ferncliff Pietermaritzburg

For the posting and discussion of Access Issues and Closures for Areas around South Africa.
darko
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:13 pm

ferncliff Pietermaritzburg

Postby darko » Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:45 pm

Dear Boulderers/climbers

I am making a trip over from the UK , to try do a spot of bouldering while on some business in SA. I can see that Topside and Rocklands are the place to be, I am also gonna be in durbs and was wondering if anyone knows about Ferncliff near martizburg and if bouldering is allowed and any directions to this area. :)

PaulB
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:59 pm

Postby PaulB » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:25 am

The bouldering in PMB is not great. The 'best' area, and the only one with approved access, is King Solomon's mine. There is also a guide by Greg Streatfield. I thought it was on this site but can't find it -- he would be the best person to contact.

There is not much quantity in PMB but there are some Gems. At Ferncliff, there is damn cool problem called 'Snookered'. If you are standing at the clearing near the dam (where all the huge boulders are) facing up the hill follow the trail left instead of right and go over a little knoll (it used to be clear of trees but they may have re-planted (in which case it will be hard to find). It is the lone boulder split in half (the other half has been quarried). It is not in the forest so if you wander too high you are in the wrong place! The problem goes up the rounded arete. Not hard but you get into a position where you can't move (hence the name) and the crux is trying to get out of this position (very bleauesque. har har) The boulders near the dam 'may' possibly reveal some high-balls if you are prepared to clean off the lichen (but then you would need to get permission methinks). But round the back (out of view) of these boulders there are a couple of short arb problems.

Otherwise, there are some rad quarry problems at the Quarry shopping center in Hilton. These problems are almost directly below the Center facing the dam. To get there park by the gym and walk downhill and then right into the clearing. Walk directly down the road leading to the dam. At the end of the road follow the path right. The 'crag' forms a ^ the good problems are on the left side. There is jump problem (big), an arete (very good (techinical, you have to do this rad 'double move' hopping your left hand and left foot up the arete at the same time!!). The hardest problem is to the right of this obvious good arete problem. It goes straight up a very thin crack opening into two holds which appear unusable until you sort out your weight and ends on quick hands deadpoint. Very cool. Careful the rock is quite brittle so don't go soloing the high stuff on the right. Also, even if u are feeling severe withdrawl don't bouldering /soloing at World's View. Loose rock nearly killed a friend of mine.

But if you want to go somewhere where you have more to choose from than like 5 problems go to Swinburne. There are some really good problems here (also some really shite ones).

Anway, there is also a new very good crag being opened up at Howick falls (directly below the abseil) so if you can bear to tie into a rope??

Good luck :-)

PaulB
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:59 pm

Postby PaulB » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:11 am

Oh, I forgot, directions to Ferncliff. Any local will be able to direct you to 'Ferncliff nature reserve'. Once there park in the big field right at the end of the dirt road. To get to the area by the big boulders walk through the turnstile and along the dirt road which goes along the bottom of the forest. Big clump of bamboo on your right. Walk for about a 500m(?). Keep a look out for the dam and big boulders on your left.

DaveD
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:36 am

Postby DaveD » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:59 pm

When are you planning on comming out?

If you are willing to stoop so low as to put on a harness, I can show you around some of Durban's better sport crags.

I also know some boulders closed to Durban, and if I have time could show you around Ferncliff and King solomans mine.

I have RD's for some of the areas, maybe I could mail them to you.

Send me a mail on daveonthebeach@hotmail.com
Feel the Qui

darko
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:13 pm

Postby darko » Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:47 pm

Thanks a lot for the info PaulB , DaveD I will pack my harness and take you up on that offer. :D


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