The Next Generation goes through the horizontal roof a few metres right of Hack and Slay and was bolted by Dewald Kloppers more than a year ago. After trying it a few times initially, Dewald gave up on it as too hard. Some months later Andrew Pedley suggested that Dewald add a bolt in the roof for working purposes and this proved to be pivotal. Dewald was also kind enough to let me try the route with him and hence it was known as ‘The Broject’ since then on.
After much hanging around on the added bolt as well as the other bolts through the roof, both Dewald and myself found sequences that could get us through. Both our sequences include a crazy horizontal drop-knee but then differ completely. Both sequences are unique (certainly for Boven’s normally vertical rock and for anywhere else, in my opinion). Dewald’s sequence involves kneebars in the roof and a heel-toe above his head while mine involves dancing feet horizontally in the opposite direction and then cranking off a reverse toe-hook! Both methods feel harder than anything I have done before.
The route became quite a mental battle as after a while both Dewald and myself would get to our personal crux move, fall and then be able to get through. Yet we could not do this from the ground. I came within one move of sending the route on the Roc Rally weekend but then after numerous subsequent attempts could not get near to my highpoint. Finally, this last week, it went down. It was very surprising in the end as it happened on a day, I woke up feeling poor with a bunged up nose. After taking half an anti-histamine (Thanks Dom) and sleeping under a tree until 3pm, we went down to the crag and on my second attempt, with darkness and the Mayan Apocalypse approaching, I stuck the key left hand sidepull with my thumb (for once) nestling perfectly in the very subtle yet crucial niche and that was that. I pulled through the rest of the moves and The Next Generation was born. The name is a little dig at The King of Boven, Andrew Pedley, who also happened to snatch the golden belay.
It’s also perhaps interesting to note, that when trying to redpoint the route, one not only skips the working bolt but the following bolt as well as it is just too difficult to interrupt the climbing to clip. This results in a pretty spicy run-out!
I have tentatively given the route the grade of 33 as it feels harder than anything else I have done, but I look forward to other people trying it and giving their opinions. I am also interested to see if any new beta comes out.
Finally, I want to thank Dewald for spotting the line, bolting it and letting me try The Broject with him for so long. I’m hoping that he gets the second ascent very soon!
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