The mind boggles as to what deep water soloing could be … see if you can guess which is the right answer from the four options below:
a) Diving under the water with no apparatus?
b) Diving by yourself in the vast ocean without telling anyone?
c) Climbing up a rock face without a harness or safety equipment and plummeting into a deep pool of water when you lose your grip?
d) Getting into trouble with your partner, friend or wife and finding yourself in deep water…
The answer is (c)! That’s right, sounds like suicide right? Well not if you are an adrenalin junkie – they just always seems to come up with the strangest of ideas to fill the time with, and have an amazing amount of pure guts!
Care to join them? Here’s how:
One usually has to go on a fairly long hike to reach the perfect place to climb, and fall! One of the places in South Africa where you can do this is along the Orange River between Oewerbos (the Felix Unite camp site) and the Growcery (the Umkulu camp site). The stretch of rock is quite short, but steep with pockets of limestone that plummet into the warm water. There are some great routes to climb and you can choose how high you want to go before releasing your grip and free-falling into the water below.
Deep water soloing really tests your strength and climbing ability, without the dangers of free-falling onto a hard surface. It is unlikely that you will have the strength to climb so high that your fall may be deemed dangerous, but it also takes common sense and some advice from seasoned climbers as to when you should let go.
As with any climbing – please do not attempt to do this alone and always ensure you have an emergency number available should anything go wrong. Happy plummeting!