Report – The Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge

KwaZulu-Natal’s Jason Salt and Jordan Pillay, aged 19, have emerged as the champion team in South Africa’s premier mountain climbing event, known as The Rory to the climbing fraternity.

The annual Rory Memorial Challenge attracted over 70 teams plus their supporters and was held at Rensburgkop, Swinburne and Eagle Mountain at Mount Everest near Harrismith in the Free State during the March 21 – 23 long weekend.

Challengers, ranging from U13 to Open and Masters, competed for honours in Sport Climbing, Bouldering and Mountain Trail Running or Hiking. The Rory is unique in that it is the only competition of its kind in South Africa that offers these three categories at one event. Participants tackled all three disciplines and combined, their scores to determine the winners. This year’s theme was a Festival of Fun and Competition.

This year, on the Friday, with the addition of the Mount Everest Mountain, where Sport and Trad climbing were added to the competition, the Senior and Master climbers took on this showcase for big sport climbing on its revered rock face. This brought new challenges for the organising team headed by Jacques Raubenheimer. The additions received much positive comment and many calls for these to become a firm part of future RLMC’s. Adding to the excitement, a fun-filled Burn-a-thon, open to all enthusiasts, was held at the Appin farm in the afternoon. The final obstacle was a Colour Run, which saw competitors finish festooned in a rainbow of powdered colours, there were also some green faces when it was discovered that the sweets they were mouth-fishing for in powder-filled helmets, were actually dried Mopani worms.


In the evening, climbing celebrity, Andrew Pedley, shared some of his experiences with us. Andrew, who started climbing at the age of 11 years old, is well known for rigging new routes on steep rock faces with difficulties of around 34. He may be small in size, but what a world-class climber and route builder.  He has made a considerable contribution to growing the sport in South Africa.

The Rory Memorial Challenge itself is an event for registered challengers and experienced climbers only and took place on the Saturday. All challengers set off at 8 am to the traditional fanfare and countdown.  As always, there were teams that donned costumes, continuing a tradition started by climbers Scott Sinclair and Trent Burnett so many years ago. This fun side to the challenge always provides a good laugh, even though the outfits are probably not that easy or comfortable to climb in!  This year’s winners “Pirates of the Caribiners” were photographed climbing in their outfits!

The more experienced climbers set out with the goal of adding their names to the coveted Rory Floating Trophy, alongside those of some of the country’s best-known climbers. Participants have to plan their strategies to determine which mountain or routes to climb, taking on Mount Everest or Rensburgkop and providing an exciting opportunity to see some of South Africa’s best challenging international climbers for line honours.

Safety is paramount throughout the weekend and, once again, the KZN and Gauteng Mountain Search and Rescue Teams gave up their time to be there for the safety of all climbers. The Rory could never have lasted 10 years if it were not for their presence; they deserve an accolade!

The Remembrance Gathering, where tribute is paid to fallen friends or colleagues, is always a somber but heartwarming occasion. Those attending take time to mention and speak about climbers who have left us, both within South Africa and abroad are always included. We may move on, but never forget!

The prize giving is the culmination of the weekend and gives die recognition to achievers. The task team members responsible for finalising the scores – never an easy job – sweat it out to present the final winners.  Organising stalwarts, Brian Weaver, our MC for the weekend, and Debbie Lowther handed out the numerous prizes and raffle winners from the huge offering of sponsored prizes.

Debbie thanked the volunteers, search & rescue teams and the loyal sponsors who have supported this event, some for nearly the full 10 years, such as Ram Mountain, The Mountain Club of South Africa, Mountain Pursuits, Evem Designs, Kidz ID, Nestle, Epson South Africa, Roc ‘n Rope, Montrose Protea Hotel and Complex, La La Nathi and Riverview Country Inn, Wonderwall, The Barn, Vertigo, High Altitude, DSTV, BzeroTech, Southern Rock, De Bos Guest Farm, and Mount Everest.  News sponsors for 2014:   Sports Unplugged, Red Square Energy Drink, Spar Harrismith, Aquelle, The Cavern, Wilderness Safaris, Big African Adventures, Corporate Technologies and Training Edge.
Thank you one and all, you have been great!

