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Silvermine Rock Climbing

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4km from Tokai

-34.0753, 18.4011

25 minutes walk in.

+27 21 712 7471 www.tmnp.co.za

Moderate to hard, Grade 13-31, Suitable for children

About

The extensive, easily accessible sandstone crags of Silvermine are a mecca for Cape Town climbers. They escape the wind even when the southeaster is howling, so can get quite crowded at weekends and holidays.

There are four bolted areas, all of which enjoy afternoon shade. The top three are accessed from the main car park at the dam, while the car park for Lower Silvermine is at the mountain-bike parking area next to the tented camp on the way up.

With about 50 bolted routes ranging from 13 to 26, Lower Silvermine is by far the most popular crag, particularly with novices and intermediates. Although they are not particularly long, there are some excellent beginner routes on the left side of the main section, including the fun “Flakes” (14).

“Vlad the Impaler” (19) and “Between the Lines” (20), on the central section of the main crag, are friendly intermediate routes, while the test pieces on Cloud Nine Wall are “Vortex” and “My Precious” (both 20) and “Cosmik Debris” (21). All the routes on Eight-Mile Ledge are also fantastic for their grades (21-25), while the best routes at the crag are probably “In your Face” (21) and “Spitfire” (23) on The Pumphouse section.

The large number of friendly routes, and the fact that you can abseil in and set up top ropes, makes Lower Silvermine an ideal venue for kids and beginners learning to climb. The next crag along, accessed from the main car park, is Blaze of Glory, a perfect intermediate crag, which has some long, steep and slightly overhanging routes graded 15 to 22. “Blaze of Glory” (22) is the test piece, with “Drop Zone” (19) a good challenge for novice climbers.

The top Silvermine routes though are at Main Crag. Long and sustained, these include the five-star “Sterling Silver”, rated as the best 22 in the Western Cape, and other test pieces such as “Pistolero” (20) “Jono Gordon’s Route” (22), “Mercury” and “Silver Streak” (both 26).

Fawlty Towers, right at the top of the reserve, is a stiff 25-minute walk from the main car park. This, and the fact that it has steep, often roofy climbs with nothing under grade 19, means that it usually escapes the crowds. The best routes are in the mid-20s and include “The Bravest Orangutan in Britain” (23), “Not Yet Major” (25), “The Germans” and “Don’t Mention the War” (both 27).

Unless you have a Wild Card, there is an entry fee payable at the gate (which is off Ou Kaapse Weg). You need to obtain an activity permit from the Tokai Sales office (number above).

The reserve is open from 7am to 7pm in summer and until 6pm in winter and last entry is one hour before closing time. You also need an activity permit for mountain biking, horse riding and fishing at Silvermine.

Cape Town & Surrounds

Western Cape

About

Cape Town is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With dramatic mountains, a long stretch of Atlantic coastline and a picturesque working harbour, there are few cities in the world to rival “The Fairest Cape”, as explorer Sir Francis Drake described the place in 1580.

The city of Cape Town is regularly voted as one of the best tourist destinations (and cities to live in) in the world – and its Mediterranean climate, superb natural attractions, historic landmarks, fabulous restaurants and fun places to hang out offer all the ingredients for a top holiday destination.

Table Mountain dominates the city’s landscape and Table Mountain National Park is a national treasure and World Heritage Site.

The Cape Floristic Kingdom is known for its incredible botanical heritage and the Table Mountain National Park has more floral species than the British Isles. Stopping to smell the fynbos has an altogether new meaning in this part of the world.

Robben Island is another World Heritage Site worth visiting. Struggle heroes such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and many others were incarcerated here during apartheid and taking the Robben Island Tour is a must on any trip to Cape Town.

The city is loosely divided by Table Mountain into four sections: Cape Town Central, Cape Town South, Cape Town North and Cape Town East.

