Black Diamond Tradathon 2014 and competition


Words & Photo: RAM Mountaineering

Black Diamond Equipment is proud to present the 3rd annual TRADATHON. Festival of trad. climbing – Monteseel – 14 June 2014. Trad climbing is arguably the most rewarding form of rock climbing but also attracts the smallest group of participants. The beauty of trad. is the amazing depth and breadth of experience that it offers – there is no limit to the number of routes you can climb, the grade you have to climb in order to do something “worthwhile”, the opportunity for new routing or the level of adventure that you choose to engage in.

Photo credit: RAM Mountaineering

And yet, trad doesn’t have a large following. This is due, in part, to the cost of the additional gear, but probably more due to the perceived risk that is involved and the lack of opportunities for adequate coaching when starting out. Before the arrival of sport climbing, all climbers did an “apprenticeship” during which they learnt the ropes under the practiced eye of a more experienced climber. Bolting has made climbing much more accessible and caused the climbing community to grow at a much faster rate than this traditional apprenticeship model can cope. So – trad. often remains inaccessible.

So this is your opportunity – a gathering of all levels of climbers to share their skills, to learn from each other and to enjoy a day on the crag.


A gathering of all levels and ages of climbers to enjoy the best that the Monteseel has to offer, followed by a Spit Braai, cash bar and slide show by Mike Roberts (aka Microbe) and Roger Natrass - climbing pioneers extraordinaire - in the evening


Experienced trad. climbers: pull in and do some classic routes on the Ledge; climb with your own partner or find a new climbing partner on the day. Climb at your own grade, or share your favourite route with a beginner
Competent sport climbers: sign up for the “intro. to trad. leading” workshop run by qualified SAMDT instructors or team up with some experienced “tradders” and follow some routes
Beginner climbers : never climbed before? Sign up for the “learn the basics” morning workshop and climb with an experienced person in the afternoon


14th June 2014 from 8h30am – late. While the event itself is limited to the Saturday, Monday the 16th is a public holiday, so participants are welcome to make a long weekend of it.


Registration is free but we need to know if you’re coming, so supply us with the relevant details of yourself and your climbing partner. If you do not have a partner for the event, please indicate on the Entry Form and we will try to pair you up with a suitable partner. The venue is owned by the Mountain Club of South Africa and they are generously making the venue available free of charge to all involved.

***Please note that the Tradathon entries close on 10 June 2014.

Spit Braai:

R105 per person – Please indicate on your Entry Form.

Need accommodation?:

Camping is limited and we only have space for 12 tents(2-3 people per tent) so book now to get a spot. Please mail your booking confirmation and contact details to
For accommodation in/close to the Monteseel area, please have a look at the following links:

Climbing workshops: gratuity to the instructors – compulsory waiver will be required – Book Here

Intro to trad. following: this workshop is aimed at novices who have never climbed trad. and would like to learn something about the procedures when following a leader, before embarking on a proper route. It will cover twin rope management, tying on at a stance, gear removal etc. Half day of instruction - gratuity to the instructor R100
Intro. to trad leading: this is a “taster” workshop. There is too much to learn to cover in one day; so this work shop will focus on safely placing and removing trad. gear while on lead. This workshop is suitable for climbers who already lead competently on sport at grade 18. Full day of instruction - gratuity to the instructor R200

Equipment: All participants are expected to be self sufficient bar the workshop participants who must provide the minimum of harness, screw gates, twin rope belay device, helmet, and rock shoes. All participants must provide their own refreshments on the mountain. Due to the fact that participation in this event is entirely voluntary, we cannot force anyone to wear a helmet. However the as in all trad. climbing areas, there is loose rock and there will be many climbers in the area.

The use of a helmet is highly recommended!


We are raffling a Black Diamond trad rack worth R14,500

The Trad rack consists of (see image below):
Black Diamond Camalots C4’s - sizes 0.5 – 3
Black Diamond Camalot X4’s – sizes 0.3; 0.4
Black Diamond Neutrino rack pack
Black Diamond Stopper set 4- 13 with ‘biner
Black Diamond Magnetron RockLock
Black Diamond Nut tool
2 x Black Diamond slings
2 x Beal Cobra 60m DRY

The raffle costs R 100 per ticket, limited to 100 tickets only; maximum of 10 tickets per one person – Click Here to Enter
Entries Close 9 June 2014.

Winning number will be drawn on the evening of 14 June 2014 at the Black Diamond Tradathon 2014.
Terms and Conditions apply. Click here for the T&C's.

Spot prizes : There will be numerous spot prizes given out at the braai in the evening for the best dressed couple; the most impressive send of the day; the most encouraging spirit of the day – and anything else that the organisers deem fit !

10% Discount on Trad Gear! Take your registration number once you have entered the event, to either Bush & Bundu, Southern Rock and Outdoor Adventure Gear for a 10% discount on BD & Beal trad. gear as well as Boreal rock boots.


Some aspects of mountaineering and related activities, including but not limited to technical rock, ice, and snow climbing, are potentially hazardous and dangerous. Any person using our equipment in any manner or participating in this event is personally responsible for learning the proper techniques involved, and assumes all risks and accepts full and complete responsibility for any and all damages and injury of any kind, including death, which may result during this event. Books and catalogues can help, but they are no substitute for personal instruction by a qualified person well versed in all appropriate safety techniques.