Tasty Treats

Lately I’ve become pretty OCD with climbing. I cant get enough of it. I’ve only been getting out on rock one day a week and its not enough for this little monkey-junkie. What this does mean though is I’m always manically searching for more climbing porn online. Lately some cool articles that have come out that had something cool to say. Whether an interesting take on risk or a piece on why its cool to care, i thought you might appreciate reading some of the following:

 

Lucky Chance Interview:

I love this guy. A one in a million kinda personality i reckon! Its an article on Australia’s boldest climber/BASE jumper and what changed when he had a horrible accident. We all often pay lip service about risk, consequence and everything in between. Its a first-hand account from someone who’s been closer to the edge than any of us, and come back to this world.

 

Its Not Cool To Care:

This is a great blog that touches on something very similar to something that pisses me off, with a particularly with the traditional ‘Aussie’ way. It closely mirrors ‘Tall poppy syndrom’. For those who dont know what I’m talking about, it basically means never letting anyone enjoy accomplishments, dragging someone back down to your level. When the poppy gets tall we chop it right back down to the other poppy’s level.

Maybe some people like this, but i think its helped create the same attitude that caring ain’t cool. Fuck that, I care. I wanna be strong. I wanna be good. I love this ridiculous game called climbing we play. I just want to be able to climb everything else. You probably do too.

So don’t sit round the pines bagging someone with a long-term project. You just dont have the commitment they do, that’s ok. Don’t tell someone they are trying something too hard for them, your only trying to justify not trying yourself. Don’t mutter i’m trying something too hard for me, last I checked that’s a great way to get better! Theres always going to be someone stronger than you, and you’ll always be better at something than someone else. So stop comparing apples with oranges! Of course i want to have a laugh, take the piss, but please dont throw bad vibes my way!

 

Splinter:

Vertical Life shared a pretty awesome video of the legendary Malcolm Smith crushing! Do yourself a favour and watch.

Interesting topic is that many people are starting to consider Hubble to be 9a, which would have made it the first in the world. Hmmmm discuss….

Fingal

Why hello! So much of the same thing’s been happening its a little ridiculous really! The hot word on everyone’s lips has been ‘Fingal’ lately! And by Jove it’s a good little cliff!

Up near the township of Fingal the massive Bare Rock towers 200m over the surrounding valley. Unfortunately tho most of the rock is loose, slabby choss. There is however some of the best sustained steep climbing on offer in Tassie! One sector, dubbed the Boneyard, has offered up many a classic! Its here that I’ve found the project I’ve been looking for…

I had been working my way through the classic 28/7c+’s, and had the best intentions one weekend to try the last one I haven’t done. To warm up for these routes I had been climbing the first 5 bolts of White Powder (31/32 or 8b/+). But for some reason gravity seemed a bit lower on this particular day so I thought sod it, ill go try these hard moves hey! Before I really knew what was happening I found myself staring back down the length of the route to the belay, having unlocked all the cruxes.

Luckily for me there’s no stopper moves, its a power-endurance classic. I’ve since been trying it a bit and getting some good links, but need to get a bit fitter for the send! It’s such a cool process to set some goals, work hard and see tangible results. I’ve been putting in the hard yards, on a woody, but almost more importantly get my body sorted out.

After years of abuse my spine was a chiropractic nightmare. I’m sure the first time I went in, Travis could see one of his kids Uni tuition fees in my back! So I’ve been working hard, having regular adjustments to get my spine right, and I think its working! I always kinda knew it was bogus, and now wish I had sorted it out years ago! Just goes to show the rewards of being pro-active, and making things happen!

My main man Chris cranking hard on the classic Atomic Vampire 28/7c+

Im also pretty stoked to say a massive thank-you to Steve at climbinganchors.com for sending me a new rope to keep going hard on! these guys do some pretty sweet stuff and im keen to try out my new tendon 9.7! i remember using my old tendon rope, Bluey. We shared some good times Bluey and I… Your my boy Blue!

Sport-Climbing Diet

Well haven’t I been a quiet lad! There’s almost too much been going on for this young fella, if such a thing could be possible! All the boring shit like work, training, life, blah blah has been keeping me well occupied. While my mind continues to run a million miles an hour, none of those thoughts have been fortunate enough to make it down onto paper. Even as I write these words my fingers are going off, like some massive weight is forcing the words out through them, barely able to keep up the required pace.

