Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Decemeber Hits

At Redhill, Dom Riordan just managed to squeeze in one of his 2008 goals by sending "Elfen Lied" (traverse grade 8A) on the last day of the year, along with "High Maintenance" 7C a few days prior.

Despite the heat, Rocklands saw several 7C sends, with Shaun Harris ticking "Cabe Town" at the Fortress, Edvinas Šmigelskis sent "Arch Baby" and Marijus Šmigelskis did "The Outback", confirming the downgrade from 8A.

Donovan Willis added another classic to the under-developed Malelane Gorge in Mpumalanga with "Ejector Seat", a hard dyno off poor crimps. The full line will have a few more moves and a sit start, but the jump and top out alone go at about 7B+.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Emile in Oz

Emile Esterhuizen made a visit down under to the Grampian Mountains in Australia. At the Hollow Mountain Cave and managed to send "X-treme Cool" 7C and the impressive "Sleepy Hollow" 8A+ fairly quickly. He also came frustratingly close to linking the two problems, which create "Under Siege" 8B+, falling just a few moves from the end of the massive line.
Emile on "Sleepy Hollow"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Deadwood Eliminates

It seems a desperate need for something fresh to climb has resulted in several eliminate problems being established at the Deadwood boulder at TDA. Greg Streatfield squeezed in "Dionysus" 7C (although it seems the grade will settle at 7B+), rounding the arete and topping out at the same place as "Scissor Fight". Michael Janata's creation "The Bimbler" 7C is slightly less eliminate, slightly harder, and also shares the same top out. Andrew Wood then added a lower start to "the Bimbler" to create "Dead Yeti" at 7C+. Andrew also made a 4th try ascent of "Weichei" 7C+ at the Plateau boulders in Rocklands.
Dale Posthumus on "Scissor Fight"

Friday, November 28, 2008

Möwe repeated

Marijus Šmigelskis nabbed the 2nd ascent of "Möwe" 8A+ at Redhill after 4 sessions of work on the problem. The micro crimps on the crux only allowed for a handful of worthwhile attempts each day before they cut through his fingertips forcing several rest days. He found the line to be easier than "Koeberg", which may settle the debate for the Peninsula's hardest problem...
Marijus on "Möwe"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October Hits

Marijus Šmigelskis has made the 3rd ascent of "Accountant's Project" 8A at Her Majesty's Boulder in Topside. The short powerful line was opened by Jerry Moffat and has seen only one other repeat, by Clinton Martinengo, despite attempts by some strong climbers. A poor quality clip of the send:

Emile Esterhuizen has just become the third South African to boulder 8B with his send of "Black Shadow" 8B in Rocklands. Emile worked the problem over the past few months after returning from a bouldering trip to Japan. "Black Shadow" and "Armed Response" are the only two 8B that have South Afican ascents and both were opened by Klem Loskot.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Koeberg 2nd Ascent

Marijus Šmigelskis has made the second ascent of "Koeberg" 8A+ at Bonnydoon in Topside, which was opened by Emile Esterhuizen earlier this year. The line is a likely candidate for Cape Town hardest problem and both Marijus and Emile agree it's harder than "Ard Ay" and "Boogie Nights" (the other two 8A+ problems in Topside). Emile's other desperate testpiece, "Möwe" at Redhill, is claimed to be harder but is unrepeated as yet so time will tell. Marijus used a completely different sequence for the crux move, using a fickle heel hook, instead of turning 180 degrees to get footlocks like Emile's sequence on the opening ascent.
Marijus on "Koeberg"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September Hits

Another Redhill testpiece "The Sound of Violence" 8A, got the treatment this month. Edvinas Šmigelskis kicked things off with the third ascent after Greg Streatfield worked out a static way of doing the crux dyno. Dominic Riordan, Shaun Harris and Greg were aboard the send train a few weeks later and all sent on the same day! A video of the opening ascent by Marijus Šmigelskis can be seen here. Greg also sent "Elfen Lied" 8A and Shaun did the reverse of the same problem, called "The Untitled Symphony of Self Destruction" 7C+. Marijus also did the second ascent of "Entropy" 8A+, the low start to "Chaos".

With the warm summer months approaching, Andrew Wood made a fairly hassle free repeat of the classic Classroom testpiece "Swim Coach" 7C+, before the heat makes the sloper crimps much harder to hold.

