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All posts by Simon Carter

Chris Sharma Down Under vid

By | Video | No Comments

Last month Chris Sharma visited Australia and before heading around the country on his speaking tour he snuck in a few days climbing in the Grampians. I had the pleasure of catching up with Chris and producing this video for Prana, which they have now just released. It was great fun putting this together; I hope you enjoy it. For best effect, go full high-definition and full screen.

We had two days to film Chris climbing — in fact the footage of his attempt at The Wheel of Life (v15) “boulder problem” comes later the same day after sent the Groove Train (33)!

Massive thanks to the truly fantastic crew who helped me put this together: Gareth Llewellin (rigging and camera), Brett Williams (camera), John Binstead (editing), Stephen Bartlett (music production) and Darryn Rogers (graphics). You guys are awesome!

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World Climbing Calendar 2014

By | General News, Photographs, Published | No Comments

Well I’m stoked to announce that our World Climbing Calendar 2014 is available now. This year is special, we are celebrating 20 years of Onsight Photography and this is the 20th annual wall calendar that we’ve produced! I find that a rather strange thought, and it brings with it some mixed emotions. When I started getting serious about this stuff over 20 years ago some people’s predictions weren’t entirely encouraging. Honestly I didn’t expect to be in the game for particularly long, I just had a burning desire to create a certain sort of imagery and decided to give it a serious go. Keeping the wheels turning takes a lot more than just taking and selling climbing photographs, but despite the bump and grind I do consider myself lucky to have found a way to make it work in a fast changing world. I feel extremely fortunate to have followed my dreams; to explore my vision of climbing and capture climbers doing their thing in many spectacular places. Obviously, I couldn’t have done any of this without an incredible amount of help from many climbers — as well as the amazing support of the greater climbing community. Thank you everyone!

And so let me present our special 20th Anniversary Edition calendar – the World Climbing Calendar 2014!

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Each calendar has a bonus Anniversary poster inside (measuring 550 x 295mm), showcasing a collage of 90 favourite photographs. Read More

A trip to the Moon!

By | Photographs, Trip Report | 4 Comments

I’ve been on a bit of a whirlwind of trips lately, largely because I’m working on a new coffee-table photo book on Australian rock climbing. My 1998 book Rock Climbing in Australia has been out of print for several years, so a new book is well overdue. I’m really excited by this project, it’s a big challenge and I have been really really enjoying visiting and photographing some great Australian climbing areas that I haven’t been to for years.

So here’s a little, very overdue, report from a quick trip to the Moon a few months back. They just call it the Moon, it’s an appropriate name, but of course I mean Moonarie in the Flinders Ranges, about 5 hours drive north from Adelaide in South Australia. On the edge of the great Australian Outback, the Moon sure does feel a little out of this world…

A trajectory to the Moon...

On trajectory to the Moon…

The Moon. That tent bottom right corner was "Base Camp".

The Moon. The tent bottom right corner marks our “Base Camp”.

Read More

Oz gets grade 35 (9a)

By | Climbing News, Photographs | 5 Comments

In the last few months I’ve done photography trips to South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. Mostly working on a new coffee-table photo book of Australian climbing. I’ll have some pics from those trips soon (yes, I’ve been busy!) but first here is some breaking news…

Yesterday (18th August) 20-year-old German climber Alexander Megos capped off a productive visit to Australia by climbing the long-term open project known as The Red Project at Diamond Fall in the Blue Mountains. It took him three days of effort with at least 20 redpoint attempts. Alex has named the route Retired Extremely Dangerous. After giving it much thought, and comparing the difficulty of the route with other hard routes that he has climbed here in Australia (and of course also around the world), Alex has decided to propose the Australian grade of 35 (9a or 5.14d) for the route. Given Alex’s experience at that level (which includes being the first climber in the world to onsight a 9a graded route) I doubt there’ll be too much dispute of the grade. So this is the first grade 35 route in Australia!

From the guidebook. "The Red Project - open THE line still to go free here. It is route #26, the fully independent line.

From the guidebook. “The Red Project – open. THE line still to go free here”. It is route #26, the fully independent line.

The Red Project was originally bolted by Garth Miller in 1999, and since then has sat there as an open project free for anyone to try. Lee Cossey has spent some time attempting the route over the years and has made good progress on the route. Lee actually encouraged Alex to attempt the route and kindly offered some beta which may have proved useful.

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Alex Megos attempting The Red Project, now known as Retired Extremely Dangerous. Low on the route – one of the first hard moves.

On his first day of attempts Alex worked out all the moves and Read More

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Espanol 2013

By | Photographs | No Comments

Well winter is truly upon us now in the Blue Mountains and I’ve got a bit of time between trips now. So it is a good to time to play catch up, pull out a few shots taken back in March in Spain, and dream a bit… Love it there, such a great place for shooting and climbing.

