Tuesday, July 21, 2009

There Are Flowers Here

The rain is gone and we have been climbing again. We've also visited the beach and are currently making plans to see some very big critters. The last arrivals in our party come in on Thursday. Also, I think we're all still very excited about the climbing here. The only downturn is that we may have to pay for our climbing from now on. Most of the farms we climb at have begun charging for our recreating and Rangers have begun hanging out at the entrance to the Cederburg Wilderness and charging us day use fees. The fees are understandable and minimal compared to what we would pay in the States, but it does add yet another expense to the ever growing list.

On a personal note, I've had the unfortunate flair-up of the bicep pain I'd avoided for about a month. Just when I thought I was in the clear I hopped on a thrutchy, difficult problem without a proper warm-up and WHAM! my bicep yells at me. Typical really. Once you think you're rehabbed you neglect the things that got you healthy in the first place. Its not as bad as it was in the beginning so hopefully I can keep it at bay for the duration of the trip. I hope I have the discipline.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rain and New Arrivals

Today we are sitting out our third day of rain in a row. ARGH! I'm exceedingly antsy to go out and climb. My skin is rock hard and I have fresh muscles to exhaust. There is only so much to do around the house and Internet is WEAK in town so there is not much to be gained from that. Ideally we'd be doing something cool like a safari or brai but those also require good weather.

Alan and Amna arrived a few days ago and Lyn, Paul, and Cam arrive tonight. Hopefully they'll bring us some good weather.

Our first day of rain wasn't too heavy and it was a scheduled rest day anyway. After going to town for groceries Becky and I decided to check out a little more of the property that is owned by the Strauss family (they own the house we're staying in). The coolest thing we found was some amazing rock art in one of the small roofs by a pretty little stream. We did a modest hike too and found some boulders. Nothing mind blowing but some potential for sure.

Hopefully sun tomorrow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Fighting Zebra

Peter, harnessing his inner Zebra on 'Springbok'...so good!

We returned to the Sassies' yesterday with several high class lines in mind. The 'Pinotage' boulder is perhaps the finest boulder in the developed Rocklands, certainly the best I've seen so far. It has a plethora of excellent warm-ups with friendly holds, several more difficult moderates of impeccable quality, a beautiful looking highball, and the boulder's namesake, which is one of my all-time favorites.

Its funny, each day we go go out I don't have much preference as to where we should go. This is a somewhat new sensation to me. Usually I have an agenda of sorts. Don't get me wrong, there are things here I really want to do, but I'm not feeling pressed for time. Its all new and its all fantastic. I'm sure that will change over time as I start to project a few things but for now, the Rocklands is my oyster and it is delicious.

Some post domino game artwork

Monday, July 6, 2009


Our back porch

Well, we've gotten our hands on some crutches, courtesy of a kind women in the administration office. There were none available in the hospital but she had some at her home and is allowing us to borrow them. Hopefully this will make it easier for Becky to get around and still enjoy the magic of this place.

Another relatively minor health issue, I came down with a bad cold from all of the travel. I'm hoping I'm over the hump and I'm taking two days off to recover a bit. I'm afraid I'm going to infect the whole house though. There's not a lot of room to quarantine ones self here.

Sunrise out our kitchen window

After waking every morning well before sunrise for most of our first week, I think I'm adjusting to a normal sleeping pattern finally. This, combined with clearing sinuses will hopefully translate to some hard sends in the near future. Off to lunch now, cheap cheap!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

From Heaven to Hell

There's no easy way to say it so I'll just state it bluntly, Becky seriously injured her knee today on our second day of climbing. She was trying another of the fantastic problems here, one that involved a slight dyno. She partially latched the hold but came loose and fell hard and awkwardly. Judging from her scream I expected to see a compound fracture. Fortunately that was not the case. Unfortunately, the doctor in town believes she partially tore her MCL. He did not have access to an X-ray or MRI but seemed very confident in his diagnosis. I'm not sure what we're going to do, all I know is that right now we're really upset and a bit bewildered.

We'll try an update everyone when we figure things out. Hopefully next time we'll have better news.
Publish Post

Friday, July 3, 2009

Heaven Is a Place On Earth

Well, we made it. It was a absurdly long journey. About 50 hours from the time we woke up to leave at 3:30am Monday morning (CA time) till the time we arrived at the Ernie house where we'll be staying for the next two months. I got about 8 hours sleep mixed in there somewhere, but I'm not sure. I made a little video about our journey but the connection here is prohibitively slow so I won't be able to share that for a while.

The destination was well worth the headaches. This place is unbelievable. If I weren't a climber, I'd still be in awe. Its a gorgeous place. Its as if Dr. Suess and Albert Bierstadt collaborated with God to make this wonderland come alive. As a climber, I'm having a hard time coming up with reasons for why this isn't the best bouldering area I've ever been to.

I'm thrilled to be here with great friends and I feel so lucky knowing that even more are on the way. For those of you who haven't been yet (Paul, Lyn, Randy, and Alan) you won't be disappointed.

I already miss my Turtle but I hear she recently posed for some advertising photos and may be able to pay my bills when I return...Good Dog!

To wrap it up, I'll leave you all with a photo of Becky on a great problem called 'Schwupp' from our first full day out at the boulders.