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crux: australasian.climbing.journal







Crux TechTips:


The Dirtbag Files


Satay Tofu 4U with Kathy Dicker, recipes for camp cooking success Light n Fast with Mathew Farrell, Is drilling out your toothbrush taking weight saving too far? Josh Caple finds public libraries are not just for buildering



Justin Jefferson - A journey through training religions.


Voyeur: Photo Gallery Loudmouth


Pimp My Woodie


Product Profile:


Photo Tips:


Crux TechTips: Bolting


Mikl Law takes us through his ‘11 laws of reboltics’ Lee Cujes - Sharing one man’s love for his woodie Scott Hailstone. Meeting the unique photographic requirements of climbing Marty Blumen - Preparation, setup, composition, light, luck 87

Steve Hawkshaw shows us... The good, the bad and the ugly

CruxArticles 16

The Wonderful World of the Woodie


The Pilgrimage


The Free-Soloist Dictionary



Origins of Australian Climbing



Rock Wrestling

Gemma Woldendorp - In suburban garages a midweek ritual is taking place. Are you ready to be initiated? Owen Gervasoni - An exploration of deserted alternative to Mt Arapiles, on a road trip to the remote escarpments of SA’s Wilpena Pound. Steve Kelly - Defining the ropeless world. Michael Meadows - The first of a four part history lesson into the origins of Australian climbing in the pre Ewbank era. The Dark days of Aussie cragging when ropes were unethical and interstate rivalry is a matter of life and death. Roger Bourne - The struggle for some truths about creatine and climbing Cover: Anthony Alexander on his ‘Aquarious’ (22) at Craftys, Hawkesbury River. Photo: Simon Carter.




CruxArticles cont’d 62

Malty Brewin’ and Light Ails


A Different Kind


The Young Apprentice


Mathew Farrell’s account of an alpine adventure in New Zealand Rowan Druce tells a tale of an Australian in Ireland Cameron O’Neill - Giving a young headpointer a helping hand

CruxCragProfiles 24

McIntyre Falls


Wet Dreams


The Ben


Celestial Wall




The Far Pavillion


The Occupied Territories


Simon Moses - Granite bouldering for the road tripping Queenslander Anthony Alexander - Deep water Soloing on the Hawkesbury River

Gerry Narkowicz takes us to Australia’s crack climbing mecca Lee Cujes’ new Crag report from Mt Tibrogargan, QLD


Douglas Hockly - Joshua Tree is not the sort of place you like... Josef Goding’s new Crag report from the Grampians, VIC

Steve Hawkshaw’s new Crag report from Nowra, NSW

CruxStuff 3

From the editors desk





We are sooo stoked that your standing here, right now, reading this... Mixed bag of opinions from the outside world. 68

Your quarterly breakdown of climbing culture, right here, right now...





Rainy day fun for the whole campsite by Brad Carmady Results are in, but you gotta be in it to win it!

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CLIMBING IS A HIGH RISK ACTIVITY. The safest climb described in this magazine can potentially kill you. The Editors and Publishers accept no responsibly for injury, death or financial loss from use or interpretation of the content of this magazine. This magazine is not an instruction manual, it merely describes a sport that is generally regrded as very dangerous. You are responsible for your own actions. The Editors and Publisher are not responsible for you. Credits for issue One. Co-ordinating Editor Neil Monteith Art Director - Simon Murray Senior Photo Editor - Josh Caple Photo Editors Marten Blumen & Simon Carter Article Editors - Adam Bramwell, Mike Law & Steve Hawkshaw Advertising - Belinda Rees Scrouge - James Pfrunder Web Master - Adam Bramwell Distribution - Simon Carter distrib

Views expressed in CRUX do not necessarily represent the views of the Editors or the Publishers. No responsibility is accepted by CRUX for the accuracy of information or advertisements within the publication. Reproduction in part or in whole without the expressed written consent of the Publishers is prohibited.

From the Editor’s desk Hello and welcome to the inaugural issue of CRUX magazine. What started as a RP of an idea has turned into a fully fledged big wall adventure for all involved! Climbers sent us more than seventy articles and more than five hundred photos after our initial call-out for content. It’s been a mammoth task to sort these into what you have in your hot little hands . Due to this overwhelming response from all over Australia we have enough content to fill several seam busting issues. Big thanks go out to everyone who has helped with ideas, support or contributions to get this momentous project off the ground. Without your help this magazine could have hit the deck many months ago. The fire burning under this new publication is stoked by the vibrancy of Australia’s climbing community, particularly on web forums. These online discussions have laid a foundation for radical change in the way climbing’s creativity could be published. There is a huge body of unknown photographers busily shooting away every weekend and posting to hundreds of web sites globally. Similarly there is a bevy of excellent writers contributing to forums and blogs with their own twisted tales of climbing adventures. CRUX’s main aim is to encourage this new talent in creative writing, illustration and photography and put their creativity into print for the rest of the world to see. Behind this magazine are active climbers who are deadly keen to create a magazine that shows our active and vibrant community. You’ll probably see us at your local crag so make sure you heckle, sandbag and give us your opinion on what makes a good climbing magazine. Climbing with friends isn’t always a serious affair and our magazine may represent this with occasional flashes of insanity. Our aim is to create something that amuses as well as informs. We aim to not just publish articles and photos about climbing itself – but also to show the fantastic and unique lifestyle that climbers live. We hope you enjoy the amazing diversity of written and photographic talent that has been lurking in the sidelines for so many years. With our first issue out the door we can do what we love and hit the rock again, feel free to shout us a belay, or shout us beer if you see us at your local. The CRUX Team australasian.climbing.journalcrux


Cooking: SATAY TOFU 4U by Kathy Dicker

Camp cooking has its challenges. There may be only one heat source, and limited pots, pans and water. 2-minute noodles and tuna are not the only option to fuel the next day’s adventures. People are tired and hungry so quick and tasty food is the priority- here’s one option… Satay Tofu (or protein of your choice) Noodles Serves 2 or more hungry people (alter quantities as needed)


Ingredients Packet fresh thin stir-fry noodles (dried egg noodles ok, but follow directions) 1 thumbnail piece ginger 1 onion 1 capsicum Firm Tofu (substitute other protein) 2 tbspn crunchy peanut butter (or more) Large tin coconut cream, or coconut milk powder and water 1 tbspn Thai curry paste (red, penang) or sweet chili sauce 1 cup fresh green vegies (eg. Broccoli, bok choy, or pre-packaged fresh cut stirfry mix for super quick meal) or canned Asian vegies. 2 tbspn sesame oil (or veggie) Method. 1. Cut Tofu into 2cm cubes. 2. Heat 3⁄4 cup water in a wok. 3. Cut onion & ginger into a fine dice, and capsicum into strips. Cut vegies into bite size pieces, set aside. 4. Carefully open noodle packet, and pour in hot water from wok to loosen the noodles, set aside. 5. Place wok on heat source to burn off any leftover water. Add 1⁄2 the oil and brown tofu squares. Remove and set aside (cover to keep warm). 6. Add remaining oil, when hot add curry paste, allow to become fragrant, and then

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add onion and ginger. Fry until soft, and starting to go translucent (around 2 mins). 7. Add peanut butter, coconut milk (and sweet thai chilli sauce if using). Stir well to combine. 8. Add fresh vegies in order of cooking time required. For example, carrots first, then baby corn, then broccoli, then soft leafy vegies etc. Add tinned vegies last, if using. 9. Drain noodles, and add to wok. Return to wok the browned tofu. Mix together all ingredients until well combined and hot. Add a bit of extra water to stop it sticking if required. Tips • Noodles that are too solid in the packet are hard to separate whilst camping. Pick noodles that move easily. • If you don’t like spicy food, use sweet Thai chili sauce instead of curry paste. Mae Ploy make great curry paste, you can get sachets from normal supermarkets, but you can buy big tubs for about the same price from Asian grocery stores. • Add a splash of fish sauce and squeeze lime for a more authentic taste. • Add fried shallots (also from Asian grocery store) for a tasty garnish.

Kathy Dicker in her element

4U U


LIGHT AND FAST by Matthew Farrell

I have to lay my cards down on the table. I am a minimalist. I have an insatiable lust for light weight. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is purely the fetish of a diseased mind. Not directly. My problems lie within wanting to climb long cold scary routes. Simplifying and minimising things is a clever way of making this safe and possible. Moving fast in the mountains is safer, more enjoyable, and allows you to climb further. Moving fast is best accomplished by being light, and savvy. Below is an overview of some of the concepts.

CLOTHING There are a lot of personal and marketing beliefs that make this a more controversial issue than the evolution/creation debate. I will devote a separate article to this important issue in future.

SHARE If you’re happy to trust your life to your climbing partner you ought to be able to share a cooking pot. You don’t need bowls or forks. There is little point in carrying two sleeping bags either - you’ll be a lot warmer if you leave all your clothes on and share a light bag (used as a blanket). Cram into a small tent, wide bivy bag or snow-cave together. Carry one pack RACK for the second. This contains all the bivy gear Scrutinise your rack harshly. Minimise what and food. The leader wears a small pack with you take. Do as much research as you can his belay jacket, mitts, and water only. about what gear you will want for the route/area There are some things that you can’t get away in question. For example carrying RP’s on New with. I have trialled carrying only one duvet Zealand Schist is folly. With practice, you will jacket to share. Do the maths on this! become better at building minimal belays and placements. Don’t rush into this, as it sucks to LEAVE STUFF BEHIND have to abseil without appropriate gear. Take If you are doing an out-and-back style extra if you’re uncertain. route, you needn’t carry your bivy gear to the summit. Leave it at camp. You can turn REPLACE AND UPDATE YOUR GEAR. a two day mission into one long day - you Replace all your regular ‘biners with wire move faster if unencumbered with bivy gear. gates. Don’t bother carrying screwgates Get up earlier and climb later into the night. for belay placements - we protect runners If you get caught out by bad weather, you with quickdraws anyway. Carry only enough have to keep moving. Assuming the terrain screwgates for belaying, rescue and daisyand navigation allows, continuing to climb will chain. Assess properly where you do need keep your warmer, rather than sitting it out screwgates versus wiregates. Replace your in a sodden bivy bag. The First Aid kit can grandad’s solid-stem cams with some light be cut significantly. A bandage, Codeine rich weight numbers; Consider plastic hexes; painkillers and anti-inflammatories are really Carry micro-ascenders instead of Jumars. the only useful items. Carry some gaffer The same goes for every piece on the rack tape on your helmet to hold bandages (even and in your pack. Don’t sacrifice functionality, nasty gashes) together. Superglue may have but don’t settle for heavier options where a place - it was actually invented for gluing there is a choice. up soldiers wounds. There are many other bits and pieces you can replace or ditch from your pack - even bits of the pack itself. For now, the above should stimulate your imagination.

light’n fast Photo: Matt Farrell



Dear CRUXmag, Climbing is a lifestyle deeply ingrained into the Australian way of life - when people think Australia they think Punks in the Gym, they think Ozymandias, they think of Kim Carrigan in too-tight fluro striped lycra and the think of Claw’s rusty homemade ‘fixed if you don’t fall on them’ hangers. I have long awaited the release of an Australian climbing publication that truly represents the climbers of this great nation, and I applaud you fellas at CRUX for doing it right this time. See you at the crag,

“Canyoning is pointless. There is no challenge. You either make it out or you die.” – Nathan Hoette explains the finer points of rest day activities in the Blue Mountains. “When I was 16 I could do seven one arm chinups on a door jam on each arm – and I could only climb grade 17. We had no idea how many one arm chinups it would take to climb grade 20” – Mike Law recounts his youthful days of strength and lack of technique

John Howard Prime Minister - Australia

“I have more dogs at Porters than all of Katoomba pound.” – David O’Donnell laments his poor face climbing technique “A psychological hold is a something you use when there simply isn’t any holds put your fingers on nothing, being sure not to look, and crimp. Some dudes like Will Currie take this to a whole new level - when he does this is could legitimately be called chipping.’ – Josh Caple “I once got to climb Diane in the Gramps with a fossil so old the slings on his rigid friends were worn through from rubbing on his beard.” – Richard Callf “There is nothing wrong with a good, honest, slagging-off.” – Simon Mentz puts a positive spin onto yet another back-slapping web forum. 8

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CRUXPONDENCE: Letters to and from the real world.

“Onsight is a style of climbing which requires getting past more than the first bolt before crying take and slumping onto the rope...apparently...” – Simon Carter explains the name of his photo business.

Dear CRUXmag, Bolts, It’s time to stop. If you have to pull out a petrol drill and slam it into a perfectly good cliff face in order to make a climb, then you’re not good enough to be there. The art of the climb, particularly the lead, is placement of protection, and a considered ascent. By bolting, effectively you are altering the natural formation you’ve come to conquer. If want strong protection so you can lunge, stick to bouldering, go to a climbing gym, or protect properly using multiple points before the crux. Hiding behind ‘safer cliffs’ & replacing badly installed or rusted bolts is pathetic. They shouldn’t be there. Installing bolts is moving the goalposts, and destroying the cliffs. Consider the state of the cliffs in 20 years time at the current rate of destruction. Not only will this destroy climbing for future generations, but exhibits an unbelievable selfishness. Believe it or not, these incredible natural wonders are not just for climbers. Some might call this ‘old school’, but I’m a preservationist. I climbed for years in the 80s.Particularly around Arapiles, without using a bolt, now it’s hard to avoid them. If you can’t properly place removable protection, don’t lead. If you are using bolts, you are perpetuating crime. Bolting is environmental vandalism. Why don’t you carve out some steps, or install a f**king hand rail? Tim Parrington

Evolve people. Saturday reminded me that a world of preinspected, labeled, accessible, scrubbed and described, no surprises, guaranteed-gearevery-5m vanilla puss is not what I want. There were loose blocks and secret caves and stinging trees and blood and guts and grease off the rod and nude swimming in creeks and @#%$ knows what else. And it was authentic and awesome. So right now I’m thinking @#%$ the thought police and manufacture of product for the masses. So if you’re in the mood I say pull the bolts forget the guides and set them free.

Climbing is about being a CITIZEN. A citizen of a weird parallel universe, a pseudocommunity of diverse yet like minded souls. Not a @#%$ consumer. Buying and using vs rights and responsibilities. Rights to enjoy and share. Responsibilities to other climbers, past, present and future. And the natural world.

I reckon future climbers deserve to have beautiful unclimbed lines left free waiting for someone to climb them the purest and most It seems that many people here think authentic way possible - on sight, ground climbing a new route is an act of production up, no fixed gear, no guidebook. So all those - creating something for other people to good looking lines that were left alone or enjoy. From where I sit that just treats backed off because people weren’t up to the rest of the climbing community as climbing them without rapping in and placing consumers. Producers produce. Nice fixed gear, all those crags without a guide safe, accessible, well described lines. No - that’s an act of LOVE. LOVE for the future surprises. No runouts (except where the climbers and love for the mountain. guide warns you so you can rap it and So I say let’s evolve people. toprope it into submission first). Andy Mason Producer listens to the market and delivers what they want. Tame, safe, predictable sport is popular so sport wins. Well @#%$ that.

australasian.climbing.journalcrux crux


We are kind of thinking that the pain of this self inflicted injury is second only to the wretching stench, that salty dead cat waft, that accompanies the feet of said festy cragster. Desensitised as we are to images of blood and gore in this modern age, nothing stops that funky tang permiating this scene... ooh, salty!

I love this crazy game of climbing, hanging out with mates and doing climbing and stuff. Sometimes we go abseiling too. Its fun, I smile... I shift my weight and the biner rotates under my stich plate and cracks forward, dropping me an inch that feels like the begining of the end, I smile... then vomit.

Here is another ‘man-love’ moment; two WAfians, a long way from home. Wild, clearly foot loose (see the DWS story) and fancy free, enjoying the camaraderie of another torrid top out at craftys’. Then...

...something weird happens and they both make like lemmings. Check out the dude in the background. Lucky its water at the bottom of the crag ‘cos it means ‘ground up’ ethics dont apply.

Culture Vulture

‘Slacklining’ is so good for your balance and core stability that people have now started spending all day just ‘Slacking’ (and ‘hacking’). These two happy ‘slackers’ were at it for hours. Eventually they make it to the middle, they embrace in ‘man-love’ and sit around for the rest of the week thinking ‘Wow, that was weird...’. Who needs climbing?

Nice work, good execution. Sad but true - we sold this idea to a prominent car company and they are running with it. Much like the new VW Bugs (new trimmings, classic lines) but choosing which shitheap model is truly ‘TRAD’, and worth ripping off is proving difficult. Any suggestions?

send us ya stuff... captions and pics to

CRUX men everywhere are exploring the perfomance enhancement of chanelling ones ‘feminine side’ for better on-sight results. Calmer, more focussed, more intuitive movement seems to be the result. It’s a whole body and mind thing. Feel the love and share the lycra.

This note in the ‘pines’ dunny was obviously a piss-take. When a young Estonian lady turned up at Pines Plaza, looking for ‘the one’, the young men became so gun shy they all ran off to a secret ‘slack-line’ setup they had out the back of the mountain. They weren’t even climbers. They knew little of the terminology.

Valeria is from Estonia. She wants to be a model so we thought we would help her by printing this pic. Her profile reads... Family: I live with my Mom Uljana and my stepfather Maths. Interests: I love music, people, climbing, dancing, clothes, fashion, writing poems and painting. ...Ouch!


CRUX men are also exploring the perfomance enhancement of channeling one’s ‘inner child’. We all know children are naturals. Populating your life which childhood imagery works well in this persuit. Penetrating child hood notions by dressing like Teletubbies works well. Note the use of cotton lycra for adaptive feminine/ childhood results.

CRUX women are taking the opposite approach and using the ‘Macho Yanaro’ technique of taping-up for everything. Monique seen here somewhere in the grampians takes her lead from the local ‘Man Amongst Men’ HB. She started talking about dizzys’n’carbies, limited-slip-diffs and all kinds of real bloke stuff as she tied in. She sang Rodney Rude as she clipped the rap-off.

