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Komati Gorge *New Crag*

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:36 am
by Stijn
Hi guys

We recently stayed at Komati Gorge lodge and couldn't help but notice the massive Boven-like crag(s) on the doorstep of the lodge. I spoke to one of the managers there, Ernst Labuschagne, and he has been keen to have some bolted routes put up for some time now. He has offered to provide free accommodation for a weekend at their lodge ( as well as sponsor the bolts/anchors/etc required.

The area is located 30km South of Machadodorp, off the R36. I'd say the main crag is at least 500m long and varies in height from 15-25m, not as clean as some of Boven's blank red faces, vertical, featured and with a few overlaps. There are a few other less-promising looking crags on their land as well.

So, firstly, does anybody know of any trad activity in this area? There are certainly a few lines that could take pro.

And since I have no bolting gear or experience, I have decided to put this out there for any other interested climbers who would like to develop this area - contact Ernst directly on komatigorge <at> telkomsa <dot> net
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Re: Komati Gorge

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:40 am
by Stijn
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Re: Komati Gorge *New Crag*

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:40 am
by pierre.joubert
That looks pretty rad, and the cliffs look to be about 100m from the river. I just sent Ernst a mail. Maybe, for his sanity sake, change the email address in your post to something like "komatigorge at telkomsa dot net". Humans can read that, spambots hopefully can't.

Re: Komati Gorge *New Crag*

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:57 am
by Stijn
Ja, there is an existing hiking trail which runs along the base of part of the crag. From the pool deck, it's a boulder-hop across the river and short uphill walk to the crag. 5 mins tops. 2 mins back to the bar after a day of cragging. :thumleft:

Re: Komati Gorge *New Crag*

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:37 pm
by Stijn
@pierre: Any news or progress on this?

Re: Komati Gorge *New Crag*

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:56 pm
by pierre.joubert
Yes, went there last weekend. We met with the landowner and examined the crag. It looks well suited to both bolted and some trad routes. The white bits on the left hand side of the crag is birdcrap - from the Southern Bald Ibis, so any development that happens will stay WELL away from the left. Crag is about 20m high average, rock is very similar to Hallucinogen at Boven.

The landowner understands that it is unlikely to attract climbers over Boven - i.e. very few people that are going for a primarily climbing weekend will come here instead of going to Boven, but, that said he is keen to have some sport climbing on his property in addition to other activities on offer already (horse riding, fly fishing, etc). There is a bush camp to stay in (little stone houses) but no tent camping so his target market remains people who come to stay at the 4star lodge.

Ernst has provisionally comitted some labourers who are going to be building paths in the near future to manage erosion at the base.

Send me a pm if you need more details.

Re: Komati Gorge *New Crag*

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:38 am
by Stijn
Cool, thanks for the feedback :thumleft: Agreed, it's not really your typical climbers' spot i.t.o. the accommodation, but it could also be a day-trip from Boven for some variety.