Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Forget cricket, climbing at Nowra is the summer sport!

Actually, don't forget cricket, particularly if you're an up and coming spin bowler. We need more of them!

But Summer is the new Winter at Nowra in 2008/2009. Conditions at South Central were nothing short of excellent last Saturday! The true believers who made the trek down, abandoning the drizzle, mist and fog of the mountains, were surprised to find the crags not only dry, but the rock sticky! Sunday was nearly as good. PC was bone dry apart from a couple of holds under the roof and all the Creek crags were very climbable.

Don't forget the mozzie spray though, those little suckers bite harder than a Wave Wall crimper!

Monday, October 20, 2008

End of the Season?

Having been a bit slack on the Nowra news reporting front, an update is well overdue. 'Man of the Season' Al Pryce reports that back on the 20th of September he made the first ascent of the much admired roof crack to the right of Wham, Bam at Cheesedale. To quote Al, "On a very warm Nowra day, Strike of the Silver Fox was born. Grade 27. I need to add a few more bolts but it's still ok to climb." Al went on to suggest that Nowra season is closed and mountains season is open. With temperatures soaring it seems the thing to do...

But upon arriving back in the country after a successful trip crushing the tiny pockets of the Frankenjura, (see Mad Dog Production's new movie 'My Left Foot' debuting on youtube tomorrow) Nowra stalwart Matt Adams headed to the Bluies and promptly declared the Nowra season back open and vowed to fight on down south. Showing incredible faith in the fabled miracle conditions delivered by the 'Shoalhaven Doctor' on  hot summer afternoons, he boldly predicted many hard ascents this summer!

Adam McClain seems to have taken Matt's words to heart and pulled out an onsight of The Big Kahoona 24 at Thompson's Point yesterday.

So is the season over? Is summer merely a slowing or will Matt's dream of a golden summer of ascents be realised? What this space...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

G Man v. Frosty - A tale for those who love happy endings...

Keep going mate, you're almost at the first bolt!
Graham Fairbairn attempting Frosty, circa 1993.
Photo taken from the first Nowra Guidebook.

A story that has been over a decade in the making came to a happy conclusion at Rosies a few weeks ago. Frosty, now a classic 29, was the first route bolted at this crag in he early nineties shortly after the crag was discovered by Paul Westwood
Little Graham standing below Rosies on the day the crag was discovered! No Bolts, no chalk, just potential!

Jarred McCulloch put the bolts in and originally envisioned the line going right to the top of the crag (the finish still hasn't been climbed). At the time, Jarred's dreams were haunted by the sinister figure of Frosty the Bondage Clown who had a fetish for the colour orange! And so the route was named. After departing the Nowra scene to start breeding, Jarred bequeathed the route to Graham Fairbairn, then commonly known as Little Graham. Graham sensibly decided to route should finish at the obvious break, below the 8c finish and threw himself at it for a while. During this time the route became controversial as a bottom-feeder tried to steal the first ascent. To prevent this, a tyre was padlocked to crux bolt for a while! Graham then burned himself out and abandoned Frosty, Nowra and climbing all together. 

As this saga was unfolding the real estate around Frosty was increasing as every other piece of climbable rock at Rosies was bolted, cleaned and climbed. Frosty went from lonesome figure on mighty wall to one of a number of classic lines. But Frosty sat idle and unloved until Andrew Bull took up the challenge and made the first ascent. A few years Graham, now known as G Man fell in love with climbing again and has jumped back into the sport with he same passion he had a teenager 15 years ago. Frosty still called G like a siren luring a sailor onto the fatal rocks. But this time a more cunning navigator was on the bridge and the G Man sailed safely to the anchors!

News Update

Things continue to buzz along at Nowra with plenty of ascents of all the classics. JJ got the coathanger out in the Grease Cave and busted into the Vehicle Of Hate 28 for a well deserved tick. At Bartondale, Christina Bedard found joy on the smooth stone of Krusty 28 while nearby at Rosies, Al Price made a rare ascent of the punishing Beefmeister 32 and Andi Richardson cruised up Frosty 29. Al's been going bonkers with the bolt drill, so watch this space for more new route action! (As always, please keep off the routes until they're climbed.) There's been plenty more happening, but as we've been unable to make it down for a few weeks we haven't had our finger on the Nowra pulse. So if you've done anything or know of anyone that has, let us know. Email us at climbsomemore@yahoo.com.au and we'll put it up. We don't want this blog to only be about hard routes from a select few.