Seems like these Coleman™ gas canisters have taken the climbing scene by storm. This climber did the ‘Compresor Route’ on Cerro Torre in 6 hours from base camp with a rack of leggo men and a Mr Happy guide to Patagonia, dressed in a high altitude Humphry B Bear suit. When he awakened he was like ‘ whooa... that was rad, who needs basecamp slacklining’. australasian.climbing.journalcrux


The ag Files b t Dir sh Caple By Jo

These days we just can’t live without our emails and internet blingbling, the world wide web is thoroughly ingrained into our day to day lives… so how do we manage to keep on top of it all when we’re on the road? While most people are paying hand over fist to get online in an internet cafe, here at CRUX we’re one step ahead - Public Libraries. They’re in every city, town, village, shire or kibbutz in the western world (someone quick: exactly how many kibbutz’ are there in the western world?) and most of them have Internet access of some sort. Many smaller community libraries don’t care if you just wander in and use their net services for free, but some libraries demand membership or money or a booking, or even all three. It’s best to fully scope out the situation before jumping on a computer. Librarians are renowned for their unforgiving nature and excellent memories, so you don’t want to stuff it up. Here’s our tips on doing it right first time. • If you can, put on some clean-ish clothes and some deodorant so as not to attract too much attention from the staff. • Stroll in and start wandering casually around the bookshelves. Have a subject already in mind so that you can easily answer the questions of nosy librarians. • Be very polite to the old lady that directs you to the ‘mountaineering’ section. You’re in HER world now, and she can rain fire upon thee. • While you flick through some titles on the shelves, take in your surroundings - by now you should have scoped out the libraries Internet policy and tailored your battle plan accordingly. Is there a booking system in place? Does the library designate computers for ‘Research Only’ & ‘Email’? Pick out two or three interesting books and move to a lounge or desk while you develop the strategy further. • If you are on a ‘research only’ computer, 12

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Still Life with Dirtbag. Photo: Josh Caple

have some genuine research in the background and be able to ALT-TAB quickly. Make sure your index finger and thumb are properly warmed up for this to avoid injurywe suggest a light stretch followed by a series of isometric contractions. Remember to keep your fluids up. Also try to avoid YAHOO or Hotmail accounts. Go for something without fancy layouts or logos, and lots of plain text. • If the computers are run on a ‘book & pay’ system, you will inevitably get tapped on the shoulder by people who have booked & payed. Don’t put up a fuss, shut down quickly and move away quietly. Pick up your books again and watch that computer like a hawk- he only has a 25 minute booking and the next booking isn’t for another 40 minutes… • Make sure you take the opportunity to charge your mobile phone in the power board under the desk. But don’t forget to take it with you when you go. Do you have a tip for living cheap on the road? Email them to

If your DIRTBAG FILE is chosen for publication you’ll recieve a FREE t-shirt as well as a box of Continental Cup-o-Soup. The flavour for issue #2 is tomato.

Josh ‘Dirtbag’ Caple laments the dawn of the new regime at McDonalds. Healthy food? No climbing?... whats going on? australasian.climbing.journalcrux


The Wonderful World of the Woodie By Gemma Woldendorp It is winter, and in a garage in suburban Canberra, a few friends are gathered for a weekly ritual. A decrepit heater covered in a coating of chalk cranks out warm air. The dog sneakily edges its way between hands, feet and climbing shoes, all competing for space in front of the heater. A forty degree climbing wall links up to a roof split by a big wooden rail and joins a twenty five degree wall on the opposite side, roughly forming an arch. Jugs, slopers, crimpers, pockets, pinches, foot jibs and an assortment of weird shaped holds adorn the walls. Old mattresses cover the floor. To one side is a campus board with three different-sized rungs, begging for more use. Climbing magazines are piled up around a small couch, and a CD player (also coated with chalk) completes the scene. This is the world of the woodie, a climbers training haven. While the climbers try to get warm, discussion inevitably turns to last weekends climbing: “busy at Nowra”; “got blown away at Point Perp.”; “ice at Booroomba”; “didn’t make it out of the bakery in the Blueys”. Some funky tunes are put on the chalk clogged CD player. Digits start to warm, feet are squeezed into climbing shoes, and the occasional hold creaks as a climber warms up on a few easier moves. The dog makes its final move and is triumphant in taking prime position in front of the heater. 14

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A few laps up one wall, across the roof and down the other wall has even the coldest climber’s blood pumping. Soon attention turns to the boulder problems. Older ones are redone or retried, and new problems are dreamt up. They might be crimpy, balancy, slopey, tracking, long moves, dynos, add ons, link ups, eliminates, endurance fests, jibs only core tension stuff, tied up cross over things, drop knee extravaganzas, lunges to the roof – the styles and combinations are endless! Someone comes up with a crazy looking boulder problem and declares, “That goes!”. It stirs a flurry of excitement. Instructions on the problem are given, “Okay start right hand on the green ball, left on the pocket, cross over to the wooden rail, up to the yellow Metolius, to the grey ear, and across to the slug but don’t use your thumb, then bump up to the dog bone and the bread loaf and finish on the good wood and the bowling ball, and you can only use the kick board and the two red jibs for your feet”. There are a few ‘oooohs’, and an evil gleam comes across the face of the problem’s creator. Hands dip into the chalk pot and climbers start jostling to get on the wall and give it a go. When someone falls off it spurs even more eagerness from the others – being the first to redpoint a difficult problem holds some glory. Then after numerous attempts someone redpoints it, and everyone else becomes obsessed trying to get it too. Suggestions on different ways of doing the problem are thrown around, some useful, some not.

Gemma Woldendorp almost dislocates her hips and shoulders in an attempt to be the cross-over champ. Photo: Gemma Woldendorp Collection.

As the evening progresses on the climbers’ little sanctuary, a strange phenomenon occurs whereby the boulder problems get more and more outrageous – longer and longer dynos, campusing up the 40° wall and through the roof, lunging further and further out to the big wood rail, contorted weird moves that you’d probably never do on rock. Ahhh, but it’s all fun and games, and woodie sessions can be a catalyst for grand ideas for future climbing adventures or just next weekends climbing trip. That alone, makes the woodie worth its weight in climbing holds. Natasha Sebire roof queen extraodinaire.australasian.climbing.journalcrux Photo: Gemma Woldendorp.


Rock climbing is a funny sport. When telling people that I climb on the weekends, I’ve had the response: “So you rockclimb! Yeah I’ve done that before too, we did this crazy abseil..” How can you respond to this? I generally just agree with them and laugh, it’s too hard to explain sometimes.

CRUX: TRAINING - Seeing The Light? By Justin ‘Mr Hyperbole’ Jefferson

But this brings me to another interesting observation about our sport, training. When you talk to people about whether or not they train it’s a similar story: “Yeah I went to the gym X times this week, I’m training the house down”; or “Nah I haven’t been doing anything for ages”. But yet these so called non-trainers somehow hike up the same climb you’re struggling on! I like to think of training as a type of religion, not as a way to live your life by, but more from the point of view about the different types of training (religions) that are out there on offer. Now the first type of training is what I like to call the 200 Pointers Club (aka Endurance). You may have seen these people at the local crag before moving very fast, racing up and down climbs at breakneck speed muttering something about ‘150 points so far’. They play an endurance game where each climb has a point value, for example a grade 21 climb gets 21 points, a grade 17 gets 17 points etc. So their goal is to accumulate 200 points by the end of the day. 200 Pointers never really seem to be pushing themselves too hard and you don’t often see them projecting much either. They sweep walls at crags during their brief visits and then move on to the next wall or crag. This type of climbing training is known as Endurance training and is the perfect foundation for any further type of training. Justin Jefferson cranking on ‘Demoraliser’ (28) at Upper Shipley. Photo: Neil Monteith.


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Power is the most popular training religion, with most of us wishing that we had more of it in the hope that it can get us up that nagging project. Some climbers believe that more power will override poor technique or bad form; you just have to believe in the faith. You may have seen these power mutants at your local gym or bouldering crag whacking up a campus board, pulling down on impossible slopers with their feet flying out everywhere. They talk in tongues about 1-5-9’s, hypergravity training, system holds and crazy double digit Vgrade problems. They use any or all these techniques on their quest for their Holiest Grail….Raw Power. Now it’s very tempting to hang with these Lords of the Boards as you get stronger, kneeling and worshiping at the Parish of Power but you must move on to the ultimate enlightenment…Power Endurance. Power Endurance is of the highest order and takes dedication to attain, let alone keep. The road so far has been long, having spent your time being a 200 Pointer, then moving into the Parish of Power, and having resisted the temptation to stay to now arrive at the final stage: becoming a Pumper. This involves doing longer ‘burns’ or laps on known climbs at the crag or going to your local gym and doing circuits. A 3:1 rest to effort ratio of sustained burns at about 80% effort where you are just hanging on is the ticket here. Two to four sessions per week works well, but be careful not to stay at this place of worship too long as weakness and burnout will result very quickly due to its stressful nature. Now it’s time to take a week off and reflect on your efforts and look ahead to a project or goal you have. This is the most important phase, because as the body rests it grows stronger from the load that has been put on it.

Justin Jefferson shows off his 300-point guns post-crankage. Photo: Neil Monteith.

I can’t say that any one of these forms of training has helped me more than another, but I think the combination of them is definitely a winner. Variety is the spice of life, especially in the Power phase. This cycle I might do campusing, the next cycle I might do HIT, the next bouldering, just to keep it fresh and interesting each cycle. Your body can adapt to the load put on it, so when you feel some part of your training is not working for you it’s time to change or reevaluate that phase. Training with motivated friends will keep you amped and help you get thru the tough times. Keep it fun & crank on, JJ



Jono kept his eyes peeled on the left hand side of the road, I gazed intently at the right whilst piloting the car down the highway, straddling the centerline. We sped past groups of kangaroos that were either transfixed rigid by the headlights, or happy to lope slowly across the road indifferent to our presence. The headlights fanned ahead illuminating dashed white lines, and flickering white guide posts. This scene had developed its own soothing steady rhythm, when out of nowhere the scene changed. One of the innumerable guide posts was playing host to a large owl, perched on top glaring balefully at our car as we sped by. Ten hours of driving and an adolescence spent reading Stephen King books triggered some deep instinct, was this the harbinger of an epic? I slowed to sixty km/h. It’s a long way to Moonarie. ............................................................... Arapiles had been teeming with people as we packed up our tents that morning. Ten days before Easter, and already one hundred and fifty pilgrims had gathered. How many people would be squeezed in over the Easter weekend? We weren’t

going to wait around to find out. The highway beckoned. Shell, McDonalds, roadside restrooms, Adelaide Airport, G’day Jono, Mobil, crap bakeries, Port Augusta, G’day Mike, Woolworths, buy tuna, buy pillows, Subway, more petrol, find water, Hawker, Akaroo Rock, where is the turn off? Eight hundred metres of scraping and slaloming, the campground is quiet, the place is deserted. I guess Moonarie doesn’t quite have the drawing power of Arapiles. A cold clear morning, and the first glimpse of the fabled crag. It looks good, but from this distance it’s hard to tell. Perhaps the walk up won’t be as steep or long as it looks like it must surely be? All our climbing equipment gets lumped up the hill that first morning. The heavy weight lengthens the forty five minute walk to closer to an hour. The exertion soon soaks shirts and backpack padding, the pain in the cardio-vascular system is lulled by frequent rests, then replaced by the icy torture of wind chilled cotton being pressed against our backs as the packs are hoisted once again. It’s a relief to get to Top Camp.

the pilgrimage by Owen Gervasoni


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Top Camp sits as the focus of a concave amphitheatre of cliffs. Flying Buttress looms above us, the line of Pagoda, recognized from other people’s photographs is obvious on Checker’s Wall. There are lines everywhere, big corner systems and oppressive overhangs abound. We take a quick inventory of our climbing abilities; nobody has done much climbing at all lately. Hmmm, we might be in a bit of strife. The only sensible thing is to pick a low number, find something in the guide that has three stars and see how we go. A reverse auction of sorts is held and the lowest bid is 12. We start on Nervine, a towering right-facing corner system. I combine the first two pitches, after gaining the main line from the right the overhanging squeeze chimney daunts me, and I face climb up the left wall. Grade 12 climbing in a grade 23 position, something we would learn is typical of this intimidating but exciting place. A couple more pitches and we top out into the sunshine. The bowl of Wilpena Pound opens out in front of us as we scrambled across rock ledges and through scrub in search of the descent gully. The landscape imposes itself on us. As a kid I always admired the style of the Marlboro Man.

It seemed to be all about loitering in the Wild West, wearing lots of denim and leather, having a big hat, and either leaning laconically against a tree or rocky outcrop whilst lighting a cigarette, or being poised to throw a loop of rope around some wild animal’s neck, whilst smoking a cigarette. It struck me that the Moonarie countryside was as close to Marlboro Man country as I was going to find in Australia. Pity I don’t smoke. Back at camp, and no sign of Gary. It strikes us that he might not actually know where the campground is, only that we are at Moonarie, which is at Wilpena Pound. Although I recalled him saying at Araplies that “I tend to get lost in the city, but I’m fine in the country”, some further instruction in the form of a text message is deemed warranted. Mike’s car seemed to work as a weird aerial, allowing CDMA coverage as long as you stand right next to it with the mobile raised at arms length above your head. Mobile coverage can be added to the list of facilities available at the campground. Actually, mobile coverage is the list of facilities available at the campground.

Spread: The road to Moonarie. Photo: Adam Demmert.



Owen Gervasoni hoping for a rest on the pumpy classic “Vortex” (17), Flying Buttress, Moonarie. Photo: Michael Boniwell

Owen Gervasoni straining on the first pitch of “Gargoyle” (13), Gargoyle Wall, Moonarie. Photo: Michael Boniwell

Gary arrives, and the days start to flicker past. Time spent begins to break down into routine that will soon be forgotten and those more colorful moments that you will remember into the future.

reaching the safety of the next ledge seeming an inverse reflection of my own style on the crux of many routes.

I’ll remember Mike humping his way up the giant detached flake on the second pitch of Pagoda, the exposure sucking at his confidence like a leech, with my confidence soon to follow as I left the security of the flake to commit to the rising traversing crux. I’ll remember pulling through the wildly overhanging direct finish to Flying Buttress, the highlight of a route that promised so much from the ground, but delivered so little in practice. Then sitting in the sun on top of Flying Buttress watching a feral goat lurch gamely down the decent gully. Its tactic of splaying its front legs, lowering its shaking head, before leaping in a disorganised bundle and surprisingly 20


I’ll remember abseiling down the Great Wall, admiring the sweep of baking brown quartzite. Soaking up the sunshine and exposure on the soothing arête of Outside Chance (16), followed by the intimidating pull out of the belay cave at the top of that route to begin the Buckley’s (17) variant finish. I’ll remember the beautiful line of Vortex (17), an overhanging crack line on the back of Flying Buttress that poses an irresistible lure as you come tramping down the descent gully. Treks to the sunny, sheltered, Gargoyle Wall, and surprising battles with its swear-word inducing corners Gargoyle (13) and Corkscrew Retribution (14). After a series of beached whale mantles, and the desperate stuffing of various body parts into oversized cracks our suspicions were raised, a check of the guidebook

confirmed we had broken that most fundamental of rules: “never trust the grade of a short climb up a strong natural line climbed before or around 1970, unless you were yourself climbing before or around 1970”. But after the climbing was done for the day, it was time for reflections at the campground, the reading of trashy novels, and semi-regular trips to civilisation in the form of the Rawnsley Park Caravan Park. Washing machines, grass, ice creams, and best of all showers made this isolated oasis comparable to Las Vegas in our eyes. And like Las Vegas, they certainly knew how to fleece the tourists of their hard earned money. In the space of ten days, the cost of a shower skyrocketed from $3.30, to $5, and then exploded to $10 per head. When it comes to Easter price gouging, those petrol companies are but lightweights. We decided not to submit to such cheating and unethical behavior, and took our ‘business’ to the National Park campground at Wilpena instead, where showers could be obtained fair and square by virtue of a little incognito free appropriation. The Easter weekend proper arrived, announced by a sudden flood of vehicles and people into the formerly near deserted campground. After over a week of isolation and quiet this seems strangely intrusive. Bullhorn voices at 2am deriding Kathmandu backpacks, repeatedly singing “thank god I’m a country boy”, and bragging about their sexual prowess tends to get old pretty quickly when your body clock has re-set itself to camping time. Still, given a choice between 30 or 40 people at Moonarie, or 500 people at Arapiles, I know where I would rather be. Moonarie, a land of warm sun, cold winds, red rock, soaring corners, and exorbitant shower prices. ............................................................... Right: Owen Gervasoni tries to resist “The Seduction” (18) Checkers Wall, Moonarie. Photo: Michael Boniwell australasian.climbing.journalcrux




PART I ..................................................................... Reckless adj. Heedless or careless; Headstrong; Rash; Indifferent to or disregardful of consequences; otherwise known as ‘calculated suicide’ Bold adj. Fearless and daring; courageous; Requiring or exhibiting courage and bravery. Otherwise known as ‘calculated risk’. Stupid adj. Slow to learn or understand; Obtuse; Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes; Otherwise known as ‘uncalculated risk’. Calculating v. To ascertain by computation; reckon; To make an estimate of; evaluate. Otherwise known as ‘looks OK to me’ Dread v. To be in terror of; To anticipate with alarm, distaste, or reluctance. Medicine n. Something that serves as a remedy or corrective. If at first your instincts say ‘don’t do it’ – chances are they’re probably right… I once got sandbagged into attempting an eight metre slab (unprotected), with the crux at about six metres up. I was assured that I’d walk the thing (not sure why my host had this premonition - perhaps it was what I was wearing. Mental note: must stop wearing those brand name T-shirts...). The landing was uneven - but at least there weren’t any boulders about. Out of the six routes on this wall - this one strangely looked the least probable - even though the guidebook suggested that it was the easiest (about 20). It seemed completely blank in one section, and I really didn’t want to do it - (I was more keen on the good looking pockets to the right). Nevertheless, urged on by my companion against all other options – (apart from walking away) I gave it a go. see reckless.

....................................................................... I got to the crux pretty quickly - what seemed to be: a) a huge tip-toe reach for a good hold via a mono pocket or b) some insecure smearing and a shorter reach. Instead of backing out, I chose option A (6’2” beta). I like to think this was bold, but of course it could be stupid. I reached the hold which turned out to be a sloper - then did some smearing and reached for the next - to what I was pretty sure would be the ‘thank God jug’. To my surprise (I call this Karma) it turned out to be the other sloper’s big brother. I only had two metres to go, but it was via a move that looked incredously like a hand-foot match - then a mantle. It was around this time that ‘Mr Self Preservation’ announced himself. Now Self Preservation can be a good thing - but having him enlighten you upon the merits of ‘Why did you leave the ground in the first place you bloody idiot?’ (when you’re six metres above it) is a bad thing. It took approximately ten seconds for him to persuade me to take the downward bound elevator - rather than the upward one. The only problem with this decision was that I’d have to reverse the 6’2” reach move… I like to call this calculating. It was around this time that I felt a certain ‘sense of doom’ (see dread). I have never had to do a move like it - and I never want to again. I slid down the wall until I got to the mono, and then performed what I call the ‘pectoral combustion manoeuvre’ – which involved doing a negative press into the mono and thence down to the footholds. I then went off in search of the nearest pub (see medicine).

Left: The author, about to be’ reckless’ during an onsight solo of the grit classic Kayak (E2/20) Curbar, Peak District UK. Photo: Steve Kelly Collection.

