The Ghost of Johnny (Geo) Cash (Cache)

Geo Cache
Photo Willie Koen

by Donovan Gould

Lyrics by Johnny Cash, in collaboration with Dave Mercer, Mike Scott, Warren Gans, Richard Halsey and arranged/produced by Donovan Gould and the Ghost Riders in the Sky!

“Hi I’m Johnny Cash!” Trumpets start playing loudly to the tune of Ring of Fire piercing your auditory canal like a riotous Mariachi Band as the legend booms in his bass-baritone,

“Love is a burning thing
“And it makes a fiery ring
“Bound by wild desires
“I fell into a ring of fire”. . . silence!

There are no loud trumpets accompanying a booming bass voice but the mellow sounds of the wind in the fynbos, birds singing, insects chirping and loud banter from the hikers making their way up and down from the peak close to our ‘camp’ for the afternoon.
We are here on the northeast facing ledge of Lions Head. Having completed an easy walk up from the circular path and blessed that the crag receives morning sun to burn off any damp and rain from the previous day.
Having stashed our bags, stoves and gear under a big stepped roof known as Geo-Cache Cave, we calmly walk past tall orange, black and grey walls, to our chosen routes.
Climbers have been frequenting the Geo-Cache area for many years using it more for training, as the ethics of the day was to accomplish multi pitch-routes and not to claim single pitch routes. Many climbing apprenticeships started on these steep walls and first-time climbers at MCSA meets would top rope their way up various routes.
Not much history had been recorded on any of the first ascents prior to Dave Mercer’s wonderful guidebook, as none of these routes were claimed and named. Dave was kindly assisted by Mike Scott to show him the known lines that were climbed and top roped. Dave then ingeniously named the lines alphanumerically from left to right utilising Johnny Cash songs aptly named after the Geo-Cache Cave.

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