Learning to lead – 11 ways to keep cool above your bolt

I’ve recently started to lead climb as much as I can to get confident to go out for a day’s rock climbing without needing my partner to climb and clean climbs for me. I’m finding a lot of climbs I’m smashing on top rope, but as soon as I’m on lead and above the bolt,…

50 shades of green

I spent most of my time in Germany marvelling at how insanely green everything was. I am used to the steely bluish-green of eucalyptus leaves.  I am used to the faded green of tired sun-bleached sugar cane.  I am used to dark green sea-weed on white sandy beaches. But the bright greens of the forests…

Why I Climb – Episode 2

Here’s the second instalment of the Why I Climb series. Check out episode one here. Dirtbagjens and I are trying to pick the brains of our fellow outdoor enthusiasts and see what motivates them to challenge themselves over and over again in ultimately useless pursuits. Everyone has their own unique reasons for heading outside and suffering… then…

Why I Climb – Episode 1

This is the first episode of the interview project ‘Why I Climb’. Dirtbaglawyer Georgia came up with the concept and is the first one to be interviewed for the series. There are so many cool adventurers around and everyone has their own unique reasons  why they’re drawn to outdoor sports. We will try to pick…

Dirtbag dining: Campsite carbonara

This might just be my favorite adventure dinner.  It’s tasty, filling and simple to make. I originally found this recipe on a fabulous Trail Cooking website which is full of clever camping food options. I was pretty dubious when I read that the American adventurers were carrying fresh fragile eggs in their hiking packs…  But…

Bumbling round the ‘bungles

It all started on a dark and stormy night. The rain was closer to horizontal than vertical when Bekket and I locked the front door of our sharehouse behind us. We exchanged cheeky grins and  a quick thumbs up, then sprinted down the street to the spot where Bekket’s car was parked. The back of the car was…

Lacquerhead – a tale of projecting, training and video making

Last weekend I sent my project, a short and dynoie climb called Lacquerhead (25) on the central coast. It was super fun and I learned a lot during the process. Firstly I learned that structured training for climbing works really well. The weeks before I climbed Lacquerhead was the first time that I actually stuck…

12 and a bit things I wish I knew when I started climbing

I started climbing about four years ago and have found a lot of joy in the process of becoming a better climber. Along the way I did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong. I got stuck and I broke through plateaus. I faced many challenges I had not anticipated. Here…

Climbing through the monsoon

Earlier this month I switched from being a corporate dirtbaglawyer to an environmental dirtbag lawyer. In the gap between jobs, dirtbagjens and I made it over to Thailand for a week of climbing on beautiful limestone. We also experimented with film for the first time.  Dirtbagjens turned the trip into our first short travel film:…

Stupid grins

‘You have to try the tree jump. It’s awesome.’ That’s when I saw that worrying grin spread across Starkey’s face. ‘Seriously, you’ll enjoy it’ The grin got wider. It’s the kind of grin that warns you that whatever he’s suggesting is slightly mad, somewhat terrifying, possibly painful and probably survivable. I usually see that grin at…

Let’s talk about an Australian Access Fund

My colleagues at work have stopped asking me what I did on the weekend.  Now they just ask where I climbed this time. I’ve become predictable. Each weekend the entire floorspace of my teeny tiny apartment is submerged under a sea of rope, chalkbags, climbing shoes, quickdraws, sleeping bags and other adventure tools. That stuff…

Es ist nie zu kalt zum Klettern

“I’ve just thought of another phrase you need to learn” said Dirtbagjens as he threw our haulbag into the back of the car. “Alright, what is it?” “Es ist nie zu kalt zum klettern” he said, grinning. “Es issst nee tsoo cold fur klettering?” I hoped that I hadn’t just said something terribly rude in…