Chongololo by Clinton Marteningo

 In Athletes, Climbing

I first tried Chongololo once with Andrea in about 2014. The crux moves starts just after the fourth bolt which in itself is a desperate clip. I was sure that I was not strong enough to do the crux the way Andreas was trying it so I decided to rather try a project I bolted in Oorlogskloof that later became the Seamstress (8B+).  In the back of my mind I always wondered if there was a different way of doing the crux moves on Chongololo.

After I opened the Seamstress I spent a lot of time working abroad and when I did get to climb I only bouldered. A slow stagnation in my climbing ability had begun. It felt the harder I tried the less I achieved and the more frustrated I got. It was a perpetual motion and I started to not enjoy myself which defies the whole point bouldering and climbing in general.

So in September last year I decided to change it up a bit. I fished out my rope and decided to go sport climbing again. I thought I needed a goal to build up to and I decided to get back on Chongololo. I soon found a different and more realistic way of doing the crux move.

In November I partially tore my MLC doing a drop knee while trying Life Enhancement Project at the hole. It did nothing to enhance my life as I had to wear a knee brace for the whole of December and a lot of physio afterwards.

By late January I was able to do the moves on Chongololo without any pain in my knee so I decided to start working it Chris Sharma style – get fit and train on the route – despite it being the hottest time of year in Montagu. I made day trips once a week, mostly on Sundays.

It took a bit longer then I though to stick the crux moves from the ground up. It involves a big slap with your left hand for a bad sloper while holding a bad pinch with your right hand. As soon as I started to do this move regularly from the ground I started to make good progress. This however was halted when a tick mark for my foot somehow got moved a centimeter to the left. I was suddenly finding the big jump move almost impossible. After a number of frustrating day trips I finally figured out the micro beta last Saturday and moved the tick mark to the correct spot and then red-pointed Chongololo on my second try of the day on Sunday.

The breakdown of the route in my opinion is easy climbing till you end up matched on a horrible crimp rail where you do a hard clip of the forth bolt. You then do a six hand move, hard 7C, boulder problem that ends with a big jump to a semi good rest (the opening three moves of this section are the hardest moves of the route). Then there is a crimpy 7A boulder problem past two bolts where one joins the top easy but pumpy climbing of My route down by the river.


Chomgolol was opened by Cody Roth in 2013 it was an open project that was bolted by M Bush

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