I’m not a rock climber so how did I end up going rock climbing? Allow me to share my journey J
Anwar took his time posting the hike details for today as he was watching the weather and eventually only sent out the details last night! The plan was to do Silverstream Ravine (C2 graded hike) and I was super excited as I haven’t done this route before and I was looking forward to the 30m free climb. I haven’t done a hard hike in a couple of weeks so needed today!
So I’m up at 3:15am and do what I have to do and at Anwar’s house before 5am and he looks like he just got out of bed! (He only got home after 3am he says). So I watch a bit of TV whilst waiting on him. We have to pick up Luke at Claremont Station but by 5:30am, Luke was still in Fish Hoek and our hike was to start at 5:45am. We unfortunately cannot wait on him.
Due to the fire on Devil’s Peak, De Waal Drive is closed so take a detour and Peter is uncertain where to meet as he is the only one at Kloof Nek car park. We get there and wait a bit as others could be delayed by the detour and traffic due to the Bay to Bay race. It’s just the 3 of us so Anwar cancels the hike due to strong South Easter as well. (an overhead sign on the boulevard was blown onto the highway, that’s how strong the winds were). Anwar suggests doing the route just before the climb and I’m noooooo! That’s too easy. I suggest India Venster as we haven’t been up this route in a while as we use this route to come down. Right Arrow Face? Left Face Mystery B? Devil’s Peak? Lion’s Head?! I get a no on all counts x_x He is not keen on hiking as his calf is sore and Peter is tired and these two want to go for breakfast or even lay on the beach -_- NO! He then checks that Khalid and his wife Ayesha are doing Rock Climbing at Silvermine at 7:30am and I’m like yes! Let’s do that! It’s still early and the coffee shops are not open yet so go have coffee at Peter’s joint. I can write a blog about Peter’s home :p Seriously!
I am not disappointed that our intended hike was cancelled as everything happens for a reason…
Anyway we get to Silvermine just before 8am and Khalid and Ayesha are joined by Faried, a first time Rock Climber like me. Peter has done City Rock a few times but this is his first outdoor climb. I do not have any gear so borrow Anwar’s harness and helmet and Peter’s shoes. Can’t do rock climbing with hiking boots. Peter was my belay on both climbs and had to knot my rope and do the safety checks.
While they are setting up, I watch a group from Canada climb and it looks very tricky! The route they were doing is not for first timers like us fortunately and we seemed to be doing an easier climb. Khalid leads (setting up the rope), Ayesha cleans (removing the thingies) and Faried goes first. The first route is graded 14 but 15 if you can lift yourself up a very tricky part and Faried can’t do it so don’t and I don’t either. Getting as far as I did was accomplishment enough for me, no need to push it lol. Sheer face rock climbing is finding the tiniest of finger and toe holds and pushing up with your legs. Finger holds is just for stability. As a first time rock climber who overcame her phobia for heights and nervous for her virgin climb, I broke this rule a few times hehe!
My first successful climb! YIPPEE! I am filled with adrenalin and a sense of pride that I did it! And I abseil down! Yippee! Oh yes, I’ve climbed the Wall (probably only half way) at Ratanga Junction and completely sucked at it nor did I enjoy it but the best part was abseiling down lol.
Ayesha and Khalid set up another climb which ‘appears’ ‘easy’ as there are many finger and toe holds which Peter and Anwar climbs (with sore calf and wrist) but Faried only manages ¼ way up as what may be ‘easy’ from my perspective, it is tricky nonetheless and it doesn’t matter as we did the first climb \o/ The rest is just a bonus. Khalid loosens the rope and I’m disappointed as I wanted to do that climb as well but he says he wants to set up the route next to what the Canadians and others were doing and I’m like what?! I can’t do that!!! I’ve seen other groups struggle up there! Not only that! He is setting up next to the tricky route! T_T
I go first after Khalid and Ayesha has set up the climb and with deep breaths, I make my way up. Not as tricky as I originally thought and I’m doing well but then don’t know where to hold onto and I struggle. I’m told to look out for the chalk powder which Ayesha uses to climb and was an excellent guide for me. Upwards I go and pose for photos lol and rest for a few seconds whenever I am stable enough to do so.
I’m huffing and puffing and my arms are strained with exertion and I want to give up! I said as much! I can’t anymore! I do not have the strength to carry on!!! My limbs are shaking in exertion! I’m told to rest both my arms and just hang there but I opt to rest one arm at a time and as soon as I felt some strength returning, I climbed to the top! My arms were too lame to do the pose I wanted but it doesn’t matter! I climbed that 15-20m sheer face rock! And had even more fun abseiling down hehe! What a sense of accomplishment and pride I had for myself!
We were then watching the Canadians do an insane climb with insane positions! After several attempts, Faried no longer have the strength to the climb which I just did and tell Ayesha that I can understand as there is no way I have the strength to do a 3rd climb. Peter makes his way up but Anwar happily decides not to.
We get to the cars shortly after 12pm and we are ecstatic! We did not get to do the hike we wanted to but we got an awesome first time rock climb instead ^_^
Thank you Khalid and Ayesha for allowing us to gatecrash your climb and for your expert guidance and patience. Thank you Anwar for always ‘taking me places’ and fulfilling my need for adventure! Thank you Peter for belaying me (your first time hehe) and for being who you are that I willingly put my life in your hands even though we met just over a month ago haha! Thank you Faried for taking so many photos of my climbs!
Until my next hike,c iao for now and thank you for reading J