Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sneaky Snake!

Lee just before the mono move which leads into the crux of Sneaky Snake, his ace new 33 on Taipan Wall. Look at that rock!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The poor souls left to wither in the Blue Mountains and to watch the world roll by from their window-box's and dream of dry lands far away where the canola fields catch the early rays of a new sun are once again reminded of the poor hand dealt unto them in life's road with news from yesterday of Lee James Cossey's successful ascent of his project on Taipan Wall in the Grampians. But those who feel hard done by can still draw inspiration from this, what must be one of the greatest lines in the world. The line was bolted by him about ten years ago and stretches the length of the wall in one rope stretching 55m pitch of orgasmic, orange, joy-weeping solid gold bubblegum sandstone. It starts up Naja but quickly jots off to the right via a radicle smeary undercling flake, it then starts on its sneaky upward journey via shallow con-caved scolloped scoop feature as slick and unforgiving as a bodum glass with monos and two finger dishes calling for all cards to be played then and there before the matchbox crimp crux. There the gatekeeper stares down upon the aspirants fatiguing forearms and chuckles. This has been the storey of Lee's past three trips to send this rig packing, the gatekeeper kept on dealing out ace's and Lee kept on 'a sailing back down from whence he came, the air mid fall becoming a constant companion. Yesterday Lee woke with a split tip, right where he didn't need it, the crux matchbox had been taking it's toll. The first shot of the day he climbed up and up and started noticing a trail of blood on every second hold, he noticed that his tip was punctured good and proper and blood was spurting out like a jabbed femoral thingo at the nuzzle of a boar. Still though he got a high point despite the hemorrhaging digit. The next burn he wasn't holding many hopes for the ascent but as we know of The Bop Canary already, whenever theres half a chance of sending something then that something don't stand half a chance. Bleeding through his mummified finger he reached the point of so many failures, boned the fuck down and sent the fucker. Nice. He called his route Sneaky Snake and graded it 33 and is very likely to be the hardest route in Victoria and must put him in contention for another Golden Carrot award for 2011...maybe even 2012 ;). The name is in reference to a song our pappy used to play on the old record player when we were wee chicks in the nest (I have put a link to it too) and fits in with the snakey snake theme of the wall and the instinctual sneakiness of the man himself. Hmmm, I think thats about it...

Oh no, Doug McConnall, while not having redpointed it as yet, has been working the Groove Train, which sits proudly to the right of Sneaky Snake. He climbed it in two big overlapping sections and is on for the ascent, although today is their last day....


...that was my beta for a successful ascent, lets hope it works!

(Archive Groove Train photo courtesy of Ed Thornhill & The Smitten juggernaut).

Check out the link of Sneaky Snake and the other link that has a bit of footage of Lee climbing on Sneaky Snake and some other footage of general jambon-ing it up.

Mountain Equipment Preview from phillip sage on Vimeo.

Thanks to

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Not so long ago I ventured down from the country to the city to see a gig that I'd got tickets for for me birthday. The gig was to see GRINDERMAN, which is Nick Cave and a couple of the Bad Seeds but a whole lot dirtier and noisier. I've not seen a tonne of live shows but this was so god damn good I had to debrief about it to myself, here for some reason. Better than the Pixies, and thats saying something. We were in the front and two times Nick leant over and put his hand on my shoulder and screamed and spat in my face (I haven't washed my face since), sticking the mic in my face so as to repeat the tippy-toe tippy-toe bit of kitchenette, me singing with him! Shit me it was ace and I had this ace picture of Nick and Warren at a loose end so I thought I'd chuff on about it to no one for the sake of venting my own excitement of the occasion this morning in silence in front of this screen. I got a pick too.

Otherwise happenings up here have been slowish other than the exploits of the visiting Lawry Demody who's been busting out a few things including the 5th ascent of Grey Area (33) and Mr. Tickle (32) at Diamond Falls. Lee's down at Taipan at the moment trying to put to rest his project to the left of the Groove Train. He's psyched to send it packing so'z he can do the Groove Train too so he never has to take a rope to the Grampians again and can have some good bouldering time. There has also been a bit of bouldering exploration happening, mostly in the Megalong Valley. The common opinion that the Mountains doesn't have any good bouldering is totally wrong as we know but, there is reason to believe that this misconception may just be even more wrong than we first thought. Unless I'm on drugs or high on the fresh air, leading to the fancying of myself as a bit of a John Muir nature bunny and my looking upon every bit of almost rock as another bread crumb on the trail to the inevitable brilliance of the must-be-found boulder mecca just over the next ridge, thus listening to the mountains speak and in tern being a wise man for said act of listening (Muir, 1873). This subject will be covered in greater detail in the next lecture, but if I forget to do so, go out looking for yourself, it's out there......waiting, as only it knows how.

Muir, J. (1873). Writings On Travels Through The High Sierras & Tuolumne Regions. (pp. 177-179). Pearson Publishing, New York.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Punks in the Gym's 26th Birthday Party!

Well it's that time of year again when the leaf's are all falling off and around and we are reminded that our summer of hunkering down from the heat and sheltering from malady bound thoughts with distraction in training and home brew, short shorts and football was not in vein and that we would, as we always do, be drawn to the light of another glorious autumn-come-winter where the sun won't bite us so evil and the rock don't spick us so evil and all is well in countenance's and motives that swing from such rusted hinges in the warmer months, oiled once more in seeing that it ain't all shit.

So what time of year then? Well it's that time when the world stood up and turned it's eye to Arapiles, Mr. Wolfgang Gullich and Punks in the Gym! The first 32 in the world and still the best. The old silo's are still there watching would-be ascensionists as they touch up the hallowed stone above the pine below that has been growing all this time becoming ever wise despite attempts from self-rightous assailants to hack at it's knowing limb's and send it into undeserved rot and wanting with what it had waning as the dust beneath it becomes less it's, true it stands.

So if you're passing by it today or thinking about it just remember, it's really ace and its been 26 years since it was done, ever an inspiration as Wolfy too is always. Rad.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fun with Cadaver's!

Hanging out at the BBC

It's been a busy bee couple of weeks up here watching the leaf's turn orange. Oh and so good to see the cool weather role on round as it does. Uni has been tying my goat up good and a slightly tweaked finger as been keeping me from getting outdoors and crimping, so it's been all study and open 3 and 2 finger problem's at the BBC. Not a terrible problem to have really then. Lee has been getting out and has fallen off the last possible moves you could fall off on a new route we both came close to last year. It is a extension to Truckstop 31 (32) at Shipley which finishes up the crux of Fabricator. A very sustained affair as far as route in the mountains go and should be an uber classic 33 when done. So above are some tasty cadavers which I put up in celebration of my first tutorial where we got to play with dead chunks. Pretty exiting and crazy. Also are some pics of the BBC bouldering joint in Blackheath which is an ace place, really ace. There really isn't anything that has been fun happening other than hurting my finger and not being able to go out climbing because of it and all this study. Ah, but there is an exiting thing a coming that we here at 9a Doorjam feel psyched about. But that is for the days still to come. Thanks for coming, if you did and really it ain't the end of it.

Lungfish...Just in case you forgot where you came from

The Arse Bone Clipping Mono

Doug McConnell proving that men with lat-fur can hang from bits of wood good

Above and below - Lee competing in the North Face Bouldering Masters in Chile. He returned a week and a bit ago after a bit of a turbulent lead up to the trip (check out the previous post for the juicy details.