Bernd Zangerl, bouldering in Rocklands
Austrian climber Bernd Zangerl has returned from the Rocklands in South Africa where he established two new problems.
Bernd Zangerl and Rocklands go back a fair way. Back to 2002 to be precise, a year after his repeat of Fred Nicole's Dreamtime. Since then Zangerl has made the long trip to South Africa on numerous occasions. Why? "Becasue it's simply special" he told us, adding "the country, the landscape, the ceaseless potential - if you make the effort to look for it. And then of course there's the smooth sandstone... the bouldering on offer is so varied, it's unique worldwide." His recent trip netted him two new problems, ungraded as yet, but seeing that they're other strong climbers in the area, were bound to find out more in the future
Rocklands 2011 by Bernd Zangerl
I travelled to Rocklands for the first time in 2002. This first visit was mindblowing and so I came back four years in a row with Fred Nicole and other friends who shared this excitement for exploring an unknown and wild place. In 2006 I made my last bouldering trip to the Rocklands. I wasn’t sure why, but somehow the whole place had changed and the quiet I cherised so much had disapeared. Understandably, more and more people came to enjoy this great place.
I returned this June with Manuel Ladner. And it was like coming home. Manu and I were lucky to share the old farmhouse with a bunch of great people. Philipp, Nici and Marlon from the US, Caine from Australia, Torstein and Therese from Norway. And my girlfriend visited me for a week.. The house couldn't get more international...
I started the trip with the nastiest thing that can happen on a short boulder trip: a deep cut in my index finger. I had enough time to show Manuel all the areas and different sectors: Rocklands has become big and there are little new sectors everywhere. I only had 4 weeks for bouldering and it was hard to focus on problems. Three projects I'd already tried in 2006 came to mind. I went back to these areas and a little smile crept on my face when I noticed, that they were still projects.
Problem Nr. 1 is a great line on the classic "Gliding through the waves like dolphins“ boulder (Klem Loskot, 2004). I'd always been more interested in those perfect holds to the right-hand side, but never had the power to do the obvious undercling move. This year I sent the move first try. So I thought that I'd make short work of it, that it wasn't as hard as expected. Things ended up differently and it took some hard sessions and the support of my "guardian angel" to complete this old project which now has the beautiful name "Sitting in a corner with depression."
After a little party I went to Roadcrew with Philipp Schaal. I showed him another line from "the old" days. After checking the moves I was going to leave because I wanted some more pads, when Phil pushed me to give it a proper try. I fought my way to the last move, asked Phil if he'd able to catch me, and dynoed to the top. Luckily I latched the hold perfectly and topped out. This is "The honey badger".
The third boulder remains a project.
Sitting in a corner with depression
Such a obvious line! Powerful, 14 move problem. The crux ist the 3rd move! A very hard undercling. Taller people will send this problem it 10 moves, making it hard to grade. The tall can simply dyno to the jug... another another great problem!
The honey badger
Another 2006 project. A very untypical problem for Rocklands....which makes it so unique. It's more like granite climbing: an overhanging face with powerful moves on OK crimps... and some sharp holds at the top out.