Paul Robinson - South Africa

Monday, August 22, 2011

Not in Rocklands Anymore - Cape Town, South Africa

By Paul Robinson


I have spent a great deal of my life climbing, over half of it now.  For many years, my main focus in climbing was to repeat as many of the hardest boulders in the world. While that was a tough and incredible experience, I have now decided to dedicate my time to putting up lines of my own. Climbing thousands of boulders around the world has prepared me for the experience of putting up my own lines. I always was under the assumption that climbing first ascents was harder than doing a repeat, but little did I know how much harder it truly was.


Before my trip to South Africa this year, I had done some first ascents over the years but had never really explored on my own, cleaned new boulders, and 100 percent figured out sequences on my own.


I have now been in South Africa, primarily climbing around the Western Cape outside of Cape Town and have been fortunate enough to be able to put up some really amazing boulders along the way. The climbing here is out of this world. Many people see South Africa as having only the Rocklands but this is very far from the truth! Rocklands only scratches the surface of the climbing in this very mountainous and rock friendly country. I have decided to spend all of my time this trip climbing around Cape Town even though there is thousands of miles worth of rock all over the entire country.


I first heard about the climbing in the Western Cape from my local friend Marijus Smigelskis who introduced me to the bouldering here last year after a two-month trip to Rocklands. I was only able to climb in the Western Cape for 3 days before embarking for Europe. But this little taste was enough to know that I needed to make a trip back here as soon as possible. I saw so many amazing lines that were just sitting in the hills above Cape Town waiting to be climbed. I knew a trip back was imperative.


My trip is quickly coming to an end with about 12 days left and the amount of projects left is incomprehensible. I don’t think I can even begin to remember every single project I have been shown during my time here! I know that I will have to come back again soon! This learning experience of putting up new climbs has been super beneficial to my growth as a climber. It has taught me how much hard work really goes into putting up a first ascent and how much more difficult it is to climb something that you have no idea if it is even possible. This is definitely a new progression for me in my climbing career and I am looking forward to more and more first ascent potential in the future!

Check out the video of some of Paul's FA's around Cape Town in "South Aftica Part I"

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