Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Welcome to Rocklands

After 26 hours of flying and 36 hours of straight travel, I've made it home. What an amazing trip. I don't know where to begin but with the most spectacular view I've encountered at any climbing area I've ever been to:
To say that Rocklands is vast is an understatement. It is literally unquantifiable. "Rocklands" as we know it today consists of the climbing at the northern tip of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, which covers over 360 square miles. Bouldering will continue to be developed as long as people are willing to hike. What makes the development so much work however, is the fact that maybe .5% of the rock out there is the rock you want to climb on. So, more times than not, you will spend a few hours hiking to a new zone only to find a few lines worth climbing. However, new areas are out there, hidden in the valleys, waiting to be found. I'm sure of it.

Early in the trip, the crew went to the Roadcrew area. Psyched to explore, I dropped my pad, put on my small Kompressor pack and started running around. Not more than 100 yards from the super classic v9, Last Day in Paradise, I saw this:
I was attracted to the precarious nature of this boulder, overhanging over a precipice, isolated on top of a cliff, with an amazing view. As you can see from the rope, a fall from anywhere on the line would land you off the cliff. To start, you walk to where the boulder and the cliff meet to grab the start holds. Even a fall from here would be game ending.

Photo: Jamie Emerson

Photo: Jamie Emerson

Photo: Jamie Emerson

Despite the relatively short nature of the climb (maybe 18 feet), the exposure, commitment and the wide open landscape add an exciting element, making you buzz with excitement while on the climb.

Being motived purely by aesthetics lately, this climb was as good as they get for me. Relatively easy physically, allowing you to enjoy the climbing despite the danger, yet totally gorgeous.

I will continue to post more photos as I get them. Until then, I highly recommend you check out Jamie's website, b3bouldering.com, where he is doing an amazing job chronicling the trip.

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