On Sunday the 26th I went out to Umgeni again with Andrew Scott, Faye Brouard and Lazy Dave. Faye had been working on her project on Saturday so we decided to set up a fixed line to take some good pics of her. And, well, I wasn’t disappointed.
Faye Brouard is pretty well-known in South African climbing circles. Yes she has a brother who climbs like a frikkin’ monkey on crack (except maybe a Buddhist monkey because he’s all smooth and serene like, so maybe it wouldn’t be crack…perhaps opium?). Anyway, some kind of primate on drugs…but Faye is a phenomenally strong climber and pioneer of women’s climbing in her own right.
The slideshow below is of a working session on her project which she has bolted at Umgeni Valley. Grade? Not sure yet, but somewhere close to 30/8a. But you never know until the second or third ascent hey? Hopefully we’ll have a bunch more pics of the actual send, and if Roger’s video camera is up and running – perhaps a cool clip!
Currently studying Dietetics in Durban, Faye lives in the leafy suburbs of Morningside in a very cool flat with her boyfriend Andrew Scott, and two other people who don’t climb. Those poor bastards clearly didn’t know what they were getting themselves into! Self-admittedly ‘the messiest couple ever’, Faye and Andrew’s house is a humble mix of surfboards, mountain bikes, bonsai trees, coffee roasters and grinders, climbing equipment, sleeping bags, books, music, thermo-rests and drying washing. Their preferred hung art pieces are finger boards, and I remember thinking how romantic it was that they had candles in the bathroom…until I realised it was just because the light blew some time ago. The Scott-Brouard household has different priorities…and I rather like them.
Faye has been climbing since she was big enough to reach holds on her brother’s climbing wall. She is sponsored by Edelrid and Mad Rock, and is an ethereal little being quite similar to what her name suggests. Faye of course means fairy. Now while she may be dainty and kinda fairy like, she has a scary appetite and holds no bones on delicate matters such as the movement of stomach gas via either channel of release. Simply put, if Faye lets one rip on a ledge and you’re stuck with her, well it’s all downhill from there.
What impresses me most about this hard-core ‘fairy’ (aside from her trucker mouth, which basically is only matched by my sailor mouth) is that she’s quietly dedicated, and is pretty understated about the way she achieves things. Faye is never going to be the loudest person at the crags (except if you have chocolate and she spies it, then all hell breaks loose) but she will be the one quietly savaging routes in the upper echelons of the twenties. And the lower ones of the thirties. Mmm hmm!
*Ed’s note: sorry just to quell confusion, the bottom slideshow is me on Velociraptor (24/7a), not Faye. Uh. They were just nice pics…um.