Friday, April 27, 2007
Australia Climbing Festival
Now where was I? Back to normal diary entries, eh!?!? :)
To catch up. We were shocking our systems back into climbing again. It wasn't going as well as I'd hoped! The rock is razor sharp here so we were quickly down to stumps of bone on our fingers, it was raining pretty regularly in the Blue Mountains (I couldn't believe it either!) and this really wasn't helping get us into gear.
Still though, there was the Australian Climbing Festival to attend! So, in between rain showers (and food shopping), we made the two-day stop-off in Blackheath, the supposed sports climbing capital of Australia. First question: is that really all the community?!?!? This climbing scene is as small as Ireland (on a proportional scale to their 20million population). But other than that, it was a fantastic event – cheap gear, great competitions, good climbing/adventure movies, and fantastic speakers (they flew in a load of big names – Ben Heason, Timmy O'Neill – who all put on a brilliant show). they really know how to organise an event over here. With the evenings spent chilling out with a beer, sitting on bales of hay in the huge tent erected outside Blackheath Sports Centre, listening to some funky music, and munching on some organic & local produce (part of the priority of the festival was to run it as eco-minded, in every way, as possible which included sourcing all equipment/food locally), while chatting to an ecletic mix of climbers and travellers from around the world. A pretty special Easter weekend as it turned out.
In between that, I managed to drag myself up some routes (why am I struggling to onsight 7a's here??!??). Frustrated is not the word to descibe my opinion of my current state of climbing ability, but taking a lead from the comment in the previous blog entry, I'm working hard to return to a semi-decent state of fitness.
We were based in the local free campsite, used by all climbers and travellers. It's stuck down in a valley so was pretty dark and dingy when the misty clouds appeared (as they did regularly). Huge green forests only lost their blandness when a bright red and blue parrot streaked across the skyline to really throw up the full spectrum of colours. Have I mentioned the sunsets here – they're unbelievable...........