Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Evil's" bastard son.

What is it about this shot? I like it, but I find it unsettling.
The twisty posture? The way the rock receeds so sharply away, the rope trail?
No, something else.
It could be the toe hook.
 It stirs dread in me. Is that not the weakest move in a climbers bag?
Using a muscle designed to do no more that lift the foot for walking.

Frey Yule on his route "Evil Knievel" 29 (8a)
Starts up "Evil Wears No Pants" then goes left.

There's usually no elegant way of releasing a toe hook either. It's hook or cut loose.


The mandatory cut loose. And a chance for me to check the soles of Freys shoes up close.
Hmm, no special tread pattern, he must just be strong.

                                                                               That's Sister Matt on belay.

Dark, moody possibilities, all of them marginal.

Climbers, I know you are all thinking "let me at it" but this one looks veeery tricky.

Come in out of the rain Frey.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's a School Night Matt.

The force is strong in this one.
Even before meeting him he had bugged the hell out of us all on

"I turn my back for 5 minutes and these little Tinny (Mt. Tinbeerwah) kids are running around qurank and theCrag, posting like they're on red cordial and pixie sticks. Between posts from Sister Matt and Chester 2000, I'm finding it hard to catch some shut-eye.

We can blame JJ for encouraging them. "
                                                  Lee Cujes

It's true. I figured this precocious tweenager wasn't going to go away, so we had to take him in and show him the craft. Now he's my coach.

Within a few years Matt is working some of the hardest routes around. He is the only climber to seriously take on the Lee Cujes test piece "Bite the Hand that Feeds" Coolum's hardest and as yet unrepeated.

Sensational flexibility gained from previous years of gymnastics have given Matt a crazy range of moves.
His years of piano accordian training haven't shown any usefulness yet though. Mercifully.

Here's an example of what puts schoolboy Matt Schimke in the top handful of Queenslands sport climbers.
A wirey strength and explosive energy.


Here's the kooky thing about Matt: He has a savant like memory for beta.
He can tell you the sequence for any route that he has ever seen.
Not just his beta but the exact sequence that each individual climber has used for each route.
Spooky, I know.

I often say "Hey Matt how do I do this bit again?"

Thanks to Matt's Mum for all the yummy cookies.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fashion Friday

Helmets are as much about fashion as they are about protection. They make a statement about who you are and what you hold to be true.

Take this old guy I met at Boars Head in the Blue Mts. years ago.
Head torch permanently taped to the helmet says: "I get off route badly and often. I accept that, and I have dealt with it. Let's go abseiling".

Turkish bread, I think they call it that in Egypt, sticky taped to your head says: "I care about my brains, but when I'm done  with political rioting I like to share a bit of lunch with my mates.

What is that, an ancient cracked wok? This guy is cool, he's into the Keffiyeh, Arab Scarf, it's so stylish right now, but he also likes a bit of shade with his skull pro. He is going strapless. He is not a pianist, so he can risk finger injury if needed.

The tri-botlle scarf combo is always a winner. I favour this one for Tinbeerwah in summer. Stuck at the third pitch belay while some stupid mate is dropping bolt plates on you and dragging the day out? Thirsty?
But for full cushioning effect cap those bottles.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Antoine !

He's funny. I think. I'm never completely sure.
He carries monumental loads of gear up to the crag, a huge BD pig full of bolting gear, music, stove, hammock, ropes and croissants.
He elegant, he's strong, he's ever so stylish.
Don't hate him cause he's beautiful.

Antoine clips the first of a dense cluster of quickdraws.

That is a whole lotta muscle coming up that cliff underneath me. Twin chalk bags, big guns, odd shoes.

We talk and talk, then Antoine will say "enough philosophy, let's climb"

Belayers beware. The Big Frenchman likes skinny ropes and roller biners. When he comes off it's like a bison coming atcha.

What are the odds hey.
jjobrienclimbing had the lens open at the exact moment Antoine released his energy burst.
Lucky I was at a safe distance.

Antoine wears: soft shell by Mountain Hardwear
Agriculturalists cap by John Deer

The annual Coolum "Sendfest" is the biggest event on The Cave calender and is the brainchild of Antoine Moussette.
Antoine keeps the score.
Points are assigned to the each climber on the basis of.... or maybe get added to the crag score or....... or something about acumulative something...

I really don't get it, but jeez it's fun. We climb, and Antoine and I drink a lot of chai and coffee.

He claims to be from Quebec. But he sounds French to me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Anniversary Fashion Friday

It has recently been revealed on facebook that jjobrien is "in a relationship".
Climbers, this one snuck up on me sideways on a Tuesday afternoon.
I get this "confirm relationship" message, I hesitate for a moment, start considering the ramifications, I mean we have children, grandchildren, a house, cars, but this facebook relationship thing is looking more official than anything I've been used to up to this point. Having not officiated this relationship through a church or state registration, I think facebook might be the highest authority to recognise us. 
So it's time to come clean. But what facebook doesn't say is that this relationship started in 1972.
It's true, I fell in love with Sandra Phoenix. Sorry, Dr. Phoenix phd
Here's a few photos I have on hand this relationship anniversary day of March 4th.

Juice Alley, Mong Kok
Nice shirt jj, embroidered eagle on white cotton by Jag.
Those sunnies are mine now.

photo: Lee Cujes

Gearing up for the Chinese coldness in Mee and Gee store HK
This is where I first met my new coat "Wolfie". Remember "Sheepy"? I still miss Sheepy.

Dressed for the chill at Yangshuo
Sandra wearing "Peak" in black.

She also climbs.
                               A bit.
                                                                              Like this, on her 50th birthday in Ton Sai.


By the power invested in facebook, I do take this woman.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nick Sutter

So I'm reading the "Find other climbers" forum on
And here's this casual sort of, "anyone keen to climb at Coolum on Friday, contact Nick 555 *****" type of thing.
Nick? Nick who? Nah.
The equivalent of reading on a muso's forum "anyone keen for a jam on the weekend, Keith"  

So I get there on Saturday to hear Nick Sutter was here yesterday.  W H A T !!!???
New rule: When someone gives their first name on qurank - ask their second.

Don't panic readers, he turns up again on Saturday and jjobrienclimbing is there to get some shots.
Nick sent the Matt Eaton (co-Kiwi) cave problem  "4 Metres of Madness" 8a
Thing is, his knees never touched the rock. I don't think the locals knew what they were seeing.

He made some kind of remark about the first bolt being in a weird position. Nick, mate, no one has ever climbed to the first bolt without stick clipping.

Have you ever had that dream? All climbers have had it. The one where you are almost weightless, just pulling effortlessly across a roof. It was like watching that. I love that dream.

Then it's everyone back to doing what they were doing.