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  • #8223 Reply

    Accept my apologies if you have read this before as I’ve posted similar to other climbing forums.


    My girlfriend and I are seriously considering emigrating to Australia.

    (More accurately: we will, as soon as all paperwork is completed and local property sold)

    Our original plans were to travel only to the eastern and southern cities, but after campfire discussions this weekend, Perth has now not only become part of the travel stops, but has taken a high priority.

    We plan to be in Oz between 16 Dec 2010 and 6 Jan 2011.

    I climb both Sport and Trad, and have opened new routes in both.

    23 (Oz grade) highest Redpoint. Sport.

    20 / 21 comfort grade.

    18 / 19 reasonable on-sight grade on both Trad and Sport.

    13 years trad experience (continuous)

    3 years wilderness search and rescue involvement.

    We’ll be traveling light (hopefully sport gear, maybe only shoes)

    The questions:

    1) What areas would you recommend?

    2) Is anybody willing to show us around (We’ll be more than happy to

    return the favor should you ever visit South Africa)

    3) Any South Africans reading this and living there care to meet up?

    4) A long shot: I’m a 33 year old architect. I’ll be looking for architectural employment once there. Any climber-architect willing to see me for an interview?

    #8224 Reply

    Hi Hann,

    Near Perth (less than 50 km) are Churchman’s Brook, Statham’s, Boya, and Mountain Quarry, all 15 – 30 m, grades 10 – 30, tad and sport and mixed. Also there is plenty of shorter stuff like Darlington Boulders, Shark Rock, Llama Rock etc, all 5 – 10 m, mainly bolted.

    100 km from Perth is Mt Cuthbert, Boomer Crag etc, mainly bolted.

    250 km south of Perth is Margaret River with Willyabrup, Bob’s Hollow and Wallcliffe, 15 – 30 m, grades 10 – 30. Willys is mainly trad with some bolts, Bob’s and Wall and sports bolted.

    Near Albany (400 km from Perth) is Bluff Knoll, 300 m overhanging quartzite; Gibraltar Rock 250 m granite slab, West Cape Howe 50 – 100 m diorite seacliffs; The Gap 10 – 20 m granite seacliffs; Peak Head 200 m granite sea dome; etc etc.

    Kalbarri 600 km north, hard-core sports.

    In December/Jan, I’d say head south – Willys, Bob’s, Wallcliffe; or Albany.

    There’s usually a CAWA trip to Albany for a week from Dec 27 – 2 or 3 Jan.

    As for a job, if you wanna dig holes in the ground or drive a truck full of rocks, then this is the place for you! If you want to do something else, like be an architect, then you should consider the beach, climbing and the dole office.

    #8225 Reply


    Thanks for the reply.

    It sounds like there is a reasonable amount of climbing in the area with some options for weekend trips.

    If I understand you correctly there isn’t much work in the professional / building environment.


    But perhaps it is now time to get a license to drive trucks.

    #8226 Reply

    Some of those truck drivers earn enough to want an architect when they get back to Perth.

    You’ll like West Cape Howe. Most southerly point in WA.


    #8227 Reply

    @ Chris,

    Out of interest,

    What would you say the average climber is like in Oz.

    What I mean is:

    Age: In RSA between 18 and 29.

    Occupation: Mainly Students.

    The old-codgers (I guess I’m fast falling into that category) are still around, but the hard sends belong to the youngsters.

    That being said, the OPENING of new lines generally fall into the old-codgers domain.

    Is it similar in Oz?

    #8228 Reply

    Hi Hann,

    I think there are a few ‘average’ types of climbers:

    Grumpy ol’ cynical farts like me who have been climbing too long. Usually professional – geologists, engineers, physicists, etc. We tend to like long trad climbs, long run-outs, grade 10 – 20 and cups of tea after a climb etc. Most of us learned to climb on rock.

    Young gun’s who get scared of anything that doesn’t have bolts every 1 metre and like climbing 2 m high boulders. Some are students, but also recently there have been lots of tradies, mineworkers etc. Most of this group learned to ‘climb’ on plastic.

    OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I think you get the general idea. I think it’s probably the same in SA or wherever you’re from.

    Basically if you come here you’ll find a group of like minded-souls that will suit your style of climbing, ability and mentality.

    #8229 Reply

    the average western australian climber??

    good question… most that I have observed are reasonably moderate , conservative in both outlook and ability and do very low amounts of mileage at the crags

    without a doubt there are some exceptional climbing talents in the state, and they are almost exclusively younger, many of the brightest eventually move way to steeper pastures like the blueys, grampians, alps anywhere to escape the mind numbing tedium that is travelling to decent crags here

    there are also some of the most passionate and exciting new route activists out there , perhaps only a dozen folks in the whole state, who are pushing grades, developing new areas and exploring

    the general climbing vibe here is dominated by grumpy old has beens but dont let that put you off, there are some wicked crags and great climbers

    you just might have to move to fremantle to find out the story

    #8230 Reply
    John Knight

    The last few posts made an interesting point: the mind numbing tedium travelling to decent crags. I remember Ross once told me that no one would travel all the way up to Stoneville just to rate a climb, but that would also imply everyone lives in…. I dunno, Leederville or something, and that no climbers live up here in the hills.

