The next day it stopped raining and all the Stumpy Tailed lizards (a.k.a. Shinglebacks) came out to play in the sun. And so we climbed a long climb, which was all good until on the second pitch Pete started complaining about how it was difficult to think over the noise of the bees. Then he realised there was a beehive a metre from his head, so he rapidly chose another course. It’s generally unpleasant coming up against creepy crawlies on a cliff face – you invariably have very few escape options available to you.
Ignoring the forecast of rain, I figured that it would probably be dry anyway. After all, it never rains at Arapiles. However, I had forgotten to take into account that with the change in government had come a change in weather patterns – since Kevin Rudd broke the drought, it just hasn’t been the same. The bare dirt has gone, to be replaced by actual green stuff growing from the ground – the paths to the climbs are festooned with daisies! And the cliffs themselves seem to be developing a healthy amount of foliage. But anyway, it rained. … Continue reading climbing in the rain at the arapiles
A visual diary of my afternoon/evening: I am at work. I look at Mount Bourgeau. I am at Mount Bourgeau. I look at work. I go from Mount Bourgeau back down to work. In between, I look around at the mountains and the yellow aspen, and listen to the wind blowing through the trees, and I climb and do not fall despite the strange slanting of the rock which gives the disconcerting sensation that the mountain is casually shrugging you off.
The weather’s taken a turn for the unpredictable recently – weather forecasts keep looking promising, then turning to scattered showers the day beforehand, and the day in question ends up being miserable and rainy. And that’s exactly what happened when I tried to finally climb at Lake Louise. Views of Lake Louise (ski resort), Lake Louise (chateau) and Lake Louise (lake – filling up with people in canoes) There was low cloud lurking through the Bow Valley, and all the way along the drive there. “It’ll be fine!” we said. “At least it’s not raining!” we said. The … Continue reading lake lousie
If you squint your eyes and imagine really hard, you’ll see the pictographs in this photo, from a wall in Grotto Canyon. They’re not behind bars and mesh, so are all nice and polished from thousands of greasy fingers.
Lovely Summer day climbing at Heart Creek. Warm sun, cool creek, gentle breeze, plastic dinosaur. All in monochrome. Not a lot of climbing was done, though we did find the waterfall at the end of the creek – the trail leads all the way to it, but then to actually see the waterfall you have to scramble around some polished rock. From the looks of the bolts, there used to be chains going round, so everyone could get there. I guess most people just have to be satisfied with the noise of the waterfall these days. … Continue reading it doesn’t look a bit like a heart
Grassi Lakes – it lurks on the edge of town, with its soft grades and its buckety holds and its tendency to always be ok to climb at even if it’s threatening to rain. The outdoor gym crag of Canmore, with shiny ring bolts on sport climbing routes as easy as 5.5 (and up to 5.12a, but I may have had to check the guidebook for that number), nicely set up stairs and flat areas to stand on, and a lovely view. There’s even the kiddy wall section of Gardener’s Wall, where precocious children can learn to lead climb on … Continue reading after-work cragging at grassi lakes
It seems to be in need of some repair however…
Despite the fact it had been raining all morning, and we had to run to the car in the middle of a heavy downpour, we still decided to go climbing. It was a good decision, even without the yummy Malmsford bakery it would have been a good day – and dry too. The attempts to find Wabbit Wocks were in vain, so we just headed to Dog Rocks – we had the place to ourselves all day, except for the man who wandered past just before sunset and told us he ‘admired our spirit’. Cath on Little Bo Peep (21)
A hot weekend at Arapiles saw us baking in dry 40oC heat in the Pines. Swimming in the fire dam, somehow avoiding death by rope swing, and not catching any fish And hiding in nice cool caves (well I did anyway). In conclusion: lying on cool shady rock on a 40oC is much cooler than sitting in my un-airconditioned apartment on a 40oC day. Climbing in the sun is not the coolest option.
