What we did on CAWA trip to Wilyabrup in Jan ’19

Words Roberta Stacey and Heidi Nistelberger, pictures Jiri Stastny

The first long weekend of 2019, saw the CAWA members head down to Wilyabrup. Three full days, of climbing trad and sport on three different places on the wall. Many personal challenges were attempted and achieved, a lot of abseiling for the best photo opportunities were taken and new friendships were made.

Heidi on “Waterfall’s Second Folly Direct Start” (17)

It started off with the group heading down and setting up camp on Friday. Staying at Gracetown camping grounds. Off to a shaky start of firstly thinking we will not all fit in the campsite, and then Veronika’s losing her girls’, Ariana and Amelie, sleeping bags on the drive down; however, we all banded together and ensured there was enough space for all the tents, vans and had enough sleeping gear for all.

Day 1, Saturday

Andrew getting ready for Corpus Delicti (18)

After a leisurely start to the day the group split up into cars and headed to the main Wilyabrup cliff. Jiri set up 4 top ropes spanning a range of grades which kept the climbers occupied for the first half of the day, including “Hope” (14) that Dave used to warm up his trad skills. The group were treated to the sight of a large pod of dolphins cruising the shallows as they commenced their climbs. Following lunch, Jiri and Peter set up some new lines further along the wall with more challenging routes including “Woman Accept It For What It Is” (20) and “Waterfall’s Second Folly Direct Start” (17). Lunch (for those of us who remembered it) was an on-the-go affair whilst looking out to the sea, then more suncream was lathered on and it was time to tackle some routes ranging from 17 to low 20s.

The climbing went well into the late afternoon… There´s nothing quite like the colours of the Wilyabrup cliffs as the day draws to a close. The climbers returned to camp hungry and satisfied with the first day of climbs. A few wines and dinners ranging from instant Indian curries to gourmet homemade meatballs and the group settled in for a night of friendly chatter.

Day 2, Sunday

Dave on “Missing Frog” (16)

Jiri took the group to the Northern part of the crag, Banana Wall. Here we were met by Lance, who decided to warm up on “Digital Delecti” (**18), which was followed by Veronika (mum), Heidi and others. In the meantime, top anchors were set for “Corpus Delecti” (**18) and “Use No S.L.D.’s” (***19). Both of these climbs were climbed by the group and it was noted at the variety of styles used by each climber to successfully make it to the top. Peter and Andrew warmed up leading the classic on the wall “Banana Split” (**14). Greg and Dave couldn’t resist and gave it a go as well. Young Veronika, who has come over from Slovakia to be with her family, Veronika, Ariana and Amelie, has not climbed much before and attempted “Corpus Delecti” with confidence. She made an impression on the group with her determination to try and work out the climbs and also as an encourager for the other climbers.

After a late lunch, Greg, Dave and Roberta headed around the corner past the Peach Face crag and trad lead “Missing Frog” (16). A simple error, which can be noted as a learning point, was made when Greg was setting up top anchor and Dave was teaching Roberta how to remove tricams from the wall. Greg pulled the whole rope through as Roberta hadn’t tied into the end. Thankfully we were on a very safe place and Greg could either walk out or he was able to throw the rope over for Roberta to tie in. She was successfully able to second the route and remove all of Greg’s gear safely. Dave and Andrew then lead and cleaned the route, which is a big feat as this was Dave’s second lead trad since returning to climbing after a few years.

The end of the day saw Peter and Jir climbing “Dessert” (***25), while the group watched on and encouraged from the bouldering rock (10m away) or at the base. Always good to watch Jiri’s graceful moves linked with his grunts he needs to get past the crux.

Peter on “Dessert” (25)

Unfortunately, Heidi and both Veronikas with the girls had to leave today and head back to Perth. Day 2 ended with everyone else heading back to camp, to share in the simple camping meals and a bottle of the “top shelf” (Gralyn) red wine and chat until the stars came out.

Day 3, Monday

The last day of the trip became a half day, however, not without its great memories and achievements. When the group arrived in the morning, they split up into their climbing partners and went to different places. Roberta teamed up with Greg. They warmed up on “Hope” (*14 trad), which did have some scary sections as the lower half was greasy with the salt spray and then a slab run-out of 10 m at the top. However, the team flashed it.

