An international team consisting of Ines Papert (GER), Joseph Pfnür (GER), Luka Lindič (SLO) and Paul McSorley (CAN) recently made a trad first ascent in the Du Toits Kloof Mountains in South Africa, naming the route Ruby Supernova (13 pitches, 520 metres, ED1 7b+).
The team established the new line over two days on 15th and 16th June. They used no bolts or fixed protection, finding mostly high quality quartzite, which protected well with natural gear. Only a handful of nuts and pitons were left behind at anchors for abseils.
The team began their trip to the region by making a two-day repeat of A Private Universe (550 metres ED1 7a A1) established by South Africans Hilton Davies, David Davies and Mathew Sim (free climbed by Dave Birkett and Tinie Verseveld (ZA) at 7b+). A Private Universe was previously the only existing route up this stunning, overhanging amphitheatre 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, Papert, Pfnür, Lindič and McSorley 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 metres of the top onsighting every pitch, but then a storm hit, depositing snow in the mountains and causing widespread flooding throughout the Western Cape of South Africa.
Over the next week the team escaped to the inland areas of Rocklands and Montague while they waited for the line to dry. Returning with photographer Franz Walter, the group climbed 9 pitches of familiar ground to a good bivvy ledge and completed the climb the following day, abseiling down roughly the same route. Hilton Davies provided the team with logistical support, route beta and hospitality. After completing Ruby Supernova, the group climbed with Hilton and Tinie Verseveld on Table Mountain, enjoying the classic climbing with two pioneers of the area.
The team expressed their opinion that South Africa has 'some of the finest adventure climbing [they've] done', and believe there is great potential for new routes in the country.
Ines and Luka were supported by: Arc'teryx