Last Sunday we had the first ever DWS comp in SA. This was held at Wilgepoort, near Bronkies. The MCSA purchased the land last year and one of the aims of the event was to open up more potential uses for the location. For over 50 years trad climbers have been going to Wilgepoort, and the area boasts many outstanding multi pitch trad climbs. The addition of deep water solo (DWS) here would mean, sport climbers and boulderers can now also use what the MCSA has secured for the climbing community.

Unfortunately the event was hampered from the start with water related difficulties. The original proposed date was on the 9 March, which had to be postponed until the 31 March because the river was in flood and the cliffs wet. Then on the second attempt after the first qualifier round we were hit by a downpour, which only lasted for an hour but was enough to end our fun.

photo of climbers on the boat – Girvin starting the Hard Core men’s qualifier – photo Lourens Grové

However the short portion of the comp was enjoyed by all, with many of the climbers experiencing DWS for the first time. Hearts were pounding, climbers doing Sharma grunting, and big falls into the water.

Photo of falling climber – Dylan Vogt doing some flying

However what we can all be very happy about is the fact that Gauteng climbers now have an awesome DWS crag.

(photo of topo of crag)

  1. Open project 28 – 30?, (8-9m)
  2. Dilfish 22, (10-11m)

Stand up in boat or use a hook on a stick to reach the start jugs just left and below some sloping ledges. Campus up to the right to establish on the wall. Climb straight up to the huge jug before the scramble. Hang and jump.

F.A. Dylan Vogt 31 March 2014

3A. Fishy One 19 (10-11m, grade to be confirmed)

Start on an obvious big side cling next to a bonsai bush, layback up into a good jug behind a block. Balance up onto the ledges and continue up the face above. (A slight move left may be necessary). Continue to top out onto the obvious ledge and jump.

F.A. Kent Jennings 31 March 2014

3B. Obese Catfish 17 (7-8m)

Start as for Fishy One but after the initial section, move left across the ledges to the huge jug on Dilfish.

F.A. Illona Pelser 31 March 2014-03-31

3C. Open Project 20? (10– 11m)

Continue left from the finish of Obese Catfish following a crack, to get around into a shallow corner. Climb the corner to the jugs at the top, and then jump (wasps need to be paddled off first)

4A. Open Project 24-25? (6 – 7m)

Start 1.5m right of Fishy One by some more bonsais, pull onto some sloping ledges and do a hard move to reach a ledge. In an effort to make the line harder for the comp, the grips to the right of the red line were not allowed.

4B. Open Project 24-25? (10 -11m)

Climb 4A but continue up leftwards to finish on the ledge of Fishy One.

5. Open Project 23-24? (6 – 7m)

Start 1m to the right of 4A and climb straight up the break on the short steep wall, just to the right of the red line.

6. The Elusive Camo Climber 20/21 (8 – 9m)

Start on some jugs in the shallow recess and continue up right to a ledge. Then move back left and climb the pillar to make a difficult mantle onto a grassy ledge. Jump

F.A. Greg ??? 31 March 2014

X Possible hard short line to the right

So get there quick and get the FAs while the water is still deep. If you an MCSA member you can take one guest no charge, otherwise it’s easy to get a permit from the MCSA Magaliesburg section (Kari Low Tel: 083 845 1573 Fax: 086 297 3895 Email: Exploration Society or ESSA, who loaned us the boats, also hire them out for about R250 for a day or R500 for a weekend, they fit in a car boot and you inflate them there (calls Piers 082 920 1752).

I would like to express my thanks to everybody who helped on the day. More especially Ulrike Kiefer who organised the boats, Piet Nel who did the finances, the guys from the Magaliesburg section who built a totally awesome toilet, the MCSA Search and Rescue team who were there in full force, Exploration Society (ESSA) who loaned boats which were brought by Jay Hide, Ruan and Dawie (Ruko Media) for filming the event and the others too many to name.

I would also like to thank Black Diamond and the SA Climbing Academy for their sponsorship.

Last but not least we all would like to thank the MCSA for purchasing this stunning property.

(photo of Wilgepoort general)