In between burns on "Koeberg", Marijus Šmigelskis has put up a bunch of quality new problems at Bonnydoon in Topside, the best of which are probably "7 Mouths, 8 Tongues" 7A and the easier right hand finish to "The buoyancy of Citrus" which has been named "Enhanced Coziness" 7C, after the grip on Andrew Wood's new toothbrush.

Emile Esterhuizen and friends have been busy developing a new area in the Southern Cederberg, North of Ceres. The area has been named "Houdenbek" and has loads of potential for hundreds of problem. So far, the hardest one there is "Bear Grylls" 7C, established by Marijus Šmigelskis. Topos and details are available on facebook.com on the "Houdenbek Bouldering" group page.

At Rocklands the season seems to be drawing to a close. However, Jon Reading managed to send "Caroline" and "Rooi Klavier" both 7C, and Karen Varga sent "Dirty Lies" 7B. Julia Chen made a fast send of "The Fin" 7A at Kleinfontein after a trip back to the car to get a better toe hooking shoe and Dale Posthumus put "Jaws" 7C to rest.
Dale on "Jaws".

Friday, August 29, 2008

August Hits

The Redhill testpiece "Chaos" 8A has finally seen some action. Dominic Riordan got the second ascent followed by Edvinas Šmigelskis, and Shaun Harris. Dominic returned shortly after to add a lower start off the pedestal, bumping the grade up a notch resulting in "Entropy", his first 8A+. "Chaos" was originally opened by Emile Esterhuizen at 7C but he had deviated slightly from how the project was intended to go, and so Marijus Šmigelskis claimed the first ascent of the proper line in 2007 which required a big pull off a sloper rail to small slopey edges.

Andrew Wood has been busy cleaning up at TDA. He added a sit start to the "Skunk Dyno" at 7C and then clocked in a few days of effort to make the second ascent of the traverse "Chinese Nosebleed" 7C+. Then after a few more sessions he did the extension "The Last Line of Defence" 8A as well, his first of the grade.

Donovan Willis has added another hard problem to the boulders of Kaapsehoop. "The Frailty of Sentimentality" 7C was a long term project in the Forest sector and is likely to be hard for its grade.

Emile Esterhuizen completed his long term project "Möwe" at Redhill. The line which follows the lip of a large roof will weigh in somewhere around 8A+ or 8B mark and is harder than Emile's previous creation "Koeberg" 8A+ at Topside. The problem starts on large underclings and then moves rightwards on tiny letterbox slot crimps to make a powerful move to a gaston before topping out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Woody send Voodoo Thursday

Andrew Wood has made the 4th ascent of the desperate TDA testpiece "Voodoo Thursday" 7C+ after 4 sessions of working the problem. This is Andrew's first 7C+ and comes only weeks after climbing his first 7C, "Caveman" also at TDA.
Andrew on "Voodoo Thursday"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Black Shadow for Marijus

In Rocklands, Julia Chen did "Creeper" 7A, which is the right hand start to the ultra classic "Human Energy" at the Plateau Boulders. Marijus Šmigelskis sent "Black Shadow" 8B. It took Marijus 2 afternoons to work out a sequence for the problem, then returning a few weeks later, he managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory and fell off from the finishing hold. The next Friday, he returned to send the line on his first go of the day...
Marijus on "Black Shadow"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

July Hits

The Plateau Boulders in Rocklands have seen a lot of action lately and it seems that everyone is lining up to send the area's testpieces. Clinton Martinengo, Jon Reading, Marijus and Edvinas Šmigelskis, Scott Noy and Marc Efune all sent "Weichei" 7C+. Clinton Martinengo flashed "Louder Than Bombs" 7C and "Arch Baby" 7C, and Scott Noy did "Shadows of Ourselves" 7C+ at Kleinfontein. Julia Chen sent the super crimpy "Model Robber" 7B as well as "Teapot" 7A at the Campground Boulders. "Born Into Struggle" has also seen a lot of ascents, including a flash by Marijus and a consensus has been reached to downgrade the line from 7C to 7B+. Dale Posthumus is making a return to bouldering and repeated "Sunset Arete" 7C in a single session after having tried the problem briefly a few years ago.
Dale on "Sunset Arete"

At TDA on the Deadwood boulder, Marijus Šmigelskis added an excellent new problem called "Parthenon" 8A. It starts as for "Hip Hip Chin Chin" and then moves up and left through the steep wall using the big moves off small crimps to join "Xibalba". At the main boulder, Monique Harris dispatched her project and sent "Skunk" 7B, and Julia Chen got the first lady send of the crimpy sit start dubbed "Super Skunk" 7B+.

