One hundred routes: my climbing in 2019 in numbers and pictures.

The year 2019 was the centenary of the foundation of the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the Mountain Club of South Africa (hereafter MCSA-KZN). To celebrate the occurrence, my climbing partner Neil came up with a challenge: to climb 100 different routes within the year. Sixteen people took up the challenge; of those, six of them reached the targeted number. Some would claim that climbing is all about the experience but, deep down, we all know that it is all about the numbers. Here are some.

Flashing “One step from the Earth” (17 trad), Morgan Bay. Gavin Raubenheimer at the belay. Picture by Anthony van Tonder.
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Climbing granite domes in South Africa (this is not about Paarl)

The hill known to climbers as “Old Baldy” is a MMMASSIVE granite dome in the valley below Monteseel, in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), overlooking the Umgeni River. There are only four established routes at the moment, all from the ’90s: one is trad, the others all had bolts in a dire state. We have recently re-bolted two of them (I say “we” but Gavin and Werner did most of the work, with a little help from Kirsty, Hallam and me) and this weekend Hallam, Werner, Brad and I went to repeat them.

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