6th Black Diamond Tradathon 2017: a festival of Traditional Climbing

Ivan van der Tang on "Fear of Loathing" (29) Photo by James Barnes

Photo: Ivan van der Tang on “Fear of Loathing” (29) Photo by James Barnes

Organised by Ram Mountaineering, distributors of Black Diamond Equipment – the world’s leading manufacturers of trad. climbing gear.

This year’s Tradathon felt like a gathering of friends old and new, getting together to enjoy each other’s company and the wild places we call home, and share our the great passion for the sport we all love. It was heart-warming to look back and realise that the event is still fulfilling the purpose envisaged back in 2012 when it was first conceptualised by Simon Larsen and Ryan van Niekerk of Ram: to get climbers together once a year to enjoy the pleasures, challenges and comradery that traditional climbing offers.


Some Tradathon highlights:

The Tradathon was the “grand finale” to the South African leg of the American Climbing exchange – 10 Americans got see the beauty and wonder the South African Mountains have to offer. During their visit, they climbed at Table Mountain- Cape Town, Yellowood- Du Toits Kloof, the Cederberg, Blouberg and finished off in the beautiful Magaliesberg.

Five people climbed trad for the first time! Welcome to the community: Karine, Alistair, Franco, Kamil and Michael.

Every year the event includes the raffle of a Trad. climbing rack worth R15000.00 – in the hope that we can help grow the number of well-equipped tradders out there. This year the very happy winner was Jacques Lourens from in George. Congratulations Jacques!


Apart from the world class climbing, the venue also offered pristine swimming in clear rock pools, amazing canyoneering – all in one place.


Many of the original route creators were present to recount their epics – and re-climb their old test pieces.

Special thanks to Charles Edelstein and Roger Natrass who entertained us with their recollections of climbing the 80’s and the history of climbing in the Magaliesberg.

Other Thank You’ s to:

MCSA – for allowing us access their land, Rock and Rope for their very generous prizes, Media sponsors: SA Mountain and Climb ZA

Instructors Neil Margetts, Colin Mc Coy, Alan Watson and Grant Rens for giving of their time to show the newbies the ropes.

Adventure medics and the Mountain Search and Rescue Team for keeping us safe in the kloofs.

Bergheim Holiday Resort

Foodworx for the delicious dinner

Photographers Brendon Salzer and Alistair for capturing the day for us. We look forward to seeing all your photos!

For more info about the Tradathon, photos and other events keep an eye on our Facebook Page TheEdgeZA

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