    If you live in the hills, you’re actually a lot closer to the quarries than the city, and a trip to Mountain Quarry is only fifteen minutes or so, as well as having Toodyay boulders nearby, and a collection of boulders here in Stoneville that’s walking distance from my house.

    In short, if you want climb regularly, forget the city and come up here to the hills where the climbs are located anyway.

    #8231 Reply

    Yeah – mind numbing tedium – yeah, it takes me at least … oh, 30 minutes drive from where I live in ‘burbia to get to Churchman’s or Statham’s or Boya or Mountain or Darlington or Llama or Shark or….

    And as for 2 – 2.5 hours drive to Willys or Bob’s and the 3.5 – 4.5 hours to get to the Stirlings or Porongorups of Peak Head or The Gap or wherever.

    No one in Melbourne or Adelaide would ever bother driving 4 hours to Arapiles, would they!

    #8232 Reply

    ahh well, same old parocialism … face it numbat for a visitor the quarries are .. at best pretty awful, unless manufactured routes on decrepit quarry walls are your thing, yes there are a few good routes but thats all…

    our mate from SA comes from a country blessed with absolutely stunning crags, walls and arguably the worlds best bouldering (rocklands) so we should be honest about the local crags

    yep there is some good bouldering in the hills, and at blackwall reach, and as John says maybe the hills is the place to live to make the best of those opportunities

    willys, bobs , wallcliffe are decent honest crags with some very good routes but the best of WA climbing is farther afield on the south coast, kalbarri, stirlings etc

    hence the long drives

    but as stated the rewards are tremendous

    #8233 Reply

    Hi Huha,

    yes it would be good if there was a 300 m high crag in the middle of Kings Park. But there’s not, and neither is there in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Sydney, London, Paris, New York, Berlin, Jakarta, Lisbon, Madrid, ……

    OK, maybe there is in Hobart and Natimuk and Cape Town and a few other spots but they are the exceptions.

    While the climbing at MQ, SQ, BQ, MC, CB etc are pretty poor compared to Araps or Gramps or the Bluies or Verdon or Indian Creek or where ever, at least there is some climbing close to Perth. Where’s the nearest climbing to Melbourne (ever been to Werribee Gorge? – I don’t count that as ‘climbing’) or Adelaide – 400 km away. London – 200 km, Berlin, 100 km etc etc.

    If you don’t like it here, then the answer is simple…

    #8234 Reply

    wooah old fellah, you said it they are poor compared to ..well..almost anywhere else

    but as i say there is some awesome climbing further afield, especially around new years when the quarries and the crags in the hills will be excruciatingly hot

    but west cape howe, peak head etc.. will be at their best, and truly worthy of the mind numbingly tedious drive


    #8235 Reply

    …..more likely a professional beard stroker with a gigantic fading ego. Stop putting people off with you put up or piss off attitude, it’s not helpful or constructive.

    #8236 Reply

    I’ve dogged at Buoux,

    And I’ve flashed some routes,

    That I thought were hard for me.

    I’ve failed on punks,

    But I burned off Monks,

    At the Grampians Gallery,

    I’ve been to Verdon,

    and I’ve walked along,

    the ledge at El Chorro,

    I’ve placed new bolts,

    In the cave at Volx,

    (eight of them in a row)

    I’ve climbed Jacobs ladder,

    That doesn’t matter,

    There’s one thing that know,

    Huha nailed it right,

    the climbing here is shite!

    Sorry Numbat, you can give it the love it or leave it line all you like, the fact is that some of us are here fro reasons other than climbing (hard to believe I know). If I were still living to climb (like I used to) then this would frankly my Jarpie frined, be the last place on earth I would be (well, apart from Falujah, and Kal, and maybe Broome, what a shithole!) but you get the picture. Melbourne on the other hand, has the Grampians. Yes Numbat, a bit of a drive, but absolutely world class. Personally, never climbed anywhere better, anywhere, full stop.

    #8237 Reply

    I’ll still show you round if you like, I owe some friendly Saffers some hospitality from way back.

    #8238 Reply
    uk topropaz sor branch

    moving to wa is fantastic for any climber for 3 reasons:weather



    i moved from uk and after driving to wales or stanage once or twice a year(from birmingham) we maybe get 15 mins in before it pissed down after waiting for 10 other people to climb the route you want.the quarrys are fantastic you can drive in leave you car below and sit round and have lunch and a cuppa after a couple of hours climbing.margret river climbing is lovely with really short walk ins west cape howe/peak head is truly breathtaking and for real away from it all multi pitch adventure peak charles is the best place ive ever climbed.the people…..well you never really see many.my little crew i climb with often cant belive that on the best days (low20’s and sunny)theres either no one or maybe one other crew even at churchmans.so puting up with arsholes beefing about oldies or tradies (im 47 and a brickie)isnt a problem because there proberbly at home playing with there xpod thingy-m-jig while us oldies are out climbing having cups of tea and genrally aving it!!!and they really should give some major respect to the original beards, who are still trully awsome climers,as they put up most of the routes in wa

    #8239 Reply

    diko…..sez it all really

    #8240 Reply

    chuckles .. nice one dicko

    #8241 Reply

    major respect to the original beards who put up most of the older routes in the state and are still awesome climbers

    there ya go

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