Commencing trepanning in 4 seconds…. First time on rock in over five months (aside from a brief flirtation with the You Yangs for the sake of some advertising material; however, as that involved nothing more than standing around and looking like climbers, it doesn’t really count for much). It was a weekend of nearly full moon, no night climbing, but some night photography. Time spent lazing in the sun, climbing rock, watching other people climbing rock, and getting hungry due to the impact of the global shellite shortage on the Wimmera area supermarkets. The photo below of the Plaque and … Continue reading lagonda flamethrower
A long (long) Easter weekend was spent at Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. The weather and climbing were both lovely, and the old house we rented for a week was interesting, particularly with 15 people staying in it. A sample of our adventures in the photos below. As per usual, when the most climbing was being done, there was no photographic evidence. Conclusion from the trip – Sydney climbers have it pretty good when it comes to quality rock nearby (also some other conclusions about Sydney being warmer, but Melbourne being a nicer city to live in, or something like … Continue reading the blue mountains is a lovely place
A warm sunny weekend was spent at Arapiles, as we took out a heap of beginners to play on the rock, and come multi-pitching. Nothing quite like sleeping outside in the Pines campground, watching satellites before you fall asleep, listening to the guys in the campsite next door talk about their epics on past climbs, and having possums run all over the campsite, and over you in your sleeping bag, as they hunt around for food. And then getting woken up by the rising moon, before falling asleep again, and getting woken by the sun the second time around. Clear … Continue reading minions to carry the cowbells
No, I’m not actually going back to Tasmania. Well, not at the moment anyway. But here are a few more photos from the trip, just to prove there really was some climbing, and I wasn’t just touring around notable Tasmanian climbing locations. Most of the places we climbed at, we were the only people there. Boer heading up Cordon Bleu (15) at Freycinet I second up after Boer on Cordon Blue – damning the stuck nut. Bouldering on the beach at Honeymoon Bay. This rock was actually thoroughly manky, and swathes of sand and debris would come off … Continue reading back to tasmania
I’ve been in Tasmania, where everything is scenic, the rock is plentiful and the climbers scarce. I saw a haybale version of stonehenge, I got a flat tyre in a national park (while camping at the end of 3km of 4WD track, and broke my nut wrench trying to get the wheel off), was offered copious amounts of delicious wines by a biker couple from Canberra who were touring around Tasmania visiting wineries, watched the sunrise most mornings, visited a cheese factory, and a chocolate factory, and even climbed some rocks. The light of the setting sun over Ben … Continue reading the tasmanian story
The forecast: Saturday: Isolated showers and thunderstorms overnight, locally severe. Showers and storms re-developing during the late afternoon, mainly about the ranges. A hot and mainly sunny day with moderate northwesterly winds easing. Fire danger: High to very high. Min 21 Max 40 Sunday: Fine. Very hot ahead of a late change with areas of raised dust. Min 22 Max 41 The plan: To go climbing in the Grampians – I’m sure it will be lovely and cool in the shade, and the bushfires shouldn’t go anywhere near us. I might even have some sausages.
Memorable climb of the weekend – Basalisk Direct (16). The first 35 metres involves some unassuming looking climbing, that’s actually quite nice. The next 20 metres involves a thrutch through a chimney in a roof, with a 40 metre drop off to the ground below. Standing at the belay just below the roof, with my back to the cliff, I could look down to the ground, out to views over the Grampians, and up to my climbing partner, apparently (and at times, actually) wedged horizontally in a crack in the roof above me. Captured after our ascent, a pair of … Continue reading when will the screaming stop?!
Not Panama, but the Grampians, and a pleasant 22 called Silvertop.
So, we went to Arapiles, despite the dubious weather forecast. We climbed, it rained a bit, we sheltered under boulders, climbed some more, got rained on, climbed again, Sair found booty, had a delicious pub meal at Natimuk, slept, got up, climbed, I found booty and then climbed some more. Then I ate Squinky the Candy Cane Elephant as we drove home. It was an uneventful weekend. Sair, queen of open-hand climbing, pulling the bulge on D Minor (14)
Springtime views out over the paddocks of the Wimmera plains. Cath starts up Hell for Leather (15) on the Atridae, after our earlier ascent of Muldoon (13). Later in the day we wandered up Resignation (15), for some multi-pitching fun, before heading back to camp, then helping stretcher out an injured climber from Pedro – he was ok, but wear your helmets kids! Sunday morning brought a lazy late start, then an all-girl ascent of Kestrel, a funky 13. Then after running up a few routes in the Organ Pipes, we have the ubiquitous Pilot Error shot, as Corey seconds … Continue reading where our hero spends a weekend at mount arapiles, and wishes friend corey a happy birthday