A Cold Day at the Prow – First impressions at the Wow Prow, Free State


words by Dieter Rohrs

pic by Grivin Roering

Arriving at the farmhouse parking lot, you’re greeted with a typical picturesque Free State koppie kind of vibe. Impressive looking, but generally poor quality rock. But amongst these koppies stands the Wow Prow – tall and prominent.

The approach is steep, but fairly easy to find, with multiple cairns to mark the path. Arriving at the base of the Prow you get the feeling you’re standing at the Alternative Crag at Eagle Mountain. That is until you walk around the corner and are greeted by the very impressive looking, polka-dotted Digital Warfare, which goes at an impressive grade 33. It demands its own space. Definitively the Prow’s king line!

Being my first time here, I decided to first get a feel for the Prow, and started with the grade 16 ‘access route’. This was a double bonus, as it gave me access to the top of the Prow to lower a static line to take some photos. Abseiling back down, looking at the rock and the unusual pock-marked features, I knew I was in for a special weekend.

The rock is a mixture of pockets, ranging from shallow mono-fingertip grips to pockets that swallow your whole arm, and thrown in amongst these are some small, sharp, knife-edge crimpers. But before you even reach this smartie-box of holds, you must conquer the flaky overhanging start, which throws you a medley of dynamic moves between jugs and one-pad crimpers.

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