It’s All Uphill…

Last time I was punching my keyboard for this site I was really upset because of my A2 pulley rupture… Well, it’s been 12 weeks since then and the finger is recovered. A lot has happened since then. The worst part of the time involved a 5 week break doing NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING. No running, no gym; just computer games and parties. It was a really weird break from climbing. In the last 12 years, I have not had this much time off. So, the result: I gained 4 kgs and went through a considerable number of hang overs XD

BUT at the end of that all, I started working out again. I started coaching a little and I getting back in the swing of things. It all started off in Durban with a day at Kirk Falls with Illona and Candice. Was a lot of fun For my first day back I didn’t do so bad: 6c+, 7a and 7a+ all onsight. That was great fun!!! By the way, Kirk Falls is a gem! Get down there and climb!

The week following this I found myself climbing in Waterval Boven trying hard to regain some of my form. I had some fun in the process. I climbed a few lines and tried to climb Big Butterfly (7c) only to be foiled by wet cracks in the crux. I did have a lot of fun climbing some lines in Super Bowl that I haven’t been on in quite a while, like Karfoefeling (7b).

Climbing Karfoefeling in Boven. Photo by Gustav!

Climbing Karfoefeling in Boven. Photo by Gustav!

I received quite a big box of gear from Outward Ventures  which included my new Roca Dominator 9.2mm 80m rope and La Sportiva Solutions!!! Amongst gear were a couple dinner packs from Back Country Cuisine! I can tell you right now, the Cottage Pie is amazing! If you need something that is light weight and quick to prepare while you’re on a camping trip you can’t possibly go wrong. Most of the packs involve adding about a cup of water (more or less depending on the meal) and waiting 10 minutes until you have a fantastic meal. They also have some new dehydrated fruit snacks that are FANTASTIC. Make sure you grab some for your hikes or climbs.

The view from Arjan's place! Breath taking!!!

The view from Arjan’s place! Breath taking!!! He was kind enough to give me a place to stay on the way into and out of Cape Town.

Making the trip possible

Making the trip possible

Good stuff!!!

Good stuff!!!

The climbing I had been doing was all preparation for my trip to the Western Cape to climb sport lines in a place that everyone knows about but no one may write about (no comment). Really cool climbing in this place but unfortunately I can’t post any pics for anyone else to look at except maybe the hike in.

Hiking into you know where to do you know what

Hiking into you know where, to do you know what…

By the time I actually got to Cape Town I was ready to do some bouldering, but not before going for Sushi with Beth, JT, Sean, Colin, Jen and Jono at Harry’s! Unbelievable sushi! The Yellow Tail Sashimi was so fresh it was fantastic. It was Beth’s birthday so we had to celebrate.

Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi at Harry's! Best Ever!

Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi at Harry’s! Best Ever!

The next morning I drove through to Outward Ventures to see where I was going to be staying. I was sleeping in the store room on the floor and it was great 🙂 I was really happy to be there and nothing would make me unhappy at this point. After a short greeting session with Rob and Geoff, Jono and I departed for Echo Valley so that we could meet up with Steve Bradshaw to get in some bouldering. I didn’t realize how tired my body was from the weekend until we started the walk up to Echo…

Initially when we got to the boulders Steve and I were really disappointed because of the weather and the fact that they were actually dripping wet. Surprisingly enough, the wind changed and in less that an hour Steve was trying Skobbejak (8B) and having fun. When his skin was done we headed down to Mintberry Crunch (8A) for me to figure out what I needed to do.

Arriving in Echo Valley. Photo by Jono Joseph

Arriving in Echo Valley. Photo by Jono Joseph

It was not easy for an out of shape Brian. The crux for me is getting my right heel locked into place. I tried it for three sessions and on the final session fell dabbed the rock underneath my ass. I also slipped out of the heel at least 6 times. So the final result was a lot of fun but not success!!! Damn.

Working Mintberry Crunch (8A) in Echo Valley. Photo by Jono Joseph

Working Mintberry Crunch (8A) in Echo Valley. Photo by Jono Joseph

Trying to hit the crux hold / finish hold on Mintberry. Photo by Jono Joseph.

Trying to hit the crux hold / finish hold on Mintberry. Photo by Jono Joseph.

I met up with Marijus, Rowan and Maciek while I was in Cape Town. Maciek and Rowan were working the stand of Cthulhu when I got there. Rowan walked all over it and started working on the 8A+ sit. On our last day when the weather set in, Arjan was doing laps on Mintberry Crunch, which he flashed when he first tried it.

Cthulhu (8A+)

Cthulhu (8A+)

When Squeaky and Sheldon arrived we tried a 7B+ called Lonely Boy. It is a really cool problem though conditions were inhibiting me from topping out due to the wet / damp undercling slots at the top of Los Muisenbergers (8A).

Working my way up Lonely Boy (7B+) with the spotting arms of Sheldon and Sqeaky. Photo by Jono Joseph.

Working my way up Lonely Boy (7B+) with the spotting arms of Sheldon and Sqeaky. Photo by Jono Joseph.

The next day we headed up to TM where we had a really cool day at the JIMBO WALL! I’ll be honest, I was scared shitless trying to work out Tripple Jeopardy (8a+ trad) ground up. My skin was slippery and I hadn’t climbed trad in quite a while, maybe 5 months or so, and climbing that sketchy 7a+ start was a bit more than scary, particularly when I had to take the wingers off of tiny Wild Country Z3 and Z4 cams. SMALL anyone?

This trip was really amazing for me. I just wish that I hadn’t just recovered from a 5 week break. I felt like I was weak for a lot of it. But that’s alright, I’m more psyched than ever. Since I’ve been back in JHB I haven’t had a rest day. So that is somewhere along the lines of 15 days, sometimes with two training sessions a day.

