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MOUNT EVEREST Posted 01/12/1999
Paul Brouard on a recent visit to the local resort, Mount Everest managed an onsight of  'Swiss Cheese', a beautiful 29 on The Bird. The route was opened by Mike Cartwright and was repeated by Matt Murison last year.

NEWS FROM ABROAD Posted 01/12/1999
Yuji Hirayama has become the first person to onsight an 8c (34). The routes was 'Mortal Combat' near Nice, in France. Klem Loskot has put up a new V14 (8b+) boulder problem in Germany called 'Wrestling with an Alligator'. He also proceeded to repeat 'Elfe' a 9a/9a+ (36/37) which was opened by Fred Nicole, possibly the worlds hardest route.

MDT GAUTENG BRANCH Posted 01/12/1999
This notice serves to inform all interested parties of the formation of the Gauteng Branch of the Mountain Development Trust (MDT) and call for applications for accrediation under the MDT scheme. The formation of this branch stems from a meeting in Pretoria on 19 October, announced on SA Mountain Talk, at which a committee was elected to set up the necessary structures to run the Gauteng Branch of the MDT efficiently.

The MDT was developed to established and maintain nationally recognised skills and training standards for the many clubs, organisations and individuals active in mountain related activities. The MDT's Mountain Training Scheme integrates training and assessment in both mountain walking and rock climbing. Training and assessment courses cover all levels of skill from basic mountain walking and rock climbing through to the Mountaineering Instructor Award where the recipient is qualified to lead parties and instruct mountain-craft under all conditions in any of South Africa's mountains. The programme, standards, course syllabi and certification is co-ordinated and controlled by the South African Mountaineering and Training Trust which is a legally constituted body registered with the Master of the Supreme Court. Training and assessment courses are run by individuals approved and accredited by the Trust.

Recently the Trust called for the formation of regional branches to streamline the accreditation process and this has led to the formation of the KwaZulu-Natal Branch and now the Gauteng Branch. The purpose of the Gauteng branch will be to:

1. Call for local applications for MDT accreditation
2. Arrange for the assessment of applicants in accordance with the MDT standards
3. Maintain a database of the applications and the outcomes of the assessments
4. Promote the MDT accreditation system

The Gauteng branch has set up the necessary structures to manage a local MDT branch and will be ready to commence assessments by 15 January. Logbooks may be submitted in the interim.

The committee members and contact details of the Gauteng Branch are:

Stephen Mallory:
Chris Vind:
Rob Thomas:
Petrus Nel:
Dieter van der Berg:
Mike Behr:

If you wish to submit an aplication or obtain more information, contact Stephen Mallory at (012) 365-2121 or Mike Behr at (012) 341-8554.

To assist prospective applicants, Guidelines and Procedures for Assessments have been drafted and will be made available via e-mail on request.

MHLABATINI BREAK INS Posted 01/12/1999
Unfortunately there have already been at least three break-ins to cars parked at Mhlabatini. If anyone is interested in setting a trap the farmer opposite the parking has offered assistance in apprehending the pathetic thieves. If we dont take action it will simply get worse.

HOT FLASH NEWS Posted 08/11/1999
A bit of local news, Sean Cremen redpointed 'Faberge' the classic 28 at Fernkloof with little effort. Alard Hufner still busy in Yosemite has just rope-soloed 'The Shield' on El Cap during a five day stint.

WHATS UP OVERSEAS Posted 05/11/1999
- Katie Brown has just beta flashed 'Hydrophobia' a  5.14a in Mont Sant, Spain.
- Chris Sharma's boulder problem, 'Buttermilker' was repeated by Steven Jefferies, it is thought that the problem will go at around V12/13.
- David Graham recently opened up a new route called 'Livin Astro' at Rumney, USA. It took him only six days of work to get the overhanging arete close to 'China Beach', he thinks it will go at 5.14b, at least commenting that it was the hardest route he has done.
Tommy Caldwell opens 'Kryptonite', possibly the first 5.14d in the US, at Rifle Colorado.
- Ethan Pringle gets 'Soultrain' at Mt. Charleston, Nevada at only 13.
- David Hume repeated 'Just Do It' a 5.14c in only 4 tries!
- Dean Potter withTim O'Neil did the regular route on Half Dome in a record time of 2hrs  & 8mins. Then they both free-soloed the Steck-Salathe and then went up the Nose in about 10hrs. The whole attempt took 21hrs! 
- Both Hans Florine & Dean Potter climbed both 'The Nose' on El Capitan and 'Dean Potter and 'Half Dome' within 24 hours. They were both alone free soloing some pitches & rope soloing others.

