Joy for Roy as he completes his 1000th climb up Table Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge
Cape Town - It took 70-year-old Robert “Roy” van Zyl just 56 minutes to complete his 1 000th climb up Table Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge – a milestone he has worked for years to accomplish.
Working at a clothing factory, Van Zyl said he keeps a yearly log of every hike, route and time of every hike.
“My best time recorded is 47 minutes. Once I did three hikes in a row in under five hours, keeping in mind you need to run over the top of the mountain to the cable car and down, and a 2km run back to where you start,” he said.
On Sunday he finally reached his goal of 1 000 climbs of Platteklip Gorge.
“It took me nearly 19 years and, at the age of 70 and two months short of 71, I am of the opinion that this is quite an achievement for my age. Thanks to my family for supporting me over the years, especially my wife Michelle, to whom I will be married for 45 years this month, on November 29.
“The extreme hiking every weekend, and running with my daughter Kim in the week, kept me top-fit and healthy over the years. I weigh 71kg, resting pulse of 50bpm and I am on no chronic medication at all,” he said.
He urged Capetonians to hike various routes over the weekends.
“I noticed a greater number of hikers, like Church groups, recently, which makes it safer. Hike the Covid19 blues away on not only one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, but the largest open air gym in the world.
And it’s free,” said Van Zyl. His daughter Kim said that for his 71st birthday, her father wants to get his first tattoo – which will be Table Mountain and the words “1 000” to celebrate.
“We stay in Goodwood and he travels to the mountain each weekend and public holiday; come rain or even snow on Table Mountain, nothing can stop him. He motivates me to stay fit and we keep fit in the week by running together. My daddy has the most positive outlook on life and is always full of energy. As a single mother, he plays an important role in my daughter’s and
my life, and we both look up to him for his achievements. It goes to show that you are never too old, that you can achieve anything you put your mind to,” she said.
Park manager for Table Mountain National Park, Frans Van Rooyen, congratulated Van Zyl.
“This is indeed a great achievement and very encouraging to see that our users continue to show their passion for the mountain,” Van Rooyen said.
He reminded users to hike in groups and remain vigilant when making use of the mountain.