President’s Report 2009

Humans do not like change, which means it is often viewed with fear and suspicion. However, it is one of the president’s primary responsibilities to provide direction for the organisation, which inevitably involves change. When we take on a committee position, we are each responsible for making an effort to improve the organisation during our brief time in office. On becoming your president, I embarked on a mission to improve CAWA, knowing that I would meet with resistance and criticism along the way (fortunately I realised that I wasn’t entering a popularity contest), but it has still been very challenging to remain positive and keep persevering.

I did not take on the role of President to sit back and twiddle my thumbs. I took it on because I thought that I could make a positive difference and in doing so, hopefully change the perception held by a few, that CAWA committee meetings are tea drinking social events. Not only am I in my prime (or so I keep telling myself every time my fingers violently object to crimpers) but personally, I prefer coffee. And, as a committee, I believe we have made a difference.

The current committee will attest to the fact that any attempts to stray from the path of decision making and moving forward during meetings will prompt me to out get my whip and spurs. I mention this not to frighten away new committee members but so that potential nominees understand that the time they give is respected and valued.

At the committee meeting in May 2009, I presented my vision and goals to the team. Feedback was sought and with everyone on board we embarked upon an era of change.

My vision: That CAWA becomes an association that climbers not only want join but want to be actively involved in.

CAWA’s goals:

  1. By the 2011 AGM we will have enough volunteers to fill every committee position.
  2. By the 2010 AGM we will have increased membership numbers by at least 50%, ideally with a large number of younger members who will then continue to support the association and then become involved in its management.
  3. The next edition of the CAWA Guidebook to be on sale by June 2010.
  4. To launch a new CAWA website that is user friendly for both members and the committee by the end of June 2009.
  5. By August 2009 a regular (either two or three monthly) newsletter is to be produced so we stay in touch with members and keep them updated.

We are currently on track with all except the second one. In retrospect, expecting such a rapid increase in membership numbers was unrealistic because effecting any sort of change was going to take time. However, this is a learning process. The much anticipated updated and revised CAWA guidebook is expected to be available in June 2010.

One of our most significant achievements over the last year or two is improved relations with the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). This is critical to meeting some of the main objectives of the association, which are to ‘promote and develop rock climbing’ and ‘protect and promote the interests of rock climbers’ in WA. Contrary to the view held by some climbers, DEC is not the enemy and has in fact been very helpful in facilitating access to Canning Dam Quarry. We are in the process of finalising the agreement.

Like any other relationship, it requires work. Canning Dam negotiations took place over an extended period of time but ultimately we achieved our goal of obtaining access and it is the perfect example of how the correct approach makes all the difference ─ CAWA, as an organisation, succeeded where individuals have previously failed. It also illustrates the importance of having a peak body to represent and further the interests of climbers.

During the year there have been a number of well-attended and very enjoyable climbing trips to such places as Willyabrup, Mt Frankland, Peak Charles and most recently, Albany. Our attempt to trick the weather gods and travel to Mt Frankland in March rather than September did not stop the rain. However, all was not lost and two new routes made an appearance. For the uninitiated, table bouldering provided a new and addictive activity (complete with sparklers for added difficulty) on New Years’ Eve at Albany.

Another of the year’s big achievements for us was launching the new CAWA website. It is definitely still a work in progress, with more functionality to be added as time goes on. We are planning to use the site to improve communication with members and encourage constructive feedback so that we can be sure we are giving you what you want. Well done to all who were involved in this project.

Acting on requests to consider the current relevance and restrictions of the Albany Adventure Climbing Zone, CAWA engaged with Albany locals and it was agreed that in its current state it was outdated and hampering the development of climbing in the area. At the November 2009 committee meeting, a motion was passed redefining the AACZ (see January 2010 newsletter and web forum for further details), which has already resulted in at least one fabulous new route being bolted at Peak Head over the Christmas break.

It is very important for me to thank everyone who has supported your committee and myself over the last year or so and made it possible for us to achieve so many things. Particular members of the committee have worked tirelessly and volunteered more than their fair share of time to help us get things done (much better than having to deal with me in nervous breakdown mode). In doing so, they have not only improved my mental health, but also demonstrated their understanding of the importance of following through on a commitment because without that, it is impossible to achieve anything.

Due to limitations my health has imposed on me, there have been extended periods when I have not been able to climb. But, it is my passion for the sport and concern about access issues that saw me first join the committee in 2007. I mention this because there are many of you out there who benefit from the work that CAWA does and have valuable skills that could assist the organisation and help us continue to improve in all areas. Whether you climb hard, occasionally or are a beginner, I encourage you to give some of your time to help develop and support the association that is beavering away to support you, by nominating for a committee position.

Happy climbing!

Dena Rao


The main items on the agenda at this year’s AGM were reporting the committee’s activities for the year and electing a new committee. The physical turnout for the AGM was disappointing, with almost as many proxies as actual people. Thanks so much to those who did send in their proxies-it was much appreciated. I have posted the President’s Report as a separate news item where you can see the summary of the year’s activities and achievements.

This year, I am looking forward to seeing through to completion such tasks as the new edition of the Perth guidebook.

I would also like to welcome back some familiar faces as well as some fresh new ones. To see the details of who is doing what, please check out the ‘About’ section on the home page and select ‘Committee’ from the drop down menu.

There are currently two positions vacant on the committee. Treasurer and a general committee position. Anyone who is interested in either of these positions, particularly treasurer, is encouraged to contact me.



CAWA 2010 AGM – Wednesday February 17

The 2010 AGM will be held on 17th February, upstairs at Rosie O’Grady’s in Northbridge. We ask that everyone arrives at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

If you are a member and unable to attend, please return your proxy (preferably by email)  as soon as possible so we can be certain of achieving quorum.

