Clockwork Orange 23 going on 25

Joe Möhle recently sent ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ on Table Mountain.   The route is 23/6c in the guidebook, however Joe was unable to send the route when he tried it last year!  Joe proposes a grade of 25/7a+.

Joe lead the route placing gear and skipping the bolt (with homemade hanger) and peg – this by the way was the 2nd ascent of the route, Dark Horse seconded the route.

Joe Mohle, A Clockwork Orange, Table Mountain

Joe on the 2nd ascent of 'A Clockwork Orange' (25/7a+) - the smoke in background is from a controlled burn on Signal Hill. Photo by Garrreth Bird

A Clockwork Orange’ and its somewhat dubious history.
By Joe Möhle

The route was opened in 1990 by 3 guys, namely: Dave McCrindle, Gordon Morton and V. Vajner.

Joe Mohle, A Clockwork Orange, Table Mountain

Joe removing the bolt. Photo by Garrreth Bird

Two bolts were placed on the route (this was the second round of bolting to occur on TM after ‘Boltergeist’).  The lower bolt was chopped, plus one of the pegs higher up.

No one is quite sure of the style of their ascent and bolting – (nobody seems to know much about the route except that it is a sandbag and has a bolt).  Anyway, as far as I know, I have made the second ascent (after speaking to Tinie, Snort, etc).

I decided to do it without the bolt and peg and remove both afterwards.  The route is run out and committing but a fall from the crux would be safe.  I felt that the fixed pro should only be removed once somebody had done the route without them, without a headpoint approach.

I rapped down the route to clean crucial holds of lichen and rails of moss a few days ago. and lead it yesterday (19th of April).

As far as the grade goes, it was opened at 23/6c. I think this is an inaccurate grade and as the 2nd ascentionist I want to suggest the grade of 25/7a+.
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A few more details:

What type of bolt was installed, how easy was the bolt to remove and how did you remove it?

Joe:  The bolt was an 8mm coach screw with a sleeve (the nut is part of the bolt).  Removing the bolt was easily done using a spanner, the bolt had rusted through on the inside, the piece that came out was only about 10-12 mm long.
There was also another bolt further down that had been chopped sometime ago.

Did the bolt break when you removed it?
Joe:  No, it was rusted through already, seemingly just the rust was holding in place.

Do you reckon the bolt would have held a fall (from the crux)?
Joe:  If you were very lucky, body weight perhaps, No way the bolt would hold a fall!

What is your last gear before going into the crux? 
Joe:  There are 3 small wires on the right hand side RHS, on the left another small wire and two Wild Country Z5 cams.  About 6-7 pieces in total.

How far would you fall if you came off the crux? 
Joe:  About 6-8 meters.

Do you have any other routes in mind that need ‘freeing’? 
Joe:  Hopefully my project ‘Darkest Africa’ will go this afternoon!  And then Double Jeopardy (30/8a)
**Please note:  Bolting is forbidden on Table Mountain.

Related forum thread:  Table Mountain Bolting Policy

Below is a teaser video for a documentary on TM:

Joe Mohle, A Clockwork Orange, Table Mountain

Joe removing the bolt. Photo by Garrreth Bird

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4 Responses to Clockwork Orange 23 going on 25

  1. Snort Apr 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Seems like the mountain is improving. Go Joe!.

  2. Paul Goddard Apr 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    hey Joe, some amazing stuff going down with you recently. Well done dude ! really impressive.

  3. Dark Horse Apr 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Joe your psyche is so contagious! I remember a few years ago one of my all time hero’s Tony Dick told me about this young guy called Joe that was the the future of trad climbing in SA. I met a young Joe at Lundudno and the sparkle in his eyes made think Tony might just be right.. and now I know he was right…

  4. Andy Davies Apr 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Nice one oke!

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