CAWA Calendars 2016

Posted on February 23, 2016 by to News | No Comments

Calendar cover

CAWA Calendars are now for sale, please see a copy of the proof below. If you weren’t at the AGM last night, you can still purchase one for $15 celebrating the wild and wonderful climbing destinations throughout the State, and a few outstanding destinations overseas.

CAWA Calendar 2016 proof_PDF

To purchase a copy, just email:

I will run a copy over to your local gym for collection.

Climbing at Esperance

Posted on February 20, 2016 by to News | No Comments


There has been conflicting information about climbing in Esperance for some years now. Though we thought we had an arrangement in place with an agreement that no new bolts would be placed without permission, climbers would notify the ranger of their intention to climb and no climbing to occur at Frenchman’s Peak, some Department of Parks and Wildlife staff at the coalface have been telling climbers a different story. This has understandably created a great deal of confusion and frustration for everybody. It seems that there was ongoing and significant sensitivity about a few issues, including the previous placement of bolts in highly visible areas without permission being sought and suggestions that DPaW signage be disregarded. However, one of the things we sometimes also see in dealing with any access issues is an overly protective approach when it isn’t necessarily warranted, both in relation to the area and the activity. This can occur for many reasons, including lack of understanding about a particular activity and personal biases. Liability is always a concern for DPaW in relation to the activities that take place on the land they manage and regardless of what climbers think about that, unless individual ‘right to risk’ legislation is introduced in Australia, it will continue to feature in our conversations. Often it just requires education about the activity to put things in perspective but because of various non-climbing incidents that have occurred across the state in more recent years, general sensitivity to any possible risk has increased. I don’t think anyone enjoys giving evidence in court. So like any other activity, it simply needs to be managed, not stopped.

I’m very happy to announce that further discussion and negotiation with DPaW has resulted in a formal agreement regarding ongoing climbing access, with conditions that the CAWA committee considers to be reasonable. The existing conditions noted above still apply, with the additional requests that no new trails are to be constructed to climbing areas, climbing be avoided during wet soil conditions to avoid spreading dieback and information published (e.g. in climbing guides) is in accordance with current park use conditions. This access information also appears on the ‘restricted areas’ website page (under ‘climb’) here.

CAWA also made a detailed submission to the Esperance and Recherche Parks Draft Management Plan in early 2013 but this plan is yet to be finalised. There is no mention of rock climbing in the draft plan. However, on page 70, under Management Actions, point 3, it says, ‘Ensure all recreation and tourism developments as well as visitor activities are consistent with the department’s Policy Statement No. 18’, in which rock climbing is recognised. Part of the purpose of CAWA’s submission was to have rock climbing formally recognised as an adventure activity in the new plan and to provide important information about the activity. Park management plans are publicly available documents.

As always, please feel free to get in touch with any queries.

Dena Rao
CAWA President

Gym Crash 16th February 6:30pm at Rockface

Posted on February 04, 2016 by to Events, Social | No Comments


The next CAWA gym crash will be held at Rockface – 63b John Street, Northbridge.

Come along and have a boulder or partner up for top rope, there is also a lead section you can have a play on. Gym crashes are a great way to meet new climbing partners then feast on some delicious pizza.

Starts around 6:30 pm on Tuesday 16th February.

Special CAWA member entry cost is $10. FREE PIZZA for members – Look out for Andrew wearing a blue CAWA t-shirt to make sure you get your order in if you want to indulge, we will order around 7:15pm.

The Perth Rock Climbing Guide and CAWA t-shirts will be available for purchase ($25). It would be appreciated if you could bring the exact amount.

This is the last gym crash before the AGM on the 22nd February.

Gym crashes are a member benefit. Joining online is easy via the CAWA website homepage.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Andrew Cotterell
CAWA committee member

Mt Frankland Climbing Trip 4th-7th March

Posted on January 24, 2016 by to Events, News, Social | No Comments

CAWA invites all members to join us at Mount Frankland in the picturesque Karri forest north of Walpole, 400km south of Perth.

Mt Frankland is a 422 m high granite dome set in the middle of a beautiful karri forest, located in the Mt Frankland National Park. The main and most worthwhile climbing is on the main dome. Best known for its slab and face climbing, you will also find the odd crack as well. It involves multi-pitch climbing with a mix of bolted and traditional. You can just do the single pitch stuff but will run out of climbs fairly quickly and it is only possible to top rope a few climbs from the bottom. To get a better idea of the climbing, check out the West Australian Rock or the South Coast Rock guidebook and the newer climbs are detailed on the CAWA website at the link Mount Frankland New Climbs.

Camping is not allowed at Mt Frankland but for a small fee comfortable sites with a basic camp kitchen and drop toilet are not too far away. Water is generally available but this is variable and you should be totally self sufficient. BYO firewood, however check for any fire bans. The road off the main highway is dirt and can be in variable condition, though always 2WD friendly.

