Montagu is about 55km and 40minutes drive from Swellendam. When travelling from Swellendam to Montagu you will pass through the beautiful Cogmanskloof pass which sits on the popular R62 to Oudshoorn. Today our family had their first rock climbing experience right here.
When I hear the word "rock climbing" the Mission Impossible soundtrack starts playing in my head. Luckily we were in the safe hands of Justin from Montagu Rock Climbing & Climb ZA - not Tom Cruise. Justin was highly recommended by friends of ours, who went along on this trip as well. Justin is a great teacher/operator/guide and can supply you with all the climbing gear that you will need.
We met Justin in Montagu and followed him to where we would be climbing in Cogmanskloof. Justin is well organised and the gear looks new, which helps to settle the nerves. Our friends' two girls were the first climbers. They have climbed twice before and it was amazing how well they climbed, aged only 5-7. It was my boys' first time (aged 4.7 - 6) and they were very excited -with their feet still on the ground. Putting on the gear and starting to climb was a lot of fun, but as soon as they were 2-3 meters in the air, fear started setting in. Justin was a real champ at this point, calming them down and letting them swing on the rope like the monkeys they would like to be. Justin took along his own 3 year old and it is evident that he has good first-hand experience on how to work with small children.
Next up were the parents. Even with the Mission Impossible soundtrack in my head, looking up the cliff is quite daunting. Fortunately when I was 2 meters in the air, there was no fear. I had confidence in the gear and operator and could focus on where to climb. Even though you get advised to climb with your legs and not your arms, you will forget that advice and your arms will tire. All the way up you are advised on what to do. When needed your weight is supported by the guide. The sense of accomplishment when reaching the top is great.
Gratefully (with a little bit of encouragement) all the parents reached the top. Take along lots of snacks, not for energy but for watching the show. When someone else is climbing it feels like you are at the movies. And then you need some biltong and chocolate.
This is a good activity to do as a family.
What to bring:
Thin pair of extra socks
1l water & a snack
Sport or mountain shoes
Contact Information Address:45 Mount Street, Montagu 6720 Western Cape, South Africa Tel:(023) 614-3193 Mobile:(082) 696-4067
After all the action we went to The Rambling Rose Country Kitchen in Montagu (36 Long Street). We told our friends that they could choose where we stopped for lunch and we had to make two U-turns as they "discussed" where we should stop. The Rambling Rose was a great choice. The atmosphere, food and service added to a great day in Montagu. See the photos.