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Mike Mamacos

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:45 pm
by Hilton
Mike Mamacos - a modest, humble man, yet giant of South African rock climbing history, passed away on Friday. Mike will be remembered for the incredible leads that he made when he opened such great routes as Cableway Crag, Jacob's Ladder and North West Frontal on Du Toit's Peak.

Mike's main climbing partners were Boot Butler and Rusty Baillie - great climbers themselves. When Mike couldn't get the cash together Rusty made the first South African ascent of the North Face of the Eiger with Dougal Haston around 1960.

In 1949 Mike made the first ascent of the North West Frontal on Du Toit's Peak with Boot Butler. Mike led every pitch and he did this onsight wearing tennis tackies, the rope tied around his waist, without pitons and with a total of three slings and three karabiners. I promise you, that is tough.

On three occasions South Africa has had a climber at the leading edge in the world. The first was George Londt in the 1920s (of Klein Winterhoek Frontal fame etc), the second was Mike Mamacos in 1949 with North West Frontal, and the third was Andy de Klerk in the 1980s and 90s.

Above all, Mike was a wonderful, wonderful man. Maybe if you're in Cape Town you will want to do one of Mike's great routes and crack a nod to a special man.

Deepest sympathies to Kimon, Mico and the family.

Re: Mike Mamacos

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:01 pm
by Hilton
DSCN1214b.jpg (255.47 KiB) Viewed 1688 times
Dave Vallet took this pic when we climbed North by Northwest on Thursday, the day before Mike passed away. His worldwide leading-edge route North West Frontal climbs that edge in the background.

Re: Mike Mamacos

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:17 pm
by Justin
I didn't know Mike personally... but thanks for all the great routes and mountain huts.
Condolences to the family.