Su and Malan de Kock on a climb
For a long while we have wondered whether the granite rocks of Dragonridge and Sonkop would offer opportunities for climbing. We contacted the Mountain Club a few times but didn’t hear back from them. So it was to our delight that some years later Malan and Su de Kock arrived asking us whether they could climb on the farm. And since then they have come almost every weekend exploring and climbing.
In lieu of their report back we asked them some questions.
Q: What is the climbing like on the mountain?
A: In general the rock is of good quality granite and sandstone with metamorphosed rock in areas between. There are tons of routes just waiting for first ascents. Dragonridge offers traditional climbing mostly at a moderate difficulty although there are quite a few hard climbs for serious climbers. There are ample single pitch routes and the larger formations go up to three or four pitches.
Q: What about names for places and climbs?
A: Apart from the already named places like Cathedral Rock we have named particular crack-climbs/routes, keeping them within the general spirit of dragon lore. For instance we have been referring to certain features of Dragonridge as the Knuckle, the Helmet, the Thigh, the Knee Cap and the Shield. Generally climbing routes will have a classical descriptive name such as "The Dragons Eye Direct" or "Cathedral Rocks Traverse". When there are numerous routes up or around a single rock outcrop each route would have its own name like "Jumping Jelly Beans" or whatever.
Q What about assistance for potential climbers?
A: We plan to compile a little guidebook with descriptions, drawings and GPS co-ordinates that can be available for interested guests and visitors to Fynbos.
Q: Can you tell us a little more about you two?
A: I, Malan am an animator and illustrator, and I hope to get reincarnated because there's a ton of things I still want to do. There's adventure around every corner. Su is an operations manager for a big company and like me was a farm kid ` who ended up too deep in the city.’ Climbing now is just who we are in this particular point of our lives and it's fantastic
FOR ANYONE WANTING TO CONTACT MALAN, HIS NUMBER IS 076 776 0266.
PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE KEEN TO CLIMB HERE WITH A REGISTERED GUIDE.
The pics of Dragonridge are taken by Malan and Su with those of Sonkop from Diana’s collection
|Clockwise from top left: 1) Setting off. 2) Sonkop. 3) Up a crack on Dragonridge. 4) Su working her route on the Tiger Wall|
|Clockwise from top left: 1) Sheer granite. 2) Granite slabs on Sonkop. 3) Hidden mushrooms. 4) Old Milkwoods.|
|Clockwise: 1) Part of the dragon's ridge.2) A Milkwood burnt in the big fire regrows. 3 )MIlkwoods between the cracks.|