Jason ended up trad leading “One for the road” (***18 trad). He was strong until the overhang got the better on him. After putting his trad gear placement to the test (which held successfully and beautifully) with several slips and falls and also capturing the best photos of the day, he decided to head down and let others complete the climb and set up the top anchor. Roberta was then coerced to clean the route. She completed her first outdoor overhang, with the assistance of her top belayer. The moment of completion was celebrated with a range of emotions from shouting at Jason to not take photos, to then laughing at her freak out retrospectively.

Jason on “One for the road” (18)

Just before heading back to Perth, Greg decided to attempt the same climb “One for the road” on a top rope. He did require 2 attempts to get over the roof over the climb; however, he showed everyone up by carrying a 10kg backpack while doing the climb.

This climbing trip brought together climbers from different climbing groups and also allowed for each one to challenge themselves in where they were at. Not only are these trips valuable for climbing, but also for meeting new people and forming new climbing friendships. This first trip for 2019 was definitely one of those.

Kalbarri Trip Report – June 2017

The 2017 CAWA trip to Kalbarri was held over the WA Day long weekend in June. Remi, Elizabeth, Mark, Debbie and Anna set off in convoy on Friday morning from Perth, stopping at Jurien Bay for lunch where we met Benjamin, who was about to have his first climbing experience at one of the best climbing destinations in Western Australia. This group, plus Andrew, the keen boulderer from Geraldton, arrived at Murchison House Station in the evening and set up camp next to the river. Andrew won our hearts by promptly and efficiently making a fire and we settled down to drink, eat and toast marshmallows, all the while accompanied by a splish-splosh soundtrack of fish mysteriously jumping about in the river below.

Debbie on 9-6=3. A popular trad 15 at the Adventure Wall.

By Saturday morning we had been joined by Kate, Bruno, Jorge, Squeak, Craig and Antony. We set off for the Z-Bend and hiked into the gorge, complete with two bouldering mats, the largest of which was imposed on newcomer Benjamin in something resembling a bizarre initiation rite. Luckily, he had come equipped with fully two litres of milk to help him endure this ordeal. For some of us the day was spent at the Adventure Wall where top ropes were set up on “6-9=3” and “Peanut Butter and Jam” for some of the less experienced climbers to have a dangle around. Remi led “Hmmm…” and gallantly belayed at least three people up after him. Meanwhile Mark and Elizabeth played around on “Rattler”, with varying degrees of success. The youngest member of the party, Anna, fell, fully dressed, into the river.

Elizabeth on Rattler 22**


Ben first initiation to Rock Climbing

The evening was spent around the campfire, cooking damper and discussing the pitfalls and tribulations of a certain online dating service. Poor Antony, who had spent the day lying comatose on the gorge floor, returned from the Kalbarri hospital with a diagnosis of bowel infection and some pharmaceuticals. Benjamin had left us to embark on a sadly fruitless fishing expedition.

Poor Antony feeling ill at the Adventure Wall

Day Two of climbing saw us turn right at the bottom of the descent gully into the gorge and make our way to the Phantom Wall. Remi set up some top rope anchors on some of his ridiculously sandbagged routes in order to make everyone feel dejected while Mark led “Wombat Amnesia”, followed by Andrew, who made some very strange noises and left a creditable amount of blood on the wall but arrived at the top convinced, we think, of the merits of climbing rocks that are bigger than boulders. While Remi put on his mountain guide cap once again and belayed Craig, Debbie and Squeak up “Wombat Amnesia”, Elizabeth exhausted herself on Scoops of Fruits (20) and decided that she definitely didn’t want to lead it, followed by Kate and Mark who were of the same mind. We watched Bruno and Jorge  struggling to place gear on “Flipping Berries” (allegedly 18) as they loudly cursed the man who had established the line.

Remi sandbagging himself on Flipping Berries 18*

Next on the agenda was a quick skinny-dip in the nearby swimming hole before hiking out of the gorge towards dinner and beer. That evening was spent being entertained by the hitherto unrevealed talents of Bruno, who, it turns out, has a certain amount of skill in the art of animal imitation. Urged on by the exhortations of the expedition’s 8-year-old, he gave us impressions of almost every imaginable beast, from butterfly to numbat to onion mite.

On Monday morning we broke up camp and set off south towards Perth via Geraldton, where most of the crew reconvened one last time for burgers. On the journey home, outgoing CAWA president Mark and family took their last opportunity to visit the Pinnacles before leaving WA, and Elizabeth and Remi tagged along.

