Climb Index * Wonderland
Area * Triple
Tier Crags * Gaper
Area * The
Island * Sport
Valley * Gorge
Area * Railway Crags
Please read our Disclaimer.
The Restaurant at the End of
the Universe (The Restaurant for short) is one of SA's best sport climbing
areas which attracts many overseas climbers all through the year. It has
331 bolted and 99 trad or semi-bolted routes. The wide variance in grades
allows beginners and hard-core climbers alike to climb for months on end!
Good quality rock, cheap camping facilities and chalets all within walking
distance from the crags make this an excellent area.
How to get there
One can drive, take the Greyhound
bus or even take the train which stops in the town. People taking the bus
or train can arrange to be colleted by Roc
'n Rope, see their contact details under Accommodation. To drive to
the Restaurant from Johannesburg take the N12 (or N4 from Pretoria) eastward
towards Witbank. These highways merge after Witbank (take care on the way
back to take the correct one). Once they have merged you will be on the
N4 travelling eastward towards Nelspruit. Pass Middleburg and the R20.60
toll gate. Once you pass Machadodorp you are about 20km away. Another toll
gate must be passed, this time R30.60. Keep looking right for the sign
"Waterval Boven" where you should turn right. If you pass through a tunnel
you have missed the turn by a few kilometres. (The journey is about 275km
from Johannesburg all on fairly good highways with two toll gates.) Once
you are have turned right off the N4 travelling into Waterval Boven drive
through the town. At the second stop street you will see the Roc
'n Rope house on your left. To get to the campsite turn right here
into 5th Street. Two kilometres later you will see the Elandskrans Resort
on your left just where the tar ends. To bypass the second toll (R30) take
the second turnoff to Machadadorp, follow the road until you get to an
intersection, take the left turn, not the right one marked Carolina. Follow
the road for a few km until you see a dirt road marked "Slaaihoek" to your
left. Follow this road taking the next turnoff to Waterval Boven, this
road passes the Wonderland crags & when it again meets the tar you
will see the entrance to Elandskrans on your right. This alternative is
mainly dirt and takes about 30 minutes from the highway. After heavy rains
this road can be 'fun'!
Accommodation, Food &
Rest Day Stuff Etc.
This Elandskrans resort
is a good base while at The Restaurant since it is central to most of the
crags and offers cheap camping facilities & chalets. Take care as there
have been a few petty thefts in the campsite. Usually you do not need to
book, except for the chalets. Roc
'n Rope also offers good, cheap accommodation in a house in town. This
makes a good base especially if climbing at the Gorge, Railway & Wonderland
areas. Contact them on 013 257-0363 or 082 753-3695. They also supply several
other services including a climbing guide service. There are two restaurants
in the town, the "Whistle & Trout" and the "Shamrock Arms". There is
also a Sentra supermarket, Bakery and Bottlestore in the town, an autobank
is also being put up. If you wish to travel further afield 20km back towards
Johannesburg you can eat at Millys Star Stop just off the highway where
there is a BJs with cheap food in a lakeside, thatched restaurant that
also serves excellent trout. There is a Star Stop shop here where you can
also get provisions (including bottled water) and of course fill up with
petrol. There is a scenic steam train ride to Waterval Onder on weekends
and plenty of hiking in the area. The Sudwala caves are a good bet as are
many other toursit destinations including several stunning waterfalls.
The famous Kruger National Park is about 2-3hours away and makes for good
rest day activity. Also about an hour away is a bouldering area called
Kaapsehoop with plenty of easy to moderate bouldering. Many other areas
in this province offer unclimbed crags for kilometres on end...
Safety & Medical
Take care when parking or climbing
away from the Resort at "The Gorge Area", "Railway Crags" and "Wonderland"
areas. Make sure you lock your car and leave nothing visible in the car.
When at "The Gorge Area" dont leave anything at the top of the crags, clip
it into a bolt on the cliff, petty theft is common here. All other crags
are generally safe and no-one should steal your gear. A first aid dump
is usually kept at the main gate to the resort. There is a fairly good
clinic a few hundred metres from the resort on the way to the town for
minor injuries. For serious accidents call the MCSA Metro Rescue on 011
315-0203 or call the local police.
If you are opening new routes
please make sure they are safely and adequately bolted. Stainless steel
only and make sure there are two lower offs. Avoid creating led out routes
they are usually avoided, this being unfair on other climbers. Rember too
that led out routes are often unsafe at The Restaurant since there are
sometimes ledges etc. that you will hit on the not so steep routes when
you fall. When you bolt a route please do it safely.
A big thank you
to Barbara Curson for providing all the route information.
If you spot errors
in this guide or hear of new routes going up please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is one
of the best areas at The Restaurant with some of the longer (30m+) routes
including many classics like Snapdragon & Jabberwocky. The property
was purchased by the MCSA recently and they have opened access to all climbers.
Over a kilometre of cliff face exists and there is a great deal of new
route potential here.
112 routes here at present ranging in grade from 12 to 33. The Theatre
& Left/Right Wings also have a few trad lines. So far a few open projects
exist that will be both hard and awesome.
Tier Crags ***
out from the campsite you will see a valley with crags starting at the
river. The crags are spread out, starting from The Gym, He-Man Area, Foundry
then Acid House and finally The Far Side. Many of these routes require
There are 56 routes here,
all bolted, ranging from 12 to 28.
The cliff just
below and going around half of the campsite. Some good long lines.
There are 59 routes here,
mostly bolted, ranging from 11 to 28.
out from the campsite back towards the town and slightly right you will
see an island of rock close to the main road (N4). There are one or two
natural lines here as well.
There are 49 routes here,
almost all bolted ranging from 13 to 28.
The crags in
the small valley on the town side of the campsite. These crags include
some excellent beginner crags with many easier lines.
There are 77 routes here,
almost all bolted, ranging from 8 to 27. There are also a few open projects
that will be pretty hard.
The most spectacular
crags are here with views of the waterfall and in a beautiful setting.
Classics like Unlimited Power are found here. Tricky access in places with
bolted & trad lines. Take great care here due to the long routes, (30+m)
please tie knots in the end of the rope!
There are 21 routes here,
mostly bolted with a few trad lines at The Junkyard, grades range from
13 to 29.
These are mostly
undeveloped and are the continuation of The Gorge Area moving rightwards
for a few kilometres along the railway lines. The Toon Town area has many
trad lines and a few bolted lines. There is still scope for hundreds of
good and long bolted lines here and development has started again on The
Last Crag of the Century. Some crags are quite a distance from the campsite.
There are 56 routes here,
both bolted and trad lines, ranging from 3 to 26. An open project can be
found here too.
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