Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sophie Prior - "The Ricoh Destruction Test"

Sophie Prior came to visit.

So did Logan Barber.
The jjobrien climbing and relaxation ranch on Australia's Sunshine Coast hinterland has been graced with a long list of climbing legends and little-knowns. 
The staff were excited about the arrival of Logan Barber and gave little thought to his plus-one a Sophie Proir.
Turns out she has talent, grace and presence.

 A quick climbing tour of the Sunny Coast starts with the obligatory thrash on Coolum Cave's icons.
 How do you like this guy? He puts all the moves together in one session. Sadly, didn't get to go back and send it. No doubt he can and will.

Then for a "rest" day they get stuck into "The Ricoh Destruction Test" 100m 23 (M1)
I have to work that day but I wag a couple of hours and rap in over the fourth pitch.
They ran into some problems on the second pitch and I whipped out the long lens just as they were feeling the joy of getting established at the second hanging belay.

 Logan knocks off the tricky third pitch, blocky overlaps and lack of feet.

 Sophie follows and picks her way through the overlaps.
 Funny story. I moved to Tinbeerwah in 2000. There were just a couple of routes there but rarely any climbers. I hatched a plan to create a climbing scene close to my home.
So I spent weeks bolting the longest, hardest route I could conceive of thinking it would draw climbers from everywhere.
The route has probably had about three repeats in over ten years.
A year later I bolted some 14s. That got 'em in.

Gareth Llewellyn and Adam Donoghue did the route on their epic "Tinny in a day"
There's been a couple of hundred metres of hard climbing added since then.

Sophie gets the stand-out pitch 4.
Slabby, columns, run outs,  big air below, carrots, it's got it all.

The Ricoh in question failed the 100M drop test by the way. It's mangled body could be seen at the base of the route.
My old Nokia phone got dropped from here at 80M. Recovered the following day. 
"You have 3 messages"!!!

Best shot of the roll.
Perfect position and poise. You can just make out Logan at the vanishing point.

 Nice work team. Logan ticked a swag of tough routes around SEQ in a punishing nine days on.

 Logan inspects Queensland's hardest high ball boulder sector never to have been touched.

Late winter is luxurious on the Sunny Coast, beautiful days and wild flowers.
Sophie's home is in the Blue Mountains, a favourite of Aussie climbers but so harsh in winter.


Thanks Sophie. 
I've been trying to sell this route for a decade.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Logan Barber

Climbers, you know some memories, even recent, can seem unreal as if they could never have really happened in a world as busy and complicated as this. Jet travel creates sudden disconnections.
I find myself reliving the holds, move by move, on the magical red sandstone of Kalbarri Gorge Western Australia.
Simon Carter, Monique Forestier, Lee and Sam Cujes, Coco Carter and I spent a few days there.
Days from another thread of a different story. This story is not about that.
But being in W.A. got me thinking about the indomitable West Aussie climber Logan Barber.

Logan answered my plea to the internet for an accomplice in China for Easter 2013.
We had about a day and a half cross over in China. That's worth a trip. Lee had told me this guy was someone I should go out of my way to meet. I think his words were "He's another me from W.A."

Logan leaves a trail of drill dust behind as he sends his latest new route on the fresh walls of Dragon City crag.
He gave it 27 (Aus).  Sandbag alert!
I've got a good advantage of reach on Logan, but I couldn't find anything useable within reach through the upper sequence. The guy can lock down hard on rubbish small holds.

 Lock down!!!

I was just grateful to the climbing gods for getting me through the run outs on the lower section when it was my go. Balance and guesswork.

Looking across the valley from dragon City crag, I have to keep reminding myself where I am.
A country that remained so mysterious to so many of us for so long. So vast, so different.

The next morning we head to super crag Lei Pi Shan where Logan has put so much heart and soul into his long project Storm Born. It's his last day in Yangshuo. Like so many Yangshuo routes now, it extends from the ground to the last useable rock.
I jug the 40M to the top for a photoshoot, plans change, Logan and David Kaszlikowski send the nails-hard arete route on the right end of the crag (see below).
I swap out Logan's draws on Storm Born, I still can't remember how I did that, I know I thought I was pretty clever at the time. I put up local legend Abond's shiny new green draws.
Logan resigns himself to the fact that projects don't stay exclusive round here.
They were still there on my last visit.

Acclaimed Polish photographer and world climber David Kaszlikowski.

Logan is back in China as we speak. He'll be lugging that drill through the muddy fields and dusty villages on the good quest.

Logan beneath the towering Lei Pi Shan.
Photo: jjobrien iPhone
Find him on Facebook: Logan Barber
He won't answer, he's in China.


ps. this post lost all it's photo links and I've reconstructed it as good as I can.
If anyone knows why google albums would undo it's own links let me know.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Elena Atanasov for Red Phoenix Emporium

Climbers, I know you have been thinking "Where's the Red Phoenix Autumn/Winter collection for 2013?"
It's called the "Covet" collection and it's almost here.
The style team at jjobrienclimbing recently put the always fabulous, and very tall, Elena Atanasov under the lights to bring you the look.

You'll remember Elena from the Red Phoenix collection launch at Stone and Metal last year.
There's Nate Foster, Kirsten and Jo Zhou too.

Elena modelled the luscious black sequin shift dress.

Pick from many colours of the shoulder dusting tassel earrings also in tiny cut glass beads and seed pearls.

This seasons statement necklaces are way awesome over sized slabs of crystal, rose quartz, delicate aquamarine, howlite and of cause more agate.

That's the "In the Navy" shift dress.

The look came together with the "It's all geometric to me" shift dress, new season scarf, the most massive statement series necklace and cut glass tassel earrings. 
I'm proud to say, all from Red Phoenix Emporium.

My personal fav "Covet Thy Necklace" includes aquamarine.

The statement piece "You're my desire"

New season RPE scarves, silver sequin shift, new bracelet sets and the latest necklaces with detachable metallic finish leather tassel.

    The "Never Enough Necklaces" necklace.

The "Cross the Seven Seas" necklace.

Red Phoenix style team.

Thanks Elena, you make the whole collection shine. Follow Elena on instagram @lenaatanasov

A small fortune has been invested in the new website which goes live in June.
New iPad and iPhone compatible versions included.