Montagu is one of the focal points for rock climbing in the Western Cape. It is a vibey little town on the border between the Karoo and the Breede River Valley. The climbing potential was recognised more than a quarter of a century ago and, when sport rock climbing took hold of the world, the crags around Montagu were set upon with a passion.
It became the go-to weekend place for Cape Town rock climbers (as well as to escape the rainy Cape Town weather). Routes are predominantly one pitch long with some excellent multi-pitch routes on Cogman’s Buttress, on rock that is mostly excellent hard sandstone. The climbing is very varied and ranges from slabs to vertical walls to super-steep pump monsters.
There is certainly something for everyone here and some crags are great for children and picnics. Weekends can become quite crowded at popular crags, but during the week you are almost certain to have most of the place to yourself. Being only 200 kilometres from Cape Town, it is also quite feasible to do a day trip.
Map Showing The Crags of Montagu
How To Get There
From Cape Town, take the N1 north towards Worcester. About 20 kilometres after the Du Toit’sKloof Pass you will reach the Shell Ultra City Garage (which is an ideal meeting and breakfast spot). After the Ultra City, turn right into Worcester (at the second set of traffic lights). At the main street (third set of traffic lights) turn left and then right again at the next set of lights where there should be a sign to Robertson and Montagu. From here, continue along the R62 through the towns of Robertson and Ashton to Montagu.
Please adhere to any rules and regulations and be courteous at all times. Do not park offensively and always remove all litter from crags, even if it’s not yours. This includes finger tape and cigarette butts. If you need to go to the toilet, please be sensible and go far from any water source, paths and crags. Remember, we are responsible for protecting the access to our crags. Further access information can be found under the various areas.
At the moment most of the crags in Montagu are available to climb at without permission or a permit, except for two areas: The Farm on R62 and Bosch Kloof.
The Farm on R62
This is a privately owned farm (owned by climbers), and there is no charge to climb in this area, but you still need to email the owners (firstname.lastname@example.org), so they know who is on the farm on any given day. You will receive an automated answer with the gate lock combination, which allows you to enter.
Bosch Kloof crags are very popular and include – Bosch Crag, Ramset Crag, Forest Crag, Hilti Crag, Twin Fins Crag, Skull Crag and Matrix Crag. Permits are required for limited access to Bosch Kloof. This permit entitles the permit holder and listed group members limited access to Bosch Kloof. Get your Bosch Kloof permit here.
Shops and Restaurants
Montagu is a country village; however, it is a semi-trendy, and quite sought-after little town. It has a nice variety of shops and some good supermarkets, including a clean, well-stocked Spar and a Tops liquor store. You will be able to get just about anything in the food and drink department for a lengthy stay. There are also quite a few good restaurants, coffee shops and takeaway joints, and on Saturday mornings there is a great farmers-cum-crafty market in Bath Street. Here you will be able to buy delicious munchies and other market-type stuff. There is also a good pharmacy for any medical supplies, and many banks and cash machines.
There is plenty to do in Montagu on a rest day. The mountains surrounding the town have some really nice hiking trails. If this is too strenuous for a rest day, then do a trip around the wine farms. There are dozens of excellent wineries within a 30-kilometre radius of Montagu. There are also the hot springs at the Avalon Springs Hotel, but choose your time wisely, as this can become very crowded. There are also some crafty places one could visit and a wonderful tractor ride up the back of Arangieskop, complete with huge mouthwatering potjiekos lunch at the end. For more information on this and for more ideas, visit the information centre in Bath Street. Of course, just lounging around the campsite with a good book is also an option.
Guiding and Gear Rental
Blue Mountain Adventures – Guaranteeing the best experiences in the mountains and ensuring your safety at all times
Blue Mountain Adventures is based in Montagu and Cape Town and will show you the best climbing or hiking Montagu has to offer – Sport or Trad climbing.
Of course we are also available to guide you anywhere in South Africa, if you are planning a climbing trip to other areas. Our experience is extensive and we are ready and excited to share with you the wonderful and incredibly beautiful places here in our own country and further afield.
We also offer climbing courses from Beginner to Advanced Leading
We have all the gear you may need for a guided trip: shoes, harness, helmet, chalkbag, etc. And we supply all the other necessary equipment as part of the package.
About Your Guide
Tony Lourens has been involved in climbing and mountaineering for over 40 years and has climbed, trekked and guided extensively in many countries around the world. He is passionate about all things climbing and loves to explore new places and climb in as many different areas as possible. Tony has been a guide and instructor in mountaineering, climbing and trekking since 1992 and has guided numerous nationalities from around the world, as well as many locals, and enjoys a very high success rate and a 100% safety record.
Further, Tony has been involved in publishing for nearly 20 years and has written and published a number of climbing and walking/scrambling guidebooks to many areas in the Western Cape, the Drakensberg and Namibia, and also authored The Complete Climbing Manual, which sold world wide in five different languages. He is also the publisher and editor of SA Mountain Magazine, South Africa’s only dedicated mountaineering and climbing magazine.
Some of the Popular Crags
By far the most popular crag in Montagu. Zero walk-in and lots of good routes in the easier grades. Great for beginners and very child friendly.
20 min walk from De Bos. Afternoon shade. Very family friendly base (you could even bring a picnic).
A beautiful, vertical chocolate brown wall with a bunch of uber-classic routes.
The Black Slab Sector
A sector with a clutch of nice easy to moderate routes with lots of scope for more.
An awesome crag with a bunch of fine, steep intimidating routes.
Teresa Leal pulling over the top of the final pitch of Another Day in Paradise (21/6b+), Cogman’s Buttress. Photo João Gaspar
All information and more is available in Western Cape Rock – A Guide to Sport Climbing in the Western Cape, South Africa, by Tony Lourens, published in 2015 by Blue Mountain Publishers.
More information on Climbing Guidebooks by Tony Lourens can be found from the link below.
Western Cape Rock is available to purchase at De Bos.
Founded by Jan Fischer, Intaba creates tailor-made tours for the discerning traveller in and around South Africa. They strive to make your adventure dreams a reality, with your comfort and safety a top priority.
Phone: 084 705 3272