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Category Archives: General News
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.
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. The author of this no-nonsense book is local climber Gordon Poultney. This is a complete revamp of some earlier budget Arapiles guidebooks which Gordon, in fact, produced back as far as 1995. This book covers the best routes at all grades, it’s pocket-sized and has the usual high standard of photography, design and production that you’d expect from Onsight Photography.
Arapiles has always been a special place for me personally. It was there that I spent eight months full-time climbing back in 1992/93. It was then, when I was taking climbing photos on my rest days from climbing, that I started regaining my youthful obsession with photography, I really started to find my vision, and made the decision to pursue my photography professionally. Soon after I moved to Natimuk to live and started up Onsight Photography. So it has been a real delight working on this book, getting psyched about climbing there again, and being able to put so many of my photos — both old and new — together into this one book.
I first became interested in this project when I started hearing stories of people climbing at Arapiles without a guidebook, mostly short-term visitors I guess. The need for it was then driven home to me when we were getting out of the car at the Pharos car park one day and three climbers came up to us, looking a bit lost, and asked “Where is Bushranger’s Bluff?”. I kid you not! With a recommended retail price of a mere $19.95 this 132 page book will be a little winner for climbers and travellers wanting a budget guidebook. The small format makes it easy to carry around — even up those multi-pitch routes. And Gordon’s waffle-free route descriptions combined with the “tight” design will help make finding the best routes easy. I’m actually really very very psyched about this book — and I can’t wait to put it to use — and get on many of those classics which I haven’t yet done!
See more information and some sample spreads here. The book is at the printers now. Order now and you’ll get your copy as soon as possible — we expect delivery in late June. Just use the Buy Now buttons below:
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.
For details and how to order — see below.
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 I was smashing out up to 16 hours a day on this, and Neil was doing the same. The result was that we have created something I’m really proud of but also we finished production in super fast time. Thanks Neil!
We got the book off to the printers in early February, it’s now at final binding stage and we’re expecting delivery around the end of March (probably in stores just after Easter). More information, some sample spreads, and ordering info is below. If you are keen to climb at the Grampians this Autumn then I’d like to help you get your book to you ASAP, so for any Australian mail orders that we receive before the end of March, we will upgrade the postage from normal postage to Express Post at no extra charge.
But 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).
- For some sample pages see here.
- Expected availability: 2nd April 2013 (check back here for updates).
- Available from climbing equipment stores in Australia. Mail-order from our online shop here or use the Buy Now buttons below.
Please select the correct delivery option.
Special offer: Order by 31 March 2013 and pay for normal postage — and, as soon as we receive delivery, we’ll send your order by Express Post for no additional charge (offer applies to Australian orders only).
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.
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 — 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 O’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.
- And to preview some sample spreads from the book, scroll down to the bottom of the page at this link.
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!
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…
Over in the Grampians Coco has been getting her bush walking game on…
And Monique has been doing her thing too…
Our calendar for 2013 is out and I’m stoked with the result again this year!
The marketing departments word is below. If you are thinking about getting a copy then don’t wait, we’ve cut the print run fine this year and there’s a good chance we’ll sell out.
This is the 19th annual calendar to showcase the work of World-renowned climbing photographer Simon Carter.
Seamlessly merging action and landscape, the dazzling imagery inspires and captivates climbers across the globe.
Features climbing destinations from Australia, China, France, New Zealand, Spain, UK, USA and Vietnam.
The design is stylish and functional and includes international holiday dates and moon phases.
Presented in a large 30 x 30cm format, shrink-wrapped and stiffened for protection. Opens to 30 x 60cm (12 x 24″).
Update: we have now sold out of the 2013 calendar!
If you’d like to know which Australian retailers may still have it in stock in your area, please email us with your location.
When we were up in Queensland we split our time between all the Sunshine Coast crags, which I covered in the previous post, and Frog Buttress, which I will quickly cover here.
Best known for the incredible concentration of high-quality crack routes, Frog also has a lot of high-quality face climbing.
Sorry I can’t show you more of my photos from here at the moment, they will be appearing in a feature article soon…
At Frog I employed my Photo Pole apparatus, Photo pole 2.0, for the first time. A few modifications have made it a lot faster and better to work with, compared to the previous design. Here I set it up to shoot Duncan Steel on Whistling Kite. The results were awesome, stay tuned for when my new Australia book comes out to see those.
Frog Buttress, not the only one but another great reason to visit Queensland for climbing!
A few months ago I mentioned that we were up in Queensland shooting and climbing. A lot of the shooting that I was doing on that trip is for a new coffee-table book on Australian climbing, among other things, but the other big project I was working on was a guidebook to several crags in South East Queensland. There were so many times when we were travelling around up there that I wished there was already a guidebook like this, so I’m sure this new guidebook will be a handy thing for many climbers. The guidebook is a collaborative effort with several local climbers but more on the guidebook later. The result for me was that as soon as we returned from Queensland I basically locked myself in the office and spent the last two months in full-on guidebook production mode. For a while it was a nice change to spend some time at home and have a bit of break from travel for while. Producing guidebooks is really satisfying but it’s not my main business and so when I work on one I don’t have the luxury to spend years pottering away at it; I need to fit guidebook production in between trips. The upshot has been that I’ve had my head down and been focused, neglected blogging and even emails, but because I was working with a great team we got the job done and the book should be in the shops before Christmas. Psyched!
So anyway, here is then a little photo essay on our trip up to Queensland. It really is an awesome winter climbing destination.
We arrived in time to compete in the Queensland Bouldering Competition, it was a really fun event run by Urban Climb. Somehow I managed to snake my way into second place in the mens Masters category. Don’t know how I managed that but it’s good to know this carcass still has a little crank left in it even if you wouldn’t know it judging by my performance on rock of late… But of course we were up there for real rock. We split our time between Frog Buttress and the crags up on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane. Frog Buttress is famous for its amazing crack lines of course; there were photos that I wanted to do there and Monique found a project but more on that later. The great surprise for me this trip was just how much great climbing there is up on the Sunshine Coast so I’ll start there… Just an hour north of Brisbane you have the amazing Glass House Mountains:
John J O’Brien got this shot of me abseiling into position for a shoot on Clemency Wall, Mount Tibrogargan.
And the result from the shoot…
And some antics up in the Summit Caves…
And Mount Coolum is a well-known sport climbing crag super close to the beautiful Sunshine Coast beaches. The climbing is funky and requires a lot of knee-bars. People seem to either love it or hate it, Monique loved it.
And close to Noosa there is the generally, but not entirely, slabby Mount Tinbeerwah with a swag of good routes.
Nearby we jigged and poked our way two pitches up Mount Cooroora to get some shots of a stunning arête which John O’Brien (JJ) had established.
And if you head a bit further north there’s a popular bunch of sandstone crags at Brooyar.
So much great climbing! But you know, one of the things I really loved about the Sunshine Coast was that there was more than just the climbing. It’s a beautiful place to visit and hang out. I’m already looking forward to escaping next winter and heading north again, putting the new guidebook to use, and gosh, hopefully having a holiday!
So until next year, a big shout of thanks to John J O’Brien, Sandra Phoenix, Rob and Donna Saunders, and everyone else who helped make our trip up there so awesome!
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!