At the Roadside boulders in Rocklands, Julia Chen has probably become the first South African lady to climb the notorious "A Question of Balance" 7B. Although she got close to climbing the problem in one day, the moves took their toll and she returned send it on her next trip. Ben Harper and Marijus Šmigelskis also made repeats of the Roadside classic "Pendragon" 8A.
Julia on "A Question of Balance"

Martin Renz has been active in the Eastern Cape and has added a bunch of new problems to the boulders of Alicedale, the most notable being "Yoma Yoki Direst" and "Afterglow" both 7B+. He also repeated "Raptor" and "Joe Lives" both 7C in Hogsback.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Durbanites in Rocklands

Durban locals Mathieu Schneuwly and Benjamin and Rachelle de Charmoy made their annual winter pilgrimage to Rocklands and managed some good sends despite the rain storms that lasted more than half their trip. Rachelle sent "Model Robber" and "Directors Cunt" both 7B and Mathieu and Benjamin cleaned up around the Plateau Boulders with double sends of "Weichei" 7C+, "Born Into Struggle" 7B+/7C, and "Louder Than Bombs" 7C (which Mathieu flashed). Ben also tied up a project from last year and dispatched "Caroline" 7C, as well as the awesome dyno "Black Velvet" 8A. Mathieu also came close to doing "Black Velvet" and stuck the jump a couple of times minus the first move. Not bad at all for a bunch of sport climbers...
Rachelle on "Director's Cunt"

Mat sticking the "Black Velvet" dyno.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June Hits

At Echo Valley in Topside, Marijus Šmigelskis opened a slightly contrived but rather hard little problem named "Turboset" 7C+ which involves a deperate pull off a polished sloper to catch a small edge.

With rumours of the closure of the main boulder at TDA flying around, many Cape climbers have been busy tying up loose ends and trying to send their remaining projects. Marijus Šmigelskis managed to establish another worthwhile linkup traverse which starts as for "Super Skunk" and joins "THC", resulting in "Chinese Nosebleed" 7C+. He then returned a few days later to add an even further extension to the start and bumping the grade up one notch to 8A. This latest addition was named "The Last Line of Defence" and starts as for "Inertia" 7A+ and traverses rightwards to join "Chinese Nosebleed".

Back in Rocklands, Shaun Harris repeated "Sean's Roof" 7C and added the classic "Sunset Arete" 7C to his ticklist. Marijus Šmigelskis took a visit to Frenchside and managed to do "Stroh 80" 7C+ as well as "Scorpion" 8A (which has lost some of its holds) in 3 tries after figuring out the sequence.
Marijus on "Stroh 80"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

May Hits

With conditions improving in Rocklands, Evan Wiercx and Scott Noy both sent "Born Into Struggle" 7C, with Scott also sending "Louder Than Bombs" 7C and "Sean's Roof" 7C. Jon Reading send "Arch Baby" 7C and the ultra-classic "Cedar Spine" 7C.

Shaun Harris briefly tried "Pudgy Bitch" 7C+ at Echo Valley in Topside a few months ago with no success but returned for a quick send after one sessionl. He also did the TDA linkup "Caveman" 7C.

Monday, May 5, 2008

NBL 2009

The South African National Bouldering League Finals were held at a brand new sector at Redhill, dubbed Coppermine (check out the results here). This new area is a tremendous addition to the Cape Town bouldering scene and already features some instant classics. Marijus Šmigelskis managed to open "Pandemonium", which is certainly one of the proudest boulder problems on the peninsula- tall, hard and beautiful. The line was originally graded 8A, but a new hold was discovered by Andrew Wood the following weekend which resulted in altering the crux move drastically and dropping the grade to 7C. Either way, the line remains a super classic must-do...
Andrew Wood on "Pandemonium".

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Classroom Action

The Classroom has seen a lot of activity lately with the cooling temperatures of autumn. Dominic Roprdan extended "Fromage et Baguette" to create "Dikfer" 7C and Greg Streatfield made the 5th ascent of "Swim Coach" 7C+. Dom and Shaun Harris both repeated the campus/slam dunk/dyno "U19 Girls Basketball" and consensus is being reached that this problem needs an upgrade to 7B+ or 7C. Marijus Šmigelskis finally managed to link the starting crux of "Swim Coach" into "U19 Girls Basketball", after washing the holds and waiting for a cold day, to create the condition dependent "DPR" 8A. Clinton Martinengo made a fast repeat of the problem, confirming the grade.

