Sunday, June 21, 2009

Australia- Grampians Bouldering

The incredibly beautiful Taipan Wall

I've been fortunate enough to make a couple of trips out to the Grampians National Park during my time in Australia. This is Australia's premier bouldering area. The climbing is a bit spread out and still undeveloped. However, the area is incredibly beautiful and the rock has some of the most interesting features I've ever seen on sandstone. While climbing there today, I ran into Chris Webb Parsons (who is perhaps the strongest current Australian boulderer) and we talked a bit about the Grampians bouldering guidebook that he is working on. It sounds like he's making great progress on the book and he hopes to have it out in the next couple of months. Having gone through that experience myself, I know it is a lot of work, but he showed me some of the pages and it looks like it's going to be an outstanding book. This is an area that will benefit greatly from a good guidebook as there is a ton of rock but almost no information available online. I found Chris to be a very humble and engaging person and I wish him well on his recovery from shoulder surgery (he sustained the injury on his recent trip to Hueco). I'm sure he'll be back to climbing hard again in no time at all! Anyhow, here are some pictures from my time in the Grampians. (Thanks Stephanie!)

The hike in to the Mt. Stapylton bouldering areas

Learning the 'Nevin Rule' (v7) at the Kindergarten

'A Horse Is A Horse' (v4) at the Kindergarten

An unnamed v4 variation at the Kindergarten

'Fashion' (v5) at Loopey's

'Passion' (v4) at Loopey's

Sticking the crimp on 'Circus Jerkus' (v6) at Loopey's

'Wimmel Friedhof' (v5) at the Hollow Mountain Cave

Zaiga Padoms staring down a hold on an unnamed v2 at the Trackside area.

Australia- Wilson's Promontory National Park

Picnic Bay Beach

Wilson's Promontory National Park is situated about three hours southeast of Melbourne and is the furthest point south in mainland Australia. It is also one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and probably my favorite place that I have visited so far in Australia. Empty beaches with good surf, abundant wildlife and rolling hills covered with eucalyptus all add to the aura. I even spent one afternoon bouldering on the granite boulders of Whiskey Bay. (There is actually a large amount of bouldering potential here- Squeaky Beach, Picnic Bay, Whiskey Bay and Oberon Bay all have blocks that offer good climbing at low tide.) I hope to spend more time here after the ski season. Enjoy the photos!

The sun sets over Darby Beach

The Glennie Islands

Boulders on Squeaky Beach

A wombat feeding on the beach at dusk

A Sooty Oystercatcher

A Crimson Rosella

Water from the Southern Ocean washes ashore

Australia- The Great Ocean Road

Sorrento Ocean Beach on the Mornington Peninsula

The Great Ocean Road is one of the great drives in Australia and the most popular tourist attraction in Victoria. It really is a beautiful and amazing area. Hopefully the pictures show some of that.

Split Point Lighthouse

A Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Gum trees meet the ocean


The London Bridge

A view of Apollo Bay, my favorite town along the Great Ocean Road.

A double rainbow

The Twelve Apostles

A typical Great Ocean Road scene

It's like this the whole way

Bay Of Islands

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Australia- Grampians National Park

The Australian bush as viewed from Mt. Zero Road.

A large gum tree stands silhouetted against the fading light just outside of Mt. Arapiles State Park.

Grampians National Park is located about three to four hours northwest of Melbourne. It is a rugged and beautiful area full of bush vegetation and rocky peaks. Many types of wildlife are frequently seen including kangaroos, wallabies, emus and all sorts of crazy looking birds. Enjoy the pictures!

MacKenzie Falls

No explanation needed

A view from the Boroka Lookout over the Halls Gap area.

A male Scarlet Robin

The sun sets over the plains west of Hollow Mountain.