When I started climbing, I never thought I’d become so addicted to it. Since my first day at the climbing gym, I met new people, learnt new things, braved many fears (sometimes terrifying). I have seen amazing places that are quite untouched by masses of people. Truth be told, I kind of feel as though I’ve stepped into an exclusive world of amazing people who have a lust for adventure. These people venture fourth into a world of amazing beauty to do what many fear. Surprisingly, these are some of the most down to earth and friendly people in the world.
In everyday life, we tend to forget about the great outdoors. People live in a rat race, full of cars, and big office blocks with air conditioning. They sit behind their desks and computers each day, climbing in and out of elevators, eating ready-made meals, sitting in front of a TV at the end of their day hoping for an escape from this reality that they live in, but never finding it.
What an amazing world we live in. There really is so much beauty in it, and all we need to do is pack a bag and head out of the city, even if it’s for a day.
So, as we check the gear, prepare lunch and have breakfast, that morning cup of coffee being an essential starter to the day, we pack the car and leave at around 6am. Our destination: Bronkhorstspruit Dam (or Bronkies as we call it in our little community). The task ahead: a day of climbing. Being the most experienced climber in the group, with Hannes being my second in command, it is our task to teach Tinus to climb, but I also have to teach Hannes a few things as well, because he’s been out of it for a while now. I really don’t mind though. I get to spend the day doing something that I love, and I also have the opportunity to spend the day with two of my best friends, and I get to usher them into the world that I am so passionate about.
A view of Bronkies from the Crag!
About 4 years have passed since I decided to start Rock Climbing. While I was a Summer Camp Counselor in Rock Hill, New York, USA in 2005, I met up with Dale, someone who would ultimately influence the way that I view life in general. He continuously spoke of how important it was to be spiritually in-tune with life. After many yoga sessions, and general ramblings of the practice of mountaineering, travel, and some rather interesting nights sitting on canoes on the camp lake and rambling on about many different topics, ranging from spirituality, to adventure, to the birth of The Mad Traveller, I began to understand the importance of what he was trying to tell me.
Life is really an amazing thing. Your views change as you experience more things in life, and slowly, as life passes you by, you end up as the person you are. I’ve always believed that one should try as much as you can in life, but this just blew my mind.
Up until that time, I was focused on making as much money as I could and attempting to be a successful individual. I was, and in many respects still am quite involved in IT. Needless to say, after the many years that have passed, and many rather interesting, and somewhat odd jobs around South Africa, I’ve finally fallen into a great working environment, architecting some pretty complex IT Infrastructures for some noteworthy clients, with a rather decent set of qualifications gained along the way. Every job that passed me by I learned something valuable, and along the way, I began my climbing career and my route to my personal enlightenment.
Was browsing around on Facebook this evening and I stumbled across this group about dating climbers. Considering that I’m an AVID climbing fanatic I found it extremely funny, and in many cases VERY true… Though’t I’d share… 🙂
01) we use protection
02) we are flexible
03) we keep going when it hurts
04) we like like it on top
05) we will grab them big or small
06) we take it in every position
07) we dont mind getting dirty!
08) we like it hard
09) we have perfect technique
10) We grunt when the action heats up.
11) We are good with our hands
12) we know how to use our hips
13) not scared to do it for an audience
14) We dont quit
15) We arent scared of anything
16) We move anyways you want us to
17) We like tight clothing / almost no clothing
18) We like making people scream and yell
19) we have good technique even when tired
20) we have amazing bodies
21) we have big jugs
22) (for girls) even your slopers are always firm
23) we’re cool with fist jams
24) we think friction is a good thing
25) our average rope is 50 meters long
26) our girls are like ‘biners….they don’t get mad
27) if you don’t kiss them after you finish.
28) We’re used to being overhung.
29) experts at stabbing pockets
30) fist jams…yeah, we invented those
31) used to juggling nuts
32) always end up going down.
33) know how to rest then go at it again.
34) dont mind doing it against a wall
35) we always top out
36) we have huge racks…
37) we love wet cracks…
38) we swap leads…
39) We know a knot for every situation.
40) We already own harnesses and rope.
41) When our hands are busy we use our mouths.
42) We are okay with having more than one partner.
43) We make sure everyone we are with gets on top.
44) We never stop before the climax.
45) Oh, and we are great at sex.
View of Boven (from Rock & Rope Adventures - www.rocrope.com)
Waterval Boven, about 100Km’s from Nelspruit in Mpumulanga, South Africa, is a haven for sports climbing. It’s world renouwned to be one of the coolest spots to climb, and for a very good reason. There are currently more than 600 sport routes to climb in the area, and there are also a ton of Trad routes as well. Currently, I hear from some climbing buddies, that they’re planning on opening another new crag to the public. Negotiations are currently underway with a farmer who owns the property. Obviously access is needed. Once this process is complete there will be even more routes opening up at Boven. For the future, there are something like 20Km’s of additional crags to add to the equation, so as you can see, it’s rather insane! There is something that makes this place unique, the color of the rock. You can always tell if a picture is taken here because the rock is red. It’s really awesome!
Red Column, A classic trad route in the Magaliesberg
There have been many time’s I’ve said that a route that I’ve done has been awesome, but nothing can compare to Red Column in the Tonquani Complex. Since I was introduced to Trad Climbing a few weeks ago, i’ve grown to love it more an more each time I go. Needless to say, i still have many more years of Trading to do, this is one of those experiences that will stand out for a long time to come as probably the best climb I have ever done!
“Probably the most beautiful kloof in the Magaliesberg Mountains, Tonquani is the picture of what most people would class as the perfect water feature that they would love to adorn their house except that this one goes on for Kilometre after Kilometre. Stunning tree fern lined pools of crystal clear water interspersed with giant rocks go to make this walk an unforgettable experience.” (Quote – Footprint)
The Magaliesberg Mountain Sanctuary
Once again, I’m at a loss for words. as I mentioned in my Kloofing blog, places like these are really special. There’s just something unexplainable about being in Nature and enjoying it to the fullest! Especially when you’re there to do the impossible (at least it seemed impossible at the start of the climb). The rejuvinating affect it has on you really is something else, and this time, the sense of accomplishment was greater than ever! I never thought i’d start trad climbing so soon. Originally I did sport climbing but now there’s more to the climbing. it means more now than what it did, considering that in trad climbing there is a philosophy of ‘Leave No Trace’. Let me explain…