Please read our Disclaimer.
Rocklands is found in the Cederberg mountains north of Cape Town. It is a very beautiful area in a semi-desert setting, very isolated and pretty safe. There are several excellent quality sport routes and a multitude of world-class boulder problems. The rock is a fine grain sandstone of medium hardness, excellent for climbing on due to its varied features. It is quite rough so you will surely need to plan restdays to re-grow some skin. Some of the bouldering has been developed by Frederic Nicole, Klem Loskott and others. Some of the cliffs just off the Pakhuis pass towards Calvinia were the first to be climbed on trad gear in the area. Much later in the early nineties Cedar Rouge was opened and all the other routes were put up over the next few years.
The Cederberg mountains fall within the Cape Nature Conservation (CNC) and permits must be obtained in order to visit the area. Only a certain number of permits are issued per day. You can call them on (022) 931-2088 locally or +2722 931-2088 from abroad to arrange permits or just get them from the Kliphuis campsite when you arrive. You can also stop over at Citrusdal at the CNC office to obtain permits. Due to the initial bolting in the area access problems arose and the access has been sensitive ever since.
From Cape Town take the N7 northward, after about 200km take the right turn to Clanwilliam, this will be the R364. Drive through Clanwilliam, the last petrol & supplies town. Just outside the town the road becomes a rough dirt road which you must follow for about 15km until you get onto tar again. The Kliphuis Campground will be on your right-hand side amongst large pine and bluegum trees. The tar road leads up to the top of the hill and the Pakhuis pass enroute to Calvinia. The Roadside boulders and Fortress boulders are accessed from the top of this tar road where you will see a dirt track on your right.
At present no bolting is allowed, the CNC has placed a ban on any bolting in the area. Please respect this as bolting will possibly result in the closure of the area to climbers.
The Kliphuis campground has camping and braai failities with a small ablution block and hot water. You will see a few small houses behind the campground where the caretaker lives, he will be able to sell you permits. There is no electricity or telephone here and almost no cellphone reception unless you walk to the top of the hill to get a weak signal. Sometimes you can get signal from on top of a few boulders in the campground boulders, Fortress has better reception.
On your rest days you are best off exploring the beautiful surrounds and looking for new boulders. You can drive back to Clanwilliam where there is a nice coffee shop and a dam to swim in on hot days. About 30 minutes away is Lamberts Bay a small town on the coast, ask there for directions to Muisbosskerm an excellent beachside restaurant with NO frills, very traditional and very good.
Safety & Medical
The area is quite secure but also very remote without a telephone. In emergencies ask the caretaker at the campsite to make a call or drive back towards Clanwilliam and ask to make a call at the Tea Garden on your right a few km from the campsite. At present there is no stretcher or first aid dump in the area. Also note that there is bad cellphone reception at the campsite. For serious accidents call 10177.
Extremely hot in summer with sparse rainfall, spring, autumn and winter are the best times to visit the area although winter gets rather cold and often gets rainfall. There are often sudden weather changes so always bring warm clothing even in summer.
Thank you to Julian Fisher for the use of data from his Route Guide Cape Rock.
The Roadside Boulders - 10 routes graded 16-31 & excellent bouldering upto V13/8B.
Cedar Rouge Area - 17 routes graded 17-29 & some classic bouldering upto V15/8C.
The Fortress - a few routes graded 23 to 29 & 2 bouldering areas upto V13/8B.
The Campground Area - bouldering area close to campsite with problems upto V12/8A+.
Upper Campground Area - bouldering area close to campsite with problems upto V11/8A.
The Champside Boulders - bouldering area with boulder problems upto V10/7C+.
Riverside Boulders - bouldering area west of the campsite.
Here are some GPS coordinates which may help you to locate some of areas & problems.
Please send any new route information and any corrections/ suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org