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Category Archives: General News

Andrew ‘Squib’ Cubbon, Simply the Best (28), The Star Factory, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania.

2014 — through the lens

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Photography gives us such a wonderful way to reflect on the past, and perhaps gain a hint of where we are are going. I thought I’d start the new year off here with a quick reflection on my photography from 2014. I’ve selected 12 of my favourite images from 2014 to share with you.

Looking at the images, two things really stand out to me…

Firstly, 2014 was an incredibly busy year. My major project for the year was to complete my new book Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed, the culmination of many years work. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard for so long. I am immensely proud of the finished result and what we achieved with this book; I think it is fair to say, at the least, that this is a significant documentation of Australian climbing. Because that project so dominated the year it meant that some other projects were neglected or put on the back burner. I barely had time for any work on this web site, for example, so that’s something that will be rectified this year. I’m super excited about our plans for — among other things — this site and our email newsletter. The email newsletter already has over 1800 subscribers; it’s our main platform for sharing news and images (and freebies), so ensure you are subscribed to our newsletter –> here (we do not spam, you can unsubscribe anytime).

The other standout from 2014 is how much I have to be grateful for. I am very lucky to do creative and interesting work, at to some of the most spectacular places on the planet, with great friends and some of the nicest, most positive and inspiring people that I know. Whether it’s the climbers or others who have helped with photography, the 80 authors who contributed stories and text for Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed, the 100’s of people who supported our new book Kickstarter campaign, and everyone else who has supported our work in some way, or just connected with us on Facebook or Instragram and being positive about what we are doing… well, I’ve really felt the love — and I feel so very grateful for that. Thank you so much everyone.

So here are 12 highlights from 2014. And here’s cheers to 2015!

Andrew ‘Squib’ Cubbon, Simply the Best (28), The Star Factory, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania.

Andrew ‘Squib’ Cubbon, Simply the Best (28), The Star Factory, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania.

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World Climbing Calendar 2015

By | General News, Published | No Comments

2015. Boom! It is here. Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a truly wonderful year. I’m super excited about all the things we already have planned for 2015, looks like it’s going to be another big one. The last few months have been manic here and along the way there is something that I’ve missed mentioning here…

…and that’s the World Climbing Calendar 2015!


Cover photo: Keith Ladzinski

A bit of background: It all started 21 years ago with the Australian calendar for 1995. And then it transitioned to a World calendar in 2002. Every year for the last 20 years I have produced a calendar exclusively featuring my photography. It has been a great way of sharing my work and over the years the calendar has built up a strong following.

Some years ago, for the 2007 calendar, I did something a bit different: in addition to producing my normal World Climbing Calendar 2007 exclusively using my photography (which was widely distributed internationally), I also produced an Australian Climbing Calendar 2007 using the work of several Australian photographers (and distributed locally). There were a few reasons why I did this: Firstly, I thought it would be a good thing for the Australian climbing scene if we had an annual Australian climbing calendar again (my one regret when I’d switched my personal focus to producing a World calendar). Secondly, I thought I’d be nice to support some other Australian climbing photographers. I was curious how much support there would be for a specific Australian climbing calendar. The result? Unfortunately there was actually a decline in sales in Australia that year. I was surprised, I thought the industry and consumers might have gotten behind it but clearly not enough people cared. An interesting lesson. I was a little disappointed; not for myself but for the scene here. Since the extra work and expense in producing a second calendar featuring other photographers work could not be justified, it was easier to continue working on my own exclusive calendar — which has continued to sell strongly through a number of outlets around the world.

Fast forward a few years… For the World Climbing Calendar 2015, our 21st annual calendar, we decided it was time for a change again. So firstly, we completely redesigned the format (which incidentally had the benefit of allowing significantly cheaper postage rates without reducing size of the writing space). And secondly, I decided to reach out to three of the World’s best climbing photographers to see what we could produce in collaboration. Samuel Bie, Keith Ladzinski, and Lukasz Warzecha are three super hard-working guys who are dedicated to the craft, they travel widely and I admire their work immensely. So I was very stoked and honored when they all agreed without hesitation to work with me on this. It was a delight to sift through all the work that they submitted, and really tough to narrow it down to a final selection. The World Climbing Calendar 2015 is the result.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the calendar over the years — especially to those of you who have purchased it year after year. If you have any feedback on our new format calendar for 2015, I’d love to hear it.

UPDATE: We have SOLD OUT, as have many of our overseas distributors. Copies may still be available from Mapiberia in Spain, JeGrimpe in France and Ruheabteil Gear in Switzerland.flyer-spreads


Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed

By | General News, Published | No Comments

Hi Everyone

Things have been quiet on the blog front, as you can see; my apologies for that. It is because I have been working on a new coffee-table book on Australian rock climbing called Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed. This book is the result of many years work and the last six months have been some of the busiest of my life as we’ve worked hard to complete it.

At last, I’m delighted to announce that production of Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed is progressing well – and if all goes well, it should be available around the end of October. This post will give you a quick preview of the book, and I’ll use it to provide updates on the books availability.

We have received delivery of the book and it can now be ordered from –> here. There you will also find a link to our stockists and distributors list.

Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed is a hard-cover coffee-table book. Featuring 350 images, it is an exciting photographic journey to 21 Australian climbing destinations.

In addition to the images, this book contains text written by 80 individual authors, giving an insight into the heart and soul of Australian climbing. The emotive and often humorous stories, along with the spectacular imagery, make this a true celebration of Australian climbing that will inspire every climber.

The book is 192 pages and will be printed on high-quality 170gsm Lumi Silk Art Paper (European plantation stock). The Regular Edition cover case is 32oz thick with a high gloss finish, it looks like this:


Limited Edition

We will also producing a special deluxe edition of the book — limited to only 100 copies. Each of these Limited Edition copies will be individually numbered, feature a ribbon page marker and will come boxed. Most significantly, the Limited Edition cover will feature a five-layer lenticular mosaic design with 75 flickering images, debossed into a 40oz matt black scuff-resistant case. The lenticular will look like this:

Sample spreads








Thanks everyone

I just want to finish with a word of thanks to everyone who has helped me and supported this project. This book is the result of a massive collaborative effort. Hundreds of climbers have helped out with the photography over the years. Some 200 individual climbers feature in the book, and there is also the belayers and many others who helped along the way. Also, eighty climbers have contributed text. I feel very honored to have received such support. Thank you so much everyone!

For news, updates and more of my work, subscribe to my email newsletter –> here. And let’s connect on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks again! More soon. Simon

Guide Map altered mk2

Blue Mountains new access info

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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.

Guide Map altered mk2

Lunchtime top-up of my iphone with the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus, at Mt Buffalo last year.

Goal Zero & sponsors

By | General News | 4 Comments

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!

Lunchtime top-up of my iphone with the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus, at Mt Buffalo last year.

Lunchtime top-up of my iphone with the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus, at Mt Buffalo last year.

Speaking of sponsors, I’ll just quickly take this opportunity to thank my long term rope sponsor Sterling Rope who have 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

By | General News | 13 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


2014, bring it on!

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

Gimme Craft

Gimme Kraft!

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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



200 00x 018

Arapiles – 50 years

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

Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed is here Order now!