Cape Town Central incorporates the city centre, the V&A Waterfront, Green Point, Mouille Point, Sea Point, Camps Bay and Hout Bay. There are loads of things on offer in this part of the world, so it’s a good idea to focus on the field of interest/activities that excite you and take it from there.

A trip to the top of Table Mountain is an absolute must (especially if you’ve never done it before). The views on a clear day will give you a clear perspective of the gorgeous city below and you can see as far as Robben Island and beyond.

If history is your thing, there are numerous museums and attractions close to the city centre. The Castle of Good Hope was built between 1666 and 1679 and is the oldest building in South Africa. It is a good place to start your tour of the city, which incorporates historic attractions such as the Bo-Kaap Museum, the District Six Museum, The Company’s Garden, City Hall and the Grand Parade, among many other notable historic attractions.

For shopping and entertainment, the V&A Waterfront is the epicentre of Cape Town and attracts high numbers of international tourists daily. Long Street is a good place to hang out for restaurants, bars and nightlife and Camps Bay is the place to see and be seen around cocktail hour.

The drive along Chapman’s Peak is one of the most scenic drives in the world but you need to do your homework as the route is periodically closed. Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay is another great place to visit, with its fun restaurants, great beaches and perfect views.

Cape Town South stretches from Noordhoek to Observatory and incorporates some of Cape Town’s most popular suburbs, including Constantia, Fish Hoek, Rondebosch, Simon’s Town and Muizenberg, to mention just a few.

Constantia is popular for its wonderful restaurants and wine estates and the Constantia Wine Route is a big attraction for foodies and wine-lovers. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens offers hectares of greenery and regular concerts in the warm summer months. There are also various hiking trails on offer.

Take a day trip to Simon’s Town and make sure you visit the statue of Just Nuisance, as well as the scenic Boulders Beach. Noordhoek is a great place for riding horses on the beach and the restaurants are very family friendly. For fresh fish and laid-back vibes, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg are the business. Fish Hoek is popular for seaside activities and antique shops and is a real favourite.

Cape Town North incorporates the Cape Town International Airport, Parow, Milnerton, Durbanville, Table View, as well as Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand. The north is a developed business centre that continues to grow rapidly. For chill-out time, Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand are popular for walks on the beach and outdoor sports.  Shoppers will enjoy Century City and Canal Walk, and for those who love a tipple or two, The Durbanville Wine Route also falls into the northern region.

Cape Town East is made up of Gordon’s Bay, Somerset West, Strand, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Eersterivier, Macassar and Strandfontein. The region is pretty spectacular as the small coastal towns sit below the imposing Hottentots Holland Mountains and there are fantastic beaches such as Bikini Beach, Strand Beach and Kogel Bay. Here you’ll also find the Helderberg Nature Reserve, Wolfgat Nature Reserve and Edith Stephens Wetland Park.

Look out for

Scenic Cape Point with its sheer cliffs, rugged landscapes, fauna, flora and bold ocean views.

A cable-car trip up Table Mountain to get the view of the incredible landscape of the city. If you’ve done the touristy cable-car thing then take one of the many mountain trails.

V&A Waterfront – spend time enjoying all the facilities at the V&A Waterfront, including the abundance of shopping and restaurant venues. For children, The Two Oceans Aquarium is a winner.

The magnificent beaches of Clifton, Muizenberg, Hout Bay, Bloubergstrand. You are spoilt for choice in and around the Mother City.

Historical sites are a must – including Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope, the District Six Museum and Bo-Kaap.

Long Street by night. Enjoy the friendly fun vibes of this stretch of tarmac as it comes to life when the sun goes down.

While away the hours at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, the green lung of the city. Look out for the schedule of summer concerts.

Visit the Constantia Wine Route for a touch of history and some of the country’s finest wines and restaurants that continually make it onto the best-of lists.

Drive along the southern coastline and visit places such as Noordhoek, Scarborough, Simon’s Town, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg. Stop off at Kalk Bay for fresh fish at the harbour.

When to go

To Do

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