It's 999km from my house in Queensland to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains and the sport climbing epicentre of Australia. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And we needed a fix. By we, I mean JJ O'Brien and I. So there we were, Friday night flight, hire car, drive up into the mist and an early morning coffee and rendezvous in the Sublime Point carpark. Blue sky. A good start.
Trip reports are so 2004. And even good photography. Good photography is like, 2009 or something. Now it's all about Twitter and Instagram. Quality has been replaced by 'timeliness' as the number one consideration. Grainy, grungy photos taken on iPhones are now what it's all about because they're uploaded as the action happens. Of course you can see where this is going: digital SLRs with 3G capability to enable instant uploads of high quality pics and video. We've already got live feeds of comps. Extend this idea further and you arrive at a Truman Show-esque reality of real time cameras strapped to our favourite climbing stars 24-7. Farfetched? I reckon we'll have it sooner than you think.
"Dude, did you see Sharma mow the lawn today? Fully sick brah!"
It's with this in mind that I neglect to put down much in the way of words and instead share some images from our wild, windy weekend. It's unlikely anyone really reads blogs anymore anyway. Facebook is killing the idea of the blog, and why? Timeliness, once again. Facebook is to blogs what Instagram is to quality photography. Instant gratification.
The demand for quality will return. But the demand for timeliness will remain. HD, real-time streaming of Chris Sharma's backyard gardening and mowing exploits. This, I tell you, is the future.
GIMME THOSE PICS YOU F@#KER!
We rounded the corner of Sublime Point and were greeted with a wall that dead-set gave me flashbacks to Windjammer Wall at Point Perpendicular. Bentravarto Wall. Super place to start.
|First route of the day. Getting stuck in on the amazing Bentravarto Wall at Sublime Point. |
This was the first pitch of Marxism 23/7a.
|Marxism 23, Bentravarto Wall, Sublime Point.|
|Neil Monteith on one of the routes in the Binary Cave, an area he's been instrumental in developing over the rainy summer months.|
|To access Subliminal and its 65m crux pitch, you do a free-hanging 70m abseil to the lip of a giant roof, which is still situated 150m off the deck. You then attempt to not crap yourself.|
|Extreme bushwalking? |
This is the rather out there traverse pitch (20) to get you to the base of the GIANT grade 22 arete (more like 23 or 24) which is 65m tall and requires 25 quickdraws.
We'd also filled out our bingo cards with sightings of a veritable who's who of Australian climbers including Mark Baker (in the Bakery to boot!), Neil Monteith, Mikl Law, John Smoothy, Giles Bradbury, Macca Macpherson and Zac Vertrees. I guess it's understandable given the Bluies is a rather small area with not many crags (-- ?!).
We had designs of Pierces Pass multipitching but after getting cold and topping out Subliminal in the dark, we opted for single pitching instead. Australia's first son of kneebar, Jase Piper and the Blue Mountains quiet achiever Nige Campbell would be at Bell Supercrag. Keen for a clean sweep of climbing celeb bingo, we headed out.
|Day 2 dawns at Bell Supercrag. |
A classic of the cliff, this magnificent 25/7b. We don't know the name, but it's shit hot.
You know if JJ can get a knee in he's going to be smiling.
|No, it's not Fabio. It's machine Jase Piper breaking in his Upskill kneebar pads on Reality Dysfunction 27/7c.|
|Go Jase, go! |
|My desired pitch for the day was this 29/8a. I dislike referring to routes by their grades but|
in this case we still don't know what it's called. Managed to claw up it second shot which was a surprise. This was the actual send.
|Me contributing to the clouds on the 29.|
That's it. Instant gratification.
Go on, back to Facebook. These photos are already there.