Moving Outdoors

These words are intended for climbers who are just starting to climb on real rock after learning the basics in gyms.

It is also highly recommended that you undertake a climbing course from a certified and qualified company or instructor.

Outdoor climbing differs greatly from indoors, so there will be a few surprises. As you first venture out, you will likely be quite strong but hugely lacking in the outdoor technique. You may find some of the quarries and Churchman’s climbs more juggy, not too dissimilar to the once-in gyms, but climbing many other climbs, including slabs and boulders, is a different thing altogether.

Rock climbing requires footwork and moves that cannot be learned in the gym. Often, you need to find your own route – there’s no coloured plastic to follow out on the rock. And often, you must use friction, rather than any defined hold, to stay on the rock.

If you are willing, give it a go! At first, you will find that there are very few obvious holds. The stuff just doesn’t form many helpful features to pull on. With many routes, you have to study the terrain and milk, even individual crystals, for all the support they can give. Also, the grades may seem too severe, particularly to those who try and lead. You may crank 22s in the gym, but be entirely humbled by a 17 like Darlington’s Teddy. There are many proper low-grade testing routes on Perth Rock, so do not despair and hang in there.

Cardiac Arete, Mt Lindesay

Frequently Asked Questions

Extract from the CAWA Perth Guidebook 2002.