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First Year Of Climbing 13-Mar-2018 At 12:32:30 PM Sasquatch912
My First Year Of Climbing

In 2017, a random visit to SICG sparked an interest in this world of rock climbing that I had no idea existed. Fast forward 12 months and climbing has taken over my life. After riding and racing mountain bikes for 15 years, my only extended periods away from the bike came as a result of injury. It’s now mid-March and I have only touched my bike once in 2018.

After a few trips to the climbing gym, one thing that surprised me were the many ‘closet climbers’ coming out of the woodwork. The amount of riding friends and other acquaintances that now mentioned that they ‘do a bit of rock climbing’ was absolutely crazy. How could everyone have been keeping this amazing sport a secret for so long? My first out door climb came soon after, starting with Little Miss Sunshine (11) at Mt Keira. While the climb itself is comparable to climbing a ladder in the backyard to clean sludge out of the gutters, my poor footwork made it an arm pumping, desperate and exhilarating experience. I was hooked.

Since then I have been desperate to grab any outdoor climbing opportunity with both hands. Luckily for me I had some ‘closet climber’ friends who have been willing to take me out and show me the way. Another bonus has been the fact that my partner has also been bitten by the bug and started climbing as well. Unlike mountain biking we can share a lot of these experiences together.

These are a few of the highlights from the last year. I like to do a bit of photography which also lends itself well to climbing.

Whale Watchers Wall – Scarborough NSW
I have done this route 3 times now and it has to be one of my favourite climbs. An easy grade with amazing views and decent exposure make it a great time (The crux is not pulling off any holds). The best bit is that it’s only 5 minutes away from my house.' target='_blank'>' border='0' alt='Chockstone6'/>
Photo: Shot by Chris, me leading the second traverse pitch.

Mount Buffalo Trip
In November last year me and three mates made a trip down to Mount Buffalo for 4 days of climbing. It was my first time climbing on granite and I got to lead my first trad climb. Our day spent on The Horn was the highlight for sure.' target='_blank'>' border='0' alt='Chockstone3'/>
Photo: Chris climbing This Is Not Our Land (20), one of the few fully bolted routes.

New Zealand Trip – South Island
My partner and I had booked our 3 week tour of New Zealand’s south island before the climbing bug had bitten us. As the trip grew nearer I was determined to take advantage and get some climbing done while we were over there. We ended up climbing in Christchurch, Long Beach, Queenstown (Wye Creek) and Wanaka (Hospital Rocks).' target='_blank'>' border='0' alt='Chockstone4'/>
Photo: Me climbing on The Tombstone at Hospital Rocks outside of Wanaka' target='_blank'>' border='0' alt='Chockstone5'/>
Photo: My partner Sophie climbing at Wye Creek outside of Queenstown

Dam Spooge – Damn Cliffs Deep Water Solo
I have a greater appreciation for DWS after actually trying it myself. I found it terrifying.' target='_blank'>' border='0' alt='Chockstone2'/>
Photo: Harry showing us the way on Dam Spooge.

The Eyrie – Mount Boyce, Blue Mountains
After climbing Sweet Dreams for the first time in the morning, we headed to Mount Boyce to climb The Eyrie. I rapped in first and only noticed that we had forgotten the climbing rope once Simon was halfway down. I spent the next hour on positive vibe/advice duties while Simon improvised his way back up the rappel rope. Lesson learned, we won’t be forgetting the rope again any time soon.' target='_blank'>' border='0' alt='Chockstone1'/>
Photo: Simon on the second pitch of The Eyrie.

I have been perusing Chock Stone for quite a while now so I thought it would be worth actually contributing something. I know this isn’t a traditional ‘Trip Report’ but thought it might still be worth sharing.

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