I’ve also been coaching Tristan and Alistair in their preparations for the U13 Comp at the Rory Lowther Memorial Competition. I was going to compete when I heard about the difficulty competition which was 4 routes, however, upon discovering that the difficulty was linked to the Saturday’s proceedings I couldn’t participate. I don’t mind. It’s going to be a great weekend.

My next installment happen much sooner as I discuss the Rory as well as the training program that I’ve set out for myself. Till then, here are some pics from Table Mountain.

Lunch on TM after a hard morning on Triple Jeopardy (8a+ trad). Photo by Jono Joseph.

Lunch on TM after a hard morning on Triple Jeopardy (8a+ trad). Photo by Jono Joseph.

Squeaky getting bendy on Jeopardy (7c+ trad)! Photo by Jono Joseph

Squeaky getting bendy on Jeopardy (7c+ trad)! Photo by Jono Joseph

The view from TM with Jono in the corner :)

The view from TM with Jono in the corner 🙂

Jono offering the dassie a cigarette... That little guy had not fear (I'm talking about the dassie, the rest of us were a bit worried).

Jono offering the dassie a cigarette… That little guy had not fear (I’m talking about the dassie, the rest of us were a bit worried it would eat our food).

The Jimbo Wall on TM with the Jeopardy routes!

The Jimbo Wall on TM with the Jeopardy routes!

Looking out at Lion's Head

Looking out at Lion’s Head

Cheating death…Again

Over the last 15 years I’ve really become known for my ability to do stupid stuff and come out in almost one piece. I think part of this ability originate from the fitness I’ve accrued from being so athletic my whole life as well as my blind ambition to excel at extreme and mental challenges. Yvette and I were in a pretty horrible car accident last weekend and it’s made me a little nostalgic…

1116148_10151778489312692_1364227603_oI’m healing up just fine. My shoulder and chest are still a bit sore.

601414_10151516071846637_638135401_n The car is not ok. We went through a telephone pole and it snapped in two. If we ever find that guy who hit us there will be hell to pay!!!!

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My first major injury was back in 2001 and was total stupid: we were break dancing at a motocross party, I did a backflip but the concrete had just a little dust on it so my feet didn’t gain any traction on the landing and I kept rotating. I landed on the back of my head and blacked out. I think I came too about a second or two later and was up on my feet trying to say I was ok but I wasn’t. My speech was slurred, I was feeling nauseous and I was admitted to hospital a few hours later with a severe concussion and a skull cracked in 3 places. This has always been my benchmark for major head injuries; I was in the hospital for 5 days and it was torture. I missed a bunch of my final exams and had to write them in May, the ones I did write I scored A’s which was amazing seeing as I couldn’t focus while studying or during the actual exams.

I’ve always been pushing the envelop in the various sports I’ve done. Maybe some of the nuttiest stuff I did involved quad bikes: sick stuff like 30m vertical drops in the sand dunes! Unfortunately don’t have any good pics of those days, probably because I didn’t want my parents to see how I was behaving — which says something seeing as they were my biggest supporters on the mountain bikes 😀

Stair cases

If I think back to what I used to do as a teenager and in my early 20s, what I’m doing now is really tame… LIKE REALLY TAME! What I might constitute as an injury now was more of an everyday occurrence back then. I think my bones were more rubber than bone there for a while…

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The stair gap at UCT… This was great fun…

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Those were the days…. We had these jumps about 5 min cycle from home. So many injuries and fun times associated with this little patch of land… You can almost see my high school in the background. There was at least one time when I just stopped by the jumps for a few minutes. I did a trick called a “Nothing” wherein you release your hands and feet so NOTHING is touching the bike (No wonder where the trick got its name??). The bike rotated on its X-axis and next thing I remember I’m at home. No clue how I got there; apparently I rode there.

Roof Again 2Roof Again 3Roof Again 4

Roof Again 5

I snapped off my BB when I landed here… See the right hand crank arm behind my rear tire??

Roof 1

Roof 2

Roof 3

Drop 4

Ahhhhh. That’s my house. Nothing like a 4m roof drop on to the interlocking to have some fun! Did this one a few times over the years

Brian 1

Brian 2

Brian 3

3m vertical drop in a race… That’s how we roll!!!

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Getting some big air. The guy in the middle is 2m tall, the dip between the double is slightly built up so my wheels are probably 4m up…

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Nothing like doing the CanCan side by side

8 Meter Gap 4

This 9m gap left me unable to walk for a week. It might not look that big from the angle but believe me… IT WAS SICK.

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Just another day at the court house… NOW WHY WOULD I GO AND FALL HERE???

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This was my biggest drop, did it twice in a row for good measure. 5m+ The approach was tricky, I had to lay down a few planks and balance on them to be able to get the speed over the gravel at the top of this water tower…

And then I turned pro… I started refining my body positions and made it look good. I also learned how to flip and I could flip just about anywhere. Good times!

Table Top  Back Flip206_0640Seat Grab    Indian Air

  Flip Table Top 2

Backflip pancake… Sick!

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Even through all the sports injuries, it was generally only real life that tried to kill me. I’ve always been a fan of doing the first thing that crossed my mind and it would often land me in hospital or at least in my GP’s office 🙂

I went through some fun(ny) stages in the short span of time I’ve had on Earth so far… I’m gonna be 29 on Sunday, DAMMNN!! Last year in the 20s. Age is just a number, if you ask Yvette, she’d say I’m turning 6.

Me at Zeps

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A previous near death experience. More like a real dumbass moment!!!

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Definitely went through a bit of an interesting stage… But I’m not complaining.

HPIM2952Picture 1022 DSCF0790 DSCF0725Ahhhh, Buffman… Trying to hide in the bushes… I think I was still 4 in this picture LOL!