Page 1 of 1

Climbing partners for Boven/Lydenburg area in Dec/Jan

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:34 am
by Carl H
HI Guys,
I am a student from Rhodes University in Grahamstown. I started climbing this year with our university club and have climbed sport routes at such places as Morgan's Bay, Cockscomb and Fort Fordyce, as well as a few smaller crags around Grahamstown. During the week we climb indoors.

I am going to be spending my holiday with my family in Lydenburg and was thinking of getting some climbing done in the area. If any of you guys are going to be climbing routes in the area at that time could you let me know if i can join you?
I currently climb grades of 19-20 and have led routes up to 18 I think. I also belay but have not belayed anyone on harder/ more dangerous routes.
I have shoes, chalk and a helmet. I'm also going to buy a harness soon.

I have never climbed at Boven before but am really keen to give some of the
easier climbs a go. So if there is anyone out there who wouldn't mind me perhaps joining them for some of the easier routes, please give me your contact details and i will try make it to Boven. My brother does falconry in
the area so i should be around Boven some time anyway.

Are there any bolted routes around Lydenburg that anyone knows of? I've heard there may be some at the Potato Board on the Longtom Pass.
Thank you very much
Carl Huchzermeyer

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:32 am
by stephan
Howzit Carl,

We are going to Boven this December (dates to be confirmed), and at this stage we are one person short so you might be able to join us.

This is very strange but all three of us that are going are actually from Lydenburg (I'm living in Pta now) so any travel arrangements will be easy to sort out.

And yes, there are a couple of routes close to Lydenburg which were bolted by Tuks Exploratio a year ago. I think three routes were bolted, grade 20, 21 & 22. My two friends, whom I'm going to Boven with, used to live on the farm where the routes were bolted so they can maybe take you there. I don't think any access has been arranged with the land owner, so for now the location is going to stay a secret.

There is however huge potential in the mountains surrounding the Longtom Pass. There are some very high cliffs in that area and I still remember the days when they had paragliding competitions at the Potato Board where the guys used to jump off cliffs which must be at least 80m high.

Send me a PM then we can discuss the dates and I can give you my contact details.


Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:47 am
by BAbycoat
I have shoes, chalk and a helmet.
Nice priorities, Carl. Fanta would be proud :wink:

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:02 am
by GarethFrost
If you have trad gear, you can go up to Blydepoort which is only an hour from Lydenburg.
Also out that way is Manoutsa (150m+ walls) and the bouldering spot called Gold Rush near Graskop.
Check out the \"routes\" section for RD's to Blydepoort. I can also give you details and beta on Blydepoort and Manoutsa. The Manoutsa RD has not been published on this site yet.

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:53 pm
by Carl H
I always climb with a helmet, even though it is an ancient old-school dome!

Don't have enough experience to do trad yet, maybe in a couple of years time. Climbing those high cliffs at Manoutsa would be awesome- high over the bushveld and the olifants river.
The cliffs there are the only nesting sites of the rare Taita falcon south of the lower zambezi valley. You guys don't climb near the vulture nesting colony? I doubt it, it would be more than a day's hike to get to the foot of that cliff.

I'm aware of the bouldering potential of the area- all the mountain and forests have bands of harder rock with large boulders. I suppose i will mostly be doing bouldering, but the red cliffs of Waterval Boven are really enticing!

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:04 pm
by Hector
Carl, you dont need experience to climb trad. You just need an experienced somebody to show you the ropes. Dont delay, try hook up with some tradsters - there is sooooo much cool trad near Lydenburg

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:37 pm
by Carl H
We are fortunate to have a really experienced trad climber and a full rack in our club. I just need to practice placing gear etc., i'll get into that more next year.
We have a typical escarpment cliff on our farm that looks like it could have a really good route on it. It would of course be a steep battle to get to the foot of the cliff. It has a grassy ledge halfway up that one could use as a belaying station for a second pitch, which would be necessary. It also looks like one could top out and walk off.
If any of you guys want a look, i'm sure i could put a photo up somewhere

Try this link, there should be some climbing photos there.

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:27 pm
by GarethFrost
I think I have seen this face before. You can see it from the Sabie road, across the valley to the south?
I would agree with the loose rock comment under the picture. This type of rock formation also tends to be very compact with few cracks for gear. I have checked out a number of these crags in the past but never liked the rock much.
The Blydepoort and Manoutsa climbing is on \"Black Reef\" quartzite and being the top most rock layer in the region is very weathered with lots of features.

