BD Tradathon: Everything You Need to Know

Get prepped for this year's Black Diamond Tradathon...

The 2023 Black Diamond Tradathon is coming to Morgan Bay from 16 to 18 June! But what exactly happens at this mystical event? Read on to find out and sign up at the button below…


The Black Diamond Tradathon is Africa’s only trad rock climbing festival. Here are a couple of things you should know about it:

● It’s a roaming festival exposing climbers to different crags yearly.
● It’s free! 
● It’s an opportunity for sport climbers to try out trad climbing.
● It’s a non-competitive event where everyone celebrates climbing, each other and our county’s beautiful wild places.


The Black Diamond Tradathon was first conceptualized in 2012 by Simon Larsen of RAM Mountaineering with the main goal to get climbers together once a year to enjoy the pleasures, challenges and comradery that traditional climbing offers.

The Tradathon is Africa’s only roaming climbing festival and it has moved around a lot. Over the years venues have included Table Mountain, the Magaliesberg, Monteseel, Wolfberg, Mhlabathini, Waterval Boven, Rooiberg and Karbonaaitjies Kraal.


This year the classic event is moving to the only sea cliffs with trad climbing in South Africa Morgan Bay in the Eastern Cape – Morgan Bay climbing is unique in South Africa for two main reasons:

1. The climbing can be classified as Gritstone climbing (much like what is found in the UK and all over YouTube).
2. The routes are largely accessed from above as many of the cliffs end in the ocean.

We will be staying at the lovely Yellowwood Forest, camping in a very natural environment surrounded by trees – a bird lover’s paradise. They also have cottages & a backpackers’. Our evenings will be spent eating together and discussing the day’s adventures on the sea cliffs.


Yes, you heard that right – the Black Diamond Tradathon is (and always has been) free and here is why:

As a brand, we aim to give back to the climbing community, to get climbers together once a year to enjoy the pleasures, challenges and comradery that traditional climbing offers. All payments for guides, accommodation, and food go directly to the providers, and we don’t take any cut. 100% of the fees paid by participants go directly to the people providing the services.

You can also stand a chance to win a trad rack valued at R22 000! Tickets are R100 and limited to 10 per climber (with 100 tickets up for grabs in total) Grab yours at the button below and hold thumbs! Note that you will need to attend the Tradathon to claim the prize.


Placing gear, building anchors, self-rescue, hauling…. the list goes on. Trad has a very high barrier of entry, and without someone to help you over the barrier, getting into this amazing sport is very hard. There are a couple of ways to get into the sport:

1. Hire a guide.
2. Make friends with a trad climber / find a mentor.
3. Attend a workshop at the Black Diamond Tradathon!


Are you a budding trad climber looking for a mentor? It’s not as easy as sliding into someone’s DMs on Instagram, but it’s not impossible either!

The key to finding a trad mentor is building a good reputation for yourself in the climbing world. Train hard, chat with local climbers, and make sure you have a solid reputation as a reliable belay partner. Trust is crucial in trad climbing, and having a good reputation can make all the difference.

Once you’re confident in your skills, approach a trad climber at your local gym or sport crag. If your skills and reputation impress them, you just might have found yourself a mentor! Remember, the trad climbing community is small, and everything is about references. 


At the Black Diamond Tradathon, you can start with a workshop and then you will get to spend three days in close proximity to some of South Africa’s most proficient trad climbers. It’s the perfect place to find yourself a trad mentor and, before you know it, you will be on track to achieving your trad climbing goals. 


Why take on the journey alone when you can join forces with other like-minded climbers? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to network and make new friends while also reducing your carbon footprint. Share a lift to the event and back by filling out our Carpool Google form today! We’ll help you connect with fellow climbers and make the journey to the Tradathon a memorable one.

PLUS, get 15% OFF all the gear in Black Diamond’s Essential Trad category when you sign up! So, get going and get registered – this is going to be one for the books…