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Chris Webb Parsons representing…

Posted by | Interview | 10 Comments

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.

Chris Webb Parsons repeating Zac's Problem V8, in the Black Range, near Canberra.

Chris repeating Zac’s Arete V8, in the Black Range, near Canberra.

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

Sandbag in progress? John Ewbank getting Adam Darragh psyched as they reconnoiter a new route that they attempted the next day in the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains. 1997?

John Ewbank, a tribute

Posted by | General News | 9 Comments

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.

Sandbag in progress? John Ewbank getting Adam Darragh psyched as they reconnoiter a new route that they attempted the next day in the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains. 1997?

Sandbag in progress? John Ewbank getting Adam Darragh psyched as they reconnoiter a new route that they attempted the next day in the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, 1997.

Leading climber of the day, Bryden Allen, must have seen potential in the young Ewbank and soon Read More

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2014, bring it on!

Posted by | General News | 4 Comments

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!

What a 20 years of Onsight Photography mashed up into a poster looks like. Yep, quite a mess, but maybe something to help you pass time on the dunny.

What 20 years of Onsight Photography mashed up into a poster looks like. Yep, quite a mess, but perhaps something to help you pass time on the dunny?

So what happened at Onsight in 2013? Well, the year started with Read More

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Young Gun Angie Scarth-Johnson

Posted by | Interview | No Comments

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.

Angie Scarth-Johnson, Wrong Movements (27), Centennial Glen, Blue Mountains.

Angie Scarth-Johnson, Wrong Movements (27), Centennial Glen, Blue Mountains.

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

Gimme Craft

Gimme Kraft!

Posted by | General News | No Comments

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.
Gimme Craft

 

 

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Arapiles – 50 years

Posted by | General News, Photographs | 2 Comments

It’s now 50 years since the first recorded climbs at Mount Arapiles. That’s right, The Siren (9), Introductory Route (5) and Tiptoe Ridge (3) were cranked out way back on 16 November 1963. And so Arapiles is now celebrating a milestone!

Canola dawn, Mount Arapiles

Canola dawn, Mount Arapiles

Having travelled the world for climbing, I’m sure Arapiles is one of the world’s best crags for easier trad climbing — and that’s significant. It isn’t quite the cutting-edge crag it once was Read More

Klettern-calendar-2014-cover

Klettern calendar 2014

Posted by | Published | No Comments

For the third year in a row I’ve scored the cover of the German Klettern Magazine’s annual calendar; very stoked about that. They sent me some copies and it sure looks great — so be sure to get yourself a copy! Klettern’s is a massive poster sized wall calendar; props to them for producing something so big and unique.

Klettern-calendar-2014-cover

And some of my shots from inside… Read More

Alien space invasion? Sleeping monster on a cold still night. Looking from Mt York towards Bell, 15 minute exposure, 24 October 2013. Nikon D3s with 14mm lens.

Bushfire

Posted by | General News, Photographs | No Comments

Thursday 17th October was already shaping up as a bad bush fire day in the Blue Mountains. The winds were extreme and the large fire near Lithgow, that had started the day before, was fanning fast. Then I heard a fire had broken out near Springwood, later we learnt it destroyed 200 homes. Meanwhile we were working from home in Mount Victoria until a blackout put an end to that, so we were outside doing some fire prep work around the house. Little did we know that power lines had started another fire — less than a kilometre from our house. We smelt smoke, heard sirens nearby, and thought the Lithgow fire might have somehow spotted all that way. Word on the street soon became “GET OUT!!!”. We grabbed a few valuables, saved my slide collection, then I plugged the gutters, turned on the taps and drove away. We thought for sure our house would be gone. In a strange mixed-emotion kind of way I was at least happy to have saved the slides; I’d always assumed I’d never manage that, and years of scanning and digitising them just isn’t the same.

Alien space invasion?  Sleeping monster on a cold still night. Looking from Mt York towards Bell, 15 minute exposure, 24 October 2013. Nikon D3s with 14mm lens.

Sleeping monster on a cold still night. Looking from Mt York towards Bell, 15 minute exposure, on the night of October 24th — seven days after the Mount Victoria fire had started (the fires in the distance are from the Lithgow fire; The Mt Victoria and Lithgow fires had joined up). Nikon D3s with 14mm lens.

Some people in a street nearby had little or no warning before the fire was upon their homes; there were some seriously close escapes. Eight houses were destroyed there. Read More

Chris Sharma Down Under vid

Posted 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!