It’s always a great weekend away and a good chance to meet other climbers. There are lots of other outdoor activities in the area including kayaking, bushwalking and mountain biking.  We will be keeping a close eye on the weather.

Please note that CAWA trips are only open to current members. Non-members who are interested in coming can join online here:  Become a CAWA member.

Due to legal and liability issues, CAWA does not provide training on trips. All climbers must be independent participants who are completely responsible for themselves. If you are an inexperienced climber, then have a chat to some of the more experienced people you know and see if they are planning to attend.

If you have any queries or to register for the trip, please email me at

Nathan Cole

CAWA Committee Member

Mike Law Training Clinics – Register Now!

Posted on January 20, 2016 by to Events, News | No Comments

Somewhere on the Sydney sea cliffs.

Mike somewhere on the Sydney sea cliffs.

We recently announced Mike Law’s visit to Perth to run some climbing clinics and speak at the AGM. One of Australia’s climbing legends (‘The Claw’), he is both knowledgeable and entertaining.

Perth climbers have a unique opportunity to come and learn from the master (and marvel at his amazing Hawaiian shirts). You can now register for the training clinics scheduled at the end of February. Current members have been given the opportunity to register for the clinics ahead of advertising on the CAWA website but there are still a few spots left.

There will be two clinics:

1. Transition from indoor to outdoor climbing: being self sufficient

  • This basic course in outdoor safety will make climbing a bit safer and more enjoyable. It provides some training in the skills you need to progress your climbing safely in the outdoors and be self sufficient.
  • WHY? Many climbers with gym training have high technical skills, but have little practical experience in staying alive outdoors.
  • WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?  A bit about belaying methods, abseiling, falling, retreating and rescue.
  • WHO SHOULD COME? Anyone who thinks their survival skills might be improved. This course is perfect for novice climbers who are looking to make the transition from indoors to outdoors; those who already climb outdoors but have limited experience; anyone uncertain of whether they are employing safe practices or if you aren’t confident you could manage a difficult situation when out climbing with a buddy.

Date: Friday 19 February 2016

Time: 6 pm – 9 pm

Venue: Climbing gym. TBC.

Cost: $ 50 per member (plus normal gym entry)

2. Advanced climbing skills (applicable to both trad and sport)

For the more experienced, Mike has some special treats in store, including:

  • The physics of climbing and belaying: Trad belaying, light and heavy climbers, belaying seconds and belay methods.
  • Trix and red-pointing: How to cheat at climbing. Speeding up multi-pitching.
  • Training: mental, technique, strength, movement on rock and how failure is the best teacher.
  • Trad and anchors: Hauling and setting up 2 bolt belay. Why does trad feel hard?
  • How to choose reasonable goals and achieve them and how not to destroy your body in the process by over-training.
  • How to deal with fear and what it reasonable to be afraid of.
  • Route and trip planning

Who is this course best suited to? Intermediate to advanced climbers (this means you have been spent quite a bit of time outdoors). It is not suitable for novice climbers.

Date: Sunday 21 February 2016

Time: Early start, TBA. Full day (likely to be a long one).

Venue: TBA and weather dependent. Starting outdoors then moving to indoors. In the event of truly vile weather (wet or really hot), then it will be run entirely indoors, where the skills can still be easily taught. Participants should be prepared to be flexible about course content.

Cost: $100 per member (plus normal gym entry)

Please note: HELMETS ARE COMPULSORY while we are outdoors and must be worn any time you are at the base or on top of a cliff.

Clinic numbers will be limited, to allow for individual attention.

Comprehensive notes will be provided to participants of both courses on the day. There will be a mix of theory and practical. Please bring a pen and notebook (unless you want to scribble on your handout).

Please note that the clinics and AGM are strictly CAWA member only events.

Keen to participate but not a CAWA member? Joining online is quick and easy: Become a CAWA member today.

How to register for the clinics:

Please email me at to register.

Please state which clinic you would like to attend and outline your climbing experience. I will then confirm your place and provide you with further details.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Dena Rao
CAWA President

CAWA Brings Mike Law to Perth Feb 2016

Posted on January 12, 2016 by to Events, News | No Comments

Working the first ascent of Grass Direct (25)

Working the first ascent of Grass Direct (25)

Mike Law is an Australian climbing legend and CAWA is bringing him to Perth in February 2016 to run a couple of clinics and speak at the AGM.

Mike was a leading climber in the 70s, developing many cliffs and new routes. Over the next 40 years he continued to put up many new routes (2800 m worth in one year!). Along the way he has climbed around the world, developed and tested bolting methods (placing over 2000 bolts in the last decade), and used his degree in materials science to test bolts and trad gear.

