Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

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AlvinWood
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:54 pm
Real Name: Alvin Wood

Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby AlvinWood » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:15 pm

Looking for one of my old routes: I climbed in the Magaliesberg in the 70s and early 80s did a few new routes but one that comes to mind is Fallen Angel. I remember a long debate at MCSA on whether it was acceptable to place a bolt (by star drill) on the long crux second pitch. It must have been the one of the first bolts in the Magaliesberg. I thought it was a supperb route but I was wondering if anybody has repeated it, what grade was it, have there been variations on the theme, and where was it?
Alvin

Stephen
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:16 pm

Re: Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby Stephen » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:00 am

My friends and I from the Wits University Mountain Club climbed a route called Fallen Angel "back in the day" (mid-90's). I remember it being about grade 21, and on the escarpment slabs of Magaliesberg's Dome, but a very awesome route. I remember being thankful for the bolt, but didn't investigate at the time whether it was completely necessary or not. Thanks for the reminder, and well done for putting up such a great route.

stuart
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:52 pm
Real Name: Stuart Brown

Re: Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby stuart » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:57 am

Hi Alvin, way back in the mid 80's I climbed "Fallen Angel". It was the third or fourth ascent. Awesome route!!! I needed two goes at it before the very sweet send a year to the day after my first attempt. My first attempt wasn't planed at all! I wouldn't even have thought of leading it. The two Tony's, Mersa and Maddeson were heading off to do it and I asked if I could join them as a trusty second. Well when we arrived at the very imposing wall the two Tony's decided that they were not up to it and bailed, they both took a look at me and I fell for it, there was no way I was going to say no and I had had quite a successful morning so felt strong and cocky! Well to cut a long story short I got up to the top crux and took a huge whipper, 15m! I ripped 4 pieces and finally a Nr 1 Rock held. Unfortunately I grabbed the rope on my way down and needed to have my hand stitched up. Exactly one year later I returned with Darrell Margetts and sent it.

Now, I remember clipping fixed gear just after the stance before the rail out left, maybe a bolt or peg. Once the climbing really started it was all clean, so I'm not sure where that bolt is, it would be a pity if it was on the cruxes after the rail. The route is at Dome.

I have been climbing now for over 30 years and this route stands out as one of the best experiences, thanks!

Stu Brown

stuart
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:52 pm
Real Name: Stuart Brown

Re: Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby stuart » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:01 am

Sorry

I remember the names of Kevin Smith, George Malory, Snort and maybe Mike Brunka popping up as possible ascents, not sure who was the first though.

Richard
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:56 pm

Re: Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby Richard » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:20 pm

Didn't Russ Dodding open another line next to Fallen Angel? In the early 90's?

AlvinWood
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:54 pm
Real Name: Alvin Wood

Re: Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby AlvinWood » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:56 pm

Thanks All: I'm really pleased you folks got has much pleasure as I did out this gem of a route.

Stuart: I definitely did the first ascent with Clive Ward in and around 1980, though I'm sure Kevin Smith, Snort (Charles) and George and the Wits gang et all would have been quick to repeat it.

Richard: I remember in correspondance with Russ that he'd done the route and raved about it, thought it on of the top 40 routes in SA. It seemed likely that a direct start or finish would naturally be added on the zig or the zag, perhaps he did that. I'd also done a route on the prow to the left called Beelzibub at about the same grade and I think I recall weighting the rope on the crux, perhaps he freed that?

Stu: Impressed by your lob from the top crux truly a Fallen Angel. It would have made a great photo of you tumbling down that sweep of rock. I remember when I led it with the knowledge that the pitch (160ft) was potentialy longer than the rope and worrying that I'd reach a hard move and run out of rope. Oh! The bolt was before the traverse.

Stephen: Yes it is truly an awesome route. I've been climbing since I was 16 and am now 65 and I don't know that I've climbed a more perfect route. As I recall the first pitch of 100ft sets the scene for that wonderfully sustained pitch, huge sweep of perfect rock intersperced with a number of crux moves with only adiquate but solid protection. Ah yes its all coming back now.
Thanks fellas I'm honoured

Hilton
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby Hilton » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:39 pm

Hello Alvin
I'm not sure that we ever met but I remember hearing about you when my buddies Chris Lomax, Dave Cheesmond, Kevin Smith and others were living in Joburg.
I'm surprised you're so long in the tooth. Just the other day I was paging through Bristow's book Mountains of Southern Africa and I saw some pictures of you looking like a strong, tanned young guy!
all the best
Hilton Davies

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AndrewP
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Looking for a 'Fallen Angel'

Postby AndrewP » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:23 pm

I have been wanting to climb Fallen Angel for years. Now that access to the Dome cliffs is sorted again, I hope to get onto it soon. From below, it looks amazing.

A few years later, more bolts were added and a route Devils Advocate used these to skip the traverse into the crack after the Fallen Angel bolts. I have no idea of the state of any of these bolts, or if they are indeed needed anymore now that we have micro cams at our disposal.

Beezelbub is still listed in the guide as 17A1, so it looks like it has not been freed yet.


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