Wilgepoort

Name of venue Wilgepoort, North East of Bronkhorstspruit

Information courtesy of Chris Ziranek and http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/Wilgepoort

Brief summary of venue Wilgepoort is a trad climbing area just over two hours’ drive from Johannesburg, which was discovered in 1966 and subsequently developed.

The crag itself is in the picturesque Gouwsberg Valley on the banks of the Wilge River. Whilst appearing to be quite a small crag, it surprises one by having a significant number of high quality lines of up to 4 solid pitches. The crag is North facing and gets very hot in Summer, making it an excellent Winter crag.

The property is now owned by MCSA being purchased in 2013.

Permit/ permission info Permits cost R40 per weekend (as of 2013), to be paid to the MCSA Magaliesberg Administrator.

– Contact 

The access gate has a combination gate lock, the number being given at time of booking. Once a booking has been made, it is advisable to phone Andre, the tenant farmer at Cell: 082 388 3087.

Approximate travelling time from Johannesburg  Approximately 2¼ hours drive from Johannesburg off the R25 road from Bronkhorstspruit to Groblersdal.
Parking information  Plenty of safe parking available.
Info on walk in Access from the car park to the crag is about a 25-30 minute walk.

When the river is high, the walk in is a bit tricky and exposed. When the river is low, the tricky bit is by-passed by crossing and re-crossing the river.

Accommodation  Car camping in the bush.  At night, in winter, it can get quite cold, so a warm sleeping bag is necessary.
Availability of water for drinking  Bring your own water, as you don’t want to drink the river water.
Climbing route guide The MCSA has developed a route guide, which is available online at http://mcsajohannesburg.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=213&Itemid=182

Alternatively there’s an online guide, see: www.saclimb.co.za/mpumalanga/wilgepoort.html

Climbing information The rock comprises weathered Waterberg sedimentary rock of excellent quality. There are about 40 traditional routes ranging between grades 14 to 24 and consisting of 3-5 pitches in length. Most routes follow cracks, open books, grooves and chimneys, a standard trad rack, supplemented by additional camming devices is usually sufficient. There are some routes which feature bolts and pegs, however no route is entirely protected in this way so be prepared to place gear. The crag is North facing, so in full sun, making it an ideal Winter climbing venue.  There is some loose rock at the top of some routes, so wear a helmet. Descents involve abseiling if climbing on the right or walking off if climbing on the left.   Note: Climbing is not allowed on the separate Western crag (known as The Pillar of Eros and situated 800 metres upstream of the Main crag) during the Black Eagle nesting season (April to Mid- November).

At present, there are no sports routes though this is being considered along with slackline anchors near the waterfall. Any bolted routes must be in addition to, and in a separate area from  the existing trad routes

Child friendly Yes.
Swimming  Although the river water is unsuitable for drinking, a dip in the river or the big pool close to the campsite is most refreshing.
Camp fires  Yes, at the campsite; there is wood available, though it is becoming advisable to bring your own.
Other attractions  The crags are located in an area of wild, African scenic beauty; it is not uncommon to see a pair of Black Eagles, the resident Gymnogene, Giant Kingfishers and otters fishing in the Big Pool. There is scope for some good hiking up the Wilge River and behind the crag. Alternatively, one can just relax beside the river with a book.
Dangers No security issues to date.

Wilgepoort is known for rock falls – wear a helmet, take care and climb with a cell phone.

Contacts
  • For bookings, permits and the access gate lock combination, contact the MCSA Magaliesberg Section – Contact
  • Once a booking has been made, it is advisable to contact: Andre, the tenant farmer Cell: 082 388 3087.