A Miracle in Winterhoek

Not sure how I walked away from this one… Beautiful #GrootWinterhoek bared its teeth when both my handholds sheared off the rock within milliseconds on the downclimb from the pinnacle in the photo, with gravity doing what it does best. I managed to contort myself in the final few metres of the trajectory to hit bare earth rather than rock, impacting on my right thigh, ribs and shoulder. Huge thanks to Zane Schmahl, Simone Robyn Sharpe and Willem Haarhoff who helped walk me off the mountain, stuck with the programme on the 3hr dark-zone drive out of the wilderness, and maintained light comedy while I coughed up blood.

At N1 City Hospital now with cracked ribs, spectacular contusions, torn ligaments and impressive stitch wounds, and waiting for the surgeon to perform a procedure to reset my thumb. Lessons learnt: a quick pre-braai run can switch into emergency mode in seconds; if your gut tells you the holds are flakey, listen; and never, ever panic. Kudos to SPOT Africa and Isuzu South Africa for the part they played in the extraction – things could easily have gone very different on this adventure 🙏🏞️

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