As I think about the days leading up to our arrival in Australia I can only imagine what most people in our groups had going through their minds: Where are we staying? How do we get there? Where to purchase food? Where is the watering hole? So many questions up in the air nothing much planned for this last minute trip. As for any other crew I’m sure people would have been freaking out but, we held our composure well. It could have been really stress full I suppose, but I have to say thanks to our amazing crew down under: Jes, Dave, Nalle, and myself. Before you knew it we rented a sweet IMAX van, food and living accommodations, which turned out to be way better than expected.
It was really great getting to know Nalle, Dave, Keith, Elly and some locals during this trip. Dave, Nalle and Keith are 3 of the most amazing/enjoyable people I have ever had the opportunity to climb, travel and live with. Not only do we know how to joke around and have fun, we do quite well getting psyched and throwing down like there is no tomorrow. Given the opportunity to climb with the best is something I could only have dreamed of years ago!
Perfect orange walls that extend 55 meters, it’s no wonder I feel so enchanted by the climbing and the massive falls that await me on this old school hard core wall that should have warning labels that say; if your not as bad ass like Chuck Noris then go bouldering! I also hope to achieve some sort of Australia accent during my time here, Dave and I try sometimes but, most people just think we are from the southern states and make fun of us. I need to say that climbing with a group like this has its moments but, most of the time we have good energy, focus with vision and ethics like very few in the game.
Quite few projects that have been going down, and it’s no thanks to the quick work of Nalle Hukkataival who is crushing ever thing he sees! Credit also need to go to Dave who has put up the best looking line of the trip this fair, but most of the time we do the problems one after another. One of the climbs that I have to do next time I go is called Pigeon superstition a problem Nalle put up after two days of effort. This line is one of the harder FAs that have been put down during the trip. The line is really ecstatic, and it’s hard to believe that such a line went unnoticed for this long.
Mt. Zero Log Cabins
After purchasing the guidebook when arriving to Melbourne we learned about these cabins only 2k from the Grampians. It truly is a home away from home. A very comfortable environment with all the necessities one would need. PRE-CUT firewood delivered daily, laundry, fire pit, BBQ, wood burning heater, hot water, linens, tennis courts and if needed you can even take a jump on the many trampolines around the premise. There is also a pool, however during their winter I opted not to swim. This property is surrounded by tea leaf fields and acres of sheep fields. Magpies (very territorial swooping birds) have become our natural alarm clock and Kangaroos part of our daily drive to the crags. The owners of these cabins are a pair of siblings John & Angela whom have been the most considerate and hospital people I have ever met. They supply us with toilet paper, garbage bags, matched, fire lighters, and are constantly wondering how we are making out, where we’ve been, whats next on the agenda and giving us daily advice on the amazing turistical spots we should visit. i without even hesitating would recommend this sweet lodging. (WWW.MTZEROLOGCABINS.COM)
On The Beach
3rd day on, ouch. This boulder is one of the first we all looked at in the Grampians and our jaws dropped when we found out this perfect boulder problem was still a project. Located at trackside and was known as the project boulder, it is placed in a stunning location of the Grampians with the Taipan wall towering over and the view of most of the mountain. After a couple visits Dave sent, FA. The climb itself is super unique because there are 2 possible sequences for sending. Both Dave & Nalle sent the problems with two complete different styles and beta. Today was my 3rd day working it. To me, its been more of a challenge executing this problem. I have gotten to the last move 3 times and lost it because I didn’t readjust my knee bar correctly. It's hands down one of my favorite line in the Grampians. Today was a bit discouraging, the crew woke up early, all super motivated but, the temperatures however were less then great. I kept greasing and popping off every other hold. I am definitely psyched to accomplish this line and am praying for some artic winds to start blowing.
The following day I decided to return with Nate, Dave, Nalle & Jes. The conditions seemed perfect and what was feeling like god-awful slimy holds was now sticky. On my first try I was able to take down On The Beach. First try Friday! The friction was perfect and I was beyond psyched to top out this amazing boulder.
Cherry Picking AKA Death Star is located in Buandik (South Part of the Grampians.) It’s in the new bouldering area we have discovered, right around the bend from the Gallery. You will find enormous boulders one of witch is perched perfectly on a cliff. With a now (after we gave it some TLC) amazing comfortable landing. The boulder is beautifully graphed with many orange colors and a sweet blend of sandstone that looks like granite. This line is by far the most amazing boulder in Buandik. The background has mountains of undeveloped boulders full of potential and a sick waterfall that gives the area a surreal feel. This has been one of the more difficult boulders we have found in Buandik. We gave it an 8b grade. The line is technically demanding with difficult reaches and specific foot placement. The name originated from the last move of the climb which involves a dynamic foot swing that we call “the Moon kick.” It’s a must do line when coming to Australia, for sure.