Submitted by Brendan Kuhnert
"My girlfriend and I are avid climbers, and wanted to get away from the busy life in cape town for a weekend to enjoy a change of scenery and time in nature. we decided on Montagu, as it is relatively close to Cape Town compared to other climbing destinations such as Cederberg or Oudtshoorn. The rock is also quite different to local cape town crags, and it is refreshing having lots of new routes to climb. We stayed at De Bos backpackers, which is the popular climber's hangout/accommodation spot.
We left on Friday afternoon after University, and drove to Montagu. after checking in at de Bos, we went scouting for projects that we wanted to try over the weekend. We started bright and early on Saturday morning with a session at a crag called "Worlds Apart" where we worked the infamous "Daze of thunder (28)" route. The weather was warm, but fortunately the wall hides in the shade for a good part of the day. After lunch we went to a different crag further along the river in Badkloof at a crag called Supertubes. There we climbed on a bunch of the popular lines there such as "Thruster (26)". That night we had a braai under the stars and discussed our plans for the last day.
On Sunday we went back to Supertubes to try some more of the classic routes there, and got painstakingly close on our projects. however, due to the heat and the wall being in direct sun, we both left without a send. We returned to de bos, packed our things and returned home to cape town on Sunday afternoon.
Although we never sent our projects, we still had a great weekend in the countryside climbing, relaxing in nature and having a much needed technology break. We will certainly be heading back sometime in the near future to return to our projects, and this time, take home the send.
MicroAdventure time in total, out and back:
As long as you want! But 2 days minimum is advised.
Getting to the start:
Drive to Montagu. crags are situated around the town in the mountains and are all relatively close. Check the Montagu climbing guidebook, or online maps such as thecrag.com or climbZA for directions to the specific crag you want to visit. walk-ins vary from 1 minute to 40 minutes.
Best time to go:
Early morning and late afternoon are the best conditions for climbing, but shadier crags can be climbed at anytime of day. Montagu is generally a summer climbing destinationm as during the winter some fo the crags are prone to flooding. that being said, it is blisteringly hot in summer, so make sure you choose a time when it is not too hot to go.
Cost (per person):
R500 - R1,000 per person
Special permissions / permits:
Some crags require permits, or are on private land. Permits for Badkloof for example can be obtained from the wildlife office at the entrance to the nature trail. If the crag is on private land it is best to ask for permission beforehand.
A quick note about safety:
The more people who join, the merrier! however, at least 2 people are needed for sport climbing. Sport climbing is an inherently dangerous sport and so making sure you and your partner have the correct equipment and both know good safety protocols.
Remember to pack lots of water for the crags as it gets quite hot, and there is not fresh drinking water available at them. braai's round a fire, in the evening (post climbing) are a must!Buy/borrow a guidebook, or get route information online before going, so you know what climbs you want to try, know where the route start/end, and how to access the various areas, etc.