Me, Myself and I

Jed Parkes solos every route in Arapiles Selected Climbs graded 16 and under WORDS: Jed Parkes, IMAGES: Simon Madden It has been argued that the preponderance of really high-quality easy routes at Araps is responsible for infantilising generations of Victorian climbers. The reasoning goes that you can have so much fun bumbling around very moderate grade routes as the movement is fantastic, the rock exquisite, the spread of different route types akin to the biodiversity of the Amazon basin, the exposure…

Flinders Island

‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ Simon Bischoff trips the light fantastic on Flinders Island, where dreams come true and everybody lives The ferry to Flinders Island is about as sophisticated as vomiting on your own pants. It’s a cargo vessel, transporting everything from cattle to cantankerous fisherman. It’s not set up for regular tourists and when it finally docks on Flinders you feel pleasantly far from home. This trip – my third to the island – I travelled with photographer Olivia…

Australia’s Best Highballs

The Highest and Mightiest of all the Land – we tap into local knowledge to unearth the contenders for the best big blocs in Oz Here they are, ten of the most tremendous highballs from around Australia, one from each state and (nearly every) territory (except the Northern Territory because it’s a land of mystery and should remain so). This list is not like other lists, which are completely subjective, instead this one is filled with FACTS. Because, as people…

Zeitgeist Climbs

In ‘The bridges everyone else is jumping off’ Simon Madden gets drawn into the zeitgeist My brain is a big, whirring association machine. In 2017 every time I wasted precious lifeforce scrolling through Instagram, caught snatches of gym conversations or heard people plotting at the crag, I started singing the theme to Rocky under my breath. Like a dog salivating over a pavlova. That was because invariably I was either looking at or hearing someone talking about Eye of the Tiger…

Mountain Designs – an Australian icon

In the wake of Mountain Designs shuttering its doors Michael Meadows looks back at how it all began Fifty years ago CSIRO technical assistant Rick White acquired his first, albeit small, collection of climbing gear. He bought all of the climbing-related stock from Brisbane-based Graeme Lacey who was winding up his own failed attempt to make a living by selling quality equipment to local bushwalkers and climbers. Apart from Paddy Pallin’s Scout Shop with its limited supply of steel karabiners and…

Filipino cragging

In ‘In the End Everybody Sings’, Simon Madden goes slow-paced jungle cragging in the Philippines ‘Glasses off!’ I squealed having just awkwardly smeared my sweaty face up the rock and sent my specs tumbling to the ground 20m below. Despite being the self declared weakest-climber-anybody-knows, I had flashed through the campus roof of Blackfoot (7a+/24) looking hilarious and ungainly, and was awkwardly pulling up/whaling onto the headwall huffing and puffing and pouring with sweat. The 100% humidity made it feel more…

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