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!!!
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
There is some important new climbing access information and a new access track to The Freezer and Cosmic County, as well as Logan Brae, in the Blue Mountains. If you plan to climb at these crags, please make yourself familiar with the situation and be sure to use the new tracks. All the info is here.
Great news! I’m really honoured to have been selected as one of the ambassadors for Goal Zero in Australia! Joining a great team of ambassadors too.
In case you don’t know about them, Goal Zero is an awesome company making solar power practical and portable. Learn how to solar power your adventures by following them on Facebook here and on their website here.
Very stoked about this. Thanks Goal Zero!
Speaking of sponsors, I’ll just quickly take this opportunity to thank my long term rope sponsor Sterling Rope who have Read More
Chris Webb Parsons first made his mark by establishing Australia’s first grade 34 route:White Ladder at Nowra in 2004. A few years later he made the first repeat of the ground-breaking The Wheel of Life “boulder” problem in the Grampians. He has spent the last four years overseas — climbing and competing in World Cup bouldering competitions; and just recently stood on the podium at Arco. Chris has been representing Australia and doing us proud.
When I heard Chris was back in the country after four years away, I wanted to find out what was up. So, I jumped in the Onsight mobile, fanged it to Canberra, caught up with Chris for a boulder at Black Range. Later Monique and I chatted with Chris via Skype and we put these questions to him (13 January 2014). I found it interesting that without the same level of support that some similar world-class climbers have enjoyed, Chris has had to make huge sacrifices — as well as the huge amount of commitment and dedication — to get to where he is today. But first he had to “Believe it”. Read More
Text contributed by Bruce Cameron and Glenn Short.
The rock-climbing community was stunned recently by the news that Australian climbing legend John Ewbank died in New York on 2 December 2013. Ewbank was undoubtedly one of the most influential, if not the most influential, Australian climber of the 1960s and 70s.
Born in England in 1948, Ewbank first learned to climb in Yorkshire before emigrating to Australia as a teenager with his parents. He initially settled in Wollongong but was soon lured to the sandstone escarpments of the Blue Mountains by members of the Sydney Rockclimbing Club. The crags of the Blue Mountains were to become his spiritual home, as well as the source of his legacy to Australian climbing.
Leading climber of the day, Bryden Allen, must have seen potential in the young Ewbank and soon Read More
See you later 2013! There were some fun times eh; we saw some great places, hung out with some good friends, we tried to do some good work, captured a few good images and perhaps even came close to snagging a great one — close enough at least to keep the psych high. But let’s be honest here; at times you were a shit of a year too. So thank you 2013 for some good times, but I’m happy to be moving on.
I’m super-excited about our plans for 2014 but before we get too far into that I wanted to wrap up Two-Zero-One-Three. Here are some quick highlights, some lowlights, a mention of some places that I never found the time to write up — and some things that needed to be said.
First up, 2013 actually marked quite a milestone — the 20th anniversary of Onsight Photography! I’m actually very stoked to have made it thus far. I just started out as a kid with a camera (well a grown up kid I guess) who was following his passion and climbing full-time. I saw a lot of goodness around me — inspiring people and beautiful places. I wanted to share the things that I saw; I loved the creativity of photography – and it got me excited. It has taken me to some of the most spectacular places on the planet. Thank you to everyone who has supported my work — I’m very very grateful indeed for all the support and opportunities that I’ve been given!
So what happened at Onsight in 2013? Well, the year started with Read More
When 9-year-old Aussie Angie Scarth-Johnson recently cranked her first grade 31 climb, she became the youngest person anywhere to have achieved that. Yes, even Adam Ondra didn’t crank that hard until he was 11.
A friend had described to me Angie’s ability to pull on the tiniest of holds — holds that most of us wouldn’t even consider using. I commented that it’d be cool to see how hard she could crank if she could find a route where she wasn’t shut down by her height, now it seems we’ve found that out. But after watching the video footage (it is out of focus so probably will not be publicly released) of Angie’s send of Swingline in the Red River Gorge (USA), a route she sent on just her third day of attempts, I suspect she is capable of much more.
Especially given that Angie’s parents (Claudia and Tek) are not rock climbers, we were curious to find out more about this young crusher and what makes her tick (in both senses of the word). So Read More
Want to become a stronger and better climber? Wondering how some of the best climbers in the world train? Gimme Kraft! is the answer and it is now available in Australia — right here!
Yes, I’m delighted to announce that we are distributing Gimme Kraft! in Australia — AND last night we received our first shipment, unexpectedly early!
If you don’t know what Gimme Kraft! is, and are serious about climbing training, then this is something you really should know about. All the info is here.