Name: Faye Brouard
Date of birth: 13/05/1987
Living in: Pietermaritzburg (South Africa)
Nationality: South African
Weight: 48 kg
Began Climbing: 1999/2000
Job/Studies: high school
Best Onsight (sport climbing): 6c+
Best flash (bouldering): 6c
Hardest boulder: 7a
Favourite sport climbing crag: It was the Wave Cave before it was closed down,it is now probably The Resturant
Favourite bouldering spot: Rocklands (SA)
Favourite Route: Gladiator (Wave Cave - SA)Favourite Boulder:: /
Competition Results: I generally come 1st in school comps and Nationals
Music: I like lots of different types of music, Bob Marley being one of them
Favourite drink: Red Grapetiser
Favourite meal: A good home cooked meal-Roast Lamb and vegetables
Other Sports: Cycling
Other Interests: Kayaking (still learning the basics but enjoying every minute!) and dancing.
Goals: To go to the World Cup one day... and to do a 8a by the end of this year!
Sponsors: none at present!
Name: Paul Brouard
Date of birth: 10/02/1978
Living in: Grahamstown (South Africa)
Nationality: South African
Height: 5.7 - I think
Weight: 56 kg
Began Climbing: 1993
Job/Studies: University (Philosophy, English)
Best Onsight (sport climbing): 8a
Best flash (bouldering): 7b+
Hardest boulder: 8a
Favourite sport climbing crag: The Wave Cave (Durban - South Africa)
Favourite bouldering spot: Rocklands (SA)
Favourite Route: Atomic Aardvark 7a ( Waterval Boven - SA)
Favourite Boulder: Black Mirage! (7b+ - Swinburne)
Competition Results: I've had a couple of firsts in SA comps. Placed 22nd in the world cup bouldering in Lecco in 2002.
Music: Jazz, Rock, Trance
Favourite drink: Espresso!
Favourite meal: Espresso!
Other Sports: Squash, Mountain Biking
Other Interests: Reading
Goals: Too many to list: Do more big traditional routes, Compete Internationally, Open routes
Paul's performances are powered by:Outward Ventures South Africa (La Sportiva, Wild Country, DMM and others firstname.lastname@example.org );
Faye and Paul Brouard
... and the South African climbing adventure!
by Daniel Vecchiato - ©FreakClimbing.com, May 2004
©Freakclimbing.com 2004 - All Rights Reserved
When You live in the southern hemisphere climbing can be something different! Sometime you croos a bunch of baboons or gnus to get to the wall or you meet Zionists under the wall... This is the special environment, the Rainbow Nation, where Faye and Paul get into action!
>> PHOTOGALLERY <<
How did you start climbing in SA?
Paul: I started climbing at school with a bunch of friends and immediately was hooked on the sport, probably because in many ways it is such an individualistic sport - I was very competitive then and hated to lose at something just because of team mates! Then I started to love all the other diverse aspects of the sport - The people! The Fun! The Sun!.. but in the end I still really climb for myself, to learn about my limits and to get away from the boring everyday world.
Faye: My brother built a climbing wall in our garage and he used to train there often. Soon I was joining in and just played around for about a year. I think this gave me a good base.
What do you prefer: sport climbing or bouldering?
Paul: I like the immediacy of bouldering – I guess I’m just lazy...
Faye: Ummmm, I think that it is hard to compare them because your climbing style has to change completely. But at the moment I am more into Sport climbing.
Is climbing popular in your country?
Paul: It’s not very popular, but that is good in some ways because the areas don’t get trampled. Actually we get a lot of foreign visitors who come to climb at world-class areas with a very cheap cost of living (due to good currency exchange).di tanto.
Faye: It has definately dropped in recent years, but I think there are a lot of new younger children coming through, which is great!
Which are the main problems for a SA climber?
Paul: In general the same problems of every South African: unemployment, crime, corruption, Aids... Specifically, we have lots of access issues with landowners and from governmental organizations. Some of our areas are being closed due to crime.
Faye: Safety. Most of our really good crags have been closed down due to muggings, this is an ongoing problem. Some areas are on farms and you often battle to get access.
I know you both guys had great adventures at the Wave Cave. Can you tell me your extra climbing experiences? Paul has been left without underwear and Faye had a funny meeting with Zionists when we were together…Tell me more about the original atmosphere of the Wave Cave?
Paul: The underwear incident was actually a friend, who was apparently arguing with the mugger while clad only in his jocks – I think the dude wanted the Calvin Klein jocks as well as all the other stuff already taken! But yea I was also held up at gunpoint but didn’t lose much though. The original atmosphere at the wave cave was brilliant. The cave is ideal: flat base, long steep climbs and there would be quickdraws on many of the routes. People would shout encouragement and beta from the ground and it became the scene for some excellent and inspiring ascents.
Faye: Ya and soon after the Zionists we were held up at gun-point. So now that place really freaks me out. It used to have a great vibe though. There were ropes on all the hard routes and lots of guys just getting out and pushing themselves to the limit. It was sooooooo much FUN.
Did the Wave Cave open again to climbers??
Paul: If you wish to go there you need to hire a guard, so access is restricted.
You are the strongest climber in SA, which are your problems in becoming professionals? Which your problems in finding sponsorships? Can you ever imagine about living of climbing?
