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.
The photo is Olivier Michellod on the massive Typhoon (7c), in Crystal Cave on Telendos Island, near Kalymnos, Greece.
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:
And after the send:
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 with Joe Kinder.
“Hey Chris, good job dude, soft punch…”
Coco Carter with Chris after his La Dura Dura send.
Yeah, great stuff Chris! More soon.
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 Australiaâ€™s best climbing areas â€” 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 10 years since the last Grampians guidebook many fantastic new routes have been climbed.
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 a pleasure and an honour to work with him on this. Neil had been researching and recording Grampians crag and route info for years, he was in a unique position to author this book and backed it up with countless hours of hard work to get this finished. During one research trip to the Grampians in late 2012 Neil visited nearly every one of the crags, checked route descriptions or wrote new ones, detailed the access, and took cliff photos covering many of the crags. There are 53 crags in this book; that’s an incredible amount of work! I’d worked with Neil before on Crux Magazine and other projects but never cease to be impressed by how exceptionally prolific he is and by the quality of his work. Basically Neil made my job on the production side of things as smooth and easy as possible. For some weeks there Neil and I were both smashing out up to 16 hours a day on this. The result was that we have created something I’m really proud of but also we finished production in super fast time. Thanks Neil!
Before I present the book first a word about the bush fires. In case you are not yet aware, in late February several lightning strikes started bush fires in the Victoria Range area of the Grampians. These bush fires joined together into one massive blaze. Despite the efforts of hundreds of workers and volunteers and a huge amount of resources that were thrown at it, there were incredibly unfavourable weather conditions and the unruly blaze burned out of control for over a week. It ended up burning through most of Victoria Range. They say bush fires are natural and to a degree necessary for the bush’s long term rejuvenation, but at times this was an very intense blaze and it is sad to think of the devastation that occurred. The Victoria Range is home to a fair portion of the best Grampians rock climbing and many of these areas are detailed in this new guidebook. Be aware that at the moment the entire Victoria Range is closed to climbing. It is important that climbers are patient and respect the closure. The latest word I’ve seen from Parks is that the area will be closed for weeks or months, check for updates on the Parks website here. Apparently some of the climbing areas have received only moderate damage, but at other areas the damage was more severe. It sounds as though that Parks are keen to reopen some of the areas as soon as possible but be aware there is a lot of work that needs to be done — if only to fix some of the damaged access roads. Outside of the Victoria Range there is of course a huge amount of great climbing in the Grampians; fortunately a lot of this climbing is also detailed in this new guidebook.
So here it is, presenting Grampians Climbing: Sport Crags:
- Details 53 crags, including 25 crags which have not been previously published.
- Action photos by Simon Carter and Neil Monteith.
- Numerous cliff photo topos help make route finding a breeze.
- In total over 400 photographs.
- 23 access maps and user-friendly design.
- Over 900 routes in total (500+ sport and 400+ trad or mixed).
- A5 in size, 240 pages, full colour.
- RRP $46.95 (including GST).
- Available from climbing equipment stores in Australia, or by mail-order from our online shop here.
I’m happy to score another cover of UK’s Climb Magazine, this time featuring a bit of Aussie rock. The climber is Flint Duxfield leading pitch 8 (the â€œSpine Chiller traverseâ€) of Big Nose (26), 250m, Pierceâ€™s Pass, Blue Mountains.
Sam Whiteley interviewed me for this profile which appears in the current issue of Better Photography, an Australian magazine which is edited by AIPP Grand Master of Photography, Peter Eastway. Many thanks to Sam and Peter for featuring my work, it’s a real honor.
I’m really stoked with this cover of Climb Magazine for their January 2013 issue. Not just because it’s my shot of Monique climbing – but I also love the graphics!
The magazine has an article about great lines, so this photo was a good choice. The route is the 60-metre tufa route Tom et je Ris (32) in Verdon Gorge, France.
We had a fantastic time climbing up in South East Queensland this winter but I’ve got to say information on the climbing was hard to come by. It soon became obvious to us that a lot of the crags up there were not covered by any print guidebooks; the coverage was usually very out of date and/or unavailable, or had simply never been covered by a print guidebook. Some local climbers had been gathering information for years and had already pretty much authored the text for some new guidebooks. We got talking and we all decided to work together, to make it happen and get all this material into print as soon as possible. I ran around taking a lot of crag topo photos and then when we returned home I locked myself in the office for a couple of months and smashed out the layout. The main contributors busted their arses to update, finish and polish the text as well as mark up the topos, and the local climbing community were fantastic with their support with contributing information and action photos. I needed to do the production of this book in between trips and we all wanted to get this guidebook produced before Christmas. And as it turns out we managed to achieved that; things went super smoothly with the printers, our shipment is being freighted to us at the moment and we’ll be distributing the books to the shops next week. Yeeha!
A huge shout out of thanks to everyone who contributed. I can’t wait to visit Queensland again next winter — to put this new guidebook to use and enjoy the great climbing!
So here we have it, I’m proud to announce the new South East Queensland Climbing, Selected Crags guidebook!
There’s more information below:
- This is a new guidebook for rock climbing in South East Queensland. There is a wealth of fantastic climbing in the area — and this compact yet comprehensive guide covers many areas not covered by any other current guidebook. It includes some of the best sport and trad climbing South East Queensland has to offer â€” a must have book for local climbing fanatics and visitors alike.
- Details eight climbing areas: Brooyar, Mount Beerwah, Mount Coolum, Mount Ngungun, Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Tinbeerwah, Serpent and the ever popular Kangaroo Point. All up over 1000 routes!
- Authored by local climber Lee Cujes in collaboration with Ross Ferguson, John Oâ€™Brien and others.
- Numerous cliff photo topos, access maps and professional user-friendly design help make route finding a breeze.
- A5 in size, full colour, 168 pages. RRP $36.95 (including GST).
- Available from climbing gear shops or by mail-order from our online shop here.
I’m stoked to learn that in a round about way a some of my imagery has found its way into the Messner Mountain Museum in Italy. It has come about because in recent times I’ve collaborated with the brilliant artist Paolo Albertelli. And Paolo has used some of my images for a couple of his sculptures. This is the work in the Messner Mountain Museum:
The sculpture is inspired by my image of Tony Barron on Agamemnon (10) at Mount Arapiles, Australia. And here is another one of Paolo’s works, this one comes from my image of Mariona Marti on Titulo Ferretero (7b+), Granada, Spain:
Paolo has produced a lot of beautiful and interesting pieces. See his website here. Thank you Paolo for you work!
Another Rock Magazine cover. This time it is from my trip to Queensland where I photographed John J O’Brien on his Ill Gotten Gains (26), an unlikely and very cool looking arete, two pitches up Mount Cooroora on the Sunshine Coast.
After a few months sweating it out in the office it’s good to be on the road again, this time to The Grapiles (The Grampians and Arapiles – you heard it here first?) for a few weeks – which is flying by all to quickly. We’ve been climbing of course but there is no such thing as a holiday for us really, we have been very busy with photography and a couple of different projects that I’m currently working on (more on those later).
Mount Arapiles feels like home in a way, I spent nearly eight months camped here just prior to starting my photography business nearly 19 years ago. The place still feels magic…
South Celestial Pole. 2 and 1/2 hour exposure.
Over in the Grampians Coco has been getting her bush walking game on…
Taipan Wall — so good!
And Monique has been doing her thing too…
The mostly trad, and insanely pumpy for the grade, Eau Rouge (23), at The Lost World.