The freestyle life: Matt Bush at TEDx Table Mountain

Matt’s journey to freestyle rock climbing was not an easy one.  At a young age he experienced personal losses of close family.  This left a burden, the weight of which led him to question the very meaning of life.  Mid way through high school he started rock climbing.  His first experience climbing Table Mountain brought him an indescribable sense of wonderment and joy as he reconnected with nature.
Nature gradually changed him and with the focus of climbing mountains he overcame the personal difficulties of childhood. The heights of mountains elevated his spirit and renewed his sense of hope.  This is a story of finding self expression through climbing journeys though the natural landscapes of Table Mountain, Cederberg, Montagu,Thailand and Vietnam.  Matt’s story aims to give you a window into his world as a freestyle rock climber.  A world where he is free to make his moves as he wishes – that is the freestyle life!

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Matt Bush TedX Talk

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12 Responses to The freestyle life: Matt Bush at TEDx Table Mountain

  1. robert Mar 5, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    First time I have seen Matt Bush wear a helmet.

  2. Trad-boy Mar 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    He is an amazing athlete – all respect on that front!

    I gotta be honest though: the presentation was as dull as disco. It sounded like he may have a had a toke on a reefer before speaking 🙂

    I think he should just stick to cranking hard routes without trying to justify himself.

  3. Hilton Davies Mar 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    Matt, young man

    A story about three of my old friends…

    In the 1962 MCSA Journal (page 1 -2), Hans Graafland published his account of doing the first solo ascent of the legendary old route Klein Winterhoek Frontal. Hans published the story anonymously as he knew it would be received very badly by some segments of the climbing establishment.

    In the late-70s and 80s Chris Lomax took solo climbing to altogether new levels. He soloed dozens of routes on Table Mountain (Roulette, Touch and Go, Magnetic Wall, etc), many big routes including the tough North by Northwest on Du Toits Peak, and some of the hardest trad routes of the day (like Crystal Fire in Mhlabatini Kloof, Magaliesberg).

    Then came Andy de Klerk. Andy was audacious. He even did onsight first ascents free-solo. He soloed Klein Winterhoek Frontal, paraglided off to land at the base of the amphitheatre, soloed the hard and scary The Times They Are A-Changing, flew off to land in the valley at his car, and went home (all alone). He soloed Ocean of Fear. One can go on and on.

    You, old son, have now taken SA soloing to new levels of technical difficulty. (Not toughness, you will have to go a very long way to eclipse AdK!). And you have crafted your art in your own style. (Not the seriously hardcore tough rock climber and mountaineer, but the supremely-honed rock-jock athlete).

    As someone who does a lot of soloing and loves it, I relate to Hans’ final words: “My heart sang for joy, and the elation of that moment will remain an imperishable memory for ever”. I think you do too.

    Well done fella,

  4. Chris F Mar 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Great words Hilton

  5. Rob Mar 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    That was fantastic. You are an inspiration and a true artist. Thank you.

  6. Jordan Mar 6, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    what planet is guy from?? respect for his climbing, but ease off the weed dude… you are going to start seeing aliens soon.

  7. Rob Mar 6, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    What’s the deal with judging Matt on his temperament? You guys dissing him are missing the point of his presentation.

  8. Jordan Mar 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    His climbing is superb. his presentation is a joke. thats the point.

  9. andrew p Mar 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    I liked it. Its Matt and I doubt he intended it to be a ripping yarn, more like a poetic and simple presentation of his character and motivation. If you cant enjoy the simplicity in his words then you may also be missing the wonderful simplicity of climbing. Andrew

  10. mario Mar 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    If this was presented in any other way it would not have been true to Matt.


  11. Steve B Mar 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Nicely put Andrew. It helps if you watch it at 2x speed 🙂

  12. JT Mar 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Freestyle! Nice one Matt, to inspire others through your passion this is giving back in a big way.

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