Saturday, January 24, 2009

Karoo Climbing - Nieu Bethesda

Kompasberg has seen many hikers on its belfry, I noticed graffiti scratched in the ironstone dating back to the 1870’s, and the summit book is filled with religious sentiments to the glory of the view. The western face has seen few climbing attempts, mostly by climbers from the Eastern Cape chapter of the MCSA. The first documented climb recorded by Derek Marshall’s route guide was in the early 1920’s with much activity occurring in the seventies, including an alpine style ice climb up the prominent gully. The face itself reminds me of Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, a cog-like granite structure just waiting for aching fist and hand jam off-width climbing.

No alcohol was sold in the town, which may explain why it has taken so long for climbers to be exposed to the mountain. This law was relinquished in the late eighties. -
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A Google Earth type view of the Sneeuberg range reflects the quaint town of nearby Nieu Bethesda*, especially in winter – the tall white self-standing church steeple of Kompasberg surrounded by the timeless corrugated flat roofed range of the Karoo Mountains of Cambedoo in the Eastern Cape.

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