Rock climbing

Hey, I’m stating the obvious here, but climbing is in a bit of a boom it seems. New gyms popping up everywhere! And there is talk of carabiners being something about SOTB in another thread (not sure if climbing related?). Sorry if I’ve started this before, it all sounds familiar as I type it, but i cant find anything with a search.

But anyway, I guess there are a fair few of us here who climb, and as demonstrated with the HSP thread a few weeks ago, I know I can count on some solid advice, inspiration and banter on any subject here. So this is a thread to discuss climbing stuff.

My story so far:
I lived near an indoor gym in Melbourne around 2002 (vic ranges… i think it burned down… in flemington) and I used to go just about every day. Had a couple of mate who were in to it, but they all lived way east and so it was only every now and then that we’d go to the Mill (now apartments? collingwood) and do a session. That year a couple of us went to NZ and did a moutnaineering course and I was scared the whole time. I sucked, and I was scared. And when we got back to the car the soles of the shoes I’d left in the back seat had shrunk a few sizes. The culmination of all this was me liquid-nailsing a bunch of river stones to my mums brick house for a traverse that I couldnt quite do.

So that was it, a year after I moved to Japan and climbed once in way-too-small shoes in that couple of years. I came back and got a job in a winery, coupling and uncoupling hoses all day (actually all night). I lived at my mums for this period (early 2005) and after a while I remembered the river stones and had a go… I dont even know if i was wearing climbing shoes, but I do remember going straight across and straight back, jumped off and tried to remember where the hard bit was. At that point I thought to myself why train for climbing? Just get a job where you use your hands and you’ll be untouchable.

Immediately after that, I started my current desk job, where I can really feel if someone has a keyboard that has stronger springs on it than my own one.

This year has been a real climbing year for me, though. I started out at what felt worse than my starting level at the end of uni. I had no strength anywhere but in my legs. But I’ve been getting to the gym here in Hobart a fair bit… for the first half of the year I was in there a lot, and started going more and more outdoor. Within 2km of my house and my office we have two crags, one sandstone, one dolerite. I’m lucky to have two guys in particular who have climbed forever, can climb very hard, and are very serious about safety. My two goals for the year were to do a multi-pitch climb and to lead a grade 20 and both were done by April. I pushed on a little since then and have been seconding/top roping some harder stuff and am still enjoying it a lot. I’m only climbing maybe twice a week now, though, and try to give it a bit more effort each session.

This weekend I’m headed up to Ben Lomond for what will be, I guess, my first real crack climb and I’m about to guy buy a lot of tape. I’ve done some pitches of easy cracks on mt wellington, but i’m fairly daunted by whats next.

Anyway, I’m still a real beginner and still really loving it. I’m slowly learning some rope skills, but have so far to go. I really want to be able to set up anchors and climb with my daughter when she’s a bit older so she can belay me on lead. I’m thinking about getting an edelrid Ohm for this… anyone used one?

Projects for me to try to tick before we leave Tassie are trying to top-rope anaphalxis without rests (i think its a 24) and maybe lead general benefit, which might be a 22. If i can do those I’ll feel like I’m into it, and go back to canberra with eyes on a lot of other stuff.

I love climbing gear a lot, too. Please tell me about your climbing and your gear and your goals :slight_smile:


JP - you know about Bloc Haus in Canberra?

I’ve been climbing since forever. Had lots of time for it in my early twenties. Worked in a gear shop, lived in the Blue Mtns, climbed all the time. Then I moved to Melbourne and took about a 10-year semi-hiatus because of kids and work and lost a bit of strength, but I’m slowing clawing some if it back.

Life-long goal is to climb Serpentine on Taipan Wall. And the Trango Towers, but that might be a bit ambitious. Oh, and teach my kids to climb at Araps in a couple of years that’s up there too. I want to get one of my kids to lead Scorpion so I can second it. I’ve led it maybe 5 times and never had the chance to have someone else take the sharp end, while I semi-nap in the sun and give a loose not very attentive belay like one partner I won’t name.

Summer goal is to climb the Sydney Route on Frenchman’s Cap.

Me on Kachoong circa 2002 maybe:

I will be there on Sunday arvo, leaving Monday arvo, staying at the Scout Hut

You can use carabiners for ropes now?

yeah! I’ve been there the last couple of times I’ve visited. Happy to see they let kids over 5 in there… Ev is keen :slight_smile: I’ve discovered some other non-glamorous spots in canberra too, one really close to my place (and the sewerage works… belcoooooooooo!!!).

Diddy, thats bloody ace. How old are your kids? I was sort of angling for a side trip to Arapilies on our way through at Christmas but I think it might be “a bit too far off the hume”. The sydney route looks like a good time! I wonder how quickly it could be done with the walk in and out from the highway added on. I’m hoping to run it (obv not that way up) before we leave, but this also looks like a good thing to have a crack at.

