How many years have you been climbing and how did you start?
I have been climbing for about 13 years now. Actually I got into climbing kind of by chance when I was invited to a climbing and abseiling course by a friend in high school. I thought it might be interesting so I gave it a try. On the course I got super wigged and I was pretty terrible but really enjoyed it. Later I found out that there was a climbing club at my school and that’s how I joined.
Most memorable experience or send?
A few memorable sends a long the way. One of the more recent ones was a send of Pendragon. I looked at it for close on 8 years but never tried it. One day in 2019 I eventually got some courage to try it. After a few goes I pieced the beta together and then sent. It was a cool reminder that sometimes things aren’t as scary as they are in your head.
How do you deal with the frustration of not being able to send your projects?
Usually if I stuff up the beta or drop a send, I get pretty annoyed at myself. But I find that is usually pretty easy to shrug off and get back to focusing on enjoying where I am and what I’m doing. I haven’t really found a cure yet for the inner dread of whether or not I will be good enough to send the life time projects. Recently I started training with James Barnes and having a good coach that helps you stay focused and motivated has helped.
What is the first piece of climbing advice, knowing all you do now, that you would give to yourself if you had just started climbing?
Don’t doubt your ability to do hard routes.
What is your favorite or most used piece of The Edge ZA gear?
Definitely the GSI Microlite Flasks. They are a game changer for keeping your drinks hot or cold. Plus, you can get a sneaky gin and tonic sundowner if you plan right 😉
Any gnarly epics?
Thankfully not too many epics. I’ve had a few when I was younger with dehydration and getting caught out on scorcher days in Durban. The most wigged I’ve ever been was when I was abseiling off The Way of the Warrior project. Just before I started abseiling, my partner said “just make sure you don’t place your rope over any sharp edges”. I was like that seems fair and it was fine, until I got over the edge, I then realized that there were only sharp edges. A bit later after abseiling over a roof I realized that I needed to swing across the face several times to get down to the next stance. I proceeded take some massive swing across the face and slowly made my way down to the next stance. The only thought going through my head at the time was of the sharp edge that I placed my rope on a few minutes’ prior. When I got down, I couldn’t open my right hand because I was gripping the bottom rope so tightly. In retrospect it was a great experience.
What motivates you to keep climbing?
I find it really enjoyable how things go from feeling impossible and then slowly figuring out how everything fits together until you eventually send.
Plans for 2021 and the future?
My goal for the year is to do 10 x 8A boulders or harder this year. So I’m going to keep training and working towards that.