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A few highlights from the SA leg of the BMC/MCSA Exchange Meet: Feb-Mar 2016

In about October, getting the list from the BMC of Brits who had been selected to come on the BMC/MCSA Exchange Meet and thinking “Oooo fok they climb hard”.
BMC MCSA South Africa Exchange. Photo by Julia Wakeling

In about October, getting the list from the BMC of Brits who had been selected to come on the BMC/MCSA Exchange Meet and thinking “Oooo fok they climb hard”.  Followed shortly by a bunch of very psyched emails from all those said Brits.  And so the psyche began!

An extremely festive Wolfberg:
Emma Twyford, Johann Lanz and I were on Wolfgang, followed by Tinie Versveld, Alex Bester and Adam Roff.  Candice Bagley and Tess Fryer were on Celestial Journey to our right, followed by Douw Steyn, Illona Pelser and Charlie Standing.
Clinton Martinengo and Pete Robbins were opening a new line (Wolf of Wall Street) right of that.  Warren Gans and Jimmy Marjot were finding their way on the last pitch of Alone in Space.  Gosia Lipinska, Marian Penso and Sophie Whyte were topping out on Energy Crisis… with Snort, Garvin Jacobs and Ben Heason close behind.  Of course Ben had to do a flag on the last pitch.

BMC MCSA South Africa Exchange
Ben Heason being casual on the airy second last pitch (21) of Whinge at Wolfberg.


Sunset time on Tafelberg:

We were only there one day so everyone made the most of it. George North, Warren Gans and I got in routes on the main wall (Baboon Speak, 21), the Black Ice Wall (Kif, 22), the decent gully (Human Highway, 22) and the Pillar Box (Woodrow 18 and another 19). Sunset at the Pillar Box was high energy.  Steve Mcclure opened the final unclimbed corner (the NE arête) with Squeaks cleanly following.  Pete Robbins and Hector Pringle raced in for a fading light ascent of Red Letter Box (24) on the SW corner and multiple people (Louis Louw, us and Emma Twyford) did the slightly confusing Woodrow (18?!) on the NW corner.  Most of us made the sunset terrace in time to see the green flash of sunset accompanied by a few savoured sips of whiskey and good chatter.

BMC MCSA South Africa Exchange
Steve Mcclure opening the final unopened corner of the Pillar Box (NE arete) at Tafelberg. He looked relieved when he got to easier ground 🙂

 

80s day on Table Mountain:
I must say, I rather enjoy tights and my, oh my, there were a lot of very fine legs in tights. Highlights were watching Steve Mcclure flash Triple Jeopardy and Emma Twyford onsight No Longer at Ease (25).

Sophie Whyte taking a rather long fall off No Longer At Ease (25), then lowering, pulling the rope, having a rest and red pointing on her second go…never having been on the crux.
Very inspiring stuff chica!

BMC MCSA South Africa Exchange
Ben Heason loving Africa Arete (25) on TM

 

Steve Mcclure South African Climbing
Have a read of what Steve thinks about climbing in South Africa!!


Exceptional Blouberg
:
What a treat of a weekend.  The weather was perfect with a partly overcast first day so everyone could get up the wall without actually turning into Pink Pomes.  People got a little bit lost, but not too lost, so got a flavour of the place without having any epics.

The finale of the trip for me really was cruising up the Last Moon/Moonraker linkup (19) in four and a half hours with Ben Heason and George North.  George pulled around a corner to follow the pitch out of the bivvy cave and proclaimed “Holy crap, Ben didn’t place any gear!”  Those Brits hey.  Topping out at noon it almost felt like a rest day.

BMC MCSA South Africa Exchange
George North leading an excellent 19 corner on the Last Moon/Moonrake linkup

 

Snort Blouberg
Charles (Snort) on ‘Dream of White Dogs’ pitch 4.

The overall highlight has to be the extreme psyche, energy, drive, enthusiasm and positive vibes from everyone involved including the sponsors:

The joy is, this was just the first half.

The second half will be in the UK from 29th April – 10th May… and I’m not organising it 🙂

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