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014 sponsors rory lowther memorial challenge 2014 sponsors

Teams by Category Friday scores Hiking scores (Sat) Saturday scores Grand Total
Masters 40+ – Male
Old School 9 752.0 290.0 17 100.0 27 142.0
Throbbing Nostrils 6 300.0 500.0 13 725.0 20 525.0
The Geezers 6 601.0 600.0 4 800.0 12 001.0
Masters 40+ – Mixed
Suns of Pitches 5 721.5 500.0 12 405.0 18 626.5
Pirates of the Carabiners 2 541.5 433.3 5 790.0 8 764.8
The Hangdogs 0.0 650.0 4 740.0 5 390.0
Open – Male
1A2B3C4D5E 0.0 18 700.0 18 845.0 37 545.0
T & S 8 340.0 700.0 23 035.0 32 075.0
Brothers of the Rope 5 819.0 616.7 19 270.0 25 705.7
Rock-n-Fellas 4 221.0 766.7 17 540.0 22 527.7
Tegniek 0.0 500.0 19 290.0 19 790.0
Buk-en-bekruip 0.0 800.0 18 235.0 19 035.0
Fizz Bitches 4 528.0 450.0 13 250.0 18 228.0
Team Red Square 4 779.0 162.5 6 740.0 11 681.5
They 0.0 400.0 9 945.0 10 345.0
D Squared 0.0 600.0 9 180.0 9 780.0
Ginger Headbangers 0.0 500.0 5 550.0 6 050.0
Team Explo 0.0 200.0 2 340.0 2 540.0
Hentai Kamens 0.0 2 500.0 0.0 2 500.0
Open – Female
Indie & Gingie 3 588.0 6 900.0 12 405.0 22 893.0
Vicious & delicious 0.0 700.0 10 440.0 11 140.0
Return of the WhooToos 0.0 6 550.0 0.0 6 550.0
Jones & Co. 0.0 200.0 3 380.0 3 580.0
Open – Mixed
Double 29 5 725.5 333.3 24 895.0 30 953.8
Urban Spiders 7 238.5 1 040.0 17 185.0 25 463.5
Rocky Rock 0.0 250.0 18 495.0 18 745.0
Douvier 4 513.5 400.0 10 895.0 15 808.5
Jackie & Wes 0.0 13 090.0 0.0 13 090.0
Pico x 1012 0.0 300.0 12 345.0 12 645.0
Red Geckos 6 372.0 100.0 5 825.0 12 297.0
Nuts & Bolt 1 035.0 1 000.0 9 300.0 11 335.0
Hip Hop Hippies 0.0 2 400.0 6 455.0 8 855.0
Charles the V 2 869.5 200.0 3 510.0 6 579.5
Under 19 – Male
Smoking Trees & Stroking Threes 0.0 900.0 72 410.0 73 310.0
The Simples 0.0 800.0 19 875.0 20 675.0
Watermeloaans 0.0 300.0 5 760.0 6 060.0
Under 17 – Male
Them 0.0 150.0 23 590.0 23 740.0
Rocks & Stones 0.0 500.0 20 640.0 21 140.0
Flying Sandwich 0.0 1 000.0 15 880.0 16 880.0
Those 0.0 600.0 15 495.0 16 095.0
Sargeants 0.0 800.0 14 010.0 14 810.0
Insert Team name here 0.0 500.0 12 685.0 13 185.0
The Stoned Rockers 0.0 800.0 11 550.0 12 350.0
A Cat in the oven is not a Cake 0.0 8 950.0 2 050.0 11 000.0
The Spanish Inquisition 0.0 200.0 1 485.0 1 685.0
Under 17 – Female
Team Name 0.0 600.0 3 700.0 4 300.0
You’ve got to be sober to get that high 0.0 1 100.0 0.0 1 100.0
TNT 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Under 17 – Mixed
Sale 0.0 500.0 13 885.0 14 385.0
Under 15 – Male
What? 0.0 300.0 6 450.0 6 750.0
Clumsy Climbers 0.0 500.0 5 435.0 5 935.0
The Rock Pythons 0.0 250.0 2 630.0 2 880.0
Under 15 – Mixed
Mac 0.0 400.0 8 145.0 8 545.0
Under 13 – Male
Rock Rabbits 0.0 2 200.0 21 535.0 23 735.0
Where? 0.0 400.0 12 435.0 12 835.0
The Hobos 0.0 1 200.0 9 630.0 10 830.0
Rocksters 0.0 300.0 8 650.0 8 950.0
High Flyers 0.0 750.0 7 025.0 7 775.0
Team Chuck 0.0 300.0 4 310.0 4 610.0
Lightning Bolts 0.0 600.0 3 120.0 3 720.0
The Rory Cleaners II 0.0 200.0 3 520.0 3 720.0
Under 13 – Mixed
The Rory Cleaners 0.0 950.0 9 380.0 10 330.0
Super Climbers 0.0 800.0 8 625.0 9 425.0

