December 2010Two more hard classics have been added to the boulders of Echo Valley in Topside by Marijus Šmigelskis. First to fall was "Heart Feels No Bass" 7C up at Bonnydoon which climbs out a cave formed by a massive boulder. Next was "Mintberry Crunch" 8A, a line conceived by Maciej Fijalkowski hiding in plain sight on another massive boulder just off the main trail. It's surprising both these obvious and great lines lay unclimbed for so long, but it shows how much more potential lies in the boulders of Cape Town.
Arjan de Kock managed to open the "Options of Insanity" project at Coppermine at Redhill, which branches out right from "Paper Plane Warfare" at a rather reasonable grade of 7C+. Marijus Šmigelskis found some cunning beta making the line far easier than the original 8A+/8B estimate but he ripped open his shoe in the process and had to leave the job to Arjan.
KwaZulu Natal can finally claim to have a legitimate bouldering area now that the blocs in the thick forests below the Umgeni Valley sport crags have been opened for public access. The area currently has over 50 opened problems, with scope for at least several hundred. Marijus Šmigelskis helped put the area on the map during a brief visit where he and Julia Chen made the 1st and 2nd ascents of "Venga Skebenga" 7B+ (Julia nearly nabbed the FA ahead of all the boys in the horrendously hot and humid conditions, only falling on the last move).Marijus then went on to open the instant classic testpiece of the area, "Death Professor" 7C, but there are many more projects awaiting future ascents.