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Good Times

Before departing our shores for more limestone endowed places Vince and Helen Day spent three weeks getting into the traveling climber lifestyle at Nowra. Where else would you start a world tour of classic sport climbing areas? Helen added Shocked 26 and a second ascent of Chuck Steak 26 to the list of routes previously reported and Vinnie made the third ascent of Tramp Stamp/Trailer Trash 32 in the Grease Cave. There's a bit of confusion about the name of this route because even Zac's not sure what he called it! He told some people Tramp Stamp and others Trailer Trash. He likes to keep us on our toes!

Meanwhile Zac Vertrees has been working his harder version of the Grease Cave roof. This one goes up White Trash to just before the chain then follows a rib leftwards to join Tramp Stamp about halfway through the roof! This one's so good it's going to need at least three names!

Al Price
's insatiable appetite for tickage has continued unabated with a recent ascent of Black Parasite (now considered more like 31 than the original 29!) and a flash of Comin' At Ya Pundy 29 shortly after redpointing The Para

Lauren Chandler continues to work her way through the classics with recent ascents of Sid Vicious 26Games Burger 25, Abdulmajid 24 and How Much Can a Koala Bear? 24.

At Thomo's, Chris Webb-Parsons made a flash ascent Vehicle Of Hate 28 and ticked the now fashionable Still Life With Chalk Bag 26.

The much talked about project of the moment is Al's monstrosity over at Cheesedale. This route climbs Metamorphosis 30 (a route first bolted by Brian Rattenbury, ground up, and climbed a few years ago by Pete Tosen after Rat took up fishing) and then launches through some crazy boulder problems and lots of very steep territory. As the route follows the biggest, steepest line at Cheesedale, people have been sniffing around up there for years. At about the same time Cheesemonster was being bolted, Tony Barten put the first dogging bolts in, bolting down about a third of the route before deciding he had bitten off more than he could chew and abandoning the route. Some years ago, Zac continued Tony's work, added more dogging bolts and drilled a few ring slots, but didn't come back. In finally fully bolting the thing and starting work on it Al has invested his own time, effort, funds and vision and deserves a fair crack at it. Please respect that and stay off the route.

We've added a blog sidebar which links to other Aussie climbing blogs (let us know of any more) including JJ's new Nowra Of The North blog which highlights the goings on at the fabled Goat Cave. Check it out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Season 08 Hots Up

Season 2008 at Nowra just keeps getting hotter! Actually, I mean cooler. Literally that is. Cool temperatures, southerlies and clear skies have meant that the holds have been sticky and the sendage is happening. The Al and Andi show rolled into the creek on Saturday and left all routes in their wake. They warmed up at The Grotto both sending the now classic Funky Gripsta 27, Al flashing the route. Funky G also received a quick ascent from Dapto's own Paul Mehag. Onto the creek,  Al cleaned up Mr Bubbles 29,  Sideshow Bob 27  and flashed Krusty 28 at Bartondale, and did Aloha Paradise 30 at Rosies. Not one to be left out, Andi, having put Physical Graffiti 31 to bed midweek, also got in on the action with a fast send of Mr Bubbles.

Meanwhile, over at Thompson's, Helen Day got her world tour off to a flying start with ascents of Still Life With a Chalk Bag 26 and Cowboy Junkies 25. Blueys Hard Women Jarmila Tyrril put her fingers of steel to good use and  sent Skin To Skin 29, following up her recent ascent of White Trash 27.

Sunday was also exciting, with Chris Webb-Parsons ticking the stout Beefmeister 32.

It's a bit off topic, but there is a buzz on the street about the "Nowra Of The North", The Goat Cave at Buladelah. This fine piece of crazy stone has been a closely guarded Newcastle secret for at least the past 100 years. Justin Jefferson and Dan Wilde have finally given up ignoring the longest, steepest section and have some wild pumpfest projects on the go. You'll need to pack at least 16 draws for these ones! The classics are getting lots of repeats, so watch this space!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Andi Richo

14 Hours
20 Energy Gels
1 Coffee
2 pieces of raisin toast
500mL of Endura Max
5 litres of sports drink
20 Routes
4 days to come down afterwards!
Andi Richardson at the 24 Hours of Power...

Monday, July 7, 2008

24 Hours Of Power - The Movie

Hot out of the editing suite, all the action (actually only some of the action) from 24 Hours of Power can be seen when you click here. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Aftermath

In the week after the 24 Hours of Power the pace has continued strongly. The day after 24 Hours of Power while the rest of us were nursing tired and sore bodies, Tom 'The Butcher' Farrell made 2nd shot ascents of Slip Slop Slap 29 at Thomo's and the stout Evil E 27 (28?) at The Hood. Oh to be young and able to recover so quickly...