So there I was, balls deep in Chamonix. Conditions were as thin as me, and the weather forecast was even direr.

“Morgen ya old bastard! How are ya cobs?” I barked down the phone.

“Good ol mate, long time no see! Hear you’re in this frog-eating neck of the woods? Fancy some cheesy baguettes?” came the reply.

“I was thinking we could go drink cerveza in Spain! Me mucka Logan might be clipping some bolts in Siurana, lets do it!”

A few days later two friends outside the campsite of Siurana felt the hug of old mates. A sweet climbing destination of Spain, single pitch limestone sport climbing was the order of the day. Morgen was an old work-mate, and we would spend the next 12 days in a Spanish sport-climbing frenzy.

Chamonix had been frustrating. I didn’t feel like I had pushed as hard as I could believed I could have. Whether or not I actually could is no consolation of feeling held back however. It was the first time Owen and I had tied in together on serious routes, but with an average outlook, I was jack of the place and made plans for Spain.

I had been getting psyched to get strong. I though about alpine climbing, and the euros. The fitness and standards of their climbers was phenomenal, leagues further than any Australians, in any discipline. To see that smack bang in front of my face made me want to be like those guys.

After 12 days clipping bolts in Siurana I found an even brighter flame of desire, Sport Climbing. Its safer than driving your car, its not cold, walk-ins are easy, its not cold, there’s a lack of physical suffering, its not cold, you can just enjoy the feeling of hard movement, and its not cold. They’re all the reasons my mind thinks sport climbing adds up for this guy’s current state of mind. I always have, and always will have a true love of the adventure, the unknown, the reaching deep inside of yourself (sometimes someone else helps) to find out what’s on the other side of the next thing. Now though I need to expand my hard-movement horizons.

So since I got back I’ve been trying to train like a loon. Recently crowned ‘King of the Weak Boys”, I must be doing something right! I’ve been heading out to Fingal a bunch, to the mighty Bare Rock. There’s a section of sweet rock on the choss-pile, now know as the Boneyard. It’s provided a bunch of cool routes, reminiscent of euro-crags! Overhanging, skin-friendly and sustained means this is one of Tassie’s best sport crags! Get out there and check it out, the guides here on Gerry’s blog (if your lucky he’ll tell the tall tale of the wine bottle)!

The unstoppable froth-monster Phillips (Garry) has been crushing as per usual to establish White Powder, grade 32/8b+. What a route! Sustained, hard and slightly overhanging climbing is the go! In true form he said it could only be 8b, so in true form its probably nails!

Mark Polinski’s been out there lately. Crushing as always on all the established routes, bolting harder projects! In-between bolting psycho projects he’s spent some time behind a camera shooting some video, have a look here:

 It’s a cool glimpse of what we’ve been up to!

I’m on a route called Too fast, Too furious (28/7c+), pretty awesome little climb. After surprising myself by climbing La Escarmarla(7c+) in Spain I managed to prove to myself it wasn’t a fluke by getting up another two routes similar difficulty. Tigerbean gave up some sneaky beta for a mega cool 28/7c+, and Atomic Vampire proved to be the cliff classic, going for about easy 28/7c+. Being such a bumbly at heart, I consider these routes to be quite hard, and I’m stoked to have done them! Plenty more training to come, so hopefully some good routes go down soon!

Young-guns back in the game

ooh look colours…

Sport-Climbing Duck with non climber ducks heckling, c’mon lil buddy go for it…

Euro-Tripping

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..

im on a six week euro climbing trip, but i just started a post with a well trodden cliche.

kind of sums up europe in a nutshell for me though. in tasmania im used to the freedom of the hills for want of a better term. the feeling of being able to get off the beaten track and into the wild. europe seems to be more of a sheeps trail for the masses, very little original thought or positive acceptance of creativity on the micro-level.

while chamonix is the most beautiful place, with easy access to some super impressive alpine terrain, i found it quite a stifling town to live in. bloody arogant french dickheads at every turn, posturing and posing while turning the whole alpine game into a ego-contest. good for them i guess, but cant we all go out and do these things and get along!?

i did manage to climb a few things, the Swiss Route on the north face of les Courtes was definitely a highlight, 800m of alpine ice. i climbed it with my new friend Nadav, an israeli-american. the whole experience really set in my mind what alpine climbings about. two strangers meet, find similarities in the way they live their life and can forge a friendship while climbing something big and scary together. thanks mate!