The predominant revelation of the weekend was that Remi, our trip organiser, has missed his vocation as a climbing guide. His enthusiasm for, and knowledge of climbing in Kalbarri is possibly unparalleled and his patience and planning helped made the weekend enjoyable for everyone.

Trip report by Elizabeth Gralton.

CAWA Family Lunch at the Adventure Wall


Remi on Keith Goes Blank 15***

Photo Credits: Andrew Outhwaite

Mount Frankland Trip Report

Mt Frankland Trip Report

Saturday, 4 March 2017 to Monday, 6 March 2017

Notwithstanding the dire predictions of rain, members who attended the trip were rewarded with three fun days of climbing.

The Monday in particular saw Mt Frankland in prime condition, perhaps a tad on the warm side, but dry as a bone.

Last year saw the trip being cancelled twice due to the poor weather conditions.  So this is the first time CAWA had been down to Mt Frankland as a trip since 2015, which was great as I have been hanging out to head to Mt Frankland to have a crack at Hannibal.

Mt Frankland team members included as follows:

  • Dirk Klicker
  • Lucy Foote
  • Linda Antoncich
  • Neal Antoncich
  • Pip Ravn
  • Lilly Wong
  • Anya Greenfield
  • Maya Mallett
  • Bryant Ware
  • Anna Maddocks

There were a few last-minute cancellations with some questionable excuses.  I have made up only one of the excuses listed below:

  • I’m having problems with my car.
  • There’s an election on next weekend.
  • Something came up at work that I have to resolve.
  • The dog ate my homework.

For the record: There’s usually plenty of people offering a lift on CAWA trips.  There’s an election every year.  There’s plenty of time to do work and redo your homework driving there and back.

The first day, Saturday, saw us climbing in the clouds.  The headwall looked ominous in the mist.  But, the main thing was the rock was dry enough and we were all climbing and having fun.  Hurray!  The rain held out for most of the day before it started to drizzle.  Everyone got some classic Mt Frankland slab climbing under their belts.  Then headed back to camp for dinner, where I was super jealous of Pip’s $13 steaks, whereas I had the standard-last-minute-pack-can of beans.

It didn’t rain all night and the second day looked to be epic.  We got off to a lazy and slow start to give the rock time enough to try from the drizzle the afternoon before.  But, when we got there, to our dismay, it was totally wet.  Completely unclimbable.  Mt Frankland must have been the only place to have been rained on, in the whole of the South West.  So it was off to Plan B, Monkey Rock.  When we got there, Monkey Rock was absolutely baking in the sun and the march flies were running rampant.  The weather contrast between the crags was amazing.  The team pretty much climbed all the new sport routes on offer.  Monkey Rock really does make a fun second option if Mt Frankland is wet.

The weather improved steadily and for the third day, Monday, the weather was perfect, maybe a tad warm.  We got off to an early start and everyone got a bunch of climbing done.  The perfect way to end the trip indeed.

Honourable mentions on the trip included:

  • The wife (Melissa Klicker) for looking after the twins while I was climbing:)
  • All for braving the poor weather predictions.
  • All for braving the march flies.
  • Lucy for helping me read the mini-guides, doing quite a few leads and her first 18.
  • Lilly, Anya and Maya for coming all the way down to climb on Saturday. My hat goes off to you.
  • Linda’s effortless second of Hannibal. It’s all in the foot work.
  • Anna’s huge grin on topping out on Monkey Puzzle, Monkey Rock.
  • Pip’s euphoric cries on finding a certain undercling hold.
  • Anna and Bryant for trying to forge a new path to the back of Monkey Rock.
  • Bryant for preparing for his thesis interview on the drive down and back.

Anyway it was fun trip all round and hope to see you all again on the next trip to Mt Frankland.

Dirk Klicker

CAWA Membership Officer

E-mail: dirkk@climberswa.asn.au

Mob : +61 (0)400248815

Mt Frankland Trip
Mt Frankland Trip

Mt Frankland Trip
Mt Frankland Trip

Mt Frankland Trip
Mt Frankland Trip

Mt Frankland Trip
Mt Frankland Trip

Mt Frankland Trip
Mt Frankland Trip

Mt Frankland Trip
Mt Frankland Trip

Wellington Dam Quarry – Closed for redevelopment.

All climbers.

We have been informed by Parks and Wildlife – National Park Ranger for Wellington District – Collie that the Quarry rec site will be closed to the public for redevelopment works from Wednesday 23 July until completion of new facilities.


