Photographer: Luka Lindič

A great time in South Africa with great friends

First ascent in South Africa

On June 15th and 16th Ines Papert (GER), Joseph Pfnür (GER), Luka Lindič (SLO), and Paul McSorley (CAN) established "Ruby Supernova" on Slanghoek in the Du Toits Kloof Mountains of South Africa. The 13-pitch route is 520 meters long and rated ED1 7b+ (VI 5.12c). We used no bolts or fixed protection, finding mostly excellent quality quartzite, which protected well with natural gear. Only a handful of stoppers and pitons were left behind at anchors for rappells.
We began our trip to the region by making a two-day repeat of "A Private Universe" (550 meters ED1 7a A1) established by South Africans Hilton Davies, David Davies and Mathew Sim (free climbed by Dave Birkett (UK) and Tinie Verseveld (ZA) at 7b+). "A Private Universe" was previously the only existing route up this stunning, overhanging amphitheater and was dubbed one of the last great problems of South African climbing by legendary alpinist Dave Cheesmond. The South African team used 100 bolts for anchors and protection to make the first ascent of this impressive wall back in 2002.
After repeating "A Private Universe", we set to work on a new line up an obvious corner system on the right side of the wall. In two separate teams they pushed the route to within a hundred meters of the top onsighting every pitch, but then the storm of the century hit, smashing mature timber like toothpicks, depositing snow in the mountains and causing widespread flooding throughout the Western Cape of South Africa.
Over the next week we escaped to the inland areas of Rocklands and Montague while we waited for the line to dry. Returning with photographer Franz Walter, we climbed 9 pitches of familiar ground to a good bivy ledge and completed the climb the following day, rappelling roughly the same route.
We are tremendously grateful to Hilton Davies who provided us with, logistical support, invaluable route beta and gracious hospitality. After completing "Ruby Supernova" we had the pleasure of climbing with Hilton and Tinie Verseveld on Table Mountain, enjoying the classic climbing with two pioneers of the zone. We really feel that South Africa has some of the finest adventure climbing they’ve done and believe there is great potential for new routes in this incredible country.
Our gear:
1 set Cams 0.3 - 4
1 set Cams 0.4 - 1
2x C3 0,1,2
1 set stoppers and 1 set micros