Playing It Safe (was: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock)

Latest South Africa climbing news! Good news - Hard sends, first ascents, onsights, wicked redpoints, competitions, etc. Bad news - accidents, muggings, rockfalls, etc. You can also send it on over to info@climbing.co.za.

Post Reply
kloofkop
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:48 pm
Real Name: kobus botha
Location: suiptown

Playing It Safe (was: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock)

Post by kloofkop » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:47 pm

Hi,

I will attempt to share my experience in an objective manner to raise awareness of a potential safety issue at Paarl Rock.

Today my gf and I were planning on climbing on the Belly Button Slab (BBS). At about 14h30 we drove up the jeep track towards Gordon's rock where we noticed ±7 idle youths - hereafter referred to as "the others" - on the top of Paarl Rock (near the old cannon). At the parking lot under the tall pines we noticed a single white Bantam bakkie with one person in it. I remember thinking to myself "how did they all get in one car?".

Anyway, didn't make too much of it and parked at the top. While we were roping up at the base of BBS we noticed that the others were heading towards the bakkie and I thought "great they are leaving". Then we saw the bakkie head up the track towards the top parking instead of down. Still didn't make much of it but was paying close attention now. I was tied in and ready to start the climb when we heard they were making quite a ruckus and it sounded like they were heading towards us. After a brief discussion with my gf we decided taking evasive action was the prudent choice. I briefly considered beginning the climb but after what happened to my close friend, I realised that being on the crag is literally the most exposed place to be. So we headed in the opposite direction of the parking lot, around BBS, towards the Splinter Area.

About 30metres from the base of BB we paused. I phoned a friend who went on standby with dogs and sjamboks. I made a call to the SAPS to hear if the patrol vehicle I had seen earlier was still in the district and if they could send it to escort us down the hill. From what I heard the typical SAPS response time is around 40minutes so we decided to wait for that length of time. Around 37 minutes of hearing nothing I became impatient and enquired of my friend who said he was ready to roll. At almost 40 minutes on the dot we heard the crowd returning from wherever they had been. We listened keenly and they were definitely getting closer. We then heard two distinct "Hiii? and Hellooo?" calls and we were then pretty certain they were looking for us so I mobilised team sjambok via SMS and we ran like hell in the direction of Splinter Area. We turned off the path and headed down the hill a bit to hide in the bushes. We didn't hear anything more and about 3 minutes later we saw the bakkie heading down the hill.

We made it home safely.


Some lessons I learnt:
- It's better to be safe than sorry. I was in a violent mugging in Echo Valley a few years ago and at the moment I am feeling much better than I did then. Even if today was a "false positive" I'm still glad we took evasive action
- In the light of recent events on Table Mountain, evasive action in the light of any suspicious behaviour seems to be prudent
- I am not afraid of much but when you are in the company of others it is important to take the group dynamic into account when making decisions about safety
- Modern, isolated living sucks. It's great to have good friends you can rely on. Don't take your friends for granted!


Be safe.
Last edited by kloofkop on Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mokganjetsi
Posts: 1704
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 pm
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
Location: Cape Town

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:28 am

i got stopped near the TM blockhouse a few months ago (while mtbing on my own) by 3 young black dudes; they ran out of water and asked if they could have some of mine. the next day a i cycled with a lady friend who told me very excitedly how they were almost mugged by 3 black dudes near the block house the previous day (obviously no mugging intended; the guys simply approached them for the same reason they approached me)..... a terrible thing if we live our lives in total suspicion & fear! i agree to be rather safe than sorry however.

User avatar
robertbreyer
Posts: 428
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:54 pm
Real Name: CityROCK

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by robertbreyer » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:39 am

how do you know "the others" were planning on robbing or mugging you?

User avatar
Hann
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:44 am

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by Hann » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:13 am

Let me back Kobus up here.

I know him well enough to know that he thought the choices and possible outcomes through thoroughly.

7 guys against one and a girl?

Kobus, good call.

Even if the idle youths only wanted to inquire about abseil or a photograph with the brave and rugged mountaineers the risk of waiting to find out of their intent is too high. This is unfortunately the reality we live in. To think otherwise is idealistic and naive.

garvinj
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:57 pm
Real Name: Garvin Jacobs
Location: East London

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by garvinj » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:41 am

Hey Kloofkop. No matter what the PC's say, if your gut says get out of there, do it. Politically correctness isn't going to help you pay the hospital or therapy bills.
Great climbers have always know how to follow their gut.

