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Simon Lowe Interview

Where are you from? How old are you? Where do you live?

From Durban
Age: 25
I’m living in Durban right now, but will be moving to Cape Town early next year

When did you start climbing and how?

I started 6 years ago with the UCT Mountain and Ski club. My first climb was in Montagu

What’s the best crag in SA?

The Wave Cave in Durban and Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape

Other favorite crags:

Waterval Boven

The Top 5 on your iPod?

I don’t own an iPod

Simon Lowe redpointing Twisted Steel (29) at The Scoop Photo: Justin Lawson

Simon Lowe redpointing Twisted Steel (29) at The Scoop Photo: Justin Lawson

Right: Simon Lowe redpointing Twisted Steel (29) at The Scoop
Photo: Justin Lawson

How often do you go climbing?/Do you train?

Twice on the weekends and I try get out / train during the week too

What climber inspired you the most when you were starting out and why?

Chris Sharma (I think he inspires everyone) Clinton Martinengo and Marijus Šmigelskis – I’ve never seen Justin Hawkins climb!!

If you could go climbing anywhere, where would you go? Why?

Spain… because of the amount of limestone

Do you climb better on limestone?

Yes, long endurance routes are my strongpoint

Have you climbed in any other exotic locations?

Never climbed outside of SA, but I’m leaving for Spain next Sunday with Andrew Scott, Clinton Martinengo and Mathieu Schneuwly for 2 months!

What’s the best route (you’ve opened quite a few, so top 3) that you’ve ever climbed/bolted?

I opened ‘The fugitive’ (32) at The Wave Cave (the route was bolted by someone else) and a route that I bolted and opened called Spinal Fusion at The Truck Yard (30) not a very appropriate name for the route, but anyway

Above: Simon Lowe flashing Breakthrough (25), Cleopatra @ Lady Slipper Photo by Ed McLenaghan

Above: Simon Lowe flashing Breakthrough (25), Cleopatra @ Lady Slipper Photo by Ed McLenaghan

What projects do you have right now?

Eros at the Wave Cave (33) and Streetfighter (34) at Oudtshoorn

What’s the hardest grade you’ve climbed and what has been the most challenging route and why?

Hardest would be Eros (33) and Jabberwocky (originally a soft 33) which Andrew Pedley downgraded it to 32
Most challenging route for me was ‘Cave Rave’ (31) which is the extension to Paragon (30) and ‘Stone Haven’ (30) at Umgeni Valley

Right:  Simon Lowe making easy work of Vamparama 29/30 and carrying a set of nuts to back up dodgy bolts. Photo taken at the Canyon in Kloof Gorge, Natal Photo by Micky Wiswedel

Right: Simon Lowe making easy work of Vamparama 29/30 and carrying a set of nuts to back up dodgy bolts. Photo taken at the Canyon in Kloof Gorge, Natal Photo by Micky Wiswedel

Describe the perfect route.

A good 45 degree overhang, long and sustained, preferably limestone with a splash of both crimpers and slopers

What is the biggest epic you’ve had while climbing?

Definitely a Private Universe – because I’m not a trad climber and I’m not assipring to be one (I will trad every couple of years but want to avoid epics)

Are you planning on opening new routes?

Yes, got two bolted projects at the Truck Yard and yes, there are trucks there.

Who found the area?

Warren Gans found the area, there are about 12 routes opened so far and 3 projects

What are you doing with your days right now?

Rope Access work with a combination of on and off shore, mostly industrial stuff (Riggs and ships) althouth recently I’ve been working on the Stadium in Durban

What about life other than climbing?

Little bit of Mountain biking…. “What else do we do???”
Just climb!

Do you boulder?

Not much, but that’s cause there is very little bouldering in Durban

Above: Simon Lowe opening the classic ‘Moon Rider' 7a, Stutterheim, Eastern Cape Photo Andrew Scott

Above: Simon Lowe opening the classic ‘Moon Rider' 7a, Stutterheim, Eastern Cape Photo Andrew Scott

Above: Simon Lowe opening the classic ‘Moon Rider’ 7a, Stutterheim, Eastern Cape
Photo Andrew Scott

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