Here is a list of the teams with their individual members’ scores (hope you don’t get too angry with your partner!):

Team Competitor Name Total points
Smoking Trees & Stroking Threes 73 310.0
Jason Salt 36 945.0
Jordan Pillai 36 365.0
1A2B3C4D5E 37 545.0
Tanner Mundell 23 905.0
Bradley Ford 13 640.0
T & S 32 075.0
Trent Burnett 17 635.0
Scott Sinclair 14 440.0
Double 29 30 953.8
Lazzie Mobau 28 423.8
Nana Mathebula 2 530.0
Old School 27 142.0
Matthew Stubbs 14 401.0
Sakkie Van Rensburg 12 741.0
Brothers of the Rope 25 705.7
Shaun Pieterse 16 624.7
Justin Jacobs 9 081.0
Urban Spiders 25 463.5
Katharina Von Ketelhodt 15 233.5
Alan Watson 10 230.0
Them 23 740.0
Antony Berry 20 020.0
Jared Parry 3 720.0
Rock Rabbits 23 735.0
Alistair Stubbs 13 360.0
Tristan Young 10 375.0
Indie & Gingie 22 893.0
Kerry-anne Stackpoole 12 221.0
Carmen Naicker 10 672.0
Rock-n-Fellas 22 527.7
Pieter Du Toit 11 773.3
Leo Kirsten 10 754.3
Rocks & Stones 21 140.0
Grivin Roering 10 740.0
Adam Findlay 10 400.0
The Simples 20 675.0
Robert Ernest Brown 11 080.0
Patrick Savage 9 595.0
Throbbing Nostrils 20 525.0
Guenther Bargon 10 560.0
Roland Magg 9 965.0
Tegniek 19 790.0
Hennie Geldenhuys 10 375.0
Jaco Laufs 9 415.0
Buk-en-bekruip 19 035.0
Michael Randall 9 925.0
Renier Raubenheiner 9 110.0
Rocky Rock 18 745.0
Micheal Diala 17 445.0
Sne Nyimbili 1 300.0
Suns of Pitches 18 626.5
Maryke Nieuwoudt 11 599.0
Greg Lawless 7 027.5
Fizz Bitches 18 228.0
Stefan Lutge 9 575.0
Donovan Hulett 8 653.0
Flying Sandwich 16 880.0
Angus Bethke 8 915.0
Matthew Adair 7 965.0
Those 16 095.0
Hilton Ford 11 075.0
Matthew Siepman 5 020.0
Douvier 15 808.5
Yan-eric Douvier 13 363.5
Melalite Ayenew 2 445.0
Sargeants 14 810.0
Luke Routier 7 405.0
Liam Riley 7 405.0
Sale 14 385.0
Dale Rosser 9 990.0
Sabrina Veiga 4 395.0
Insert Team name here 13 185.0
Sean Rudd 9 935.0
Charles Robert Young 3 250.0
Jackie & Wes 13 090.0
Wesley Steenkamp 6 600.0
Jacqueline Visser 6 490.0
Where? 12 835.0
Christopher Wallace 8 470.0
Ziyando Mchunu 4 365.0
Pico x 1012 12 645.0
Roland Fuchs 7 200.0
Annabelle Slabbert 5 445.0
The Stoned Rockers 12 350.0
Craig Smith 6 580.0
Kim Dawson 5 770.0
Red Geckos 12 297.0
Japie Venter 8 857.0
Theresa Lourens 3 440.0
The Geezers 12 001.0
Robert Sprouse 6 330.5
Roy Turner 5 670.5
Team Red Square 11 681.5
Gerhard Lamprecht 9 323.5
Colin Zietsman 2 358.0
Nuts & Bolt 11 335.0
Warren Thompson 5 667.5
Robyn Merry 5 667.5
Vicious & delicious 11 140.0
Leticia Van Greunen 6 220.0
Janize Mielmann 4 920.0
A Cat in the oven is not a Cake 11 000.0
