Altitude 1552m a.s.l
rumours of rain © joolskilly
Sometimes referred to as 'The Matterhorn of Africa', The Spitzkoppe (sharp head) is one of Namibia's most well-known landmarks. It is a massive plutonic granite inselberg rising high above the Namib Desert. It is one of only three inselbergs in Southern Africa and features both trad and sport climbing. The Spitzkoppe is to the west of the neighbouring Pondok Spitz.
There are single and multi-pitch routes, characterised by friction slabs and cracks on generally excellent quality granite in a very spectacular setting. Approaches range from virtually roadside to several hours. Both trad and bolted climbs exist. Some of the bolted routes have closely spaced bolts typical of sport climbs elsewhere and these tend to be the single pitch routes. Many of the multipitch bolted routes however are sportingly bolted, with long runouts and high first bolts making for some spicy climbing.
The latest definitive guidebook may be available to purchase (relatively locally) in Swakopmund, (a surreal place which is well worth visiting in its own right). Grades are South African.
Needless to say perhaps, but climbing is only feasible here during the winter months as otherwise it gets, er, a bit 'warm'.
The whole area is run by a women's co-operative who maintain basic campsites amongst the rocks. There is no water availability and it must be carried in. Neither is there the means to buy provisions locally.
See also: http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/Spitzkoppe_%26_Pontoks
Located about 20km north of the B2 Trans-Kalahari Highway between Okahandja and Swakopmund, 60km west of the small town of Usakos, which is the nearest settlement (fuel station and basic provisions only). Access from the B2 is possible by normal (non 4x4) vehicle although the unsurfaced roads are rough so progress may be slow in places. Turn off the B2 onto the D1930 (initially for Uis Mine). You can't really get lost - just head for the massive lump of rock on the horizon!
Occasional patches of windblown sand may prove troublesome when driving between the various climbing areas in anything other than a 4x4.
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