I first met Dylan at Strubens Valley early last year. He was climbing with his dad, Jurgen, who had recently introduced him to the sport so I asked him if he would like to join other climbers his age.
His main sport, at that time, was tennis and he was a force to be reckoned with on the court.
Within weeks of joining the other climbers, Dylan showed that he was in a class of his own. His love of climbing and his mental toughness is something I wish I could ‘bottle’ and pass on to other climbers. He will try anything.
He had climbed at Strubens and Chosspile but when we took him to Boven, early last year, he was like a child on Christmas morning. He was first up and out in the crags and last to come back in the evening.
Because of his absolute enthusiasm and love of the rock, he has made many climbing friends. Many who have taken him under their wings and actively encouraged him.
On our recent trip to Boven, winter this year, Andrew Pedley asked him if he wanted to help bolt a line… Dylan couldn’t sleep! 🙂 Andrew’s influence has been incredible and I can’t thank Andrew enough for what he has done.
Dylan recently broke the two minute mark in the 800mts – by sheer determination and dedication.
He goes to Nothcliff High School, grade 11 and is keen to become a mechanical engineer or study geology (I think that’s Andrew’s influence) J
Dylan is a breath of fresh air, a young climber who is much more than just talented; he has a good sort of psyche, driven by genuine love of the outdoors and love of the rock. Sending big numbers and being the best are not what drives him; but he will achieve both as a consequence of his passion – I think this is a characteristic of all the best climbers, certainly the ones who last. I look forward to climbing more with him, its always so much fun, and soon enough he will be giving the beta!
Been climbing? 2 years now
Climb ZA: How did you start climbing?
I tried climbing with my dad a few times at Strubens valley when I was younger, but then I saw the DVD King Lines and I was hooked!
Climb ZA: Where are you from?
There’s no burger like a Joburger
Climb ZA: What work do you do?
I’m a scholar, but I work part time at Wonderwall climbing gym now. Thanks Pasha!
Climb ZA: When did you start taking climbing seriously and why?
I had been climbing with my dad and his friends, but then I met Jackie Stainton at Strubens about a year and a half ago and she was looking for climbers for her Wonderwall team. Once I started training with her and the team I was hooked
Climb ZA: We know you Sport Climb a lot, do you boulder or Trad as well?
I love bouldering but unfortunately don’t get the opportunity very often, only once this year on rock. I haven’t been tradding yet but I will one day with my dad
Climb ZA: What hard routes have you done this year?
I think hard is subjective. Every time I climb one of my projects it’s hard for me!. But some of my most memorable climbs this year are:
Lotters Desire (28)
Stitch it (29/30)
And my own project that I opened at Boven Condor (28)
Climb ZA: Tell us how this year’s climbing season has been for you?
It’s only my second year but it’s been fantastic and I have achieved all my goals so a great year, capped by being invited on the Rock and Road!!
Climb ZA: Who do you climb with most of the time?
The Mountain Monks! The most hardcore, handsome young bold climbers…… Actually they’re my dad and his friends that are 40+, bald and drink too much. But they are still hard core climbers!
Climb ZA: Do you find it more motivating to climb with people who are better or worse than you and why?
I climb with both, but I definitely get more psyched climbing with better climbers then me like Paul (Bruyere) etc. They make me warm up on a (grade) 24 and make me try really hard stuff.
Climb ZA: What has made differences to your climbing?
I don’t train that much, my dad reminds me that I’m still young! I just hop on the wall for 10 minutes after my shift at Wonderwall for training and I run for fitness. We have a set of rock rings at home that I try and train on a few times a week and of course try and get on the rock once a weekend. My real training will start happening soon!
I just eat all the normal stuff a 17 year old eats, but I do try and eat as healthy as possible. I have stopped drinking a lot of alcohol since I started climbing hard this year. I think that really helps though.
No real routine at the moment, though my dad has worked a program for me for next year.
Do you warm up?
Yes, I try too to avoid flash pump. Most of the time I warm up on the project that I’m working whilst putting up the draws or just climbing the first 3 bolts.
