There are some great outdoor climbing opportunities in Gauteng and the surrounding provinces. Many of these venues are only accessible to Members of the Mountain Club of SA, so be sure to check out www.mcsa.org.za, or get information from a helpful staff member at your local climbing gym, before you venture out! You can also read up about “EVERYTHING CLIMBING” at www.climbing.co.za.
Bronkhorstspruit is a town 50 km east of Pretoria, along the N4 highway towards Witbank. It lies on the border between Gauteng and Mpumalanga. One of the most popular crags in Gauteng, Bronkies is on the banks of the Bronkhorstspruit River. It used to be a trad climbing venue but bolting has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades and it now has 56 sport routes in three different sections. The best climbing is in the intermediate grades with some superb cranking on good, solid quartzite rock.
Classics in these grades include ‘If Women Were Gods’ (20), ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ (21), ‘Hello Clarice’ (22) and ‘Memoirs of a Belay Bunny‘ (23). If you’re looking for more challenging climbs, ‘Rat Kid’ (25) on the Right Side, and ‘Black Out’ (27) in the Middle Section are test pieces. The Right Side has numerous easy climbs that are ideal for children and novice climbers. ‘Austin’s Mojo’ (15) is a good choice for its grade. Bronkies faces south-west so it is a good summer crag. Bring along your down belay jacket in winter as it can get a bit chilly
Acknowledgements to our online sources and crag images: Mountain Club of SA, Climb ZA, www.nightjartravel.com and SACIN.