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'new' crag in Pretoria

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:53 pm
by emile

I've come across some nice looking rock (PTA) and quite by chance struck a deal with the owners, who it seems are keen to get some people there (lodge, pub)

There are some bolted routes (no guide), potential for new routes (got permission to develop) and some boulders. I'm heading out there this weekend again to get finalise and check out the routes (was raining last time).

The arrangement for the time being is R120 pppd, or for the humongous effort of saying I referred you, R50 pppd. I told them that R120 pppd is pushing it, and this is the arrangement they requested (list / club), to keep track of the discount I suppose. I will check on access to other facilities too, but I got the distinct impression that we're wanted in the bar afterwards.

I'm going to try & do away with the list / club requirement when I talk to them this weekend - I'll update next week.

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:13 pm
by proze
R120pppd is not an option, I reckon. Even R50 is a lot, unless it's really good rock!

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:21 pm
by emile
and if it's half the distance than Choss / Bronkies from PTA?

I know it's a lot, it's on my mind too. At least I've got them thinking about using some of that money for a kitty towards bolts for the new sections. Perhaps if there's some decent numbers showing interest & pitching I / we can talk to them about reducing it.

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:08 pm
by bg
how far from JHB is it? agreed , the more that head out there the less they need to charge , so when you got some more info and its ready to visit just shout and im sure there will be people headed that way ..any pictures?

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:48 pm
by ericd
Sounds good. How far from Bronkies,what grades do you recon?

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:16 pm
by emile
Photos: I've got some shabby ones from afar, not worth posting. I'll get consent to start a Wiki page an take some better ones this weekend, will post photos one way or another. If you are desperate, drop me a mail & I'll send a couple in the mean while.

Distance from JHB: I'd guess about 60km from Midrand, it's not really that much closer for you guys from JHB, but a bargain if you're from PTA.

Grades: Absolutely no idea. I have not been up close due to rain, but I think theres a good variety. The undeveloped section has what seems to be a mean roof, but again, I have only seen it from a distance.

Charges: I'll do my best, rest assured. I do think that the willingness from the owners goes a long way, e.g. opening a \"bolting kitty\", willing to negotiate a discount etc.. They have offered discount overnight rates (for groups) too. Please remember that they bough the land as a business, and need to generate some money from it, I can't blame them for it. Perhaps we can talk about starting a \"frequent climber\" club, who knows.

If anyone of you guys would like to help me out, feel free to drop me a mail. I'm not ashamed to say I'm very new at this and would appreciate any help. On top of that, if I grade routes, there's going to be some serious big-ego problems doing the rounds due to guys sending 35's etc.
Brolloks - here I out for that pretty face of mine on
:lol: 8)

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:55 am
by Justin
RE: The Wiki, it's a free for all... no consent required :)

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:58 pm
by peanut
!!! 120 bucks to climb for the day and then be expected to spend at least the same at the bar......yeah bargain. Thats really gonna draw the crowds!
Maybe they should have a look at whats happening at Bronkies (theoretically their competition). On this kinda budget Id rather get hammered at tings for the day, whether its in my backyard or not.
Honestly Id spend the loot on petrol and go elswhere, Like Fern...lots still to do there...
That aside... at least its a start,shot for the effort Mr Dog. Maybe things will change in the future.
Umm...If the climbing/bouldering is worth it...... what does 120 get you nowadays anyway.....

So where is it ????

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:10 pm
by emile
Justin: Thanks, I meant consent from the owners.

Peanut: No offense, but you must have sucked at comprehension tests in school? :lol:

Anyways: The R120/day rate comes from advice given to them by someone else - long story. I have talked to them again regarding the rates, it's R30 pppd now, and the money will mainly be put back into the crag - maintenance of the routes, bolting kitty for new routes etc. etc. - they are not trying to make a living from the climbing and are really pleasant people. R30 pays for a couple of hours at The Barn, so it's fair I think.

See for a map, details on the wiki.