Marijus on "DPR"

April Hits

Shaun Harris finally managed to get some time off work and got out to Rocklands. He managed to send "Weichei" 7C+ and "Who the Fuck is Minky" 7C, both with a fair degree of comfort. Julia Chen sent the classic roof problem "From The Secret Laboratory" 7A at the Fortress.

Mat Rowe made the second ascent of "Black Hoodie Rap" 7C at Redhill after a few trips to work the line. Mat used a slightly different sequence than the opening ascent and the video can be seen below:


"Dikfur" 7C at the Classroom got its 3rd ascent by Greg Streatfield. The problem is a fairly long link-up of "Fromage et Baguette" 7B+ into the top-out of "U19 Girls Basketball".

Marijus Šmigelskis made the 2nd South African ascent of "Leopard Cave" 8A+ at Rocklands after two days on the line. He nearly sent the line in a day over a trip during new years but a large cut on his hand prevented success.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

National Boulder League 2008

National Finals took place in Harrismith at Eagle Mountain (previously known as Mount Everest) on 26 April, the problems were top class and it is definitely an area worth returning to.. The results are as follows:

Mens Open
1. Edvinas Smigelskis WP
2. Herman Lombard NW
3. Benjamin de Charmoy KZN
4. Mathieu Schneuwly KZN
5. Donovan Willis MP
6. Andrew Wood WP
7. William Fleming GP (JHB)
8. Trent Burnett KZN
9. Jeremy Hewett WP
10. Damian Chatteris KZN

Ladies Open
1. Dominique Dix-peek GP (JHB)
2. Illona Pelser GP (PTA)
3. Julia Chen WP
4. Debbie Mulder GP (JHB)
5. Bridgitte Lourent KZN
6. Rachelle de Charmoy KZN
7. Ilse GP (PTA)
8. Catherine Beneke GP (JHB)
9. Elme GP (PTA)
10. Emma Boyd GP (JHB)

Boys U18
1. Willem Potgieter GP (PTA)
2. Diedeleff Gertenback GP (PTA)

Girls U18
1. Candice Bagley KZN
2. Jasmin Pillay KZN
3. Kate Fairfield WP

A big thank you to Dave and Sean and the rest of the team who organised an awesome weekend as well as Mount Everest Game Lodge/Resort for hosting everyone!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Emile Esterhuizen has established what may be Cape Town's hardest problem. "Koeberg" 8A+ climbs the roof to the right of "Powerlines" at Bonnydoon in Topside and involves intense core strength moves on small slopey sidepulls. The problem is only 6 moves long, which makes it far more intense than Cape Town's two other problems, "Ard Ay" and "Boogie Nights", both 14+ move roof voyages.
Emile on "Koeberg"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

March Hits

Julia Chen sent "Skunk" 7B at TDA after three or four sessions on the problem. The classic line was opened by Justin Hawkins and was the first 7B in the area. The problem involves long pulls off small crimps to gain a sloping undercling and then a dynamic slap to a sloper rail, which is follwoed by a juggy but high topout.
Julia on "Skunk"

Evan Wiercx and friends have developed a brand new area at Topside, called "Brazil" on the plateau above the Silvermine Boulder.

Donovan Willis has been busy in Mpumalanga, developing yet another brilliant area. He has opened "Killswitch" 7C amongst several other problems in Sabie Gorge.
Donovan on "Killswitch"

Friday, February 29, 2008

Swim Coach for Harris

Shaun Harris made the 4th of "Swim Coach" 7C+ at the Classroom after a permanent relocation to Cape Town from Johannesburg.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mpumalanga Bouldering

Marijus and Edvinas Šmigelskis, along with Julia Chen, visited the little know bouldering areas of Mpumalanga for two weeks. At Gold Rush, Marijus repeated "Leap of Faith" 7C, Julia sent "Wallace" 7A and Donovan Willis opened "Static Remedy" and "The Weatherman" both 7Bs. At Malelane Gorge, an excellent new area, Donovan opened "Waterboy" and Marijus opened "The Railway" both 7A. Later at Kaapsehoop, Marijus repeated "Living the Dream" 7C, and then opened "Dark Wing" 8A, an amazing high arete. Edvinas made the second ascent on his very next go and Julia sent "Smell of Victory" 7A. Back in Johannesburg at The Glade, just before heading to the airport, Julia made a second try ascent of "The Fingernail Traverse" 7A and Marijus made the 2nd repeat of "Lucky Larry's Larder of Lascivious Lesbians" 7C+.

Edvinas on "Dark Wing".