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Watch Canadian Paul McSorley on New African Big Wall

In 2017, Canadian Paul McSorley joined German climbers Ines Papert and Joseph Pfnur and Slovenian Luka Lindic for a trip to South Africa to climb new routes. McSorley wrote the following for Gripped about their trip:

Over two days, our team established Ruby Supernova on Slanghoek, in the Du Toits Kloof Mountains. The 13-pitch route is 520 metres long and rated ED1 7b+ (VI 5.12c).

We used no bolts or fixed protection, finding mostly excellent quality quartzite which protected well with natural gear. Only a handful of stoppers and pitons were left behind at anchors for rappels.

Our trip to this zone began with a repeat of A Private Universe: 550 metres ED1 7a A1 (VI 5.11d A1) established by South Africans Hilton Davies, David Davies and Mathew Sim, later free climbed by Dave Birkett (UK) and Tinie Verseveld (ZA) at 7b+ (5.12c).

A Private Universe was previously the only existing route up this stunning overhanging amphitheater which was dubbed one of the last great problems of South African climbing by legendary alpinist Dave Cheesmond. The South African team used 100 bolts for anchors and protection to make the first ascent of this impressive cliff back in 2002.

After repeating A Private Universe, we set to work on a new route, up an obvious corner system on the right side of the wall. In two separate teams, we pushed to within a hundred metres of the top, onsighting every pitch. With only a big day needed to finish the line, the destructive storm cycle rolled in hard, striking a nutpunch to conditions and morale.

After a weeklong séjour to Rocklands and Montague the line began to dry. Returning as soon as the weather cleared, we climbed nine pitches of familiar ground to a good bivy ledge and topped out the following day, rappelling roughly the same route.

Our trip was made so much better by Hilton Davies who provided us with logistical support, invaluable route beta and gracious hospitality.

After completing Ruby Supernova, we had the pleasure of climbing with Davies and Tinie Verseveld on Table Mountain, enjoying the classic climbing with two pioneers of the zone.

South Africa has some of the finest adventure climbing our team had ever done. The potential for new routes in this incredible country is as endless as your imagination.