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Climbs 33
Rocktype Granite
Altitude 1493m a.s.l
Faces all

Crag features




The Pondok mountains lie to the east of the Spitzkoppe and are somewhat overshadowed by their more spectacular neighbour. They are part of a massive plutonic granite inselberg which rises high above the Namib Desert. It is only one of only three in Southern Africa and it features both trad and sport climbing. The Pondoks comprise a summit and 4 lower rounded domes. The Afrikaans name Pondoks refers to their resemblance to the traditional local Damara dung-covered huts or pondoks.

The climbing is comprised of both single and multi-pitch routes characterised by friction slabs and cracks on generally good quality granite. Approaches range from virtually roadside to several hours. Both trad and sport 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 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.

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Approach notes

Located about 20km north of the B2 Trans-Kalahari Highway between Okahandja and Swakopmund, approximately 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 but 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 towards the massive lump of rock on the horizon!

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