Hypotheticals from a hypocrite

There's a lot of blame at a time like this, there are the classic armchair critics saying that what happened was stupid, like they've never cut a corner or taken a risk. (Quite possible for the TR tough guys out there). We all say 'check your knot', wear a helmet, and all of the rest, and in most cases I'm an advocate of this. I'm also likely to solo across a ledge, unclip my safety to deal with a tangle on my anchor, and not use an autoblock to save a few minutes, and in summer I regularly choose to mitigate the certainty of sunburn rather than the possibility of rockfall.    In this case, the more details that came out, the more I went from "FFS, A simul-rapping accident on a big wall with no knots?" to "I can see a way for this to happen" using a logical train of occurrences and decisions that most pragmatic, and not risk-averse climbers could understand if not agree with.  I've done all of these things, I've seen this behavior

North Black Range Boulder Meet

Last weekend saw most of the yearly traffic to Black Range descend on the area in a single weekend for the 4th North Black Range boulder meet, organised by Duncan Brown.  It's an opportunity to get out with a lot of like minded people, crush some boulders, and one of the only times that I can find the mats and spotters to have a serious go at some of the highballs.  This year saw the first ascent of 'The Riddle', an unclimbed highball on the main bloc at The Hill. Sadly that happened before I got there on Saturday, and while I had a short go on the bottom part of it, I was lacking in both mats and spotters to try the top part. I did redo 'Percival Extension' that I first sent at the festival last year. Not bad given that I've made a full pivot from regular bouldering last year, to mainly sport climbing this year.  The weather wasn't great, a little cloudy and humid, and I think that played a part in suppressing numbers compared to last year.

Lunar Eclipse 31st Jan 2018

Despite the near constant cloud, and the cold wind, I decided to stick with the original plan for as long as the batteries lasted. I'm glad I did, as the cloud disappeared about halfway through totality, and I got the entire second partial. End result of 330 shots: The sequence from last night. Pretty happy with it, lost a bit to cloud, battery swaps, and the fact that I didn’t have a second camera. Also wish I had a less noisy camera, it might be time to upgrade. Lunar eclipse over the 6 inch Farnham telescope at Mount Stromlo. . . . #stars #nightskies #longexposure #goneepic #idratherbeclimbing #startrails #darkskies #milkyway #feelingsmall #exposure #nightphotography #nightsky #astrophotography #astro #eclipse #lunareclipse #sequence #canberra #cbr #stromlo #canon #eosm #canberratimes A post shared by Dane Evans (@goneepic) on Jan 31, 2018 at 10:58pm PST The Planning I checked the angles and declinations for the entire period, and then had a look at googl

Climbing Photography

I've been getting the camera out a bit more recently, partly because I've got a new one, and partly to keep me from climbing too hard when I should be resting. Most of it gets put on Instagram @ goneepic if you want to see it sooner, although some will get mirrored here eventually. Sadly, I've been unable to get that many good shots recently. I've been mostly climbing in pairs, which is sadly not particularly suited to getting good photos, except for the expressions and faces on the ground. I have managed a few while bouldering, and I'll certainly got a few more this weekend at the North Black Range Boulder Festival . I'm planning on taking my full camera setup, and probably 2-3 flashes, in case people are interested in helping me with some night shots. I've also got the light wand working fully now, so that could be fun.

Butterfly Wall Direct

For the first time in my life I've actually been applying myself to training for something, it's been about 10 weeks since I started an aperiodized climbing training plan, based loosely on Steve Bechtel's Logical Progression .  The basic premise is that you rotate between the three types of sessions, progressing them all simultaneously, rather than peaking and letting each of them fall in turn.  The results seem to be pretty good, I'm climbing harder than I ever have before, and am seeing benefits in all three areas.  Finger strength and general strength is improving (so surprising given that I've never done any lifts before)  My on route endurance is improving, and my ability to apply power is increasing as well.  I still struggle with setting goals, but one route that I've been keen on doing for years is Butterfly Wall Direct (24) at Nowra. I first had a look at it in January this year, and the moves felt surprisingly doable. I spent another

Trango Vergo, Review and Recalls

March  I've finally bitten the bullet and purchased an autoblock belay device, Actually, thats not quite true. I've had a Gri Gri for years, but it's used solely for tensioning slacklines. I've never liked the way they operate, I can't feed slack well enough with them, and with the exception of the times when someone is dogging a route, I've rarely found that the ATC guide isn't sufficient. You never short rope anyone, and give a better belay in general. However getting a rock dropped on me a few months ago has got me looking at alternatives, I've now got a MegaJul for cases where the rock is concerning. But it too struggles to pay out rope as nicely as I'd like if someone is going for a hard send on good rock. We'll see how the Vergo goes, everything I've heard about it suggests that it's a gri gri, but a little better. If it addresses a few of the gri gri issues I may use it a fair bit, if not, it will still be useful when someone

A camera update

I've spent a lot of time shooting with the EOS-M now, in a variety of situations. I'm finding that I can make it do most things I want it to with a little bit of effort. I've made a few changes or additions to make it work better for me. I've added: - An aluminium grip to the camera, this adds to the bulk, and the weight, but makes it a lot easier to hold onto it with one hand as you are dangling from a rope. - The long lens that I mentioned last time, this allows me to get close ups, and means I need to move less when I'm on the rope, or get decent cliff wide shots from further back - a set of RF flash triggers, great when you want a discrete flash, or don't want to play with photo-triggers - UV filters on all of the lenses - these are pretty much solely to prevent scratches on the lenses... something that is bound to occur in the conditions I shoot in. - a lens hood - this is mostly to save the UV filters and lenses from bashing into the rock as I move