A good way to get over jet lag is to play tourist for a few hours. La Sagrada Familia is a mind-bogling must see, 130+ years in the making and still lots to do.

A good way to get over jet lag is to play tourist for a few hours. La Sagrada Familia is a mind-boggling must see, 130+ years in the making and still not yet finished.

No surprise, Oliana was the crag of our focus again. Monique got some fantastic projects on the go and there was so much going on...

No surprise, Oliana was the crag of our focus again. Monique started some fantastic projects and with a great crew and so much else also going on, well it really felt like the place to be (once again).

Read More

Arapiles guidebook

By | General News, Published | No Comments

Well I’ve been busy… Since finishing the Grampians guidebook in February I’ve done trips to Spain and Moonarie, which I’ll have reports on soon, and in between trips have been beavering away in the office producing another guidebook. Thankfully this will be our last guidebook for a little while as I’ve got some exciting photography trips and projects coming up, but this was a good opportunity to finish producing something which I think will be a significant and popular guidebook to one of Australia’s premier climbing areas.

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So now I’m delighted to announce Arapiles, 444 of the Best. This is a very affordable, small-format, selected routes guidebook to Mount Arapiles. Read More

Ascent 2013

By | Published | No Comments

Well I’m happy to have scored the cover of the 2013 Ascent magazine. This is only the third year that Rock and Ice Magazine have produced their beautiful Ascent annual. And, incredibly, this is the third year that I have scored the cover. Yep, a hat-trick of Ascent covers. Very cool! You can see my blog about the 2012 and 2011 covers here.

Also inside Ascent this year I have a lavish seven page photo feature on Queensland’s Wild Walls. There is a lot of good climbing and a great scene up in Queensland and I’m psyched to get some coverage for Aussie climbing in the international press like that. Many thanks to everyone up there who helped make this happen (Lee, JJ, Duncan, Rob, Sabina – to just name a few)!

Thanks Rock and Ice. Looks great.

Ascent Magazine 2013 cover

The photo is Olivier Michellod on the massive Typhoon (7c), in Crystal Cave on Telendos Island, near Kalymnos, Greece.

La Dura Dura

By | Climbing News | 3 Comments

Well I’m now in Spain for a bit, climbing and shooting, and having a great time! Just seem to love it more and more over here. We have mostly been to Oliana again, one of the best hard crags in the world for sure. The scene and vibe here at the moment is insane and yesterday must have been one of the best days ever. I’m sure everyone at the crag was super psyched to watch Chris Sharma put in an inspiring effort to send his long-term project La Dura Dura (9b+ or 38); certainly the hardest route in the world at the moment. I spent a lot of time filming Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma attempting this route when I was here last year. Adam climbed it a few months back. And it seemed obvious that Chris was now getting super close; he just looked so strong on it in recent days. So when he tied in for his second shot yesterday I put the Nikon in video mode and managed to catch the send on film. The whole send took about 20 minutes. I’ll get that edited up and put it out there in some form shortly, so stay tuned for that. But I’ve got a few proj’s of my own to send first — thankfully nothing too hard!

Screenshot of the video footage of Chris’ send:

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And after the send:

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No, not following the route! Belayer Joe Kinder winching high enough up the route to lower Chris back to the ground! It is a long route (40+ metres).

Chris Sharma and Joe Kinder at Oliana.

Chris with Joe Kinder.

"Hey Chris, good job dude, soft punch..." Coco Carter with Chris after his La Dura Dura send.

“Hey Chris, good job dude, soft punch…”
Coco Carter with Chris after his La Dura Dura send.

Yeah, great stuff Chris! More soon.

Grampians Guidebook

By | General News, Published | One Comment

Edit: Since publication of the guidebook author Neil Monteith has compiled this document detailing updates, corrections and several new routes.

This blog might have been a bit quiet of late but behind the scenes things have as busy as ever. Now I’m delighted to announce that our first project for the year is complete and will soon be released. It is an entirely new guidebook to one of Australia’s best climbing areas — the world class Grampians in western Victoria! The book is titled Grampians Climbing: Sport Crags. We decided to note “Sport Crags” in the title because the book covers the main sport climbing areas, however the book actually covers some 53 crags and the trad routes at those areas are also thoroughly documented.

This guidebook was personally a very satisfying project to work on. The Grampians has been one of my favourite places for climbing for the last 25 years and it has long been one of my favourite places anywhere for climbing photography. It was great to be able to use some of that photography (seen and unseen) in the book. This guidebook is long overdue and in the 11 years since the last Grampians guidebook many fantastic new routes have been climbed.

Grampians Climbing guidebook

The author of the book is Neil Monteith; he has established scores of new routes in the area and has his finger on the pulse. I really want to take my hat off to Neil here. It was Read More

Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed is coming Order here now!