Pete, I’ll be there til Saturday arvo, then mountain run on Mt Roland… triple top! Far out its good. Looks like I’ll miss you this time round mate.

Kids are almost 3 and 7. I’ve been taking my eldest to the Gravityworx gym in Pascoe Vale. They have a bunch of auto-belays there so I can still climb before she’s big enough to belay me. She’s still a bit small for the bouldering gym - she’s climbing up to about grade 12 on jug ladders, and the boulder gym is mostly too hard. I reckon she could do Tiptoe Ridge at Araps but I’d basically need to solo it because she couldn’t safely belay me yet.

That Edelrid Ohm might help a bit for taking some of the weight when the kids are bigger. But you could always just use a Grigri or other auto-locking belay device and then anchor the belayer with an opposing piece placed low down. My wife would regularly use an opposing piece when belaying me.

exactly my question, i thought they were invented by crust punk bike couriers in circa 1992.

Nah pretty sure you’re right. They were only adopted by climbers the following year, in 1993, to hang stuff off a harness. But it still took some time before climbers figured that they could be useful for a rope too.

Are his legs shaved? Is he a roadie after all?

not with arms like his…

Yep another climber here too.
JP it’s awesome you are getting back into things again!

Climbing is something that is directly related to how much time/training you put it. If you can train regularly, then the options really open up.

We just came back from climbing in Spain and it got me inspired again… we hadn’t been training much so only did easy stuff

  1. Diddy that photo of you on Kachoong is epic and not the usual angle. So cool.
  2. JP you have stepped it up so much year and are crushing!
  3. I went on a gramps bouldering trip last weekend and had such a ball, stayed at Mt. Zero Cabins and just climbed a bunch of highball v0-1 to see how my finger went. Turns out taking 100 days off climbing is pretty good for a tendon injury and it’s feeling way better (though still taking it easy). I’m at Northside boulders in brunswick about twice a week and happy to climb with whoever. Goal is to learn how to trad, lead some over 20 sport climbs and boulder v4-5. I’ve done these before (except for trad) but that was before I got super sick.

We should organise a trip! (I’ve spoke on an off with Diddy about this but we can’t see to line it up/ my fingy was too broken).

I’m totally down for a FOA Araps trip for sure. Also happy to teach trad climbing, or any climbing for any complete beginners. I’ve got lots of gear too.

Aeons glad to hear the finger is getting better. When do you get to Northside?

Count me in for FOA Araps trip!

Worth noting that Commuter Cycles has almost been renamed ‘climbing cycles/commuter climbers’ due the number of staff heading to end of prentice st to go to Northside.

A certain very fast bike courier/bikepacker/trail runner sometimes on here has also gotten quite into climbing, and when he gets into something he goes deep. Have heard heard he is doing some decent stuff and starting to venture outdoors.

Hahaha i had never thought this would happen, an FOA Araps trip lol - count me in even if it’s for the novelty factor
It could turn into the biggest #coffeeoutside event the Pines have ever seen…

Will bring a full rack and rope - bit rusty on the trad lead skills though, am mostly bouldering at the moment

My late brother in law was this mental Dutch climber punk man living in Natimuk in the 80s. His stories about those climbing days reminded me a little of the early fixed days. V. DIY spirit.

Yeah!! FOA araps trip would be super. I’ve floated the idea of getting out there as we head through vic in the xmas-NYE gap, but I’m not sure we’ll be heading that far west. That said, its only one night of driving from canberra anyway.

So i got through the climb on Ben Lomond this weekend. Barbe di Vendetta, its three pitches, 90m, maybe 70m of which is pure crack climbing. I’d never been on a crack without anything to work with on the face and it was quite a different experience. It was quite a moment getting that first jam in, my partner out of sight and 15m of vertical wall with nothing but crack above me. My shoes got pretty toasted (think i was sinking them way too deep to begin with), and i was very, very thankful that I got to borrow a pair of crack gloves. I was sort of preparing for more epicness, I thought there’d be times of just not being able to move, but after the first pitch, getting some pointers on technique for dealing with the inbetween hands to fists width, it was all a fair bit better. The belay for the third pitch was two tennis racquets on their sides and sitting there, a couple of hundred metres above the scree field below, a thousand-plus metres above the ocean (which I could see 100km to the north east, and flinders island) I found a peace that I never thought I would with rock prodding me in that way. There were a LOT of dodgy flakes up there, I was bloody happy that I wasn’t leading. It was a great time, again.

Another climber here. Climbed fulltime back in the 90’s and did okay including competing in the 97 Birmingham World Cup and 95 US Nationals when they still allowed non US residents to compete… Blew the elbows campusing so spent many years doing long course triathlons then bike racing as substitutes!

Have been getting out semi regularly the last year and returned recently from 3 weeks bouldering at Fontainebleau. Elbows still sore after all these years, so relying on technique as I can’t increase the training volume!