When middle-age hit he succumbed to an office job and worked on time-efficient training and climbing efficiently. Apart from climbing everywhere, his interests are the physics of climbing, belaying and gear.

Some of the best descriptions of ‘The Claw’ can be found in his book, ‘Law Unto Himself’ (2013). Reproduced here with permission are some excerpts to help create a picture of this colourful, outspoken man and whet your appetites:

Glenn Tempest says:

‘In the early 1970s a young red-headed Sydney schoolboy exploded onto the Australian climbing scene. Michael Law was born in era of dinosaur lines, etriers and ironmongery but, by a stroke of luck, his appearance also coincided with the first ripples of the free- and clean-climbing movement that was soon to become a tsunami. Young, quirky and tormented, Michael quickly became what many of us believe to be the most talented of Australia’s now legendary ‘New Wave’ generation of the 1970s and 80s.

His anarchistic behavior and constant blurring of ethical boundaries is matched only by his talent for spotting exceptional new lines and a voracious appetite for climbing them. The truth is that Michael has probably put up more classic climbs than anyone else in the country and there will be very few of us who have not praised, cursed or celebrated his efforts.’

From ‘Oozing to a Different Tune’ by Simon Mentz (foreword):

‘In today’s world where everyone climbs 8c and all you need to know about climbing can be accessed from your phone, the ramblings of some weak old codger in book form might not appear all that appealing. But while there is an ever increasing production line of strong climbers hitting the cliffs, it would appear that the factory must have lost the mould to Michael Law whose unique approach to climbing has been more akin to an artist than an athlete. (Note to reader: it should be acknowledged that Michael was once young and strong).

Michael’s impact on Australian rockclimbing is undeniable. His first claim to fame came way back in 1974 when as a fifteen year old schoolboy he made the first free ascent of the Blue Mountains testpiece, Janicepts at grade 21. Over the next four decades he went on to establish hundreds of quality new routes throughout Australia on everything from grotty little urban crags, frightening sea cliffs, consumer-friendly sport cliffs, superb trad crags and remote big cliffs. He is arguably responsible for more classic routes throughout Australia than anyone else.

But it is not just his long resume of new routes that Michael is renowned. His ability to ooze up a piece of rock that might spit off far stronger climbers, his ability to look at climbing from a different perspective and his creative and irreverent approach to so many other aspects of climbing – from protecting climbs with imaginative pieces of equipment (that may have been better left in his imagination) to outlandish fashion. He has entertained, inspired, frustrated and annoyed generations of climbers with his brilliance, enthusiasm and at times controversial approach.

From a personal perspective, I can’t think of any climber whose new routes combined with his writing I have derived so much pleasure. The more I climbed the more Michael’s writing spoke to me and the more I appreciated that X-factor that so many of his routes seemed to possess. Despite the many frustrating hours trying to work out baffling sequences to some of his climbs I always found them extremely rewarding. Usually it was a case of technique over brute strength. And like the moves on his climbs, much of his writing has lingered in my mind over the years too. Sometimes it was simply a route description from one of his guidebooks, such as this gem to Vampire Crack (grade 14) at Hanging Rock near Melbourne…
This is the token old-fashioned classic, it’s got the lot. A tight, thrutchy knee and squeeze chimney with sparse protection which is often wet. Especially in winter when the cliff is even more like a urinal wall. Despite all this it’s quite pleasant in a boy-scoutish sort of way.

Michael’s ability to capture the essence of something in as few a words as possible is also exceptional; I loved his effort many years ago when in a guidebook he reduced the entire climbing history to Mt Piddington in the Blue Mountains to this… ’64 -’67; the great John Ewbank. ’67 till now; the mobs. In recent years, grades climb and climbers fall. The only point to focus on is the leading edge of the present. However the current tendency for hung-over days on overhangs to merge into more wasted evenings can only be encouraged.’

Mike has a wealth of experience to share and we will be running two different types of clinics for CAWA members to cater for both less experienced and more advanced climbers.

More details about the clinics and how to register will be sent to members over the next month or so.

Dena Rao
CAWA President

CAWA AGM Photo Competition 2016

Posted on January 04, 2016 by to News | No Comments

It’s on again! The annual CAWA AGM Photo Competition!


Entries close at midnight on Monday 1st February 2016.

Once again, all CAWA members are invited to submit their inspiring, awesome, action-packed climbing photos from this year’s climbing adventures. Rules of engagement are:

  1. You can only submit photos you’ve taken yourself;
  2. You agree to allow CAWA to publish a small image of it on the CAWA website, Facebook page and the Western Climber (especially if you win!);
  3. You must be a current CAWA member; and 4. The photo must have be taken between 1st February 2014 and 31st January 2015 (so you can submit photos taken from your Christmas/New Years’ adventures).

