A visit to the recently opened Natimuk climbing museum got me thinking one Sunday afternoon on the long drive back to Melbourne.
Our forefathers and sisters of the 70s and 80s climbed some hard climbs with some interesting gear, in the early days of sticky rubber and making somewhat dubious fashion statements: Colourful tights? Tights really?
In the late 70s and 80s it was pretty simple, there was a rack of nuts, wires and hexes with a few weird shaped things that would pass as protection and would be eagerly stuffed into any available space on a climb by the leader. There were no camming devices. Camming devices, or rather ‘Friends’, were a recent development, were expensive and sort of rare, so most people climbed without them. There was a climbing life before camming devices.
Time has moved on (significantly) and like most others a life before camming devices has long faded from memory and indeed there are some amongst us that have never known a life before camming devices. These days climbers are cam happy and if not placing at least half a dozen cams on any given climb something is not right. For most racks, larger hexes don’t even make an appearance these days.
I got all nostalgic and thought about a weekend of climbing without camming devices. Looking to turn the clock back a little and get back to the basics of trad climbing …
The trip is open to ADVANCED climbers only. Climbers will be asked to check in their camming devices on arrival to the Pines (or leave them at home) and no form of spring-loaded camming device will be allowed on your rack.
If you feel the need to wear colourful tights and Dunlop volleys, that’s up to you, but not mandatory.
All intending participants must contact the trip leader prior to the trip. Please send through some details about your experience and climbing gear, without cams, and hopefully we’ll see you there.
Not sure if you’re novice, intermediate or advanced? Find your level or contact the trip leader.