Rock climbing, Belaying and Abseiling!!!

After yesterday’s self induced torture of a trail run, I was looking forward to some fun!  Also, can you believe it that I got to do a 10 hour hard hike last week, a trail run yesterday and rock-climbing today – all in one month!  ^_^ yay public holidays! Yay for finally having time to do all the mountain adventures I have come to love!

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Today I joined Llewellyn and his adorable grandson!  That child is hilarious!  When he asked me what does hilarious mean, I told him not just funny but very funny!  He had me bending over with laughter ^_^  Oh yes!  We were at Higgovale Quarry lol.

Anyway, Travis and Mansoor joined as well but not Llewellyn’s usual crew.  Pity, as I was looking forward to seeing them again.  I haven’t climbed with them in months!  Also!  It’s been a while I didn’t have to be anywhere and rush away! ^_^

Llewellyn had 3 ropes with him and no-one to lead belay him.  All the other climbers were busy so he asked me O_O Uhm. I’ve never lead belayed before and I’m still very much a novice at top rope belaying!  What Shaheen and Rashaad told me about lead belaying is that it’s the opposite of top rope!  Tighten when hooking up and slack while climbing sigh  I haven’t even attempted lead belaying yet! Not even with back up!

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He reassured me that he won’t fall on the 12/15 graded route and it looked easy enough (for an experienced scrambler) without rope anyway.  I trusted his trust in me and up he goes. Tighten when needed and slack when required.  He’s safely on top on safety and does his thing.  He repels down and I belay his grandson next.  I can’t remember in which order but I belayed Travis and Mansoor as well on the 12/15 and I climb it next.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy with Mansoor belaying me and Jonothan (I think his name is)  guiding him.

Llewellyn then ask me to lead belay him on the 14 and I give him a doubtful look.  He again reassures me that he won’t fall and again I trust his trust in me.  Up and down he goes and another successful lead belay in the bag for me ^_^

Also, the climbing.co.za wiki page and climbing handbook differs on the grades of the routes.  I don’t know which one is more current.

Oh yes! Boris the dog and his owner was there again and Boris came over to greet me ^_^ I made sure that all the food was hidden lol.

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Travis , Mansoor and adorable Elijah climbed again and another father and son.  Although the father didn’t come to climb but to belay his 7 year old son only 😀  so sweet!

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Next!  Llewellyn asked me to lead belay him on the 16/17 and now I look with concern in my eyes!  Never mind doubt!  This time he doesn’t reassure me!  He said that he will probably fall and if I don’t catch him, I must put him back together with duct-tape which he has in the car -_-   He does however say that I can do it.

Whenever he looked down on me, he could see the concern in my eyes x_x   And this with the most difficult lead belay thus far, I tightened instead of giving slack, thus pulling him back down T_T Fortunately though!  He didn’t fall!  Shjoe!  Even though I successfully lead belayed 3 climbs, I’m still not confident in myself without having someone back me up and guide me!  Be that as it may, thank you Llwellyn for trusting me that much and putting your life in my hands.

I belayed some more until Llwellyn belayed his grandson (or Travis) I forgot who did what when by then so Mansoor and I got distracted by people abseiling!  Now this has been on my bucket list as well and just like that!  Mansoor asked the lead if he could give it a squizz and I tell Mansoor you have to pay for that!  The guy said yes!  O_O I’m like whaaaa?!  Mansoor also asked him if he rock-climbed before and he said no.  Mansoor asked if he wana so he said yes.  I then asked the dude ‘Can I abseil as well?  I’ll belay your climb in exchange for an abseil’ and he said yes!!!

First take photos and a video of Mansoor abseiling and then I go up next.  I’m nervous at first as I went off the cliff but once my feet was secure, I abseiled down with Mansoor taking a video! Unfortunately 😦  he was taking photos instead of a video T_T)

I get to the section where I can swing about and run across the wall and even shouted ‘This is so much fun!!!!!’  Bounced back and forth before abseiling to the ground!  Definitely something I wana do again and again!!!!

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Darius then came down and I belayed him on the 12/15 and 14.  Quite the natural.  He didn’t need any guidance from me.  I then climbed the 16/17 like a pro 😛  with Mansoor belaying me again.  Travis also got to belay Mansoor and Travis successfully climbed all 3 routes!  In my previous Rock-climbing blog, I did mention that Travis is Autistic and living proof that those with Autism can do anything they put their minds to.

One of the abseiling ladies asked if she could climb and I said yes sure and belayed her on the 12/15 as well.  She’s leaving for Johannesburg tomorrow and doing everything she can possibly do in Cape Town before moving.  How awesome is that!

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At around 17:30, it was time to leave but not before taking photos from above as Mansoor climbed the 16/17.  I didn’t take many photos today as I was too busy belaying lol.  My neck is sore now and I’m wearing a hot beanbag around my neck lol.

I don’t care!  I had an absolute blast today!  I was smiling all the way home!  Not only internally but externally as well! 😀

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I am now a confident top rope belayer and a hesitant lead belayer.  But most of all!  I got to do my first ABSEIL!

Thanks so much to each and every one of you, including ‘Little Climbing Dude’ aka Elijah 😀

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And with that note, I’m only publishing this blog tomorrow as it’s nearly 11pm and its back to work after a very eventful weekend.  Including marshaling the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon on Saturday.

Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now and thank you for reading J

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