Paul: I’m not sure who decided that I’m the ‘strongest’, I’ve been quite successful in terms of all round sport climbing achievements but we have many other very good climbers! I don’t think it would be possible to become a professional in South Africa, there is just not enough money because the sport is still small. I’d love to live off climbing, actually I’d like to disappear into the Rocklands – just boulder most of the time and survive off farm labour!
Faye: My problem is that often I don't have as much motivation as I would like to have or should have. I haven't tried for sponsorship but I will definately try soon as seee how it goes. No way (he he ha ha) I could never imagine life without climbing, What would I do!!
When I met you Paul in Jo'burg you where leaving to Europe: a climbing trip in Italy and France. Which where your projects?
Paul: I went to Europe hoping to do well in the World Cup at Lecco in June but didn’t do fantastically. I placed 22nd in the bouldering. I also really wanted exposure to some different rock types and to do lots of onsighting because I love onsighting. I feel confident now on 7c+ onsights, which is cool.
Which differences did you find between Europe&SA about climbing?
Paul: There are just so many routes in Europe, and that means far less pressure on each onsight attempt. Otherwise there is not a huge amount of difference. Our rock is mostly Sandstone which climbs differently – lots of edges instead of pockets and pinches.
Don't you think that SA climbing experience is wilder?
Paul: Well there is that! We have the usual range of nasties: spiders, snakes etc. There are also areas in SA where you will not see anyone – and that includes the view from the crag! Just open space…
What about the "European climbing community"?
Paul: Everybody I met was very friendly.
Tell me about your world cup experience in Lecco (2002).
Paul: Well I climbed with some really good climbers, actually just in front of me in the bouldering line up was an excellent Italian boulderer (Mauro Calibani I think). I completed a strange problem which entailed jumping to the start holds (not easy since I’m short!) which I got near the end of the time, and when I sat down out of breath next to him, he said simply, “Well climbed” - I was very stoked that I had been noticed!
How was with the French at Reunion?
Paul: At the end of last year I was invited to compete at a competition in Reunion and climb with members of the French team! I had a stunning time; the island has a lovely atmosphere and the local climbers are very hospitable and helpful. It is a fantastic island to do adventure sports and we were taken canyoning, which was wild! Abseiling into roaring water chambers and echoing caverns, while high in the mountains (on an island!) is an experience I’m unlikely to forget!
Do you like climbing competitions (Faye)?
Faye: I like climbing at Nationals because then there is lots of competition, although I don't like it when I get stressed out. I like to be relaxed then its great. I much prefer climbing on Natural Rock.
Will you start doing world championship?
Faye: I would love to ,one day soon.
What about the climbing trip in SA you had after Europe in 2002? I know you repeated all the hardest routs?
Paul: I had a really good trip during December /January and did a stack of good stuff, including one of our hardest routes: ‘Ebola’. We were travelling with lots of people and an excellent video has been produced of the trip. So if anyone wants a taste of what South African climbing is about, get hold of it. It’s called ‘High Society’ and you can contact the producer Kyle (email@example.com) or look on saclimb.co.za to order a copy.
Is the time mature for the first 8c in SA?
Paul: Oh Yea! The route just needs to be found! Clinton (Martinengo ndr.) thought Ebola was 8c but I think that would be over grading it a little.
Is it difficult to get ready for international events in SA?
Paul: Yes it is very very expensive to fly overseas and compete. I have a good training wall so training is not a problem.
Do you have any specific training or the key of your performances is ostrich meat and Cape wine?
Paul: I don’t have any great secrets. I try to avoid overtraining...
Do you have any preferred climber?
Paul: I admire Marc Le Menestral (spelling?) for his excellent technique. Ian Vickers is also a phenomenal all round climber.
Faye: Noooooo, I like most climbing!
Which is your favourite climbing stile (slab-overhangs…balance…dynos)?
Paul: Erm, I like all types. I like climbing at a level where you forced to analyse every movement to look for improvement. I guess this heightens your awareness which makes success that much sweeter.
Faye: It would have to be either long crimpy slab climbing or short, overhanging climbing (When I am fit).
How do you live post apartheid SA?
Paul: Well most people just look after themselves but sometimes when you see the huge class gap that exists, you realize that everyone is involved and that every young middle class person has a responsibility for changing this; because we are, directly or indirectly, products of the apartheid system. So to live with responsibility you have to confront your prejudices every day, because it so easy to become angry with the people committing terrible crimes instead of the previous social system (which made crime seem like a legitimate way to survive).
Faye: I don't remember apartheid South Africa, I was too young!
Do you think that if climbing will reach the blacks they will have good chances of performing well?
Paul: Of course! There are already some good black climbers.
Faye: I know one black guy who climbed reasonably hard, I think it depends on their background and their build but I think anybody can perform just as well as another regardless of their colour.
Which are your climbing plans for the future?
Paul: I’d like to compete more and to open more routes. I also want to continue enjoying the sport for all its rich dimensions and not be blinded to this by a competitive nature.
Faye: To go on a long road trip overseas with some good friends and having as much fun as possible.
Paul: 9a…! ;o)
Faye: To do a 32 (8b) one day. He he he he