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Who's a Naughty Boy down under Posted 29/12/2000
The route 'Whos a Naughty Boy' was a long standing project of Gordan Putlney in Australia. Garth Miller opened the route in 1998 and graded it 32/33(Aus) or 34/35(SA). Gordon was apparantly upset and smashed the bolts, broke off holds and put sun tan cream on the route! In 1999 the bolts were replaced and now Nathan Hoette has given the 'modified' route a second ascent now at 33(Aus) 35(SA) ?
Another free line up El Cap Posted 29/12/2000

Alex & Thomas Huber have opened a new free route on El Cap in Yosemite, California, USA. The German brothers opened 'Golden Gate' at grade 5.13b (30) with 18 pitches! Several lines have now been freed on El Cap to date and it seems to be the latest challenge in the valley.
Canadian 12 year old doing 33 Posted 29/12/2000

A Canadian kid, Sean McColl recently redpointed 'The Pulse' a 5.14a (33) His size of 5'3" makes must also be noted.
Ferkloof gets its first 32 Posted 29/12/2000

The old project left of 'Acromax' has now been opened by Paul Brouard. The short bouldery route goes at grade 32 and is called 'Aqualung', this is the hardest line at Fernkloof. The sport routes at this crag now has 15 bolted routes from 24-32 at almost every grade excluding 30. There are plans to bolt 4-6 more lines in this area from 18-31.
Arnaud Petit & Stephanie Bodet in SA  Posted 17/10/2000
Arnaud Petit & Stephanie Bodet on a recent visit to South Africa visited Outshoorn and Rocklands in the Cederberg. At Outshoorn Arnaud managed to onsight 'Short Circuit' and said it was only 8a+ (31). Arnaud however has excellent endurance and this is known to be an endurance route, so he was probibly well suited to the route. He also onsighted 'El Nino' a 30. Stephanie repeated both 'Short Circuit' and 'El Nino', both on her second try.

At Rocklands, Cederberg Arnaud repeated 'Pendragon' V11/8a, 'Baboon Master' V10/7c+, 'Sunset Arete' V9/7c & 'Caroline' V9/7c. Stephanie also repeated 'Sunset Arete' and 'Caroline'.

You can find more information on Outshoorn in our Route Guide Database.

Arnaud Petit on

Overseas Hits Posted 17/10/2000
Chris Sharma on a recent trip to Ceuse in France again tried the extention to 'Biographie', Biographie is 8c+ (35) without the extention! He reached a new highpoint since his last attempt on the extention and was doing laps on 'Biographie' itself but could not yet get the route. The extention could well  make it the hardest route in the world.

Canadian Sonnie Trotter repeated 'The Crew' 5.14b (34) and 'The 7pm TV Show' 5.14a (33) in Colorado.

New Routes at The Restaurant Posted 17/10/2000
See the New Routes page for more information. Alard Hufner, Mark Seuring, Tessa Little & Gustav van Rensburg have been bolting a few new routes. Alard & Mark repeated Gustav's 'Merci my Brother' 26 at The Coven and Gustav & Alard repeated Mark's new 'Transmogrifier' also 26. Alard also flashed 'Tripolactic Fairytales' 27 while Gustav flashed 'Chunky Monkey' 27.
Bouldering News from Abroad Posted 14/10/2000

Dave Graham repeated Chris Sharma's problem, 'The Mandala' V13 at The Buttermilks, California. Jared Roth nabbed the third ascent. Paul Westwood from Australia repeated 'AmmaGamma' in The Grampins, this is Klem Loskot's V13.
Activity in Natal Posted 12/10/2000

Franscis Vergunst has been busy repeating a whole string of routes. At Delville Wood he repeated 'Siamang Blues' a 30, in Kloof 'Phantom of the Opera' 28 at the Eroica Wall, 'Static Patterns' 29 at the Lab. Back at Shongweni he fired 'Guarana' 29, 'Love & Demons' 29 and 'Headology' 28 at The Magnetic Wall. He also opened his project, the extention to 'Paragon' which he has named 'Cave Rave' and graded 31. Steve Bradshaw in his visit to Natal repeated 'Barricade' 32 on his fourth go, onsighted 'Invertigo' 27/28 and repeated 'Phantom of The Opera' 28 and 'Headology' also a 28.
Pushing 9a (36) Posted 10/10/2000

Francois Legrand gave 'Ghetto Booty' at Mount Charlston, USA its first ascent grading it 8c+/9a (35/36). Yuji Hirayama opened a new route in Italy called 'Underground' , at Pueblo di Massone, Arco it is graded 8c+/9a (35/36), he also redpointed 'Noia' another 8c+ (35).

