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Some climbing and hiking in Tassie 2012   -   23.12.2012

In September of this year I moved to Tasmania to pursue a full-time job guiding on the Overland Track. Though I’ll post another blog and heaps of photos from that area I thought I’d share with you now some of the photos from personal trips I’ve done since arriving here in Tassie.

Let’s start with where I live. Evandale, Tasmania. A charming little historic town that would be a perfect spot to live. . .if you’re 65. The house is owned by a friend and 4 of us share the 3 bedrooms but we’re all guides so, on average, we see one another one day a month. This is the view from the front yard.

Shortly after arriving I attended the guide training weekend in Blessington. I was extremely jet lagged and sick so I’m not entirely sure what went down but we walked for a while around Ben Lomond.

A pair of wedge-tailed eagles soaring around the summit.

Needless to say, our boots got wet in the spring snow melt.

After guide training and my first 2 work trips I spent almost 2 weeks in the south walking a climbing. Two mates and I spent 3 days in the Gordon-Franklin Wild Rivers National Park walking to Lake Rhona. The remote lake sits under Reeds Peak and features pale pink sand and spectacular reflections of the surrounding mountains. Oh, and when I set my camera up to take a shot of the star trails at night I accidentally caught the Aurora Australis.

I also went to the Tasman Peninsula for a day walk around Cape Raoul, which has the tallest sea cliffs in Australia. And they’re made of dolerite so if you’re into climbing splitter cracks, this is the place to be.

I’ve managed to get in quite a bit of climbing while here as well, though mostly I didn’t take my camera or only climbed with one other person so pictures weren’t possible. However, in the last week I occasionally had more people to climb with or more motivation to take photos myself.

Climbing the ultra-classic Ghostwriter at Hillwood. Photo cred: Joel

While having a magical few days at Freycinet, complete with whales playing below the sea cliffs where I watched the sun set, John and I attempted a long multipitch on the Hazards Main Wall. Now this is a different John to the one I climb with in Canada, US and Spain so from now on he will be known and the ruggedly-handsome John.

See, ruggedly handsome.

On the way to Main Wall via the Sealine Traverse (or what ever route we managed to get on).

Ruggedly-handsome John and I started a classic 240-m slab climb that turned into a bit of an epic. We got well lost on the way in and even more so on the way out. We ate some delicious lunch at the bottom of the climb and tried to decide whether or not we had enough time to do the route before the weather closed in.

Photo cred: Ruggedly-handsome John

By 1230 h I started up the first pitch. . .”go 8-10 m until you can step boldly out to the right onto the slab”. . .yeah bloody right!! What the guide book should say is, “swallow a bag of concrete, harden the heck up, climb over 30 m up a blank slab without so much as an RP placement, then wrap a sling around a half-dead shrub in a dirty gully for an anchor. Pray that your seconder doesn’t fall and rip you both and the shrub off the cliff and into the ocean below.” Needless to say, I went off route following a weakness that took the odd piece of protection then did a scary traverse into the dirty gully. We had a discussion at the shrub belay and decided that we didn’t want to go higher and risk it being worse so we rapped of the pathetic plant and attempted to retrace our steps back to the car. We got quite lost. . .not hopelessly lost because we could easily see where we needed to be 1 km down the coast, but what we couldn’t find was a safe and easy way to get there. And then the rain started, turning the granite slab into an angled skating rink (thank goodness we bailed or we’d still be up there at some crappy semi-hanging belay freezing and half-dead).

Ruggedly-handsome John leading the Horizontal Chimney on the Sealine Traverse.

Just when we were feeling at our worst from scrub-bashing uphill to find the Skyline Traverse and slip-sliding along the angled skating rinks and choss the dolphins came to cheer us up.

That's all for now as I'm heading out for back-to-back Christmas and New Years work trips. Happy holidays!

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