Part II ................................................................... Polished v. To make smooth and shiny by rubbing or chemical action Alzheimers flash adj. An ascent of a route that you’ve previously made years before – and have since forgotten every move of. Foolhardy adj. Marked by unthinking boldness; with defiant disregard for danger or consequences Courageous adj. Possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching Relieved v. To free from pain, anxiety, or distress; To rescue from siege; Otherwise known as ‘thank God that’s over’ Places you shouldn’t go to watch a good sunrise… A lovely morning at Arapiles. As usual, the sun’s not up yet. Better go see what it’s doing... Now what’s the best view for a sunrise? Oh yes, that quaint little ledge up on that buttress overlooking the Plaque - but I’ll be buggered if I’m climbing that horizontal trench to get there. Plan B. A game of chess. No problems, off and up to watch the morning light. Jugs. This is easy. Here’s the ledge, and just in time too. What a sight! Fantastic sunrise… Right! Time to motor on out of here before it gets too hot. Now which way to go? I’m not playing chess again - and I’m not going to try that greased up line of guttering heading off right (see polished). How about going up then? Hmmm... haven’t done that for a while - something like six years (see Alzheimer’s flash).


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Onwards and upwards, then downwards and across. Back to Begin - and I didn’t collect $200.00. Looks like I’m playing Monopoly now. I throw the dice again and this time get to go seven squares - before landing on Chance and getting sent back to where I came from. This went on for another two goes - finally resulting in me wondering which path to take (you can go high or low), and whether or not I’d slip off just from the amount of polish (see polished again). In the end I knew that I wasn’t going to downclimb, so I went for it – and forced myself through the point of no return (see foolhardy). By the time I got into the corner on the third pitch (just below the chimney) - I had mentally lost it (sh*t-scared doesn’t need a definition). I was shaking myself off the rock. Mentally fried up - and I hadn’t even had breakfast! I did the only thing that would stop me from hitting the ground from six metres – and it didn’t have anything to do with calling for a blow-up bouncy castle. Instead, I calmed myself down (I think that’s courageous – but I could be wrong…). Once my breathing was at a more regular rate, I made three more moves and threw my back into the bottomless chimney. When I hit the ledge atop the third pitch it was like I’d just survived a shark attack (see relieved). Not surprisingly, I’ve never ever stepped foot on The Bard since.

Part III ................................................................... Adventurous adj. Inclined to undertake new and daring enterprises. Offwidth n. Something you really don’t want to solo – not in your wildest dreams! Lofty adj. Of imposing height; Elevated in character How not to look for the way down… I once found myself perched on top of Bluff Major – quite a nice spot to be without a rope - the only problem being that you have to downclimb something to get off the thing. Now the easiest things up there come in the guise of two morsels – one being Blockbuster (11), the other Boston’s Climb (ungradeable). Given that the latter option is covered in lichen in the upper half, and the crux involves jumping the gap between Bluff Major and its smaller relative (if you reverse it that is) – I went looking for ‘The Buster’ instead. Now Blockbuster (11) is a very classy outing for the grade, climbing as it does a classic ‘open book’ corner. It isn’t hard to miss (particularly if you’ve just climbed up it to get there). However, in cases where you haven’t taken the Blockbuster elevator, you could sometimes be mistaken for thinking that another – similar corner system - is indeed the route you are after. That is until you get five metres down it… (see Alzheimer’s flash)

I’d downclimbed (backwards) to a ledge that I could take stock – and finally realise where I was. I was in fact on Beau Brummel (17)! Thankfully, the hard bit was below me (a roof) – so in theory, I could climb back out. That said, there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to re-acquaint myself with that chimney again (see offwidth), so instead began looking for another option (see stupid). I spied the line of choice straight away, though immediately held some inhibitions (see dread) as to the nature of the climbing involved. Despite this, I launched leftwards across the face (see adventurous), heading to what I could (now) clearly see was the original line of my intent (Blockbuster – some seven metres away). Surprisingly, the climbing was extremely easy – though given it was on the front face of Bluff Major, somewhat exposed (see lofty). I got into the corner of ‘the Buster’ pretty much at its crux, then down climbed the rest of it. All that remained was a downclimb of The Keyhole (see offwidth)… and thus endeth the lesson!

I happily found myself in this very predicament, but thought the climbing was pretty interesting, so continued unabated (see adventurous). My so-called ‘open book corner’ quickly transformed itself into the mouth of a monster (aka a body engulfing chimney), and I began to wonder whether A) I had lost my memory prior to embarking or B) I had lost my sight. Either way, this wasn’t my old friend Blockbuster down which I was travelling… This thing seemed to burrow into the depths of the cliff, and it was only once



McIntyre Falls Central QLD By Simon Moses


Luke performs for the peanut gallery on this great waterside line. McIntyre Falls. NSW. Photo Simon Moses


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It is an unfortunate irony that the first Queensland bouldering crag featured in this new publication is actually from NSW. To make matters worse, we will probably lose the State of Origin this year as well. Cest la vie! However, the fact remains that the Mexicans hold the title of having one of Queensland’s hottest new bouldering destinations. Kwiambal National Park aka McIntyre Falls is located fifteen minutes outside the sleepy Northern NSW town of Ashford. The deep gorge is cut through granite and creates a stark juxtaposition to the area’s scrub and grasslands. Travelling from Brisbane takes about five to six hours and is always a bit of an adventure. Without mobile reception, tourist shops, traffic jams, or for that matter usually any other people at all, the place makes for an awesome escape from the weekly grind. Camping is free at the fantastic Lemon Tree Flats. With abundant firewood, grassy parklands and the scenic Severn River flowing through camping area, it is often hard to get motivated to head off climbing as you watch the billy boiling a fresh brew and you chug down the morning hair-of-the-dog XXXX whilst rocking in the hammock. McIntyre is definitely a boulderer’s paradise. With late starts almost mandatory, short walk-ins and an abundance of quality granite, what more could you ask for?

CRAG STATS Location: 5.5 hours drive from Brisbane. Season: All year round depending on agenda. Climbing Style: Riverside bouldering Rock Type: Granite Number of Routes: Hundreds to date with vast potential. Grades: Problems exist for all levels. Maximum length of routes: It is bouldering – if you want to climb a 20m boulder and try and kill yourself there will be opportunity to do that here strange pocketed faces, to tall proud lines on high friction granite monoliths in the surrounding forests. The area (like most places) still has its fair share of choss, however there is enough good rock to make Rob Saunders nailing the latch on this clean balancy arete. Photo Simon Moses

Climbing here is a year round affair. Whilst Autumn, Winter and Spring offer the best times for pulling down on some of the harder devious and sometimes terrifying lines, summer provides a great opportunity for just cruising around and getting into a bit of aqua bouldering (aka deep water soloing). Shooting the rapids on all manner of unseaworthy water craft and cod fishing also provides some great entertainment when off the rock. The climbing itself is extremely varied. The rock will range from glassy water polished boulders in the bottom of the gorge, to Right: Rob Saunders nailing the latch on this clean balancy arete. McIntyre Falls. NSW. Photo Simon Moses.



Rob Saunders struggling with another beautiful granite classic. McIntyre Falls. NSW. Photo Simon Moses

it an extensive and high quality bouldering destination. There are approximately fifteen independent areas that have been established. Some require a short drive and most are well within a ten to fifteen minute walk of the car. Those willing to walk longer will be rewarded with fantastic scenery and some world class rock. If you are looking for an area that has great documentation, safe landings, easy to follow tracks and well chalked problems then this is definitely not the place to go. The area is remote and the bouldering will definitely require a sense of adventure. Whilst some areas have safe problems with good landings, many of the areas within the gorge will be reminiscent of places like Squamish. Spotters will need to be attentive and it won’t be uncommon to need to give falling climbers a healthy shove to avoid some bottomless crevice in the labyrinth of rocks. A last word of warning is to be aware of flash flooding in the gorge. This can occur from both heavy rains and the release of dam water. Whilst bouldering on a calm autumn afternoon last year, our attention was jolted from our activities by the roar of running water. As we stood and watched, the gorge was filling with a wild torrent. We quickly grabbed our kit and bolted down river to try and outrun the wall of water. We obviously made it, but definitely keep and eye and ear out when down in the gorge. For those that like to seek their own path, enjoy the sounds of a tumbling river, like a steak cooked on an open fire for tea, are happy to sleep in whilst the dew lifts off the rock and like pulling down on some of the cleanest granite in the area, then McIntyre may be for you.

Simon Moses keeping the spotters alert on this difficult arete. McIntyre Falls. NSW. Photo Scott Hailstone


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Jarmila Tyrril on Monkey Puzzle, 28, The Gallery, The Grampians. Photo: Pavel Puskar



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There’s a lingering perception amongst many Australian climbers, young and old, that rockclimbing here is a recent phenomenon. And it is, when compared with its English predecessor, invented in the 1890s. A common misconception is that rockclimbing in this country began in southern Australia shortly after World War II. But its origins go well beyond publicised tales of activity here in the 1950s and 1960s. In this first contribution to CRUX, I want to look at some of the individuals and ideas that helped to shape modern Australian climbing.

On June 6, 1926, Albert

Armitage Salmon, better known simply as ‘Bert’, and his climbing partner Alan Clelland climbed the imposing east face of Tibrogargan in the Glasshouse Mountains, seventy kilometres north of Brisbane. It was one of the earliest known occurrences in Australia of someone climbing a peak by deliberately choosing a route other than an existing, easier path. And for 26 year old Bert Salmon who had started climbing three years earlier, it marked the start of an extraordinary two decades of activity.

Left: Bert Salmon soloing on the North face of Crookneck, Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland. 1932. A. A. Salmon collection.


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Within three years of Salmon’s historic

ascent in Queensland, another influential climber - Eric Payten Dark - emerged south of the border. Like Salmon, Dr Dark, as he was later known, pioneered the exploration of new climbing routes in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and the Warrumbungles in central western New South Wales. But when it came to climbing ethics, the two could not have been further apart. Whereas Salmon (a staunch monarchist) shunned the use of rope, Dark (a socialist, and ten years older) was probably the first to introduce European roped climbing techniques into Australia.

Blue Mountains. The two movements evolved independently until January 1934 when a contingent of sixteen Queenslanders travelled to Katoomba on a ‘rock climbing holiday’. They met up with Eric Dark and were ushered into Blue Mountains’ climbing culture with visits to the Three Sisters, the Boar’s Head at Narrow Neck, and Orphan Rock. It was the first Australian rockclimbing meet.

Early one Sunday morning, with 300

people watching from a nearby lookout, Salmon and twenty-one year old Brisbane climber Muriel Patten climbed the first of the Three Sisters, unroped. It was the first female ascent, a memorable event made even more so by Queenslander George Fraser pumping out tunes on his bagpipes as they climbed!

In 1929, Dark and a small cohort of local climbers formed the The next challenge was the so called Blue Mountaineers, ‘Fly Wall’, a steep, eight metre sandstone that budding Blue Mountaineers otherwise known as the cliff had to climb before they could join the Katoomba Suicide Club. club. The short climb was noted for its They used rope and rudimentary belaying techniques, including an ‘unethical instrument’ to place belays, described as ‘a two metre long ice axe with a deeply curved pick and a notch to hold the rope where the shaft entered the head’. Dark opposed the use of ironmongery and followed the ethical doctrine of legendary English rockclimber Albert Mummery: that a rope should never be used as an aid for climbing but solely as a precautionary measure.

By the early 1930s, climbing had

become a mass activity in southeast Queensland and to a lesser extent, the

‘rudimentary’ ledges and at one point, climbers had to jump for a handhold.

As the Queenslanders lined up to try

the route, a problem emerged: Eric Dark insisted they use a rope tied around their chests as a belay. ‘I put the rope on,’ Salmon recalled, ‘and then I took it off!’ Eric Dark, the president of the Blue Mountaineers, retorted: ‘You won’t!’ The feisty Queenslander ignored him. ‘I tried my level best for Queensland and for my own reputation,’ Salmon said, ‘and I succeeded in climbing to the top of the wall without the rope. That was the first time it had ever been done! Dr Dark was amazed.’



climbers’ discussion forum topics suggests little has changed. But what seems to be missing is an awareness of the high ethical standards that defined Australian climbing for the first twenty years of its existence.

Bert Salmon always referred to Henry

Mikalsen’s 1910 first ascent (solo) of the three hundred metre pinnacle, Crookneck, in the Glasshouse Mountains as the birth of modern Australian climbing. And well before the exploits of Salmon and Dark became more widely known, Australia’s first mountaineer, Freda Du Faur, was rockclimbing on the sandstone cliffs of Kuringai Chase near her Sydney home as she prepared for a series of historic first ascents in the Southern Alps of New Zealand from 1910 to 1912.

It’s also important to acknowledge that it is W

ithin minutes, George Fraser had become the second person to solo the wall, perhaps inadvertently sowing the seeds of the mostly friendly interstate climbing rivalry that persists today. The Queensland contingent then headed to Narrowneck where the exposed Boar’s Head awaited them. This time, with a sheer drop of more than a hundred metres below them, they used the rope!

Whenever Australian climbing could be

of climbing activity throughout the 1920s and 1930s, that friendly rivalry and ethical debates have influenced the development of climbing in Australia from the start. A scan of current online

said to have started, it was Bert Salmon and Eric Dark who popularised it in Australia. They helped to change it from an occasional activity by the odd (and sometimes very odd) adventurous individual, to a sport that attracted significant numbers of men and women between World War I and World War II, particularly in Queensland. It was this movement that shaped the idea of climbing here until an explosion of clubs and standards following World War II pushed Australian climbing ever closer to its current global prominence.

Above: Bert Salmon on the east face of Tibrogargan - circa 1928. Right: Katoomba, January 1934. George Fraser solos the Fly Wall with Eric Dark watching from above. A. A. Salmon collection.

More Australian climbing history can be found at:

It’s clear from these and other stories


highly likely that most peaks in Australia had been climbed by Indigenous people, perhaps thousands of years before white settlement. The incorporation of all landscape features into Indigenous cosmology demands a respect for place that cannot be isolated from the activities we define as climbing today.

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It was a hot, humid Sydney day and I was glued to the couch by my own sweat and the fan was harder to get away from than the Y2K propaganda and Olympic fever combined. Climbing seemed out of the question, when my phone rang. It was my friend Trent. “Do you want to come out for some cliff jumping this arvo?” “Where are we going?” “Jerusalem Bay on the Hawkesbury River” My ears pricked up. I noticed on a map that it wasn’t too far from Eagle Rock, a great cliff that I had just started to visit regularly. I then fired a zillion questions at him, “Is the water deep? What’s the cliff like? Is the rock good? Can I climb there?” Not being a climber at the time, he couldn’t give me many clues and just said to bring my climbing shoes and have a look. We arrived at Cowan train station around

Chris Jones attempting a project at Craftys. Photo: Josh Caple.



2 pm and started the 1.4km walk down into the valley in 38 degree heat (this is not recommended! Early morning is much better on a hot day). Twenty minutes later we reached the bottom, and saw the cliff rising out of the glistening clear blue water of the Hawkesbury. After wading over to the crag, I followed my friends around to the top of the main overhang for the jump. Walking out onto its diving board like platform I suddenly noticed about fifteen boats, mostly cruisers, yachts and the odd houseboatall moored in the bay. Shannon stepped up and peered over, a girl squealed “JUMP!” from one of the boats. He casually obliged with a forward facing, backwards summersault and neatly splashed into the deep water below, the Bay erupting in hoots and hollers of admiration. After we had all jumped in, I swam along the cliff looking up at the great rock. After spying a few lines I hurried to get my shoes and chalk bag, climbed down a small chimney in the middle of the cliff to gain a small ledge running under the main roof, a couple of metres above the water. I sat there looking up at the steep roof for a while, trying to muster some minerals. Finally I decided on a safe looking line up a leaning corner crack on the edge of the main overhang. I headed up the crack and soon found it needed a lot of cleaning. Hanging there trying to brush the holds, I noticed that they tended right to the edge of the roof, so I traversed to the scooped arête on surprisingly big holds. By now people were beginning to watch and shout encouragement as I floundered on the lip just twenty metres from their boats. Finding a knee bar at the start of the arête I had a chance to rest and have a little look around. With my friends looking down from four metres above, I edged my way up the nice little leaning arête, only to pop a hold and fall uncontrollably sideways to slap the water hard on my side. The tingling and stinging was felt almost instantly as I swam back to the surface to whistles and cheers. The stinging soon faded as I dried off. I jumped back on, but this time I floated through the start Center Left: Monique Forestier on the first ascent of Piscean Passage (21) at Craftys. Photo: Simon Carter. Centre Right: Anthony Alexander on ‘Not Drowning, Waving’ (23) at Craftys. Photo: Simon Carter.


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and only stopped for a short rest at the kneebar before carefully climbing past my last high point only. Suddenly I find myself dangling about nine metres above the water on a big lip jug that lies only a metre or so from victory. Again a roar went up from the crowd, which gave me the courage to try for a mantle. With flash backs of the previous slapping skipping in my mind, I put my leg up, pulled and then pushed down to find a good horn just where it was needed and put up the first climb at the cliff, Wet Dreams (21), which is still one of my favourite climbs here. J-Bay now offers about twenty water solo/boulder climbs and ten top rope climbs. The cliff faces north-west so it gets sun most of the day, but the steeper sections and the water offer relief on a hot day. Don’t rule it out in winter either, it adds a new thrill to the climbing when the water temp feels like its below zero. Even if you’re not a climber, this area is stunning. In summer on the weekend you may hear a bell, this is the Ice Cream man, who turns up occasionally in a boat and sells treats. WARNING – Extreme care should be taken when climbing here! Falling off the first move on some of the climbs under the main roof could be a problem. You may hit your heels on the small starting ledge, so using spotters on the ledge to push you out is a good idea. Also take care on the right hand end of the cliff, the ‘Shallow End’. Oysters can also be dangerous at low tide. There are a lot of stingrays around the Shallow End and they can give a very painful sting. Gentleman Tom and Joe Craft After two years abroad I had returned to Sydney, rung Jason and he was keen! “Let’s get a good crew together, hire a houseboat for a week, and go exploring!” The next two weeks went by very quickly. Jason had booked a houseboat called ‘Gentleman Tom’ and we had a tatty crew of dirt bag climbers that were biting at the bit to discover what gems the Hawkesbury had to offer. I had trouble getting time off, so I helped Jason mark out ‘possibilities’ on the map and would join them on the following day. Gentleman Tom departed from Brooklyn with Jason at the wheel, Tim on stereo control, Nick icing beers




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Jason Piper on his ‘River Rage’ (26+) at Craftys. Photo: Simon Carter.

and Josh scouring the cliff lines through his 300mm lens. About midday the boys were huddled around the map table scouring topos and pointing wildly. Jason pointed out that one of the many black ‘possibility’ texta dots on the map was just around the corner; he thought we should check this one out. As Josh, now at the helm, spun the wheel and they rounded the point, everyone on board squealed with delight- they beheld for the first time, as I had three years before, Joe Crafts Bay. An hour later they had moored, scoped it out and were on the rock. The first two climbs to go, although not high in the grades are bold and were first climbed onsight. These climbs are slabby and serious, with only around three metres of water under them at high tide. The water on the cliff’s left hand side is shallow, but it gets deep as the rock gets steep. Tim had started to work the big traverse & Jason spied a line up the centre of the wall with a dyno at around seventeen metres that would become his nemesis. That afternoon the boys explored and cleaned various lines, all steep and on great rock. The sun peeked around onto the rock in the last few hours before sunset and that night they BBQ’d, brews in hand, buzzing about the possibilities and potential for this inspiring area. I arrived the next morning at around 10am to the sound of Wolfmother blasting from the houseboat stereo and everyone getting ready for another attack. The temperature was already into the 30’s and we were relieved to get into the shade of the cliff and onto the rock. Jason started up his dyno project and each of us picked a section of cliff to play on, generally falling from below ten metres into the refreshing water.