Access to the bottom car park will be blocked off to prevent unauthorized entry while works is undertaken to install a new access ramp, path and barbecues


During the period of works there will not be any use of the facilities and no abseiling or rock climbing will be permitted until further notice.


Please ensure you support Parks and Wildlife and comply with this regulation.


Thank you,

CAWA Committee

CAWA Peak Charles Trip

Peak Charles Trip for Easter – Coming?


I’ll be coordinating the trip to Peak Charles this year over the Easter break holiday from Friday 29 March to Monday 1 April (about 3 weeks away). Considering that the travel time is around 7 hours it is anticipated most people will probably be taking either a day off on either side as well.


About Peak Charles

Peak Charles is approximately 900 km from Perth and located 200 km NW of Esperance and provides climbs ranging from 11 to 27 (see guide on this site for more information). We will be using the DEC campsite at Peak Charles. The only facility is a drop toilet  and no running water so best bring your own paper . There are no shops, so all attendees need to be TOTALLY self-sufficient and bring all of your own food and water. Access to the area via the least rugged route still involves a dirt road.

Partners & Skill Level

We also need to remind everyone that we are not providers of training, so inexperienced climbers need to team up with someone with adequate experience prior to the trip so as to get the most out of the event.

Registering Your Interest
Please register your interest
via my e-mail neilh@climberswa.asn.
Once interest has been expressed you will be then be sent more information, and a questionnaire. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.


Neil Humphries

P.S. If you want to catch up in person I’ll be at the Rockface Gym Crash on Thurs 14 March


Are we there yet ???



Friday 31 August 12 to Sunday 2 Sept 12

The CAWA EAGLESTONE ROCK trip is only 4 weeks away !!! Yayeeeee

There are ~30 routes going from a grade 10 trad through to the classic big crack “Fidget Gene”, a grade 23 trad and “Whiplash”, a 25.. In between there are a mix of bolted and mixes bolted and trad routes to satisfy most. The climbing area is a stones throw from the camp site and the weather, hopefully, will be cold but clear (my prediction…)

Fear the Smear

As this is a CAWA members trip, you will be emailed the Registration Form for you to fill in with as much detail as you can please. Email it back to cawa@climberswa.asn.au and we will process the registrations and confirm back with you. If you join CAWA and don’t get the registration email, please email CAWA and we will send it to you.

We expect to head out Friday 31 August early’ish to meet together at Baker’s Hill Pie Shop about 8:30am. We then, fully pie’d up and tanked, head out past Northam and stop in at Merredin to re-group and pick up some lunch before heading out for another 1-1.5hrs drive to Eaglestone Rock.

Remember, there are NO FACILITIES at Eaglestone Rock, so bring you own camping gear, food, water, a cheekey red, head torch, climbing gear, shovel, toilet roll and firewood… and a camera, as the place is quite spectacular. You won’t need a 4WD but there are patches of soft sand on the 500mt track from the road to the campsite. There will be 4WD’s there no doubt that will have snatch straps etc if needed. If you can throw a 15kg bag of firewood from you local petrol stn in you car it will help, thanks.

Closer to the time we will issue a directional “mud” map, contact details, a mini-guide, and forecast weather details. 

So hope you can join us for a “remote” camping and climbing experience – Your happy camper and trip co-ordinator, Tony Brebner..

It’ll be OK on the night !

2011 Mt Frankland Trip Report

As remembered by Kylie West (accuracy not guaranteed)……

The trip to the beautiful Mt Frankland National Park was held over the usual Queen’s birthday long weekend, although with a slight twist as thanks to CHOGM, the day off was Friday instead of the Monday.

As a virgin trip coordinator, I found it a bit nerve-wracking making sure I got all the right information sent out and that people were suitably encouraged and excited by the thought of coming along.  Unfortunately, a real crisis emerged that took my mind off this – the goddamn weather.

One minute it looked promising, the next it looked truly horrific and there were plenty of in-between forecasts.  I harangued a group of people who I knew would be far more capable of making a rational decision about the weather and the future of the trip than me (I call it delegating) and eventually the final call was made to go ahead with the official CAWA trip.

As it turned out, the weather could not have been more perfect.   Which I, of course, took full responsibility for.


The final participant tally was 20, and of these, 19 remembered to bring their shoes and harnesses.  Of the 20 people there, 19 chose to cook their own dinner on Saturday night, with one person electing to “share”.  Out of 20 climbers, 19 wore sensible, respectable climbing attire.

