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Through the Savanah we roamed. In the distance we could....
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roughster


Aug 25, 2003, 1:00 AM
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Through the Savanah we roamed. In the distance we could....
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...just spy the object of our desire. Kilimanjaro, that accursed piece of rock. It was a desperate attempt to avoid the local Game Wardens that lead us to this dire state of affairs. But I get ahead of myself...

The day started with a fresh morning spritzer of black lust created from the local rainwater filtered through the black gold. It was a tad bit bitter, harsh even, but all the better to jumpstart the morning. Strangely enough my regular hunting partner was going to be missing from our normal early dawn patrol of the Reserve. I had my suspicions on his whereabouts though. Most likely fraternizing with the local village girls, all the while hoping to get caught inside!

Being an elderly chap with a loving wife and 2.5 children at home, I resigned myself to returning my focus to my constitution. Ahh the simple things. I reflected back to an old friend who once wrote,

In reply to:
There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games."

How true that old fellow was! Today I was after a bit of sport myself. Perhaps the night spent being randy with Mrs was enough to fire these old bones to action. Now if I could only find my hunting partner for todays "sport"...

Our trip through the plains to the arranged meeting point was delayed by the need to forage. Surely we must start this hunt with food in our bellies! Only a simpleton would leave the safety of home braving who knows what forms of cruelty on an empty stomach!

Once back on track, we arrived only to find one of our selected compadres to be missing. After milling about and situating packs and gear, it was elected that the good chap would have to catch up as we struck out for our adventure. The cool breeze of a fine summer morning blew down a narrow ravine with a lazy river snaking its unavoidable path to the ocean. Rustling branches and the far overhead cry of birds of prey were the music to which we marched. Shortly down the trail, we found the missing man had already beginning to try an sneak a peak at our destination.

We arrived in short order to where we have learned to be on best behavior. The Game Wardens have often staked out the Reserve in hopes of catching people like us. Several times people had been turned back in a stinging blow knowing that they had almost made it. They call us "poachers" but we are just there to enjoy an activity which most don't understand. We elected to take the longer approach in to stay out of view.

Which brings make back to my initial reflection. As I crested a long rise pushing a cart loaded with gear, a large black mound reared it's mysterious head from the bowels of the earth. Set at a 80 degree angle against the deep blue sky, the rock was as black as a starless night. One attempt on this mountain, this dreaded Kilimanjaro, had already been tried. Despite our best efforts, we had been unable to reach the summit of the beast. Our shiny trail reflected in the sun tempting us with it's pleasures... But alas, the mental scars had not yet healed from the previous failures, and we would have to once again schedule a date to test our metal against that route.

Instead, we elected to attempt to finish a different trail up the slab. The previous attempt had ended with a head hung low with shame at the failure of once again not reaching the top. This time it was mechanical failure which brought us low. There just wasn't enough "juice" to get us there, but we had already begun the trail and our previous efforts left us about 1/2 way up. My fearless partner jumped at the chance to reach our earlier high point and he did just that. A new partner to the scene gave an attempt only to realize that the newness of our chosen path would be frought with perils of loose rock. Ahh the Kilimanjaro does not give up her treasures easily! At last, I loaded up with as much steel, hardware, and equipment that I could muster and headed up into the unknown.

Reaching the high point was the easy part, but obtaining the top would be a dangerous journey indeed. A few ledges were several feet above a temporary protection device. After gaining their comforts, I reached up and engaged one of the few pieces of technology I have grown rather found of. In a combination of effort and power, a hole was drilled into the very mountain itself. Local stories abound of spirits filling this rock, and it was in our best interest to plug the holes to prevent them escaping. I carefully tapped in a stainless rod and hanger to prevent that very thing.

Interestingly enough, the few remaining sections were easy, however the vegatation and moss had been too long unattended. Clearing only what was necessary for our passage, I gingerly pressed onward aided by long pieces of looped nylon webbing. Some bloke had invented these trickster little devices awhile back, and I silently thanked him for his inginuity! Repeating a series of intricate and delicate moves eventually brought me to final location. At this point the plan was to create a retreatable location for those who would later follow in our footsteps.

