Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

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Dark Horse
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Dark Horse » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:00 am

Well done to Richard (Squeaks) for his onsight of Fantastic time (23) at yellow wood and I'm not sure If I'm right on this but also the 3rd Ascent. We left Cape Town at 3 am and got back at midnight... Was a long lekker day!

Hilton
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Hilton » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:25 am

Well done Richard and Dark!!
How scary is it pulling on that loose block jammed in the roof on p2?!
Probably third ascent. Didn't you (Dark) and Snort do the first? Snort, Tony and I did it a couple of months ago and I think that was the second. Sniffles will know - he owns the place..!

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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Hilton » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:31 pm

Today Guy Paterson-Jones and I made the first free ascent (FFA) of Twilight of An Idol. The route is on the Sentinel in Hout Bay, Cape Town and faces directly out into the Atlantic Ocean. It's out-of-this-world scenic. (But the uphill approach through the bush....eish..)

Guy Holwill and John Orrock made the route as an aid route in 1989. In 1992 Guy and Dave Pothier trimmed the aid down and graded it 10 pitches, 26 A1.

We thought the crux roof pitch was 25 (Guy had said in his write-up that it may be soft-26). The fourth pitch (A1) we thought was 23 (but we can see why the guys would have shat themselves and aided it! It is pretty big on commitment factor).

We topped out as it went dark but fortunately I know the path down from the summit and there was a lot of town-light. Earlier in the day Guy had walked up TM to meet me (at the top cable station with all our kit for working a new route) but the cable car was closed so he had to run down again so that we could change plan to the Sentinel. We only got going on the Sentinel walk around 11 and climbing after 12.

The route is proper i.e. big, hard and scary. Holds break, it has lots of loose rock and rails are super-sandy. Congratulations to Guy Holwill, John Orrock and Dave Pothier - you okes did good.

SNORT
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by SNORT » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:01 pm

The Ledge on TM has seen some intense activity with many of the tricky test pieces being done by a whole bunch of climbers.

Of late, Douw Steyn and Willem Le Roux have ticked Uber Huber 26, Dynamite 26 and Arms Race direct

Snort and Nadine Methner ticked Uber Huber 26 last Sunday.

And Africa Arete and No Longer at Ease has seen multiple free ascents with on-sights by Gosia and Squeaks, and free ascents by Julia and Snort and Douw in the last few weeks.

The ledge is cooking and trad climbing alive and well...

Hector
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Hector » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:05 am

Ian Kotze and I climbed Alchemy in Upper Tonquani on Sunday. We had tried it years before and couldn't see a way to do the first weird move at the old peg. This time, after equalising the peg with a micro, the move didn't feel so bad. The rest of the route is beautiful and sustained. Jams, laybacks, roofs, jugs, kneebars, good gear and runouts - it has a bit of everything. As Ian finished leading the top scramble the heavens opened and I followed in a full blown highveld thunderstorm. It got dark and we used our headlamps to sprint the lightning-gauntlet to the safety of the gulley. It is the last route Ian and I will climb together for a while (he's immigrating). As usual, the kloofs did not disappoint.

The route was opened in '75 by Linke and Ward. They aided it and named it Rock Spirit. Ten years later a crack team of rock jocks (Smith, Schlotfeldt, Mallory and Brunke) freed it and graded it G3 (22). They were so proud of their efforts they renamed the route Alchemy. I imagine there would be some protest if the same name-change trick were tried these days. Both names seem appropriate.

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emile
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by emile » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:55 am

I love the bits of history on each route, thanks Hector!

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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by SNORT » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:11 am

Some years ago routes were renamed when they were freed. I was not party to that process as it trivialized (and still does) the vision and endeavours of the first Ascensionists. I gather the Americans started it when they renamed a route Astroman and a route The Cruise. These are two of the most famous free rock routes in the world and I have been privileged to climb both. For history see:

