Rocklands Day 16

Rocklands Day 16

Posted on 11. Aug, 2009 by in News

I was super psyched on the last two days, but the forecast was for rain, which I was ok with. It would have been the first forced rest day of the trip, which is a pretty amazing streak of good weather. When we woke up the clouds were somewhat threatening, but everything was dry, and a rainbow came out. We decided to climb!

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Here is shot near Pakhuis Pass, where we saw some baboons a few times. This is driving up the east side of the pass, Clanwilliam is one the west side, at least another 20 minutes from here.

The Tea Farm is the closest area to Clanwilliam, and although it is only 5 minutes from the road (which would make it by far the shortest approach in the Rocklands) there are really only two problems there.

IMG_8014Tea Farm Area from the road. Black Shadow climbs out the dark cave, underneath the large orange face, in the center of the photo.

Black Shadow V13 is the prize. It climbs a really nice overhanging feature on perfect sloping edges and pinches. It seemed really hard and I struggled on several moves. Nalle had tried this problem last year at the end of the day, but came back this day to finish it off in an hour or so. I finally figured out my beta and surprised myself by doing a good link. My confidence was high and I was psyched to try it from the start. There was a very tricky toe hook that was the crux for me. Two difficult bump moves off the same right foot, the first one easier for the short, the second one easier for the tall.

IMG_7161Kevin Jorgeson on Black Shadow

I must have fallen 6 or 7 times from the start on this move. I refined my beta and got the send. Of course it is in my nature to question things, and I could question the grade on this one. However, it was very much my style, I was climbing well and motivation was high. This is the hardest problem I have ever climbed in a day, unquestionably. Such a sick boulder and one of the best problems I climbed, or saw while I was there. A world class problem for sure and one that I would recommend to anyone who is capable.

IMG_7166Black Shadow 8B

We spent the rest of the day in Clanwilliam running errands. Clanwilliam is quaint, in its own African way, and although the scene certainly is different than in the US, I never felt threatened while I was there,

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There is a charming internet cafe, where we ate lunch, but unfortunately the connection speed is glacial, hence the lack of updates while I was there. The nicest grocery store in town is The Spar.

IMG_8017The Spar

As is often the case when traveling internationally, the fruits and vegetables were a bit lacking. The meat was acceptable but perhaps a bit more fatty than here in the US. I would say the quality of the food was similar, if not worse, than that of The Vista, in El Paso. They did sell Red Bull, and high fructose corn syrup free Coke.

IMG_8019Clanwilliam

One of the best things about traveling to South Africa is the exchange rate. I think we figured we were spending around $36 per person, per week on groceries. A nice bottle of wine would cost about $5, and in fact I purchased the most expensive bottle of wine in the liquor store for about $15. We would often cook red meat over a fire and the wine was a nice touch. A nice way to wind down before the weather turned south.

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