Grootkloof

Name of venue

Grootkloof, Magaliesberg

Information courtesy of Peter Adrian

Brief summary of venue

Grootkloof is a shady, attractive kloof with a running stream, clear pools and unique rock formations, including a huge suspended chock stone with trees growing on it straddling the whole kloof midway between Sonderbroek and Trumpet. The rock, which in places reaches 60 metres in height, is generally excellent, and the kloof has a good selection of climbs of all grades. Black Eagles nest from April to October so please avoid the following climbs during this period: New Era Crack, Lilliput Ridge and The Crystal Ship.

Permit/ permission info

Open to mountain club members, otherwise permits must be bought from the MCSA Magaliesberg section.

contact

 

Approximate travelling time from Johannesburg

One and a half hours, follow signs to Sparkling Waters Hotel.

Parking information

Shady and secure parking available either at the canopy tours parking lot (day parking), or at the Sparkling Waters Hotel (overnight parking or quiet weekdays). If you park at the hotel, fill in the MCSA book at reception.

An alternative parking is at Bartlett’s Farm: Continue down the road past Sparkling Waters Hotel for about 1.5 kilometres to the farm gate (white wagon wheels) on the right. Fill in the book and pay the farmer for parking - R20 per car (2012).  Please be considerate and don’t disturb the Bartlett family.

Info on walk in

 

From either Sparkling Waters Hotel or from Bartlett’s Farm the walk in to the top of Grootkloof Gully takes about 45 minutes.  Descend down the gully to the meet spot on the right.

Note, the descent into Grootkloof Gully is steep and includes a grade 8 climbing move.  An alternative, less steep access, is from the upper end of the kloof via Easy Gully.

Accommodation

 

Camping is allowed for MCSA members just above the junction of Grootkloof and Ysterhoutkloof. No facilities available. If you want luxury, stay at the Hotel J

Availability of water for drinking

Water is always available as the stream flows strongly throughout the year.

Climbing route guide

The MCSA Johannesburg Section has published a route guide of the rock climbs, which is available from them or from Drifters.

Climbing information

There are 129 traditional climbs in Grootkloof, mostly single pitch routes, but generally of very high quality.  A few highly grade routes were judiciously bolted, but some bolts are now very badly rusted.  The grades vary from 5 to 28 with some really good classics at most grades.  With climbs on both sides of the kloof, there’s always shade available.  Descents involve either scrambling down various gullies or abseiling off of trees. Must do classics include: Chameleon Crack F2 (15), Sphinx F3 (17), and Isolation Pinnacle E3 (11).

Lunch spots

Plenty of scenic spots, the traditional meet point is 20 metres upstream from Grootkloof Gully, next to a large 15 metre high rock buttress in the kloof.

Child friendly

Yes for older children, as access into the kloof is steep.

Swimming

Yes, there are some lovely pools to swim in.

Camp fires

 

Other attractions

Grootkloof offers the best kloofing in the Magaliesberg, an unforgettable mix of abseiling, swimming, scrambling, bum-sliding, rock jumping and lots of fun.  A word of caution to those attempting to go down the kloof in this manner, everybody in the party should be physically fit, and know how to swim and abseil; the large chock stone in the middle of the kloof results in a 20 metre abseil down a waterfall into a pool. Bring ample plastic bags to keep your stuff dry and beware of hypothermia, as the lower part of the kloof is completely shaded in winter.

Dangers

Since September 2011 there have been a few robbery incidents in Grootkloof, including an armed robbery. As such, it may be best to avoid Grootkloof for the present unless in a big group.

Contacts

MCSA Magaliesberg Section. - Contact

 
Photo by Otti Neser