Karabiner Care

Steve Morris from Rock Hardware talks about looking after your screw gates.

I am often asked if you can clean karabiners and if so, is there a safe method? My standard reply is rather conservative. Clean as little as possible and only when absolutely necessary. This basic principle applies to any climbing gear, including ropes and harnesses.

It is easy to use too much lubrication, which attracts dirt and may contaminate nylon slings. Petroleum based lubricants are to be avoided at all costs. Lubricants of choice are WD40, which is fish oil based, or Inox. Remember to use them sparingly, only the smallest amount is required.

Squirting toothpaste into the hinge of a sticking gate aluminium karabiner and working it back and forth can help remove corrosion products and also lubricate the hinge area. Ensure that all the toothpaste is washed out with water.

Simply lubricating aluminium karabiners will not repair mechanical damage; however, it can help with corrosion. Aluminium corrosion products tend to be very bulky (chlorides, carbonates, oxides etc) and so all lubrication with an oil does is make the bulky corrosion product sticky. It needs to be removed as suggested above.

Steel karabiners are a totally different matter and a light lubrication is often all that is required. Always thoroughly air dry your karabiners after washing or the spring will corrode. The less that is done the better.

Regards Steve.

(NB. Thank you to Philip Toomer for teaching me this method)

Ultimate Climbing Comp 2

by Ross Weiter

Yet another great climbing comp from the Rockface stable! Liana Morgan scooped the chix, Jay Girdlestone the men and Pete the masters. For three hours the main competition was on, including bouldering, leading and speed climbing, with top roping an option for the newer climbers. Then it was time for the pizza and dyno
competition, followed by the bouldering finals. The effort of the day was Logan’s lowball traverse, followed by a drop into a corner body stem, followed by a dyno to the
finishing jug. Remi sprinted up the speed climb in 6 seconds flat – an incredible effort!

Thanks to all the Rockface staff, in particular to Gareth and Gerard for putting in days of work on the problems. There were no nastymoves, no sharp edges and no greasy holds. Thanks to the sponsors, Rockface, MD’s,Paddy Pallin’s, Mainpeak and others, alost all competitors walked away with a bag of goodies or some kind of prize. Well done.

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.

Canning Dam Quarry Access Finalised

I am very happy to finally be able to announce that we have finalised the access to Canning Dam Quarry. As discussed previously on the website, access will be for members only and during the initial ‘trial’ period, only for six weekends during that first year.

However, that’s a great start! When originally approached by individuals, the land managers said they would not consider access. When approached by CAWA, the land managers were, after some initial resistance (Water Corporation), willing to enter into negotiations and nearly two years later, this is the result. It demonstrates very clearly that a good working relationship between land managers and climbers is possible. DEC has been instrumental in facilitating access and helping us to negotiate with Water Corporation.

The quarry does not currently have any bolted routes and access to the top (such as at the other quarries) to set up ropes for other than for route setting will not be possible. At this stage it is anticipated that the routes in this quarry will require lower offs.

DEC requires that all climbers and route setters are CAWA members and that CAWA is responsible for ensuring responsible use of the quarry. The way in which the quarry activities are managed will determine any future access beyond the one year trial period.

Any CAWA members interested in bolting routes in the quarry will need to apply to a bolting panel (which will be formed by people who will NOT be bolting routes) and be able to provide evidence of both experience and skill in this area. Bear in mind that DEC is requiring us to oversee this process. Bolting in the quarry must conform to the CAWA Bolting Guidelines.

For further information, please contact us at cawa@climberswa.asn.au.




Perth Rock Climbing Guide 2010

8 years after the first edition and 3 years after going out of print, a new Perth Rock Climbing Guide is sorely overdue. We have had delivery issues due to people unable to find enough personal time, which has now pushed out the delivery to later in the year. Ross Weiter, the author of the 2002 first edition will produce the 2nd edition when he returns back from the Alps in early July.

The revised schedule is:
10 August – circulate updated text to gyms for public comment (no pictures)
1 September – advertisers will be contacted with the format details
1 October – advertising deadline
10 October – proof copy out
31 October – guidebook to print shop
21 November – guidebook printed
1 December – guidebook fully distributed into shops and gyms

Please send any contributions (comments on last edition, new route info, grades etc.) to rossw@climberswa.asn.au We are keen on any people with graphics design skills to format the guidebook, otherwise the appearance will be the same as for the 2002 guide.

There will be a cover page photo competition coming up soon, details TBA.

New Peak Charles Miniguide

This is now available for downloading under the Climb/Miniguides drop down menu or by clicking this link. There now is an added photo of Northeast Buttress which will be hopefully populated with all the climbs, eventually.

Castle Rock Walk Trail and Summit Closure in Porongurup National Park

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) wishes to advise that the Castle Rock Walk trail and Castle Rock Summit within Porongurup National Park will be closed to all Park visitors from 15 March 2010 to 30 June 2010.

This closure is required in order to make the area safe for contractors to carry out works necessary to remove the old lookout structure and construct two new lookouts, one lower level lookout and one upper level lookout.

Access to Castle Rock Picnic Area, Tree-in-the-Rock picnic area, Nancy-Hayward Peak Circuit, Devils Slide and Wansbrough walk will remain open.

DEC apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.

For further information please contact the DEC Albany District Office on (08) 98424500.

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.



Mt Frankland and March Flies

By Jolene Sheldon in consultation with Richard Haynes.

Only the most intrepid CAWA members braved the march flies and bull ants to
attend this year’s full frontal assault on the slabs of Mt Frankland. This year saw blue skies
and hot temperatures in contrast to last year’s rain and lightening. Here is the truth; dry slab
is oh so much easier to climb than wet slab. Along those lines, sensei Ross had his ego
pegged back a couple of grades as the two climbs he bolted last year, were so much easier
when not dripping wet. Most climbers however concede that the requirement to shed steel
during vicious lightening storms, significantly influenced the grading system in 2009. While
the two climbs from 2009 were very enjoyable, it was the latest one just finished on this trip
that really won my heart. Sure, I was already knackered. It felt like 32 degrees, but I can’t be
sure of the actual temperature. All I know is that I couldn’t keep the chalk on my hands for
the sweat, so I felt challenged to say the least. A mixed route, yet to be named or graded, I
was fortunate to be the first to sample the taunts and delights that awaited after Ross and
Dena had done the first climb. I felt honored…. dang, I gave it a solid 17 and in my heart
named it “Grow a Pair”, though I’m sure Ross will come up with a much more appropriate
and genteel name. The climb is 3 pitches. I have to admit I only had time to lead the first
pitch, but it is a ripper! Once I reached safety, I realised that I had thoroughly enjoyed the
climb, and am looking forward to the lead when I am fresh and less distressed by heat
stroke. I would give the first pitch 3 stars!

Ashley List, one of the newest committee members was in attendance. Recently transplanted
from the U.K., he was heard to say, he is ‘more of a crack whore than a slab master’.
It was refreshing to get into some multi-pitch routes after all the local crags around
Perth, which are sadly lacking in height.

Amenities were in Fernhook Falls campground. A lovely place which provided a pool for
cooling down and cleaning up after a hard day of slab mastering. The intrepid group gathered
for dinner Saturday evening to enjoy the camaraderie and healthy appetite that only a great
day of climbing seems to inspire. The rum and coke/beer/wine, added to the comfortable
happy-tired feeling and joviality at the tables.

As the sun rose the last day, members of the group were off to pursue other areas, and activities.
We are indeed blessed to be living in this amazing area of Western Australia where
we are constantly awed by the beauty of the surroundings we climb in.