How Hard is Your Head?

By Dena Rao

Helmets.
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
WOMEN
Sam Berry

431

4

1

$605

Liana Morgan

339

2

2

$205

Jing Yun Wong

353

1

3

$105

Claire Newbury

238

0

4

$40 (+prize)

Naomi Stockley

228

0

5

$40 (+prize)

MEN
Marc Edwards

510

2

1

$320

Jason Girdlestone

506

2

2

$320

Chris Loane

426

0

3

$120

Francois Jourjon

411

0

4

$120

Anthony Goyder

401

0

5

$120

Climbing Articles and Photos Wanted

We are keen for any climbing stories from WA or abroad that may be suitable for publication in newsletters. All climbing images or artwork would be welcomed.

Stories from the recent CAWA trip to Willyabrup would be a great start.

So please send your material in, we want to share it with other climbers and this is great place to do so.

Submissions can be sent to cawa@climberswa.asn.au

Please include a suitable subject heading such as ‘Newsletter article’ to help us manage the numerous incoming emails that the committee deals with.

If you would like some assistance or advice with preparing something for publication, please let us know, and we’lll see what we can do.

Willyabrup – Queens Birthday Weekend

By Louise Fisher

On the Queen’s Birthday weekend, after a week of miserable rain, the sun finally shone and over fifteen CAWA members made the journey down to Willyabrup to take full advantage. The group travelling in my car were entertained by the bouncing Buddha on the dashboard – until it drove Ross to distraction and was then cocooned in a sunglasses case. After that, entertainment was provided by the sat nav’s ignorance of the new highway. Arriving on Saturday morning things started slowly with one group warming up on Hope (14). Paula encountered the resident python but all anyone below heard as she yelled (shrieked?) was “take” so her close encounter was more prolonged than she would have liked. We later moved onto Inner Space (17) and Ang made her way up English Ethics (20) and Fat Chance (20).

Ross and Peter led One for the Road (19) and a couple of other lines before moving onto Storm Bringer, just right of Inner Space. Ross had some difficulty with the sequence above the second bolt (karmic revenge for the indignities Buddha was subjected to perhaps). Peter had better luck and a grade of 22 was agreed upon as suitable – tallying with previous chatter on the forums.

On Sunday the good weather continued and more climbers joined us. Phil led Stainless Steel and Sirius before moving on to a climb on Steel Wall that Kylie assured him was “around a 20”. They subsequently agreed that she might have underestimated that one somewhat. Ross and Dena sampled some of the more obscure delights to be found in the Stormcock area including High Reel (14) and Sombre (17/18).

Sunday night and Monday morning saw the rain return and so climbing plans were reluctantly shelved and a trip to the local coffee houses and wineries substituted before heading back to Perth.