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Topic Date User
Hot Rock - South Africa 9-Sep-2007 At 10:45:55 PM MartinR
Hi Sabu, next installment, including Drakensberg, Cheers Martin


Heather shouted "Oh my God it's not going to stop!!" as the boulder the size of a Ford Escort engine block we had dislodged turned into a deadly missile. Leaping 50 meters at a time down the gully toward Henry & Liana who were climbing 1000 meters below us.

Since leaving Kenya 6 months ago our direction of travel had been mainly south, sometimes east, sometimes west, but mainly south. Reaching the Cape of Good Hope we had hit the end of Africa. So we returned north for a grand tour of South Africa's best climbing venues. They prove to be all world class fantastic climbing. Lots of bolted sports climbing, several big trad venues as well as big mountains routes.

We first head back to the majestic Ceaderberg Mountains to the sport climbs of Rocklands and the trad climbs at Wolfberg. I had my eye on the spectacular 'Orange Plasma' (21), which I missed out last time due to poor weather. I was pleased to red point it on the first attempt as it is a long and very powerfully overhanging line on a fantastic orange wall. The weather was perfect for climbing this time, cold with clear blue skies. We climbed many other sport lines (some only bolted weeks ago), too many to describe in this fantastic location.

Emma, The Fortress, Rocklands, South Africa

Then onto Wolfberg where it was freezing overnight, so 6 of us took the soft option and upgraded to a cabin. I got to sleep in a bed with real sheets for the first time in 6 months. I lead the well named classic 4 pitch trad route 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' (18) with Tom. No problem with the tricky roof pitch after Dan had managed to get a nut stuck at the crux a few weeks ago, that I happily clipped!

Team sampling the local beer on another long drive day.

Then 2 huge drive days has BiRT over the Eastern Cape where we first headed to Mt Everest (Not the big one!) where Dan, Penny and I put up a new trad route that we call "Goggles Required” (VS 5a) due to the large amount of dusty moss on the 2nd pitch that meant I had to lead most of it with my eyes closed! After a days sport climbing, Pei and I finish off our 3 days with the 6 pitch sports route 'Fight the feeling' (20) up the big wall, then onto a big photo shoot location on Cyclops wall.

Nick and Lucy, Cyclops Wall, Mt Everest, South Africa

The Wall of Spears is so named due to the dramatic ridge line that gives the impression of a shear impenetrable wall. We are in the Drakensburg where the mountains rise up to snow covered peaks, offering big treks and long mountain routes. We have come to climb Cathedral Peak (3006 meter's) via the normal route, which rises 1500 meters over a 10km tough walk with easy climbing for the last few hundred meters.

The first day has 12 hot rockers leaving at 4:30AM for the attempt, but it turns into a farce as they get lost in the dark and only 4 make it to the top. Luckily Nick and I had taken the 'strategic' decision to sleep in and spend the day lounging around the 4 star hotel up the road, where we had no trouble finding the beer and climbing the huge mountain of cheese cake.

Nick, Lucy, Martin, Heather top of Cathedral Peek

Learning from the first party mistakes we head off at 7:00am, so we don't get lost and summit by lunch. The only excitement when we dislodge a huge rock that bounces down the gully toward Henry and Liana. But after travelling for 500 meters the gully narrows into larger blocks and the block vanishes in an instant like a cheep magic trick.

Martin, Who’s your Daddy (19), The Restaurant, South Africa

We drive to Watervale Boven, known to climbers as “The restaurant at the end of the universe” for world class sports climbing. There are 100's of very well bolted sports routes scatted around the many small crags around the town. We all stay in the backpackers for climbers only in town and climb non-stop for 4 days over the fantastic rock.

We turn to the west and south stopping at the small hard sports crag of Magaliesberg for a few days before heading back to Montague for its hundreds of sport routes.

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