Justin Bradley grew up in Rondebosch and runs a family business in the Southern Suburbs. He is passionate about the mountain and helping others less fortunate than him. On Saturday, 5 December 2021 Justin summited Lion’s Head Mountain 16 times in 17 hours and 12 minutes.
After his amazing feat, the founder and chair person of Lion 500 invited him to join the Lion 500 Initiative and summit Lion’s Head 500 times for charitable causes. Justin joins Jean-Michel Victor and Ernest Carrick in their quest to summit Lion’s Head Mountain and raise funds for the charities but also spread awareness about the importance of Mental Health. Justin officially begins his Lion 500 on the 11th of January 2021.
Justin said he was inspired to take on Jean-Michel’s record after seeing the news article about his 13 summits in 23 hours. Justin said, “My competitiveness kicked in and I thought to myself I could do that, from then on it was game on!” Justin kept going for 16 summits because of competitiveness, feeling a sense of achievement and for the love of the mountain. Justin says he learned great lessons.
“The key lesson was if you put your mind and effort into something, you will definitely succeed in one way or another.”
Completing multiple summits on Lion’s Head is no walk in the park, especially with the blazing sun and weekend traffic on the trails. The temperature was higher than expected to 30 degrees Celsius. Due to the busy trail, Justin had to skip the staples and chains and do 4 summits the long way round which is an extra 300m. “During trials of endurance one experiences so many feelings,” Justin said. He felt many physical and mental feelings on the day, including pain, excitement, accomplishment and feeling gratitude and a real mental boost.
The Lion 500 Initiative started with the intention of harnessing the pre-existing love that the world has for Lion’s Head Mountain in Cape Town. The main idea was to bring people together, to promote understanding and open conversations about mental health and encourage everybody and anybody that it’s fine to talk about their pain, their scars and connect with new people with whom they can identify and grow with.
All of this usually starts with one person, walking the walk and trying their best to set an example for others.
Lion’s Head Mountain is not only loved for its visual beauty and the scenic views it offers from the summit. It is loved, and appreciated and thus fiercely protected because of its healing properties. The mountain is filled with positive energy, radiates negative ions and befriends anybody who shows it respect, love but most importantly peace. This mountain has healed broken hearts, brought peace to suffering souls, introduced people to new friends and brought loved ones together.
The purpose of Lion 500 is to inspire everyone to lift themselves and those around them higher not only by going up a mountain, but in their hearts and minds. No matter the colour, shape, size or background of a person, we want to inspire them to love themselves, pick up themselves and know that there is always a place for them at Lion 500.