Simon Harvey 6 400.0
Ben Pietersen 4 600.0
The Hobos 10 830.0
Nicholas Fox 5 865.0
Matt Ferguson 4 965.0
They 10 345.0
Jason Coetzee 8 935.0
Joshua Stead 1 410.0
The Rory Cleaners 10 330.0
James Glover 6 505.0
Lauren Mukheibir 3 825.0
D Squared 9 780.0
Dylan Jerg 6 705.0
Daniel Basel 3 075.0
Super Climbers 9 425.0
Kathryn Kleyn 4 800.0
Sebastian Ringrose 4 625.0
Rocksters 8 950.0
Brandon Baker 5 170.0
Connor Hensby 3 780.0
Hip Hop Hippies 8 855.0
Rudolph Boshoff 4 935.0
Inge Pietersen 3 920.0
Pirates of the Carabiners 8 764.8
Earl Astor 5 091.3
Caitlin Morton 3 673.5
Mac 8 545.0
Cayde Tappin 6 640.0
Michaela Hartshorne 1 905.0
High Flyers 7 775.0
Kieran Young 5 220.0
Matthew Houze 2 555.0
What? 6 750.0
Olwethu Mkhwanazi 4 245.0
Nicholas Dahms 2 505.0
Charles the V 6 579.5
Petra Benyei Peco 4 784.5
Tammo Toppe 1 795.0
Return of the WhooToos 6 550.0
Roxanne Steenkamp 3 275.0
Kc Lowther 3 275.0
Watermeloaans 6 060.0
Zunaid Valodia 3 280.0
Luke Davis 2 780.0
Ginger Headbangers 6 050.0
Justin Steyn 3 485.0
Mark Freeman 2 565.0
Clumsy Climbers 5 935.0
Andrew Neave 3 520.0
Luke McCubbin 2 415.0
The Hangdogs 5 390.0
James Jordan 3 830.0
Lily Jordan 1 560.0
Team Chuck 4 610.0
James Breytenbach 4 610.0
Team Name 4 300.0
Gillian Smith 2 155.0
Uvira Singh 2 145.0
Lightning Bolts 3 720.0
Alexander Bergesen 2 980.0
Spencer Terry 740.0
The Rory Cleaners II 3 720.0
James Houze 3 720.0
Jones & Co. 3 580.0
Jessica Jones 2 330.0
Alexandra Mary Plakas 1 250.0
The Rock Pythons 2 880.0
Joshua Fitzroy 1 860.0
Ross Meyer 1 020.0
Team Explo 2 540.0
Murray Von Maltitz 2 540.0
Hentai Kamens 2 500.0
Douglas Fuchs 1 250.0
Brandon Dixon 1 250.0
The Spanish Inquisition 1 685.0
Benjamin Stiller 1 685.0
You’ve got to be sober to get that high 1 100.0
Toni-ann Black 550.0
Grace Didcott-Marr 550.0

A word of thanks

First up, I just want to thank those people who helped. Despite the mistakes that I made, their inputs prevented the scoring of the 2014 Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge from being a complete fiasco. Thanks (in no particular order) to Michael Klopper, Roland Magg, Guenther Bargon, Andrew Porter, Andrew Pedley, and Brian Weaver for advice about how things were done in previous years, or suggestions about the format for this year with the extra day’s climbing. Their inputs were extremely valuable. Thanks also to Tyrone Winfield and Ralf Kötter for the help with the actual entry of the scoring. While all these people were immensely helpful, I carry the responsibility for any mistakes on my own.

