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Climbing now history in much of Boven?

There have been some rumours floating around the  future of climbing in Warerval Boven, and I am writing this in order to disseminate what I know so far.

I was in Boven on the weekend, and was having a glass of wine or two with Alex and Gustav Janse van Rensburg, co-owners of Roc ‘n Rope in town.  Gustav confirmed what will surely be a devastating development for climbing in SA.

Mike and Ruth Behr, owners of Tranquilitas Adventure Farm, have decided to sell half the farm to African Rainbow Minerals (ARM).  ARM are the owners of the Nkomati Nickel Mine in Machadodorp just up the road, you often see trucks rumbling up or down the road coming or going there.  Despite the drama in the Platinum industry, Nickel and ARM are doing quite well.

Tranquilitas is technically two farms:  Tranquilitas on the left/east side, including the long rock band, and the farm Nooitgedacht, on the hill, right side/west side.

The Tranquilitas farm is home to most of the Boven crags such as the Creche, Tranquilitas,Baboon buttress, GodNo!, all the way to the Disciple wall. From Hallucinogen on down is MCSA property.

I asked Gustav what exactly lead to this. Of course money probably has something to do with it. But that’s not all of it. Looks like Mike and Ruth have become a bit gatvol with the climbing community. There have been a few minor and major issues lately that may have lead to this decision. There was a minor incident with Ebert Nel, and a whole bunch of his partying friends, that upset Mike in particular. They stopped a party at 1:30 am, and some climbers subsequently put homophobic posts on their Facebook pages.

Waterval Boven rock climbing

Flex climbing Tokolosie at Waterval Boven

 

I asked Gustav what exactly lead to this. Of course money probably has something to do with it. But that’s not all of it. Looks like Mike and Ruth have become a bit gatvol with the climbing community. There have been a few minor and major issues lately that may have lead to this decision. There was a minor incident with Ebert Nel, and a whole bunch of his partying friends, that upset Mike in particular. They stopped a party at 1:30 am, and some climbers subsequently put homophobic posts on their Facebook pages.

Then there is the problem of the “cheapskate climbing community”.  Regular Boven climbers like Colin Crabtree only want to book the chalets for a Saturday, whereby the Gauteng mountain bikers are happy to book a chalet or tent for 2 or even 3 night weekends. And many climbers stay in town or show up for the day, and then climb without paying their access fees. It seems that mountain bikers all seem quite happy to pay.  And then there is of course the risk associated with having climbing on your property. Boven has seen it’s share of serious accidents and even deaths in the last few years.

The bottom line is that Mike and Ruth have sold Tranquilitas farm to African Rainbow Minerals. ARM may have also bought the neighbours Reuben farm (the one on the east side, when you walk past the Creche).

They are going to keep Nooitgedacht farm.  It’s no secret that Mike in particular has become much more of a mountain biker lately. They recently remodelled the old farm house on Nooitgedacht,and will continue developing mountain biking trails on that farm.

The transfer is in progress, likely to happen in three months time. I am not sure what we as a climbing community can or should do to stop this. Maybe ARM will allow us to keep climbing, but somehow I doubt a mining company will have much sympathy for us climbers.

Not all is lost though. the MCSA owns a big chunk of the land from Hallucinogen down. Maybe someone from the Joburg MCSA can comment on whether there has been any interaction with ARM.

The Coven used to be my favourite crag in Boven. And there are all those ‘lost’ crags like the original Restaurant Crag, Triple Tier, the Island, or the Waterfall crags. These will of course remain climbing areas (dont get me started on the crime issue though).

My recommendation: If you would like to see Tranquilitas stay a climbing venue, please send an email to mike at wildexposure dot co dot za.

 

11 Responses to Climbing now history in much of Boven?

  1. Hannes Apr 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    What is the date today? 1. April – I got a bit of a shock before realizing ;)

  2. jacques Apr 1, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    whahaha, good one

  3. Chris F Apr 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    I knew this was an April Fools joke as soon as you said you were only having one or two glasses of wine.

  4. Brian Weaver Apr 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    April Fools… I figured there’d be at least one today

  5. jimbo Apr 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Bollocks! Im so fricken gullible! I was about to book a trip to Boven before all this happened.

  6. Ebert Apr 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Yoooooo. Party 26-29April at swinburne. Join the fun.

    Sorry Mike. It was rude of me posting that it is gay, sarcastic for happy/unhappy, that that you will not allow the coolest climbing club in SA, Exploratio, too party at the coolest campsite in SA over a long weekend.

    Thanks for the advertising for the party Robert.

    Climbing, bouldering, hiking, slacklining, highlining, beer, punch, partying and chilling

    Its going to be off the charts, more info on Exploratio’s facebook page.

    Ebert

  7. Mokganjetsi (WillemB) Apr 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Good one Robert……

    Ebert, unfortunately you pulled the rug from under Exploratio’s plans with your forum post, which made it clear what the plans were…. I fully understand some students’ need to be drunk, loud and generally unpleasant to have around (been there, done that); and I’m glad Mike does not put-up with it. One day when you work your butt off and a long-weekend at a peaceful campsite is worth gold, you will understand it too. Enjoy Swinburne!

  8. Andy Davies Apr 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Nice try, but I know Mike & Ruth are too cool to do something nasty like that!

  9. naureen Apr 1, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Haha, I read all the way to the end. Sorry Andrew but this beat the end-of Bronkies story! :-)

  10. Ebert Apr 7, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Willem, the plans changed, not the party:) the party commences saturday night, 26 April, swinburne Campsite.

    I have learnt my lesson, next time I organise boven beginners I’ll just rock up with 100 students, premission is clearly over rated. Turn us down one person at a time then:)

    eT

  11. Murdakah Jun 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    God no. I was reading this without checking the date, gave me quite a fright lol.

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