Skiing down Everest Posted 09/10/2000
Davo Karnica from Slovenia has managed to ski down Everest, non-stop. It took him about 6hrs to get from the summit to basecamp.
Local Repeats Posted 20/09/2000

Paul Brouard our top climber who has just recently won the Praxis National Comp redpointed 'Bully for Brontasaurus' a 29 at The Chosspile, Magaliesberg on his second try. He also onsighted 'Glisade' at 27, this route was previously known as 'Slanted & Enchanted'.

Storm of Repeats Overseas Posted 20/09/2000
USA - Dave Graham He completed his boulder problem at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. He named it 'Nothin but Sunshine' and graded it V13/V14. He also put a grade of V13 to his problem 'Chunk of Blitz' in New Hampshire and finally put a grade to his route 'The Fly' at Rumney which he says is 5.14d (36). Dave also onsights 'Superpowers' a 5.14a (33) at The Fortress, Rifle, Colorado. This makes him one of the few on a small but growing list of 5.14a (33) onsighters. Yuji still holds the onsight record at 34.
USA - David Marquess (13) At only 13 David did the second ascent of the sitstart to 'The Bloody Arete' a V11 at Ute Pass in Colorado.
USA - Francios le Grand Frenchman Francois repeated 'Ghetto Booty' a 5.14c (35) at Mnt Charlston.
USA - Liv Sansoz Liv sends 'Hasta la Vista' a 5.14b/c (34/35) also at Mnt Charlston. Liv and Francois both entered into the Wasatch front bouldering comp, Liv winning and Francois coming third in Men's with Sharma and Dave Graham beating him.
USA - Big Wall Steve Schneider a few years ago tried to free 'Lurking Fear' on El Capitan and suceeded but for a few sections. Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden and Dean Potter managed to free the route. There are two 5.13c (31) pitches.
CANADA Sonnie Trotter redpoints 'The Titan' at Lion's Head, Eastern Canada at 5.14a (33). This is the first route of its grade in Canada, she has also opened two other unrespeated 5.13d (32) routes.
SWITZERLAND Michi Tresch repeated Fred Nicole's problem 'Comme un Lointain Heuco' a V13 at Steingletcher on his first try!
ITALY Luca Zardini has climbed what could be Italy's hardest route to date. He called it 'The Big Mother' and is in Erto. The route goes at about F8c+/9a (35/36). Luca also repeated 'Mission Impossible' at Orpiere, France graded 8c (34) in only 1 day.

Greg Child Millenium Lecture & Climbing Tour of SA
8 000-meter peaks, A5 big-walls and 5.13 sport climbs are ALL part of Greg Child's climbing repertoire! It's no wonder that many consider him to be the most accomplished all-round climber in the world. (More information about Greg Child on

Great news is that Greg Child - under the auspices of the MCSA - will present a nation-wide lecture tour from end-October to November 2000. The different lectures will cover Himalayan ascents as well as big wall and rock climbing. There will also be ample time for members to meet and climb with Greg: a unique opportunity! The tour is co-ordinated by Philip van der Spuy and the Cape Town Section (

Please see our Calendar for dates or contact Philip directly.

Tommy Caldwell (22) & Beth Rodden (20) and two others were recently held hostage by Islamic militants in Krygyzstan. They were on a trip exploring new routes on the walls of the Kara-su Valley. Rebels starting shooting at them while they were on the face and forced them down.

In a bold move they managed to push one of the armed guards off a cliff and hike 29 kilometres to freedom. They are both back on home soil and unharmed.

Arjan de Kock of de Doorns recently redpointed 'Factor 15' a 29 in the Cederberg, this is possibly the hardest redpoint for a 14 year old in SA.

Alard Hufner flashed 'Tripolactic Fairytales' the classic 27 at The Restaurant while Paul Brouard onsighted the tough 'Unlimited Power' 27 on the Acra wall.

