My name is Garvin Jacobs and I am part of a team of volunteers raising funds for the Eyabantwana, For the Children Trust, which supports the Paediatric Surgery Department at Cecilia Makiwane & Frere Hospitals in East London.
The Paediatric Surgery department does amazing work for the underprivileged communities of the Eastern Cape. They deal with various cases including burn injuries, birth defects and other pathologies. Sadly, funds are not always available for the specialised and expensive equipment required for performing these surgical procedures. The paediatric surgical ward is old and in need of urgent refurbishing and some upgrades.
In 2014, I celebrated my 40th birthday by climbing 40 rock-climbing routes around East London in aid of the Eyabantwana, For the Children Trust. We raised money that was used to acquire a dermatome (specialized instrument to harvest skin to treat burns) for the paediatric surgery department. After my success at climbing 40 routes in a day I have been challenged to try a little harder and dig deeper, once again for the benefit of Eyabantwana, For the Children Trust. For this upcoming challenge, I will attempt to climb 100 routes in 24 hours, and we will donate the funds raised towards the above mentioned refurbishment and upgrades.
Toying with the idea of doing a large number of routes in a day actually started in 2011, when I was climbing with Candice Bagley. At that stage, Candice was about 21 and climbing grades much higher than her age. Being in my late thirties, I remarked that such a feat was no longer possible for me. She responded with the idea of climbing a route for each year I’ve been around and later that year I tried unsuccessfully to climb 37 routes in a day. Now skip forward to November 2014 and I actually managed to do 40 routes in a day, by the skin on my teeth. I half-heartedly tried to prepare, but not really knowing what was needed, I very much underestimated the required effort and suffered the consequences. Two-thirds into the day I started cramping badly and had to rest for over an hour. Hard lessons were learnt, but luckily we pulled it off in the end.
So now you may ask, how do I go from just doing 40 routes to attempting 100? Well, I am a little older, a little wiser and I have some good experience to work with. I am in fairly good physical condition (for me, about 6kg over my fighting weight) at the moment and I have a few months in hand to prepare.
As I am not an elite climber, finding a venue with 100 routes that I can do is a big ask and after not much debate we headed to Waterval Boven and spoke to some locals. They were very excited about the idea, and so the venue was set. According to local knowledge, the best time of year for climbing is April, but because April can get a little crazy with school holidays and Easter, we decided on the first weekend of the month. And so, during 4-5 April 2020, I will (hopefully!) complete my own self-imposed Waterval Boven 100 Routes Challenge in 24 hours.
For this event, I have asked a few other climbers to take up the challenge with me. They will also be doing 100 routes each and hopefully we can all make the children of the Eastern Cape proud. As was the case with my previous challenge in 2014, the bulk of the funds will go to the Eyabantwana, For the Children Trust. We will also be making a once-off donation to a local institution to show our support to the area.
We will be adding more info as the months fly by. I need support in lots of areas, so if you feel you can be of assistance, please get in contact via email@example.com. Do it for the climbing, do it for the party or do it for the children, and we’ll have fun doing it all!