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 [ AXIS Round Edges ]

 [ Topo Grapefield Climbing Area ]

"The natural bravery of your isle, which stands as Neptune's park, ribbed and paled in. With rocks unscalable and roaring waters....."

Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

Topo of all sectors. The topo is also available in
zipped RTF format (Rich Text Format, 344 kByte).

A separate update (in Dutch)
of the topo is available as well.




 [ Discussion in Warawara Dream ]

Introduction

A) THE AREA

Grapefield is situated on the eastern point of Aruba, near Seroe Colorado. It is reached by taking the road to San Nicolas and then following the signs to Seroe Colorado. At a certain moment you'll reach a T-crossing with a large anchor (a sort of sculpture / landmark). Turn to the left and follow the road. You are now passing through Grapefield and you can see Boca Grandi, the beach near Grapefield on your right. The directions are clearly indicated by road-signs.
If you are following the correct road you'll see a cliff to your left with a compound on it. It's Aruba's prison. Litter the area and they we will put you in there!! Drive on for about one kilometer (yes, we know the road is terrible..) and you'll see a sign to your left pointing out the location of the climbing area.

The Grapefield area derives it's name from the so called "Grape trees" which used to grow here. In the past the Exxon Company has dumped it's waste here and most of the trees have withered and died. The Exxon Company has removed the so called "Pitch" from the area before they left Aruba and the Grape Trees are nowadays slowly recovering from this environmental catastrophe. Hopefully the area will once again become covered by them. Remnants of the pitch can still be found on the field and many holes in the cliffs are still filled with "pitch-dust" . With combined efforts we hope to get the area completely cleaned one day...

 [ Overview of the crags ]

B) THE CLIFFS

Aruba consists of volcanic rock on which several layers of coral were deposited by oceanic micro-organisms. The cliffs of Grapefield (also known as the cliffs of the Fontein Coast) are a remnant of these prehistoric reefs. It's from this origin that the rocks derive their unique characteristics. As the original sharpness of the reefs has mostly eroded away, the cliffs are now perfectly suitable for climbing.

C) THE WORKS:

In December 1996 a group of three climbers (living in the Netherlands), with the assistance of Club Active Aruba, a local sportsorganisation, set out on a great adventure..... Desperate to create a new climbing area and longing for immortal fame they started to map and equip the rocks of Grapefield. The humble writer of this topographic guide is one of them...
 [ Granddad's Lada having a hard time ] The enterprise was done in about a month. We first climbed the rocks by parking our car on top of them and using the turrel of the car to build a toprope. This can still be done and is a handy and save way of exploring possible new routes. Afterwards we placed tophooks (model Stubai Klebehaak). We then bolted a couple of routes from the top down. The job was finished by placing name-tags and creating this topo. During the whole enterprise there was a lot of cleaning activity and there' s still a lot of work to be done.
Opening new routes in this area (in the future), is only possible with permission of Club Active Aruba (C.A.A.), whose members act as hosts to the site and take care of it. You'll find further information about C.A.A. in the back of this topo.

 [ Bolting Warawara Dream ]

Bolting Warawara Dream


D) CLIMBING IN GRAPEFIELD, ARUBA:

To climb in this area you'll need extra material such as slings and carabiners to create solid relais points. Without this equipment the tophooks are useless! If you don't have the required material with you, contact C.A.A. for rental. The use of magnesium is permitted, but seldom necessary. Climbing without guidance by C.A.A. members is at your own risk. We completely disapprove of solo climbing, as it gives sportclimbing a bad name and might crack your skull. Just don't do it.
The rocks of the "Tears Sector" are well shaded from 10 AM, because of their overhanging nature. The other sectors are shaded from about 1:30 PM. Routes are graded by the French grading system. If you want to compare with the system you're used to, see the reference list.

 [ Tristan giving instructions ]
Tristan giving instructions


Topo of all sectors.


Aftermath

"Love virtue, she alone is free. She can teach ye how to climb. Higher than the sphery chime. Or if virtue feeble were, heaven itself would stoop to her."

John Milton, Il Penseroso.

A) CONCLUDING REMARKS:

O.K., this is it. I hope that you will enjoy climbing in the Grapefield area and that you will find this topo to be the excellent piece of work it is! Comments on the topo are welcome, they can help to make it even better. The distributor of the topo (T. Monzon, C.A.A.) is the man to contact. Happy climbing and may the force be with you.

Igor Monzon.

B) USEFUL NAMES AND ADRESSES

  • Club Active Aruba, Hooiberg Kavel 18, Aruba. Tel: (297) 853433
  • Igor Monzon, Werkmanslust 12, 8922 CA, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Tel: 058-2154202.
  • Tristan Monzon, email clubactive@setarnet.aw
  • Nadine Salas, email ncsalas@worldonline.nl
  • Erik Suyker, email 106016.2215@compuserve.com
  • Hospital Oranjestad. Tel: 74300.
  • Medical Centre San Nicolas. Tel: 48833.

     [ The three musketeers ]
    From left to right: Nadine, Igor and Erik    


And he shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land."

Bible, Isaiah 32:2


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