Exploring South Africa's Rocklands | Dan Turner

Ambassador Dan Turner shares some great info and footage from his recent trip to the Rocklands. 

I first visited Rocklands in 2009. It was a trip of firsts: first time on a long haul flight, first time in the Southern Hemisphere, and the first time I climbed a Font 8. Lots has changed since then, and Rocklands has developed beyond belief. There are tarmac roads all the way from Cape Town, numerous options for accommodation (even though many are fully booked well in advance), hundreds of new boulders and areas, and even more people (both men and women) climbing at the very top level of our sport. However, one thing has kept consistent - lots of people from all over the world having fun.

This little video highlights some of the fantastic boulders we enjoyed on our trip: 

The boulder that stuck out the most for me was a little-known and rarely repeated problem called 'Basic Instinct'. This boulder sits proudly over looking the bottom of De Pakhuys Valley. There isn't much information about how to access, so below is a description on how to find  it:

Directions: Park on the roadside on the first bend going up the pass heading towards Clanwilliam. Drop down into the valley, cross over a small river and head up the hill trending up a gully. Reach a plateau then head left onto another plateau and the boulder is obvious (Around a 45min hike). 

Noticing the massive changes over the last 8 years, I questioned whether Rocklands as an area can sustain this exponential growth. Over the last few years there have been issues. As a community I think we have to be aware of our impacts to the delicate wild areas, as well as being respectful of local communities and cultures.