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.


  1. Looks great, is that the arete you were trying to sandbag me on? I love the vanishing point photo, it's awesome.

  2. mikl law - I suspect that that is a trick question. I want to sayyyy...No?

  3. Yep, I'm digging the vanishing point pic too. The pic with Sophie's hair billowing is also a stand out. Some great pics there JJ, well captured bro.

  4. Thanks JJ, groovy little adventure

  5. Awesome pictures! Maybe in another 10 years when your Grandson is old enough you'll finally have someone impressionable enough to lure into the sandbag ;)

  6. He'll be, or she'll be sandbagging me by then.

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