James Michael Howard Barnes
What was your climbing highlight of 2019? 2019 had more than one highlight for me. The rebolting of the wave cave was the first major hit for me as the cave was and is my favorite crag in the country. It’s a giant jungle gym with the most interesting climbing that I have found to date. Later was find the new addition to shongweni Valley which we dubbed the Goat Cave ( At first it was due to the amount of goats residing in at later we just claimed Greatest of all time :P) As far as personal climbing highlights, I managed my first 28 onsight and my firs 29 flash.
What’s your big goal for climbing in 2020? The Big goal is approaching quickly and that is to qualify as the African rep in the Olympics. This will be a childhood dream for me. Otherwise to climb my first 33 outside and to continue to develop the new crags we have found in KZN.
What’s the weirdest climbing-related habit you have? I tend to use the climbing lingo in everyday speech. When talking to people about figuring things out I will use the term “what’s the beta?” Or if i have found something hard i will use “Well that’s the crux right there”. My friends have come to the conclusion that I am “different” and have my own language.
Name: James Michael Howard Barnes
Hometown: Richards Bay
Climbing of choice: Sport climbing (But will opt for anything that puts me on a wall)
Favourite route: Hard to say but right up there is Paragon (30), Secret Ninja (31) and Thunder Monkey (29)
Favourite song: Faaaaar to many hey, time and a place for all music. most played song currently would be Run to your mama from the band GOAT
Favourite type of mug: my old scout mug. the old tin one that never got put away in the rain and was thrown around and has a little bit of rust on it. makes the coffee taste that much better.