Last Saturday Al Price continued to work his way through the harder Nowra classics, flashing Cheese Monster 30 at Cheesedale.

On Sunday the it was standing room only in the Grease Cave as many routes were fondled but very few chains clipped. Sexy Is The Word saw a bit of attention, Mark Withers gave it a bash after a morning well spent ticking the new improved Jug To Jug V11? at Cheesedale. Ren Bombala ticked Pulling On the Porcelain 23 on his first visit to the cave after a monumental first attempt which saw him denied with the chains in reach. I tried to popularise the little top-rope problems below the start of Lost Weekends, the 22 is a classic! Andi Richardson added to his Grease Cave resume, Cruising up Love Bug 27 and Inflatey Katey 26. 

There was strong Canberra contingent at the crag backing up after the bouldering comp there on Saturday. Tick Of The Day went to Ester who climbed the hardest 25 in the known universe A Very Nice Piece of Cake (this opinion maybe influenced by the fact that we're both short and shit on slabs). Strong Canberra lad Joe Horan made an impressive ascent of Top One Thomo 27. Great stuff!

JJ has up loaded some photos from the 24 Hours of Power BBQ. Check them out here.

Carlie is working hard on the 24 Hours Of Power Video. Watch this space...

Thanks to Lauren Chandler for your really positive comments on the ACA forum. We'll hold you to your promise to be in it next year!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

24 Hours of Power Wrap

It was hard to find a car park at Thompson's Point last weekend and the walls were packed with climbers enjoying the stone. Over at the Creek, the South Central car park was packed until well after dark on Saturday as climbers squeezed in that last route of the day. 24 Hours of Power at Nowra was conceived as a way get climbers on the rock, meeting, talking, sharing and building the sense of community that is a wonderful aspect of our sport. The competitive part of the weekend was a sideline to the real business of hanging out, but it did provide many exciting and amusing moments.

The overall points winner was Jan Zbranek whose twenty routes included ascents of Dungeon Master 31, Pimp Behind the Wheels 30, a few 29s and 28s and a stack of routes in the mid 20s. In second place and best Aussie effort was Matt Adams who managed to haul himself up Frosty 29, Ain't No Sunshine 28 and plethora of other classics. Third place went to renaissance man Graham Fairbairn and fourth place to Andi Richardson who managed his 20 routes in a massive one day effort on Saturday (he had to work Sunday) fueled by energy gels and sports drinks. Andi's day culminated in an inspired ascent at 7:30 pm of Come Poo with Me 24 at South Central with his headtorch on and his arms cramping badly! Best Female in the points category was Phoebe (sorry Phoebe, I didn't get your surname!)

In the volume competition Malin Hannu was clear winner in the female division climbing 34 routes, visiting 3 crags, and managing to get lost on the tourist track at Hospital Rocks on Saturday night! The volume male winner was Marcus Loane who bounced out of his car at 6 am on Saturday morning with his harness already on, teamed up with Malin and didn't stop all weekend. Marcus climbed 42 routes, cut new tracks (accidently) at The Lair and still managed to fit in few games of bowling on Saturday night!

In the juniors, Brittany Fletcher took out the female event doing nearly as many routes over the weekend as she has done on rock before in her life! Nick Wagland took home the cake for the best junior male after the stout effort of catching the train down from Coffs Harbour to attend!

A cake was awarded to Jason Piper and Matt Pascoe for the strongest start. These hardcore, psyched lads cranked out Cowboy Junkies 25 by headtorch at 6 am on Saturday to start and were the last ones in on Sunday arvo as they tried to squeeze one more route in!

The cake for 'living up to the routes name' went to Luke Geelan who was on his last route of the day on Sunday, long after his arms had given up. At the top of Fist Full of Steel, with the rope out and nothing left in the tank he snatched the chain and avoided the death plummet. Better to live to fight another day!

The trivia competition was won by Graham Fairbairn and Andrew Bull who should know a thing or two about Nowra climbing history!

Another highlight of the weekend were Wendy Walker making the first ascent of Baby Conehead, a new three star 21 at The Hood, to the right of Girls In the Hood. This route now holds the Nowra record for having the most repeats in its first day, receiving 10 ascents! As the name suggests it's just like Coneheads only littler and easier! It climbs an over hung corner before launching out onto a steep face!!

