Rock climber dies in freak accident

Nelspruit – A well-known rock climber died in a freak accident near Waterval-Boven on Sunday.

A piece of the rockface Heinrich Kahl, 27, was climbing came loose and fell on top of him. His wife, Carlien, was next to him when it happened.

Her left hand was broken and she sustained various cuts and bruises.

The Khals, who were married about three months ago, were part of a group of climbers from Potchefstroom who had been camping at Waterval-Boven for the long weekend.

Waterval-Boven is popular with rock climbers.

Rock 'came loose'

At about 10:00 on Sunday, the climbers prepared to climb up the well-known All’s Bells at Tranquilitas, a small campside about 8km outside Waterval-Boven.

According to one of the rock climbers, who prefers to remain anonymous, a big rock at the bottom of the cliff “came loose” when Kahl wanted to climb on it.

It fell over, crushing him.

Kahl, known as Exo amongst his friends, sustained serious internal injuries. Despite attempts by a fellow climber to keep him alive, he was dead when medical help arrived.

Alex van Rensburg from Roc ‘n Rope Adventures in Waterval-Boven says her husband, Gustav, went to help the climbers after the accident.

“It’s a terrible tragedy and really a freak accident.

“There’s nothing we could have done for him.”

Ronél Swart, Kahl’s sister, said on her blog that her brother died while doing what he loved most: rock climbing.

“He went to Jesus from the place where he felt closest to God, the mountains.”

- Were you there? Anything to share?
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