The Section’s main activity is undoubtedly rock climbing, and everything related to that. We are fortunate in South Africa to have an abundance of rock, and the weather to enjoy that rock throughout the year. In reasonable distance to Johannesburg there are a number of crags where the MCSA goes on a regular basis.

There are what are commonly know as Trad Areas, and Sport Areas. Trad climbing refers to climbing in places where there is no fixed protection, and everything (or almost everything) has to be placed by the leader, in the form of camming devices like nuts, friends and slings. Trad climbing areas like this include the Magaliesberg and wild, big places like Blouberg. Sport climbing refers to climbing in places where fixed protection – normally bolts with hangers – are in place, and all you need is a rope and quickdraws (harness etc) to climb safely. Boven also know as “The Restaurant”, Struben’s Valley in the West of Jo’burg, Everest and Swinburne near Harrismith, and a newly developed crag; Wellington’s Dome, fit into the category of Sport.

The best way to get good at climbing (after having done an introductory meet) is to go out with members who know all the tricks of the trade, and learn from them. There are some really hard core people amongst our members who have done some awesome stuff.

Route Books

The Section has published a number of route books for climbing areas and keeps stocks of these. It takes a lot of time to collate all the information and put out a hard copy route book. Route books can be purchased from the Mountain Club – give us a call, or come to a Wednesday social to pick up a route guide and some stories! We also keep stock of route books published by other publishers.

Currently available route books are:-
Upper Tonquani
Lower Tonquani, Cedarberg and Boulder Kloof
Mhlabatini & Fernkloof
Grootkloof, Ysterhout & Groblerskloof
Trident, Kranskloof & Castle Gorge
Hamerkop & Breedtsnekkloof
Drakensberg Climbs (2003)
Crags of Gauteng. – Including:- Strubens, Chosspile, Vrede, Radioactive, Wellington’s Dome (Rory Lowther)
Table Mountain Classics (Blue Mountain)
Blouberg (Southern Rock)
Magaliesberg (Southern Rock)


Over the last couple of years sport climbing has become increasingly popular in South Africa. Sport climbing involves the use of fixed protection in the rock in the form of bolts which are either glued or expansion fitted with hangers to clip into. Putting up a sport route requires a lot of effort and expense. The Section actively assists members financially who bolt in sport areas.

Check out the bolting policy.