Mainly a boulderer and sometimes I pick up a camera and take photos :)
This trip is my second climbing trip outside of Australia. Our first trip was to boulder in Castle Hill and being our neighbouring country, the culture shock wasnt quiet the same as the one we all got when we landed in South Africa. We spent our first night in Cape Town, all quiet jet lagged we didn’t get up to as much mischief as we intended. Instead we headed to a little pizza shop with a bar, had a feed and watched three korean men getting courted by some prostitutes and later on watching their pimp come in to pretty tell them to hurry the fuck up and take the ladies to a room.
The next day, after walking many blocks around Cape Town CBD (due to vague directions from EVERY local), we finally got our Honda CRV and packed it to the rim and ready for the 3hr drive to the Rocklands. Approaching the Rocklands, it was exactly like how I imagined it but more. You can see endless fields of rock by the roadside and it was overwhelming how much rock there is out there.
Our accommodation was right in the middle of all the crags and Alpha farm is definitely the place to stay. 3 weeks is just not enough time even to just look at all the boulders let alone climb and project hard lines. Going into the trip, my goal was really to push grades and hopefully climb my first V11. A couple days into the trip my goal had changed and rather than spend my short time here working on 1 or 2 hard lines, it felt that would be more beneficial for me to climb as many different boulders as possible. Coming home now I feel like a more complete climber. I have more experience on and all sorts of hand holds on a variety of angles and definitely I have a clearer understanding of my weaknesses.
Having watched a number of Rocklands DVD’s, I had a slight idea of which boulders to climb and coming to the Rocklands, I felt so honoured and even star struck to finally see and touch these boulders.
I really wanted to just do boulders that I know that I can send in a day. In the end I managed 8 v7-9 boulders. The definite highlight send for me was Springbok V7, which involved a dyno 4-5m off the deck. I have to admit that my first few attempts was just to get over the fear of falling and on a work attempt I surprised myself by catching the hold and then topping out. The most fun boulder I sent was Question of Balance, which involved catching a small edge with your heel hook in a very awkward and scrunched position, then going to a decent gaston then topping out high on what appears to be brittle chicken heads for holds.
I was really happy with how I did in the Rocklands, I felt more natural climbing outside. I managed to flash most V5-6 more consistently whilst warming up, sending V7 second shot and doing V8-9 in a matter of 3-5 tries. I have left alot of projects behind, one being Caroline V10 which was a short boulder by SA standards, which involved really beta intensive drop knees and compression catches on shitty foot holds. Macho King V10 and Out Of Balance V11 were 2 other hard climbs which I had to leave behind simply due to time restraints but I have no doubt in my mind that which more time I could have them ticked off.
Some notable sends from the rest of the crew: Gen sending The Vice V13 after many days of wrestling. Tom catching the finally jug on Black Velvet V11. Josh topping out Human Energy after many tantrums, fits and negativity. Ev and Robs send of Minki on the same afternoon after saying “ok last shot” and of course the trip favourite Marc Landers doing The Rhino.
I can’t wait to get back here stronger and fitter. Next year we have a Grampians trip in the works - Rocklands will just have to wait. For now.