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:27 pm
by peanut
nah dude,I actually did ok...... regardless. 30 bucks!! And now I have a whole bunch left to spend on getting liquored at the bar...this is working out!!
So once again:

nevermind,found it,

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:56 pm
by fridge
Thank u for all the effort Emile

I will Try to go and check it out next weekend.

Used to climb there alot

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:29 pm
by twiga
I know this place quite well.

I used to live closeby a couple of years ago, and frequently climbed there (knew the caretaker back then).

This is a beautifull spot close to Pretoria, with a shitload of routes. I/we have climbed most of the faces during our endevours there.

What you must keep in mind, and I'm pretty sure the owners don't, is that although this is so close to Pretoria, and the resort is closeby, this is still a pretty sensitive area, so please don't fuck it up.

We spotted many baboons and leopard in the area. The cave in the crag on the opposite side of the resort is used by leopards for breeding.

When we climb there the place was already \"discovered\" ie. some homemade bolts could be found one or two faces (mostly hard stuff). Keep this in mind when developing routes.

The bouldering there is also superb.

The place is a gem, make sure it stays that way....


Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:25 am
by emile
Apparently the place has been abandoned for some time, and the current owners have been cleaning it up (including weeds on the hill) for the past 6 months or so. There has been plenty of littering, still visible now and apparently the cave (which I have not yet seen), is covered in graffiti which they also intend to clean up.

There is plenty of baboon evidence, but I must admit that I doubt any leopard are still there, they might rather be found in the fenced of game reserves in the area. Sand mines have also taken a heavy toll on the area, I hope the motherf-rs are forced to rehabilitate the land.

As you may know the entire area is being transformed into a reserve (Dinokeng) and I'm not sure but I believe they fall under it - I would think the owners bought the place knowing that and keen to participate. I will mention the leopard breeding spot to them and I'm sure they will do everything in their power to preserve the area as best as they can.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:20 am
by proze
Thanks for the effort, dude. Is there anything bolted at the moment? If not, where can one hire a Hilti and buy some bolts?

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:46 am
by emile
The 40 odd routes documented on the wiki are all fully bolted, the far right (documented) section have the bottom hangers missing (8 climbs) - it has been reported to the owners & I'm arranging to buy the replacements with them. There's enough to keep anyone busy for quite some time without any further bolting.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:45 am
by nosmo
How sweet dude! Can I buy you beer? And are there any arrangements/prospects for bouldering?

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:07 am
by emile
Beer would be nice , double vodka & coke better, Long Island Iced Tea.... hmmmmm :D

There are as far as my untrained eye can tell tons of bouldering possibilities. Arrangements would be the same as for climbing. If you go to the left after reaching the top of the drive up to the crag, there's a couple of large boulders lying around in plain sight, and the foot path to the far left passes quite a few promising boulders on the way up.

I've taken some pictures but have not had time to resize them, will upload tonight / through the week.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:56 am
by nosmo
Damn straight! I'll leave a Long Island Ice Tea on order for one Emile at the bar. Can you spell FA?

Argh it's only frikken Tuesday! Will take photos and send them along when those boulders go down. And if anyone can supply google earth/GPS coords for anything in the area I'll be well impressed!

Oh and one last thing, is Mutango Lodge the official name?

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:27 pm
by emile
nosmo wrote:Can you spell FA?
:lol: Not after a couple of Long Islands...

That raises an interesting question - since there are no documented FA's for routes or boulders (that I know of, perhaps someone else does), but there has more likely than not been on at least some of the routes, can one still claim a FA?

Mutango Lodge is the official name of the lodge / property, I don't really see the use of calling the crag something else.

nosmo, hope I see you and some other people there this weekend. I'm itching to get out there and stuck at the day-job until the weekend too.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:35 pm
by andrew p
Good work dudes. Excellent effort. I would love to see some pics - did you post some, I cant find on wiki. Cheers.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:00 pm
by Justin
Nice work Emile.

Here is a link to Mutango Lodge on the Wiki.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:38 pm
by emile
Thanks Justin & everyone else for the kind words, it's a pleasure.

