Rock-Climbing – Lakeside Pinnacle

I had every intention going Trail-Running in Newlands Forest on Sunday but then the person I was going to take, bailed on me.  I still wanted to go Trail-Running but wasn’t in the mood to repeat a trail and I really really wanted to explore more of Newlands Forest,  but this being a crime hot-spot, I won’t chance doing a solo.

Sigh.  What to do?  I didn’t feel like going on a hike (sacrilege!)  Unless it was an adventurous (B4+ graded route) one hehe.

Then, Rashaad posted in the climbing group that they will be at Lakeside Pinnacle if anyone wants to join and responded that I may join J

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After several delays and having the shakes of having 2 mugs of Black Insomnia Coffee (the strongest coffee in the world) within the space of an hour, I hoped that I would be calm by the time I started climbing so drank about 1l water (which meant several trips to the ladies), I eventually arrived at the Pinnacle around 1pm.

I huffed and I puffed going up and plonked myself down on the ground in exhaustion to which Rashaad greeted me by saying ‘You are such a drama queen’.  I told him ‘what?!  That was harder than Platteklip!’  He then asked ‘Late night?’ I then say ‘uhm yes hehe’

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Anyway, up again and off to the ladies I go ^_^ but not before being introduced to Neil.  There were several cars parked down in the road but it was only Rashaad, Shaheen and Neil there which meant the others were climbing around the corner.  We had the whole Asterix Wall to ourselves (for now).

Shaheen and Rashaad has to lead and belay all the routes as Neil and myself cannot belay (yet) and they start off with an 18 and I take photos.  Shaheen then leads the 15 (feels more like a 14 but according to climbing.co.za it’s a 15) and Rashaad tells me ‘don’t just sit there all pretty on that rock, come learn to belay’  ok he didn’t say that lol ‘he said I must come watch him belay Shaheen so that I can learn ^_^ He showed me the ways of the belay and I think I can top rope a belay but definitely not ready to belay a lead) and then Rashaad leads the 18 so both Neil and myself can climb while Shaheen and Rashaad belays us hehe.

While the setting up is happening, I’m taking pics off course and see a brilliant photo opportunity of another climber ‘mapping’ out a route and just when I wanted to snap away, he moves.  I tell him to go back and repeat the pose that I wanted but was less natural when I took the photo.

Anyway, while Rashaad is leading the 18 and Shaheen is belaying, Rashaad falls and I duck and Shaheen, slight woman that she is, is stronger than she looks, instinctively crouched and saved her husband from falling further.  With Rashaad being much more muscular than her, she was literally hanging from the ground lol.  With both of them just hanging there, I should have taken a pic but I had a fright so didn’t think to do so.  First time I see someone falling while leading.  I’ve seen others fall while on top rope and I’ve fallen several times before so that’s not scary.  It’s always nerve-wracking watching someone lead any climb.

Shaheen and Rashaad attempt to tempt me to do the 18 but I would hear nothing of it.  It’s a route I’ve attempted before and fell several times, I’m not prepared to attempt it before conquering that damn 16!

I climbed the 15 quite swiftly.  Well much faster than my climbs 2 weeks ago at Silvermine (after hiking Platteklip).  Yay me!  Thank you belay Shaheen.

Anwar and Eloise now joins and they set up the 16 and that’s the route I’ve been eyeing.  My nemesis.  I’ve attempted the route twice before and couldn’t even get over the first pitch!  (Previous Lakeside climbs – Lakeside Pinnacle and Rock-climbing with Mini-me ) Today shall be that day!

Shaheen attempts the 18 and falls at the same place I fell on my attempts but she does complete the route 😀  I don’t know who set up the 21 right next to the 18 but it was fun watching others climb it.  Apparently there was some spectacular falls from Rashaad (according to Shaheen lol) but I missed that on my own climb.

It’s getting much busier now.

Eloise has just finished leading the 17 when I asked Anwar if I could climb the 16 and if he could belay me but then Anwar is called somewhere and off he goes with Shaheen belaying me and I tied my own knot ^_^ I asked Eloise to take pics of me as no-one else was around to take pics of me on my first climb.

With a deep breath, I climb.  With Shaheen’s guidance, I’m over that first pitch!  Hooray!  Finally!  I did it!  It was slow but it was still faster than my climbs 2 weeks ago lol.  I had to take several breaks to rest my arms.  No Elvis legs until I realised that I am actually climbing a sheer face rock now and told myself to get my stuff together as I’m safely harnessed up and I trust my belay with my life.  Should I fall, it won’t be to the ground and I won’t die 😛

I’m so very tired but I made it to the top!  I even went up the thingies where they tie the routes!  I wanted to cry tears of joy and relief!  I finally did it after my previous disappointments!  When I was ready to repel down, I actually forgot how to lol so I went down just to go up again and get a comfortable position to repel 😀

When I got down, I was so very grateful and hugged Shaheen in thanks for helping me conquer my nemesis!

While others are leading and climbing harder routes, I just watch and learn.  When everyone is done with the 18 and the rope just hanging there, I want to attempt it.  A girl and a guy was chatting in front of me and I’m trying to build up the courage to ask one of them to belay me but I wasn’t sure if they would have the patience for me.

The others try to convince me to do the 17 and I’m like nope, I’ve never attempted that route before and I want to do the 18 first and they laughed at me because I want to try the 18 before the 17 haha! Well I’ve attempted the 18 before and failed so have to attempt it again.

After the guy let the rope down from that route, I then told them what I wanted to ask and then they both laughed at me and said ‘All I had to do was ask but you wait until we let the rope down haha’

As soon as the area became shaded from the sun, it was instantly very cold!  On with our tops! Around the corner, another woman was uhm making ‘weird’ sounds which sounded more like pleasure than pain and I laugh because I know I sound like that when I exert myself.  Was very entertaining though haha.

After everyone else climbed the 17, I then thought to myself, let’s give it a go. I warn them that I’m going to only attempt it and if I can’t, I can’t.  I’m not promising that I will finish it but I am going to attempt it!

Anwar belays me and I struggle on the onset. With uhm sound effects and all.  I’m getting hot but my belay don’t want to let me down so I can take off my top and I’m feeling very uncomfortable and straining my arms.  Even though I rest a few times, I just couldn’t get over the first little overhang.  I was definitely going to slip and fall as I could feel the strain in my wrists so Anwar eventually let me down when he realised we could be there all night instead of ‘Friends do not let friends down’ hehe.

I’m not disappointed as my aim was that 16 and I did it.  The 17 was just a try and my aim for next time J  Shaheen advises me not to wait until my muscles cool down before doing another climb and I won’t strain it so much 🙂

Was a great day of climbing, much laughter and knowledge shared. THANK YOU!  Less than a year ago I had no interest in rock-climbing, even when asked to join climbs and I’m like nope, no thank you, I’m a hiker.  Now I love rock-climbing 😀

No mountain adventures for me next week even though I will be holidaying right by the mountain lol.

So until next time, thank you for reading and ciao for now ^_^

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