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the Moai

By 9 April 2014 No Comments
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Thanks to everyone for a great response to my first newsletter. Here’s #2!

The main project I’m working on at the moment is a new coffee-table book on Australian climbing. So I’ve just been down in Tasmania shooting some fresh images. You’ve heard of the Totem Pole right — but have you heard of the Tasman Trilogy? The 65m high Totem Pole is just one of the three classic pillars that make up the trilogy: Pole Dancer (at Cape Raoul) and the Moai are the others.

I’ve spent over 20 days shooting the Totem Pole always trying to get better images of that crazy thing. And one of my shots of Pole Dancer recently made the cover of Rock and Ice: check that here. So I really wanted a new shot of the Moai that was fully up to scratch. The Moai is kind of the little brother to the Totem Pole and Pole Dancer; of the three it is the least committing to climb. It’s nearly two hours hike then a 60m abseil to the base of the Moai, but then you have a lovely rock platform to hang out on and a grade 18 or a grade 24 route to choose from.

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We hiked out there, set up some ropes and I worked out some angles the day before. I wanted crack of dawn light so next day we started hiking at 5am, in the dark. We were in place, ready at dawn… the worst sunrise ever. Well, at least it wasn’t raining I guess. I was disappointed. It wasn’t the vision I had for this shot… but now… I’ve come around and I’m kinda liking the black and white. Moody. And that’s climbing in Tasmania right there.

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Huge shout out to climbers Chris Hampton and Andy Kuylaars for their awesome help with these shots!

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On another day in Fortesque Bay: Moai to the left and Totem Pole to the right. As calm as it gets down there. I heard they’ve spent something in the order of a million dollars upgrading the track out to Cape Hauy where the Totem Pole is. Apparently the stonework is something to see… I’ll have to go back to the Tote one day.

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Other news. A bit of a throw back but I’ve just released a large gallery of shots of Tsaraono in Madagascar. Speaking of dawn photo shoots, for this one we were an hours hike in and eight pitches up. And happy!

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Tsaranoro is truly one of the best climbing destinations I’ve ever visited. The domes are up to 800m. Mad mad Madagascar. Check out the full feature gallery –> here.

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Meanwhile, this was the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, at 6:18am this morning.

Hope you have/had a great day. Thanks for checking out my newsletter.

Simon

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