by Matt Bush
Matt Bush is one of South Africa’s most talented climbers. His climbing conquests are numerous, with a long list of hard and impressive routes to his name. He is also one of the few climbers on the planet that have entered into the world of extreme free soloing. Matt has free soloed a number of hard sport routes up to grade 8a+, but more recently he has taken the game one solid notch up by projecting three of Table Mountain’s test pieces. Three routes that have had minimal repeats because of their difficulty, seriousness and exposure.
Here Matt tells us about his journey to free solo Africa Arête , Dynamite and Synapse Direct.
My dream was three free solos: Africa Arête, Dynamite and Synapse Direct. Three classic routes located on Africa Ledge, Table Mountain. Each route, a perfect climb in a perfect place – wild and exposed!
My three dreams had become the focus of my reality. But where do dreams begin? For all things have a birthplace. There’s a cause to everything. The catalyst to this dream was an unexpected moment; a ripple caused by a butterfly on a still pond.
That moment came one morning as I sat at Knead on Kloof sharing adventures with Shaun and Pete. It was 8 am and we had just arrived from the beach. Knead was opening for breakfast. Between moments of conversation about climbing, we stared in wonder up at Table Mountain; the early morning sunlight shedding a pink hue across the front of the mountain. Looking up at Africa Ledge, I sat contemplating my dreams.
A drop of water fell from above and into my glass. The ripples cascaded across the still surface. A flash of insight occurred to me: limits are logical barriers that are broken by the heart. My heart and intuition already knew the way to my dreams.
The three of us shared life stories over breakfast. I felt inspired. We parted ways. The dream had begun. I drove home, packed my gear, and that afternoon I hiked up Table Mountain. Two months from that day my dreams came true. I free soloed the ‘Triple’. Read more…
IMAGE: Reaching the final rail after completing the last crux move on Dynamite. Photo Jacques van Zyl