The Rocklands Season

On Monday the fourth of July, three very psyched young strong kids ventured off to the promised land for two weeks of heaven before descending back down into the busy, bustling city life of Cape Town. Our goal, to as climb as many hard problems as possible and to have a good time while doing it. IMG_3837

We arrived on Monday evening, just in time for the Fourth of July new moon pad party at Arch Valley, it was late so we ventured off without gear just to go see what it was all about. The amount of psych that relatively drunk university students have is quite remarkable! but we quickly got bored of just watching people climbing and went back to camp. Liam and Flo were super keen to go back with their shoes and try some of the problems on offer, I however was not. I came back to camp, played some guitar and went to bed, The next morning my mom had to leave to go back to Cape Town and left us to fend for ourselves. We got quite a late start that day and headed up to Arch Valley to go try In Between Dreams – 8a+ After getting completely shut down on it, we moved around the corner to Miss Cave – 7b+ which none of us had sent yet, we played on it for a bit and I managed to send. The whole day the weather was looking a little iffy and we weren’t sure if it was gonna rain or not, luckily it looked as if the weather was clearing up so we headed Black Velvet to meet Brian and Claudia for some team photos, Black Velvet went okay, with me grabbing the jug and dabbing I was determined to send, this didn’t happen… We moved from there to Zanzibar  – 7b/+ which both Brian and myself sent fairly quickly with Liam getting close. After a long hard day we walked back to camp to light a fire and get ready for dinner. This is when the storm came in… We ended up braaiing in the rain for 2 hours and after getting soaked to the bone we went to go play poker in Flo’s tent. The wind and rain was incredible and added a bit of excitement. At around 10 Liam and I crawled into our MSR Mutha Hubba for a good, warm night.

When we got up in the morning everything was everywhere, Flo’s bowl was 50 meters away, the Bran Flakes were everywhere, it was chaos, so we cleaned it up best we could and went climbing. We trekked up to Fields of Joy to go try Kiesl for Flo, Dirty Lies for Liam and No Late Benders/Tenders for me, it was loads if fun, with everyone getting ridiculously close on their projects, I sent No Late Benders within 20 minutes and was focusing on the full linkup I fell near then end too many times and was bleak I wasn’t ably to get it in one session so we came back the next day and I retroflashed it, which I was ecstatic about.

After then, the trip died down a bit, Liam sent Zanzibar, I sent Throw Yourself Away and Flo sent Kiesl. We were all having a blast and couldn’t wait for a proper meal on Friday night when my parents came with Neil and Warwick.

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Liam on Zanzibar

We rested most of Friday, playing some poker in the Lapa with a couple of friends, then we went for a quick evening session to Black Velvet which didn’t go very well and I ended up scraping the back of my right hand for about two feet to the jug, then we emptied all our remaining fire wood into the fire place and made a big bonfire while we waited for my parents. Warwick had just come back from a hunting trip and we had mounds of Eland and Gemsbok for dinner that night, and the night after that, and the night after that!

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Black Velvet – 8a

We headed up to The Pass on Saturday, I did Last Day In Paradise a climb I had tried many times in the past and could never do. After that we moved to Roadside  where I tried Out Of Balance and did Shwupp.

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Working Herbie – 8a

That Sunday, the Euro Cup final was on and France was playing Portugal. I absolutely hate soccer but Flo wanted to watch, so we went to the Hen House for the evening, after 2 and a bit hours of my life being wasted France lost anyway. This was definitely not how I wanted to spend my Rocklands trip…

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Tired and cold…

The next week we spent at Agterpakhuys, because it was the only place we could walk to. I sent Weichei – 7c+ and Neil sent Zanzibar.

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Weichei – 7c+

The next Sunday it was time to go home. The trip had been so much fun and a real eye opener to what some of the foreign climbers could do, before we even got into the car on the way home I was already planing my next trip. Now it was time to get strong for China in November and focus on some of my local projects. I look forward to what next season will bring.

Thanks for reading!

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