Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Monkey Pump (by Karen Varga)

Montagu rock!
Just recently I was in South Africa. It was only a short 2 week visit, and a working holiday at that, since I still needed to put in an 8 hour working day … just doing it next to the ocean in SA instead our usual offices in Nottingham :)   

This is what you see as you're driving into Monties
But I did manage to squeeze in a couple days climbing in Montagu, a beautiful spot just a 2 hour drive from Cape Town, surrounded by the Langeberg mountains and part of Route 62, known as the longest wine route in the world.

But on this visit there was no time for wine-tasting, just climbing :). I picked a route that I figured was do-able for me, considering my current level of fitness and that I only had 2 days to climb – a 7c+ called Monkey Pump at the Scoop. 

I was blessed with clear blue skies and temperatures of around 28 degrees C, a typical day in Montagu!  And I was even more blessed with awesome climbing buddies who came up from Cape Town and Stellenbosch to crank with me. Within a matter of minutes it felt just like old times :). I was so blown away by the incredible support that the climbers gave me, and each other, when one was going for a route. The comradeship was really palpable and totally unbiased, it didn’t matter what grade or what attempt, the cheering and boosting was unrestrained and super encouraging.

This made a huge difference for me, it helped me to push beyond what my mind and body were telling me, and it is what made it possible for me to redpoint the route on my first day, 3rd go. The remaining time there I played on another 7c+ and a sandbag 7b+ (definitely more like 7c) but my fingertips, softened from months and months of indoor climbing, were so sore that I could barely manage to tie my rope let alone crimp down or pull hard.  

But at the end of the 2 days I was satisfied.  I’d had a super weekend with amazing friends, got a couple routes ticked, and walked away with aching arms, stinging fingertips and a massive smile on my face :)

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