As for developing trad skills, just go out and climb some easy routes and you'll learn quickly about placing gear and finding the lines to climb.

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:52 pm
by Carl H
The face is not near Sabie, but in the Kwena Basin (Badfontein Valley), where
there are a lot of escarpment cliffs, just ours is more sheer (the others are more broken up, more cracks but therefore looser blocks of rock). I'll hike to the foot of this cliff and have a look, there may be some cracks running straight up (i hope), but like you said, mostly is is flat with ledges sticking out. Would be great for sport climbing though, as it is quite high with beautiful
views of the valley below.

Climbing at Boven

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:19 am
by Lazy Lizzy
Hi Carl

Rat32 and Lazzy Lizzy will be at Boven from the 15th of December, probably for a week, if you are keen for climbing.


Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:41 am
by RAT32
Is that my Climbing partner -- Lazy lizzy

Ja Lazy Lizzy and I are going to Boven in DEC. Camping at Tranquilitas.

Can't wait to CLIMB

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:53 am
by RAT32
We have never been to Waterval Boven -- Can't wait.

We have a few truck tubes, are there any good spots to jump in the river for a ride.

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:55 am
by Carl H
Cool, looks like if i go, i;ll be going with Stephan. See you guys around. Thanks for the offer, i'll keep it open in case the others can't make it. We're going to be climbing at the Wonderland crags.

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:58 am
by Carl H
Oh sure, the river is great! If there have been good rains, the section below the Elands waterfall has rapids. There are crags there too, just heard it is not too safe to park a car there but there should be enough climbers about to deter any crime.
I've also never climbed there and really want to give it a go!

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:13 am
by shorti
lol, i hope you have a strong constitution. You'll find more than just rapids in that water. My advice, don't swallow ;-)

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:18 am
by Carl H
It is a bit polluted, mostly organic in nature but should be well flushed out after these strong rains. I've swum in it before on school camps and haven't had any problems...

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:37 am
by nosmo
Carl, make the effort - the crags by the waterfall are spectacular! There aren't many climbs below 20 (I think there is a 2 pitch climb of which the first pitch is a 16? - update: called Electric Avenue 17), but Who's Your Daddy (18/19) is long and classic, with an awesome view of the waterfall basin.

Urisk the Rustic Brownie (23) is the first route to the right of the waterfall and defnitely worth the 5 stars in the guidebook. Three Mosquitoes (21) is just as good, and I think there might be a new route (or just a variation) running to the left of it. Be sure to check the guide AND the online updates for current info.

As for safe parking - leave your car at the downstream end of the road tunnel and pay the guys sitting there the 'minimum donation' of R40 and they'll look after it for the whole day.

From there, walk back towards the waterfall through the non-road tunnel until you get to the road (N4) on your left. Walk towards the top of the waterfall where you can safely cross the river. Then take a right to walk along the rail track that goes THROUGH the tunnel - yes, trains still go on this one, but there is enough space on the sides for you to chill if one does come. When you leave the tunnel, turn sharp right and just follow the cliff on your right until you see bolts.

Sadly, because of some crime and the closure of closer camping spots, people really haven't been going there much. Sure, the Wonderland crags are closer to the Tranquilitas campsite, but the routes are longer, the view is better and the tunnel walks are fun!

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:46 am
by RAT32


Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:53 am
by Carl H
The tunnels are fun but i've heard that this is often where muggings are a problem because they are so dark.

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:59 am
by shorti
you don't have to go through the tunnel. If you walk on the track you can turn off right just before you enter the tunnel. There is a gully you can go down with.

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:36 pm
by nosmo
@shorti, that's right actually. How steep is that gully though?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:25 pm
by shorti
about 45 degrees i think. There is a set of chains to abseil off if you want to.

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:52 pm
by nosmo
oh right, and I've been walking through the tunnel like a moron. Thanks for the info!

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:43 am
by BAbycoat

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:16 am
by shorti
@babycoat: Maybe, do you reckon she took that drop in the gully? I don't know the story other than what everyone else knows which is pretty much what that article says. So I though they abseiled down one of the climbs. Not that it matters, you can get hurt in the gully.

@nosmo: lol, glad i could enlighten you :-)

btw I would be more concerned about snakes than muggers. Last time I was there we encountered two massive mozambican spitting cobras on the tracks near the gully.[/img]

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:41 am
by FrancoisD
Hi Carl

If you are going to be in Lydenburg, then also give the Sabie Gorge a try. Bolted 9 through 24. Route info is on Wiki.