The main item on the agenda this year will be election of a new committee. We are very keen to have some new and enthusiastic faces in these roles. There are four specific positions (president, vice president, secretary and treasurer) and six ordinary committee positions. Included below are links to job descriptions for all of the positions. It is important to remember that the ordinary positions are general roles critical to the functioning of the organisation and that committee members filling these places will need to be happy to undertake a variety of tasks. Ordinary committee members have, at times, taken on particular roles that have been relevant to the organisation at the time (for example, trip officer). We want to utilise particular interests and skills, however, the needs of the association determine any more specific roles that ordinary committee members may be asked to fulfill during the year.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.








Albany Adventure Climbing Zone

There has been much recent discussion about the Albany Adventure Climbing Zone and whether it is still relevant and hampering the development of climbing in the areas that it applies to. So, at the committee meeting on 25 November 2009, after consultation with local climbers, a resolution was passed and the AACZ amended to the following:

The Albany Adventure Climbing Zone (AACZ) is henceforth redefined as including the following areas only: The Gap, Natural Bridge, Blow Holes and all areas within or between any of these locations; also Stony Hill boulders, and any location within the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. These areas are either highly environmentally sensitive areas or have high tourist traffic. No further fixed protection may be placed in the AACZ. The CAWA Code of Bolting and New Route Development and the CAWA Code of Conduct are to be applied to the South Coast, same as per the rest of the State.

For those unfamiliar with the ACZ concept, I would refer you to the thread at the following location which give a great deal of background and explanation: adventure climbing zone bolting.


New Website

As you can see, we have now completed the redesign of the CAWA website.  You may notice the following changes:

  • News items, which many users were unaware of, are now part of the CAWA blog.  We will be using this to improve our communication with the WA climbing community.
  • Updating the site is much simpler, ensuring information is always current and accurate.  If you find an error, please contact us and we’ll be sure to get it corrected.
  • The message boards are now located at  Whilst no different in function, this paves the way for us to migrate to some new forum software in the near future.

Thanks to the following people for their help in this effort:

  • Kirk Hille of for the Bluff Knoll photo used in the header
  • Shannon Jenke and Eystein Alnaes for assisting in the graphic design

And remember; this is your site, so please let us know how we can improve it to serve you better. Enjoy!

How Hard is Your Head?

By Dena Rao

How many of you have one? How many of you wear them even if you do have one? I have a helmet. A pretty blue Black Diamond one. And I really dislike wearing it while I’m climbing because I seem to bump my head on things a lot more often. Most of the climbers that I see in the great outdoors don’t seem to wear this basic piece of safety equipment.

But you know what? After having an extremely close call with a moderate sized rock at Churchman’s just a couple of days ago, I will be making sure to wear my helmet which is really what everyone should be doing. In this case, I was belaying a leader who found herself hanging on by one hand when the rock she was holding onto parted company with its buddies. I didn’t even have time to move and my shoulder took the full force of the rock. So, it missed my head by only a few inches. And yes, it hurt. A lot. Granted I didn’t have my helmet on because I was trying out a new neck brace. However, this would not have helped me if the rock had struck my head rather than my shoulder. It really scared me, gave me the kind of warm tingly feeling in my arm best reserved for other parts of my body and could have put an end to my Arapiles trip before it even got started.

I will certainly be a lot more diligent about wearing my helmet from now on, even though I do hate how it feels. If that rock had knocked me out, I would have let go of the rope with disastrous consequences for the climber. Think it won’t happen to you? Think you are too cool for a helmet? If fashion is really that important to you, there are some really sleek funky designs around. Consider that your decision not to wear a helmet will potentially impact (no pun intended) not just on you, but also on your climbing partner. And let’s face it, it won’t be much fun if one of you ends up unconscious or worse. Climbing partners are hard to come by, so make sure you look after yours.

WA Bouldering Competition 2009

By Gareth Wall

It was hot, the problems were hard and a bit under graded. All competitors had to push themselves during the pumpfest to a level they hadn’t pushed to before. The moans from sore competitors during the following few days brought a sadistic smile to my face. I had achieved where I felt I may have failed. Indeed the problems were hard, maybe too hard but judging the abilities of the top boulderers in the state or even in the country, is challenging.

I watched the pumpfest with apprehension as defeat was seen more frequently than success. By the time the finals began some competitors were so spent, they were trying to talk the amount of finals problems down from five to four, or even three. However, the more seasoned of the wall warriors wanted to be hurt and so the slaughter began: five problems. The finals were all or nothing to get your share of the cash and although more didn’t complete problems than did, there were some strong and oh so close efforts. In the end, all finalists got a taste of the cash with Marc, Jason and Sam cleaning up the most.

Marc and Jay were so close that literally only one pumpfest problem, a difference of four points, ended up separating them in a count back after tying two a piece in the finals. Sam cleaned up nicely in the women’s but I know our girls are closing the gap and hunting her down. She had better watch out.

After the finals all places remained the same as throughout the pumpfest, excluding Liana coming home strong and pushing Jing out of second spot by one problem.

A special mention goes to Claire and Naomi, so young, so talented and thrown into the spotlight on such a hard day for their first time. Well done girls, what a great effort to get into the finals. Your futures are calling and I can see you both in many more finals and even winning them in the future.

Well done to ALL competitors it was hot and hard but that’s what competition is about, pushing yourself to achieve your greatest. All results will be available on the Rockface website shortly.

The top five in each category are as follows:


Name Pumpfest Score Finals Problems Completed Place Prize Money
Sam Berry





Liana Morgan





Jing Yun Wong





Claire Newbury




$40 (+prize)

Naomi Stockley




$40 (+prize)

Marc Edwards





Jason Girdlestone





Chris Loane





Francois Jourjon





Anthony Goyder