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Klettern calendar

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Each year the German magazine Klettern publish a massive poster sized wall calendar and most years I get a few shots in there. For 2013 I’ve scored the cover again and few inside shots. The calendar is huge! I don’ know it works out with the postage but if you live in Europe it may not be to bad, you can get it from there shop here.

 

Snow!

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Snow, in October, in the Blue Mountains, does not happen very often. Turns out this was the best dump we’ve had in 20 years. A good excuse to get out and play and snap a few pics…

It started dry and sticky, perfect for making snowmen…

Afterwards I tried to do some work in the office, honestly I did. But the lights were flickering and I didn’t trust the electricity, so I shut down the ‘puters just before the blackout. The snow was getting wet and heavy and bringing branches down on to the power lines. Only one thing for it, time to go for a walk….

Coco is nearly four so if think that by now she should be walking, well so did I. Out you get lazy girl…

Up on the highway I came across Angus Farquar seizing on the opportunity to attempt possibly the first ever ski descent of Victoria Pass. Not sure how that went…

Yeah I know, to all of you in North America and Europe a bit of snow is hardly worth writing about but around here this much is novel. Since I’ve been crunching hard on the computer for weeks now on a guidebook project, I appreciated the break. And since the mail didn’t go, that’s why mail-orders were delayed yesterday.

Anyway, good times!

un-BEERWAH-lievable!

Posted by | Climbing News, Photographs | One Comment

Busy times indeed, hence why things have been quiet on the blog here. My apologies for that. We recently did a trip up to Queensland and absolutely loved it — but were working our little arses off however. I was mainly shooting for a new coffee-table book on Australian climbing and also a new guidebook project we have in the works. I’m delighted with my photos and satisfied that after all these years I now have some good coverage of Queensland’s awesome, varied and really interesting climbing. Between all the work Monique managed to squeeze in a send of the iconic Whistling Kite (32) at Frog Buttress. More on all those things soon but now I wanted to quickly fire of a quick news report because today I heard some very cool news…

One of the things I photographed up in Queensland was Lee Cujes and John J O’Brien (“JJ”) attempting to free climb the first two pitches of the Beerwah Bolt Route on Mount Beerwah in the Glasshouse Mountains. For those not familiar with it, the Beerwah Bolt Route (aka Stainless Anticlimb) is a famous, no, THE famous, four pitch aid bolt ladder blasting up to – and through – the massive overhangs on the mountain’s north face. It is so popular it’s pretty much a rite-of-passage for Queensland rock climbers. Photographing Lee trying to free climb the second pitch (it was his first time trying the moves) was a laugh actually — the moves looked absolutely ridiculous! I thought “good luck with that”. Lee did all the moves that day but it looked to me like he was settling in for a long-term project – and a very cool one at that. But not so! I just got news that Lee and JJ returned to the route today and fired the first and second pitches at around grade 26 and 27 respectively. Well done guys, absolutely awesome job. I think Queensland just got a couple more mega-classic hard free pitches. And I’d just like to add that I had a look at the massive overhangs and I’m pretty sure they will also go free, just at grade 40 or thereabouts, so maybe we’ll have to wait a bit longer for that.

Here a few pics of the route from the distance. My best work from the shoot might soon be appearing in a magazine, book, or as a limited edition print, so stay tuned for that.

Lee Cujes and John J O'Brien attempting to free climb pitch two of the Beerwah Bolt Route.

Lee Cujes and John J O’Brien attempting to free climb pitch two of the Beerwah Bolt Route.

The first two pitches, now free. From there the aid route traverses right a ways before blasting straight through the big overhangs.

 

trailer

Chris Sharma & Adam Ondra trailer

Posted by | General News, Video | 3 Comments

When I was at Oliana, Spain, earlier this year I shot some footage of Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra attempting a probable grade 38 (9b+) project (called La Dura Dura — meaning the hard hard one). That’s right, they both seemed fairly confident that if sent it would be the hardest route in the world and warrant a new grade (there are about seven 9b routes in the world; most of which have been climbed by either Chris or Adam).

I watched Chris and Adam attempting this project on many days and on eight days also shot video of it for Big Up Productions. Every time Chris or Adam tied in for a shot I’d jumar up a rope and wait for them, high up the 50-metre route, so that if either of them got through the lower crux’s I’d be in place to film the upper part of their send. Sometimes I got to shoot from other angles. Not the most glamorous job ever but it was really interesting watching them work the route, refine their sequences and gradually unlock the route’s secrets. Well I won’t spoil the story for Big Up. In the meantime check out their teaser for the Reel Rock Tour. It’s good to see some of my crux action footage used there. I can’t wait to see their full clip!

 

Brisbane!

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Brisbane you rock!

We have been up shooting and climbing up in Queensland for a few weeks and having a blast, but I just want to say a quick shout out to everyone who came along to my show in Brisbane last night. The Queens Arms was packed and a great vibe too! Thanks to everyone for coming long and making it such a great night. The scene up here is awesome, everyone has been incredibly helpful and hospitable and we’ve been really enjoying the climbing. Got a lot to catch up on now but I’ll post some pics soon…

Photo: JJ O’Brien

 

Dave, Ian & Nalle

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Oh dear, where did the last few months go? While this blog has been quiet I’ve been busy with travel, photos, climbing, and lots of different work projects going on. Clearly, I’ve got some catching up to do, so here is a quick start.