http://lamountaineers.org/NAC/browserf/ ... r/beta.htm
Legendary Colorado climbers Layton Kor and Larry Dalke began establishing big routes in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in 1960. By 1964, they had gravitated toward one of the biggest and most intimidating walls of all: the East Face of the Chasm View Wall. Looming above one of the easiest access gullies to the Canyon on the north side, the monolithic nature of this wall must have attracted their gaze and ambitions upon their first visits to the area. They could not have guessed, as they aided and free climbed the route using the only tools available at the time, the hammer and piton, that they were creating what would eventually become one of the finest free routes in the state. A few years after the Kor/Dalke ascent, and fresh from other successes in eliminating aid from routes in the Black, Jimmy Dunn and Earl Wiggins took a sandwich, a quart of water, and a rain jacket apiece, and boldly launched a successful, 6-hour ascent. When friends asked them about their climb later, Jimmy exclaimed "We cruised it!" It has been known as The Cruise ever since. Lessor among Colorado climbs perhaps only to a few routes on Long's Peak in quality and challenge, The Cruise, and its later four-pitch variation termed Scenic Cruise, provide varied and difficult climbing with many memorable passages. The crux finger crack, the famous Pegmatite Traverse, and a heel-hook move onto a detached flake are only some of the treats served up by this route, the overwhelming consensus as the best in the Canyon.
and

http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/ ... n-Astroman
History
I was not too happy with the route name Astroman when I first heard it. Sure, the word itself had a fabulous ring to it, but the newly named route already had a name. This was what disturbed me. Never mind that the old name was pedestrian: the East Face of the Washington Column. This was back in 1975, and the arrogant notion of re-naming a route once it had been freed was fairly new. (I’m still not thrilled by this dying trend—and pleased that Lynn Hill didn’t re-name The Nose!) And yet the climb christened Astroman, so radically different from the East Face route of 1959, perhaps demanded a new name.

When John Bachar, Ron Kauk, and John Long topped out on that afternoon a quarter-century ago, they knew they had done something remarkable—the most continuously difficult free climb in the world. Of the 12 pitches, two were easy, five were 5.10, and five were 5.11!

The original ascent, made by Warren Harding and Chuck Pratt, had been a fixed rope effort from bottom to top—a year-long adventure. In addition, the trio had used aid on virtually every pitch—probably 225 aid placements altogether. The route overhung for much of its 1100-foot height and it leaned annoyingly to the right on many pitches, making even the aid strenuous. Pratt and I, along with Eric Beck, made the fifth ascent in 1967 and used about 150 aid placements. The idea that the route would ever go free was ludicrous. Even that great crack specialist Pratt never harbored such a thought, though he did some scary and innovative 5.10 climbing on this route.
There are a lot of renamed routes in Guateng including Coffin (Now Last Rites).

I believe the original names should remain but that is history. I am not aware routes being renamed for the last decade or so. Perhaps this is a debate for another thread.

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d0nK3y
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by d0nK3y » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:46 am

There are a lot of renamed routes in Guateng including Coffin (Now Last Rites)
I'm not sure on the full history of these two routes, or how they came to be, but as far as I know, they aren't the same route.... They share the first 20m or so, and another 5m section higher up (which interestingly, is climbed in opposite directions... Up for Last Rites, and down climbed on Coffin) I don't think that can count as a name change. They are also written up separately in the RD.

SNORT
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by SNORT » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:32 pm

I was always under the impression they were the same route. Thanks for the info

Hector
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Hector » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:00 pm

Justin, I'm too lazy to start another thread so feel free to move this:

Coffin was opened in 1937 by the prolific Dick Barry (in the same year he opened Hawks Eye, Red Corner, Sepulchre and Lost Trail - all in Upper Tonquani. He died the following year on an epic attempt at Monk's Cowl in the 'berg). Evidently there was a greater tolerance for suffering in 1937 than there is now. Coffin worms its way up the bowls of the kloof, through massive piles of bat shit. It is the only 16 I've ever backed off, and it convinced me that Barry was a total badass (anyone who has climbed Red Corner would agree. It is spicey on modern gear. In 1937, with a hemp rope and stockinged feet it was world class). Coffin avoided the wild, exposed and terrifying (but much more appealing) "walk-out" roof on the outside of the buttress. It took until 1969 for the (again, prolific) Barley Brothers to brave the exposure to create Last Rites. I've often thought what must it have been like for Robin Barley to cast off across the final smooth magaliesberg quartzite traverse after that last peg. The wall seems featureless, and the further you go the bigger the swing into the corner behind you. 1968/9 were good years for the Barley brothers. Apart from Last Rites, between them they also opened The Moke, Kalahari, Matinee, Red Column Face, Short Circuit, Hourglass, Kamikaze, Black Shadow and Suicide! Makes one feel rather inadequate.

shorti
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by shorti » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:22 pm