The usual lovely mix of nationalities was present, with the group comprising of Rugby World Cup Champions (that would be me) and Rugby World Cup losers (that would be everyone else).  It was notable that no French climbers were present……


A bunch of people had braved the Thursday afternoon mass exodus from Perth and were rewarded for their effort by a good day on Friday.  By the time the rest of us turned up on Friday afternoon or thereabouts, we’d missed a perfect slab-climbing day.   But no mind, because Saturday and Sunday were also glorious and as far as I could tell, everyone was getting on the rock.

There was the usual line-up at routes like Free Burma (160m, 16***), Dream Weaver (95m, 16***) and Purring Pussies (36m, 15**) to access the ledge to continue on with pitches two and three for many routes.  For some, it was good ground for learning multi-pitch climbing as well as leading on slab.  For poor Deb, it was a steep learning curve in a) using bolt plates for the first time and b) experiencing the awful run-out traverse on Lambs to the Slaughter (50m, 14*).  Handled superbly I should point out, with plenty of encouragement from her belayer Martin, who really didn’t want to second it!  Deb’s cool composure was quite a contrast to watching a former CAWA member a few years ago leading the same route, while screaming at the top of her lungs over and over “WHERE’S THE NEXT F*CKING BOLT??!!!”

At the start of the day, the serious business of identifying routes and potential climbing partners.

 [above photo] Some traffic at the top.  Ross, Dena, Steve, Pauline, Wally and Brian (ahem, may I point out the clear blue sky)
Brian “Seagull” Tan, aka Rock Climbing God, had a nice outing on Free Burma with Steve and Pauline, with this being Steve’s first multi-pitch climb.

Brian, Pauline and Steve at the top of Free Burma (Steve, about to learn the hard way it's best to leave your helmet on for the summit shot)

Richard and I attempted Stoned Alone (80m, 18**).  We got the first pitch no problem (a stiff 14) but then found ourselves sitting in a puddle with the rest of the route above us dripping wet.  So, after a weird traverse we continued up the rest of Dream Weaver in front of Kelly and Gesa.  Kelly had a lovely time leading the first pitch of Dream Weaver, she was really pleased to be offered the lead and jumped at the chance, didn’t you Kel?

Kelly enthusiastically steaming up the first pitch of Dream Weaver

Dena and Ross went for gold and got many ticks over the weekend, including Hannibal (20), Burmese Tiger (38m, 17*) and Three Sheep Twice a Day (95m, 18**) amongst others.   Eric and Craig had a fine outing on Where Eagles Dare (85m, 18*), although Eric’s attempt to avoid getting mud on his shoes evenutally ended in tears.

Ross on belay and Dena seconding

Francis had fallen in love with slab climbing and continued let everyone know how much he was enjoying it, particularly when he and Mario were on Purveyors of Matters Large and Small for the Masses (77m, 18*).  Discovering that he had to belay off a single bolt at 45m due to an omission in the route description (just some minor detail of needing two small cams to set up belay at 47m), Mario heard Francis shout from the ground “sorry mate, I’ve lost interest”.   Being the self-described sociable and easy-going fellow that he is, Mario took this news quite well.

One of the quotes of the weekend was from Richard, having just sweat bullets on the first pitch of Saracen – “I haven’t had that much fun since I drove my car into the back of a truck”.

Richard, having not quite as much fun as when he crashed his car

Other notable accents were Brian and Gesa doing Butter Fingers (35m, 20***) from the terrace and Steve, Wally and Jo doing Sheep Two (30m, 15).  Hamish was spotted cruising up Granitarium (85m, 17*) with Lloyd and I had a great time with Mario and Francis (although I felt a bit like the third wheel haha) on Where Eagles Dare.

Mario and Francis abseiling off Where Eagles Dare.

I also climbed with Gesa, who led Purring Pussies and then we finished the top two pitches of Free Burma.  I somehow managed to ram four pieces of gear between the first and second bolts on the second pitch.  I felt rather clever and informed Brian that yes, they were all bomber.  He asked “how do you know?  Did you fall on any of them?”  Smart arse.

Kylie leading second pitch of Free Burma (16). You can see from here how bomber my gear placements are.....

