Monday, 6 August 2012

Extreme Climbing: Bare Rock, Fingal

Climb: Green Spandex 27  Climber: Chris Coppland

Climb: Green Spandex 27  Climber: Chris Coppland

Chris Coppland clocking up some frequent flyer points on Green Spandex 27

Double frequent flyer points for Chris Coppland

....and more

....enough for a round-the-world trip

Ingvar Lidman on Even Fairies Wear Boots 29 on the floating mountains of Pandora

Climb: Even Fairies Wear Boots 29  Climber: Ingvar Lidman

Ingvar Lidman on the arete of Even Fairies Wear Boots 29, poised 200 metres above the ground

Gerry Narkowicz on the crux moves of Passchendaele 25 

Ingvar Lidman defying gravity on some heinously hard climb on the Boneyard Face

The brilliant garry Phillips on his stunning Vapour Trail 29 on the Boneyard Face

Garry Phillips coming in to land

Fingal Valley from summit of Bare Rock

Gerry Narkowicz ticking the first ascent of A Terrible Beauty 25

Gerry Narkowicz pulling through the first roof on the overhanging A Terrible Beauty 25

In 1969, teamed up with Peter Jackson, I did the first ascent of the massive 200 metre dolerite face of Bare Rock in the hills overlooking Fingal. This produced the classic MacDonagh, grade 17. Its two crux sections still baffle some climbers. I was only 18 at the time and had only the faintest idea of what sort of life I was creating for myself. A bunch of more first ascents were put up in the following several years. 

Forty years on and a renaissance has occurred at Bare Rock. Using expansion bolts as protection on the severely overhanging faces, some of the hardest routes in Tasmania are being established. Some of the climbs are so hard that it sometimes takes dozens of attempts before a first ascent can be chalked up. It is absolutely normal to see climbers flying into space, as some of these photographs show.

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