An explanation and apology

At the end of the 2013 RLMC, Debbie asked me to help out the scoring. For long-time RLMC attendees, you would know that this has always been one of the most challenging aspects of the competition, and one that has led to some dissatisfaction amongst some of the challengers.

I put many hours into the process, and developed a system that would ensure the integrity of the data captured. However, not having been involved before, and despite the inputs from the people mentioned above, I failed to completely anticipate the technical challenges involved in reconciling the performance as listed on the score sheets with the requirements for selecting the winners of the various categories from the list of registered challengers. As such, mistakes were made, for which I want to accept full responsibility. In a sense, I feel that I failed at the task. We took too long, and there were some mistakes.

The results as presented here are, to the best of my knowledge, correct. I have checked and re-checked them in the time since Saturday evening. However, when the prizes were awarded on Saturday evening, not everything went as smoothly. I apologise for this. If you feel, given what you see here, that you have been hard done by, I am willing to make restitution for what you have missed out on. If you were competing for the prizes, and feel that you missed out on the prizes, I will personally reimburse you with like prizes. If you were competing for fame and glory, I will publicly sing your praises and declare your climbing prowess to the wider climbing community on the web. Please contact me if this is the case. if you were competing for the fun of it and the enjoyment of climbing, I am sure that you got what you wanted, and I share your joy with you.

I also want to note that some errors crept into the system because of the challenges involved in reconciling the information provided by the teams with the registration information. At the end of the day, I had to rely on information provided at registration by the challengers themselves, and where this information was incorrect or missing, it may also have affected the outcome. I cannot, however, take responsibility for how other people complete registration forms, nor do I feel that it is the responsibility of the organisers or the scorers to do so.

It may be scant consolation to know that I have, at least, learned from this process. I have, in project management parlance, conducted a post mortem of the scoring process, and believe that, should I ever be called on to conduct a similar exercise, I now have processes in place which will eliminate most of the errors I have found, and also allow for a much more rapid scoring system. I am also willing to share this information with others who may find themselves facing a similar task. If you’re interested, contact me.

Jacques Raubenheimer

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

The overall winners of the 2014 Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge were, as stated, Jason Salt and Jordan Pillai, Team Smoking Trees & Stroking Threes. They also won the Under 19 category.

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

In Second place were Tanner Mundell and Bradley Ford, team 1A2B3C4D5E

Third were Trent Burnett and Scott Sinclair, team T & S.

Other Winning Categories:

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

Best Ladies Team: Kerry-Ann Stackpoole and Carmen Naicker, team “Indie & Ginger”.


rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

Best Mixed Team: Lazzie Mobau and Nana Mathebula, team “Double 29”.

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

BestMasters Team: Roland Magg and Guenther Bargon, team “Throbbing Nostrils”.


rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

Hardest Boulder

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

Best Hiking Team: Jacqueline Visser and Wesley Steenkamp, team “Jackie & Wes”


rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

Best Dressed Team: Caitlin Morton and Earl Astor, team “Pirates of the Caribiners”

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

First Team Registered & Paid: Robyn Merry & Warren Thomson

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

Under 13 Winners: Alistair Stubbs and Tristan Young, team “Rock Rabbits”

Under 15 Winners:  Nicholas Dahms and Olwethu Mkhwanazi, team “What”

Under 17 Winners:  Antony Berry and Jared Parry, team “Them”

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

Under 19 Winners: Jason Salt and Jordan Pillai, team “Smoking Trees & Stroking Threes”

School 1st Place:  Kloof High School.  2nd Place: St Davids  3rd Place: St Peters

Personalities of the Decade:  Scott Sinclair and Trent Burnett.

Much to the delight of all, The Rory video, recorded back in 2007 and broadcast on DSTV’s Supersport channel nine times, was viewed again. What an inspirational video for the sport of climbing in South Africa!