Climber: Anthony Alexander Photo: Simon Carter.

Monique Forestier on ‘Cronulla Karma’ (25) at Craftys. Photo: Simon Carter The surgeon sees a plastic container for the biomedical waste vacuumed off of the theatre table. Anthony Alexander however, taking advantage of his hospital job, sees the perfect quick-drying DWS chalk bag. Here’s the first batch, each sporting a personalised toy-biner for their respective climber counterparts, clipped up on the top deck of ‘Gentleman Tom’. Photo: Anthony Alexander.

I pulled through a small roof to some crimps on a face and I could see Jason looking down from his rest above the next roof. I noticed there wasn’t much room around Jason’s resting spot, but there was a big ledged pocket out to my right. Traversing the face was hard and I soon found myself dangling from some juggy but dinner-plate thin holds. I was sure something would break australasian.climbing.journalcrux australasian.climbing.journal


and my thoughts shot back to my first side slap at Jerusalem Bay. I looked down ten metres to the water, then slowly and stressfully swung along the lip of the roof and lay down exhausted on the rest, covering myself with dust that stuck to the sweat over my entire body. Lying there looking out at the next roof was too much, I psyched myself out and jumped in. Over the next two days I managed to snake up through the roofs to the big rest & then finally link through the next roof onto the slabby top out, calling the effort Aquarius (22). Tim got his traverse, Cronulla Karma (25) and it has now become a popular classic. Jason took many spectacular falls from around seventeen metres on his project amidst clapping and cheering from party boats, cruisers and even kayaks. Nick and Josh also enjoyed the freedom of ropeless climbing at heights of fifteen metres and had some good falls themselves. Wet and weary but stoked, we eased ‘Gentleman Tom’ out of the bay. Attack of the Boat People and the Birthday Black and Blues Many trips to Crafty’s soon followed in smaller hire boats and dinghies, each time leaving a few new climbs there and big smiles on the faces of those who came along. One trip that stands out in my mind was one sunny Saturday morning when, as usual, a group of us met at Berowra Waters Marina, three boats full of people with bags of old climbing shoes left for Crafty’s. In all his excitement, Ziggy the wonder dog fell off the front of the boat and got hull dragged along its bottom, popping up at the other end shaking but otherwise fine. Chris had climbed here just a few weeks earlier and had made short work of some climbs that had taken me months to get the first ascent of, like the amazingly pocketed and popular Fish Sphincters (25). He was now checking out a bold new line straight up the guts of the wall. Chris often makes climbs look easy with his smooth style but the crux of this line demands a massive foot-free dyno from a shallow, slippery, flaring finger seam, a move that brings out the wild-eyed beast in even the smoothest of climbers. A few people had attempted it, but had gotten nowhere close before taking the eighteen metre plummet to the not-so-soft water below. Although not as exposed as some of the


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left: Anthony Alexander traversing the ‘Diving Board’ at Jerusalem Bay with the first ascent of Israel (25). Photo: Simon Carter.

other climbs on the wall, it seems to put the climber on a bad fall trajectory every time. You grab the seam like a side pull, push hard with your legs and throw with your right to an invisible first knuckle flat edge in a break. The problem is that if you manage to hold it, your body swings out cutting loose and your right hand slides off leaving you almost horizontal in the air… which makes for a nasty fall. At least fifteen people sat in boats, and hung from rap lines taking photos.

Chris climbed up to the start of the crux, side pulled, recoiled… and sprung for the hold. He caught it! Everyone whistled and hooted and cheered, but alas ‘twas too early. Chris’ body swung out and slid off the flat edge, I watched as he turned, almost head first downward and his body tried to correct itself like a falling cat. SMACK! He hit the water hard and a huge spray went out, everyone watched and waited to see if he was okay. He slowly floated back to the surface, dazed, and paddled to a near by boat with just one arm. A little stunned, but fine. He was back in the same position within the hour determined to stick the move. Again he set up on the slopey sidepull and pounced, and once again nabbed the big flat hold. He looked solid as the rest of his body left the rock, his eyes on his right hand. At the height of the swing Chris’ body seemed to float for just a second, then his fingers slowly, reluctantly slid off. Down he went in a horizontal position, struggling madly to right himself but to avail, he slapped flat on his back and seemed to hardly go under the water! Requiring help getting back into the boat, Chris flopped down in agony and wasn’t heard from for a while. Half an hour later, he claimed his whole body was stinging and tingling, he wouldn’t be having any more attempts this trip.

also sports a hefty throw, but it seems to leave the climber/faller heading down with more control. He came very close, but not quite getting there. Monique had been working a thin line on the left side of the cave with delicate deadpoints between half pad pockets and credit card thin crimps. Everyone tried something, and there were often five or six people climbing at the same time all over the crag, falling off or giving beta to other climbers as they made their way through the little roofs from resting place to resting place. It was getting late in the day and everyone was running out of dry shoes. Jason changed his climbing shoes, put on a lovely yellow singlet and said “this is my last attempt” before proceeding to crank his way straight up the middle of the highest and steepest part of the wall to the dyno he had been working for the past four months. On this one climb, Jase had clocked up five separate trips and maybe forty falls from above seventeen metres, somehow escaping each time uninjured. Everyone was quiet until he got to the move, then all at once “don’t pump for it, just throw once, Come on Jay!” Cries of beta and encouragement went up as Jason hung low from the heel hook at his head height. Then with one big push, he sprung up to catch the big jug on just the tips of his fingers, he paused for a second as a small wave of energy left his foot and traveled up his body to his hand, helping him pop again and get a better grip. Jason hung from the lip, nearly twenty metres from the smooth water in disbelief, and the bay erupted with applause! Pulling onto the headwall and on amazing pimple type knobs he topped out and stood on top looking very satisfied. After a moment on top of the world, Jay took the mandatory sending leap and mantled back into the boat. He called his climb ‘River Rage’ (26+).

Jason again had a go on his project, which australasian.climbing.journalcrux


It was 4 o’clock, and we needed to leave by 4: 30 to get the hire boats back on time. Monique stood in the middle of the boat amidst a huge pile of saturated footwear and held forth her very last pair of dry shoes. Donning her battle boots she stepped off the front of the tinnie and onto the jugs, pulling out through a bulge to the smooth orange rock of the face above. She had worked the line “water up” on three previous trips and the thin holds on this route suited her climbing style. As she got into the flow, Monique began to turn the line of tiny edges and sloping pockets into an inspirational piece of climbing. Flowing past the crux, she held it together through the scary and insecure positions higher up, topping out with a massive grin. ‘Blowing Bubbles’ (27) = dispatched. By the time she walked down to the waters edge, it was time to leave. It was the perfect end to a great day. The Explorers Gene Over the winter months it’s a bit too cold to climb at Craftys. J-Bay can still be lovely in winter as it receives sun the whole day and it has plenty of trees to top rope from if you’re too scared to get wet. Usually I’m begging for the cooler months to climb, but now there’s not much difference between winter and summer. There’s heaps of great DWS in the Hawkesbury, as well as good roped climbing from multi-pitch, sport and trad to bouldering and the weather is less extreme than in the Mountains, there is a guide to climbing in the Hawkesbury River and Central Coast coming out next year, so keep an eye out. Saxon Johns and Tim Haasnoot send word of DWS crags being developed in the south and in areas around Port Stephens, I’ve even DWS’ed in the top end, so don’t be shy- there’s plenty of rock around, get out there and find your own piece of freedom. A select guide to the J-Bay and Craftys area can be found at

Chris Jones plummets from a project at Craftys. Photo: Josh Caple.


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Ben Lomond is a world class climbing area, unique in Australia for its dolerite columns which form splitter cracks of astonishing purity. This is climbing’s version of marathon running. It is common to plug twenty cams in a pitch and still run out of gear. After twenty metres of grade 24 fingerlocking on Masterblaster, I got to the first decent rest and almost spewed from exhaustion, before pounding my bloodstained, cramped hands up the last twenty five meters of solid grade 22 hand crack. Grade 26 sport climbers have gone to pieces and literally been hauled up the easiest route on the Flutes. Be prepared to spill blood. This is no place for soft cocks and gym bunnies. The Ben Lomond experience is like going ten rounds with a punching bag full of dolerite boulders which you have to

According to Bob McMahon, Ben Maddison was the greatest exponent of crack climbing he’s ever seen. His campfire antics were also very amusing at times.

Pavement Bluff Epic Mick Ling and Gerry Narkowicz set out in minus ten degrees celsius for a daytrip

break to pieces. And yet the rewards are glorious. After a winter of clipping bolts, the soul yearns for a big, dramatic cliff and a spearing crack; to sit exhausted on a belay ledge and take in the views, listen to the currawongs or watch a wedge tail eagle soaring; to share a campfire by an alpine tarn with friends and marvel at amazing sunsets after another day of new routing. And it is all so accessible, just fifty kilometres from Launceston in Northern Tasmania. Ben Lomond is a cliff bound alpine plateau about fifteen kilometers long and five kilometres wide with the largest continuous tract of land above 1500m in Tasmania. There 46

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are 325 routes and five major climbing areas on the Ben. The northern escarpment features the towering dolerite columns of Frews Flutes with perfect parallel cracks up to two hundred metres high providing unrelenting strenuous pitches. Other worthwhile cliffs near the Flutes are the Pavilion, Local Loser and Heathcliffe providing superb alpine face climbing. Ragged Jack is a separate mountain nearby and is a one pitch version of Frews Flutes. Pavement Bluff is another precise, columnar cliff three hours walk from the ski village with some flawless two pitch cracks. Africa is a two hundred metres bastion of steep, foreboding and often featureless rock on the western escarpment. Finally there is Stacks Bluff and the magnificent Denison Crag at the southern end of the massif.

to Pavem ent Bluff and the fir Breakou t (19) in 1982. An st ascent of Pan in the sn zer eigh ow and a 3 pitch ne t hour return wal souls to k waste. w route, laid the bo ys


Geoff Batten made an aid climbing attempt with wooden wedges on Frews Flutes in the mid 1960’s. The first recorded climb on the Ben was by Reg Williams and Lyle Closs on the 6th March 1971 when they climbed Brunhilde (16) on Denison Crag at Stacks Bluff. Over the last thirtyfour years, the history of Ben Lomond climbing has essentially been a tale of one man’s love affair with the mountain, with Robert McMahon being on the first ascent team of over two hundred new routes. The first climb on the northern escarpment was V.D Waltz on Snake Buttress in 1972 by McMahon and Mick McHugh. A great psychological breakthrough came in January 1974 with the first climb on

CRUX: FEATURE CRAG PROFILE - THE BEN - Australias Crack Climbing Mecca

THE BEN Australia’s Crack Climbing Mecca By Gerry Narkowicz Photos by Robert McMahon



Frews Flutes, when McMahon and Frew climbed the classic Rock A Day Johnny (18). The first marathon jamming pitches were done in 1978. McMahon teamed up with Robin Thompson (the Englishman after whom Robins Buttress is named), Ken Roseberry, Bryan Kennedy, Peter Morris, Noddy Lockwood, Ian Thomas and Chris Larque. The classics such as Rigaudon, Ramadan, Rajah and Rondeau were climbed in this era. McMahon then formed a prolific new route partnership with the bold Ben Maddison. In 1981 the standards rose dramatically with the visit of Robert Staszewski, Simon Parsons and Phil Bigg. Parsons completed the long standing testpiece of Defender of the Faith (22) and Staszewski climbed Masterblaster (24), which remained the hardest pure crack climb on the mountain for many years. The early 80’s saw prolific new route development as the local team of Robert McMahon, Gerry Narkowicz, Neale Smith and Mick Ling consistently put up new routes, accompanied by visiting mainlanders such as Bruce Cameron, The Moon brothers, Greg Moore and John Fantini. The more remote cliffs such as Ragged Jack, Pavement Bluff and Africa were developed at this time. The 90’s were quiet , though Garn Cooper and Alan Williams added routes to Stacks Bluff. In 2000, the hardest routes to date were climbed with a 26 by Adam Donoghue on Local Loser and a 25 by Malcolm Matheson on Frews Flutes. In 2005, Gerry Narkowicz and Nick Hancock did the hardest crack on the Ben, the mighty King Of Heaven (24). The Epics And The Characters The alpine environment, dramatic cliff structure, difficult approaches and McMahon’s gallery of outlandish climbing Brent Oldinger on a recent ascent of C.E.W Bean (23) at Ragged Jack, probably the greatest pitch of technical bridging in Tasmania. Photo: Bob McMahon

partners, have combined for some epic first ascents and outrageous behavior over the years. The climbing attire of the 70’s and 80’s summarises the craziness of those years. Ben Maddison climbed in a jesters costume complete with bells, Pete Morrison in a three piece suit, and the nuclear physicist Robin Thomson wore rags scavenged from a bin in Yosemite. My red, skin tight ladies flares looked good in the photos. Scraggly long hair, head bands, and beards were the fashion. The campfire antics fuelled by home made blackberry wine were legendary. One guy amazed us with the various orifices he could fit the neck of a wine bottle. Then there’s the psycho who was so against chalk, he shat in someone’s chalk bag, buried it, then attacked his car with an axe. The image of Fantini tending his mangled jamming hands with orange friars balsam is etched in my mind. McMahon’s comment was; `bloody hell John. Looks like you’ve had your hands up a dead bears bum!’ Speaking of Fantini reminds me of some epics. John led a horror grade 22 offwidth with custom made tubes now in-situ in the crack. He dragged a first time climber up the route and got mad at him because the `bloody wuss couldn’t get me tubes out!’ At Ragged Jack, I was going onsight up a forty five metre offwidth minus the tubes, facing a thirty metre fall onto a #4 friend on its tips. I panicked and started screaming. McMahon had his camera trained on me shouting, `Go on – jump. You’ll fall right out of the photo! I somehow held it together and thrutched to the top. Fantini then attempted the second ascent, got to my panic station and called for a top-rope. `Don’t you bastards tell anyone that I wimped out!’ he said. McMahon did take a thirty metre screamer on the Pavilion in 1974. Climbing with a laid rope around the waist and no harness, Bob fell head first past the belay ledge for a hundred foot, factor two fall onto a waist belay. The rope wrapped around the belayers leg and snapped his femur. Bob broke his wrist and tore his rib cage apart. The third bloke on the ledge went totally ga-ga. The ensuing rescue was an epic in itself. In May of 1982, Bob McMahon, Mick Ling and I did a massive day trip to Pavement Bluff. With a foot of snow and minus ten degrees, the walk blew out to four hours. We dragged our exhausted bodies up a three pitch new route and walked out, reaching the car well after dark. My sandshoes disintegrated, so in the car, I put my frozen feet in my mouth to bite the ice off them. In Launceston, I rolled out of the car and lay vomiting in the gutter from the ordeal. Peter Effeny leading A Beautiful Obsession (16) at Heathcliffe, one of the loveliest grade 16’s in Tasmania. australasian.climbing.journalcrux


CRUX: FEATURE CRAG PROFILE - THE BEN - Australias Crack Climbing Mecca 50

Logistics Climb Tasmania - The new selected best guidebook describes the classics on the Northern escarpment and Stacks Bluff. It also gives detailed access notes, maps and camping areas. For the more remote areas of Ragged Jack, Pavement Bluff and Africa, contact McMahon or Narkowicz for details until the new guidebook comes out (Ph 03 6330 1435). This comprehensive guidebook to the whole mountain is well underway and should be out in 2007.


Frew’s Flutes Frews Flutes are the spearing fluted columns about one kilometre to the west of Carr Villa across the scree slope, named after Robert Frew, one of Robert McMahon’s climbing partners from the early 70’s. The easiest classic is Barbe Di Vendetta (17), but even then, the skill of pure hand jamming is a pre-requisite for success on this climb. Most climbs require double sets of cams from #1 to #3.5 size. Micro-cams and one or two large cams are also recommended along with wired nuts of all sizes. Hands should be thoroughly taped before climbing. The cliff has a sunny northerly aspect with fabulous views. The rock is generally of perfect quality, except for the last fifteen metres of some routes where the rock degenerates to Weetbix. See the Climb Tasmania selected guide for the recommended climbs. Though every climb in the guide is three star route, my top five would be Rigaudon (20), Barbe Di Vendetta (17), Aquilla (21), King Of Heaven (24) and Laendler (20).

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The Pavilion The Pavilion is the steep one hundred metre high, blocky wave of a cliff about one kilometre to the east of Carr Villa, and offers some of the best face climbing on the mountain. The lines generally take grooves and intermittent cracks up through bulges and overhangs with protection spaced, but good, on most routes. My top two would be Solaris (17) and Sirocco (21). Local Loser Local Loser is a one pitch gem 30 minutes up the scree from the car park. The climbing is similar to the Pavilion and two of the routes are possibly the best one pitch routes for their grade on the mountain, namely Hidden Secrets (20) and Lapis Lazuli (16). Adam Donoghue’s route Small Change and The Big Time (26) is the hardest route on the Ben.

lines on perfect dolerite columns up to 45m high. The first recorded climbs were done by Robert McMahon, John Fantini and Hans Mohler in 1981. The classics are C.E.W Bean (23), Blood and Iron (22) and Tin Trigger (19). Ring McMahon or Narkowicz for route descriptions or wait for the comprehensive guide out in 2007. Africa Asgard Bluff and Heimdell Crag, known to climbers as Africa, lie on the western rim of the plateau, and it is a dark, intimidating but exciting place to climb. Up to 200m high, the buttresses are essentially sheer faces and the crack lines are intermittent and often fused. There are twenty nine routes here, some of them among the great classics of Ben Lomond, particularly Kurtz (20) and Ruwenzori (20). For those prepared to make the two and a half hour walk, they will be rewarded with quality climbing with a big, serious `out there’ adventure feeling unlike any other cliff on the Ben.

Heathcliffe Heathcliffe is one kilometre west of the Flutes and offers the unique experience of steep dolerite, alpine face climbing. When you want respite from the jam cracks, go sample the delights of Burma Shave (18), Tupelo Honey (18) and Lost Dreams and Found Dreams in America (17). Burma Shave is my favorite grade 18 climb in Tasmania.

