Def: ROCKSTOCK (noun):
An elusive, last minute, chaotic shindig, known to bloom suddenly and unexpectedly deep in the Cederberg mountains every year – hosting in it’s bosom the International Airstar World Championships: as its prize, the much sought after Joseph Malbos trophy.
All photos courtesy of JP Du Plessis
Rockstock 2014 was like no other – This year it was organised by a carefully selected committee of both climbers and locals, a committee chaired by a man very much synonymous with Rocklands: Mr Justin Hawkins. De Pakhuys kindly hosted the event, teaming up with Traveller’s Rest to cater a spit-braai and trimmings for the 150 strong turn-out of hungry climbers.
Sylvain Burki (from SlackGear) rigged a 40 metre highline snuggled between the campsite tree canopy and the cliff-line. After spending the afternoon rigging and teaching the resident monkeys the what’s what of highlining, Sylvain opened the Airstar competition strutting his stuff on the fairy-lit line.
The Airstar World Championships furnished Rockstock with a plethora of talent. Our resident physicist Dr. Nate Jenkins kicked off the show with live folk guitar, which was followed up by Didgeridoo and trump harp harmonies from Austria’s best: team Latente Talente. The final cut came down to a choice of three acts: Alpha Excelsior’s team Crazy Legs, Team Brazil, and team French Side. After a hat-trick of encores, French Side ultimately took the title by a nose for their live medley interpretation of Daft Punk – ‘Faster, Better, Stronger’.
Micky Wiswedel kicked off the after-party with a whopping set, triggering a night-long sound battle between two members of French Side as he stepped down – The speakers and bubble-machine were felt humming across Pakhuis Pass until breakfast… interrupted only by the odd fuse blow-out thanks to the majestically advanced campground kettle.
All in all, a terrific evening, which succeeded in raising R2500 for the farm’s community project! A huge thank you to everybody who got involved, and all of the contributions from those who attended.
See you all next year!
The Byneskop Community Project
De Pakhuys Guest Farm has at its heart a community of local residents living on site, at Byneskop (Bee Hive Hill). In 2013 the residents combined forces with the farm owners: Mark Botha and Thys Kruger, in raising funds towards the construction of a community hall. The building will provide a communal and multi-functional space for a variety of uses: a church hall, a games hall, a space for screening films, news, sporting events, and a communal space to gather into on wet winter evenings and blistering hot summer days. The construction land has already been donated by the landowners and been made available for construction. The building costs total R80,000. Part of the fund will be used to purchase a brick-making kit, with a view to redeveloping the residences surrounding the community hall once it is completed.
The project has been registered as an NPO (Non Profit Organisation): The Agter-Pakhuis Development Association, which has been raising funds through a variety of methods: pad rentals, rosterkok sales on Friday nights, firewood sales, the Annual Pakhuys Bazaar, and the proceeds of events such as Rockstock. The fund has at present raised R50,000.
In a subsidiary niche of the Development Association there also sits the Rocklands Rangers Climbing Team, run by myself (Chris Kelk) alongside the many volunteers who are keen to share their climbing experience throughout the season. The team aims primarily to provide a weekly leisure climbing activity for the local children living in Byneskop.
In the coming year we plan on adding extra-curricular elements to our program, such as sexual education, alcohol awareness, numeracy, current affairs, and many more. Our first and primary challenge will be to find sufficient funds and a space in which to build a small bouldering wall, in which the team of fifteen children can meet on both wet weather and hot summer days, and in which other activities and workshops can be run year-round.