To an emotional standing ovation, the Lowther family, Eric, Debbie, Gary and KC, bade farewell to one and all, thanking everyone for the support, camaraderie and friendship experienced and achieved over the past 10 years of their involvement with the climbing community in South Africa.

They committed themselves, after the tragic loss of their son and brother, Rory, to making climbing a safer sport and to work towards ensuring that formal training becomes the standard for climbing in SA. In this endeavour, they were supported by friends, members of the climbing fraternity and all who attended The Rory over the years.

Eric Lowther said: “We feel that some of those goals have been achieved, notably the compulsory wearing of helmets at The Rory Challenge.“

The after party went late into the night, making ‘The Rory’ an experience never to be missed on the sporting calendar.

What a festival of climbing skill and fun!

See for full results, scores and photos.



The Rory comp start

Having organised the event over a long weekend there will be three days to climb, chill and challenge.  Routes at Mount Everest / Eagle Mountain Harrismith (22km from Swinburne) are included in the challenge and a difficulty competition for the ‘Opens’ & ‘Veterans’ will be held on Friday 21st.  Climbing at Swinburne and/or Everest is an option on the Saturday, which will be the official challenge.

Burn-a-thon Time keeping course will be held on Friday afternoon for the less energetic who wish to have some fun and reserve their strength for the competition. 

The start of the Rory 2014 will be from Swinburne and challengers wishing to climb at Everest will be required to leave in convoy with the Search & Rescue and will get an extra hour on their time i.e. Finish at 16h00 instead of 15h00.  Registration will open at 16h00 on Thursday 20th March and close at 10h00 for the entrant to the Difficulty competition, registration will stay open until 14h00  on Friday 21st March 2014.

Entrance Fee:   Entrance Fee of R10.00 per person will be payable by non-challengers only.  Non-challengers are requested to register on-line as a non-challenger.

Challenge Fee:  R220.00 Per Person  –  2 members per team – Please register as Challengers on an individual basis.  Includes Bouldering, Sport Climbing, Hiking (Trail Running) Burnathon & Slack-lining, Safety & Rescue Training. Event T-Shirt & Goodie Bag. Register soon… Only the first 200 Paid Pre-Entries will receive TShirts and Goodie Bags. Please report with your Team member, Team name and completed documents to the TEAM Registration Desk.

For Sale:  Hoodies and Event T-Shirts will be available to purchase for non-challengers on the Saturday.

Competition format 2014:

The competition is being run asynchronously across both Swinburne and Mount Everest. This is how it works:

Day Venue Categories Format
Friday Swinburne Open (20–39 yrs)Masters (40+ yrs) Difficulty with handicap (No multipitch, no hiking points)
Mt Everest
Saturday Swinburne U13/U15/U17/U19Open (20–39 yrs)Masters (40+ yrs) Standard format (similar to previous years):No handicapHiking points awardedPoints accumulated as a function of the number, difficulty and length of routes.
Mt Everest Open (20–39 yrs)Masters (40+ yrs)

This means that schools competitors will participate in the (non-point bearing) Burn-A-Thon and Colour Run on Friday, and the standard format competition on Saturday. This competition will, because of logistical reasons, also be limited to Swinburne.

Open and masters competitors will accumulate points on both Friday and Saturday, and at both venues.

The scoring sheets have been redone to better reflect the complexities of multipitch routes, and now also include trad routes.

General administrative points:-

Competitors cannot participate in multiple categories.

Each team member is given their own score sheet (not a combined sheet per team).

Each team member must enter their registration number, team name, and cell phone number on the score sheet.

Both score sheets must be submitted for the team to qualify.

Teams are entered at the level of the oldest competitor.

Competitors must be available to provide explanations of their score sheets to the scorers after the events (Friday evening, Sat afternoon). Scorers will try to contact competitors on their cell phones. If the competitors cannot be reached, the scorers will make their own decision regarding the query which will not be reversible (you have been warned!).

Friday Difficulty Competition (Open and Masters):

Climbers must state (honestly) their hardest redpoint and onsight grades for 2013.

Climbers will then have five hours to do any four single pitch routes or boulder problems of their choice, given the following:

The focus is on quality, not quantity.