Gustav van Rensburg flashed 'Chunky Monkey', 27 at The Theatre at The Restaurant, this crag also has a few new routes presently being developed.

SHONGWENI & BOVEN CRIME Posted 14/08/2000
Unfortunately there has been another incident at the Wave Cave and one at Waterval Boven at the Acra Wall where climbers have been mugged. Please take care in these areas. For now if you want to climb at the Wave/Rasta Caves, Shongweni Dam you must do so in the presence of a ranger. This ranger has to be booked at least 24 hours before your intended visit (48 hours for Sundays). He will be present at the venue from 8am to 5pm at the cost of R30. ie. If you dont book a ranger, the crags are closed!! The booking party will pay the ranger fee, and has the right to make
a pro-rata claim on other parties arriving.

Bookings can be cancelled with 24 hours notice. (Sundays 48)

In order to make a booking call the Duty Officer, Shongweni Resources Reserve on (031) 769-1283/6/7
Be prepared to supply your name and postal address.

MOZAMBIQUE BIG WALLS Posted 10/08/2000
There will be a slide show held on 23 August at 20h00 at the MCSA clubhouse in Waverly JHB on big wall climbing. Alard Hufner & Mark Seuring spent some time in Mozambique in July, they pioneered 2 routes up the 700m high east face of Mlema 3 and the 650m high "Dos Amigos Face" on the Rebawe Mountain. They spent four days opening "African Light" 22 A1 mostly going free with 14 pitches, 2 tention traverses & a pendulum. 2.5 days were spent on "Delayed Gratification" 22 A1+ with 18 pitches.

CLIMBING ABROAD Posted 05/08/2000
Jason Campbell opened 'Gut Buster', a  5.14c (35) in the US.

DUNCAN ELLIOT Posted 01/08/2000
Duncan Elliott was killed in an avalanche while attempting the north face of Mount Huascaran (22,205 feet) in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Exact details of the accident are not known at this time.

FOSSIL FUEL Posted 08/07/2000
Ralph Brucher has opened 'Fossil Fuel' at The Chosspile. It was an old project of Peter Lazarus. Ralph did the route without the drilled pocket and thinks it a full grade harder than 'Stormwatch' a 31 at Fernkloof putting Fossil Fuel at a solid 32 ?

POSSIBLE 37 OPENED IN THE UK ? Posted 24/07/2000
Steve McClure has opened up an old abandoned project of Ben Moon at Kilnsey Crag in the UK. The route is though by Moon and Malcom Smith to be 9a+ (37).

SPIDERS CLIMBING GYM Posted 08/07/2000
A while back the Spiders gym in Arcadia, Pretoria closed down but we hear that it has now been reopened.

HARDEST ROUTE BY A WOMAN Posted 07/07/2000
Josune Bereciartu does it again! She has become the first woman to climb 8c+ (35), this after having repeated two 8c (34) routes already. She joined 'Magic Eye' and 'Honky Tonky', both 8c to do the route called 'Honky Mix' in Spain.

JOHN DUNNE OPENS UP NEW E10, 7a ROUTE Posted 06/07/2000
John Dunne has put up a line on the Tophet Wall in the Lake District, its graded E10, 7a (+/- 34).

I SCREAM GETS A REPEAT Posted 04/07/2000
The long standing testpiece of Boone Speed at American Foek has been repeated by Jared Roth an 18 year old American. The route goes at 5.14c (35) and is said to have a V12 crux in it.

Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden teamed up to free 'Lurking Fear', a 22 pitch route up El Cap. Twp pitches went at 5.13c (31). Hans Florine rope soloed both 'Lurking Fear' and 'The West Face' of El Cap in 21 hours!

Garth Miller from Australia has opened a new route called "GREY AREA" at grade 33 Australian (SA 35). The line is at Diamond Falls in the Blue Mountains and will be the hardest line in Australia.

YOUNG TALENT AND V14 IN THE UK Posted 13/06/2000
Tori Allen, a small twelve year old girl has onsighted "Harvest" at Red River Gorge, this is a 5.13a (29). She also came second in the ASCF Difficulty Nationals in the States being beaten only by Tiffany Campbell.

