Rocklands Expected to Reopen After Fire

Photo by Fred Moix.

2/5/13 - Good news in the aftermath of the Cederberg fires in South Africa: According to a letter from the local tourism authority posted at, climbing at Rocklands is expected to be permitted during the bouldering season later this year. An excerpt: "The news you have all been waiting for: Rocklands will be open during bouldering season!!! I have just spoken to...Cape Nature, [and] he said they are currently keeping Rocklands closed until they can walk through it to see what the damage is, but because the area is fairly flat it will not take long to recover.... We will however have to get the message out that people need to stay on the paths and not cut across to Rocklands as they have done previous years. If all obey the rules it will lead to a successful bouldering season in Rocklands again in 2013."

1/25/13 - A series of lightning-caused wildfires have swept across the Cederberg area of South Africa, burning part or all of the world-famous Rocklands bouldering area. The fires started January 16 and burned for more than a week. The bouldering area is believed to have been heavily affected. "The fire swept through the climbing zone…devastating vegetation throughout the reserve," said a report on "The fire is mostly out, but Rocklands is among the 500 square km of land that's been burnt clean."

Tragically, one person died in the fire, and a number of buildings were destroyed in the area. Many wild animals are likely to have died as well.

It's summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and Rocklands bouldering is currently out of season. Rocklands is located within the Cederberg Wilderness Area, and it's unknown whether Cape Nature, the land manager, will close the area in the aftermath of the fire, or for how long.

Date of incident: January 2013



Previous Comments

Close Rocklands to Climbers!!! We are a bunch of self entitled A-holes who dont deserve access to this beautiful place! I completely agree wih Warren G, Robert , Simone and Jeff. I think the issue is with stupid kids like Pete, self entitled A-holes who feel like the world is owed to them. These immature children ruin it for all the great climbers out there, people who are respectful and great stewards of these national parks. I'm sick of these 19 year old (Pete) gym climbers who go to Hueco 2 weeks out of the year and tick the softest v9s in the park and say sh%t like "sick, " "Ya totally brah brah...." what is up with this Paris Hilton-MTV generation???? No respect

lafayette de cat poop - 02/06/2013 2:10:02

Actually, Pete, you're the worthless, selfish, immature, egocentric dickhead, while Warren is 100% right on. Your project can wait, Pete- show some awareness for other sentient beings besides yourself, go climb somewhere else this year, and check your head before you call someone else an asshole, you asshole. Regards,

Jeff - 02/05/2013 5:39:14

We will start negotiations with Cape Nature soon to find solutions to keep Rocklands accessible during the bouldering season. We will keep you posted.

Clanwilliam Tourism - 01/31/2013 12:52:44

Sometimes you get the feeling people forget it´s nature, that provides the environment for climbing. Surely we should give it time to regenerate if it´s so heavily struck. Are we kids with such a short egicentric patience, just "I wanna, I wanna".. our shouldn´t we think log-term? Yeah, I was absolutely looking forward to go there this May (after I had no chance in 2012).. and yes, it´s sad right now- I must admit, I won´t travel half the world now. But surely I´ll be back another time. Sorry if I phrased something wrong, I´m not an english native speaker. Best wishes to all the people "down there" Simone

Simone - 01/30/2013 12:43:48

I'm with Warren on this one. I had a 3 month trip planned from June-September, but probably won't go now. But wildfires happen all the time in Africa and are great for regrowth. I think we need to let this run its course and not climb there until a steady regrowth is already goin on.

Robert - 01/28/2013 1:53:33

Hey Warren Congrats, your officially a total wack job climber, welcome to club you nutty asshole.

Pete - 01/25/2013 7:02:45

As a local it is tragic what has happened, but letting those delicate plants grow back and recover from the fire as well as the damage of 1000's of climbing tourists is a blessing. As humans we are too impatient, and unwilling to wait for nature to do what she does, and instead we jump the fence, avoid the ranger and climb in areas too sensitive to tolerate it. I can't help but feel this is a good fire long over due

Warren G - 01/25/2013 12:58:26