Unable to participate in the 24 Hours of Power competition due to time constraints, but still keen to be part of the action, Chris Webb-Parsons made it down on the Saturday and made the first ascent of what is now the hardest route at South Central, and Nowra's first 33 (although we do have a 34)! Hats and Hoods is an extension to Crenshaw Boulevard adding a burly boulder on top of this already solid route.

Chris Wallace (Wobblebunns) had what he has declared to be his proudest sporting moment ever when he decimated the field in the old boys ten pin bowling session, not once, but twice. In a flawless display he decided to try some spin and reaped the rewards!

Carlie and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to Nowra last weekend and climbed, hung out, talked, encouraged and generally added to the fantastic atmosphere at the crags. Thanks to all the climbers who participated in this fun style of competition in the light-hearted way in which it was intended. A huge thank you to Big John for donating the sausages and rolls and manning the BBQ on Sunday evening to make sure the climbers were well fed afterwards. We learnt a lot and look forward to doing it again next year in new improved way!

Monday, June 23, 2008

4 Days To Go...

It's the final countdown to the 24 Hours of Power at Nowra! 

The weather forecast is good! Keep your fingers crossed.

Nowra Pioneer and Retreading Guru, Big John has come on board as BBQ Chief. He has donated a mountain of sausages and rolls and will don the apron and assemble a cast of Nowra legends to sizzle the sausages and hopefully put some meat on the bones of a few skinny climbers. The BBQ will be held at Shoalhaven Caravan Village (see below) on Sunday afternoon from 4:00pm. Scorecards are to be submitted then and the cake prizes will be awarded. We have allowed for a stack of snags, but as we have no real idea about who's coming the catering has been guess work. We will have a 'Bolts and Barbie Bucket' there and ask that people make a donation of around $5 to cover the costs of holding the event. All left over money will be used for rebolting.

In addition to the 6 categories (points-male, points-female, volume-male, volume-female, junior-male and junior-female) there will be a Nowra Trivia Competition attached to your score sheet. The first mostly correct entry drawn will win. There will be a couple of random prizes awarded too. A 'best single day effort' prize has been suggested, but we'll see what happens on the days.

Bring a pen, we won't be supplying any!

See you there, Rob and Carlie

Monday, June 16, 2008

The start of a second golden age?

With the winds from the south last Saturday came renewed hope and massive tickage. Gone was the wetness that had plagued our beloved crags for weeks. Chalk magically appeared on the previously sodden rocks and a lucky few were there to reap the rewards. 

First cab off the rank was Carlie LeBreton, who floated up the stunning line in the middle of the Hood to make the first ascent of Funky Gripsta 27. Meanwhile just across the river, Graham Fairbairn was clipping the anchors on his first new route at Nowra in 16 years. Feisty Little Thing 29 is an elegant diagonal line up the wall on the left side of the Fossil Cave. 

Those of us not blessed with a new route to tick, had to settle for repeats. I repeated Pimp Behind The Wheels 30 at the Hood and Funky Gripsta. Grant Stewart prised a couple of monkeys off his back, ticking Rabbit Trap 25 and Stone Roses 26. On Sunday, Thomo's was the place to be, and the route to be on was the much neglected and maligned Young, Dumb and Full of Cum 25. Now, contrary to what the guide might have you believe this little gem is not called Young and Dumb, it is not runout, it does not contain a big dyno and is not a slur on Rod! It did however receive ascents from Carlie, Tim Booth, me and it's creator G Man (Fairbairn). So get on it!

Only 11 days till the 24!
- Rob

Friday, June 13, 2008

24: Lots of Info

We've added heaps of info to the blog as plans for the 24 Hours of Power at Nowra come together. Checkout all the information below about; camping and accommodation, the after 24 barbeque,  the points competition, bonus routes, trips to hospital and more.

Ultimate Bonus Route Announced!

Married and Mortgaged 28 a route climbed by Steve Bullen in 1990 and yet to be repeated (as far as we Know) is the Ultimate Bonus Route at the 24 Hours of Power at Nowra! M&M is worth a whopping 100 points, making an ascent equivalent to climbing two routes graded 32. Start crimping kids!

Other bonus routes are:

Say You Don’t Want To Slip It In

Enter Sandman

Renovators Dream

Squeeze the Trigga

Bachelors Ball

Supersize Me

Mega Death

Dungeon Master

No Grease

Dick Cheese


Funky Gripsta

Interested in the points competition?

Below is a list of how many points each grade is worth. Remember, in the points comp, only your best 20 routes count and routes under grade 18 are worth nothing!
There are also bonus routes which are worth more than other routes of their grade.





































24 Hours of Power at Nowra Update

Only 2 weeks till the 24! 