Stacks Bluff Stacks Bluff is a collection of four major cliffs on the southern escarpment. The most popular cliff is Denison Crag, a series of six buttresses up to 200m high providing steep, powerful crack climbing in corners, grooves and up faces, broken with good belay ledges. The mighty Aqualung (21) is a classic of Tasmanian climbing. Ulster (18) and Maxalon (23) are also highly recommended.

Pavement Bluff Pavement Bluff is an eighty metre columnar cliff with some of the finest pitches of pure crack climbing on the mountain. Situated in the south-east corner of the plateau about 3 hours walk from the ski village, it has a delightful, sunny aspect with superb views. It is best suited for a trip of two or three days with a nice campsite beside Lake Baker. Robert McMahon and John Smart did the first climb here in 1981, the dominating line of Blitzkrieg (19). Most of the routes were done between 1982-1985 by the local team of McMahon, Narkowicz, Ling and Smith, accompanied Ragged Jack by mainlanders such as Bruce Cameron, Steve Moon, Ragged Jack lies on the north-western Greg Moore and John Fantini. The cliff has been shoulder of Ben Lomond and provides rarely visited ever since. The classics are Howitzer the best one pitch crack climbing in (22), Road To Ballyshannon (22) and Stalingrad (18). Tasmania. It is like a miniature Frews Flutes, characterized by pure crack australasian.climbing.journalcrux


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Nigel Campbell, Debris (23), over-looking the Grose Valley at Pierce’s Pass, Blue Mountains NSW. Photo: Simon Carter.


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Kate Swain pulls the crux lip moves for the 4th and 1st female ascent of the 8m roof crack Kalbarri Gold (26), Kalbarri Gorge WA. Photo: Rob Vanhaeften




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crux photo gallery


Above: Live Lundemo on the third send of Norwegien Death Stare (V4) Millars Rd, WA. Photo: Caine Delacy. Below: Mark Wilson getting a grip on the Dog Boulder (V2). Millars Rd, WA. Photo: Caine Delacy.

Above. Kent Paterson focused on the first ascent of The Brians Jones 56 Massacre crux: australasian.climbing.journal Town (25), VD Land, Grampians. Photo: Neil Monteith.

Right: Joanne Isaac on ‘Immaculate Misconception’ (26) at Freycinet, TAS. Photo: Nick Hancock.

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Uk climber Glenda Huxter on ‘Suck Ethics’ (25) at Freuhauf, Hobart, TAS. Photo: Nick Hancock

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Celebrate the best of Oz climbing with the

AUSTRALIAN CLIMBING CALENDAR 2007 It is a collaborative effort by Australia’s top climbing photographers. This beautfully produced wall calendar is perfect for your office, home or woody wall. Available from climbing equipment shops and gyms, or by mail-order from

Climbing can be a strange game. All that thrutching and thrashing around,

running-it-out, getting gripped, pumped and fading-fast, wondering how you got into this fix, sore, scratched, and bleeding… Yes, climbing can be a strange game — but of course you know why you do it. At Onsight Photography we have a passion for climbing too. We climb every chance we get and work hard to try and capture the essence of climbing on film. Established in 1994, the photo library has grown to over 40,000 images of Australian and overseas climbing. As well as photography, we aim to produce publications of interest to climbers.

is our home page. It is home to extensive photo-galleries and news. also features an on-line shop where you can securely purchase climbing

calendars, books, posters and guidebooks. The shop also sells books and guidebooks by other Australian publishers, not only those by Onsight Photography. You can also mail-order copies of Crux Mag from there! So next time you’re online, visit us at Tell us what you think and what you would like to see. Colour your world or load up with perfect presents. Check out the news and photo galleries and maybe get psyched to plan your next climbing adventure! But please, don’t blame us if you find yourself run-out, scared, sore, scratched and bleeding… australasian.climbing.journalcrux


Rock Wrestling: The Struggle for

Some Truths About Creatine and Climbing By Roger Bourne

Have you ever stopped to consider the basic similarity between rock climbing and Greco-Roman wrestling? Both involve long periods of very limited movement with a lot of grunting and heavy breathing in obscene body positions. Whether its horizontal vinyl matting or semi vertical rock its all pretty much the same problem for your muscles. Luckily though for us climbers, cliffs don’t stink (second belay on Watchtower Crack aside) and dribble sweat into our ears and eyes, and we are mercifully less likely to become the butt of lewd innuendo from Roy and HG – especially now that lycra is out. Recently I was perusing the scientific literature and read that some Turkish researchers, seeking improved man-to-man grasping performance, have found that creatine supplementation increased the average and peak power of elite wrestlers. Could it do something similar for climbers? I decided to look into it…. Plenty of climbers take creatine in the hope that it will improve their climbing performance. From a physiologist’s point of view there is a vast amount of anecdote and plain garbage talked and written about creatine and its benefits or the lack of them. This article is an attempt to distil from the scientific literature what is reliably known about the benefits of creatine for athletes and its relevance, if any, to climbers. Unfortunately there seem to be no studies of the effects of creatine for climbers specifically. The vast majority of scientific studies of creatine have little or 60

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no relevance to climbing. In fact the Turkish wrestling scientists tested the effects of creatine by getting their wrestlers to perform repeated sprints on a cycle ergometer. This is typical of the confusion surrounding information about creatine. I present here the evidence that suggests a positive effect on some sorts of climbing performance. If you decide you want to try creatine I suggest a method for measuring whether it has any effect on some climbingrelated performance indicators. I have ignored the studies of runners and swimmers and cyclists and concentrated on the few studies that seem relevant to climbing: those that looked at repetitive anaerobic exercise and especially isometric (contraction without movement) exercise. I make no attempt to discuss the plethora of anecdotes about creatine supplementation – there is simply too much of it and too little evidence to support or refute it. Background In the USA sales of creatine are worth over $400 million annually and worldwide consumption is estimated at 2700 tonnes. At least 2000 of those tonnes go straight down toilets. As at 2006 creatine was not on the IOC banned substances list. Creatine is a naturally occurring small molecule common in all cells where it has an important function in energy metabolism. It can be made by the body but also obtained from the diet (especially from red meat) and is mainly stored in skeletal muscle. To understand how dietary creatine supplementation affects specific types of physical performance a little bit of (simplified) biochemistry is called for. Muscle contraction is powered by hydrolysis of a small intramuscular pool of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The pool of ATP can be replenished in three ways. In the very short term (5-10 seconds) a pool of creatine phosphate (CP) is available. If the demand for ATP is mild then glucose in the muscle and blood, and oxygen from the blood can be “burned” to create carbon dioxide and water and ATP. This process (oxidative phosphorylation) is very efficient, in terms of the amount of ATP generated from each glucose molecule, but slow due to the need to

keep supplying oxygen from the blood. If the ATP demand exhausts the creatine phosphate pool, and cant be supplied fast enough by oxidative phosphorylation, then ATP can be made very quick and dirty in the muscle by “partially burning” glucose to produce lactic acid. This process (glycolysis) doesn’t need oxygen but makes only one eighteenth as much ATP from each molecule of glucose as complete oxidation to CO2 and water. Unfortunately the lactic acid upsets the pH balance in the muscle and inhibits further contractions. Nor can the muscles clean up the lactic acid themselves – it has to diffuse out of the muscle and be taken away by the blood to be cleaned up in the liver. It can take up to half an hour of rest to get all the lactic acid out of the muscle. The role of creatine If the size of the CP pool is increased then the muscle would be expected to be capable of more high power (high ATP demand) work before glycolysis gets switched on. If the demand for ATP then backs off for a while the CP pool could be replenished with ATP supplied by respiration (in fact only ATP can replenish CP). In other words, the bigger the CP pool the more high power work the muscle should be able to do without producing lactic acid, and less lactic acid should be produced during extended bouts of high power work.

the creatine for a week the apparent effect was exactly as the above description of the physiology would predict. At the top of each hill I felt a lot fresher than I used to. The analogy to climbing is pretty obvious. On a climb consisting of a series of powerful sections interspersed with easy ground you would expect to feel fresher and less pumped after each hard section. Does it work? What evidence is there in the scientific literature that the perceived and predicted benefits of dietary creatine

When I first tried creatine for cycling I rode around a very familiar circuit of steep short hills. After taking

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maximum force. What about arm muscles? Creatine increased peak force in a single 20 seconds bench press test and total force in a series of five 20s maximal isometric repetitions with two minutes recovery. Another study compared isometric knee extensions and handgrip strength. In this study creatine increased maximum knee extension force but not handgrip strength. However, creatine increased endurance (time to fatigue during three repeated submaximal exercises) in both leg and forearm muscles.

supplementation are real? At first sight there appear to be a lot of conflicting reports, however, close consideration of the experimental methods does reveal fairly consistent positive effect for a particular type of exercise. Only the results most relevant to climbing are mentioned here. Climbers are looking for increased upper body strength and endurance so increases in leg muscle performance are of minimal value to climbers who aren’t planning to go bolting.

Muscle type Although most of the absorbed creatine is stored in muscle it is not absorbed equally by all muscles. Different muscle types have different amounts of the creatine uptake protein. Slow twitch red muscles (predominant in endurance athletes) take up more creatine than fast twitch white muscles. Luckily for climbers most of the muscle in the arms and torso are of the red type. It seems that about a third of the tested athletes did not respond to creatine supplementation. These individuals are thought to lack the gene for the creatine uptake protein.

Dosage, response and formulation Creatine monohydrate costs about $30 for 500g. Most studies involve an initial loading period of 2030g/d (grams per day) for 1-2 weeks followed by a maintenance dose of 3-5g/d, however, one study reported performance improvements on 2.5g/d without initial loading. About half the creatine consumed is absorbed and most of this goes, as hoped, into skeletal muscle. Responders will There are reported: improvements in typically gain 1-2kg body weight. Vegetarians are repetitive high-power exercise and total more likely to respond that red meat eaters. repetitions to fatigue; limited decay in jump ability; and, most likely relevant to climbing, an Creatine monohydrate, the common form, is increase in bench press lifting volume (number reported to be as effective as magnesium creatine of sets of repetitions at 70% maximum load). chelate and more effective than creatine serum. Creatine uptake appears to be enhanced by Actual measurements of the mean forearm simultaneous consumption of glucose and power output during an isometric handgrip inhibited by caffeine. Following cessation of exercise (10s maximum contraction) showed that creatine supplementation increased muscle creatine supplementation muscle phosphocreatine levels return to pre-supplement levels after about power by 15%. one month. Some increases in power/force have been suggested to result, not directly from A few studies looked specifically at creatine, but from an increased training volume isometric performance. Creatine increased maximum force in leg muscles enabled by the increased time to fatigue induced by creatine. by 10% and isometric endurance about 10% in 10 repeated bouts at 80%


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Safety A couple of studies have looked at the medium term effects of creatine supplementation and found no significant health issues. However, the quality of commercial creatine products is variable. Commercial creatine may contain potentially hazardous byproducts including dicyandamide and ions such as arsenic. You can approach the Australian Food and Drug Administration to enquire about any product licensed for sale in Australia. The effect of long term supplementation is unknown. The Acid Test Creatine supplementation might improve the endurance performance of some climbers. The kind of climb most likely to demonstrate an effect is one with multiple pumpy cruxes separated by rests. Although a weight gain is inevitable in a responder the typical power gains reported are still likely to result in an overall increase in power endurance-to-weight ratio. There are more reports of the endurance benefits of creatine than reports of maximum strength gains. Thus creatine is less likely to improve bouldering performance than performance on long climbs. A body weight gain in the absence of a maximum strength gain is probably going to be detrimental to a short continuous high intensity exercise such as bouldering. If you really want to try creatine supplementation then it makes sense to get a semi-quantitative measure of whether it works for you. Before you start you might measure and record the following: 1) body weight; 2) bicep, forearm, thigh and calf circumference; 3) number of chinups and pushups you can do in sets with 30-60s recovery between sets. Choose a number per set equal to about 60% of the maximum number you can do in one set (This is a rough, but well-defined, simulation of the exercise conditions

under which you would expect to see any effect). 4) Take a photo of your naked upper body. 5) Get on a climb you’d really like to do that’s a bit too hard for you and familiarise yourself with all the moves. Something pumpy but with a couple of rests is a good candidate. Forget about slabs. Now start the creatine supplementation. Take 5g creatine monohydrate dissolved in 250mL sports drink three times per day (not when exercising) for the first 1-2 weeks then 3-5g once per day. Don’t have coffee within one hour before or after (outside those times seems to be OK). If your weight doesn’t change after two weeks then you are probably a non-responder. Stop taking it. After four weeks repeat measurements 1-4 above. Has anything changed? Did your legs get bigger and your arms stay the same? (If yes, quit climbing and take up cycling) Now can you tick number 5? Take a long hard look at the person in number 4. Does it really matter? Has creatine improved your sex life? If it works for you but you don’t like the idea of taking a supplement you could try eating more red meat. Despite the earlier promise to not discuss anecdote I feel obliged to mention cramps. Although the literature states that cramping is not consistently observed during creatine supplementation I have heard several climbers complain of cramps when they used creatine. I had the worst leg cramps ever (picture a grapefruit inserted under the skin of your thigh) when cycling after a couple of weeks of creatine consumption. Now consider the basic similarity between rock climbing and sex. Both involve periods of very limited movement with a lot of grunting and heavy breathing in obscene body positions. Luckily though …. (Note: Relevant information for this article was mostly obtained via Medline. However, if you don’t have your own university you can now search the internet and limit your results to science with Google’s new engine: . You can read abstracts of most publications this way. The full text will often be available free for older publications. A full list of references can be obtained from the author: australasian.climbing.journalcrux australasian.climbing.journal crux


“Why do we keep signing up for this gig?” I asked myself as I stumbled through a snow covered rock garden. Tim and I had run out of fuel 18 hours ago, and it was now raining. We spotted an overhanging boulder to bivvy under, pretending it would keep us partially dry. But I know the answer to my question. Tim and I had just completed Zigzag, a New Zealand alpine grade 4 route on the South face of Malte Brun. Both of us had been denied the chance to climb Malte on different occasions. We hadn’t had the opportunity to climb together for a number of years either. Now we were fresh over from Melbourne, and had marched in to storm up a route we’d both coveted. Our friends Sven and Jasmine drove us from Christchurch to Cook Village on Friday morning. Despite the wickedly good weather, we needed an afternoon in the sun to sort our new gear and clear our heads. After all, we’d both been at work in a different country less than a day previous. The next morning, the remarkable Sven and Jasmine drove us as close to Ball Shelter as a four-wheel drive can, giving us a welcome eight kilometre head start on the Tasman Glacier. In 64

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the bright morning sun the scree wall of Garbage Gully and the formidable glacial moraine passed perhaps as pleasantly as is possible (without a helicopter). The white ice of the Tasman eventually deposited us in the Beethan Valley. Tim and I have been keen on the notion of light and fast style climbing for some time, and this straightforward route was an ideal target to combine and test some of our ideas. At this point, I must stress a warning. The more you strip back the gear you carry, the more you reduce your margins for error, and thus safety. For example, Tim carried only a soft shell (as opposed to waterproofs), and neither of us took any fleece, preferring to dress light. We moved fast, and threw on duvet jackets whenever we stopped. If the weather turned nasty, we would suffer, or turn back. Similarly, we budgeted food, fuel and our rack strictly. Any of these factors could have turned sour if they were wrong. The tradeoff, of course, is that you can climb further and faster, being safer through speed and lower fatigue. Fundamentally, it is a different philosophy to classical mountaineering, and is best suited to those who’ve had the experience to know what can be left behind. As we neared the top of the valley, our

malty brewin’ & light ails

Images and words by Mathew Farrell

stamina and the sun were waning. We would have liked to have made it up to Malte Brun Pass, but this wasn’t a bad spot to stop. Tim set to cooking – the gourmet classic potato flakes and tuna, while I cleared a sleeping platform on the 40 degree slope. Before the stove was even lit, we managed to knock Tim’s mug down the slope. ‘Excess weight anyway’ I thought. A few minutes passed before we registered our loss - “Uh, Mat, our lighter was in the mug”. The tape recorder in my head replayed the scene of packing our gear “So, we’re happy to trust just this one lighter?” “Yup.” Part of the light and fast deal, I guess. I was cold and hungry, so I was eager to perform a token search that would at least warm me. I was stunned to actually find the lighter, which had ejected from its speeding vehicle only fifteen meters from our platform. The mission was back on. Tim never realised it had been called off. australasian.climbing.journalcrux


The alarm sounded at two a.m. and we wrestled from our bivvy bag into the still, cold night. We were rested, and conditions were good. Sherpa Tim prepared tea but ran out of gas before the porridge even began. Over a cold slurry of oats we talked. “Mate, should we can it?” “Why? I filled our water bladders last night, and I’m not walking out for eight hours without having done this”. I’d forgotten that this had been Tim’s turn around point last time. My previous attempt hadn’t even left Queenstown before it was cancelled. This time it was on. Good cramponing took us to the snow ramp marking the base of the route. Two tools out, helmets on, and we were away. It was comforting to re-enter the world of snow and ice climbing. Clumsy at first, familiarisation came soon, like a second language, or finding your way around a town you used to live in. We soloed the first ‘Zig’ of the Zigzag. Regrouping below a rock band, we contemplated the first ‘Zag’, a left facing 70 degree ice gully. The intrepid Tim was keener for the lead, so I flaked the rope for him.


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It was at this point I realised I’d stupidly forgotten my gloves in the chaos of packing. Since Tim looks Nordic and is tougher than me, I got to use his leather gloves, and he used my liners. Most people would and should have turned back. Hence, another light and fast warning story – Usually, you save weight by cutting back on your safety margin, such as extra gas, spare clothes and gloves. In this case I had forgotten my gloves, though the effect was the same as if I’d dropped them. We had to make a call on whether it was safe to continue or retreat. Sometimes even retreating is compromised if a vital piece of gear is lost or broken. Such can be the cost of this ideology. Tim attacked the pitch with the graceful brutality necessary for hard ice. He sank several screws, and was moving smoothly. Just near the top he paused under a thin rock band and started yelling to the night. I knew well the symptoms of the hot aches, another routine part of the ice climbing game. Five minutes passed, and the sickening pain eased enough for him to finish the pitch. I looked with guilt at my warm gloved hands. As a small consolation, I also suffered the ‘screaming barfies’ as

the Canadians would say, at the same point. Tim’s belay marked the end of the first ‘Zag’, and we packed the rope to solo ‘Zig number 2’. As we embarked on the next solo, rose fingered dawn started climbing the surrounding walls. I kicked a stance into the firm snow and pulled the camera from my pack. As I twisted around to shoot the majestic Aoraki range, it occurred to me that this is a mighty different head-game to pure rock climbing. I’d scarce dare to solo on rock, let alone stop to take photographs.

climb that last ten meters of choss. Content with our position, we shared a muesli bar and shot photos like a couple of tourists. It is known that many climbers can feel anticlimactic upon reaching a coveted summit. This was not to be the case, as we still had an engaging down-climb to entertain. The south ridge is graded 3, so promised to be simpler than our ascent. The dual sided exposure of the sharp ridge, and the act of downclimbing tested that notion in our heads.

