This is not the article I was going to post this week. However, before I could finish that one, something else came along. A starter if you will…
Last Sunday, myself and visiting climber Anton Gietl fondled some virgin rock at Tafelberg. The result was Fallen Iris, and indeed it was quite rock-gasmic. It features spectacular climbing, stupendous stances, ball-tugging exposure and just the right amount of spice (think Durban tourist, not Delhi resident).
Now, this is not some egocentric plug for our route. On the contrary it is essentially the opposite. Let me explain.
Fallen Iris is not desperate, hard or dangerous. Nor is it squeezed in or lurking on the sidelines. It is consistent grade 17 to 19 up the Main Wall. It is certainly on par with the very best on the mountain, and was simply off the radar, until now. Probably overlooked, or improbable looking.
The lesson: even at one of the premier trad venues in SA, there are still unclimbed moderates of excellent quality waiting to be found. Which brings me to my point: you don’t need to be uber strong to be a pioneer. You don’t need to be a rockstar to find great quality lines at your grade.
While we also have hundreds of crags that are yet to be visited by folks with chalk bags, one doesn’t necessarily need to go that far to find something new and inspiring at whatever level suits you. With a bit of imagination and gutspa there is oodles of vertical exploration to be had, even at existing areas. We are particularly lucky in SA to have so much climbing potential that pretty much anyone can find some untouched magic.
So, while I am sure you would grin like a stoned Cheshire cat atop our new line, you would probably have even more fun discovering a gem of your own.
Which begs the question, what are you doing this weekend?
Richard is sponsored by La Sportiva, Roca, Wild Country and DMM