Rocklands fire

Rocklands fire

Posted on 25. Jan, 2013 by in News

Unfortunate news out of Rocklands, South Africa. A lightning fire has burned most or all of the classic bouldering around Pakhuis Pass. More info from Not only does this fire probably dramatically affect the amazing boulders in the area, but the beautiful flora and fauna are destroyed as well. The fire even took the life of a man driving over Pakhuis Pass who failed to escape:

Christo Fourie was driving down the Pakhuis Pass when flames engulfed his car. He and his workers fled on foot, but Mr Fourie was caught up in the fire.

For now the bouldering area is closed indefinitely.

Pakhuis Pass, 2009

Wild Flowers near The Sassies

Driver near Pakhuis Pass

11 Responses to “Rocklands fire”

  1. A_W

    25. Jan, 2013


  2. Cody

    25. Jan, 2013

    Very unfortunate news…I have never been to Rocklands, but had hoped to go there one day. Crazy to think that the fire was natural too, and that these sort of things can just happen.

  3. Justin

    26. Jan, 2013

    I’d be surprised if fire wasn’t a part of the natural ecology there or if there haven’t been fires of this size or magnitude in the Cederberg before. A tragic loss of life to be sure, but I suspect the boulders will be largely undamaged.

    Hopefully the local farmers/community can bounce back quickly.

  4. jabroni

    27. Jan, 2013

    Sad news, particularly that someone lost their life.

    Is sandstone as affected by fire as granite? We have spent 10 years here dealing with the effects of a big fire – and probably have 10 years to go.

  5. JNovotny

    29. Jan, 2013

    Hey Jamie,

    We were planning a trip to the rocklands for this summer until the news about the fire. For now we changed our plans and are planning on going to the Grampians. We hope to go the same months we were going to be in the rocklands (end of june through july). Do you have any information on the Grampians and/or if June and July are okay weather wise?


  6. B3

    29. Jan, 2013

    I’ve never been to the Grampians so I’m not totally sure what the best time to be there is, but I would assume it’s similar to South Africa. Perhaps someone who has been there would chime in? Maybe June?

  7. B3

    29. Jan, 2013

    @Justin did you see how badly burned and destroyed the boulders in RMNP were? I hope that hasn’t happened in SA.

  8. Jabroni

    30. Jan, 2013

    June and July would be okay for the Grampians, presuming you like cold temperatures. Just don’t bother during summer (Dec-Feb).

    Like any time of the year, rain can come suddenly and in large amounts.

  9. Justin

    30. Jan, 2013

    Yes your pictures of the RMNP burn look bad, hopefully the relative lack of big timber kept temperatures down in the Rocklands fire and the boulders were spared.

  10. JNovotny

    30. Jan, 2013


    Thanks for the info, have you been there? we are looking for places to stay and noticed that it is crazy expensive! any suggestions on cheap places to stay?

  11. Clanwilliam Tourism

    31. Jan, 2013

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

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