Our time in Rocklands has sadly come to an end. I'm sitting in bed in a backpackers in Capetown catching up on a lot of computer work. When there's boulders to be climbed and good times to be had with your buddies, the last thing you want to do is sit on a couch and type. We've climbed on some of the best boulders the world has to offer in the last month and there is not one moment I wouldn't relive. Getting up, having breakfast and going bouldering with your buddies is as good as it gets. At the beginning of the trip I was psyched on jumping on some 12s and working through them. But I was never really sure whether we will be back at an area so spending a day projecting something and never getting back seemed like a waste. It has, however, been really fun just completing a bunch of stuff between V5-10 in a day. It's a great feeling completing problems in a day and walking out at night feeling totally wrecked.
Rocklands is not all about bouldering though. De Pakhuys (farm we stayed at) is the host of the Annual Rockstock Airstar International World Championships. It sounds fancy but basically consist of a massive party were all the climbers come together for a big party. A lamb is put on the spit, many beers are drunk and the main attraction...... the air guitar comp. Climbers can form a band, choose a song then rock out on stage miming it all in front of 200+ people. Matt, Pat, Josh Grose and I formed Cameltosis and covered Katy Perry's I kissed a girl. Josh got in drag as Katy herself, Matt rocked out on the air keyboard, Pat went nuts on the air drums at the back and I went 'friggin super insane' (yes some one came up afterwards and said that to me about my performance) on the air guitar. Apparently we went friggin super insane enough to win the competition and bring home the trophy. There's a video of our performance somewhere. If I find it I'll post up.
Matt, Pat, Tara and I all just sat down to a wicked dinner and reminisced about all the good times. I narrowed mine down to a top 3: The day I had at Sassies with Josh Grose was one. I finally did the uber classic highball, Splash of Red V10, where the hard moves start at 4m and don't stop till your holding the final jug at about 7m. It was the 3rd session I had had on the route and with the sun about to turn the rock to soap it was going to be my last go of the trip. The climbing gods smiled and let me get through to the top. It's the best bit of climbing I have ever done. Josh did it straight after me and the two of us then sat underneath it and had some lunch as happy as could be. Later that day Josh did the also uber classic Shozaloza V12 in one session. Super impressive. It was a great day to be alive. Rocking out on stage to Katy Perry was also another moment on the trip where all I could do was smile and just think 'I love life.' And last but not least would be working on yet another classic, Caroline V10. The moves are so beautiful and you need to do each one perfectly so that you have juice for the end. It's one of those problems were you grit your teeth and just go for it from the first move. Unfortunately I ran out of light at the end of the day and had to leave feeling like if I had an extra 30min of light I could have done it. But that's the way love goes. It's definitely a problem for next year. Hopefully spend 3 months next year. And I'll add a 4th to my top 3. Riding in the back of a truck with 25 other climbers over the pass and down through Clanwilliam (local town) to the golf club for the 1st Annual Rocklands Golf Day was another time where I just sat back and watched everything that was happening around me and just smiled.
I'll post some photos in about a week when I get back settled at home and have time to sort through them all. If you haven't been to Rocklands, get there. It's cheap, beautiful and the bouldering is some of the best in the world. You'd be greedy if you were asking for more.