Throughout this route we saved time by soloing. Depending on the terrain this is safer, since you climb quicker and get off the route sooner. If you spend too long on a route, you risk the sun warming the ice and unleashing deadly barrages of rocks. A lot of terrain was near impossible to protect too. Wearing a rope between us would have compromised both of us, should one fall. It is safer to remain independent, as mercenary as this may sound.

About a third of the way down, we happened across a small gendarme laced with rap tat. If others had decided this was a good point to take to the south face it would suffice for us. The descent of the face was mostly two tooling, with a couple of interesting pitched sections over hard ice and dubiously adhered rock. We faced several rappels too. Some had sound anchors, some grim.

Zig and Zag number 2 passed by, depositing us at the summit plateau. In truth, there was a small pyramid of messy rock and ice behind us – the true summit. We imagined like we were on Cerro Torre, and that it was a ridiculous waste of time to

After a time we pulled up along side of each other. ‘It’s never ending, is it?’ I was convinced I’d descended a route just like this in the past. Later, Tim suggested that we were descending for so long, we were experiencing déjà vu from terrain we’d crossed hours before. Quite possibly, as I still can’t recall what other route I would have been remembering.



Our downclimbing brought us to some hard ice that sloped away into the darkening sky. We had some trepidation about rapping into the unseen, but with few choices and deteriorating weather we drilled an abakalov thread and zipped down the line. Half way down, I looked about and saw daunting rock bluffs dropping on either side of me into a gaping bergschrund. Below my feet, the rope ends lay on a shallow angled snow cone. Tim was there, grinning. Not only had we rapped to the end of the south face, but we had blindly chosen the only clean line down the gully. We turned away and banished thoughts of the epics we could have endured trying to escape those rock walls. With Kiwi Coils on our shoulders and our weather eyes open for crevasses, we quested across the glacier and down to our bivvy spot. The precipitation was about us thickly now. It was impossible to know if we were being snowed on, rained on, or passing through laden cloud. Regardless, it was wet. Our clothing choices meant that we got wet also, but could remain warm, which was invaluable. In a nutshell, the notion of wearing ‘soft shell’ fabrics means that you aren’t necessarily waterproof. The theory runs that you will get wet from one source


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or another, be it the sky, snow, or your armpits. It is better and more realistic to concentrate on minimising wetness and remaining warm (through fabrics that are windproof, wicking and breathable to various degrees) than to fool yourself that it is possible to stay dry whilst being active. The snow was becoming wet and heavy but we were heading downhill. When we happened upon the bivvy spot, we didn’t have to speak, it was clear this exposed place was no place to stop now. We collected our food, sleeping and bivvy bag, the deadweight of the stove, then kept on moving. When the terrain levelled out it became painfully evident that the soft snow concealed a diabolical rock garden. We often fell, caught shins, and got boots stuck between rocks. Misery and nightfall were well on their way, so we kept watch for a decent bivvy. Shivering through the night, the favourite game was rolling over to try and minimise how much of your body lay in a puddle. We were wearing duvet jackets over our climbing suits, crammed into one bivvy bag and draping a single lightweight sleeping bag over us both. By sharing bivvy gear and sleeping in all your clothes, you can stay warmer and carry less. These are valuable, proven methods, but nothing could change the fact that it was a wet and cold night.

As soon as a faint grey light hinted at dawn, we were up and packed. Uninspired by the thought of cold oats in the rain, we flagged breakfast for later. Endura Gel and a muesli bar fuelled us down onto the white ice and to the wasteland of moraine, where we were eventually blessed with the return of the sun. For a while it was pleasant to scramble over the boulders, the sun drying us quickly. Pleasure never lasts long on the Tasman Valley moraine, however. Garbage Gully came and went, and Ball Shelter was in sight. We were looking forward to a three p.m. breakfast stop at the shelter, but not the remaining eight kilometre walk. Sven and Jasmine leapt from behind the hut door in a vain attempt to startle us. Sadly, we were too wasted to react. It was an immense relief that they’d trekked in to give us yet another lift, as the last stretch would have been demoralising. We wisely turned down the offer of a warm Tasman Bitter, opting rather to wait for a hot meal and cold beer in due time at the Chamois Bar. That night I attempted to continue the light and fast ethos, and didn’t carry my wallet to the pub. My theory was to subsist on left-overs, or to mooch a free dinner off my friends. As can happen when climbing light and fast, factors were against me and I went hungry.

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CRUX:CRAG PROFILE - Celestial Wall

Mt Tibrogargan has always held a special place in my heart. About ten years ago, I climbed my first multipitch route, Carborundum Chimney (11), and was scared silly almost the whole way up. There were stuck ropes, tears, torn clothing and benightment. Since then I’ve climbed both new routes, and sought out the original, historic lines that date back to the 1950s. The special thing about Tibro is that it is vast enough to be able to accommodate all styles of rockclimbing, from the ye olde routes of yore, established with piton and hammer, to the more modern routes which may be trad, mixed, or sport. These styles can happily coexist without treading on each others toes, which adds to the overall diversity of the climbing experience. The modern multipitch sport climbing offered on Celestial Wall adds yet another facet of climbing to a remarkable mountain.


History Decades ago, the famous Ted Cais made a gutsy ground-up attempt on the wall. Progress was halted at about 35m by scary overhanging terrain, and an absence of natural protection in the fused blocks. Pitons and old slings were left behind from the retreat. Once story of this spread, the scary orange wall was avoided by all and sundry. Even with the advent of modern bolted climbing in the 80s and 90s, various rumours of loose death blocks and scary country kept climbers away from this wall.

Celestial Wall

Brisbane Area, QLD By Lee Cujes

It was left to Cameron Fairbairn in 2004 to explore the potentia. Rapping in from above, he immediately appreciated the quality of the rock and the potential for some fantastic sport climbing. The rumoured loose rock just wasn’t there! With Phil Box in July of 2004, he established the four pitch Aphelion (16, 21, 22, 22) which is a superb excursion up the guts of the orange wall. While I was away in Europe, Cameron snuck Left: Cameron Fairbairn on the first ascent of the enduro crux (pitch 3 gr.22) of Aphelion.

in a second line consisting of three new pitches and Voyager (21, 23, 17) was born. When I arrived home and repeated the routes, I got that same feeling of exposure I found in Verdon and set to work establishing a further seven pitches of climbing with Phil. The result is Celestial Wall. Now the dust has settled the gems are beginning to show themselves. The best multipitch is certainly Aphelion (22). The best single pitch is the amazing orange corner of Caritas (22), and at a more moderate grade (and angle!), the first pitch of Rubicon (18) is gathering some rave reviews. The forty-five metre long pitch takes a black, edgy slab leading into a scalloped and featured corner. Full guidebook link available at Below: Lee Cujes - Aphelion pitch 2 (21). 2nd ascent

Crag Location Celestial Wall is the name given to the bright orange south east flank of Mt Tibrogargan. Tibrogargan is one of the very recognisable volcanic plugs in the Glasshouse Mountains north of Brisbane, Queensland. Access Issues Don’t leave valuables or anything else in the car. Some people leave their cars unlocked to avoid a smashed window, Nowra-style. My empty car has been broken into simply to steal the half-empty bottle of engine oil in the boot. If you’re staying the night, there are plenty of camping options around the Glasshouses including caravan parks. Approach time One hour north of Brisbane by car, followed by 15 minutes moderate uphill walk with the possibility of getting a bit lost the first time. Season The East Face of Mt Tibrogargan is one of the few crags in South East Queensland which can be climbed year round. In the hotter months (Nov – Mar) when Frog Buttress is unbearable, sleep in then escape to Celestial for an afternoon of climbing in the shade. Climbing Style Multipitch sport climbing. Even though it’s sporty, take helmets, prussiks, and a healthy dose of caution! As for gear, all routes in this sector are bolted with fixed hangers, so 12 quickdraws will do it, along with the usual slings and screwgates. It’s possible to get away with only one 60m rope, although you’ll have to carefully plan your abseils to avoid getting stranded. Two ropes allow you to get down from any rap station (via multiple abseils). Rock type Smooth, hard, fused orange trachyte. Amazingly solid for what is considered by many to be a chossy deathtrap of a mountain. Number of routes About 16 pitches of climbing Grades: 14 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 Pitches: 1









Maximum length of routes = 100m



Take a dead flat desert plain, elevate to 1100 metres, and sprinkle with golden granite domes, wind eroded to sculptural shapes. Dot with random regularity the simplest looking trees, forked with spiky tufts - Joshua Trees. Unchanged for millions of years, so prehistoric looking are they you honestly expect to see dinosaurs munching on them.

Extreme contrast is the essence of the desert - I was regularly blown away by the daily temperature plummet and soar. It didn’t rain while I was there, but it snowed. The glare midday bleaches the landscape of colour, yet the sunrises and sunsets are some of the richest I’ve seen. Unnaturally aided by the L.A. smog, the characteristic burning

’ h s o J

Images & Words by Douglas Hockly

Joshua Tree is not the sort of place you like. The landscape

ranges from confusing to downright mazelike and the routes are spread out. There’s little shelter from the bitterly cold winds or blinding heat. Cactus spines are a harsh penalty for a clumsy or unwary moment, and gradually accumulate in clothing and possessions despite all care. Routes are often runout slabs on loose feeling, ballbearing rock. It’s the coarsest granite I’ve ever climbed on - toothy crimps shred skin off your tips and the cracks gouge into your flesh. I still have an inch long scar on the back of my hand from a route called ‘Broken Glass’.

It’s the sort of place you love. I had come from Thailand to midwinter, and you couldn’t get much more different. Camped next to me were a couple from Alaska who had driven eight full days to get there. It snowed.


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red-orange resonates in the blown, edgeless clouds. In the dawn light the granite domes look pillow smooth, and the cacti cuddly as teddy bears. “Josh”, people say, “Goin’ to Josh” - and it sounds so soft. With each visit I grew into the place. It is so harsh, so stark and unforgiving I couldn’t help but like it. There is something addictive about the maximal level of sensation that leaves your tips raw at the end of each day, the ridiculous friction that sucks your boots onto the stone and the born-again joy of making it safely to the anchors after yet another knock-kneed pitch. I got slapped. I got spanked. Walloped. Paddled. Sternly disciplined. Stopped, turned around, and, kindly but firmly, sent home to mama. Zac’s friend and I went to do ‘29 Palms’ - a corner, lots of stars - sounded great. 5.11d, a grade I’d been onsighting consistently in Thailand.

This was not Thailand.

After serving the obligatory time wandering in the desert we found the dome and negotiated a loose traverse above spiky bushes choking the mouth of a dark chasm. A striking monolith marked the start of the route, having cleaved from the wall to form the corner. (It’d make a interesting route itself, fridge-hugging comparable to ‘Debrilla’ at Frog - though bolting it on lead, still the local ethic, could explain why it remains unclimbed.) The route didn’t look as big as I had anticipated, a short flake to a smooth, slightly slabby corner. I racked up, headed off... and was immediately gripped on the flake, already runout off a low Friend. A couple of moves on held breath and slippable feet saw me to a rounded jug. I slapped in what looked like a reasonable wire and chalked lots. The insecurity of the subsequent sloping mantle was set by a glance down at my pro - the wire I’d sighed at from below was had turned decorative. I was past the rockover point and there was no going down slowly.

Ooo..dge....Oodge.........Udge Udge. Udge...........................Phew. I got as far into the sentry box as I could, placed some small wires, and tried to patch badly torn psyche. One wall was under vertical, the other plumb bob and the only holds were crimps at awkward angles. So... corner  bridge. I tried stemming wide, straight legged. Nothing happened. I didn’t go up. After another go, and another, a peculiar feeling came over me that I hadn’t experienced since the early days of my climbing, eight years ago. I simply didn’t know what to do to climb this thing.



Well, I thought finally, must be only a few moves. Uh - uh. (that’s with a shake of the head) A fixed wire about six feet up eyed me invitingly. I aided to it awkwardly on small pieces and tried it from there. Still no holds. Again I stayed still. I was boggled. Bound in the fog. Horn swoggled. How could something of this grade, which I had onsighted on natural gear before, be so unclimbable? I had come to the point where it was easier to go up than down, so I continued to aid the remainder of the corner, flop shamed and exhausted on the slab and whimper up the fragile final corner to three progressively faded slings, snug around a nice big horn. I nearly hugged it. I came down and Zac’s friend went up. He got right into the corner, powerstemming in a squat, sometimes sitting on one foot, one time even facing out. It was an exercise in lower-body tension. Once established in the corner he was able to take off both hands at times, though still pushing hard with his legs. I was educated. He came down, and I was able to emulate him, more or less. I learned new technique, and was reminded of something I already knew - I always find climbing easier with holds. I did have a win, and a good one. I had been particularly impressed by the purity of line of the boulder problems. The elegance of their minimal features on that coarse a stone distilled for me


all the desert’s sharply contrasting beauty. Years ago I had been struck by a poster of the boulder problem White Rastafarian. I found the problem by myself one afternoon, and was stunned by the grace of the line. A continuously overhanging flake sweeping twenty four feet up the tallest arete of the boulder, intermittent at three quarter height, and curving left at the top into a large and fortuitous bucket. Beautiful, solid, and dangerously high. Especially so due to a rounded “headsplitter” boulder positioned right where, if you came off the crux, you would topple over backwards. Ouch. I went up - to where the big holds stopped - and down. And again. And again. I wasn’t committed. I was scared. Damn, I cursed myself, why wasn’t I naturally 100% committed, comparing myself to exceptional others I knew. I wandered off, looking for something I could barely do, rather than something I barely couldn’t. I found nothing comparable and eventually circled back. I snuck up behind the boulder and put my boots on. I had the feeling it was now - I really wanted to do this, I thought I could do it, and I didn’t know if I’d get another chance. Up to my highpoint, the whole rest of the universe blanked out for an instant as I placed my foot, stood up, spanned left and........................ an edge, good enough to hang. An airy cross and I was floating across the jugline, feet dabbing on friction and feeling in flight.

’ h s Jo

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Fine. So fine.




Immaculate grey rock leers upwards with a tantalising web of cracks and seams creating an almost endless array of sustained wall climbing. Even the most exposed face is generally well protected by surface wires behind the tortoise shell flakes. Some of the harder routes are undoubtedly some of the best trad protected face routes in Australia. This cliff has a beautiful setting high in the Victoria Range above Mt Fox, Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks and Crag X. Eagles soar on by, many kangaroos and the odd emu can be seen on the walk in across the flat plain. It is usual to be alone as the long but very pleasant walk-in is enough to put most people off. The Pav (as it is known to those who love it) is an ideal summer crag. In the morning it stays cool, but once midday hits most areas are in full sun and you start to melt. Conversely in winter this is not the place to be unless you want to spend the morning at Red Rocks and head up after lunch. Good climbing can be had in autumn and spring, just be prepared with gloves, neck warmers and hats. This is not a kid friendly cliff, as there are few places to sit away from the base of the cliffs. It is also not a sports crag. The bolts that are here are few and far between (but enough to get you by). A full rack is recommended. Strong lines up large appealing faces abound.


Grampians, VIC By Josef Goding

History Developed initially by Steve Monks, Louise Shepherd Mike Stone and Chris Baxter in around the mid-late 80’s, this cliff has laid dormant, waiting for the next generation for a very long time. The cliff was suggested by Michael Hampton as being worthwhile in the new millennium, and since then the charge for excellent new routes has been led mainly by Nicholas Kiraly, Mark Rewi, Stephen Holloway, Michael Hampton, Josef Goding and Neil Monteith. Left: Mark Rewi picture here on the first ascent of his route on the centre of the face. Photo: Neil Monteith.

Climbers explore a new route at The Far Pavilion, Grampians, Victoria. photo Joe Goding

Crag Location: Above and south of Mt Fox. 45-60 min walk in past the popular sport crag of Red Rocks on a fairly well cairned track. Approach time depends on how lost you get on the way in! Access Issues and Crag Ownership: It is a remote location in the Grampians National Park with zero access issues. Unlimited parking and free camping in the area. Nearest official camping is Buandik. Season: Summer ideal, but it is possible to climb all year round. Generally cold in the mornings. Climbing Style: Some brilliant face climbing, with the odd wonderful crack line thrown in for good measure. Generally less than vertical. Rock type: Sandstone that is generally very good quality, but poor in places. Number of routes/problems: 24 + a few projects. Grades: 12-24. Maximum length of routes: 70m. Full guidebook link available at

Summer fun. Relaxing in the rock pools at The Far Pavilion. Photo Joseph Goding



Rained out climbing days can sometimes be advantageous. Whilst making the most of a rainy Easter Friday Steve Hawkshaw and Chris Fox stumbled upon a cliff line to the west of Nowra. On a subsequent trip a formidable shire resident, aka The Bear, dubbed the cliffs The Occupied Territories in keeping with the naming of the Western Nowra cliffs and the crag was born. The crag is located in a quiet location and is an awesome escape from the hoards of the ‘town crags’. Although you have to drive slightly further (it’s twelve minutes drive from the north Nowra shops) you are rewarded by the shortest walk-in in Nowra. The first route is a full twenty metres from the carpark. To get there head out as for the west bank but don’t make the final turn left. Continue a further 1.2km to Abernethy’s road on the left (total of 15.1km from the roundabout). The road winds down under the crag. Make sure you park off the road. The Occupied Territories is the most developed of all the Western Nowra crags. To date thirty routes have been climbed (and there will be more to come) and routes have been developed with all climbers in mind, meaning there are sports routes from grade 14–25 so far. Although the crag is not as classic as Thompson’s Point it has a good number of routes that will entertain you as well as challenge you. The climbs range from steep power endurance routes to short slabs and juggy walls. Most tastes are catered for. The crag is made up of five walls. The first wall you reach is Scoop Wall, which is visible from the road. These routes were the first developed (due to the ease of access) and there is a good range of climbing. The Scoop Nazi (soft 24 if you’re a tall crimper) tackles the line directly through the scoops. Thirty meters up the hill from Scoop Wall is the slabs. Although the climbing here is all graded in the teens the orange rock under the roof is almost Arapilesian in texture and is worth caressing.