Climb ZA: What is you hardest onsight?
I’ve onsighted a 25 and quite a few 24’s
Climb ZA: What gets you physced?
Watching climbing movies because it shows me what’s possible
Climb ZA: Top 3 routes this year?
Stitch It (29/30), Acromax (29) and Condor (28)
Climb ZA: Toughest route this year and why?
Lotters Desire (28), at the time it was such a mental block for me and was my dads friends dream climb (Gary Lotter, who bolted it!). It was a real mental breakthrough for me.
Climb ZA: Where have you been climbing this year?
Not too many places unfortunately (the life of a scholar I guess!), mostly Chosspile and Boven, but Boven’s all I need.
Climb ZA: Favourite Sport area?
Oudtshoorn, that limestone is awesome!
Climb ZA: Do you prefer short or long routes and do you climb much multipitch?
I love the longer routes as there’s more of a sense of achievement when you top out, but it’s hard not to try a short hard route that you can get quickly. I love multi pitch routes at Eagle Mountain and Swinburne. Eagle’s head (Power Pigeon) with my dad was one of my best route’s ever.
Climb ZA: Do you Trad climb? And if not would you consider it?
At the moment I’m a little scared of trad climbing, maybe when I’m older and braver like the mountain Monks.
Climb ZA: Do you do any other sports?
I love tennis and athletics. I play first team tennis for Northcliff High and run for the team.
Climb ZA: What do you do in your spare time?
I sleep a lot, am learning to play the guitar and watch Dragon Ball Z
Climb ZA: What is the biggest Epic you’ve had?
I haven’t really had one yet to be honest. So far so good.
Climb ZA: Who is your hero?
Chris Sharma and Spiderman. They both get hot chicks in the end.
Climb ZA: Tea or Coffee?
Coffee and never decaf
Climb ZA: Have you opened any routes… what / where?
Yes just one, ‘Condor’ (28) at Boven. Andrew Pedley taught me how to bolt the route, it was great climbing with him.
Climb ZA: What projects are you working (Boulder / Sport / Trad)?
I really want to climb Snapdragon and Fossil Fuel.
Climb ZA: What are your goals for next year ?
I just want to keep the psyche going, climb as much as I can and get through school. Oh yeh and go to the World Youth Champs in Austria in August.
Climb ZA: Favourite food?
It’s a tossup between Lasagne and toasted Tuna mayo
Climb ZA: how much do you weigh?
Climb ZA: Have you climbed overseas?
Not yet in fact never even been overseas. But hopefully next year! I would love to climb in Spain to see the top climbers, awesome rock and hot Spanish chicks (rock climbing of course).
Climb ZA: If you could climb anywhere in SA, where would you go?
I love Boven but I would go to Oudtshoorn because it’s the closest I imagine Spain would be.
Climb ZA: How has your competition climbing been going?
It’s been really fun, just a pity that I suck at competition climbing. Jackie ,Paul Bruyere and my dad have helped me a lot, but I suck at the pressure thing.
Climb ZA: You’re going to be competing on the Rock and Road this year… what are you expecting from the event?
YOH….. So excited! It’s crazy really. I expect it to be inspiring and finger hurting stuff, I’ve never climbed for that many days in a row before. I’m just really excited to see and climb withthe best climbers in the country all climbing together. It’s a real privilege and I intend to make the most of the opportunity
Climb ZA: Are you sponsored? If so who?
My dad and his 2 friends Chris and Nigel have started an import company (Vertical World). They have bought a shoe re-soling company, are bringing in Austri Alpin gear, Rock Pillar shoes, Ocun harnesses and chalk etc. They are sponsoring me my gear. Apparently I have to be some sort of ambassador for them and climb hard and things like that. I hope my dad doesn’t take my shoes away if I don’t send anything… !?
Climb ZA: How fast can you run 800 meters??
1min 59sec. I achieved my running goal this year and got full colours for athletics YAY 🙂
Climb ZA: Are you a Pirate or a Ninja?
I am still currently a pirate in training to be a Ninja!