The evenings were cold but clear and luckily both mossies and march flies were tolerable.  The same could not be said for the bull-ants (or whatever those nasty big red ones are called), with Martin and Richard becoming victims of an attack.  Martin looked like he was Morris dancing and Richard just opted to tear his trousers off.  Different solutions to a painful problem, but equally disturbing!

Kelly, about to tuck into a typical Canadian breakfast....

Considering my initial angst, the weather came up trumps and it was a perfect weekend.  The Sunday afternoon saw the gang sprawled out on the gravel of the car park enjoying a picnic, the bums.  What would the tourists think?!

The gang enjoying a picnic in the (car) park Sunday afternoon

Good food (scabbed or otherwise), good company and good climbing.  What more can you ask for?

A final quote from the irrepressible Richard on the Sunday – “How much would one need to pay for such a perfect day?”  The answer is $107.10, which includes camp fees and vehicle depreciation.

People laughed, but check out the hot chicks Wally pulled in these pants (note that Jo is nowhere to be seen!)

Albany Trip Report

Albany Trip Report

by Phillip Calais

The Christmas/New Years CAWA camp ran from 27/12/10 to 03/01/11 with about 30 climbers camping at “Uncle Don’s” orchard, 20 km out of Albany, making this one of the biggest CAWA trips in recent years.

The camp was very multicultural, with imports from England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain, to mention but a few. There were even a few token Australians there. Fortunately Graham speaks most languages known to humanity and was on hand to provide translations.

Camping (or maybe car-parking) at "Uncle Don's".
Camping (or maybe car-parking) at Uncle Don's.

The focus of this trip was The Gap area, Blowholes and Peak Head, as there was a shortage of 4×4’s capable of doing the West Cape Howe trip. The one main trip to the Cape resulted in lots of very tired and dust-covered van de-boggers returning to camp late in the evening saying that they were never going to push Kevin’s four-wheel drive van ever again through soft, or any other, sand.

The Gap and Blowholes provided plenty of excitement, with the ranger telling climbers to get out of sight of the tourists, climbers wandering through scrub searching for non-existent tracks, and Richard leaping to the rescue of plummeting children while the parents stood around waiting for the children to plummet. Actually, the ranger was generally helpful and it was his arguably justifiable concern for the bumbly tourists that was the issue.

Remi doing a very impressive lead on 'Laughing Matter' (19 15 m) at the Amphitheatre.
Remi doing a very impressive lead on 'Laughing Matter' (19, 15 m) at The Ampitheatre.

At Peak Head, Albatross and Baylac Direct were very popular as usual. Ross bolted two more pitches of his climb, ‘Transformer’, which he started last year with Dena. Ross lead the two new and the fourth pitches while I did my best not be blown off the lead on the third pitch. It’s a great climb and for those that want a real adventure at a harder grade than the usual and it’s certainly worth the effort. Pitch 1 is a fairly solid 23, the next three pitches coming in at 22, 19 and a 13.

Ross leading the second pitch of Transformer at Peak Head.
Ross leading the second pitch of Transformer (23, 125m) at Peak Head.

The other new route that went up was on the Philosopher’s Wall at the Blowholes. Two large flakes with a small semi-detached flake connecting the two seemed an obvious line to me. It’s only a short climb, but it was a bit of fun and good practice for cam placements. Francis suggested the name ‘No fat bastards’ as he was afraid that if some fat bastard pulled too much on one of the flakes, the whole thing would come off and guillotine the climber and belayer. Maybe that’s why no one had ever bothered to put a climb up there before.

Brian leads ‘No fat bastards’, while Phillip, Richard and Francis look on.
Brian leads ‘No fat bastards’ (21, 12m) at the Blowholes, while Phillip, Richard and Francis look on.

New Year’s Eve was celebrated, as usual, at the Golden Town Chinese restaurant, where I counted 23 people at our table. There were no other customers in the restaurant after we all took over. When the electricity failed, the place was soon lit up by a dozen or so head-torches and a couple of candles stuck on to straw mushroom tins. Who else but climbers would be so prepared?

Dinner by candle-light and head-torch light.
Dinner by candle-light and head-torch light.

On the way back to Uncle Don’s, a quick visit was made by some to Dog Rock. It was quick, because while the first police car just slowed down and then took off, the second one stopped. (Meggs, we needed you there!)

Dog Rock a minute before the local cops arrive…
Dog Rock a minute before the local cops arrive…

The next stop was The Spider Web and the skateboard track.  Lacking a skateboard didn’t phase anyone and a number of cool tricks were done on the track.