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The first canyon is located just beyond the slabs and has the largest number of routes so far. The canyon is a great feature and remains temperature controlled throughout the year. Special mention must be made of the Axis Buttress. This scooped wall is more than twenty metres high and overhangs by about seven metres. It is the home of the crag classic Axis of Evil that is a 24 that would stand out at any crag. Leaving the canyon you pass under the large but thus far under developed Separation Wall with the small Card Deck on the right side. The Card Deck has two Steve Hawkshaw on his ‘Axis of Evil’ (24) at OC, Nowra. Photo: Neil Monteith.

routes that tackle a short steep wall and share the same laybacking corner/ seam finish. Both are fun but the pick is probably the Ace Of Spades (22) which heads up the obvious scoop. Canyon Two is just around the corner. Another nice location. Township rebellion is a long 21 that blasts up the middle of the main face. Oh and by the way Thorpey says ‘OT is fully sick’ Full guidebook link available at australasian.climbing.journalcrux


By Steve Hawkshaw


Ireland, the land of the long grey cloud and a funny dark beer that needs not be accompanied by a meal. Genius I think they liked to affectionately call it. Apparently it’s some vague hope to dispel the rumours of their lack of intelligence. Who they kidding? Well that’s what an Englishman once told me anyhow. He had a moustache.

either, according to the rumours. “You just missed two weeks of brilliant weather.” said Ricky, the pretentious fucker. Shut up you bastard. “Oh really” I replied. “That’s a shame.” I should have seen it coming; it was a trap the whole time. Well here I am I guess. Learn to deal with it. I hadn’t enough money to change my mind.

It had been a rock climbing expedition if my recollection serves me accurately. I met one of Island’s fine countrymen at a campground in France. Ireland is how he liked to spell it though. Just years of mispronunciation, I argued. After two bottles of wine he casually mentioned that I should come over. (I thought he might have been taking the piss. Who would go to Ireland to climb rocks? I didn’t know anyone). I didn’t trust him. So suspecting something fishy I booked a plane ticket a week later and rang him the day before I was set to land. He was a wee bit surprised to hear I had actually taken him up on the offer. I had battled with the idea before I had set off for the funny little island just off the coast of the UK somewhere. He did say come over, but he was Irish, I could’ve just misheard what he had said. “Separate your god damn teeth when you talk you bastard.” I didn’t actually say that but it wouldn’t have been completely inappropriate. I mean it could also have been one of those throwaway comments people make just to seem friendly when they know you wont take them up on an offer. Like offering dinner when they know you’ve just eaten. “I’ve already eaten, thanks.” “Oh really, what’s left over?”

After a night of watching movies with little people in it, we got out climbing. Fair Head initially then The Mourns. Great climbing areas. Horrible grading system though. I’ll never get my head around it. Fair Head was brilliant. A wee bit dirty though. I fell out of the wet jams on Rusty Halo, a very extreme 4 something. Dirty feet didn’t help but it was all good fun. Not much traffic apparently. I later onsighted the classic Wall of Prey (E5 5b). The reliability of that information may be quite poor though. Come to think of it, it could be Praying Wall or Stall of Hay. The grade might be wrong as well. E4 5c maybe. I forget, but the Irish are going to squirm when they read this as if they were a bunch of old catholic women who had just heard me use the Lord’s name in vain. It might be the first at the grade or something. Part of Irish folklore for some forgettable reason. Sorry lads. It was nice route. The Mourns would have been great I’m sure. They looked nice but I’ll never know. Every time we accomplished the two-hour uphill walk, the gods would laugh at us and make it piss with rain. “Look at them Cronus. They’re trying it again. Wait till they get to the top… alright, now.”

So deciding he was just pretending, I flew over almost unannounced just to get the bastard back for being completely insincere. “G’day Ricky.” I said menacingly. “How you going there Rowan?” He seemed quite genuine, maybe I shouldn’t have come in the end. Just maybe I was wrong and he was actually a decent bloke. For fuck’s sake, what have I done? I want to go rock climbing and I’ve turned up to some funny little island that seems to be pissing with rain. Not so infrequent


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After the initial practical joke of getting me to come over I started to like the guy. He was particularly friendly and didn’t try to poison me or sandbag me or anything. (Although he did drag me along for far too many bushwalks up a hill only to let it rain on us when we got to the cliff). The areas in Belfast were cool. But it wasn’t until the Burren did I decide it wasn’t all a practical joke. (I don’t know if it is actually pronounced ‘burn’ or if I just don’t

top: Paul Swailon on Fall Of Wossils, grade E4/6b. bottom: Ricky Bell on Stigmata, grade E6/6b. background: Mirror Wall



The sun was shining and the tide was out so the infamous Mirror Wall was available. We started the whole procedure on Through the Looking Glass, a ‘very extreme 3’ with a technical move of 6a. But not the kind of 6a you would have come across elsewhere in Europe. A different kind. So what the hell it was meant to be I had no idea. Grade 21 I’d give it on the Ewbank system. Ricky tried to explain the grading system but kept finding inconsistencies himself. I learned that supposedly it was an onsight grade and that the first part was the danger crossed with the difficulty and the second part was the hardest individual move. It got very muddled when things got harder though. It was all good fun but I got a bit bored of all the history being spat at me. “You’d be aware of Gary Gibson and John Codling then wouldn’t you?” Of course I didn’t, who the hell were they? “Yeah, the pioneers of Irish rock climbing” I tried. “Yeah, well they put up these back in the 80’s. The Cutter (E4 6a) and Refraction (E5 6a). First at the grade here. Both quite good.” They looked good. Everything looked good. They all seemed to be a line of some kind. Nothing contrived, just obvious routes up the wall. “Cool.” I still hadn’t worked out what a very Extreme 4 was meant to be so the relevance was lost on me.


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Ricky Bell on the Mirror Wall.

When we did get up the next morning it was to the pleasant surprise of the climbing being absolutely brilliant. Sweet limestone lines somewhere in the vicinity of twenty meters high with the sea crashing just behind the belayer. The cracks seemed to swallow nuts like... (there’s no way of finishing a simile like that innocently.) The gear was good. All the characteristics of somewhere brilliant. I loved the place. After several strong cups of instant coffee we abseiled down off several of the abundant limestone threads hidden in the ground.

Rowan climbs Wall of Fossals.

understand the accent). It seemed to not rain as much and to my immense relief the walk was all of about three minutes. And if that was too grueling I could actually abseil straight out of my tent and save myself the bother. Although not out of my tent as I had decided I didn’t need to erect it and would just sleep under the stars. A word of warning, don’t do that in Ireland. I spent several five minutes spells that first night wrapped in the outside shell of my tent, waiting for the torrential down fall to end. Ricky hid under his boulder mat.

I’d managed to get up an E5 so I got Ricky to point out the things harder than that. “Well, Crispy Waddy put up this E6 6b called Stigmata back in the 80s.” “Did he?” “ Yeah, and this here is Jokerman (E6 6b) as well. Put up by the infamous Eddy Cooper. And here’s Very Big Springs (E6 6c) and Forever Young (E7 6c).” They all looked like entertaining outings, but I opted for the glory of some short grovel of a project. I tried it on top rope first and then did it the next day. A 25 with an awkward landing I thought. E7 6c thought Ricky. Sure, whatever. Take a #2 Peanut. The Inner Torment of Professor Roberts I called it. Ricky had tried his own project which was a bit more aesthetic. He did that the day before. The One Man Zipper Band. He seemed to think E9 7a although I suspected he had completely confused himself about the grading system trying to explain it, and subsequently knew only slightly more than me. Unlucky for him we later found out it had already been done. Turned out to be Faith (E7 6c) that Andy Long had done the week before. Who the hell was Andy Long? We both decided he was lying and that it wasn’t that hard anyway. But as neither of us had met the guy or been there the week before we couldn’t prove a thing. All well Ricky, good effort anyway mate. I know the truth. Downgrade it; E6 6b I reckon.

Ricky Bell on the second ascent of Faith.

On our last day Ricky did Very Big Springs. First time he tried to onsight it and fell off the crux holding the mono onto two good wires. “Good you didn’t come off below the gear mate.” It was. It would have been untidy. He managed to do it next shot. Good he didn’t come off any higher as well. I didn’t climb that day. I had drunk far to much coffee and was all shaky, throwing gear into the sea and sketching all over. It wouldn’t have been smart. Besides my allergy to limestone was starting to emerge again and my skin was starting to fall off. How the hell did we get there? I don’t really remember. It was on the other side of the island to Dublin. Better than Mt Arapiles we decided to tell people. Not much else to do there however. Go fishing I guess. Drink genius.



The rock in the Gramps and Araps is so good, and the gear on it is so good, that most routes are really trad routes that may require a few bolts. In the Blueys, good trad routes are rare and most routes are really sports routes in varying degrees of completion. The debate over the “why” of bolting has retreated to history and the southern states. I love on-sighting new routes on trad gear, it’s just that it doesn’t happen often, and in some areas (particularly the Blue Mountains) it rarely creates a good route. There are a few exceptions. Too often you are forced (by one’s own unreasonable fear of death) to wander between chossy caves hoping for gear, and scribble a wall with a rarely repeated trad line that takes up the space of 5 bolted classics. How long should projects remain? 4 years? I think this gives plenty of time to be run over and get back in what passes for shape. What can we do to punish route thieves and other transgressors in a way that’s legal? In many cases, writing to their sponsors , or a classified ad asking people to abstain from buying the sponsors gear will. Go back and fix any messes you create. Many of my routes have a few problems in concept and execution. I sometimes claim exemption from this rule due to my extreme age and forgetfulness. Gear replacement and rebolting Much fixed gear is like doing a new route on a new hemp rope, and then leaving it lying in the mud at the base of a cliff. You can only lead the route with this rope. If you come back a few weeks later you can still fall on it safely. If you come back a few years late the rope certainly won’t take body weight. You’ve definitely changed the nature of the route; the route is now a very different proposition. With routes like Tjuringa wall, the fixed gear was probably always crap, and shouldn’t be replaced. Not all routes should be safe, even sports routes should be sporting sometimes. Some routes are better bold.

! h t u o m d Lou Mikl Law... with

New routes, ethics, and bolting – (Let the rock dictate the ethics) In the case where the fixed gear is bolts, they may need replacement too. A lot of older climbs are over-revered, some of them were bold, well conceived and well prepared, but most are badly bolted, even given the technology of the day. Even the worst retro-grouches will whinge when trying to clip impossible bolts and will whimper about wobbly ones. Why are the older routes such a mess? If there are only two sports routes in the country it’s hard to understand them. When you are hand drilling you can’t put in doggers to get into the position to put a bolt in the right place. We also had no idea of what we were doing, so often even if we could have drilled in the correct place, we still got it wrong. This is why many of the classic 70’s climbs are just flawed sports routes. As hand drilling was such an all consuming pain, people went to all sorts of lengths to avoid them, including lots of pre inspection and dodgy fixed gear. Sometimes it made o.k. routes (as grades and gear have both improved a lot), but sometimes it’s just spoilt a sports route. The 11 Laws Of Reboltics • Though shalt not die. Replace gear when it gets old • Thou shall not change the “essential nature” of a climb. You might need to do the route to experience this. Hopefully without dying. • The 1 meter rule – move the bolts around by up to a meter to enhance safety, clipability and reduce drag. Don’t increase the number of bolts. Until you actually lead the route you don’t know mn colu uth dmo Lou The where the bolts should be so, the gear is often in the wrong spot. e ulat stim to d igne des is • Fixed gear is good when it’s new, but rots out pretty quickly, discussion, vendettas, and replace it with something permanent. libel. Next issue someone • Hand drilled bolts are pretty variable and should be high on else will spew their point the list for replacement. of view. This month’s • If it was put up with fixed gear that was good on the FA, replace it with permanent gear. If the fixed gear was always loudmouth is the Elvis of bad, leave it unless technology has made it redundant, or rock, Mikl Law. He’s fat, he’s k repeated placements are destroying the rock thin I and y ash fl he’s • You should repeat a route before you rebolt it, so you’re dead. Pull out the drugs not adding bolts just because you’re scared. This helps you er butt nut pea fried the and understand the character of the route and where the bolts sandwiches… really should be. But this is all very subjective. • Though I’d like to retro-bolt all my old unloved routes, I’m sure it would create lots of grief. Leave a few crappy choss’n’doddles for those who like that sort of thing. Climbing shouldn’t be a monoculture. Anyway; my old routes are more historic than I am. • If a mixed route is protected for more than 2/3rds of its length by bolts, it’s a failed sports route and should be reborn as a sports route.


Centre: Mike Law new routing somewhere in the Blue Mountains. Photo: Neil Monteith.

udh-! Pimp My Lou t Woodie mo with

Mikl Law continued: • Not all routes need lower offs, particularly ones with traverses, or where the finish is an integral part of the climb, or where it would destroy ropes and rock to lower off. • Consider moving the first bolt up if a fall clipping the second could be nasty. Boldness What is bold? I really respect two types of bold - onsight bold new routes and heavily top-roped grit style headpoints. I may have to include DWS in this list due to the uncontrollable enema factor. Rapping and working the gear, and then expecting people to on-sight your creation is a very 80’s attitude, but it’s not bold. Is bolting the new ‘bold’? I’m thinking of Wade Stevens as I drift silently down a rope into the pre-dawn fog and a huge ledge collapses under me, covering the cliff below with smashed trees and mounds of sand. Exploration is a missing element in climbing these days, and bolting is the last mild frontier. It is a combination of survival and creativity. And sometimes you discover it’s possible on natural gear; and then you are really going to get scared. Keep climbing, growing old is a bad habit to pick up.


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By Lee Cujes

Home woodies aren’t for everyone. But if you’re a mad keen climber, they do offer you the ability to customise your own training environment. I’ve always had some kind of climbing-related torture device where I live. Growing up, I had a rock retaining wall in the backyard. At Uni, I built a campus board. For a few years while I was renting, I made do with a free-standing two panel adjustable wall. Then I bought a house – a pole home no less, which just happened to have a handy, empty space underneath. Empty space is the devil’s playground!

Planning The most difficult part of any home woody project is determining how to best use the space you have, and deciding what aspects you want to be able to train at home. Of course I wanted to be able to do problems (which primarily train power), however the local climbing gyms in my area max out at about nine metres in height which doesn’t allow you to tap into any kind of long resistance climbing, so my main priority for a home wall was the ability to do circuits. Circuits are a long series of moves which start and finish at the same place and allow you to train resistance. Climbing on other people’s setups prior to planning mine was invaluable. I was able to determine what parts of their wall climbed well, and which parts were wasted space (e.g. big sections of vertical!) So what did I end up with? The 30 degree wall 3.6m long x 2.4m high. 115 holds. 30 degrees is a great angle. You can use both really tiny and really sloping holds. This is also quite a technical angle – you can set very intricate climbing on a 30 degree wall.

The 40 degree wall 2.8m long x 2.4m high. 100 holds. I would have preferred 45 degrees to make it a bit more bouldery and differentiate it from the 30, but couldn’t easily manage it with my setup. The 40 is the wall I use most often for problems, and it also hosts my hardest problems. The 60 degree wall 4.8m long + 30cm headboard x 1.8m wide. 95 holds. The main thing this monster offers is UP climbing. Eight to ten purely up movements. In your training setup, you need to make sure you are not traversing all the time, and that’s what the 60 offers. Not to mention bloody steep cranking. Topping it off is a vertical headboard which has my hangboard on it. I then added a series of transition panels that allow the climber to climb from wall to wall (to allow for circuiting). I also added a roof between the walls that allows for logical finishes to problems.


And then? Once we had finished construction and couldn’t expand any more, it was time to innovate. Inspired by the show Pimp My Ride, I sunk a flat panel LCD monitor into the 30 degree wall which allows me to have the TV or DVD’s playing as I train. My wall could be the first one to have this feature. Of course sound is important and a five-speaker Phillips surround sound system has that covered. Add in gym mats, a fan and a big chalk supply and I’ve got no excuses. Specs • 30m2 wall area • 342 holds • 30+ marked problems • LCD monitor and stereo • Full size campus board Have a kick ass woodie you want to show off? Get in touch with CRUX and yours could be the woodie featured in the next issue. australasian.climbing.journalcrux



Cannon ES 30D CS (Climbing Sports model) By Scott Hailstone In the Pose Zone there are four Modes: Steepen Angle Mode Perfect for turning those boring slab photos into overhanging, crimping runout death routes. With automatic horizon compensation, viewers of these images will wonder how does that climber looks so relaxed, hanging upside down with perfect body tension? Also great for those hilarious, subject lying on the road, “I’m climbing a blank face!” trick shots. Priceless!

Hero Mode This mode also adjusts focus and framing to remove massive hand/footholds and conceal the fact that the climber is only 20cm off the ground. In this mode the Camera eyepiece automatically locks onto one of 20 preinstalled “hero postures” and loudly beeps to let the climber know to hold that position while you click away.

Photo Slut Mode Carefully adjusts focus and framing to cunningly conceal jugs and quickdraws to give the appearance of bold, sketchy runouts. Automatically boosts the colour saturation by 300% (saves doing it Photoshop later!) and includes a special filter to make hair blow artistically in the digital breeze.

In the Creative Zone there are four modes:

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Kachoong Mode Lets face it, at some stage you are going to going to take a photo of someone on this route, why not have a unique mode specially designed just for it?

Horrific Injury Mode Perfect mode for those “priceless” memories and happy, shiny moments at the crag. Exactly the same as Bloody Flapper Mode except that it makes everything appear 400% worse than it really is. Custom filtering gives the subject’s face a stoic, stiff upper lip look, and conceals all traces of tears, wobbly lower lips and those highly undesirable “I want my mummy” eyes. Bum Shot Mode Specifically for those lazy days at the crag when you just can’t be bothered putting in the effort of trying to get a better vantage point. Sure it will still be a bum shot, but built-in filtering decreases the subject’s bum size by 50%. Always a winner when the subject gets back down and requires instant gratification, on their pathetically, dogged effort on the route. As a bonus, this filter also discretely blurs and softens “stainage” in trouser material, brought on by scary moves or nasty runouts. Drunken Shenanigans Mode Perfect for capturing after dark, around the campsite antics on your next roadtrip when you are too pissed to even turn on the camera, let alone be able to take a proper photo. Perfect automatic macro focusing for that mate who after a few brews, loves to steal your camera and take photos of his/her genitals. “Ho ho. How did that get in there!”

Photo Tips By Marten Blumen

OK, this is serious now... So you want to take good climbing photos but don’t want to spend your time in photography school? Below is a hit list of tips and tricks to help you shortcut the learning process. Preparations (If you don’t have a camera, you can’t take a photo) The first step is the easiest but also the most overlooked part of any photography. How many times have you had to take a photo with your ‘minds eye’ because you left your camera at home, in the tent or in a pack at a base of a route? As an enthusiastic photographer you have to take your camera with you on every trip and on every climb. Setup (Two’s a team, three’s perfect ) To really show a climber cranking through the moves it is best to have a person who is dedicated to photography. Whilst two people climb, the photographer is on another rope a few meters to their side, abseiling down or jumaring up into position. From this vantage point you can show both the climber and route in one shot. To carry a camera whilst on a rope put it into a small neoprene case and clip it to the back of your harness; or purchase a larger dedicated camera bag that you can sling over your shoulder. Don’t be cheap. Look for one that has strong clips connecting the strap to the bag and sturdy zips that will not jam. Having your brand new camera fall 20m to the ground is not the best way to start your photographic career. cont’d over...



