Friday, July 31, 2009

Adam Ondra in Rocklands

The South African climbing community is super hyped over the visit of Czech wonderkid Adam Ondra so a run-down of what he got up to in his week long visit to Rocklands seemed necessary.

Day 1
  • "Paula Abdul" 8A in 3 tries at the Sassies 
  • "Pinotage" 7C onsight at the Sassies 
  • "Shosholoza" 8A+ on his 2nd go at the Sassies 
  • "Splash of Red" 8A onsight at the Sassies, proposing a downgrade to 7B or 7C 
Day 3
  • "Tomorrow I'll Be Gone" 7C+ onsight at Roadcrew 
  • "The Vice" 8B FLASH at the Fortres 
  • "Armed Response" 8B FLASH at the Fortress 
  • "Out of Balance" 8A onsight at Roadside 
  • "Pendragon" 8A flash at Roadside 
Day 4
  • "Ray of Light" 8B at the Dihedral Boulders 
Day 5
  • "Derailed" 8B+ at 8 Day Rain in about an hour of work 
Adam's double 8B flashes are without a doubt one of the most remarkable feats in climbing, especially considering that "The Vice" is widely considered to be at the upper end of the 8B scale. He also spent some time trying "Sky" and "Amandla", both 8B+ as well as "The Quintessential" and "All I Need is a Smile" both 8B but was unable to send on his brief stay. In between hastily trying to show Adam the best that Rocklands has to offer, Marijus Šmigelskis managed to get in a quick send of "Royskopp" which is 8A now that a hold broke, altering the sequence. Adam also climbed in Alicedale in the Eastern Cape prior to his vist to Rocklands and managed to open "Ratatouille" and "Morphological", both 8A, and "Mad Man" 8A+. Check out Adam's send of "Ratatouille" below:

In other Rocklands news, Guy Holwill and friends have discovered "The South African Area", a vast new sector in Rocklands which already hosts dozens of problems including a 7C from Michael Janata called "Pronoid". Jon Reading visited the Fields of Joy and sent "Macho King" 7C+, a proud highball roof problem and Benjamin de Charmoy kicked off his three week stay in Rocklands with a fast send of "Pendragon" 8A.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CityRock Boulder Comp

CityRock hosted their annual bouldering comp with a huge turnout. Andrew Wood managed to complete all 30 or 40 problems for the win in the mens, and Julia Chen took lead in the ladies category, as well a the ladies dyno comp.


Mens Ladies
 1. Andrew Wood Julia Chen
 2. Duncan Fraser Lynn Kerr
 3. Moritz Seiler Nadine Methner

Monday, July 27, 2009

Redhill and Rocklands

At Redhill, Andrew Wood made the second ascent of "The Crazy 88" 8A after two sessions on the line! Julia Chen continued her good form and sent "Dark Lord Sharon" 7A.

Rocklands local Jon Reading has sent a few more good problems. First to fall was "Winnie" 7C, above the Roadside boulders followed by "White Mazda Clan" 7C at Riverside and "Rasta Roof" 8A at the Campground boulders. "Rasta Roof" was originally graded 7C+, but after several holds broke off at the crux an upgrade has been justified.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Botswana Bouldering

Guided by a single photo found on the internet, a group of UCT boulderers set off for Botswana with rumours of granite covered koppies on the edge of the Kalahari desert. The village of Thamaga was the first stop, but the boulders did not yield many problems, although only a tiny fraction of the potential was explored, and the team moved further west to Moshupo. Here the stone quality seemed to improve and had more features. Gotau Hill was the focus of the trip and the first problem to fall, "Donkey Kong" 7B, was an instant classic and climbed a short overhanging prow. Andrew Wood moved further up the hill to establish a techinal arete problem dubbed "Hungry Lion" 7B. Marijus Šmigelskis spent some time exploring and discovered another cluster, in strong shade the entire afternoon which produced "Four Forces" 7A+ and "Twin Paradox" 7C. As the cherry on top, Marijus tried a blunt arete which seemed completely featureless at first, then after a few attempts only highly improbably, until somehow he pulled through the first move and sent the line to create "Dark Matter" 8A, boosted with extra energy from a mouthful of golden syrup. Check out the gallery and the video below.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tall Champs

It seems Topside's latest testpiece is a becoming a walk in the park for the vertically gifted. Two of the cape's taller climbers, Dom Riordan and Shaun Harris, visited "Real Champs Get Thirsty" in Echo Valley and dispatched the line with relative ease. Near 6 foot tall climbers can use a good heel hook for the entire length of the problem, making the poor opposing slopers easier to hold, and eliminating the finishing crux dyno over the lip off the poorest of the holds. Although the line will certainly feel 7C+ or even harder for some, an accurate grade for the line is open to much speculation, with Shaun finding it as easy as 7B...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Introducing eZemvelo

Gauteng boulderers' prayers have been answered and Jo'burg and Pretoria now have their own proper bouldering area, just outside of Bronkhurstspruit. Development at eZemvelo has been fairly under the radar over the past year or so but the results have been worth the wait. Schalk Erasmus has been the driving force behind this excellent new area and Donovan Willis has added several testpieces. The boulders lie in a river valley on a nature reserve requiring a mandatory game drive just to reach the remote climbers camp. After the USSA competition in Pretoria, the UCT team visited eZemvelo and were impressed with what they found. Highlights of their visit included repeats of "Animal Planet" 7C by Duncan Fraser and Marijus Šmigelskis, Andrew Wood and Marijus sent "Spoon" and "Girls Problem", both 7C and Julia Chen managed a flash of "Cry Baby" 7A and a fast repeat of "7biaatch" 7B. Marijus then went on to open several new problems including "Flashpoint" 7C and "Healing Power" 7C+ and Julia joined in on the action with the first ascent of the desperately thin "Release The Demons" 7B, a problem that stumpted most of the boys...

Check out the gallery here, and the vid below:

Monday, July 13, 2009

USSA 2009

The annual inter-university climbing championship (USSA) was held at The Barn in Pretoria, with lead and sport climbing events. The University of Cape Town dominated in the men's bouldering, claiming all three podium positions. Marijus Šmigelskis flashed all three of the finals problems, Andrew Wood topped out all three, flashing two and Duncan Fraser managed top out two, both on the flash attempt. Ilse Labuschagne climbed very smoothly and also flashed all three of the ladies finals problems. Julia Chen topped out all three, flashing one, and Emma Boyd got close but did not manage any top outs.

   Mens  Ladies
 1.  Marijus Šmigelskis   (UCT)   Ilse Labuschagne   (TUKS)
 2.  Andrew Wood   (UCT)  Julia Chen   (UCT)
 3.  Duncan Fraser   (UCT)  Emma Boyd   (WITS)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mat and Greg send

At Coppermine in Redhill, Greg Streatfield made the 4th ascent of "Pandemonium" 7C and Mat Rowe got the 4th ascent of "Panic Room" 7C+ on his second session on the line. Mat then moved on to Bonnydoon in Topside and did the second ascent of "Real Champs Get Thisty" 7C+ in only 20 minutes of work, proving suspicions that the line will be far easier for taller climbers.