Kimberly Burger

What made you start climbing? / How did you get into climbing?
My first climb was in Hong Kong while I was living there. I met a friend who took me out for a taster, and when I came back to Cape Town I started teaching yoga at City Rock which afforded me the opportunity to
climb regularly. Funnily enough, my father used to climb when he was young, I was a toddler but I have vague memories of big rocks and climbing packs.

How old were you when you started climbing and how long have you been climbing for?
On the regular, since I was 26 y/o. It’s just over 4 years now.

What has been the most memorable climb for you?
Many to choose from, some positive and some not so positive. A most recent one would be Hannah’s Wine Tour in Montagu. It was one of the first 20s that I redpointed after lockdown. Most importantly, it felt like a dance, and solidified my intention to climb well, with finesse, rather than just push grades. It also happened to be on my first ladies only climbing trip.

What are your ambitions as a climber?
I want to climb until I’m old and wrinkly, and I’d like to become stronger/more versatile to climb in other places around the world. Though this is still a pipeline dream, I want to get onto big walls someday.

What are your favourite features to climb and why?
Crimps and flakes all the way. I have learnt to love overhung routes, but it’s not my natural forte. I feel a lot more in control on a face/slab with small holds and technical moves.

What is your favourite piece of gear or clothing for climbing and why?
I do love my beanies for those cold winter days, but I am not fussy. Whatever keeps me safe and comfortable. I begged and borrowed most of my gear for the first year of climbing before I was able to invest. I still have a worn down chalk bag from my first belay partner, and one of my oldest friends.

What is the hardest route you’ve ever worked (and sent)?
Airbag (21) at The Mine. The last move had me stuck for some time, but it taught me how to feel safe(r) falling. I have a few harder but still open projects that I’m working to send this year – each inspires me for a different reason.

What’s your favourite snack to have at the crag?
Dates and nuts

Do you do any extra training aside from just climbing?
I was trained as a professional ballet dancer, I teach yoga, I do horse riding and I hike. I use a mix of methodologies that I’ve learnt over the years as well as meditation (almost daily) to keep me mobile and sane.

What are your five best things about climbing?

The intersection of physicality, mentality and personality that’s required to climb at your edge –
it’s a perfect marriage.

The amount of time I get to spend outdoors with a purpose

The friendships I’ve made

The views

The adventure, when things don’t go as planned

What are your five worst things about climbing (if any)? Eg. Cold rock, opinionated belayer, noisy neighbouring climbers, etc.

Gail-force winds

Unnecessary noise


Bad rope management (guilty as charged)

Unsafe lead-outs

What do you like about guy climbers?
I like the psych that they bring, and the lightheartedness especially when things get very serious. I also like their hoodies.

Who’s your climbing hero?
They might not be famous, but I have a few strong climbers in my life that set great examples for me. The one who gets me onto routes that make me want to vomit – Alta Venter – inspiringly obsessive, nuts and
fabulous. Hermie Venter for his puns and stellar belay-skills, and Veera Jain for being a sheer climbing badass with the most loveable laugh.