roping up in south africa

After Rocklands, Angie and I spent a few months rope climbing in Montagu, Oudtshoorn and the Hex mountains, three super cool spots in the Western Cape of South Africa.

Montagu is a quaint village nestled in the mountains a few hours outside Cape Town. The town is famous for its Muscadel (fortified wine), dried fruit, langarm sokkie (old school slow-dancing Afrikaner style!) and most importantly steep, compact quartzite with killer overhanging sport climbing!

Here’s me getting used to the steepness on My Route Down by the River at Waterworld

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Our camp spot at De Bos the climber friendly guestfarm in town

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The walk from our campsite through to the climbing area

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Flexing on Firestarter at the Waterworld (photo’s courtesy of Justin Lawson)

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Oudtshoorn is the regional capital of the greater Karoo desert area, about 5 hours from Cape Town. The climbing spot is in a lush valley in the Swartberg mountains, right next to the world famous Cango Caves. The routes climb up an awesome steep wall of tufa-tastic limestone with a mix of stalactites, tufas and diagonal edges.

Andrew Pedley stitching up Mama Africa

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Gustav cruising up Seven – Wimp Finish


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Me trying in vain to send Streetfighter

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(Photo courtesy of Gustav Janse van Rensburg)

Our daily campsite guests!

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Mr. Tortoise terrified of giant scary Angie moving him off the road

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One of the highlights of our trip was spending a few days up at an awesome amphitheater in the hex mountains. It us 5 hours to hike our gear in (plus another hour and half to move the car back to the road). The main amphitheater is 250m high and overhangs about 40m (with approximately two ledges the whole way). A thin waterfall streams over the center of the wall sometimes providing a refreshing splash of water on the upper pitches. In the evening light, great clouds of birds circle around the ribbon of water creating a truly magical setting.

Jimbo and I climbed Magic and Loss, a ten pitch route up the center of the wall through the main overhangs which provided a much needed refresher in sustained all-day sport climbing. If you look carefully in the below pic you can see me on the second pitch (of ten!)

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Jimbo and I gearing up for pitch 2

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Check out our flickr account for more pics

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