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Simon Carter, Author at Simon Carter's Onsight Photography

Garry Phillips, Entree (29), Star Factory, Freychinet Peninsula, Tasmania.

the Star Factory

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The Star Factory on the Freychinet Peninsula (Coles Bay) is a hard modern crag, with a whole swathe of world-class climbing on beautiful orange granite. I was super-psyched to photographed there, it was the main goal of my recent Tasmania trip. Here’s an exclusive sneak peak of some of the results.

Shooting climbing in Tasmania always seems to be hard work, lots of long approaches and all, but I love it — absolutely love it — down there! Such incredible landscape, such good climbing. Hope you like the new shots.

See below for more news.

_DSC5788-EditAndrew ‘Squib’ Cubbon on Astro Boy (30).

_DSC6190Garry Phillips on Wizard of Oz (32).

_DSC5889It’s an hours hike to the Star Factory – but so nice!

Garry Phillips, Entree (29), Star Factory, Freychinet Peninsula, Tasmania.
Garry Phillips on his route Entre (29), Star Factory.

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_DSC6352Little Bluestone Bay.

_DSC6560Simon Bischoff on his Ockham’s Razor (27), Alchemy Wall.

Barbara Zangerl. And now for something a bit different. Last newsletter I talked about Tasmania’s Tasman Trilogy, well then, how about Europe’s Alpine Trilolgy? These are three very hard, run-out, multi-pitch routes in the high Alps. Climbing any of these routes is an exceptional accomplishment and Barbara Zangerl from Austria became the first woman to climb all three. Monique Forestier (climber extraordinaire, my wife and partner in ONSIGHT) was recently climbing at Oliana in Spain where she interviewed Barbara Zangerl and got the full story. Check that out –> here. Many thanks to the photographers who contributed images for this.

Grampians. If heading to the Grampians this Easter, the latest access info from Cliffcare is –> here. Still many areas closed, and probably will be for a while yet.

Have a great Easter. Be safe out there!

Simon

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The Moai

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Thanks to everyone for a great response to my first newsletter. Here’s #2!

The main project I’m working on at the moment is a new coffee-table book on Australian climbing. So I’ve just been down in Tasmania shooting some fresh images. You’ve heard of the Totem Pole right — but have you heard of the Tasman Trilogy? The 65m high Totem Pole is just one of the three classic pillars that make up the trilogy: Pole Dancer (at Cape Raoul) and the Moai are the others.

I’ve spent over 20 days shooting the Totem Pole always trying to get better images of that crazy thing. And one of my shots of Pole Dancer recently made the cover of Rock and Ice: check that here. So I really wanted a new shot of the Moai that was fully up to scratch. The Moai is kind of the little brother to the Totem Pole and Pole Dancer; of the three it is the least committing to climb. It’s nearly two hours hike then a 60m abseil to the base of the Moai, but then you have a lovely rock platform to hang out on and a grade 18 or a grade 24 route to choose from.

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We hiked out there, set up some ropes and I worked out some angles the day before. I wanted crack of dawn light so next day we started hiking at 5am, in the dark. We were in place, ready at dawn… the worst sunrise ever. Well, at least it wasn’t raining I guess. I was disappointed. It wasn’t the vision I had for this shot… but now… I’ve come around and I’m kinda liking the black and white. Moody. And that’s climbing in Tasmania right there.

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Huge shout out to climbers Chris Hampton and Andy Kuylaars for their awesome help with these shots!

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On another day in Fortesque Bay: Moai to the left and Totem Pole to the right. As calm as it gets down there. I heard they’ve spent something in the order of a million dollars upgrading the track out to Cape Hauy where the Totem Pole is. Apparently the stonework is something to see… I’ll have to go back to the Tote one day.

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Other news. A bit of a throw back but I’ve just released a large gallery of shots of Tsaraono in Madagascar. Speaking of dawn photo shoots, for this one we were an hours hike in and eight pitches up. And happy!

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Tsaranoro is truly one of the best climbing destinations I’ve ever visited. The domes are up to 800m. Mad mad Madagascar. Check out the full feature gallery –> here.

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Meanwhile, this was the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, at 6:18am this morning.

Hope you have/had a great day. Thanks for checking out my newsletter.

Simon

Benno Wagner, leading pitch 13 (crux) of Manara-Potsiny (8a), 600m (18 pitches) on Tsaranoro Be, Tsaranoro, Madagascar.

Tsaranoro Madagascar ~ gallery and beta

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Visiting, and trying to climb on, the massive granite domes of the Tsaranoro Massive in the Southern highlands of Madagascar, was without doubt one of the most memorable climbing trips I’ve ever done.