Climbers leave at 12h00, and return at 17h00, climbers wishing to go to Mt Everest may return at 18h00.

The objective is to accumulate climbs graded at or above your redpoint limit (points are awarded only for the three highest-graded routes/problems the climbers can onsight or redpoint).

Routes done below the current onsight limit will attract a 20% penalty per grade dropped. These penalties are incurred before any bonuses (see below) are added.

Bonus points are awarded for onsights (150% of the point allocation), and more points are awarded for routes done above the current redpoint grade (150% of the point allocation), and between the current redpoint and onsight grades (125% of the point allocation), than routes graded below the current onsight grade. These bonuses are cumulative, thus, (in the unlikely event that) a climber who onsights a route (e.g., worth 1000 points) above their current redpoint limit will be awarded 150% for the onsight (1500 points), and then a further 200% on top of that for being above the redpoint grade (thus 2250 points).

If less than four routes are redpointed/onsighted, the climber forfeits any points that might have been incurred for those routes (you have been warned!).

Worked example: Billy Beefcake onsighted a 25 and redpointed a 27 in 2013. His redpoint limit is thus 27, and his onsight limit is 25.

He climbs these four routes:

Route  Grade Style Route points Points scored
Slamdunk 24 Onsight 1510 80% penalty because under OS limit: 1510×80%=1208pts
150% bonus for onsight: 1208×150%=1812
Draw From the Hip 25 Onsight 1630 No penalty
150% bonus for onsight: 1630×150%=2445
Grimly Fiendish 26 Onsight 1550 No penalty
125% bonus for between OS&RP limits: 1550×125%=1937.5
150% bonus for onsight: 1937.5*150%=2906.25=2906
Swiss Cheese 28 Redpoint 2350 No penalty
200% Bonus for being above RP limit: 2350*200%=4700
No onsight bonus
Total: 11863pts

Some pointers about this example. It is unlikely that a climber will achieve such a selection of routes (onsighting three hard routes, one at, and one above, his current onsight limit, and redpointing a route above his redpoint limit). It is quite conceivable that climbers might outdo themselves and improve either their onsight or their redpoint limits, but would be very suspicious indeed if they far exceeded both.
Furthermore, points are not allocated only on grade. Not all 28s are equally long, and onsighting a long 28 will be much harder than onsighting a short 28, and so will be rewarded with more points. Thus choose your routes very carefully.

Sat: Standard competition (all categories)

The second day (Saturday) will follow the usual format. Climbers will leave at 08h00, and return at 15h00 (climbers going to Mt Everest must pass the gate checkpoint at Mt Everest by 15h30).

The objective is to score as many points as possible, accumulating points for all climbs done, regardless of grade, and regardless of current climbing ability (i.e., no bonuses are awarded, and no penalties incurred, for climbing at a certain difficulty level). Bonuses are awarded for onsights at any grade. Points are also awarded for locations reached (i.e., hiking points), and points are awarded for multipitch routes as well (each pitch completed will earn points). Climbers may climb routes that they have already climbed on the Friday, but they will obviously not be able to get the onsight bonus for those routes.


Registrations are coming in fast and furiously, the early birds have booked up the 2 sleeper accommodation and the T-Shirts design is looking good!  If you still thinking about it, we would love you to join us for the 10th Anniversary!

Having organised the event over a long weekend there will be three days to climb, chill and challenge.  Routes at Mount Everest / Eagle Mountain Harrismith (22km from Swinburne) are included in the challenge and a difficulty competition for the ‘Opens’ & ‘Veterans’ will be held on Friday 21st.  Climbing at Swinburne and/or

Everest is an option on the Saturday, which will be the official challenge.  The Burn-a-thon Time keeping course will be held on Friday afternoon for the less energetic who wish to have some fun and reserve their strength for the competition.

The start of the Rory 2014 will be from Swinburne and challengers wishing to climb at Everest will be required to leave in convoy with the Search & Rescue and will get an extra hour on their time i.e. Finish at 16h00 instead of 15h00.  Registration will open at 16h00 on Thursday 20th March and close at 14h00 on Friday 21st March 2014.

