up with all of this still needs to be accepted by CNC in order for it to be effectively implemented.

PS Andy, I too noted the number of short cuts, however I think that they may have been more obvious due to the lack of rain in the area?


Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 3:56 pm
by Andy Davies
Unio please can you contact me via the website administrator...

Mark - I noticed that there has been quite some water erosion on the paths and roads - so there has been some rain. Even with rain the shortcuts and bouldering areas will not recover. The only way to stop it is good signposting and of course a good bouldering RD.

Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 5:47 pm
by MarkM
Yeah, there had been some rain two weekends ago (between the two long weekends) I sat it out in my tent. I have never experianced rain that hard there before. T'was like a JHB thunder-storm sans the thunder.

I agree with the clear sign posting of the paths.

Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 7:09 pm
by Stu
What the heck
R70, you can get into Silvermine for R5.
Bloody idiots are up Rocklands.

Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 7:57 am
by oOdball
Stop reacting emotionally. They're not bloody idiots, just coming at the issue from a different point of view i.e preserving the natural heritage of the area.

I find it hard to believe that anyone who wants to climb there for more than 1 or 2 days a year isn't prepared to fork out R195 for a wild card (the surcharge for foreign visitors is a little over the top though). As for the cost relative to Silvermine surely it's an issue of number of visitors versus the damage caused.

I'm not proud of it but I've bashed through my share of Fynbos etc. on the way to an *awesome* boulder. Clearly we *are* making an impact! Who's fuc**ng up Rocklands you say!?

Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 12:20 pm
by Grigri
Clearly the place needs:

A decent topo and map - asap Stu! (Should communicate all the necessary info re behaviour etc.)

A network of clearly demarkated and formalised paths (possibly with boards/stones running along the edges so people are discouraged from wandering)

Signposts showing what path goes where.

Formalisation of the base of the boulders in a way that stops erosion and keeps people contained in a confined space around the boulder, heck build some seating out of natural materials if this will help stop the wanderlust.

I know this all sounds a bit like a botanical garden or city park but if the number of visitors is getting that large, and with the area as sensitive as it is, drastic measures are a necessity. Paths, signage, toilet facilities and seating could all be done in a ecofriendly manner that blends as far as possible with the natural surroundings. The developments in Table Mountain Natinal Park and elsewhere have shown that this is very possible, and indeed desirable. We should ask the Cape Nature officials if the price increase is going to bring about all this, if not, it really is a rip off! Hell they should be employing climbers to do all this! Im sure they would have no end of applicants for jobs entailing being paid to stay at Rocklands!! Why is it always us straining our brains over this stuff? Yeah we create the impact, but surely the CN management should be directing the initiative to create a solution by involving and using climbers for their local knowledge and creative energy.

Posted: Fri May 05, 2006 8:15 am
by Stu
From what I've seen and heard they are bloody idiots, management style, policies, etc. are all wrong.
Just one example would be paying to climb on the boulders at campground. This is simpy INSANE. Where else in the world would you pay to stay at the campsite and then have to pay extra to walk 90m from your campsite. The pther areas are understandable
I wasn't necessarily only talking about the fynbos but thepleasure of staying there.

I've always been opposed to signage at Rocklands but it seems that with the increased traffic it might be required. What does everyone else think?