Just for interest sake, I don't want to take anything away from anyone's achievements. I don't think anyone can safely claim an FA on The Moke. I've also spoken to an old timer about Hourglass a while back. He seemed a little peeved that the Barley brothers nicked his route. All fair in my opinion as he couldn't do the last pitch before the Barley bro's discovered it. I can understand him feeling robbed though, that's one hell of a route to put your name on. I imagine they got the FA for many routes other people have failed on. Were they not part of the Roulette opening party? Anyway, doesn't really matter, the fact is we would have been a lot poorer without them. All those routes without cams... very scary thought. I've managed to climb The Moke to about halfway up the slab without using cams, before I gave up on the idea :oops:

I agree, Dick Barry surely was a total badass! Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they invent pitons (long) after 1937? My dad said even in the days he started climbing pitons were relatively new. Before that they used wooden pegs and rocks they put in their pockets before heading up to create chock stones that they could sling.

Where's Black Shadow? I've never even heard of it.

Jeremy Samson
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Jeremy Samson » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:57 pm

Tony Barley was considered one of the best climbers in the UK in the 1960's. In 1967 came to the Cape and heard about the many unsuccessful attempts to open a line between Staircase and Jacobs. One afternoon him and his brother onsighted the traverse and overhanging crack and finished on Jacobs to open a route they called Russian Roulette. However the Mountain Club refused to recognise it as a new route since it shared the last pitch of Jacobs.

It took 2 more years , with top rope rehearsal before the route got 'officially' opened... the guy was way ahead of his time !

( ps I am pretty sure Dick Barry and Tinie Versfeld are related )

Chris F
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Chris F » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:08 am

They were both at the forefront on Yorkshire climbing in the 1960s, just have a look at the FA lists at the back of the Limestone and Gritstone Guides.

Not sure if it is common knowledge but Tony Barley moved back to Nidderdale in Yorkshire, suffered with heart disease and died after an unsuccessful heart transplant in 2009. RIP.

Stijn
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Stijn » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:14 am

Arjan is making headlines again with a recent send of Big Island (8C): http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67043 :thumleft:

Hector
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Hector » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:43 am

Andrew Porter and I did a fun little enchainment in the 'berg this weekend. We parked at Tendele on Friday night and hiked up Lion Ridge in the dark. At first light on Saturday we climbed the northern pinnacle of Eastern Buttress via Lionheart, descended into the nek and climbed Eastern Buttress proper, then climbed Devils Tooth, the Tooth Pick, North Inner Tower and Central Inner Tower where The Dark caught up with us. We bivvied there and then the next morning ticked off the South Inner Tower and then up onto the escarpment. We hiked across the top of the Amphitheatre, tagged Beacon Buttress, went down the gulley then up the Standard Route on the Sentinel. Then it was the long jog all the way back to Tendele via Witsieshoek Hotel. The round trip of 53km and 2700m vertical gain took us 41.5 hours, 14.5 of which were spent sleeping. Highlights included what we think is the second ascent of Lionheart, a death pitch to get onto the Inner Towers, and a grass-tuft-island-hopping traverse to get into the nek between the Inner Towers and the escarpment (we completely cocked up the route finding). Most of the Eastern Buttress part of the mission was onsight (we had hiked up Lion Ridge once before, and I had previously climbed Eastern Buttress via Tooth Gulley). The rules we played by were to ching-chong-cha for the first lead and swing leads all the way, and to do the entire thing on foot. Fortunately there were no potential lifts to tempt us on the grind down the dirt road from Sentinel parking to Witsieshoek Hotel. It was a fun adventure.
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The Eastern Buttress portion of the enchainment
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Warren G
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Warren G » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:51 am

Wow Hector! Well played
Sandbagging is a dirty game

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Xenomorph
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Xenomorph » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:15 am

Thanks to Justin, MCSA and sponsors for a great Rock Rally in Montagu :-)

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Justin
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Justin » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:52 am

Thanks Cormac, Delaney put in all the real work (she was the Chief Event Organiser). Looking forward to next years MRR :)

It was great to see so many people in Montagu for the event, even the weather played along with the exception of small shower.
Thanks to everyone who came out :thumleft:
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Warren G
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Warren G » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:42 am

Agreed to the above: well done Delaney on an excellent Rally. I would love to know why this year's event was so much more popular than previous- perhaps that the Cape has had many events this year and so is getting into the program better? In any event well done for coming out in numbers
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Richard
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Richard » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:01 pm

Hector, that's absolutely amazing! I struggled up to the Thukela Gorge last week and could hardly conceive of dragging my fat carcass up the Tooth Gully. You guys are certainly cranking.

