Let’s start with saying I’m easily distracted, I can’t spell and can’t explain myself that well at the best of times. Perfect qualities for writing I’ve been told, or maybe I got that one wrong. Things I know I’m good at: (I put one of those things to start a list but now I’ve lost that thought) woodwork. Yes, chairs and stuff I know how to do that.
So what I need to tell you about is my upcoming attempt at climbing 40 Routes In A Day. Let’s begin before the beginning, going back maybe 5 years, when I started relaying my climbing partners, so I could have a full fun day at the crag. At my best I climbed with 4 guys in a day doing between 5 and 10 routes with each. Then at a Boven Rock Rally I was climbing with Candice Bagley and she was climbing harder grades than her age. No I’m not saying she’s really young. She just climbs really hard. Immediately I dispelled such notions at age 36. Yip you can smile, I laugh at the thought. Then someone said “you could just climb that many routes and not the grade itself”. Somehow this seemed eminently possible and within grasp.
So for my attempt at 37 routes a small crowd gathered, but things didn’t go too well. It started raining hard in the early hours of that morning and we got off to a late start. The Nahoon River was in flood and we had to cross by tyrolean traverse to get to damp rock. Starting at 9am, I managed to keep going till 9pm, when the dark and trying to make up time with shortened rests caught up with me. So, sometime after 9pm we re-crossed the flooding Nahoon River and headed home with 30 routes in the bag. The easiest route for the day was graded 16 and the hardest 24. The shortest was 8m and the longest 36m. Most routes at NSA are over 20 meters and vertical.
So there you have the history, sort of, except for the part where Derek says “Garvin this is not a bad thing, this gives us the opportunity to do this thing right. You can come back with photographers and websites, TV interviews and all that jazz! This thing could rock!” OK, maybe he didn’t say it like that but that was kind-a the idea. Forward to a few months ago and I’m sitting in a campsite waiting for it to cool down so I can go climb.
Mia (my wife) must have said something about work and the idea jumps into my head, like diet pill adds on an exercise website. “I’ll do the 40 routes to raise funds for the Paediatric Surgery department”. Mia’s response; “how?”… “I don’t know, I’ll just climb and someone else can sort out the detail.”
As I sit here today I’ve learned two things. Firstly, there is no someone else! Secondly, there are lots of people out there who will give of their skills, talents and money, when kids will benefit. I told a biker friend about the event and he offered to do printing for free. I didn’t even know he had a printing business!
The Eastern Province Section of the MCSA has stepped up with promoting, endorsing & organization. They have adopted the event. I even got a friend to allow camping on his farm. And the fact that it’s 10 min walk from the crag, is just a big bonus.
So lets talk detail:
The event will be held on Saturday 29 November 2014.
I will climb like a crazy person. Everyone else with have a good time & save energy for the monstrous after party. There will be a spit braai, live music, a lucky draw or two. I will make a solid wood Rocking Chair for the first prize draw.
We are considering that some prizes may be limited to those giving above a designated amount. I’ll be posting short clips of the making of the chair on the Facebook page.
A South African climbing legend has agreed to make an appearance & his presentation is guaranteed to be entertaining.
The legend is checking his dates, the sheep are grazing, and this looks like it’s going to be the jol to-be-at in a big way.
So keep your car serviced, check your tire pressure, cause you may have to give your best friend and his auntie a lift.
Lastly; how it will work.
We would like people out there to pledge an amount per route I climb & a bonus for every route I get past 40. Don’t be afraid to pledge big. I’m massively over weight (12kgs at least), totally unfit and my chances of getting 40 Routes in a Day… slim! But I will be training like hell to prove you wrong.
These pledges (all other donations welcome) will be donated to Eyabantwana For the Children Trust, which raises funds & support for the Paediatric Wards at Cecilia Makiwane & Frere Hospital.
My wife Mia, is a surgeon at the Paediatric Surgical Department at 2 government hospitals in the Eastern Cape, Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane and Frere Hospital in East London.
On the day I’ll climb the 40 routes on lead… hopefully with a few bonus routes. We need quite a few belayers, people putting draws up and people taking down routes that I’ve done. I am doing auditions for cheer leaders (no chancers please!). The climbing will happen at two crags on the Nahoon river. First at Windmill Hole and then at NSA. At the moment I’ve set out 8 routes at Windmill Hole and 32 at NSA. If you’d like to help with belaying, drop me a mail. There’s a t-shirt in it for you.
I will most surely have missed something. This is life and we deal with it.
So what I need to tell you about is my upcoming attempt at climbing 40 Routes In A Day. I will be doing a charity climb to raise money for the Eyabantwana Childrens Trust.