Bouldering Officially Recognised in TMNP

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While pebble-wrestling in Silvermine, Echo Valley, Llandudno, Newlands and Table Mountain National Park (TMNP)’s other stellar climbing spots has never been illegal, bouldering has never officially been recognised as a permitted activity in TMNP… until now!

Luke Eberhard bouldering in Echo Valley; photo courtesy of Catie Monteiro.

The Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) has been hard at work negotiating with TMNP, and they are delighted to announce that bouldering has finally been included as part of the Sport Climbing Environmental Management Plan (EMP). This fully legitimises bouldering in these areas without the need for an Activity Permit and provides a code of conduct for us to follow. It’s essential that we comply with these rules and work within SANParks boundaries to keep up a good relationship and ensure access remains open.

Also please be aware that bouldering in Red Hill (sometimes spelled Redhill) above Simon’s Town is not permitted for two reasons: firstly, TMNP does not own the land and, secondly, this part of the park is classified as “Remote Wilderness”, meaning that only trad climbing and hiking are allowed here.

As much as this step marks immense progress, there is still much work to be done. From here, the next step is to spread awareness of the current regulations and ensure that climbers and SANParks rangers are on the same page. In this regard, the MCSA has been working with the rangers to educate them about different kinds of climbing and what current regulations are.

Steve Koehorst and Robert Breyer training TMNP Rangers on the differences between bouldering, sport and trad climbing

They have also created a quick guide of permissions for trad, sport climbing and bouldering. Take a look, spread the news and continue to support the local organisations that keep us climbing! Note that trad climbing in the TMNP is also allowed without an Activity Permit, but sport climbing does require a permit, which you can read more about here. A permit is not required if you have a valid MCSA membership card.

Many incredible community members have been involved in this great feat, including Rachel Strate, Delaney Carpenter, Adam Ludford, Nick Telford, Cuan Lorentz, Oliver Kruger, Robert Breyer and many others. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributes their valuable time and energy to developing South African climbing.

Read more about sport climbing crag access here, and check out our Etiquette & Beginner Beta page for more about keeping our crags happy & healthy.

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