Happy Rockstock times with Luca, Stefan, Scott and double D&Bs. Photo: Mel Muller.
Arriving in Rocklands on Rockstock 🙂 I recommend it, the party was amazing! I haven’t danced like that in a while.
So cool to see so many familiar faces and to meet all the new ones: Hannah, Desire, Chris, Charly, Kula & Mouseface, Emile & Clement, Marinus, Becci & James, Thys, Karen & Michal, Mark, JP, Tracy & their little ones, Demi & Mareike, Justin, Ricky-O, Luca, Dirk, Toby & Marissa. Climbing with Jakob, Nils, Chris, Enzo & Miri, Mona & Fabi was super fun. Thx to Uwe for the big hay bale fire on my birthday! Thanks also of course to Scotty.
… you all made this trip very special to me.
It was fun helping out with the Rocklands Climbing School “Rocklands Rangers”. Great to be a part of this project and to see the talent and enthusiasm of the local farm kids – with Scott, Chris, Desire & Hanna
After Rockstock there was another party on the stage at the de Pakhuis campsite and dancing with Desire & the local kids at the concert of Afrikaans singer Andriette was very memorable and fun. We (as climbers) can show the kids of the climbing school how to climb and help them to improve their English, but… they for sure can show us how to dance 😉 Photo: Scott Noy
The moves on the sloper of Purple Nipple Clan 8a. Photo: Marinus Coetzee.
For me it was very inspiring to see Luca doing the Vice, his first 8b. I was spotting him and it looked like he was in such a flow, special moment and he couldn’t believe when he did it.
Also Han doing her project Panic room at Fields of Joy, it was so cool and motivating to see her progress on it and not panicing out after doing the hard start moves. So yeehaa there she stood on top and actually had given up that she would do it 🙂
I was well motivated this trip and went to Roadcrew a couple of times trying Purple Nipple Clan. First it took me a while to figure out my way for the moves on the sloper and the biggish move into the pocket. Scott and me found cool beta for the pocket move and when I did it, it felt a little like a Fontainebleau move, when it all clicks.
Trying the moves of No late Tenders 7c+ 2 years ago. Photo: Marinus Coetzee.
When I tried it 2 years ago I thought I would never be able to do No late tenders. Thank you so much Mona for encouraging me to try it again.
I found out a way for me and sent it with a headlamp at night as a birthday present. Photo: Scott Noy.
There was still one line left in the big cave there called Running out of Turbo 7b+. The name fits quite well as I found it hard, pumpy and it has big moves. In middle of September it started to get very hot during the day. So it was always better to climb in the evening into the night.
Stargate 7c+. Photo: Frank Enz
In Fortress I did Stargate 7c+ and the hidden very cool roof Ground control 7a – I can recommend it.
At Plateau I could do the pretty arete Zanzibar 7a and at Sassies Un petite hueco 7b+ and An amal roof 7c. A lot of fun was Panic room direct 7b with the tricky mantle topout – one of the few boulders in Rocklands with no thank god jug chickenheads on Top. At 8 day rain I tried Barracuda with Nils Favre and Chris Smith at least one of us – Nils did Barracuda. Such a nice boulder and well climbed by Nils. Chris and me could do 9127km to Frankenjura 7b+ with the unusual Mono hold for Rocklands and you have to let your feet come and take a big fun swing.
Boomslang in the grass next to a little stream close to the woody at the old campground. Photo: Scott Noy
One very memorable moment was for sure at the old campground when Scott accidentally stood on a Boomslang which is a very poisonous snake. I was bouldering when suddenly I heard a scream that first reminded me of a very loud barking baboon. So lucky… he didn’t get bitten as he probably stood close or on the head of the snake…
Puff adder. Photo: Scott Noy.
It was getting very hot those days and as Scott said all the creepy crawlies were coming out.
Just a couple days after seeing the boomslang JP showed us a very pretty Puff Adder close to his house on the way to the Plateau. It’s a beautiful snake but for sure I don’t wanna get close!
Climbing up in the middle of the ‘bum’ 8a. Photo: Scott Noy.
The day Scott stood on the Boomslang I was bouldering at the Kliphuis Campground which was where the climbers stayed until 2005. He had climbed there a lot over the years, a long time before the guidebook, and before the road up the pass was sealed. Later that year after a few climbers developed the de Pakhuys sector, the other side of the pass became popular and a campground was opened.
For me there was still a lot to try at the old campground, one of the boulders besides many new projects was In the middle of the ass. It was fun to find a way up this short wall using very small holds, good body position and a lot of finger power. It climbs better than it looks and there is only one possible way up.
During the time in Rocklands Scott was busy getting more infos on established areas for the next edition of the guidebook and he opened very cool new trad routes. On rest days we walked a lot to find those new areas, making paths, Scott drew many maps and took pictures of all boulders. There is cool stuff out there, especially very nice boulders opened a couple of years ago by Lisa Rands and Wills Young. Back then access allowance wasn’t clear yet. Hopefully access will stay possible, so please if you go to a new area ask the farmers if it’s ok to go on their land and to use their roads, keep gates closed, take your rubbish wish you, stay on paths and if you need to go to the toilet please do it so that there is no trace.
First ascent of Gecko Lounge sit 7c. Photo: Scott Noy.
Time goes so fast in South Africa and there were only a couple of days left. On the way to Cape Town we decided to visit Emile de Bruin and Marinus in Ceres.
We got amazing food cooked by Emile’s Mum and had fun times out in the hills there. Always worth it to see new places.
The very last evening, I was very happy doing the first ascent of Gecko Lounge sit 7c. It starts on a dice shaped hold and follows a very obvious line of grips to the left joining Gecko Lounge, a very nice boulder with halfmoon shaped holds opened by Marinus Coetzee.
The same day we had to start the way home, sad yes but I really appreciate the time I could share with friends, beautiful landscape, many interesting animals, chill out days, double B&Cs, dipping very yummy rusks into coffee, sweet potatoes, sweet people and enjoying a fire under the sky full of stars…
Big thanks to Black Diamond & Monkeeclothing for the support!
And Scott Noy, Marinus Coetzee & Frank Enz for the nice photos!