Probably due to acute narcissism combined with the consumption of beer, a beautiful cocktail I might add, the decision was reached that these thoughts need to be put down on paper. That others might not be entertained is of no consequence, this is for our own amusement.
These ramblings you read here are all ours, these tales are the SWAK Chronicles.
Sometimes they’re even true.
Click – “We are at the top of second pitch, where are you guys at?” Shouts the little radio dangling from my harness. Click – “Um. We’re about to send the third person up to try the first pitch.” There’s no need for the airwaves anymore, as the screams of laughter floating around the corner is all the answer I need.
We rolled into camp the night before in a cloud of dust and that white, powdery plumage from the trees in bloom. The Boy being constantly sick in the bushes since we got onto the dirt track which meant we made real good time. Said he felt it coming since the Thursday morning, but we think its the BP shop pie he got at Klapmuts. At least it got him bumped up from economy class at the back of the king cab. The Driver just bought it and clearly expressed no desire to sell it so soon – (selling the vehicle obviously being the only way to remove the smell of vomit from the standard car interior).
At the campsite the whiskey and beer emerges and the war talk begins. OK, so where do we start? The Driver and the Instigator will be roping up for the classic Celestial Journey, leaving myself, the Canadian and the Boy in the second team. Whats the biggest cam we have? No. 4? Seems its settled then, we’ll start with Energy Crisis.
Standing below the prow the next morning one can’t help but get psyched at the prospect of entering the vertical on that feature. This inevitably leads to the discussion surrounding who gets to have the honour of leading the first pitch. Hell, its an offwidth, what do we know about those? This meant that all three of us wanted this one, but three people on lead makes maneuverability difficult.
So a gentlemanly duel of Ching, Chong, Cha ensued. This is an ancient way of settling disputes, originally used by the peaceful Ming Dynasty and brought to South Africa and the rest of the world via the spice route of the old Dutch VOC and still very much integral to the decision making policies locally. Anyway, yours truly won, my Jedi powers being stronger ’cause I’m older than the other two.
Your hero proceeds to get himself a whole two meters off the ground, before having my foot wedged into the crack and my body turning the other way makes my knee feel like a coke bottle top unscrewing. A general retreat ensues and I get to sit at the bottom and watch – the SWAK rules clearly state that the lead must now be handed to someone more competent. I didn’t even make it to the actual climbing. The Canadian gets handed the gear as the Boy is still feeling wobbly from the previous nights screaming at the moon. In a flash the Canadian floats up to the fixed nut inside the unholy offwidth and she then proceeds to fight herself up the middle of the damn thing, almost to the cam placement, but attempts at getting into the layback stops all progress. Back to ground floor and the Boy grabs the gear to see if he can somehow ascend this thing.
Its at this point that my little radio pipes up with the other two around the corner from us asking a progress report. “This is pretty embarrassing” I think as the Boy doesn’t seem all too sure of himself. We might need to scurry away with our tail between our legs on the first morning already, that’s not good at all. We can’t brag about any of that (Women, money and fame being the only reasons to climb – in that order).
However the Boy sets off and staying out of the crack trap, just floats up it laybacking. After setting up the anchor at the ledge, he brings us up with what appears to be a “That’s not hard bitches” expression.
And the truth is, when the code is cracked and you go up second, it isn’t hard.
SWAK head cheerleader