Q: What are your climbing goals?:
I don’t really have any specific climbing goals, but if there is one, it would be to be able to climb for as long as I am physically capable.
Another goal would be to climb the triple 8 grade, 8a in bouldering, sport and trad.
Q: Most memorable climbing experience?
My most memorable climbing experience was with a friend, Johann, on a very hot summers day. We decided to go look for a new line in the canyon close to where I live. We were lying at the bottom of a beautiful untouched orange amphitheater of rock, scanning the wall for an obvious route. We saw this obvious break heading up the wall and we both agreed that it shouldn’t be to hard and decided to head up there. Soon after we stepped of the ground we realized that it was not going to be a walk in the park. The first pitch was sort of an off-width, after that we reached a good belay. The second pitch headed up a crack and then traversed left under a roof with really bad foot holds. We were on that ledge for quite some time trying to figure out how to get from the crack into the traverse. It involved some really odd stemming and very careful foot placement while using small underclings to get to a rail. We then reached another good belay.
By that point we thought that was the crux pitch. After setting of on the third pitch Johann soon started down climbing. There was this really scary looking slopey rail with no feet. What made it even more scary was the fact that we could not see where the rail was going. After having a good look at the rail I decided to just get on it and give it a go. I was climbing away from my gear horizontally and knew that if I take a fall now that I a would take a massive pendulum and probably smash into the belay ledge. I think that thought helped (because I really didn’t want to fall at that stage) a lot to get past the rail and head up the perfect orange face that we could not see from the belay. I was heel hooking that rail like I was on a boulder problem. The rest of the third pitch was easier but still good, witch I ran out a bit because of the gear I had left.
When I topped out, I had 3 small wires, that wasn’t going fit anywhere anyway, and no more slings and draws. When Johann reached the top, we reflected about the the route, and realized how good it actually was. At that stage it was boiling hot and we were sitting under a little cave, slightly dehydrated and hiding from the sun. We completely underestimated the route and got caught in the sun while on the rock during midday. It was my first proper trad climbing experience and probably the most memorable first ascent I have done. Johann has been sort of a mentor to me when it comes to trad climbing, so I named the route A Mentor’s Underestimate.
Q: What do you like most about MyClimb?
I like that you can post climbs easily and that it you can easily select the style and grade of the climb. Its also really cool how the climb log arranges all the climbs according to the grade and style, therefore you can quickly see how many climbs of each grade and style you have done. Its also cool that you can post stories and photos.
Q: What do you enjoy most about climbing?
I generally just like being in nature. Rock climbing forces you to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. Exploring new places that I would have seen has been made possible because of climbing. I really like the adventure of searching for new climbs and developing. The process of finding an area or boulder and figuring out the movement is really enjoyable for me.
I think the lessons I have learned through climbing have also helped me a lot. The fact that you are never as strong as you think, but always stronger than you think (if that makes any sense), working hard for something in order to achieve it and that nothing is a right, it’s a privileged.
Climbing has also taught me to be grateful for every moment and make the most of it. It has taught me how small we are in this world, but that we can actually have such a great impact, both positive and negative. Climbing has also taught me that you shouldn’t always take things too seriously and if you’re not having fun you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
It’s kind of strange that we spend hours, days, weeks, months or sometimes even years working on climbing projects and then one day, in a couple of seconds or minutes after you finally send it, and it’s all over. You will never have that moment with that specific piece of rock again. I think that’s one of the coolest things about climbing, the constant search for being a part of something much greater than yourself, enjoying every moment of it, and moving on to the next thing.
The fact that there are so many rocks on this planet that the journey through climbing will never end is amazing. That’s what I love about climbing, there’s always a new adventure waiting for those willing to explore.
Q: How did you start climbing?
I started climbing a couple of month after starting work at my current job. My house is right next to a beautiful boulder field, which I now call the Pophuis Boulders (Pophuis meaning Dollhouse). Before I arrived at Kagga Kamma (my place of work) I have been made aware about the various disciplines of climbing through climbing movies like The Sharp End. I started playing around on the boulders and fell in love with it instantly. At that stage I didn’t have climbing shoes, chalk or any other climbing gear. Soon after my first experience with bouldering I bought some shoes and a chalk bag and started exploring, using old mattresses cut in half as crash pads.