The Section's main activity is undoubtedly rock climbing, and everything related to that.
- Traditional or 'trad' climbing is the oldest form of climbing practiced and refers to climbing in places where there is no fixed protection, which involves placing one's own gear including cams, nuts and slings for protection. Routes tend to follow natural lines or cracks where gear can be placed.There are also a number of crags where 'trad' routes sit along side 'sport' routes. Spitzkoppe is the main Trad climbing area at the moment. See route book at bottom.
- Sport climbing has gained huge popularity over the past 10-15 years and there are probably more people now who climb bolted routes than traditional routes. For sport climbing one only needs a harness, rope, quickdraws and shoes. Sport climbing involves climbing routes with pre-equipped fixed protection. This is generally in the form of bolts which have been placed into the rock. The MCSA actively promotes the safe bolting practices and a number of sections have drawn up bolting policies.
- Bouldering has fairly recently become more popular although has been practiced from the earliest of climbing days. When people climb new routes they tend to write down where and what grade the route it. Bouldering, possibly one of the most natural forms of climbing involves climbing generally short, hard sections of rock fairly close to the ground, without the use of rope. Often a crash-mat is used to soften the landing. 'Spotters', or other climbers often stand behind the climber to break their fall or make sure they land on their feet.
Scrambling is a method of ascending rocky faces and ridges. It is an ambiguous term that lies somewhere between hiking and rock climbing.It is often distinguished from hillwalking by defining a scramble as a route where hands must be used in the ascent. Some scrambles up steep ridges can be very exposed. The steeper the rock, the harder the scramble and obviously the more skills and equipment required.
Hiking is also an activity most of our club members do. To get to rock, you often need to hike. And so our members are also into hiking. Mostly it refers to walking outdoors on a trail for recreational purposes. As you hike more frequently, you’ll begin to develop additional stamina, skills, and comfort on the trail. But let’s face it, what activity is more fundamentally human than walking upright on two feet?
Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain. Some of our club members have come to love this sport and often bring there bikes along to outings. This individual sport requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self-reliance. Which make this a great sport to combine with climbing
Spitzkoppe & Pontoks: Namibia, a Climber's Paradise,
by Eckhardt Haber and Tony Lourens.