A Gauteng branch of the MDT (Mountaineering & Development Training Trust) has been started. Stephen Mallory is the chairman - he can be contacted on The MDT was started in 1995 in order to create a framework for mountaineering training and to set the standards for the training and accreditation of the leaders & instructors as well as to facilitate the development of mountaineering activities in all sectors of our community.
HOT FLASH NEWS Posted 04/10/1999

Paul Brouard after flashing the final in the Praxis competition and winning the competition went off to Fernkloof in the Magaliesberg. During his visit he & Greg Streatfield both onsighted 'Vandals' 26 and 'Lawyers Guns & Money' 27. He then onsighted 'Faberge' 28 with Greg redpointing it after a few tries. Paul then repeated 'Acromax' 29 on his second try as well quickly firing the local testpiece, 'Stormwatch' 31 in about 4 tries. This route has not seen many local repeats.Francis Vergunst who came along casually redpointed 'Faberge'. He had also recently done 'Supernova' 30 in the Rasta Cave back in Natal.

Dermot Brogan, Marianne Pretorius & Alard Hufner climbed Zodiac on El Cap in Yosemite, California USA. They  did the route in 5 days with 16 pitches, grade A2+. A while later they climbed The Nose on El Cap in two parties with Mike Mason. Well done!

Travel about 300m further on from the normal parking where you used to use the grass road & park close to the cliff, there is a driveway to the right which leads up to a two houses. Follow the driveway trough the stone gates which leads to the face brick house not the white house. You can then park up in the right hand corner under the large trees. There is no charge for the parking and you don't have to report to the farmer, you can just park and walk back to the cliff which takes about 10 to 15 minutes. The old parking saw many break ins & should no longer be used.

Several climbers have been ticking off routes at the Cave lately. Francis Vergunst (17) has really been cranking, he redpointed 'Stone Temple Pilots' a 27 on his 3rd go, got 'Gladiator' a 28. He then ticked two 29's, 'Anthrax' in 4 tries and 'The Big Mo' in 3 tries! To top it off he pointed 'Barricade', 32.

Greg Streetfield got 'Paragon' a 30 while Grant Gleveland getting back into things redpointed 'Supernova' 30 and also repeated 'Barricade' 32.

WAVE CAVE MUGGING Posted 16/08/1999
Unfortunately there was an armed mugging at The Bouldering Cave in Shogweni (Next to Wave Cave). Some local climbers had their gear stolen. This is sad news, please all take care when climbing in this area, go in big groups when possible.
LOCAL FLASH NEWS Posted 22/07/1999

Paul Brouard returned to the Restaurant where he did some impressive climbing. We now have what we believe may be the first local repeat of 'Jabberwocky'. Paul thought it to be a full grade harder than 'Barricade' and a full grade easier than 'Thantos'. Well Done Paul! He also onsighted 'Lotters Desire' a 28. He also repeated Matts & Mark's 'M&M' at Hallucinogenic Wall a 30 in 2 quick tries. Unfortunately a hold broke on 'Hack and Slay' another rather hard 30 at the Superbowl area making it very much harder.

Francis Vergunst a strong 17 year old now staying in Durban has been working hard at the cave. After his quick redpoints of 'Invertigo' 27/28 and 'Cyclone Central' 28 he moved on to point 'Paragon' 30 and then 'Riders on The Storm' also 30. He is currently working 'Barricade', stay tuned ...

WORLD NEWS Posted 21/07/1999
Megan Emmons in the US at a tender 10 years old redpointed 'A Virgin No More' a 5.12d/5.13a (29) in Colorado. The route is rather sustained and technical. Another youth Chris Linder at the age of only 14, added another 5.14b (34), 'Reverse Polarity'  and 'Mon Pote Assis' 5.14a (33) to his list of 5.14s. David Graham (17) repeated both 'Jaws' and 'China Beach' both possible 5.14b (34) routes at Rumney in the US. David Hume opened a new route 'Thanotopsis' in Red River Gorge.

El Capitan in Yosemite saw another speed record, Jim Herson repeated the 'Salathe' in 6.5 hours about an hour faster than Dean Potter who held the previous record.

Hans Florine took to rope soloing and did Half Dome in 7 hours using a Silent Partner device.

In Spain Josune Bereziartu has recently redpointed another 2  5.14b (34) routes. 'White Zombie' a 90 foot long climb overhanging 45 degrees and 'Ras' being very powerful she got the latter in 6 days.

In France the German brothers Christian and Andreas Bindhammer opened up 'Alien Carnage' a possible 9a (36). They also opened up 'Vitamania'  another possible 9a (36) both in the Castillon area in the South of France.

