30 October, 2009

The rest of Arapiles

I've forced myself to find some time in my busy schedule (busy packing for my trip back to Arapiles tomorrow morning!) to post a couple more pictures from climbing at Arapiles last weekend. Actually, most of photos were rubbish (I was too busy climbing) so I'll post some topos and route descriptions from the guide book and a couple of Chris's photos too to spice things up.

The first long climb we did was The Shroud, a 118 m four pitch grade 10 on the Pharos wall. N led her first full pitch of trad while I took photos of lizards (well, mostly I belayed). I led the remaining three.

The rappel from the top of The shroud was a nice long 47m.

My second long climb was Siren, a little further around on The Pinnacle Face which Chris, N and I climbed.

N led the first and fourth pitches, I led the second and Chris, the rest. It must have been well over 30 degrees in the sun and we climbed right through midday. My ankles got burnt in a strip between where my regular shoes and my climbing shoes come to.

On the day we left, N and I managed to squeeze in another long climb (with Chris again), Arachnus, a 105m grade 9 on the Watchtower Face.

Well, I'd better get back to my packing.

09-10 Araps_Chris

09-10 Araps1

29 October, 2009


More to come later; for the moment, a photo from Chris:

And one from me:

The climbing was great by the way. The rock, the weather and the company were all excellent.

22 October, 2009

French Island

I'm going to back-date this post to when I should have posted it. And I'm going to make it short since I seem to be running out of time for everything at the moment. I made my first trip outside Melbourne city last weekend --- to French Island, 70km south east of Melbourne. To get there, N. and I took the train to Stony Point ($3 for a weekend ticket!) and then the ferry over to the island. About two thirds of French Island is national park. The rest is farmland. The main feature of the island is its booming population of koalas who are doing so well that the population has to be managed by taking koalas from the island to areas on the mainland where the populations are not doing so well. The second feature of the island are the 90 or so people who live there. They seem to be mostly mad to one degree or another. Our tick-list of wildlife we saw, apart from koalas, included echidnas, pelicans, lizards, and a large copperhead snake. Oh, and from the train to Stony Point we saw bogans and gangs of youths on scooters (the sort you push with your foot).

More photos in the Picasa gallery.

09-10 French Island

16 October, 2009

No news is good news?

"No news is good new" they say, but in my case, no news just means no free minutes near a computer over the last couple of weeks. The last week of September, I was in Adelaide at the Australian Maths Society annual conference. It was a big one, with about 400 people attending. I tried to take some pictures of Adelaide but, even at 10 am on a Sunday moring, I had to go half an hour (by tram) out of the city, to Glenelg, and a beach, before I could find anything more interesting than four lane streets and drunks leaving the pub. (There's something wrong with a city where it's significantly easier to find a morning beer than a morning coffee.)

Though, back in the city, in front of the Adelaide Oval, I did find a larger than life statue of Sir Donald Bradman the "statistically" greatest sportsman in the world.

The following week I was back in NZ to defend my thesis at my oral exam. Apart from some nerves at the start of the exam, the experience was pretty good. The whole thing took a little over two hours but it didn't feel long at the time, whatever that indicates. Anyway, I now have a large list of small corrections to make to the thesis before I can hand in the final bound copies and start confusing airline staff by calling myself a doctor.