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Johannesburg

City of Gold, and access point to the Sport climbing Mecca, Drakensberg Alpine, Blouberg Alpine Rock...and, of course, African Safari

Johannesburg is far better than the bad press it receives. The economic hub of Southern Africa the perception is often that it is all work and no play, but if you are there to play, Johannesburg provides plenty of options. While the access to immediate good climbing is limited (it's still not disastrous), Johannesburg's value lies in it's proximity to some of the best climbing area's in the country

Seasons:

At 1700m above sea level, Johannesburg is set on what is known as The Highveld (pronounced highFelt ) and has summer thunderstorms (the rainy season) and cold dry winters.

Summer (Nov-Apr):

Hot day time temperatures often culminating in spectacular thunderstorms, climbing tends to be restricted to early morning and late afternoon to avoid the heat. The exception being Blouberg where summer works well due to the angle of the sun giving longer shade on the wall than winter.

Autumn  (Apr-Jun):

Along with Winter & Spring, our preferred season for general climbing and adventuring based out of Johannesburg. The days start to have longer periods of climbable temps and the thunderstorms begin to thin out, but the environment is still lush and green from the rainy season.

Winter (Jun-Oct):

Along with Winter & Spring, our preferred season for general climbing and adventuring based out of Johannesburg. In many respects there is little difference between Winter and early Spring except the slight increase in temperature. The days are still dry with crisp mornings and evenings and often pleasant conditions in the sun

Spring (Oct - Nov):

Along with Winter & Spring, our preferred season for general climbing and adventuring based out of Johannesburg. Following the dry winter season the grass is shorter / thinner and the start of the rains add a hint of colour - making for easy approach to the crags (and fantastic game viewing) but no great change relevant to Autumn & Winter.

Travel:

Johannesburg is the primary air travel hub serviced by two airports. Within the City itself the public transport system is very good - by South African standards - however, as with everywhere in South Africa, it is very difficult to rely on public transport to get to the crags (and hitchhiking carries its own risks)

Shopping:

Many shopping malls and so forth cater very well to the shopping needs, and Cape Town is the most Vegan / Vegetarian friendly City in South Africa. Climbing gear stores are limited (due to South Africa's small climbing community), but the available range is remarkably wide and comprehensive. Visit our store here.

Climbing Gyms:

Surprisingly for it's size and remoteness to the great outdoors, Johannesburg only has one indoor Climbing Gym City Rock with The Climbing Barn being an option outside of Pretoria.

Bouldering:

Generally speaking, compared to Cape Town, no other hub has bouldering nearly as good or plentiful. Swinburn and Mount Everest (both near Harrismith) have some bouldering as does The Wilds

-- We Rent Bouldering Pads --

Sport Climbing:

Without question the Sport Climbing accessed from Johannesburg is the primary climbing attraction to the region! Waterval Boven is the Sport Climbing epicentre of the country and less than 3 hours from Johannesburg. Harrismith offers the most concentrated multi-pitch -sport climbing (including some Alpine Multi Pitch) and The Magaliesberg is home to some of the finest sport climbing at consistently high grades.

In general:

  • Permission is required to bolt new routes - THIS IS TO PRESERVE ACCESS FOR EVERYBODY - contact us for more info.
  • Please Top-Rope off your own 'draws to preserve the lower-off-rings
  • Please respect I.P routes

-- We Rent Sport Climbing Gear --

Trad Climbing:

Similarly to Cape Town, the Johannesburg area is blessed with exceptional traditional climbing, the trad community is remarkably small - please respect the community. The Magaliesberg is the most regularly climbed Trad venue (1-2 pitch in general) while the likes of Blouberg remain prized mostly due to the complex walk-in.

In general:

  • DO NOT RETROBOLT
  • Headpointing is accepted (just be honest when spraying about your send)

-- We Rent Trad Gear --

Alpine Rock Routes (Country Routes):

Blouberg and The (Northern) Drakensberg can both easily be accessed from Johannesburg. Blouberg is renowned for being big and intimidating and The Drakensberg is renowned for being the most alpine of ranges in South Africa (and also the worst rock)

In general:

  • DO NOT RETROBOLT
  • Please respect the ethic of no new (as in since '90's) bolts in trad areas
  • Absolutely NO bolts on Table Mountain / Lions Head
  • Headpointing is accepted (just be honest when spraying about your send)

Regions Serviced by

Johannesburg

Lowveld

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Bouldering
Sport
Trad
Big wall
Alpine
Ice
A list of climbs in the Mpumalanga Lowveld
km -
km
from
Johannesburg
m -
m ASL