Shoalhaven Caravan Village have agreed to offer a special deal to climbers camping there for the weekend. The price quoted is $16 per night for a double, camping. If you're traveling solo, just have a chat to them when you get there. They do have cabins/on-sight vans available too. Give them a call for prices.

They're at: 17 Terara Road, Nowra 
Phone: 02 4423 0770
To get there, coming from the north, turn left  at the second set of lights (Moss Street) after the bridge, just after the speed camera. Follow this road past Nowra High and after it curves right Shoalhaven Caravan Village is on the left.

The after barbeque on Sunday afternoon will also be held at Shoalhaven Caravan Village. Camping and the barbeque will both be down the back on the big grassy area overlooking the ethanol works.

The rules have been amended slightly, check them out below. Basically, we've decided to be less anal and just trust people to stop climbing at 8 pm on Saturday and 4 pm on Sunday and not start before 6 on Sunday. We will still start at Thompsons Point at 6 am on Saturday and we'll hand out score sheets then. After finishing for the day most of us will probably want to crawl up into a ball and die, but for the hard-core there's plenty that Nowra has to offer. Amuse yourselves.

Ticks Before the Deluge

Before the heavens opened a couple of notable ticks were achieved on the hallowed Nowra stone. Christina Bedard cruised through Ain't No Sunshine 28 at South Central and her better half, Al Price pulled off a repeat of El Maco 31. Over at Thompsons Point Justin Jefferson chose to smash his own skull into the rock rather than risk an altercation with his lovely wife Anika. The final score card; he lost a bucket load of blood, gained 2 black eyes and spent an afternoon in Shoalhaven hospital!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thomo's Point Most Popular!

Results from the latest Nowra Rocks poll have been tallied and confirmed with electoral officials and Thompson's Point is the most popular crag at Nowra. 51% of you agreed with PC coming second with 33% of the vote.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

24 Hours of Power at Nowra Promo Vid

The genii at Mad Dog Studio 52 have pumped out a new video to promote the 24.
Check it out! Click here:

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Official 24 Hours of Power at Nowra Rules!

24 Hours of Power at Nowra - Rules


1.    This is a social event. There is no registration or entry fee.

2.    Day One. The event starts at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday the 28th June at the Thompson’s Point Carpark. Score sheets will be handed out then. If you need a later start you can find us somewhere at Thompson's on Saturday morning.

3.    Day One concludes at 8:00 p.m. Please respect the local residents and the rules by stopping climbing then.

4.    Day Two. Climbing starts again at 6:00 a.m.

5.    Day Two concludes at 4:00 p.m. at the Shoalhaven Caravan Village Barbeque  area. Scorecards must be handed in by 4:00p.m.


6.    There are 6 categories:

a.    Open Men – Volume

b.    Open Women – Volume

c.    Open Men – Points

d.    Open Women – Points

e.    Junior Male

f.     Junior Female


7.    Volume Categories – in the volume category, climbers attempt to climb as many routes as they can, the total number of routes climbed are counted up as the climber’s score.

8.    Points Categories – in the points category, climbers must try to do their 20 hardest climbs. Each climb is awarded points.

All route grades are according to Rod’s 2000 ‘Rockclimbing at Nowra’ guide. More recently added routes and routes that are now considered harder should be checked with the organisers (Carlie and Rob).

At most crags there are bonus routes that are worth extra points.

          For a copy of the complete rules and points system email us!

9.    Open climbers do not have to choose which category they enter until the end of the event, however only one category may be entered.

10.                  Junior Categories – Juniors must be 15 years old or younger on the 28th of June 2008. Juniors’ rules are the same as the volume competition, except that routes may be top-roped or led.

11.                  All routes must be led (except by Juniors) from the ground to clip the top anchors from the normal finishing stance. Top-roping (for Opens), yoyoing, soloing, roped solos, simul-climbing and anything else like that is not allowed.

12.                  You may only count each route in your total or score once.

13.                  You may visit as many or as few crags as you like. All crags in the Nowra area may be climbed at.

14.                  Chill out, have fun, make new friends and catch up with old friends. Your greatest competitor is yourself.

15.                  This is a fun event. The organisers reserve the right to disqualify anyone who we consider to be cheating, spoiling the event for others, or generally being a dick.

16.                  You are responsible for your own safety. Climbing is potentially dangerous and the competition organisers cannot be responsible for the security of the fixed protection, the solidity of the rock or the competence of your belayer. If in doubt, back-off, have rest or go home. Just don’t try to blame us for your mistakes!