Rainbow Glen Climber Profile: Ed February

Dave Webster of Rainbow Glen chats to local legend Ed February...

The small town of Montagu is home not only to some of the best crags in the country, but also to some of South Africa’s climbing pioneers. Lucky for us, David and Tara Webster of Rainbow Glen Self-Catering Chalets – themselves passionate climbers – have taken some time to sit down with a few of Montagu’s local legends so we can get to know them a little better.

First up is the one and only Edmund February, esteemed trad climbing icon and former associate professor of botany at the University of Cape Town…

Dave: Ed, in what year did you purchase your property in Montagu

Ed: I bought the property in 2004, but we have been coming here to climb since 1982 when we developed the climbing at Lost World.  This led to the expansion of climbing in the area that you now see.

Dave: What do you enjoy the most about living in Montagu?

Ed: Access to the mountains. I can walk out my back door and be directly on the mountain where I may not see anybody all day while playing around on some fantastic scrambles; I can also walk from my house to several crags. 

Dave: What are your three favourite routes?  Easy, medium, hard?

Ed: Gospel Express at The SteepleWild Card at Oorlogs KloofThruster at Supertubes.  The problem is that is but three routes – there are loads more like Nuclear Waste at Lost World and Chocolate Speedway at Legoland.

Dave: What is your most memorable belay in Montagu? 

Ed: Good question! Maybe the time that [Martin “Tinie” Versveld] abseiled off the end of the rope on Cogman’s Buttress and I grabbed the rope to stop him from decking it from a very long way up.

Ed lives happily together with his wife, Nicky, in the Oudam area of Montagu West (that’s the cool “arty” part), just around the corner from Rainbow Glen.

He is a retired professor from UCT’s Department of Biological Sciences where his research focus was, and still is, on savannah “its dry but you can drink it” systems – that’s trees and grasslands.  Ed says, “I still do a little research and present on this internationally.  Being retired just means they don’t pay me and I don’t have to teach.”

Ed helped open and develop the Lost World climbing area together with his climbing partner and lifelong friend Andrew De Klerk (ADK). The Lost World is famous for long cracks and bold climbing and is home to some of the best trad climbing in the Western Cape.

Ed is a legendary mountaineer who enjoys all aspects of mountaineering from Alpine (Mount Kenya, Chamonix) through to big walls (Yosemite, Zion) and sport (Thailand, Verdon).

He has appeared in a number of national and international magazines and TV programmes and he has climbed extensively around the world. Check out the below videos to hear more from Ed, and stay tuned for the next Rainbow Glen profile!


Rainbow Glen, owned and operated by climbers Dave and Tara Webster, provides superb self-catering accommodation in Montagu, with seven cottages of different sizes available for big and small groups. Plus, along with being located right at the start of Bad Kloof and close to all of Montagu’s other crags, Rainbow Glen offers discounted rates for climbers!

Visit www.rainbowglen.co.za to find out more and make your booking.

Along with operating Rainbow Glen, David also runs Route 62 Mountain Adventures, which offers guided hiking, mountain biking and climbing experiences in and around Montagu – visit this link for more information and start planning your adventure…

Special thanks to Rainbow Glen for allowing GoodBETA to re-share this interview, first published in the Rainbow Glen newsletter.