There will once again be two categories:

  1. Climbing in WA (exposing the fun and diverse climbing we have in this State); and
  2. Climbing Everywhere Else (the adventures we have when we’re not climbing in WA).

Additional prizes this time round will also be given for such obviously under-appreciated talent as:

  • Best bum shot;
  • Best action shot; and
  • Best climbing outfit.

The winners will be decided on the night of the AGM by voting.

The CAWA photo comp has been a resounding success in the last few years, and we will once again be creating a CAWA calendar for 2016.

Useful information to include with your submitted photo:

  1. Your name;
  2. The name of the climb, climber and location, and grade if you wish.

Please email your photos and queries to:

Happy snapping!

Gym Crash! Thursday 14th January @ The Boulder Hub

Posted on December 28, 2015 by to Social | No Comments


Our January gym crash will be held at The Boulder Hub for the first time – 2/1 Venture Loop, Wangara.

Come along and have a boulder in Perth’s only dedicated bouldering gym. Gym crashes are a great way to meet new climbing partners and other CAWA members.

Starts around 6:30 pm on Thursday 14th January.

Special CAWA member entry price will be $10 for this gym crash. After wearing yourself out bouldering, there’ll be tasty pizza to feast on, for $5 each (CAWA members).

The Perth Rock Climbing Guide and our new CAWA t-shirts will be available for purchase ($25). It would be appreciated if you could bring the exact amount.

Gym crashes are a member benefit. Joining online is easy via the CAWA website homepage.

Looking forward to seeing you all there. Look out for the committee members wearing the blue CAWA t-shirts!

Megan Smith
CAWA Committee Member

Vertical Rescue Course for CAWA Members

Posted on December 23, 2015 by to Events, News | No Comments

Cliff Rescue Training - 14.06.2014 087

This one day course will be conducted by Adventure Out for CAWA members. It has been specifically designed to address the situations we commonly find ourselves in so that the skills you take away will be directly applicable and utilise the gear usually carried on single and multi-pitch climbs.

The rescue outline below has an individual focus for a climbing pair. It will not include a team rescue approach employing complicated equipment and complex rigging systems, although all of the skills taught do align with the large scale rescue techniques.


  • Introduction elements for both self and partner rescue session.
  • The methods outlined will be taught with minimal equipment (improvisation), with a focus on developing knowledge that provides the safest solution/s.

Self-Rescue Skills: Developing personal knowledge and skills.

  • Ascend a rope (prusiking)
  • Changing from a rope system to another independent rope system
  • How to rig a Belay Anchoring system that is quick, efficient and ready for any potential rescue (less than 30 second change process).
  • Escaping a jammed (compromised) belay anchoring system (poor and or incorrect rigging set up). A poor belay set up creates a secondary challenge that consumes time and requires self-escape before conducting a rescue for your partner.

Partner Rescue Skills:

  • Assessing the situation and developing a plan! Scenarios that lead into a practical response
  • Conscious partner rescue, who can or can’t assist
  • Unconscious partner rescue
  • Anchor point set up for mechanical advantage (MA) lift
  • MA systems  (2:1, 3:1 and 6:1 MA systems) to lift or access an injured climber
  • Lowering: single and double rope methods

Date: Sunday 10 January 2016

Time: All day. 

Cost: $95 per member (Normally this would cost $375 per person).

The low cost reflects AO kindly providing a special rate along with a further subsidy by CAWA.

CAWA members have already received notification about this course by email but there are still a few spots left.

If you are keen but not yet a CAWA member, you can join online quickly and easily here: Become a CAWA member today.

Please contact me to register and for further information:

Dena Rao

CAWA President

Update on Kalbarri Climbing and Camping

Posted on December 18, 2015 by to News | No Comments

CAWA has received a letter from DPaW’s Midwest Regional Manager (link below), concerning the rediscovered rock wallabies and how this affects management of the area.

This letter and the Kalbarri gorge camping question were discussed at length at the committee meeting on 9 December 2015. Prior to this discussion the committee has seen, heard and obtained the views of a good number of climbers about camping at The Promenade. The committee notes that climbing access to The Promenade has been preserved and that DPaW will provide an alternative campground near the Z-Bend car park. The committee also notes that DPaW is committed to full consultation with CAWA in the development of the conservation plan over the next 6 months. Given these important points and the conservation significance of the rediscovery of the rock wallabies, the committee has unanimously agreed to accept the management provisions outlined in this letter.

The committee will ensure full consultation between CAWA and DPaW does occur, with ample opportunity for member comment being provided along the way.

While the committee’s primary concern is maintaining climbing access, we also appreciate the need for a reasonable camping alternative and are committed to ensuring that the alternative campsite near the Z-Bend carpark is operational prior to the start of the 2016 climbing season. We have been assured by DPaW that it will be.

Any significant developments will be posted on this site.

DPaW letter to CAWA re rock wallaby population


CAWA Committee