So I’m delighted to present a new feature gallery on Tsaranoro. And words by Monique Forestier to help get you inspired — plus some beta to help get you started on your adventure, should you ever be keen. But even if this is a place that you’ll never visit, it sure is worth knowing about. Biggest quality walls in the Southern Hemisphere and all. And the lemurs!

Be sure to check out the gallery here –> www.onsight.com.au/gallery/madagascar-tsaranoro

Benno Wagner, pitch 10 of Manara-Potsiny (8a), 600m (18 pitches) on Tsaranoro Be, Tsaranoro, Madagascar.

Evan Stevens, The Siege of Thermopylae (6c+), sector Spartacus, Kalymnos, Greece, with Telendos Island in the background.

A beginning

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Evan Stevens, The Siege of Thermopylae (6c+), sector Spartacus, Kalymnos, Greece, with Telendos Island in the background.

Welcome and many thanks indeed for joining us!

I’ve been wanting to start up a regular email newsletter for some time now. It seems the best way to share a lot of what is going on — and there has been a lot going on!

My main aim with this newsletter is to share a lot of my photography — including new exclusive work that I can’t share publicly on my website just yet. We will also share some climbing, community and photography news and information (our focus is on Australia but not limited to that). We will also have some freebies such as desktop wallpaper for your computer.

I’ll try to keep my words to a minimum and my photos to a maximum.

So lets begin with a quick wrap up of some things we’ve covered lately, most recent first:

Daniel Fisher recently made the second ascent of White Ladder, the first grade 34 route in Australia — which was established 10 years ago. See my photos and read our interview with Daniel here.

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Recent highline action in the Blue Mountains, a little photo essay: Goddam Slackers! –> here.

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We have started to roll out new photo galleries on the web site! First up Kalymnos in Greece – one of the world’s great climbing holiday destinations, see it –> here.

Simon Montmory, Typhoon (7c), Crystal Cave, Telendos Island near

Elphinstone is a mega new HARD climbing area in the Blue Mountains. We unveiled it back in February with photos and asked “Is the future of hard Australian climbing set in (Elphin)stone” –> here.

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Top Australian climber Chris Webb-Parson was back in his home country for the first time in years. We got some shots and interviewed him –> here.

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In January we published a tribute to Australian climbing legend John Ewbank, who sadly died in December last year. In case you missed that, it is –> here.

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Angie Scarth-Johnson is an 11 year old who climbed her first 31. See our earlier interview with her –> here.

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What else? Well we have a new logo! After 20 years we thought it was time for a change and this reflects a slightly new focus for us. I hope you like it!

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Wallpaper! A freebie. Yes, a desktop wallpaper for your computer! We have been asked for these a lot but we will only make them available to subscribers to this email newsletter. The first one is available from –> this link. It is the image at the top of this email.

So that’s it for our first newsletter. Playing catch up with some things we’ve covered in the last few months really — but it is a start! Please forward this on to your friends and get them to sign up too.

More soon. Have a great day!

Simon


Daniel Fisher on the opening moves of Attack Mode/White Ladder at Nowra, Australia.

Daniel Fisher ~ interview

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The first time I saw Daniel Fisher climbing was in the 2012 Australian Nationals, lead competition, when he put on an impressive display, blitzed the field, and took the title. It was obvious that he was one of Australia’s best up and coming new generation climbers. But then things went a bit quiet (at least to me), until recently, when at the end of January Daniel made the second ascent of White Ladder at Nowra – Australia’s first grade 34 route — which was established some 10 years ago and had gone without a repeat ascent until now (it’s discussed in our interview with Chris Webb Parsons here).

Given that Daniel is one of only a handful of Aussie climbers to crank that hard, I thought it could be interesting to find out what makes him tick, chew the fat and get some tips. So we put some questions to him and found out just what might be his “special sauce”…

Daniel Fisher on the opening moves of Attack Mode/White Ladder at Nowra, Australia.

Daniel Fisher on the opening moves of Attack Mode (32)/White Ladder (34) at Nowra, Australia.

Onsight Firstly tell us a bit about Read More

James Short stridently striding the length of a mega-long line, somewhere high above the Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains.

Goddam slackers!

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Goddam Slackers! Don’t they know I have work to do? But that’s right, “I’m a photographer”. And what better “excuse” to “slack off” for a bit — and get out and capture some of the sweet slack-line action that I’d been hearing about. This was a little get together of like-minded slackers — and it was right here in the Blue Mountains.

Of course, slack-lining is easy-peasey. Set that tape up just one foot above the ground, and I too have no trouble walking it like a boss for all of at least 0.57 seconds. But no. We’re talking about the long and high pant-pooping version of slacklining here — highlining.

James Short stridently striding the length of a mega-long line, somewhere high above the Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains.

James Short stridently striding the length of a mega-long line, somewhere high above the Megalong Valley, in the Blue Mountains.

