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Origin of Wonderland at Paarl

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:02 pm
by John Alexander
I have been asked on many occasions how I bolted the route. Well here goes. I started by taking aluminium angle iron and cutting these to size to fashion a hanger. I then drilled 2 holes - one for the bolt and another for a featherlight karabiner - the hole is not large enough for any other karabiner as many freaked out climbers en-route have experienced.( Sorry guys but there were no ready made hangers in those day!) Having a suitable arsenal of home made hangers and some drop-in anchors, I proceeded to abseil from the trig beacon on the summit of Paarl. I joined 3 ropes together and placed the rap stations first. Each hole was hand drilled using a star drill - takes about 40min per hole. You start feeling like a woodpecker after a while. Once all the rap stations were in place, I drilled the 1st pitch and then gradually completed the other 3 pitches. So there you have it..... I hope I answered all the queries. I am chuffed that the route has been retrobolted - I just hope that climbers try to get to the last pitch, as in my opinion it is even better than the 1st. (

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:03 pm
by Paddy
John. Your hangers might have at times caused a heart attack or two trying to thread the krab into the eyehole (which is sort of difficult when your hand is shaking and your feet are giving your hands some serious competition), but they sure were great to stand on when the calf and foot burn got just too much to deal with. I am not sure whether the modern hangers would be as functional, footing wise. Anyway you showed great vision with your line. It is amazing that it took over a decade for the theme to be continued.

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:03 pm
by Stu
That equals to 1200min for the entire route, which is.... 20 hours of hand drilling, wow, some serious commitment man. A real slab classic.