Back in June I did a quick (maybe 10 day) trip down to Victoria. First stop Melbourne to present my show at the Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand Alpine Club; it was a small but appreciative audience and I really enjoyed the night. Next I blasted over to “The Garapiles” (The Grampians and Arapiles) – one of my favourites parts of the world — for six days of shooting. Always too long between drinks, there never seems to be an end to all the things that I want to shoot — let alone climb — down there. I spent a couple of days working on a photo project at Arapiles (more on that later) but the highlight for me was catching up with Dave Graham, Ian Dory (both from the USA) and Nalle Hukkataival (Finland) for a few days shooting in the Grampians. This was their second visit to Australia after a long trip out here last year. I always like hearing when foreign climbers get really psyched on Oz climbing and so I was keen to meet them and see what they were up to. Uber-strong climbers of course, no surprises there from what I knew, but also genuinely friendly, positive, open and down to earth, which I really appreciated. I really enjoyed my time with them and their friends Madeleine and Remy from Melbourne. And yep, on the rock they were crushing!

Here are a few pics that I can show at this time. We started with a day at Muline Crag where Dave had sent Flower Power (33) second shot. The route has been around for nine years yet I think Dave may have made only the second ascent.

Dave Graham on Flower Power (33 or 8c), which he sent second shot, at Muline Crag, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Dave on Flower Power (33) at Muline Crag.

Ian Dory sending Daemon Flower (31), Muline Crag, The Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Ian sending Daemon Flower (31), Muline Crag.

Then we spent a long day (and some of the night!) on the boulders at Buandik and they sent several new problems that day. Nalle’s Knowing is Half the Battle (V11) is an insane high-ball — about 12-metres high! Both Dave and Ian stepped up and climbed it too.

Nalle Hukkataival, first ascent of Rootarted (V12), Buandik boulders, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Nalle making the first ascent of Rootarted (V12), Buandik boulders.

Ian Dory attempting an unclimbed V14ish problem, Buandick boulders.

Ian attempting an unclimbed V14ish problem, Buandik boulders.

Nalle Hukkataival, first ascent of Knowing is Half The Battle (V11 highball), Buandik boulders, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Nalle making the first ascent of the high-ball Knowing is Half The Battle (V11), Buandik boulders.

Dave Graham making the most of good conditions after dark(!), attempting, Right Thurr (V13) Buandik boulders, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Dave keeping the motivation going long after dark to attempt Right Thurr (V13), Buandik boulders.

And we had a beautiful afternoon up on the glorious orange rock of Millennium Caves, over-looking the Victoria Range.

Ian Dory onsighting Nomads, Saints and Indians (29), Millennium Caves, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Ian onsighting the heroically (badly) bolted Nomads, Saints and Indians (29), Millennium Caves.

Nalle Hukkataival working What's an Aging Gigolo to Do (32), Millennium Caves, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Nalle climbing the boulder start to What’s an Aging Gigolo to Do (32), Millennium Caves.

Dave Graham working What's an Aging Gigolo to Do (32), Millennium Caves, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Dave working What’s an Aging Gigolo to Do (32), Millennium Caves.

Dave Graham flashing Breathing Gasoline (30), Millennium Caves, Grampians, Victoria, Australia.

Dave flashing Breathing Gasoline (30), Millennium Caves.

I headed home but the guys continued to have a productive trip.  Both Dave and Ian climbed The Wheel of Life, the famously long boulder problem in the Hollow Mountain Cave. Dave said a route grade (of 9a+), rather than a boulder grade, was a more appropriate way to grade it given the style and length of the problem, errr, route. When finally the rain held off for long enough Dave sent the run-out Groove Train (33) classic on Taipan Wall. And at nearby Arapiles, Nalle established Never Say Never (V14), perhaps the hardest boulder problem at Arapiles. Still lots to do though, so I hope we’ll see them again next year.

Busy times for Dave Graham, because in other news his new website project The Island has also just launched. With support from a lot of climbers and photographers it is going to be home to lot of really interesting climbing media. Be sure to check it out! Dave has a lot of really good ideas to build a positive online climbing community. I wish him well!

Klettern magazine

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I’ve been on the road again; this time a quick trip to Arapiles and The Grampians. More on that soon, but in the meantime the June issue of Klettern Magazine has turned up and I’m happy to have got another cover with Monique styling on that crazy tufa route in Verdon Gorge. Sweet!

Klettern Magazine June 2012

Good Morning

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We are back home now from Spain. I’ll miss the climbing there but being home is not at all bad with the wealth of things to do around here — in Australia. In fact, I’m psyched to do a lot more local climbing and shooting and have several projects I’m excited to be getting stuck into soon. With one of those projects in mind I got out this morning and found it was a beautiful dawn over the Jamison Valley (near Katoomba in the Blue Mountains), with Mount Solitary in the background. You gotta be psyched when a new day — or a new chapter in life — begins like that. Have a great day everyone!

The Jamison Valley, Blue Mountains, blanketed by an inversion layer with Mount Solitary in the background. NSW, Australia.

Rock Magazine

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And some good press for local (Blue Mountains) talent Matt Norgrove, here on Moonshadow, his first 33. Earlier I mentioned how Matt has carved it up lately. Since then he has cranked Mechanical Animals (33), he’s certainly on a roll .

Thanks to Rock Magazine for another cover!