Neil Margetts

Neil Margetts

Neil enjoys all forms of the sport: vast mountains with ice and snow, to big walls on trad, sport and bouldering. He has logged loads of climbs in many scenic spots around the globe. Neil has made significant contributions to climbing in South Africa in multiple ways in the last 40 years he has climbing. 

In 2012 he was awarded the President’s Award for his contribution to the sport by the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA). He continues to share his skills with young and old through the South African Outdoor Academy, which he runs. He is renowned for his organisational skills that are of great benefit to the climbing community. These include negotiating the development of new crags, advancing these areas, as well as improving safety and access conditions at existing crags.

He has also been involved in the organisation of many climbing events and competitions designed to grow the sport and highlight up and coming talent. As co-founder of the South African National Climbing Federation (SANCF), the official climbing competition vehicle offering young SA climbers the opportunity to compete for their country and even get to the Olympics. He has had a hand in most major climbing activities in Gauteng and other parts of the country over the past 35 years.

Technical Guiding Qualifications

  • Generic Site Guiding qualification with the following skills.
  • NQF Unit Standard 9283 Abseil Guide up to 60m height
  • NQF Unit Standard 9282 Abseil Guide up to 150m height.
  • NQF Unit Standard 9286 Full Rock-Climbing Guide, multi-pitch trad with unlimited scope.
  • NQF Unit Standard 9287 Full Canyoneering Guide, unlimited scope including multi-day canyons.
  • NQF Unit Standard 9288 Full Mountain Walking Guide, unlimited scope including off-trail, overnight and steep ground.
  • NQF Unit Standard 9287 Canyoning Guide.
  • Tourist Guide Registration number: GP5361, National including all provinces.

neil card

Other Qualifications

  • BSc Natural Sciences (Wits)
  • HOD Post Graduate Teaching Diploma (Wits)
  • Wilderness First Responder, First Aid Level 3


The SA Outdoor Academy facilitates training and assessment in many skills relating to Abseiling, Mountain Walking, Rock Climbing and Mountaineering, including: 

  • Youth Training
  • Facilitating Competition Climbing
  • Facilitating access to Climbing Venues
  • Bolting and Equipping Climbing Venues
  • Introducing Adults and Youth to Climbing and Mountain Walking
  • Professional Guiding from Small Half Day Trips to Major Expeditions, over 300 trips successfully and safely completed.