by Tony Lourens
pic by Garrreth Bird
A few months ago, Joe Möhle contacted me. “Tony, we should do an article on the best crack climbs in South Africa for SAM. What do you think?”
It was a no brainer of course! What a great idea. Which climber wouldn’t like to read and see great pics of the best crack routes in our country. And what an amazing journey it would be to embark on a road trip and climb as many of them as you can.
We all know how addictive climbing is. We won’t debate that. But, an addiction within that addiction (if you can call it that), is crack climbing. Crack climbing defines climbing. A rock wall split by a crack immediately gives that part of the wall an alluring character. It draws you to that line. You find yourself staring at it, your eyes running up and down its length. Your vision caressing its edges. Automatically, through your mind’s eye, you see yourself pulling the moves, gracefully, like a cat. Stopping, hanging securely off a finger lock, slotting in a cam, then continuing your journey, toe twisting, hand jamming, laybacking, until you grab the finishing jug. In reality, it doesn’t always work out as smoothly as that, but that’s what makes crack climbing so addictive – working out the sequences, linking moves, working out the gear and piecing together that vertical puzzle. Nothing can be more satisfying!
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