Where are you from? How old are you? Where do you live?
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:
The Top 5 on your iPod?
I don’t own an iPod
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
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
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?
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???”
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