Below some random pics, click on the pic to enlarge. I specifically did not upload to the Wiki, I thought the wiki should rather have pics of people actually climbing so this is just to wet some appetites

(Pics removed, time to post some on the Wiki - Emile)

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:58 pm
by nosmo
I suspect the FA on any of the bolted routes (except long-forgotten projects) would be somewhat controversial to claim.

Where do the names come from? UPDATE: from the photos, they're apparently written on the rock? Plus those hangers look very stainless?

Chances are that someone who reads this knows someone that'll be very quick to remind you of any FAs if they were the first up (especially the hard ones, funny that?). Some rock on film will refresh even the dodgiest of old memories.

Mutango it is then. :)

Is there any way (besides pitching up and paying) that we can help?

I'm already planning to take photos, GPS readings and clean any boulders we happen to hop on :D

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:37 pm
by nosmo
'Scuse the double post, but the wiki says you drive 24.9km on Moloto Rd to where you can see the rock on the right, right?

The website's map shows Mutango just after the dam on the right; Google Earth thinks the dam is about 10km from the turnoff (not 25 km odd) - I think their (landowners') map might be a bit not to scale, something worth mentioning on the wiki?

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:54 pm
by ericd
What a pleasure, just moved to Bronkhorstspruit! Now I have 2 climbing areas nearby. Cant wait to excersize my popped finger!!!

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:07 pm
by nosmo
UPDATE: The map on is not exactly to scale - the Lodge is a bit further past the dam than indicated on the map.

GPS coords for the turnoff: 25°31'58.21\"S 28°27'29.51\"E

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:56 pm
by emile
I measured the 24.9km myself, besides, you can see the rock from about a kilometer away already, hard to miss. Ignore the speed-trap warning at your own peril. It's a nice road to drive (for me at least), so take it easy and relax.

On helping, in order of (my) preference:
#1: Any updates on grades, suspect bolts etc.
#2: Assist with cleaning up some weeds along the foot paths. There's a huge blackjack problem all over the region (my place too, if you're bored). Any litter would be good, luckily there's not too much. Just pull out a couple as you walk up. Frik said he'll look into it, but it's a huge undertaking due to the terrain, and if it starts seeding, it's going to be a mess.
#3: Try to preserve nature. There is an abundance of insect life on the ground, tok-tokkies, Red Romans etc.. With the region moving towards becoming a wild life haven, it can become a supreme experience to climb in the area, and the owners will love you for helping. hmmmmm. all warm & fuzzy.
#4: Chat to the owners & support them where you can. They are nice people trying to make it a pleasant climbing spot for obvious reasons. PS: they have a new-years eve function, a mandjie dans type affair if I'm not mistaken, if that's your sort of thing. I hear they have a top notch chef.

As with all other crags, keep it neat & enjoy. Happy owner = happy climbers.

I'm sure we can look at replacing the lost hangers from the bolting kitty soon. I'd like to follow up on Twiga's post regarding the leopard etc. before just blindly bolting the remaining sections, especially on the opposing hillside. (Yes, there's more ! ). I heard fish eagles when I was there last time, and being from the area I know there are some true wild life left, even much closer to PTA, and would like to preserve & protect it as much as possible.

Perhaps if we make this thing work here, we can \"strong arm\" other less willing owners into allowing day visitor access? I have my eye on another piece of rock already....will see.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:47 am
by myself
Hey Emile, good job on the re-discovery, sorting out access, etc, I would be very keen to check it out, are you heading out there this weekend?

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:58 am
by emile
Hi, yes, I'd like to go Saturday morning, but will have to see how things work out, otherwise Sunday morning. My belay bunny is not too keen on early mornings.

PS: The place has a similar orientation to Bronkies, probably best to go in the morning during summer time, but having said that, you'll probably find shaded routes right through the day.

Fish eagles at a new crag

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:44 am
by CragRat
Hey - New crag AND fish eagles.....shotgun the line below the nest...naaa just kidding. :lol: Great news and well done to the guys making the effort to gain access. Judging buy by the number fo bolts listed on each climb it looks like a very low crag. Is there potential fo rlonger routes :?: