Alta – Sickle Moon

Alta after sending Sickle Moon

Route Name:   Sickle Moon (some call it Sukkelmaan – Afrikaans for Struggle Moon lol).

Route Grade:   22.

Route Location: The Mine, Cape Town.        

Time spent working the route: 5 separate days spanning over a couple of weeks/months.   

Weather on day route sent: Perfect, windless, sunny, cool! A beautiful Autumn day in Cape Town. Conditions on the rock were perfect too. 

Present company: Hermie, the boyfriend; Kim, the bestie and belayer who inspired me to do this route; random people whose draws were up on Sickle Moon already and cheered me on.

Worst/most difficult part of route: The worst part for me was towards the top before reaching the face. When I finally linked the route, I pumped out at the top if I didn’t get the sequence right and wouldn’t have energy or strength left to top out. I came back on this day to work out the exact sequence needed to save energy to be able to climb the whole thing, but ended up doing it right and sending on the first go. The most difficult part and where I shook out for at least 15mins, was at the top right before the chains.   

Injuries obtained: None.

How you felt after sending it: Relieved, shook, in denial and very stoked.

The most enjoyable thing about working and/or sending the route: The process. I never considered getting on the route because I didn’t think it was possible until Kim planted that seed. When I got on the route the first time, I realised it was actually doable if I put in the effort. I honestly enjoyed the whole process and route: figuring out what sequence worked best for me and how to preserve my energy; breaking through mental barriers and the discomfort that comes with it; the perseverance; and the grunts – I enjoyed it all! Sending the route opened up new gateways in my brain and other climbing possibilities. We really can achieve anything we put our minds to. 

Kim on Sickle Moon with Alta belaying