On the way back down, I found our swahili guides foot trail. I followed it carfully seeing a featured passage through a high angle swath of rock. Yes indead! A foothold here, a handhold there. It can be done! Another anchor was set as well for possibly a later grand adventure.

Once back to mother Earth, my partner elected to head up the newly path in hopes of mastering its difficulties without the aid of the nylon slings. I smiled at his young brashness. Ahh the spirit of youth! I wished him his best, and the fellow set off. Moving slowly and delibrately, his carefully orchestrated dance deposited him at the retreat point with nary a scratch. This would surely be cause for celebration after the hunt! It was as if the young man had shot his first Black Rhino. Beaming proud, his smile was ear to ear. The achievement of the climb was at last his, and it must have felt good to face down demons of his past. However, those are of a different tale not to be told here...

Other members followed our new trail and were happy with their efforts. I elected to try the Swahili trail. Swahili's are an athletic type which delight in the complexities of physical movement. Their trails are no different. I followed the lines of weakness, somehow hoping to leech some power from the very soul of the rock. When the path becqme too perilous, I made a leap of faith to a small ledge. It provided just enough support for a few fingers, but that was enough to gain passage. Yes this would be a fine addition to our growing list of adventures here in the Reserve. Unfortunately, the tales of power on the previous climb had taken its toll, and the full routes establishment would have to wait for another day!

After the completion of the climbs, it was elected to head into a nearby canyon to escape the hot sun. On the surrounding walls, we found enjoyable adventures and small talk. It was good to chat and relax without the bitter bile of 100 degree weather. The shade provided the ideal climate for our pursuit, and we revelled like there was no tomorrow.

Being the adventurous type, we decided a foray out into the open expanses would be in order. However, this brazen act could potentially put is the view of the wardens. We proceeded cautiously, and managed to sample even more of the bountiful delights of our little reserve.

As the light faded, much like the strength in our forearms, we retreated to the comfort of our vehicles. The celebration of the earlier success would be at a local eatery which surved up a wicked slab of charred animal flesh. We sipped sweet drinks and allowed the experiences of the day to sink in. It was agreed that the adventure had been enjoyed by all!

Surely with a bit more rest and recharging, we will be baack out to our little paradise. This time the Swahili trail will fall to our efforts. Its always a matter of another day, but isn't that what keeps us going?

For a quick summation in regular english (I wrote it like this because another memeber of our group is going to write up a standard report she said :) ) We went to Auburn, stayed low key, had a blast, finished bolting up (on lead) and established a new route called "Black Rhino" (located on the Kilimanjaro Wall), bolted in anchors over a new route "Swahili" (drill ran out of juice) and then climbed till our arms were about to fall off. Everyone had a good time and we had two "Auburn Virgins" with us. Both seemed to be truly pleased with the climbing and quality. If only we can get access secured....

http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/listArea.php?AreaID=5684


roughster


Aug 25, 2003, 12:29 PM
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Registered: Apr 3, 2002
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Re: Through the Savanah we roamed. In the distance we could [In reply to]
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up :)


maculated


Aug 25, 2003, 3:19 PM
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Registered: Dec 22, 2001
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Re: Through the Savanah we roamed. In the distance we could [In reply to]
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Busy day today, now that its been announced I'll be doing one . . . I'll get it done eventually. Maybe tomorrow.


caughtinside


Aug 25, 2003, 5:45 PM
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Registered: Jan 8, 2003
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Re: Through the Savanah we roamed. In the distance we could [In reply to]
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Fun report! Kiliminjaro wall really is an adventure!

Click on the link Aaron posted and check out the pictures, fabulous climbing at auburn...


roughster


Aug 26, 2003, 10:09 PM
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Re: Through the Savanah we roamed. In the distance we could [In reply to]
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http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=38314

May help make a little sense out of this post :)


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