The desperate routes on gritstone in the UK see more activity. A new route 'Impact Day' a E9/7a (31/2X) X for death fall potential was put up by Dave Birkett. 'Parthian Shot' a E9/6c (31/2X) was repeated by Neil Bentley who lead it & placed the gear on lead, Nic Sellers took the fourth ascent ogf this desperate route opened by Joohn Dunne. Adrian Berry and Steve Mclure gave 'Big Issue' its third & fourth repeats. This is another E9/6c (31/32R) route of John Dunnes.

Malcolm Smith also from the UK has been doing some impressive stuff but all wearing a weight belt. He repeated a 8a+/8b at the School Room and won a competition at the Foundry with the weight belt.

Russ Dodding, Paul Fatti, Kevin Smith and Stewart Middlemiss compiled a list of classic trad climbs in the old Transvaal area. Russ editied this list with the other's input - check it out!

Russ also put together this list with the other's input for the Magaliesberg kloofs.

SA MOUNTAIN TALK LIST Posted 10/07/1999
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OVERSEAS NEWS Posted 25/06/1999
Klem Loskot set a boulder problem in The Grampians, Australia called 'Ammagamma' a V14/8b+, it is a sit start which was added onto 'Ummagumma' a V13. He also opened 'Cave Rave' another V14/8b+ at Hollow Mountain Cave. According to Klem this bouldering area is amongst the best in the world. Tommy Caldwell has freed 'The Salathe' on El Capitan in Yosemite, footage from his attempt has been used for a movie called Big Stone. Caldwell also onsighted 'Public Enemy' a 5.13d (32) and redpointed 'Calvario de Sciario' a 5.14b (34) both in Spain on a recent visit.

An 81 year old, Gerry Bloch topped out in 11 days on El Capitan, he did 'Aquarian Wall'. Steve House has put up a super hard mixed route on the east face of House Peak called 'M16', this is possibly one of the hardest mixed routes so far.

Lynn Hill is still climbing hard, she recently pointed 'Scarface' a 5.13d (32) over 3 days in Smith Rock, USA. The route is almost 40m of small crimps. Dave Graham an 18 year old also managed to repeat 'Scarface' and 'To Bolt or Not to Be', a 5.14a (33) in the same day!

NEW TESTPIECE ROUTES Posted 16/05/1999
Garth Miller recently opened up Australias hardest route called 'Theda Bara' a Australian 34 (35/36) in The Blue Mountains. Steve Mclure also completed his project 'Mutation' a 9a (36) which is an extention to Evolution at Ravenstor in the UK.
BETH RODDEN POINTS 'TO BOLT OR NOT TO BE' - 5.14a (33) Posted 16/05/1999

Yet another woman climber redpoints 33 at Smith Rock in US. Beth has also been doing very well in competitions lately.
FRED NICOLE IN SA Posted 03/05/1999

Fred Nicole, possibly the world's best boulderer has visited Rocklands. He opened up STEAK HOUSE an 8a+ (V12) in the Ceder Rouge Cave. He cleared up a misconception that SPIDER IN THE ROOF is actually another route to the left of STEAK HOUSE in a low cave. Fred also repeated most of Klem Loskots 8b problems. We hear that John-Paul Harpur got PENDRAGON an 8a (V11) at the Roadside Boulders, Sean Cremen also got KINGDOM OF THE SKY an 7c (V9) at Champside Boulders - Well Done!

Katie Brown has recently onsighted a 5.13d (32) climb in the USA called Omaha Beach, this climb is at the motherlode in Eastern Kentucky being almost 90 degrees overhanging. This would be the hardest onsight by a women so far.  The previous hardest redpoint of a route by a woman is Josune Bereziartu who redpointed Honky Tonky a 8c (34) in Basque last year, what was the hardest onsight until now ?
Hack and Slay and Short Circuit get repeated Posted 27/03/1999

Stewart Gebbie continues on his redpointing spree by getting 'Lotters Desire' a 27 at The Restaurant, an absolutely stunning line on the new MCSA property. Danny Pinkas also redpointed 'Hack and Slay' grade 30. Both these routes have not seen many if any local repeats and are hard at their grade. Over 25 new climbs have been opened on this new property amongst the classics, anyone visiting the Restaurant must definately visit this Wonderland area. We will be releasing an online guide for this area early in April.

Paul Brouard managed to repeat 'Short Circuit' a 32 at outshoorn in 3 tries!

Stormwatch gets a repeat Posted 26/11/1998
There has been a whole spate of redpoints in Fernkloof recently :

Ralph Brucher pointed "Stormwatch" at 31, impressive since this good route has only seen a few repeats even though it has been attempted so often. Marianne Pretorius redpointed "Vandals" at 26. Francis Vergunst only 16 redpointed "Lawyers Guns & Money ", 27 as well as "Glass Menagerie" also a 27. Joffrey Hyman also managed a redpoint of "Lawyers Guns & Money". Quite a few people are working "Faberge", the classic 28 so news should be following soon.

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