Bloody Flapper Mode Perfect for snapping shots of those nasty little blighters to impress and/or sicken family members and friends. Automatically saturates blood and applies an embossing filter to make it appear 200% deeper than it actually is, for maximum effect.



Composition (Dead centre is dead) Composition is the art of arranging elements in your photo, i.e., climber, route, sky etc. Where you place each element in the frame is important because it affects how people will ‘read’ your photo. If you only ever show the climber without showing the route below how will people know they are not just a few meters above the ground? Therefore it is essential to include objects that show height, i.e. a belayer far off in the distance or the rope trailing off the edge of frame.


Light (Beyond your perceptions) Without light there is simply no photography. Having a basic understanding of how light affects your photos is essential. Out in the field you will most likely be shooting in either direct sunlight, shade or overcast conditions. One of the worst types of light you can encounter is mottled leafy light. This occurs when trees are close to the cliff and their shadows fall onto the rock. If you have to shoot in these conditions make sure you expose for the sunlit areas, making the shadows go to black, otherwise the photo will overexpose and look terrible. When shooting in direct sunlight be on the lookout for interesting shadows created by the climber but also be aware of your own shadow creeping into frame. To shoot in the best light convince you climbing buddies to wake up early in the morning so you can photograph them in the golden light of dawn or more conveniently wait until late afternoon for similar conditions. Shooting in overcast cloudy conditions allows for good, even exposure and creates very pleasing soft shadows. Make sure you fill the frame with an interesting subject, like a climber wearing a brightly coloured t-shirt, as photos can lack contrast. The same rules and results apply when shooting in the shade. crux: australasian.climbing.journal

Jacqui Middleton’s profile captured in her shadow. Photo: M. Blumen.

Shoot it differently (Swim against the stream) Photography isn’t about following prescribed rules. For example, look for silhouettes when everyone else is shooting in direct sunlight, shoot from an abseil rope instead of the ground or try not to use a flash in low light. By following your intuition you will soon create a style of your own and, like any art form, if you master your tools first you are then free to be truly creative. Good luck and enjoy. If you would like any section covered in more detail in future issues you can contact me at Please include ‘Crux’ in the subject line.

d, The Good The Ba ly & The Ug By our resident ‘man of steel’ (stainless of course) - Steve Hawkshaw Photos by Neil Monteith

The continual march of time means that the fixed protection we trust our life to is getting increasingly older and unreliable. A lot those bash in carrots placed in the golden era are now a ticking nightmare waiting to unfold. Thankfully for us there is a small but committed band of organizations and people who are renewing the fixed protection at our cliffs and in doing so making our climbs safer. This pursuit involves a large time commitment but also a considerable financial drain as good bolts are not cheap. The cost of a hanger and expansion bolt is between $7- $10 and a glue-in ring or U from $5 - $8 not including time, drill, drill bit, petrol etc. Donations to rebolting organizations are few and far between. Let’s take a walk down memory lane. Carrots (distinctly different from glue in machine bolts) were a great solution for bolting when they were first introduced. They generally consist of a mild steel bolt


You’re battling your way through the crux moves of a climb at your limit. The holds are starting to get smaller and your forearms heavier. The lactic glasses turn on and the sticky rubber on your shoes feels as sticky as ice. With one of your last coherent thoughts before you inevitably fall, you remember the last bolt you clipped. Those holds now start feeling like jugs and your feet are now sticker than ever. You race through the crux and recover on the rest above. Thank goodness you didn’t fall on that bolt!



(length can vary from 30mm to 100mm) that had the shaft of the bolt ground down to a taper so that it took the shape of a carrot. The actual amount of taper both in the hole and on the bolt is the key to their performance. The taper in the hole varies with the local rock hardness, type and sharpness of drill, strength of the climber hammering away, and the stance. In hard rock types they often have to be so tapered to fit in the hole that they are only contacting the rock over a few mm. In soft rock it is very easy to have over sized holes that bolts slip into easily. In some cases Araldite or autobody filler were used to strengthen them up, with variable results. The bolts are hammered into undersized holes with considerable force and the friction between the rock and the bolt holds it in place. On occasions when the hammering became too hard the bolts would be left hanging out a considerable distance. Hand drilled bolts are extremely variable, with about 1 in 5 coming out with ease. Handrilled bolts placed off bad stances or skyhooks are even more pathetic. Add to this the effects of corrosion and repeated falls and we now have a bit of a problem if the thought of death offends you. If you see streaks of brown under a bolt that is literally the bolt being washed away.


It is only when you start removing bolts that you find just how variable they are, many of them can be twisted out easily with a 6� spanner. This translates into a bolt that could come out with 300 kg outwards force. It wasn’t so long ago that we were clipping horror bolts like the ones pictured in this article. Thanks to recent rebolting efforts we are now clipping reliable stainless steel bolts that are rated to many times the expected loads generated by climbing falls. Thank goodness! Other dodgy bolts (and there are hundreds, maybe thousands more to go) are slowly being replaced. The vast majority of rebolting has been controversy free and of great service to the climbing community. crux: australasian.climbing.journal

Another more recent and obvious affliction to affect the bolts we trust is the abrasion wear on the top anchors of routes. The increasing popularity of the sport and therefore amount of people top roping or lowering off anchors has led to huge amounts of abrasion occurring on the bolts. The only real way to combat this is to place shackles (twisted ones to stop your rope getting corkscrewed to death) on each bolt. A shackle is so much easier to replace than a bolt. Wear is most extreme when anchors are used directly for top roping. Avoid this scenario by using your own carabiners on the anchors and abseiling rather than lowering off. Even if you have no experience in placing bolts you can provide valuable assistance to rebolting in your area by one or more of the following ways: Purchase some stainless steel twisted shackles and put them on some lower offs (cost $17 for two, about the same as a trip to the gym), make sure you tighten them well as, believe it or not, they sometimes go walkabout • Give a donation (even just a small one helps) to one of the contacts listed below. • If you are developing new routes put good bolts in, not cheap bolts. • Use quick draws or biners on top anchors when top roping so as to reduce wear. • Appreciate the good work that is being done. It is easy to ignore or even criticise. The contact details for rebolting groups are as follows: NSW - VIC – QLD – SA - WA -

cont’d from page 94

That’s where he froze. His face was all screwed up and one foot kept slipping from the rock because his leg was shaking so much. He tried to reverse the move but couldn’t. A quick sideways glance revealed a featureless wall and no escape. His movements were now very primal and motivated only by survival. The cheerful demeanour and trusting eyes were long gone as he eyed the talus below like a cat anxiously surveying a landing from high up in the tree. Not a patch of even ground among the angular granite boulders, eagerly waiting at the base of the climb.

Not much there I’m afraid… “I thought you said there was protection – there’s no break here!” he screamed down at me, his face contorted with anguish.

Welcome to Booroomba. In the background sparse clouds continued to roll past and the sun made its way towards the middle of the sky. For a moment the only sound was that of eucalyptus leaves rustling in the breeze. A lizard crawled out from a crevice in the rock and settled in the sun and, like the trees, the birds and the granite it was indifferent to the drama unfolding on the rock face above. I shifted the belay stance and moved my pack and gear out of the way.

Next time you’re clipping a bolt think about what lies under the surface. australasian.climbing.journalcrux



crux: australasian.climbing.journal

TheYoung Apprentice By Cameron O’Neill

We had met a few times in the gym. His cocky attitude had got to me from the start, but until now I had been pretty tolerant because climbing partners are hard to come by these days. I played the game - spotted him on his problems, asked for beta and looked on in admiration as he completed the moves on my problems during his warm up. “It’s all about footwork, trust your feet” he said as I envisioned ramming the finishing jug up his backside.

He was telling me how excited he was to climb at Booroomba. “I want to climb a 22 today” he had told me sternly. I smiled with all the appearance of respect for this display of youthful exuberance - appearing to play the role of the wise old salt steering the youth onto greatness, through a well worn path of master and apprentice, as summed up in prose by... The Police: You consider me the young apprentice Caught between the Scilla and Charibdes, Hypnotised by you if I should linger Staring at the ring around your finger. I have only come here seeking knowledge, Things they would not teach me of in college. I suspect that he had privately selected me to be his mentor and had all the hopes that I would indeed steer him to greatness, before being cast aside when no longer useful: I will turn your face to alabaster When you find your servant is your master And you’ll be wrapped around my finger

Since I lost a couple of digits on Dhaulagiri in 1991 my climbing abilities aren’t what they used to be. However, the tiny stumps that remain are only a minor hindrance on easier angled routes, least of all on slabs....which was where we were headed on the weekend.

Booroomba. The place had humble beginnings. According to ACT Granite some forgotten bumbly from the Canberra Bushwalking Club thrashed his way up an offwidth there in the early 1960’s. However, by the end of 1969 Peter Aitchison and Peter Cocker had climbed their way into history and up Integral Crack in hard boots. Good hearty stuff.

The road to Booroomba was muddy from the previous night’s rain. I assured him that the North-West facing North Buttress would catch some early morning sun and would be dry by the time we began climbing. Walking past the campsite I could hear the laughter and the crackle of the campfire from years gone past. We headed towards the crag on the traditional uphill grunt - a Zen arcade that many giants of the climbing world had passed through since the early days.

I first made my way to Booroomba in 1981. I was 16 and my Mum’s boyfriend had promised to take me climbing if I promised to turn up at school. I had been hooked from the first day, leading the second pitch of Possum with two runners - loving the freedom and exhilaration of vast space below my feet. The nervous apprehension on the frog-march up the hill to the crag; blood and sweat; hard times in the company of good mates; these were the things I loved. australasian.climbing.journalcrux


A hard day on the granite is character building, like rough sex with a less than satisfactory partner. No complaining, just getting on with it. Sharp hand jams in the cracks and sparse protection on the slabs separate the men from the boys. I served my apprenticeship with the local gang. Mike Law-Smith, Tony Barten and Richard Watts were the heroes of the day. I had tried to emulate their feats on the rock as my muscles started to grow and my finger-tips hardened. While my friends tuned into the State of Origin on television, I was in the backyard doing pull-ups off the roof. On the weekend, I would sit around the campfire late into the night listening to stories from the past. Smart, Thomas, Lassman and Muhlen were the standard fare. We approached the top campsite at about 7:30 am. I was relieved when we arrived there because he was starting to get to me. I had wondered what sort of noise he would make after a couple of whacks with my nut tool. As he quietened down to put on his harness my grip on the nut tool relaxed.

Unfortunately I had forgotten the guidebook. At his request I agreed to select for him an appropriate introductory route at Booroomba. We headed over to the convergence of the Northern and Central Slabs to one of the less known and travelled routes. Immaculate Deception is a 35 metre grade 22 that was put up by Roark Muhlen in 1980. It was originally graded 24 but the advents of chalk, modern climbing shoes with their “sticky” rubber and the mandatory top-rope inspection had all tamed some of the difficulty of the delicate friction moves. Such luxuries


crux: australasian.climbing.journal

were unavailable at the time of the first ascent. We racked up and I handed him the sharp end of the rope. Overhead the sky was spotless apart from a few high level cirrus clouds. In front of us was a sea of granite, crystallised into rolling waves from its former molten state. A gentle breeze carried the sounds of birds and the movements of animals up from the valley below. He started off confidently, with the same sort of explosive exuberance I had observed in the gym, despite being weighed down with a swag of hexes, friends and nuts. The climb begins up a relatively easy flake and then launches up an innocuous looking groove. It was at the latter that upward progress slowed, almost immediately, interrupted by a cautious pause. He began moving his head around in an attempt to source good holds and protection. Unbeknownst to him he was still a fair way from the crux. “Where’s the pro on this route?” he asked anxiously. With a smile I assured him that the worst was over and a break above held solid gear. He tentatively made his way up. At about 20 metres from the deck his calves were shaking uncontrollably and he was sweating profusely. He had stopped climbing and he began frantically looking for protection. I shouted encouragement “you’ll be right mate”. He didn’t reply. “Just trust your feet!” With my encouragement he warily set off again. The rope, trailing through a couple of nuts far below in the crack at the start of the climb, was moving with the breeze. The crux is a very delicate smear with the left foot and a tiny edge for the right foot. A beautiful and elegant move where one tries to surmount a bulge in the rock. The right hand must smear on the bulge while the left reaches up for a little bump.

cont’d on page 91

By Brad Carmady


1 Home of Blade Ridge (10,4) 8 NZ Peak 3,754m (4) 11 Needle of rock (3) 12 Granite climbing near Melbourne (3,5) 13 Guidebook abbreviation for 80 down (1,1) 15 Horrible NSW valley with great climbing (5) 18 Crag near Cosmic County, ........ Cliffs (3) 19 Route information (4) 20 Say yes to Spanish climbing holiday (2) 22 South (Spanish) (3) 24 Soloist (5) 25 Popular tie-in knot (5) 27 Wilderness surrounding 39 down (7) 28 Slab climbing fall (4) 30 Under grade (7) 32 Secret to success of Ouray Ice Park, ........water (5) 33 Black Diamond belay device (1,1,1) 35 Early climbing shoes (3) 36 Lincoln Hall biography of Greg Mortimer, First ........ (6) 38 Guidebook abbreviation for 41 across (1,1) 39 Big fall (7) 41 Piton (3) 42 Type of rock found at 15 across (9) 46 Descent after long day of virtual climbing (3,3) 47 Early pioneer of 84 across, Dr ........ (4) 50 Where to find Booroomba and Mt Coree (1,1,1,4) 51 Realised Ultimate Reality Piton (1,1,1,1) 53 Opposite of climb (6) 55 Moonarie State (1,1) 56 Sport climb anchor (5) 59 Exum ridge, Grand ........ (5) 62 Needed to have gear exported throughout Europe (1,1) 63 Manufacturer of Fat Cams (8) 65 Excuse for shirtless climbing? (3) 66 Nearest town to Longs Peak, Colorado, ___ Park (5) 69 How I like my belayer (5) 71 Virtual climbing crag (1,1,1)

72 Sport climbers prefer them over 80 down (1,1) 74 Classic Mentz/Shepherd route at The Lost World, Grampians (initials) (1,1,1) 76 Nick White’s pommy bashing route at The Cathedral, Buffalo (initials) (1,1) 77 One of Australia’s hardest routes, Staring ........ the Sea (2) 79 Action Simon Yates is famous for (3) 81 Type of piton (5) 83 Original ascent (1,1) 84 Where you find Crater Bluff (13) 85 Free version of 83 across (1,1,1) 86 Poor climbing weather (4) 87 Safety for lead climber (5) 89 Good snow climbing conditions (4) 90 Cliffs at right angles to the sea south of Sydney (5,13)


1 Classic Queensland crag originally named Paradise Lost (4) 2 Opposite of static move (4) 3 Grade (4) 4 Climbing sadly banned on these Blue Mountains siblings (5,7) 5 Route where Steve Monks was crowned King of Kings (10) 6 Inventor of 16 down, Roland ........ (7) 7 Mecca (8) 9 Pure climbing tick (abbrev.) (1,1) 10 Grade 10 bridging classic found at 7 down (9) 13 How to set a copperhead (4) 14 Jacqui Middleton’s introduction to climbing, ........ Outdoor Club (1,1,1,1) 16 Brass nut (1,1) 17 Music’s trad climbing (4) 21 Share load on multipitch, ........ leads (4) 22 Hitting sloper (7) 23 Work out the moves (4) 26 West Cape Howe grade 15, ........ Smackin (3)

29 Fantini/McMahon route on Offal Buttress, Cataract Gorge (abbrev.) (1,1) 31 Bungonia ........(5) 34 SLCDs (4) 37 Form of natural pro found in cracks (10) 38 Rope climbing class in high school (1,1) 39 Home of Old Baldy (6) 40 Abseil back-up (6) 41 Country of Cordillera Blanca (4) 43 Useful on boats and top of climbs (7) 44 Eliminate version of wandering route (6) 45 US Everest climber/film maker, .... Viesturs (2) 48 Natural rock bridge (4) 49 Lunch product manufacturer, ... Darling Downs (1,1) 52 Australian Camp 4 (5) 54 Successfully climbed (4) 57 US mag, Rock & ........ (3) 58 Prolific red-headed new router (4) 60 Approximate crag arrival time (1,1,1) 61 About to fall! (4) 63 Author of Extreme Alpinism during his French years, ........ Twight (4) 64 Falling! (3) 66 Inventor of Australian grading (6) 67 Monkeys do it, so do multipitch climbing partners (5) 68 Hot Henry’s FFA on Lower Old Baldy, ........ Wall (initials) (1,1) 70 Victorian crag also known as Falcon’s Lookout (8) 73 Granite ox (7) 75 Knot with a rabbit and a tree (7) 77 Celebratory refreshment for British climbers (3) 78 Made sure of aid placement (6) 80 Australian rivet (6) 82 Improvement on hammered-in bolts (4) 88 Climbed first (3) 89 Hospital instructions after a bad fall, ........ by mouth (3) australasian.climbing.journalcrux




This issues winners are: Thanks for reading the first issue of CRUX! CRUX isn’t a big corporation. We don’t have an office or even regular working hours. We are just a bunch of keen climbers who have worked collaboratively to create this magazine. Obviously we rely on people like you to send us choice content. If you have a great idea for an article or a swag of wicked photos then send ‘em into us! We aim to publish material of almost any form providing it entertains or educates our readers to some degree. Examples of such material could be - interviews, cartoons, crag profiles, gossip columns, trip reports, Q&A, training tips, news, quotes, photo essays, crosswords, ethics expose, book reviews, gear surveys, historical research, paintings, trad vs sport, fictional short stories or any other form of creative writing or image making. Providing it has some reference to the pursuit of climbing then we will be interested in publishing it. The more quirky the better! We would love to help you get your idea into print. For issue #2 we are specifically after video content for a special CRUX DVD! If you have shot or edited anything interesting then please get in touch with us. Full details of our Contributor Guidelines are available at our website at

Lee Cujes wins a Tendon Master 9.7mm ���������� �������������� 50m rope from!

Mike Law wins a set of fine Woodie Worx climbing holds to the value of $200!

Mathew Farrel wins a set of slick climbing clothes from Makalu!

If you would like to help with the day to day running and editing of this magazine then email our editor at ( We can’t present an amazing salary, but we can bestow the joy of creating something unique and interesting for all Australian climbers. We love to receive feedback, so get typing! At this early stage there will be no payment for contributions to CRUX. However, we offer the chance to win some great prizes from our wonderful sponsors. If you contribute to the magazine you are automatically entered into the draw. 98

crux: australasian.climbing.journal

Tim Haasnoot wins the beautiful World Climbing: Images From The Edge photo book from Simon Carter! Thanks to everyone who helped make this a success! Look out for the next issue at the end of the year.

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