Who needs a skateboard when Mario is around?
Who needs a skateboard when Mario is around?

Those still out then we rushed back to meet the others back at Uncle Don’s for the final midnight countdown. Kelly organised the testosterone- and alcohol-fuelled party-games. Games that I didn’t play when I was 12 years old and ones that I still don’t play now. Luckily I had locked away the bush-chopping machete, pitchfork and net and there were no lions available, otherwise I’m sure Kelly would have organised gladiatorial-style combat for her amusement.

Francis and Graham battle it out, while Delphine’s mum wonders what the hell she has got herself into.
Francis and Graham battle it out. Angela has a front seat while Delphine’s mum wonders what the hell she has got herself into.

Angela the pot-head.
Angela the pot-head.

Eaglestone Rock

By Francis Butler

Sometime back in July Ashley List, the esteemed trip organiser, placed a comment on the CAWA forum trying to arouse interest between the usual long weekend adventures for a short trip to Eaglestone Rock. Many showed little interest given the short notice, but of those who did most said, “Eagle what?” Well fortunately in the week preceding the trip a bit of hype brought many out of the woodwork eager to scale this mysterious rock out in the middle of the WA Wheatbelt.

Those that found themselves at Eaglestone did not form the usual CAWA crew. Excepting Kylie, Ang and Mario, it was made up of an unlikely bunch including many newbies. There was Mark the young geologist, who chauffeured Manuel the Spanish gourmet chef, and his humun-gous esky, in which we all suspected either carried an awful lot of beer or perhaps a body on ice! Then there was Ash and Tamsin who arrived nice and early to take in the scenes, fol-lowed a little later by Pete the Kiwi, and finally came Ben the true Aussie larrikin. The re-cently formed French foreign legion (Remi, Delphine, Loic, Melody, Kevin and others whose names escape me — formed during the Kalbarri adventures) were noticeably absent on this trip, however Kevin crawled in late Saturday morning in his slow and steady chariot, carrying the foreign legions strongest supporters, Eleanor and Emma. Coincidently, the crew was joined by Logan, Scott and company who had ventured out on a separate expedition yet ar-rived at the same place. The suspicion was that Logan had turned up with the primary goal of making his first free ascent of Jason’s recently completed project Buried Alive (31).

Although some climbing had been achieved by the few who trekked out early on Friday, most did not start anything serious till Saturday morning. Ang started out on the recently bolted chimney just to the right of Levitation. With a bit of shuffling and a determination Ang made it look quite easy. Inspired by something fresh and the fact that it had looked easy I attempted to lead the same climb shortly after, only to find that it wasn’t so easy after all and swore I would never do another off width climb again!!

As all this was going on, the Emu wall had become littered with ropes as many scaled the great face climbs there. Around the corner in the Bitter area Mario was intently trying to scale the hardest climbs he could muster and having a good day of it as he later recalled with Kylie patiently belaying. On the far right of the Emu wall and into the Fidget Gene area Logan and Scott were setting the standard on some tricky moves up Emu Walking and Full Throttle, edging their way closer to the difficult problems around the corner.

Later on in the day Angela’s introduction to classic trad on Jaundice left me a bashed up and bleeding mess, though I was ultimately pleased with the experience. While all this was going on Mark and Manuel were taking a beating on Ithica, both bowing out defeated. Once again Logan and Scott were just around the corner working another terrifically difficult problem Whiplash. Of the many who had finally scaled every inch of the Emu wall, there was Bitter in the Bitter area and Wishbone on the Wishbone wall to be completed.

Once the evening crept in, closing out with a beautiful sun set, everyone headed down to the camp to think about food. Many were content with a little pre-made food even pre-packaged in some cases but certainly not Manuel our gourmet chef as he brought out all the cooking gear and opened up the esky to reveal what was inside. The esky was loaded with vegetables and seafood ready to be prepared on his huge gas heated outdoor cooking pan into a delicious traditional Spanish Paella ready to feed all fiftenn people present (perhaps more I started drinking early and can’t remember!!).

With everyone eating better than ever before, the evening started off well with Logan and Scott involving everyone in brain teasers. Before long everyone was content, though a little confused by a few of the brain teasers as the alcohol began to sink in. This was about the point that we all saw the funny side of Emma, Eleanor and Kylie (to mention just a few) in-dulging in peculiar accents and role playing as they poured port and brandy into each others mouths rather than wasting the energy to first pour it into a glass then again into their mouths. Logical, surely! Even young Pete the Kiwi initially feigning ignorance, somehow ended up taking part in such antics that carried on well into the night.

