A wise person once told me that when you find an activity that nurtures you, you should treat it like you would have treated an appointment with Nelson Mandela… it should receive top priority! Mira embodied that principle by pitching up for a last climb of the season with us… against all jet-setting odds! So did Riaan because he managed to climb despite having left his shoes behind! Anton has connections with angels who support his climbing to such an extent that they will arrange for a delivery on command; at the designated ‘remote ledge’, bearing a spare pair of climbing shoes.
Somehow Riaan managed to lead ‘Manoeuvers’ despite wearing ‘pantoffels’ (Afrikaans for slippers) and Starlings dive-bombing (well over the speed limit) his helmet while he was dyno’ing the hard roof crux! I didn’t even hear a foreign swear word as Mira made her way along the 15m traverse on this grade 20 (in reality harder than a 6b) route on Table Mountain.
I followed on Fader’s which has some awkward cracks and corners which make for delightfully unusual pitches; including a dense garden that runs across the last pitch! A black prehistoric-looking lizard was doing push ups while we heard about the ‘Manoeuvers’ adventure.
Somehow, my friends weren’t bleeding and didn’t need recovery time after the climb of the century… Mira aka ‘girl-power-personified’ summed that epic journey up as ‘fun’.
Next up was Bombay Duck which Mira on-sited with some experienced guidance from Anton.
Riaan managed to lead ‘Fingerlocking Good’ in loose shoes. It took me a few attempts before I got through the tricky start. I only noticed the great side-pull when it was pointed out to me and once I realised that a layaway was the only way up, I managed to let go of my clingy need to embrace the mountain ‘froggy-style’.
After a very enjoyable vertical wall climb which would have been treacherous on lead because of the dodgy flakes… I made my way up the final scramble. A perfect day of learning about walking cams and trusting in one’s self… I left the mountain feeling extremely satisfied.
My climbing friends were picking up litter and generously helping out lost and harassed visitors to Table Mountain whom they didn’t know from a bar of soap. This is all part of the climbing spirit that I’ve come to appreciate… if one wants to fix things one cares about; the trick is just to start by taking any crack of opportunity to make a meaningful difference.