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15.07.2011
Back home
In 2002 I travelled to South Africa for the first time. More exactly: I went to the Rocklands. The whole place, as it’s name already tells, is covered with boulders and walls for climbing in a unique setting. The potential for new lines seems endless.
This first visit was mindblowing for me and so I came back four years in a row with fred nicole and other friends who shared this excitement for exploring an unknown place. But I also fell in love with the easy living on the campside, the friendlyness of the people, despite i still could feel the „rests of the Apartheit“.  As a young man, I was happy to see and learn from the black people which have been „poor“, but always had a smile on their face and sometimes, when it was getting dark I watched them dancing and listened to their music. In 2006 i made my last bouldering trip to the Rocklands (interrupted by a short visit in 2008) and somehow i didn’t go back till this year. I wasn’t sure about the reasons, but somehow the whole place changed and the quietness I loved so much was gone. More and more people are coming and enjoying this great place.
 
This year I went back with Manuel Ladner, who knew this place just from movies and all the pictures in the magazines and web. It was like coming home, to a place which has been so important and familiar to me. Luckily Conny and Liz from the Alpha Farm had a place to stay for us, and Becky with her lovely Coffee Shop had always a fresh cake and italian espresso for us. May is early climbing season for rocklands, so it was more peaceful. Just some old friends from Capetown and a few from Overseas have been already in the area. Manu and I have been lucky to share the old farmhouse with a bunch of great people. Philipp, Nici and Marlon from the US, Caine from Australia, Torstein and Therese from Norway. Also my girlfriend was visiting me for a week. It can’t get more international in a house ... and it was great to hang out with such cool people from all over the world. The big family was highly motivated for bouldering, interesting discussions, car racing, brying, cooking and looking for honey badgers ... Having a good time
I started the trip with a deep cut on my index finger. A cut is the nastiest thing you can get, because it takes a long time to heal and knowing that you dont give a 100%. The first 10 days I was „tape bouldering“, but I had enough time to show Manuel all the areas and different sectors. Rocklands has become big and everywhere there are little new sectors. Just having 4 weeks for bouldering, it was hard to get the focus on some problems. Three projects, which I already tried in 2006 came into my mind. I went back to the areas and got a little smile on my face, when I noticed, that they are still projects. Problem Nr. 1 is a great line on the very CLASSIC „gliding through the waves like dolphins“  boulder. (Klem Loskot, 2004) I was always more interested in those perfect holds to the right hand side of it, but never had the power to do this obvious undercling move. This year I did the move first try. So I thought that this boulder will be just a short intermezzo, and the problem will not be as hard as expected. It ended up differently and it took some hard sessions and the support of my „lucky angel“ to finish this old project. It has been given the beautiful name of: „sitting in a corner with depression“.
 
After a little party I went to roadcrew with Philipp Schaal. I showed him another old line from 2006 and worked on the moves. I was wearing my glasses this time and saw a little crimper, which I didn’t notice before. After checking the moves I was about to leave because I wanted some more pads, when Phil pushed me still to give it a proper try. I fought my way to the last move, asked Phil if he is able to catch me, and jumped to the top. Luckily I catched the hold perfectly and topped out. THIS IS THE HONEY BADGER :-)
 
The third boulder remains a project.
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