The first time I saw high-lining Read More

Evan Stevens, The Siege of Thermopylae (6c+), sector Spartacus, Kalymnos, Greece, with Telendos Island in the background.

Kalymnos Greece ~ gallery and beta

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Over the last 20 years I’ve been lucky to have photographed at dozens of climbing areas around the world. Keep your eye on this web site as we will be regularly releasing new photo galleries here. Along with my photos, there will be some information and beta about each area.

First up, lets take a tour of Kalymnos in Greece – one of the world’s great climbing holiday destinations. See the gallery –> here.

To stay in touch, and get bonuses (including computer wallpapers for images like this one below), be sure to sign up for our newsletter –> here.

Evan Stevens, The Siege of Thermopylae (6c+), sector Spartacus, Kalymnos, Greece, with Telendos Island in the background.

Evan Stevens, The Siege of Thermopylae (6c+), sector Spartacus, Kalymnos, Greece, with Telendos Island in the background.

The photo is of Steve Moon climbing Pole Dancer (22) at the end of Cape Raoul, Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia.

Rock and Ice cover

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Had a nice surprise when opening my Post Office box on Friday. There staring up at me was the latest Rock and Ice Magazine – and with my photo on the cover! Had to look twice. Wasn’t expecting that. Was I dreaming? So I unwrapped it and had a closer look. Yes, it is for real, that cover is glued on there good and proper. Perfect reproduction and several shots of mine running inside too. Stoked!

I know, it’s probably funny, that after 20 years in the game I can still get excited about a cover — but I think that’s good – yeah? But Rock and Ice is not just any magazine. They have an awesome team who really know what  they are doing and it’s no surprise to see the magazine is going great-guns. I’ve been a contributor for years and am always proud to get my work in there. As always, thank you Rock and Ice for publishing my work!

The photo is of Steve Moon climbing Pole Dancer (22) at the end of Cape Raoul, Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia.

The photo is of Steve Moon climbing Pole Dancer (22) at the end of Cape Raoul, Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia.

Lee Cujes making the first ascent of License to Climb Harder (7c), on The Face -- one of 2153 limestone karsts in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

Memorial Maria Luisa

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The Memorial Maria Luisa Photography Competition seemed like a good cause so I entered a few shots. I’m happy they both ended up with Highly Commended awards in the climbing category. Sweet!

See all the winning photos on their web site here.

Lee Cujes making the first ascent of License to Climb Harder (7c), on The Face -- one of 2153 limestone karsts in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

Lee Cujes making the first ascent of License to Climb Harder (7c), on The Face — one of 2153 limestone karsts in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

Doug McConnell leading, with Dean Rollins belaying, on The Ewbank Route (aka The Freed Route), which they freed at grade 27 in January 2009, on the 65 metre Totem Pole, at Cape Hauy, Tasmania, Australia.

Doug McConnell leading, with Dean Rollins belaying, on The Ewbank Route (aka The Freed Route), which they freed at grade 27 in January 2009, on the 65 metre Totem Pole, at Cape Hauy, Tasmania, Australia.

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Is the future of hard Australian climbing set in (Elphin)stone?

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It’s a rhetorical question really — but we do think it is about time to unveil Elphinstone.

So what is this “Elphinstone” that we speak of? Well first, let’s be clear, we are not talking about the town of Elphinstone in Victoria, the County of Elphinstone in Queensland nor the reef of Elphinstone in the Red Sea. No, none of those — but Google Elphinstone and that’s mostly what you’ll find. Here we’re talking about the mega new (and mega hard) sports crag of Elphinstone (Elephant Stone) in the Blue Mountains!

Maybe you saw some “better than Taipan (Wall)” hype on Facebook but chances are you’ve probably not read too much about this place as yet. In typical Blue Mountains style, initial discovery and development was kept rather quiet, understandably. Word kind of just seeped out. But the Elephant is out of the bag now, so to speak. In fact, all of the currently available crag beta is now available on The Crag website here. The first two sentences there claim, and say, a lot:

This crag will prove to be the citadel of hard climbing in the Mountains. Pitches are generally around 30-35m, uncharacteristically sustained and pumpy, on bullet proof rock.

So let’s take a look at Elphinstone, it’s also an excuse for me to show you some new pics. Without further ado, may I present to you… (drum roll please)… ELPHINSTONE!!!

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The Main Wall. Way steeper than it looks and the height is deceptive; it’s about 30-metres up to the grey rock.

Looking from Cahills Lookout in Katoomba, Elphinstone is easily visible on the Radiata Plateau (which starts near Explorer’s Tree) to the north. So it is likely that climbers had gazed at the wall and at least considered the possibilities in the past. It wasn’t until Read More