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Sunday, June 15, 2008

south africa: the beginnings

I have finally made it! I have never been on a single airplane for this long in my life. I now fully understand the term jet lag! So after a super long plane ride, which was made a lot more enjoyable because of great friends sarah orens, daniel woods, and laura griffiths, we eventually found ourselves in the cape town international airport feeling quite distant from home, but extremely psyched for the over 50 day adventure ahead of us!!!

We quickly got our rental car and hit the streets! Wow, I would have never imagined how hard driving on the opposite side of the road would be! It is by far one of the most bizarre things to be thrown straight into the middle of, especially Cape Town rush hour traffic! So after some close calls and a few days, I am finally starting to become accustomed to their driving style and not being scared out of my mind every time I get behind the wheel. Other than that, the roads around the rocklands are heinous dirt roads and we already lost a rim, or possibly was stolen in Clan William.

After making the long trek to Clan William, we got groceries and headed out to our village in the middle of the rocklands. It is a nice house with a bunch of climbers and friends. I am very excited to be here! Along with daniel, laura, sarah, and myself is wills young, lisa rands, tony lamiche and his friends.

On our first day we headed up, in the evening, to a small bouldering area by the road a few miles from the house. It was small but had a few very nice moderates. This one in particular "pardon my french" 6c+ was a perfect climb to stretch out on after such a long plane ride. We all sent and continued on to a few harder climbs. Daniel and I both did this nice small arete called "tony problem #2" 7c+/8a very quickly despite the hot temps. After that I strolled up the hill to see another classic moderate and dispatched of it as the sun was setting.

We headed back to the house and continued to have a great night. With immense jetlag I was extremely tired and fell asleep at around 10 pm and did not awake until after 11 the next morning. The past few nights have all been this way, trying to get over the tiredness of traveling to the other side of the world.

The other day (6/13) was our first real climbing day! We headed to the "roadside area" which is a 35 minute hike from the car! Daniel was super psyched to show me a bunch of amazing lines that he had done, tried or seen his last trip here. It was a hot day and I was still very tired, but it was awesome to see some amazing lines for the upcoming weeks! They got us very psyched. Daniel and I warmed up and quickly dispatched a nice 8a called baboon master and 7c+ caroline. The girls worked caroline a bunch and will hopefully send it very soon!

As the sun set daniel and I did a obligatory lap on the classic highball "creeky heights" 7a. It is quite amazing! I can't wait to get back to the roadside area to try some of the harder lines!

Yesterday was third day on but I am finally getting accustomed to climbing here. Though it is still a bit hot, the weather should be cooling off in the next few days. So yesterday we went to the alpha farms, a small area located up a hillside from this guy’s house. To climb there you have to pay him 30 rand a person, about 4 USD. The bouldering up there is on some amazing rock! I worked on this amazing 8b, "ray of light" that I got really close to. Daniel was psyched to head up there because he had worked all of the moves out on his previous trip and was psyched to go for the send! He sent and it was super inspiring to watch. I can't wait to get back up there to hopefully send! After this climb, just around the corner, we stumbled upon an amazing 8a called "gliding through waves like dolphins" its pretty much a perfect pinch fest up an extremely overhung barrel! I sent in a few tries and am super psyched on the boulder.

Today is a rest day (6/15), we scoped out some boulders at a newer sector called "the 8 day rain" area. I am pretty psyched for this one boulder "quintessential." There is also this other area called the riverside which has some amazing hard lines and some great projects! More to come!!!
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Jimmy said...

Im really looking forward to follow your adventures in SA! Good Luck!! Jimmy

Rocco said... can barely drive on the right side of the road!!! Good luck down there Kid. Kill it.