Thomas Willenberg added a sit start to "Brad Pit" in Stanage. This makes the boulder problem a V14 and probibly the hardest in the UK. While there he opened a new problem, "Mercy" at V12.

WORLD'S HARDEST ROUTES Posted 09/06/2000
"Action Direct", the first 9a (36) was opened in 1991 and has just been repeated by Iker Pou a spaniard. This is its third repeat after Alexander Adler did the second ascent in 1995. The route was opened by Wolfgang Gulich. Three other 36s have been done this year so far, "Kryptonite" a 5.14d (36) in the States by Tommy Caldwell and "Elfe" 9a (36) was repeated by Klem Loskot and Im "Reich des Shogun" a 9a  by Eric Talmadge. Below is a list of all known 36s, some could be harder than 9a.

- Action Direct 9a (36) in Germany - Wolfgang Gulich  1991
- Bain de Sang 9a (36) - Fred Nicole  1993
- Big Bang 9a (36) - Neil Carson   1997
- Elfe 9a (36) in Switzerland - Fred Nicole   1997
- Hantillo 9a (36) - Klem Loskott   1996
- Im Reich des Shogun 9a (36) - Eric Talmadge   2000
- Intermezzo 9a (36) - Klem Loskott   1997
- Kryptonite 5.14d (36) USA - Tommy Caldwell   1999
- Mutation (36) - Steve McClure   1998
- Open Air 9a (36) - Alexander Huber   1996
- Vakuumgeist 9a (36) - Klem Loskott   1998

In South Africa our hardest route is still uncertain but could be the extention to "Barricade" called "Thantos" opened by Paul Brouard at the Wave Cave in Natal.

V14's and 5.14s Posted 27/05/2000
On a recent trip to Australia Fred Nicole did three V14 boulder problems in his two week holiday. He repeated 'Cave Rave' and Ammagamma, the latter which he did in only a days work, possibly the fastest repeat of a V14. Both these problems were opened by Klem Loskot at the Grampians. Fred then continued to open his own V14 called 'Eve Reve'.

Yuji Hirayama from Japan was in Italy recently and onsighted another 8b+ (33), the route was called 'Folla Esplosiva'.

FERNKLOOF NEWS Posted 23/05/2000
Thomas Vergunst did a quick redpoint of 'Glass Menagerie' and 'Lawyers Guns and Money' both 27 at Fernkloof in the Magaliesberg.

A while ago Gift Acres climbing wall closed with the Hikers Paradise shop closing and sadly now Spiders gym has also closed. Only the Barn now remains in Pretoria and it seems to be doing well. Spiders may reopen though - give them your support to keep it open.

OVERSEAS NEWS Posted 07/05/2000
Ben Moon, on a visit to Utah in the States opened up 'Black Lung' a V13 in Joe's Valley. Steven Jeffery then repeated it after having worked the project hundreds of times before. Dave Graham opened a new route, 'Fly' a 5.14c/d (35/36) at Rumney in the States.

The parking at the Wonderland area is presently for free, thanks to the farmer who allows us to park there. His dogs tend to follow climbers to the crag and the farmer has lost two Jack Russels already. It is suspected that when the dogs wander away someone picks them up.

Please chase the dogs away when they try follow you, our access is at risk here. As we all know by now the alternative is to get our cars broken into again!

Chris Sharma puts up 'The Mandla' a possible V13 at the Buttermilks, USA.
Tommy Caldwell flashes 'Hydrophobia' a 33 at Mount Sant in Spain, the grade is apparantly a bit soft.
Chris Lindner opens up 'The Annihilator' at grade 35 (5.14c) in Mt. Potasi, US.
In England at Burbage South Neil Bentley has opened what could be the hardest trad route. He called it 'Equilibrium' and graded it 34! (E10 7a).

LOCAL HOT FLASH NEWS Posted 15/03/2000
Clinton Martinengo from Cape Town has aopen 'Be Quick or be Dead' a 31 on trad! He also opened 'Wings of Glory' a 29. Also in Cape Town Jonathan Wamsteker picked up an ascent of 'The Scenic Route' a 28 at The Mine.
Mark Seuring and Craig Reed both redpointed 'Faberge' the classic 28 at Fernkloof.

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