North Face of Les Courtes, we climbed the line in the centre of the face. We didnt get any sunshine though!!

unfortunately he had to leave the next day, so in the coming weeks of good weather i was often left feeling frustrated without a partner. i did climb some smaller objectives but the rat was getting restless. unfortunately though by the time my friend Owen arrived to climb with me, the weather wasnt playing ball. we climbed the Burnier-Vogler gully in thin conditions, which was super fun! after another week of frustration i pulled the pin.

now i sit down in sunny spain with an espresso and pastry in hand. a rucksack full of quickdraws, finger-tape and all sorts of other sport-climbing nonsense. theres a good crew of psyched and strong climbers down here, so for the next few weeks its time to forget about danger, route finding decisions and judgment calls, and focus in on hard movement. im about as fit as a fat kid playing playstation, but fitness comes fast!

oh and if you somehow missed out on Ross and Simon´s awesome first edition of Vertical Life, Australia ´s new online climbing mag, check it out here! theres even a shitty article about some snow-plodding in pakistan….

happy climbing guys! 🙂

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

So I found this recently. how on earth did I never know of Dr. Seuss’ last book.

Watch and enjoy……

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets.  Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry.  Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.  there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame!  You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

by Dr. Seuss

Walk the Line

Last week saw an awesome day go down on the Totem Pole. A little while a go a friend of a friend put another friend in touch with me to see if I would help out on his little idea. After swapping some emails plans were soon made.

Florian Herla is a gun highliner and was super keen on setting up the highline between the summit of the Totem Pole and the mainland. He recently did a pretty impressive effort at hanging rock to boot.

Steve Monks was down and keen to revisit his old climb, and my mate Matt Scholes was down doing some work with me. We would be the motley crew climbing the beast of a tower to rig the highline.

All things went smoothly and the line was rigged sometime in the early afternoon.

What followed was the most impressive display of mastery I’ve ever seen. Florian jumped straight on and smashed out a few laps. His friend, Leon, had also come down to have a crack. It had been a while between drinks for him, but he also cruised the line with style.

Enjoy the photos from the day:

 

Florian Herla walks the line. (c) Simon Young

Florian steps out in an amazing position. (c) Simon Young

 

Rysavy Ridge

Life in sunny ol’ slowbart couldn’t be much better for this young climber. Currently I’m earning a crust by working hard for a rope-access company, Spidertech, based out of north Hobart. Every summer a large chunk of work on the Hydro power schemes comes our way. Last week we were busy inspecting the inside of a penstock, the pipe that carries water to turn the turbine that powers your computer to read these words.

The penstock we had to inspect. Three of us jumped inside and travelled the 400m to the power station.

Hydro sites tend to be in cool places, and working at Wilmot meant staying a night in the sleepy little town of Sheffield. Mt Roland is a craggy conglomerate range that looms above Sheffield, keeping watch. In 1977 a ridge was climbed by a bunch of friends, who discovered the classic Rysavy Ridge. A 350m grade 12 that rambles its way up the line of least resistance.

I’ve always wanted to climb this route, however the opportunity never really presented itself. One afternoon we managed to finish early at work, and quickly readied for an ascent of the route. I threw together a light rack, as the description made it sound reasonably involved.

Arriving at the base of the route, Haig and I decided to start soloing the route, with ropes and gear on us with the intention to use them if the going got too much to handle.

In the end we soloed the whole route.

It was an amazing climb, with just enough exposure to keep you on your toes. I can’t recommend this route enough. If you have read the route description and felt a bit worried, like I was, don’t be. For all the steep sections there were good crack systems to accept gear. Belays would always be on a comfy ledge. With two 60m ropes you can easily retreat from anywhere on the route by making one abseil into the descent gully to the left. Special thanks to Domhnall Brannigan for the use of the opening frame, check out http://www.dreapadoir.com/

Hope you all have a great friday, i just booked some tickets to Chamonix in late march, so I’m STOKED!!!! 😀