|I am seriously embarrassed by the hillbilly look from at least 5 years ago. Importantly look at the different lacing on the sandals.|
|This semi handcut sole worked very well on some technical trails.|
In the depths of misery and close to the midnight hour I worked to fashion yet another new prototype this time using a combo of hard and soft polyurethane mixtures. I needed something to wear on a pending Cape Town visit and I was damned if I was going to Table Mountain without something to try. And luckily, the next Yeti X prototype emerged from the workshop. It was pretty good I thought ... it might actually work!
|Classic routes on Table Mountain just left of the cable station. Source: Table Mountain Classics by Tony Lourens 2011.|
On the day that I arrived to climb this old classic route my plans were thrown into turmoil as I couldn't even find my way across the classic Right Face Arrow Face traverse which led to the rock climb I wanted to ascend.
|Navigating my way across Africa Face|
The next day I was back with Richard and with his help we got across the traverse. I had missed a small step upwards which led to an easy path across the expansive rock face. It brought home to me how easily mistakes can happen in the mountains even to those like me who regard themselves as pretty seasoned.
|Richard laughing at the prospect of a sandal failure. Note his climbing booties and chalk bag for this elementary outing!|
It got better as we worked our way upwards, me sometimes taking a very long time to work out the most simple moves. Not only did I want to avoid falling off but I also wanted my sandals to do what I expected of them. We climbed higher and higher, at one point moving up the "Shell House" pitch named at the time after a tall building in the city center.
|Maybe this was the Shell House pitch ... another 25m up.|
|Classic "smearing" in the Yeti X.|
|After 2 full days on Table Mountain and much "smearing" the test soles looked pretty good.|
"I never really thought of that" I retorted. And I never really had.
|Picking my way up an exposed section of Right Face.|
The final Yeti X is now only a few steps away. I know what is needed. At least I think I know. It will work very well and while it might be a compromise between an ultra and a sprint sandal, it will definitely stick like glue to a hard technical trail and allow pretty rapid movement and a little extra confidence.
Yeti X ... find your Vertical.
|My hurriedly made Yeti X's with optional 70's style side posts.|