Reach new heights in Cape Town this winter with exhilarating climbing activities guaranteed to get you warmed up. No, we are not suggesting that you tackle Table Mountain’s chilly heights in the welcome winter rains, although that could always be fun. When it comes to winter climbing, you can rest assured that Capetonians have thought of it all.

The city is home to 5 excellent indoor climbing facilities at CityROCK, in Observatory and Hangtime Gym, in Bellville, Pinelands and Cape Town CBD. Here you can swing, clamber and clutch onto fake rock faces to your heart’s content with never a thought to the weather outside.

CityROCK

With 450m² of climbing areas, vertical faces and overhanging sections to challenge the climbing fanatic, City Rock is the largest venue of its kind in South Africa.

So strap yourself into a safety harness, grab your chalk bag and get a grip on the rocks in total safety – you’ll be amazed at the muscles you discover. Nothing compares to the sense of achievement when you master these tricky bouldering obstacles and you will find yourself ready for another climb in no time at all.

If you’ve never tried this before, sign up for one of the introductory courses, or just ask one of the experts standing by for assistance. Bouldering is ideal for first timers with short “problem’ routes which need no experience or a Belay partner (rope controller). The automatic belay wall is a step up from bouldering. Your rope is attached to the top of the wall with a secure “braking” system to catch you in the event of a fall off.

CityROCK also offers yoga to take the edge off your nerves, a gear shop to make sure you look the part, a coffee shop for the watchers, and a number of options if you’d like to climb in private with a few friends.

The action is on the go at CityROCK on Monday and Wednesday from 9am – 9pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9am – 10pm, Fridays from 9am – 6pm and from 9am – 6pm on weekends and public holidays. There are various day pass pricing options for adults with discounts for students and kids. Gear rental is an added option.

HangTime

Hang out all kinds of climbers at HangTime Gym, the city’s newest addition to the indoor climbing scene. Here different courses are provided for first-timers, pros, and veterans, so you are sure to find something worthy to tackle during your visit.

The main indoor climbing area consists of high facing walls (11m in Belville and Cape Town and 7m in Pinelands) with safety mats underneath and a vertical climbing section above. Different coloured grips are dotted along the faces of the walls, indicating separate routes according to ability and top-roping and lead climbing are both available. We don’t’ recommend trying these out on your first go though!

A staircase leads to the bouldering section with its daunting non-vertical surfaces graded to world-class level, but the real highpoint at hangtime is the monster 13m outdoor wall offered at Pinelands. With a smaller 11m wall right next to the stalwart, this is the perfect option for anyone wanting to do controlled top-rope climbing in a safe environment.

HangTime is open Monday to Thursday from early afternoon until 9pm at all venues, Fridays 2pm – 7pm and weekends from 10am – 6pm. Pricing varies according to needs – with or without equipment, and there are also monthly packages available.

Try something totally different this winter with indoor climbing during your Cape Town stay.