Friday, May 27, 2011

EDIT: Seam Project on Crute's Boulder Sent!

CORRECTION: New information has come to light, that the project on Crute's Boulder was in fact opened a few years ago by none other than one of SA's climbing legends, Steve Bradshaw Snr. Steve generally stays out of the limelight and had named the problem "Florence of Arabia" and graded it 7B.

The long-standing central seam project at Crute's Boulder at Topside has been opened by Benjamin de Charmoy in one brief session. Although the line turned out to not be incredibly difficult, it's a good example of how far local bouldering standards have rising since the "golden era" of Topside. Benj named the line "Eurotrip" 7A+, after the mono and slopers featured on the problem, sticking to The Cinema's general naming and sand-bag grading theme.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Redhill CLOSED!

With things getting quite tense with the rangers in the past few months, some local climbers have gotten together with the MCSA and the SAN Parks in an effort to resolve access issues once and for all. We are awaiting an EMP assessment so please respect the ban on climbing at all the main hill sectors as well as Coppermine until this issue is resolved.

We'll keep you updated with any developments.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gauteng Update

The Gauteng bouldering scene has seems to be gaining momentum, with the Pretoria boys leading the way. Development has begun at a new area called Bobbejaansberg, where Adam Ludford established "Blindside Arete" 7C+ and Brian Weaver put up "Acrophobia" 7C+. Brian then moved his attention to eZemvelo where he made the 3rd ascent of "Healing Power" 7C+ and opened the area's first 8A, "Total Reflection" after 4 sessions on the line. The difficulties of the problem focus around the first few moves, including a very technical and difficult heel hook move, before joining an extisting 7B+ called "Third Reflection".
Falco Filotto and PW Nel made the 2nd and 3rd ascents of "Total Reflection" after Brian on the same day, hopefully confirming the grade.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ard Ay gets 9th ascent!

Today, Joe Möhle made the 9th repeat of the super-classic "Ard Ay" 8A+ at The Seaside boulders of Topside. This problem marks Joe's first of the grade, impressive considering in was originally given 8B, and Joe's hardest previous boulder was 7C+...
Joe is more known amongst the climbing circles for his trad climbing prowess, but this season he's set on making a mark on the bouldering front as well. Joe first tried the problem in 2006 figuring out all the beta, and had tried it on and off over the years with varied degrees of seriousness. About a month ago, however, he decided to  tie up this loose end and dedicated his next five or six sessions to the line, with success finally coming on this cool autumn evening.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clinton vs The Cape Summer

Before shipping off to Argentina to build soccer stadiums, Clinton Martinengo had several good sessions at various venues around the Cape this past December. He managed to walk away with the much awaited second ascent of "Standard Grade", a 7C (or perhaps harder considering the lack of repeats) at The Classroom. Also in the line-up were the 3rd ascents of "Black Demon" 8A at Redhill and "The Butterfly Effect", a sand-bagged 7C at The Maze in Topside. "Chaos" 8A, and "Flaming Pig" 7C got the treatment as well...

The tale of Chaos (8A?)

One of Redhill's oldest proposed 8A's, "Chaos", has seen a lot of attention in the past few months, with several climbers bagging the line for their 1st of the grade. Most recent was Alan Hills, who has agreed with common opinion that the problem should perhaps be downgraded? As reported before "the original concept of the problem involved a long move off a sloper rail to poor sloping crimps, before slapping up to slopers on the lip and topping out. "Chaos" remained a project for several years, repelling attempts from a number of capable climbers, until Emile Esterhuizen thought of a slightly easier sequence by moving further to the right to a poor sidepull, and then moving back left into bad underclings above the sloper rail and skipping the crimps altogether. Although the line was complete, many Redhill locals felt that the true line was yet to be climbed. In 2007, Marijus Šmigelskis finally made the first ascent of the originally intended line bumping the grade up from 7C to 8A".

Now however, it seems that the problem may be suffering (or benefiting?) from a strange phenomenon that is common for sloper climbs at Redhill. Fresh rock in the area seems to have a strange form of micro lichen that grows between the texture of the holds. As people start climbing on the holds, adding chalk and brushing them, the lichen dies off and over the years, the friction improves dramatically. We've seen classic examples of this on "Rolling Stones", which went from 7B+ to 7A+ and "Four Singers".

Check out Clinton Martinengo making light work of "Chaos" this past summer, climbing it on his first redpoint go after flashing the crux section in isolation: