Arapiles The Empire Strikes Back Child Carrigan 81

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 27, 2008 - 05:11pm PT
A little something from the land of Dreamtime. The classic survey of the crag from Mountain 78 March/April 1981. Certainly two of the most colorful characters ever in Greg and Kim, pulling down hard at home.






Note the globe trotting Gramicci!








Double D

climber
Jul 27, 2008 - 07:52pm PT
Nice article. Nick, Java and Kim were a blast to hang with and funnier than anything BITD. Interesting that Tobin nailed the 2nd ascent of Denim. He did some amazing stuff.
Barto

climber
Minneapolis, MN
Jul 28, 2008 - 10:42am PT
I loved the writing in the old Arapilles guide: Mike Law advocating for taking the whippers, chronicling the use of seatbelt assemblies as bolt to prevent anyone resting at clips, making it clear that Australia was fascinating and weird.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Jul 28, 2008 - 10:52am PT
Steve, I really love your historical threads. Every time you post one, I'm surprised by how clearly I remember most every one of them. When I had these issues in my possession, I read and re-read them so many times that the stories and pictures must have gotten permanently logged into my brain. Thanks for jogging my memory, and keeping the keeping the roots alive.
Rokrover

Trad climber
SB, CA
Jul 28, 2008 - 11:28am PT
I remember Arapiles from 1968 when it was a sleepy place being developed by Chris Dewhirst, Chris Baxter the Gledhill twins and others. John Ewbank, a visionary Sydney climber, nabbed the first ascent of a jam crack that had repulsed all Victorians who were not used to this style then. He named it The Rack and graded it 17 on his Ewbank (now Australian) system. That caused some consternation for the locals who were confident on grade 19 face climbs. Ancient history now.
graham

Social climber
Ventura, California
Jul 28, 2008 - 12:48pm PT
Hey those first two shots are of my good friend Mark Moorhead. He was quite a cool character too. Tragically killed along with 3 other Australianís on Makalu. I wish more of you could have known him.

Mike
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 29, 2008 - 11:28am PT
Bummer Mike! We definitely lost a lot of good people to the Big Game. In memory and image, they will stay forever young. What encouraged you to visit Australia in the first place beyond the great people.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 30, 2008 - 02:10am PT
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 30, 2008 - 02:56am PT
Mike Law (The Claw) Sydney Sea Cliffs

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2008 - 10:34am PT
Postin' up de Law! Nice.
graham

Social climber
Ventura, California
Jul 30, 2008 - 12:15pm PT
Steve thanks for posting this up. Iíve actually never seen this article, my Mt mag collection stops at 70.


Hearing about Australia from people like Henry Barber, Kim Carrigan, Tobin Sorenson are who really inspired me. On a previous trip to Britain I met even more folks talking about it. There I met Jeff Lamb of the Lake District (he is in one of those photos above) he eventually immigrated with his elder father to Australia. I ran into him at Arapiles on both of my trips. Iíve written about this before, he died Soloing a few years later at Frog Buttress in Queensland. Super great guy and good climber too.

Here is a shot of Mark Moorhead when we repeated Tobinís Turinga Wall. oddly it was the first pitch that no one could do. It involved slab like friction moves that the Australians werenít use to. Just as Tobin told me it went at about 10c. It was a piece of cake for everyone once they saw the beta.


Glenn Tempest

Social climber
Melbourne, Australia
Jul 31, 2008 - 03:09am PT
Thanks heaps Steve. Brought back a bunch of memories. I shot quite a few of those images in the article. Feels like only yesterday - except in B/W. Hey Mike, your Ride Like the Wind (25, 5.12b) on Wind Wall still commands big respect. I think the 20m fall potential off the crux keeps the holds from chalking up....

You may be interested that Simon Mentz and I have just finished the new second edition of the Arapiles Selected Climbs guide. All singing, all dancing, all color 392 pages. The guide will be released in about two weeks. I have a few images of it on my site at Open Spaces (osp.com.au) if you want to check it out. If anyone's interested we are taking discounted pre-orders before it hits the streets.

And just in case you're wondering, Mike. Yep we've included a sequence of images I shot of you making an early repeat of No Exit (25, 5.12a). Headband and all.

As you know Arapiles still sees itself as a bastion of trad, though one of the things I've noticed is how many 'new generation' climbers would like to upgrade (some) of the old classics. They feel the routes are too solid at the grade. Funny how the original grades that were seen as benchmarks at the time (established mainly during the 60s, 70s and 80s) have suddenly become 'too hard'. Hanging around and placing gear on steep routes is meant to be challenging....isn't it?

Glenn
Glenn Tempest

Social climber
Melbourne, Australia
Jul 31, 2008 - 03:14am PT
Oh and by the way. Love the Hummer banner ad on Super Topo. Obviously global warming doesn't effect the United States like it does in our part of the world.....
graham

Social climber
Ventura, California
Jul 31, 2008 - 10:31am PT
Now way! Glen Tempest!

How are you doing man? The new guide sounds good. Believe it or not Iím hoping to get back down under sometime soon. Just rounding up a crew for the trip.

Do you ever see Eddie Ozzls? I would love to get some photos of RLTW my camera was stolen just before I left that trip. Thanks loads for sending me that one of you took of NExit years ago.

Oh yeah, they canít seem to give away Hummerís and large SUVís up here anymore no matter how much they advertise.

Cheers,

Mike
Glenn Tempest

Social climber
Melbourne, Australia
Jul 31, 2008 - 06:48pm PT
Hey Mike,

Let me know when you are down this way. You've always got a place to crash here in Melbourne when you need it. Up at Araps the place has hardly changed. In fact in many ways it's better. The landscape is healthier than it was in the early eighties. More trees, less erosion etc. The Pines campground still has that special vibe (just like Camp 4 used to have back in the late 70s!). Our only concession is that there is now a small camping fee. Still, the rock is just as good, the climbs just as classic and the kangaroos still lie about in the grass and watch the climbers play on the rocks. If you want to stay in Natimuk there are plenty of places you could doss. Half the climbing population of Victoria seems to live there these days...

Take care. Glenn
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 2, 2008 - 01:30pm PT
I'll take one of those guidebooks mate!

Along with any images of the Big Orange that you would care to post up. The full Gramicci sequence perhaps?!?

Or a tale or two of that other Yank ambassador plennipotentiary in flight and foam -----The Verminator!
graham

Social climber
Ventura, California
Aug 2, 2008 - 02:56pm PT
Glen, Thanks

Iíd like one of those books too so Iíll visit your site.

Dang Steve, see what you drummed up. Sherman does have some good stories from down there. Not sure I could get him to post up, yetÖ
Glenn Tempest

Social climber
Melbourne, Australia
Aug 3, 2008 - 11:17pm PT
Actually Sherman does feature in the new guide. We have a pic of him playing golf on the course behind the Mount (long white socks, bum-hugger shorts and yellow floral shirt...oh so eighties). We've also got a pic of Timmy O'Neill playing Aussie rules football (sorta like gridiron but much tougher and with no body armor...).
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Aug 4, 2008 - 11:18pm PT
Hey Glenn,
How bad are the temps and notorious flys really in Dec, Jan & Feb? We'll be there, staying in Melbourne this year. That is the timeframe we have but some have warned us about the heat.
Arne
Glenn Tempest

Social climber
Melbourne, Australia
Aug 6, 2008 - 07:14am PT
Geez..... Dec can be pretty good. Some days hot, some days warm a few (rare) days cool.....ish. Araps has enough shady spots to make Dec a reasonable place to be. Jan is getting pretty hot though and Feb is like an oven. In fact Feb is the one month everybody escapes to the alps and climbs at Mt Buffalo (or heads south to Tasmania). Feb is our hottest month so yeah, stay away from Araps in Feb. If you can get there in Dec you'll still have a great time. To quote Peter Croft 'Arapiles has the best rock in the Universe'. You won't be disappointed.....unless you do arrive in Feb!
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