Cape Vertical – Book Review

Cape Vertical Book Cover by Jeremy SamsonCape Vertical
by Jeremy Samson

Exploring the Capes greatest rock climbs

Climb all the routes listed in the book and I am certain you’ll easily fill many evenings with outlandish tales of triumph as well as heart-breaking failure”.

Cape Vertical is Jeremy Samson’s selection of classic rock climbs in the Cape.  It’s in no way an route guide, rather he explains what makes a classic rock climb.  A great amount of South African climbing history is included covering the areas, routes, pioneers, traddies and trigger happy bolters that were doing their thing at the time.

The list of climbs is of course subjective but I think most will agree with the bulk of Jeremy’s picks which range from the most popular route on Table Mountain to multi pitch sport climbing at Milner.

Since reading the book, I have definitely added a couple of routes to my bucket list.  Jeremy’s storytelling and scintillating humour had me laughing out loud.  The real meat of the book is the stories that surround these routes and the people involved – The sandbagging, the home-made bolts, the taunting, air rats from above and not forgetting the epics, failures and horror shows.

Find out why the Cape is a world class climbing destination (and I’m not just talking about ‘The Rocklands’ here!)

For me, this book underlines a great quote from the late Jeff Lowe:  “The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun!”

The book costs R160.00 (including postage) and can be ordered online –> here
**Add R110.00 for overseas postage.

Click here to order Cape Vertical


11 Responses to Cape Vertical – Book Review

  1. ant Aug 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    The book launch, as well as a slideshow by Joe Mohle and Clinton Martinengo on their new route ‘Art of Hearts’ will take place at the MCSA Cape Town on Tues the 2nd of Aug 7:30 for 8pm.


  2. Jacques Aug 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Come and get your copy of Jeremy Samson’s new book ‘Cape Vertical’ that has just hit our shelves. An excellent read written by ‘one of our own’, Jeremy will be launching and signing copies this Thursday 18h00 at CityROCK Shop.

  3. Guy Aug 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Climbing is and always has been about the people, the places and the routes. If you are looking for basic information then guidebooks tell you where to go. But guidebooks miss so much of the real fabric of our sport – the people, the epics, the camaraderie. This book fills that gap and ensures that these amazing stories are never lost.

    The book is a Jeremy’s subjective tome of the essential Cape classics. It features routes from the earliest routes on TM to those that were climbed in the last year or two.

    I once wrote that Jeremy’s style of writing is uniquely Samsonic – which is to say that he blends history and comedy in a way that you can go from one to the other and back within a single sentence. The effect is that you end up learning a bunch of stuff while laughing out loud and saying “no-way” all at the same time.

    If you have ever climbed in the Cape you will want to own this book.

  4. Hilton Davies Aug 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Really good book. Love Jeremy’s style – so funny. If you’re a climber in South Africa you have to get this book. Congrats Jer on an awesome production!

  5. George Gain Aug 5, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Love this book – so funny and the pictures are amazing! Quite technical though so perhaps not really for non-climbers…

  6. Thorsten Aug 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    A great book; funny, interesting and inspiring! A must read for anyone!

  7. Jacques Aug 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    BUMP! sort of …
    Jeremy has kindly agreed to visit CityROCK again this week Wednesday (today) and Thursday (11 Aug 2011) for a chat and/or a signing of your copy of Cape Vertical. Don’t miss it!

  8. Douw Aug 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Also started reading the book. Jeremy threatened to accidentally drop me next time he’s belaying if I don’t post a favourable review so here goes:

    I was thoroughly enthralled from the very start of the book. Then it was pointed out that the introduction wasn’t actually written by Jeremy and the rest might not be quite the same standard. However I persevered and have now ticked off a decent route list and am looking forward to the rest. It’s classic Jeremy – almost impossible to know if the stories are true and, if so, how much is true. But that’s exactly how it should be. It’s almost impossible not to laugh out loud and read out extracts to anyone nearby.

    Excellent entertainment. Good job Jeremy!

  9. Mike Aug 15, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    I thought this book was excellently written. Jeremy’s metaphors are unique and funny. The book makes you feel proud of the routes that you have climbed and feature in the book, while at the same time feeling lame that you haven’t done more. I hope the book gets read by a wider audience than just climbers so that everyone can understand the enjoyment we get out of climbing.

  10. Candice Aug 22, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Jeremy’s writing style had me giggling for hours. It was great to find out the history of those routes that I had heard about, seen or climbed without knowing their stories. His whit is striking, in between some epic tales, with phrases like:
    ” Table mountain has more cracks in it than the ANC’s economic policy,…”

    This is an awesome book and came with a speedy delivery too.

  11. Craig Burden Sep 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Loved it, just finished it today! Super cool. And now i have a few cool routes to climb, already sent a few of them!

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