Rand Rock Crazy Crag Day

Rand Rock Climbing Guide

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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.

Rand Rock Guide Book

Nick already climbing into studying the New RandRock Guide. Philip reminiscing – Where The WILD things are by Maurice Sendak

 

Rand Rock Guide Book

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.

 

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.

Rand Rock Guide Book

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.

Rand Rock Guide Book

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!!!!!!!!

 

Gauteng Rock Climbing

But we all got to give bouldering a go at the Wilds.

 

Rand Rock Guide Book

We met up with the famous Kevin Smith who pioneered a lot of hard trad climbing in SA from 1982 to 1992.
Now the question was, WHO is going to autograph the guide?????????

 

Melville

Gathered newly born Boulders together and a short trip to Melville.
Short walk in to Melville Koppies.

Rand Rock Guide Book

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.

Rand Rock Guide Book

Magdaleen van Graan and Dirk Talma flying the MCSA banner.

 

Rand Rock Guide Book

Small crag which allowed for what was quickly named as Synchronised Climbing. Coming to a crag near you…

 

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.

 

Rand Rock Guide Book

Ryno not only flying the Black Diamond flag but showing off his Cam tattoo.
The rest of us trying not to slide down the slope whilst convincing Nadine one more step back and the stream at the bottom should stop her rolling any further.

 

Rand Rock Guide Book

So many different types of bouldering problems. This may have been the easiest and still out of my reach.

 

Rand Rock Guide Book

All hidden away and over grown in The Glade.

 

Just down the road and to the top of the hill. Park at the Northcliff Water tower.

Rand Rock Guide Book

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)

Rand Rock Guide Book

Either abseil down or a little bit of a scramble to the best landing any crag could have.

Rand Rock Guide Book

Either abseil down or a little bit of a scramble to the best landing any crag could have.  Unpack your lunch, kick off your shoes and enjoy the grass at the foot of the rock.

If you watch carefully you will even notice your rope moving away from the face to get in on some of the action.

Rand Rock Guide Book

Quick lesson on the safety of climbing and off goes Bishop, climbing Swastika (Grade 15) like he is a seasoned climber.
Admittedly Bishop’s smile got a lot bigger when he could see the ground getting closer on the way down.

 

Rand Rock Guide Book

Bishop Ngobeli, welcome to a family of friends connected not only by the rope that keeps us safe but by the sport we all love and enjoy.

Gauteng Rain shower

The closing in weather chased us off of Northcliff ridge

Across the Highway and on to Fourteenth Avenue, only to have the rain meet us there as well.

Rand Rock Guide Book

Liquid chalk and not the good version. But we got to give the bouldering a good look.

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.

Rand Rock Guide Book

– Andrew Louw and Maricke at the chains – Odette Lippold and Carmen getting ready to climb

 

Kings Kloof

On to Kings Kloof but the rain followed us there or we met the rain there. There was a fair amount of water exiting the sky, water seemed to be coming from everywhere.

Then as quick as the rain had come it left, and left us to braai and enjoy the book launch.

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.

 

 

Hope the RandRock guide gets taken out of your stocking and into your climbing bag as you go out to the crags in the new year.
Meet you on the rocks from Greg Dobbins.

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