Hi all CAWA Members. A warm welcome to you all, your families and friends from your CAWA President and Committee for the 2012 year. I trust 2011 was a great year for climbing and assure you that we are going to deliver on an even more spectacular year in 2012.
New Years day in Perth is a far cry from Christmas Day in the Italian Dolomites where the Pres and his family have just arrived back from. As a treat for our 17yr old school leaver son this year, we returned once again to Selva Gardena Wolkstein in the Italian Alps, the Dolomites, for some serious snow skiing. Snow did eventually come to Europe, and in buckets. The 37Deg C we flew back into from a regular -4Deg C to -12Deg C on the slopes was welcome, if only for a short time.
However my thoughts, whilst concentrating on keeping upright on the spectacular ski runs in the Sella Ronda region, kept flicking back to the majestic rock walls of the Dolomites. The towering and breathtaking size of these ranges were a daily beacon and I looked for routes and opportunities for a summer return to climb. There is a strong Alpine Guide organisation which runs instructional and guided climbs of some of the most spectacular routes in the Dolomites and in my halted German/Italian I learned that there were numerous sports routes, trad routes and for those who want to try something different, Via Ferrata routes within walking distance of the village. The region is a haven for hi-adrenalin summer activities and boasts rock climbing, hiking, serious MTB tracks, pargliding, and sky diving to name a few. It even has its own rock climbing gym. All the apres-activity bars clubs and restaurants are there from traditional Italian, to German Stuba’s to uber-cool groove lounges.
I know that some of you have spent time climbing in various European locations. Climbing in Spain, France, the UK, Italy and other climbing mecca’s of Europe would be on my “Bucket List”. But most of us don’t have unlimited time or funds to do the lot so a short foray for 2-3 weeks in summer would certainly sound appealing. Stay tuned for more news on a summer climbing camp in Europe…..
Nola and I are avid second hand bookshop pillagers. We can spend hours rummaging through dusty shelves and racks of old books in the hope of finding a lost classic that we had as a set books in our youth, or an unusual tome that would keep mind sharp for the times it may need some additional exercise. Recently we hit mother lode here in WA. In Nannup there is an Antiques and Collectibles shop and under a pile of undisturbed outdoor books I found a magnificent collection of climbing greats. Arthur Roth’s stunning compilation of the history of the Eiger titled, Eiger Wall of Death, Chris Bonnington’s Everest The Hard Way, Henrich Harrier’s The White Spider and an old favourite, Seven Years in Tibet and more recent books like Lincoln Hall’s Dead Lucky and Matt Dickinson’s Death Zone. Just yesterday in Freo we stumbled into another bookshop which had Chris Bonnington’s Mountaineer, a large coffee table book of photos of some of the most challenging climbs on the planet. And who has yet to read Sir Edmund Hillary – An Exceptional Life. An exceptionally inspiring and invigorating read.
2012 will bring us whatever the four winds throw at us. What we make of 2012 is of our own action. At CAWA, we continue to work on last year’s initiatives. We are going to strengthen our membership base, propose new climbing events and locations, bring some serious climbing competition to WA, engage some keynote speakers and continue to support developing our new climbers and the sport in our great State.
Join us for a great 2012.
Tony Brebner, CAWA President – 1 January 2012.