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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Hilton » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:45 am

Sheez Hector and Andrew...that's incredible...! Gotta be the toughest enchainment ever done in SA. (Bobby's three routes wasn't an enchainment - although also incredible). Well done dudes, up there with the best ever, like Kevin Smith and Mike Cartwright.

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Justin
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Justin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:40 am

Juan-Dray Marshall sent El Nino this last weekend (30/8a) at Oudtshoorn.

Earlier in the month at Boven:
Marc Efune sent Welcome to Ovamboland (32/8b) and Richard Halsey sent Snapdragon (29/7c+) on his second go.
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proze
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by proze » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:45 pm

Hah, knew Richard was going to make quick work of that! And he still has two months up in the north! :thumleft:

Warren G
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Warren G » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:15 pm

Debbie and I headed off to Rocklands with weekend armed with only trad gear on a mission: to go where no climber has bothered to go before! Basically we drove along until we saw a single pitch that looked fun, then tried this and wondered around the area looking for others. As you can expect we got disappointed some times but also surprised and ultimately the weekend was a success. The point of the weekend wasn’t to bag new routes but rather to climb off the guide book. Climbers of all disciplines get very caught up in the idea of doing routes that others have done before, but if you think about it bouldering and trad owe themselves to wondering, exploring and adventure. Surely people climb to satisfy these ideals?

On day one we played in the Pakhuis pass in the morning then in the afternoon wondered east from the camp site. The later proved the best climbing as we found a great line about 15mins from camp of excellent quality. Unfortunately the wall only really offers another 2 or 3 routes of reasonable length. The line I did was about 15-18m, would go at about 21/22 and is Class!

Day two was a little more creative: we headed north, saw something amazing and tried to drive closer, but took the wrong road and ended up on probably the most northerly pass through the Cederberg. We found another large boulder field speckled with larger boulders and blocks that owed themselves well to our intentions. From the road we spied a classic splitter crack across a small valley, however when we stood at its base we realized the crack was an open book much larger than we thought: started on the large side of a BD #3 before switching over to the BD #4. Next time another #4, and perhaps a #5. Great fun! Debbie warmed us up on a neighbouring crack which slanted leftwards and went (after a random foot-popped-tumble) at about 17, and the open book might have been 18.

Guys, in your cupboards sits tools to explore, not do tick routes 100 others have done. Next time I do this I will be taking both the rack and the boulder pad as too often we came across something that we wanted to do, but lacked the right tools.
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Marshall1 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:22 pm

:idea:
Last edited by Marshall1 on Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chris F
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Chris F » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:27 am

Warren G wrote:Guys, in your cupboards sits tools to explore, not do tick routes 100 others have done. Next time I do this I will be taking both the rack and the boulder pad as too often we came across something that we wanted to do, but lacked the right tools.
True dat! Well done for getting out and exploring. There is so much bouldering and climbing in the Cedarberg other than Rocklands and the trade trad routes.

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Justin
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Justin » Fri May 18, 2012 6:19 pm

Joe Möhle has sent his project Darkest Africa on Table Mountain, estimated grade 32.
There is likely to be a second pitch (he is not sure if it goes yet)...So he is calling this one Darkest Africa: Shot in the Dark 31.

But first, his next target is Double Jeopardy by Dave Birkett (the Jimi Hendrix of trad climbing :)) at 30/31. unrepeated to date.

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Joe Möhle working his latest project on TM.... belayed by Richard Halsey.
Photo by Jonathan Joseph
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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by smityb » Fri May 18, 2012 7:31 pm

awesome send Joe!

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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Dark Horse » Tue May 22, 2012 9:49 pm

Hey Joe I'm so stoked for you well done!!! I'm a bit bummed that I wasn't home to be there watching you send you are such an inspiration. I'm bobbing around in the south China seas where the internet is painfully slow so posting this took a real effort ha.

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Re: Local climbing scene in SA - Whats happening??

Post by Justin » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:27 am

Dave Richardson got the first ascent of the 'Brouard project' 8c/8c+ at Umgeni. Paul (Brouard) sent it the next day.
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