Steep Grampians and funny grading schemes


Ryan finishing up a grade 23 (about 6c+) sports route in the Gallery, Grampian Mountains.

I've just finished another two days of climbing.

I've been climbing with Ryan, and Martina. Martina is one of the youth world championship climbers and has fitter arms than legs! She's been climbing since 8, now only 19, but she is amazing to watch. Some people describe climbing as some sort of dancing on rock. Well, I've seen one of the pinacles of this style, and have now a new benchmark on how to 'dance' on rock. I also wish I had her stamina :)

Still though, in the meantime I'm doing climbs. Lots of climbs. And they make a lot of European climbs seem about a grade lower. I used to think irish grades were over=graded in places but this is mad, especially on the sports climbs! 7 routes in day is savage over here, and I'm so wasted in the evenings. I'm still running also, managing to fit them in after walking the 30minutes back from whatever location we've been to on that day, and before collecting firewood for the campfire that evening. tiring work! And yes, then sit down and write up these diary entries :)

We've had some locals visiting also for the weekend. I may as well be back in Ireland, with a lively social scene throughout the campsites here. Very entertaining guys to meet and share a story or two with. They don't drink as much either which is pretty refreshing to see!

For the climbers out there, some of you will remember that an Aussie climbed a direct to Rollerball, one of the routes in the Burren (I think it was called “The torment....” or something or other?). It's been graded at E7 by our Irish climbers and with the British grading scheme, making it very high=end and hard.
His opinion going by Australian grading schemes? It's about a 25 (equivalent to about E4). The climbing over here puts UK and Irish routes to shame in many ways, especially on traditional routes! there's a very funny article about the Irish climbing scene in the local Australian climbing magazine. Lets just say that the grading scheme in Ireland does not come out very well from the article.....

As for fitness of these climbers, one of the local famous climbers who put up many of the routes around Australia is known to do 10-15 laps of a grade 8a sports climb for training.......

I've just finished my first hill run in a while. It's a 10 minute drive in a 4x4 up a hill so I thought it would be perfect and relatively short. 17 minutes later I was at the top, and 11 minutes later I was back down again. I have a benchmark to beat now.......although I'll need a few days for my legs to recover after that one!

p.s. the animals are hillarious here. By day, we have running battles with hiding our food from the birds (I've had some variation of a parrot take the bread out of the BOTTOM of my newly-made sandwich while it sat right in front of me). By night, it's the Possom's turn. these little critters (slightly larger than a cat, but they're also excellent tree climbers like a squirrel) will go anywhere and have no fear of humans whatsoever. Especially when there's a possibility that there might be food involved! I've already had to lift one of the laptop while I type! Welcome to Austalia :)


the end of the day, and the gang. Dawid, Ryan, Sean, myself, and Martina



how to pass an evening. Dawid practising on his digeradoo as the campfire blazes. You can be guaranteed there are at least 3 or 4 possoms and wallabes waiting in the bushes to eat our dinners and scraps!