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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:42 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
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has anyone climbed this very obvious crack on the north-east side of the spout about 10 minute walk from the cave on the way to the drip.

No cairn and seemed unclimbed. Brilliant 40m pitch of consistent 20/21 steep cranking.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:35 pm 
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That looks a lot like the line I bliksemed off about 5 years ago. I was pretty sure it was Mike Scott's route Solitaire.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:03 am 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
Yep that's Solitaire - *** grade 19 according to the guidebook. Shorti, hope you feel better now that you know you fractured your wrist on a ***** grade 21 :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:06 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Yep it is Solitaire. I would give it 5* actually and grade 20. It is only 21 (or a bit bouldery) off the ground for shortish people.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:42 am 
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Yes, the climbing is great, I would have liked it if I could find more gear though. Sarel fell off twice before he could get any gear in. I came off at that long tufa feature just below the big bulge at the top and ended up where the grey rock at the bottom and orange rock meets. Well done on the climb Snort.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:57 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
That is a biggy fall. Did you break something? If you ever do it again, there is a small black alien placement and you can hang slings on some horns...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:16 am 
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Yeah it is the only fall that I blanked out completely. I fractured a little bone in my left wrist and sprained both wrists (it was an upside-down fall). Thinking back, the worst "injury" was breaking my confidence :)

I didn't have aliens. At the time, I was climbing with the previous generation friends only. I did find a small placement (small oval pocket) just below that tufa. I had to dig it out of the mud. I cleaned it as well as I could, but the cam still slipped out. I can't remember the horns, but it might be because we don't have so much of that where I cut my teeth.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:40 am 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
mike scott probably did not have any aliens for the opening ascent :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:51 pm 
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Mike Scott may or may not have done it ground up on-sight. Nevertheless, Mike was a pretty good climber in his day. Also the gear placements with slings and nuts are actually OK. The Alien was nice to have but not essential.

The hardest moves for me were the first few metres off the ground. Taller people would find it less demanding.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:24 pm 
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Real Name: phlip olivier
@Snort. Mountain Music is such a cool name, you'll have to open a line appropriate for the name.
I'll climb it just for the name.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:24 pm 
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If I recall correctly, Mike opened it in a snowstorm, with seconds unable to follow. Hence the name. I have done it a couple of times and agree that it is a fine route. Definitely not 21 though.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:27 am 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
oh great! mike scott opened this line in a snow storm without any micro cams and wearing old-school hard rubber climbing shoes. we're officially wimps.... :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:55 am 
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....and he graded it 19, while one of SA's most seasoned trad climbers reckons it's 20/21 :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:05 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Indeed. Well done Mike.

Grading is contextual and one should never grade a route unless it is on-sight and then later verified and done in average conditions. And when I say on-sight, I mean just that. No beta, not gear info etc. I have already potentially made the route easier by mentioning the slings and the small cam.

In the context of Tafelberg, that route in such a remote setting with somewhat tricky gear and potentially big falls is 20 on-sight.

I could mention that I am not particularly fit having returned from school holidays where i did not climb at all for 3 weeks and also that I was rather tired having done Baboon Speak , Sly and Slinky and got myself completely pumped out on Drool Rock Worm just before this route. So maybe I found it a little harder than if I was fresh.


Nevertheless, it is a gem!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Just pulling your pisser Snort.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:29 pm 
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Below is of Leonhard Rust leading Solitaire with me belaying him in December 1992 when we were both helping at the Rock Climbing base during a Cederberg Scout Adventure camp.

I opened Solitaire in 1965, and as Richard observed in his response, it was bitterly cold.
The article on it is in the 1965 MCSA Journal page 108.

I slipped off the first moves on the 1st pitch which Leonhard is doing in the picture, and so started on the left and traversed in about 3 metres up.
Then at the crux moves I hammered in more than 1 piton as I was so nervous.
No one else in the party was prepared to follow me, so I abseiled from the big ledge, then we walked back around to do the top pitches.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:14 pm 
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So the story unfolds. There is a cairn to the left of the start which is where you must have started. The direct start is bouldery esp if u are short.

There are good nut placements most of the way but pegs do make sense in those days. You probably hammered one in where a small Alien now fits.

So that route is some 49 years old! Wow. It is indeed a classic. Well done Mike.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:38 pm 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
MIKESCOTT wrote:
I opened Solitaire in 1965...


Q: What shoes were you wearing?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
mind boggling what you guys did back in the day with limited gear....
here be sarel seemonster taking the 1st pitch lead; and shorti after his epic neerbliksem. we were climbing on the other side of the spout when we heard his roar echo through the valleys. i knew it was either a monster fall or finally discovering that i had eaten all his zoo cookies....
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seemonster solitaire.jpg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:27 pm 
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Real Name: Deon van Zyl
Well Charles that leaves us having to find another new route to aptly name 'Mountain Music'.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Well it could have been One Helluva Good Time. But there is more music out there


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:20 pm 
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Real Name: Richard Halsey
For those who care about the history of piles of stones in the wilderness, I built a cairn to the left in 2012, and assuming it is the same one, it also marks the start of Pinstripe Sweet (23). An elegant route following a water streak, but lacking in both holds and gear. It sounds like Solitaire is the preferable outing.

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