Sunday 10 December 2017 looked like it was going to be an awesome day to climb 8 crags in one day for the Rand Rock Book launch ‘Crazy Crag Day’. It had rained heavily in the week previously, so the crags were expected to be a touch on the damp side.
7:30 meet at The Wilds in Houghton. Neil Margetts and Nadine van Heerden brought the Christmas spirit and Nick Reynolds brought the crazy.
Park at the Wilds and use the pedestrian flyover to cross Houghton drive. Walk in nice and easy but just as easy to miss the turn off to the crags.
Good turnout for an early Sunday morning start. 11 of us gathering at this hidden crag at the door step of the CBD.
Introduction to Bouldering and the various routes the Wilds has to offer.
Majority of the participants not Boulders and had never visited this crag before.
Have the route demonstrated to you personally by the one and only Russell Hattingh, or read about it at the crag in the new RandRock Guide.
Or have Neil himself point out each hold whilst spotting you.
Could Bouldering get much easier……..
I wish…………. bouldering is hard!!!!!!!!
Here we had the privilege to be accompanied by Bishop Ngobeli who is head of Conservation JHB parks.
Bishop seemed amazed as all the climbers spread out across the small crag and set up ropes and began climbing in a sort of organised chaos.
Drop off the climbing gear and get escorted into The Glade by Bishop. Bishop explains to us how things have improved with the fence which surrounds both Melville Koppies and The Glade, which reduce the number of entry and exit points. Bishop tells us that his team do regular clean ups and patrols of the areas but however it is never ending and as soon as they have got to the top area they then need to begin again at the bottom and start over. At The Glade they have however relaxed on the patrolling and only really intervene when the noise level of the churches ceremonies gets too loud. Now being introduced to the climbing world and seeing that the rocks are not just shelter for some people while being studied by others, Bishop is very open to suggestions on improving of the area making it more accessible and even clearing the natural growth from the base improving the popularity of the crags to climbers.
Just down the road and to the top of the hill. Park at the Northcliff Water tower.
Northcliff ridge one of the greatest views of the Rand and still frequently visited by sight seers, lovers and occasional idiots.
Bishop very excited about the near future development of the ridge which would not only improve the access for the climbers but would allow climbers to sit down for that afternoon tea at the end of a good day’s climb.
Easy walk in and quick and easy to Top rope (but be careful near the edge)
If you watch carefully you will even notice your rope moving away from the face to get in on some of the action.
Across the Highway and on to Fourteenth Avenue, only to have the rain meet us there as well.
I left the group as I had been properly soaked through.
I heard the other group we were meeting up with at Strubens and Strubens II had taken advantage of the earlier sun. But Neil and the rest visited each crag just to introduce them to the climbers with the rain in tow.
Neil Margetts Introduced his guide and the intention of creating the guide and the work that goes into making the guide a reality.
Russell Hattingh Introduces us to Bouldering and where it comes from and his input for the guide.
Bishop Ngobeli thanks us all for not only introducing him to climbing but to answer his question on why some crazy person would drill holes and put bolts into his parks rocks.