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Rocklands South Africa 2013

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By James Kassay

After a great trip to Rocklands last year we decided that it was a destination that had to be visited again! So… here we are one year later.

After the World Cups in Europe it was great to have some down time while visiting some of Claire’s family in Plettenberg Bay in the Eastern Cape. After a few days of relaxing, walking and eating it was time to make the eight-hour drive across to Rocklands.

Time is flying by and we have now been here for just under three weeks… Overall the weather has been amazing and sunny with only the odd forced rest day during periods of rain. Last year I spent all the time running around just climbing every problem I could find so there was heaps of mileage but no time to concentrate on anything hard.

This year we have met a great crew of climbers from around the world and it has been great to work some of the classic hard blocks with them. So far I have ticked off a few great problems including flashing ‘The Hatchling’ 8a/V11, climbing ‘Green Mamba’ 8a+/V12 and am really psyched to have ticked off ‘Sky’ 8b+/V14 quite quick. Unfortunately I have been struggling with some skin issues after puncturing a tip last week, all I want to do is climb, but my finger seems to want to bleed… So I’m taping my tip when I can and saving what little skin I have for the big sends when I need all the friction possible!

We now have only one week left here in Rocklands before making the drive back to Plet and starting the journey home… (via some game parks near Johannesburg).

UPDATE 18th June 2013

After a couple of rest days I managed to grow enough skin to keep climbing. I managed to fight my way through Derailed V14 then do Tea with Elmarie V12 second shot then had an unfortunate foot pop at the top on my flash attempt of The Arch V13. (Still have to go back to do that one.)

The following day we went up to the Pass and I had a shot at Amandla V14. It’s a very impressive high steep face with some razor edges on it. After a couple of attempts I found myself past the crux staring at the top holds, unfortunately I hadn’t prepped to get there and just didn’t commit to the move so fell to the ground. The following shot I managed to put a rather deep slice into my finger tip (a different one to last time) So now I am looking at another couple of rest days before I can hopefully climb again. I have managed to super glue the slice together and hopefully that will hold so I can go back and tick it off before leaving on Sunday…

Photos by James Kassay and Claire Langmore

This blog post was originally published at jameskassay.com and appears here with permission. Visit James’ blog for more.

James Kassay is sponsored by Kailas, Evolv, Black Diamond and Beal.