Garvin

Streaky
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:27 pm

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by Streaky » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:46 am

I agree with your actions Kobus - having been in similar situations to you previously (i.e. gun at head and knife at throat while out climbing) i feel it is always best to trust your instincts (I call it my spidey senses) and avoid the situation.

User avatar
emile
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:41 am
Real Name: OneDog

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by emile » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:47 am

Hann wrote:Even if the idle youths only wanted to inquire about abseil or a photograph with the brave and rugged mountaineers the risk of waiting to find out of their intent is too high. This is unfortunately the reality we live in. To think otherwise is idealistic and naive.
Agreed!!

DavidWade
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:13 am
Real Name: David Wade
Location: Benoni

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by DavidWade » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:14 am

robertbreyer wrote:how do you know "the others" were planning on robbing or mugging you?
Dont be rediculous. 7 black guys walking round the bush calling "hellow..."
Are you going to risk been the big optimistic "non racist'' man who thinks these 7 guys intentions may be honourable and thus expose your own, but more importantly your girlfriends life to some avoidable danger?
And by danger i mean not only mugging but rape and murder, these things happen!

7 men against 1 man and one woman - it doesnt take rocket science to do the maths and see who is at a disadvantage.

Well done kloofkop for been aware and reacting timeously! You probably avoided a nasty situation

User avatar
Justin
Posts: 3833
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:31 am
Real Name: Justin Lawson
Location: Montagu/Cape Town
Contact:

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by Justin » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:41 am

When in doubt.... RUN !!

Good call Kobus. Thanks for posting.
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

garvinj
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:57 pm
Real Name: Garvin Jacobs
Location: East London

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by garvinj » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:51 am

how's that for a insight. When "7idle youths" = "7black guys".

Garvin
PS I'm not PC and I'm most definitely not white.

DavidWade
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:13 am
Real Name: David Wade
Location: Benoni

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by DavidWade » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:03 am

garvinj wrote: "7idle youths" = "7black guys".
Sorry my bad. That was an assumption on my side. Prehaps it was 7 white guys, because white guys mug people every day and we should keep an eye out for large groups of white muggers roaming the crags.

I do appologise for my potentially incorect assumption, but I forgot my political corectness at home this morning. Ill be sure to remember it tomorrow :thumright

User avatar
Justin
Posts: 3833
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:31 am
Real Name: Justin Lawson
Location: Montagu/Cape Town
Contact:

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by Justin » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:53 am

My last mugging experience was by a white kid (he must have about 16 years old)... little bastard had a big knife too!! :shock:

If you are reporting something of this nature then detailed descriptions (including the person(s) race) are important and useful.
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

kloofkop
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:48 pm
Real Name: kobus botha
Location: suiptown

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by kloofkop » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:27 am

robertbreyer wrote:how do you know "the others" were planning on robbing or mugging you?
I never will, but it is one of those things I would rather not verify empirically.

Regarding the race, they were coloured. I also forgot to mention that we were the only people up there at the time of the incident.

Thanks for all the supportive comments, sheesh you guys

garvinj
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:57 pm
Real Name: Garvin Jacobs
Location: East London

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by garvinj » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:05 pm

If they were Coloured then you were really mistaken. WE coloured folk are the salt of the earth. The kind of people you ask to hold on-to your safe keys if you don't trust your wife with the cash. 8)

Garvin

garvinj
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:57 pm
Real Name: Garvin Jacobs
Location: East London

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by garvinj » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:11 pm

Just joking! There's a reason I mostly hang out with whities. The brothers are scary at times. OK most of the time. Geeee. Now I realise why it's so hard to get someone to climb with when I'm down in Cape Town.
:oops: :lol:
Garvin

oubaas
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by oubaas » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:19 pm

My best friend is black so i always feel safe :thumright

User avatar
henkg
Posts: 400
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:21 am
Real Name: Henk Grobler

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by henkg » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:02 pm

Justin wrote:When in doubt.... RUN !!
When in doubt ... RUN IT OUT !! :lol:
You may still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not. Cat Stevens

mokganjetsi
Posts: 1704
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 pm
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
Location: Cape Town

Re: Narrow mugging escape at Paarl Rock

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:40 pm

ja well, maybe this thread's heading should read "climber plays it safe at paarl rocks". narrow mugging escape my micro nut. kobus, how about working in media boet - headlines sells :thumright

Post Reply