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REVIEW: Adventures at the Edge of the World - A History of Tasmanian Rock Climbing

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 UKC Gear 21 Apr 2020
Lines and lines and lines and lines and lines at Frews Flutes, Ben Lomond

This immense volume does full justice to the rich history and sky high quality of one of the world's great rock climbing destinations, says Rob Greenwood.



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 olddirtydoggy 21 Apr 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

This part of the world keeps popping up but I doubt we're at a grade where we could fully enjoy such a place. With all the time on our hands I caught a Tasmanian climbing/base jumping film called the Lorax project that might be of interest to anyone reading this article.

https://www.vimeo.com/310331133

Great write up on this book, thanks.

In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> Great write up on this book, thanks.

Agree. Superb review of what sounds like a wild place (with even wilder characters!)

Mick

1
 cheese@4p 21 Apr 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

I very much doubt I'll ever get there to climb but this book is most definitely on my tick list.

 Lankyman 21 Apr 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

I spent a few months tramping in the Tassie bush on a couple of visits years ago. A lot of the locations I got to are mentioned in the article and I can vouch for the big walks to get in! Frenchman's Cap is a long way with a very muddy section early on (the sodden Loddens). It's a great peak with a huge quartzite face. The well known Overland Trail passes through stunning remote country with acres of crags all around. Some of the huts would make good bases for climbing. I well remember going on a side trip up Mt Oakleigh which had some huge pinnacles on the side. A couple of downers not mentioned are leeches in the bush and mossies on the beach - those b* stards can bite through tracksters! The fantastic blue sea at Freycinet is also bloody freezing.

In reply to UKC Gear:

The most amazing place I have ever climbed; yes I am biased my dad was Tasmanian. A really cool place just to be, never mind the climbing. 

In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Don’t be too sure; loads of climbing across the grades.

In reply to UKC Gear:

Thanks to everyone that's commented so far, I'm really glad that the review - and the book - have been so well received. 

 Rob Parsons 21 Apr 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

> ... I can vouch for the big walks to get in! Frenchman's Cap is a long way with a very muddy section early on (the sodden Loddens) ...

Frenchman's is a mighty cliff all right - but, actually, access to it is relatively easy in the Tasmanian scheme of things. And the Loddens are also now a lot less sodden than they used to be, as a result of the rerouting of the track a number of years ago. The Lake Tahune hut has similarly been replaced fairly recently.

In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Frenchman's is a mighty cliff all right - but, actually, access to it is relatively easy in the Tasmanian scheme of things.

I remember coming across 'The Precipitous Bluff' whilst searching through some of the more esoteric areas on the island, which has an approach time of 'four days tough walking'.

Never will I complain whilst walking in to Cloggy ever again...

 Lankyman 21 Apr 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Interesting to hear that. When I was there (30 years ago?) the park people were planning on leaving the track alone as a kind of access restriction in its own right. I saw no-one on the peak or walk in. I was mighty glad I'd picked up a strong stick in the woods as to fall over in the mud would have been fatal with a heavy pack!

 Rob Parsons 21 Apr 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> I remember coming across 'The Precipitous Bluff' whilst searching through some of the more esoteric areas on the island, which has an approach time of 'four days tough walking'.

The dolerite cliffs on PB are some 400m high in places, stretch for several miles - and contain only a couple of recorded routes, the first of which was put up by the ubiquitous Steve Monks. See http://www.thesarvo.com/confluence/display/thesarvo/Precipitous+Bluff

There is huge scope for rock-climbing at the place, but both the access and the weather make any proposed climbing trip a serious endeavour. I suspect not many people have tried.

Post edited at 16:09
 Lankyman 21 Apr 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> I remember coming across 'The Precipitous Bluff' whilst searching through some of the more esoteric areas on the island, which has an approach time of 'four days tough walking'.

Maybe my memory is going ( not unknown) but I don't think it was four days in? I might have had four days altogether. I can't find my diary to check and my little guidebook is similarly AWOL. Ido remember hitching to/from the trailhead and the godawful mud but the rest of it was superb.

Edit: just noticed it's an altogether different crag! Federation Peak was the one that got away for me.

Post edited at 15:58
 Rob Parsons 21 Apr 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

> Interesting to hear that. When I was there (30 years ago?) the park people were planning on leaving the track alone as a kind of access restriction in its own right.

I myself would have preferred that the track was left as it was: as you imply, it provided a valuable 'filter.'

Post edited at 16:10
 Rob Parsons 21 Apr 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

> Edit: just noticed it's an altogether different crag! Federation Peak was the one that got away for me.

As a final PS: Simon Bischoff (the co-author of the book reviewed here) has a good film about an ascent of Blade Ridge on Federation available on Vimeo - see https://vimeo.com/ondemand/winterontheblade

It gives a good idea of what to expect!

Post edited at 16:58
 Lankyman 21 Apr 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> As a final PS: Simon Bischoff has a good film about an ascent of Blade Ridge on Federation available on Vimeo - see https://vimeo.com/ondemand/winterontheblade

> It gives a good idea of what to expect!

Absolutely fantastic trailer! Brings back a few memories of the mud, rain and leeches. I never frolicked much in my nuddy out there though - maybe I should grow a big bushy beard? When my ex and I traversed over Mt Elizabeth we could see Federation off on the horizon. From the book and pics I thought it would be like a big version of Pillar Rock on steroids.

In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Great write-up - consider me sold!

I've only had brief encounter with the Organ Pipes (thanks to a kind UKCer) but that's a great crag to have in your backyard (Hobart based climbers are almost as lucky as Capetonians!).  Easy to get to and so much bigger than you are expecting when you get on it.  I also had a quick look (from a tourist boat) at the Totem Pole and Candlestick and was really inspired by the sea cliff climbing possibilities there.

Tasmania in general is a magical place and I'd love to get out there for a proper climbing trip. 

 Rob Parsons 22 Apr 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> As a final PS: Simon Bischoff (the co-author of the book reviewed here) has a good film about an ascent of Blade Ridge on Federation available on Vimeo ...

And as a PPS (!), here's a great little film about a tough trip ('just' a walk ...) by two German guys - Andy Ebert and Christoph Michel - who finally made the route from the New River lagoon all the way upriver to Federation Peak in 2017, having previously failed (and been choppered out) trying the same thing in 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3mVL780Jp8&

That's PB you can see towering in the distance at about 0:08 (and following frames.)

That is very hard country to travel in; those lads must be mentally tough as nails; and, best of all, they appear to be having a great time throughout!

Post edited at 11:07
 Skotch85 23 Apr 2020
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Done by partially by a mate of mine. Wonderful film.


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