Easter Down Under

By Billy Ridal

The view as I walk up flat rock is different to any I have seen before, an unbroken expanse of flat wasteland all the way to the horizon, broken only occasionally by the smoke of a forest fire. Reaching the top rewards me with the mighty orange face of Taipan wall looming above. Scattered all around are the seemingly innocuous boulders I have travelled half way around the world for. The environment changes as I make my way down into the gallery, exposed barren rock is replaced by sandy tracks, charred trees, and fresh vegetation. I have arrived at Trackside, the first sector at Mt Stapylton, the main area in the Grampians, and where I would begin my trip.

><br>
<em>‘The view as you walk up flat rock’</em></p>

<p>The Grampians was a wholly different beast compared to any other climbing destination I have been to. The fact you are on the opposite side of the world, travelled for 30 hours, and payed for some hefty flights gives it a very different feel to a quick week hit to a European crag. All of this creates a pressure to do as much as you possibly can, because in all likelihood you’re not going to be coming back any time soon. Unfortunately, circumstances meant I could only have 2 weeks in Australia, not nearly enough time to sample everything on offer, and certainly not enough to invest big chunks of time in to projecting. This made it quite challenging to balance my time between sampling a new area, and trying to tick the iconic hard classics I have been dreaming of for years.</p>

<p>My trip began a few days before flying to Australia. The first Boulder World Cup in Meiringen, Switzerland was just before. So, after a successful excursion to Switzerland for the comp I flew back in to Manchester, took a train to Sheffield, drove home to my parents, slept for about 4 hours, and drove down to London Heathrow. From there a 13-hour flight to Singapore, a short layover, then another 8-hour flight to Melbourne, grab the hire car and finally drive the 3 hours over to the Grampians. Pheww! I was a little tired to say the least.</p>

<p></p>

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published