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The following chart compares
most of the available grading scales. A mistake often made is to combine
the Australian & South African grades as the same, in fact they are
about a grade apart and even more at the upper grades. The Old SA grading
was used in many of the older traditional climbing areas but is seldomly
used today. It is very difficult to compare the bouldering grading systems
to the route grading systems.
CODES & CONVENTIONS
Below is a table indicating the codes & conventions used in this guide :
|This indicates that there
are 4 Bolts, 6B would mean 6 Bolts etc.
|The route requires natural
|There are 2 Pitons or Pegs,
5P would mean 5 pitons or pegs etc.
|Top Anchors or chains exist
(sometimes C is used)
|The route is fully protected
with fixed gear (could still be run out though)
|Risky or Run out (usually
|This means the route has
an Aid 2 section which can be freed at grade 24.
An example of a route with a full explanation follows :
15 (F2) R ** [N]
Start upstream from Longdrop,
immediately above the worm-hole descent.
15 (F2) 20m Climb the right hand crack topped by an overhang, hand
traverse left from under overhang...
13 (F1) 20m Climb a chimney which slants left. Then climb through
an obvious recess.
First Ascent: Aug 1975 C Ward
The Climb Name is
followed by the optional climb code in brackets (sometimes referred to
on the topos). The New SA grade follows on the right (15) and then
the Old SA grade in brackets (F2). Then the R indicates True
Right NOT Risky or Run out, L would indicate True Left. In kloofs
if you face downstream then true left is on on your left & true right
on the right. The stars indicate the Star Rating as follows :
|Not that good, possibly
|OK, nothing to write home
|Fairly Good, an enjoyable
|Very Good Route, really
|Excellent route - only given
to the best quality routes.
Please keep in mind that the
star rating can be very subjective. If Star Ratings are missing then it
means that we have no idea how good (or bad) the route is.
After the Star Rating all the
follow in square brackets as shown in the above table, in this case the
route uses Natural gear - [N]
A brief Description of
the route & where it starts is given followed by the information per
pitch. Each pitch includes the New Grade (Old Grade) & optional length/height
of the pitch, usually this is the climbing distance.
Finally the First Ascent information follows.
Climbing is a potentially dangerous sport with significant risk of personal injury or even death. SACIN
recommends that you only partake in climbing after proper and professional
instruction has been received. You should become familiar with the risks
and take responsibility for your own safety and that of those climbing
All the information on this
web site has come from many sources and SACIN & it's authors make no
warranties regarding the content, completeness, quality or safety of the
information, or it's application for any purpose. SACIN is striving to
keep the data as accurate as possible but it is impossible to verify all
the information. We would appreciate any feedback with errors and inaccuracies
you may spot.
SA Climbing Information
Network (SACIN) & it's authors specifically disclaim all warranties
with respect to this publication or your use thereof, express, implied,
or otherwise, including without limitation, all warranties of merchantability,
fitness for a particular purpose, and non infringement. In no event shall
SACIN & it's authors be liable for any special, incidental, indirect
or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever, including, without
limitation, the loss of life or limbs, damages due to personal injury,
the loss of data or profits resulting from or in connection with the use,
misuse, or performance of the information herein.
The authors assume no
responsibility for errors or omissions on this web site or other sites
or documents referred to by this site.
Many climbing areas are privately
owned and access to these properties must be confirmed before climbing
on them. Also keep in mind that ownership of these properties changes from
time to time, don't simply assume that since you had access a while ago
that it is still open. It is your responsibility to gain permission from
the current land owners. Please respect that the property is private and
treat it with respect, removing your litter and adhering to any any rules
set out by the owner(s). Doing anything that might put climbers in a bad
light can ruin access for other climbers - please behave and gain the respect
of the land owners.
Bolting is only allowed in
certain areas and any climbers wishing to bolt must obtain the owner's
express permission and should also adhere to the current bolting ethics.
All brands, logos, trademarks and product names are from their respective owner's and holders, no infringement on such marks is intended.
Attend an accredited course
on Climbing if you have not already done so and get your belayer there
|Get proper and professional
instruction on how to use your equipment (many accidents are due to
improper use of gear);
|Always double check your
harness that it is double backed as well as your partners, check each
other since you are both responsible for each others safety;
|Always tie a knot
in the bottom end of the rope if it is not tied in to your partner. Several
people have already been lowered off the end of a rope before, make it
a habit so that when it's needed its not forgotten, even on sport routes!
|Throw old worn gear away
- don't take a chance with your friends or your own life. Not only the
uv from the sun but also time will deteriorate your ropes, slings and harnesses
|If you drop any of your
aluminium alloy gear from a height onto rocks it could have stress fractures
which can cause it to fail. Throw the suspect gear away & don't give
it to anyone. (You can get the gear professionally checked out with x-rays
to check for stress fractures as is done with aircraft.)
|Before abseiling make sure
that you have knots in both ends of the rope, your harness is fitted properly
and doubled back, your screw gate is in good condition and connected properly
to your harness and tightened. Make sure the abseil anchor is secure and
back it up where possible - a sling or some gear left behind is worth it,
if it saves your friends or your own life. Never abseil off a single bolt
or piece of gear;
|Wear a helmet,
not only for protection against falling rocks but also to protect your
head should you fall against the rock.
|Never use Static ropes
to climb with, they cannot absorb much shock and hence will exert huge
and potentially dangerous forces on you, your harness, the quick draws
and even the gear or bolts. Dynamic ropes must be used to climb on and
static ropes can be used to haul and abseil. Remember that slings and quickdraws
are static as are harnesses;
|When climbing with two half
ropes never clip both ropes through the same carabiner since the impact
force can double, clip each rope into separate pieces of gear. Only twin
ropes (clearly sold as such) can be clipped together. Remember that half
ropes cannot withstand large factor falls;
|When clipping the second
bolt or piece of gear you are usually at risk, keep this in mind and take
|Always be safe and try to
a good standard for others to follow - if someone learns a bad habit
from you and they get injured you are effectively responsible. If you see
others climbing unsafely then tell them tactfully.
|Don't trust pitons and
fail very often, are usually rusted and were often placed MANY years ago.
|Also check bolts
even though they are usually very safe they may have been badly placed
or have rusted etc. REPORT any bad bolts you spot - don't wait for someone
to get hurt or killed.
|If you are bolting routes
please get proper instruction and make sure you do it properly, use stainless
steel, place them such that no one can fall and hit ledges or obstacles,
place two secure top anchors etc. If you bolt a route you are responsible
if it is unsafe due to improper bolting or materials.
RESCUE & FIRST AID
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN.... Please read the safety recommendations above and follow them,
most of the accidents could have been prevented if the steps mentioned
above were followed.
In the event of an accident
there are a few important steps to follow :
To be completed soon.
For Gauteng, Mpumalanga,
Northern Province, Northwest RESCUE NUMBER : (011) 315-0203
For Kwazulu/Natal RESCUE
For the Cape
From any Cell Phone :
112 (You do not need to enter a pin code to dial this on most phones
in South Africa)
We recommend you check your
aid/insurance in many instances climbing related accidents are not
covered. Often the medical aid or insurance requires that you specifically
inform the company that you are a climber. Many rescues and medical treatments
can result in very expensive bills (often in excess of R30,000). Keep your
medical aid/insurance details on your person (in your helmet etc.) so that
should you be incapacitated you can still be admitted to a private hospital.
Without a medical aid number or a large deposit entrance to private hospitals
is often refused.
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