Blue Mountains Climbing Xmas

Hi all

Back in sunny, hot Queensland after a Christmas spent in Sydney and a further week in the Blue Mountains. Christmas was manic with kids, bikes, skateboards, Wii's and food as far as the eye could see. It was a crazy week, but very memorable. I hope yours was as well.

The Blueies was almost relaxing by comparison.

In flagrant disregard to my own counsel of two days on, one day off, I climbed every day bar one. No super-hard ticks, but did a lot of volume and variety, including a bunch of cliffs I hadn't been to before including Mitchell's Ridge (onsighted Codein 25), Dams Cliffs (Radio Baghdad 26 and about 20 other routes, ticking one entire sector, and deep-water soloing) and Zig Zag (Taipan 19 is a total classic must-do trad pitch). At the Freezer, I fell on the final hard move of Lactictoc 26 on the onsight and had to settle for second shot. It's a well respected pumper I'd been wanting to do for years. Very fun. Funnily enough, the cliffs I didn't go to included: Centennial Glen, Porters Pass, Shipley Upper. I don't think I've ever been to the Mountains without a visit to the big three.

Another highlight was going out to Dalpura Head with Neil for the first ascent of his new five pitch mega-route, End Of Days (22, 23, 25, 16, 21). I froze my butt off on the belay of the crux pitch while Neil took endless whippers before getting it clean with bleeding fingers. Determination! Here's a pic of me onsighting the superb second pitch arete:

Photo: Neil Monteith

Me on the classic Lactictoc 26, The Freezer. Photo: Neil Monteith

Merry Christmas, fool! Photo: Neil Monteith

Here's to a rip-roaring 2009!