Today Dave Drummond and I swung by the almost-but-not-quite-yet-open Southern Rock Climbing Centre in Pinetown. Dave and I have been mates since we were in high school, were he climbed at Maritzburg College as a school sport and I did the same at Carter High. Throughout the years, it seems that Dave’s hemisphere and mine tend to orbit in and out of close range; and when we’re in a range that’s close enough for high fives and partaking in ‘extreme’ sports we usually touch base on weekends for a year or two.
I guess it was the end of last year that we started hanging out a bunch more when I settled back in KZN and started fiddling with Down Hill MTB. Dave took me under his wing and showed me the ropes (sent me off a firkin’ big rock on my glorified BMX and I landed on my arse and head at the same time, on the World Cup track). But that’s okay because I’ve seen him fall pretty hard a few times now, so I guess we’re even.
Anyways, I’ve wanted to go check out the gym for a while now, as many of my friends are involved with it. Also, I used to climb with Roger Nattrass every single Thursday for about 8 months…before I got bronchitis, which lingered for three months, which somehow led to me getting a full time job. I bet you never knew germs were that subversive?
Dave needed to see Tristan Firman about some Julbo purchases (lucky Dave) and I needed to see him because he gives good back massages (and I was hassling him about a Vaude pack with a water sleeve…); so I collected Dave in Kloof and we rolled down the hill.
Man, what a cool climbing spot! You know when something completely defies your expectations? I was kind of expecting, I dunno what…like a mix of the UKZN wall with the PMB wall; but it’s completely different. Firstly the gym feels like you’re waltzing through Roger Nattrass’s brain, but secondly it feels like…that wall I always wanted but never quite discovered. It’s new, it smells good, it’s higher than I am comfortable climbing which is awesome because it’s a challenge and a ‘this is not sensible’ tweaker and it has this bell curve design that is just…sweet. It’s like you’re climbing in an enormous 1/4 wine barrel covered in neon grips. That wall will make you strong. Probably sad on occasion too, as it will effing show you whose boss, but mostly it will make an honest person of you.
All I can say is that I want to go back tomorrow but I can’t because I have to drive to East London and teach something to 26 students about the Tbilisi principles and making worm tea. I should really read my notes a bit more thoroughly.
“I AM DAVE. I WANT A VIKING BURIAL. OFF VETCHIES PIER. PEACE OUT”