Please make note of the following:-

·         Only the first 200 Paid and Pre-Registered entries will qualify for an event T-Shirt and a Goodie Bag… So register soon!
·         Entries must please be done on-line.  Click HERE to register on-line… don’t leave it until the last minute! On-line entries will close on Wednesday 19 March at 09h00.      A R25.00 penalty will be charged for late-entries.  Please do not email or fax your entry form.

·         Extra T-Shirts, Hoodies, Route Guides and Climbing equipment and accessories will be on sale.
·         ID Bands must be worn for the duration of the weekend, this is for control and for security purposes. R50.00 Spot Fine if anyone is caught not wearing an ID Band.
·         Indemnity Forms  to be signed, completed and emailed or brought to registration. Parents/Guardian need to sign if you are under 21.
·         Proof of payment of accommodation must please be produced at registration. Campers must display camping permits on their tents.
·         Accommodation and camping fees must be pre-paid, marshals will be entitled to request receipts for camping.
·         Gate Entrance of R10.00 per non-challenger to be paid at registration to qualify for the Lucky Draw.
·         Helmets are COMPULSORY – No Helmet No Climb (Helmets will be on sale or to rent) and you need to bring along your own climbing equipment.
·         Stand a chance of winning some awesome prizes in the Rory Raffle – Raffle tickets R10,00.
·         ONLY Registered challengers may climb or boulder between 08h00 and 16h00 on Saturday 22nd March.  Challengers will have the ‘right of way’ during the difficulty comp.

·         Click HERE to order food and save yourself the hassle of cooking !!
·         Anyone can Sponsor the event – Sponsorship from R500.00, and your logo will be on the goodie bag and the cover of the Route Guide. Deadline is Friday 7 March.
·         Please we NEED Prizes – if you have contacts or can arrange some cool prizes no matter how big or small, let us know or bring them along.
·         For route information and photos see
·         Inappropriate Team Names and foul language will not be accepted – The registration team will ask you to change your Team Name should they find it not suitable.
·         Prize Categories include Under 13 / Under 15 / Under 17 and Under 19 Boys and Girl, Open, Veteran 40+. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Overall, Best Ladies, Mixed, Veteran,

Hiking, Hardest Climb, Hardest Bouldering Problem. Age is determined by the older team member.  Other prize categories:-  Best Dressed Teams 1st, 2nd and 3rd, First Team registered and paid, Best Team Name, Personality 2014, Youngest and Oldest Challengers and last team home.  Also spot prizes galore!

·         Remember to bring along your camera… and warm clothes, it can get cold and the weather is sometimes unpredictable.
·         Please consult the website for further information, rules and programme of events, as well as alternative accommodation in the area.
·         Contact us should you require further information.

We look forward to seeing some new face and some of the original attendees at The Rory 2014


Debbie, Eric & The Team
083 378 2272
013 741 1198


You are invited to be part of The 10th Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge Experience.

The Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge consists of Bouldering, Rock Climbing & Hiking/Trail Running held in Swinburne, Harrismith, South Africa.  Over the past 9 years, the challenge has attracted families as well as the young, old and enthusiastic climbers and spectators annually.  We would like to see as many of the previous attendees as possible to make this a reunion and celebration.

The event will be held on the 21-23 March 2014 and will include climbing routes at Little Everest for the more senior climbers.
Details on the format to follow.
Meals are available for those not wanting to self-cater.  Camping and accommodation is available.  However, the two sleeper rooms at Appin Farm are fully booked.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information.

We look forward to your involvement in The 10th Rory Experience.

Debbie, Eric & The Team
083 378 2272

rory lowther memorial challenge 2014

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4 Responses to Report – The Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge

  1. Deon Feb 4, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Is Little Mount Everest and Eagle mountain the same placce? It will be awesome to climb there as part of the rory!

  2. Niel Feb 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Hi is there anyone that will come back Sunday morning 9:00am the 23rd of march after the Rory

  3. Niel Feb 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    to Bloemfontein?

  4. sean Feb 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Awesome event !
    Can recommend.

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