Eventually the numbers dwindled as all the alcohol wore off and everyone crashed, or so we thought. It turned out that all the sugar in the drinks had gone to Emma’s head so she appar-ently went for a run in the pitch black night to burn off some energy! She arrived casually at breakfast so thankfully she must have found her way.
Sunday was expected to be another big day like Saturday arvo, however reality sank in as many battled sore heads.

Francis and Mario hopped on Nudie then spent nearly an hour on Juice It Up, a slippery slab with me whining “these shoes just can’t cut it” when really I just couldn’t make it! Manuel and Mark decided to do something easier and fly up Bitter, while Ben was taking his turn on the Emu wall with Tamsin. Ash seemed content to take photos, mainly because his camera provided better vision than his eyes as a result of his epic Saturday night. In his travels he captured a few shots of Scott having a go at Fidget Gene, the best crack climb in the area.

Later on Pete had a go at his first trad climb on Mini Me. He looked quite perplexed as Ash and Tamsin spun ropes around him like a web in an effort to set up a top belay for his fol-lower. While this was happening Mario and Francis were dismally failing to ascend 21 Jump Street nearby. Defeated, they decided to convince Ang to join them on an epic struggle up Cold Nights, which was an inspiration to Francis after his introduction to trad the previous day.

The morning quickly turned into afternoon and people started thinking about having to head off. It was about this time that Logan got serious and ripped his shirt off to have a go at this new problem announced by Jason. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and it would seem that Logan had finally found a problem that he had to concede defeat on, at least for the time being. So around that time people started to wrap things up and all headed off after a satisfy-ing weekend, vowing to do it again soon.

Kalbarri Trip Report

by Ashley List

Kalbarri is located 600km north of Perth and is quite the drive when you consider the usual climbing that can be found when heading south to Margaret River for a short weekend. The driving aside, the climbing is well worth the trip as long as you’re feeling strong as many of the routes are steep and demanding.

There is a good range of both trad and sports routes, up to 120m high, ranging from grade 14 to 26+, if you’re that skilled. The inclement weather nearly put an end to the trip, though a few dedicated souls did make the journey. The multicultural group consisted of members from Spain, France, England and good old Australia.

The Friday was a bit too wet to climb; nevertheless most people went to scout out the climbing areas in the hope that the weather would improve, and with luck running our way, we were climbing the next day.

The majority of the first day was spent in and around the Tourist Wall while we waited for the rock to fully dry out. Top route of the wall would have to be Keith Goes Blank a 3 star climb, though I would recommend it as a 16/17, not 15 as it is in the guide book, as a novice leader at that grade would quickly find them self out of their depth. On
the other hand Telegraph Line at the same area would be a good introduction to the wall for new

On the second day the morning was spent tuning up people’s trad leading skill on the partly developed wall to the right of Tourist Wall. Later in the afternoon we started to migrate towards Adventure Wall and the Promenade area. The routes found in this lower area are somewhat steeper and more committing, though twice the fun!

There are a number of good face climbing routes in the area, with Sports Climbing Ethics and Peanut Butter wall being recommend, though I did not have the chance to climb
them. As for warming up I would recommend

Due to all of the excitement at being in the Kalbarri Gorge for the first time, there was a minor miss read of the guide book, with various unnamed members starting what was initially thought to be a grade 15 route that turned out to be a 15m project! He he!

The Pros of the trip, Remi and Lecki, were making short work of the routes on the Promenade, with what seemed like most of the routes there being ticked.

On Monday morning we went scouting out Hawks Head. Though not as picturesque as the main gorge it’s well worth spending the morning there on the way home. Given its position, it would catch the sun and dry quickly when rain makes an unwelcome visit to the area. The crag can be easily seen from the lookout (look right when facing the river) and is only a short walk.

Give time was sort and we were tired we only managed to crack two 14’s, Molasses and Hornets Nest. Both good routes and tougher than they look. Think Stanage Edge in the Peak District, for those lucky enough to have climbed in the UK!

Would I recommend a trip to Kalbarri and Hawks Head? Hell yes! But I would recommend that you spend a good few months gaining strength and stamina as there is so much to do. If you can get the time spend a good week there.