The last seven days saw an explosion of ascents in Rocklands, South Africa. Professional climbers from all over the world have journeyed to the Cederberg Mountains to pursue drier conditions and cooler temperatures in advance of the fall season.
Stefan Scarperi kicked of this week with a picturesque ascent of one of South Africa’s more beautiful boulder problems. Weighing in at V15, Monkey Wedding offers four metres of powerful sandstone bouldering. The Fred Nicole first ascent climbs a steep portion of the A Question of Balance Boulder in one of Rockland’s most popular sectors.
The difficult problem went eight years without a second ascent. American Paul Robinson earned the second ascent in 2010, reinvigorating stoke for the famous problem. Nicole put the problem up at V14 but it was upgraded in subsequent ascents.
It became the world’s first V15 as a result. 2015 European Championship Bronze medalist Scarperi climbed the boulder as his third 8C.
Daniel Woods mentioned that the problem offers a huge mental challenge. With that said, Alex Megos climbed the problem in 30-minutes during his ascent years ago.
Amandla V14 Flash
Board climbing icon Florian Wientjes flashed Amandla V14 this week. Originally rated V15, the thin Cedarberg classic was subsequently downgraded after 30+ ascents. This problem was another Fred Nicole first ascent and is now considered soft for the grade.
In an interview with 8a.nu, Wientjes said, “I was playing with the (flash) idea since a month or so. I went up early to the crag and started my warm-up routine including some Hangboarding. After 40min I decided to give it a try. My mind was free, cuz I know it totally fits my style and it worked. But, all in all i just did the same stuff like everyday when I climb😅.
I watched some videos before my trip and during the trip also a few.”
Katie Lamb Climbs Book Club V14
America’s strongest outdoor boulderer continues to sit atop the 8a.nu charts with the ascent of her fifth V14 boulder problem. The beautiful sweeping line of Book Club’s sandstone rewards technique and heel toe cams. Lamb utilized her skill to edge over the top of this Rocklands classic boulder. This problem joins her April ascent of The Penrose Step V14, her January ascent of Direct North V14, New Base Line V14, and Jade V14 as her fifth V14 in just over 12 months.
Paul Robinson and Legacy 9a
The American boulderer who earned the first repeat of Monkey Wedding is back in Rocklands. The line was originally found and worked by Dave Graham as a high ball, but the notorious landing made it difficult to run without a rope. As such, Fred Nicole bolted the line.
Giuliano Cameroni got permission from Nicole to try the route, ultimately climbing the first ascent. Nicole made the first repeat a few days later. Robinson said that the route could have been graded 8B+ as a boulder. On Instagram he said, “The route is short so it really is hard to say which grade to use but it sure is a stunner!”
Robinson had a strong trip climbing Kenan Takahashi’s Ubuntu, 1-5-8-, Patience, Good Hope V13, and Ménage à trois V14. These problems come at the end of a very long recovery period and commend the American’s ability to recover and return to form.
Featured image by Leonard Moser.