Trad Climbing at Tierkloof
The opening of Tierkloof for trad climbing followed more than a year of negotiations in 2015/16 between the MCSA-CT and CapeNature. For this special area to remain open to climbing, the conditions agreed MUST be adhered to at all times.
Please familiarise yourself with these conditions:
- Rock climbing in Gamkaberg will only be permitted to people who are staying overnight in the reserve. This is to control the number of climbers in the kloof, due to the sensitivity of the area.
- All climbers must check in at the reserve office on arrival, where they will be thoroughly briefed by the duty officer on the rock climbing conditions.
- All climbers must be in possession of a current guidebook, or otherwise will have to purchase one at Gamkaberg reception.
- Rock climbing is only permitted within approved areas as laid out in this guidebook. It is the responsibility of each person to ensure that they only climb within these stipulated areas.
- Climbing must be practised according to the LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLE.
- Unless staying at Tierkloof Eco Lodge, climbers are not permitted to park at the start of Tierkloof. This is reserved solely for guests at the Eco Lodge. Please park at the campsite (if you are camping), or at of the lodge where you are staying.
- All climbers are subject to the rules of conduct pertaining to all visitors to Gamkaberg as set out in the conditions of entry, which include no damaging or disturbance of the natural environment, no littering, no fires, and no overnight camping within Tierkloof.
- Climbers must take utmost care to minimise damage to any plants, both on the approach to and at the base of climbs (trampling), as well as plants growing on the cliffs.
- All human excrement (including toilet paper) must be wrapped in newspaper (available at reception), then deposited into a carrier bag of sorts and carried out, for disposal in a dedicated facility at the main centre. The reason for this is that due to the narrowness of the kloof and its proximity to the water course, which is utilised as a drinking water source for the Gamkaberg tourists and staff, human waste cannot be left or buried in the kloof as it poses a risk of water contamination.
- Absolutely no bolting is permitted.
- Fixed points, in the form of slings or rope for abseiling from the top of crags, can be installed, but should be kept to a minimum and set up to be out of view.
- Noise levels must be kept to a minimum. Climbers must at all times show respect for the wilderness character of the reserve and to other users wishing to experience the same.
- No climbing, picnicking or storage of equipment is permitted in close proximity to any rock art or archaeological site.
- Certain crags or parts of crags may be temporarily closed for nesting birds, as is done in other climbing locations such as Silvermine in Cape Town. Such closure dates will be available at the reserve office together with the current guidebook of approved climbing areas.
- Climbers are permitted to stow their gear in the kloof overnight if returning to the crags the following day.
- All climbers must return to camp before dark each day in order to sign a register with the duty official. This is for the safety of the climbers as well as to control access.
- Failure to comply with any of the conditions set out above will be in breach of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and could lead to climbing being disallowed in future.