Rocklands Rampage

posted by dpm on 09/01/2011

As cool conditions begin to descend on the Northern hemisphere the temperature is rising in Rocklands, South Africa.  Although the season isn’t quite over and boulderers are still going strong, before too long the season will be over.  And what a season it has been!  Hard ascents have been going down daily and although certainly a few will be overlooked, here are a few to note from the past month or so.  


Ondra on the still unrepeated Livin' Large (V15).  Read about Adam's trip in his own words at his Black Diamond Journal.  Photo: BD journal.  


Most remarkable, of course, was a short trip by Adam Ondra during which he tore through the hardest problems in his usual style.  He was able to claim the third ascent of Monkey Wedding (V15) noting on his 8a scorecard that it was “definitely my hardest problem so far and deserves the grade in my opinion.”  Originally graded V14 by first ascentionist Fred Nicole, the problem put up quite a fight against Paul Robinson’s second ascent as well.


Click the image for video of Paul Robinson climbing Monkey Wedding (V15)


Ondra also claimed the fourth ascent of Nicole’s Golden Shadow (V14), Amandla (V14), and flashed of The Power of One (V13), Leopard Cave (V12), and five V11’s. 


The ladies put on quite a show as well with Norway’s Therese Johansen climbing the V12’s Tea with Elmarie and Black Shadow as well as ten other V10 and V11 problems.  France’s Melissa Le Nevé put down Black Shadow (V12), flashed The Hatchling (V11) and dispatched eight other V10 and V11 problems.


Melissa Le Nevé.  Photo: 


Somehow overlooked was Slovenian boulderer Ron Klancnik’s fourth go ascent of Amandla (V14).  Like Le Nevé, he also flashed The Hatchling (V11) and sent a heavy handful of V11 and V12’s. 


The classic V13 The Vice saw possibly the heaviest traffic of any hard problem in Rocklands this season with multiple ascents including sends by Polish climbers Maciej Kalita and Paweł Jelonek and American’s Rob D’Anastasio, Ethan Pringle, Dave Wetmore, and Brian Antheunisse.


Dave Wetmore on The Vice (V13).  Photo: Joe's blog.


Italian climber Michele Caminati went for quantity with twenty ticked problems of V11 and harder including four V13’s, three of which have been called V14 by other climbers.  Click here for some great video from Michele's trip.


Joe Kinder and Colette McInerney spent a well-documented trip loving the Rocklands and have compiled a collection of amazing photos on Joe’s blog here.


And finally, British climber David Mason compiled a ticklist of fifteen V11 and V12 problems including a flash of Out of Balance (V11).