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Rocklands: Legacy

Fred Nicole Rocklands

Via Fred Nicole on Instagram:

Yesterday I was finally able to finish a project that had many up and downs like seldom in my life. 2014 I saw this beautiful line and with Joe we started looking at the movements. 2015 Sean asked Cape Nature Conservation for permission to bolt and I started seriously working on it.

The route has 2 parts: a really hard boulder on tiny slick holds, followed by an easier but sustained section to the top. I started to understand the moves of the boulder section but wasn’t able to put it together. The following season was my best and I did the route in two sections.

2017 and 2018 I was struggling to do the moves due to a hip problem, so that I spend a lot of time finding solutions that worked with an handicap. November 2018 I had a hip replacement as even walking was getting impossible without pain. When I came back this year I didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised to see that my flexibility was back and I could do the moves again.
But there was something lacking and one day when I was working on the route with Joe and Kaddi, she proposed a slightly different version that made the first section possible again. On my best go I fell just after the crux section, and was able to do it till the top. Unfortunately the following tries didn’t go well. When Giuliano asked me if I mind him trying the route I sincerely didn’t know what to answer. In my generation it’s not usual to try somebody’s project till the person does it or gives it free.
In the same time I didn’t feel like telling somebody I know since he was born, and that I respect for his performances, not to try it. I let the decision to him and wished him sincerely luck if he would go for it! A few days later “Legacy“ was born!
Yesterday the weather was on my side and with a cold wind I was able to link both sections together and do this personal challenge. I’m not interested in the controversy this route has built. The important things for me remain respecting the ethics, the people, the nature, the rocks and staying open for constructive discussions as we can all learn from each other and keep having fun! @fiveten_official @blackdiamond @e9clothing_official @climbskinspain #rocklands #bouldering


View this post on Instagram

“Legacy” (9a/5.14d) FA Since my first trip to Rocklands, I’ve always admired this beautiful and unique wall on top of Roadside. This year I improved my climbing vision, and when I stood again underneath the wall I felt a strong desire to climb it. I knew that Fred was trying it, so I asked if I could join the game. He allowed me so, and I was happy with his response. A week later, after three days of work, I could climb the route for its first ascent. Two days later, Fred sent me a cheerful message saying that he had finally done it! His beta is harder than mine because he can’t use a left heel hook, so I was very impressed and inspired by his ascent. Fred is a very humble person and before I climbed the route he didn’t tell me how close he was to send it. I am very happy for him, and since he’s put a lot more effort than me, it seems correct from my side to share the first ascent. Rocks have been there forever, which means that first ascents are important only because the name of the climber will be attached to the climb he’s done first. In this situation Fred deserves more credits than me, and I’m happy to share this with him, who’s been one of my hero’s since I started climbing! Side note: in my generation we tend not to close projects anymore, rocks are free and everyone is able to enjoy them. I found and cleaned a lot of beautiful boulders, and I always shared them with other climbers. My goals are simple: try hard, have fun and inspire people to find and share all the beautiful rocks the world has to offer. In my opinion this is the best way to progress our sport, by working as a team instead of competing against each other. I hope many climbers of every generation share this opinion 🙌

A post shared by Giuliano Cameroni (@giuliano_cameroni) on


  1. fred nicole is such a legend. as a climber and a person. also nice to have our first 9a!

  2. A pity Fred did not get the FA. I find the justification logic used by the first ascensionist as vacuous and conceited, for me it boils down surrendering to instant gratification rendering his ascent however impressive as reprehensible and empty.

  3. You should respect someone else’s project enough to not even ask, and if you do get on it for a “try” don’t send it.

    Especially if the someone is Fred Nicole, he demands more respect than that!

    • No way man. You ask. if the person is not selfish then they’ll be happy to share the psyche and experience!

  4. This is the perfect case study why closed projects hinder development and will no longer be tolerated by the youth in South Africa!

    Kinda ironic that it’s seen two ascents in the span of a few hours. Which raises the question, by someone that is against closed projects, with 2 ascents of a 4 year old project in such close succession, can you truly morally keep lines closed in a world famous boulder field, and not consider that it hinders development, especially for someone like Fred Nicole that has developed some of the most inspirational lines of all time in climbing?

    I’m no longer for people’s ethics keeping lines closed. I’m not going to climb onto your lower grade projects, even though I encourage climbers who will find it challenging to do so, though if you are a strong climber, your projects are now open, whether you approve of these ethics or not!

    This is not a matter of disrespect, it’s a matter of respect to the youth. I, and the others still interested in pushing the limit, owe it to the youth to push the limits of today so that they have something to do tomorrow.

    When you bolt something it’s for the community. First ascents mean nothing!

    Ebert Nel

  5. … and he huffed and he puffed … ag please Ebert, as if you are “pushing the limits” more than Fred Nicole or just doing so at all, get the f@&$ out here!

  6. Fred has both his hips replaced in separate ops Ebert and just got back to Rocklands recovered

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