Mt Gibraltar Club Trip – 13 June 2020

We arrived to discover that recent rain left the slab walls seeping and soggy, but decided to explore which routes were climbable. Demetrius, Tom and Nathan attacked the soaking pitch 1 of Nintendo 64 (17) but found that the remaining pitches – including a finish on The Very Easy route (13) were much more reasonable. Geoff, Andrew and Tony tried The Devil’s Tears (17) and a big thanks to Jeff Crass for helping to stick clip the first bolt with the old school method of actually using sticks. A bit of French-free climbing and negotiating the very wet start of pitch 2 and we finally got to the top anchors. Later on, we all went up The Very Easy Route and Gripping Yarn (16) – although with a rope tangle late in the day needed to combine forces and get 4 people up the final section all on the one remaining un-tangled rope.

Article: Geoff Cooper
Photos: Jeff Crass

Dural Club Trip – 6 June 2020

One of those wonderful sunny days in winter where you can get away with a t-shirt most of the day. We had 9 participants and split into 2 groups and spread out across the crag. Jeff had Elaine, Shannon and Nigel on the first section of lower tier for the best selection of sport routes, whilst Geoff took Daniel, Chris, Andreas and Neil down further to do the trad routes initially. The best routes for trad are called Best Line at the Crag (12) and Second Best Line at the Crag (13). A good opportunity for Chris to learn to place gear and fortuitously Daniel had brought a triple rack so no chance of inadequate gear selection.

This crag has mostly easy grades, but a few had a chance to play on the slightly more moderate routes such as Wisdom with Silence (17), Still Cannot Fix This Broken Machine (17) and 0’s and 1’s (19). But the more popular routes were Deathwalker (15), Bum Crack (15) and Once Bitten (16) which can be climbed in a variety of footwear such as approach shoes (or crocs).

Article: Geoff Cooper
Photos: Jeff Crass

Trip Leader Skills Course

On the weekend of 8/9 Dec, Hugh & Bridie from the Blue Mountains Climbing School kindly donated their time to assist a small group of Rockies members who are keen to lead club trips in the future. The first day was focussed on the processes and guidelines for trip leaders to use when planning a trip, briefing participants and activities at the crag. The sessions were interactive and helpful in being able to determine what hazards may be expected at club trips and how to address them. In addition we were able to gain some insights into how to build a first-aid kit and the importance of having a few people at each club trip that have up-to-date first-aid skills.


The second day was for practical skills and after finding a shady wall at Medlow Bath, we managed to get a few climbs in before covering a few key areas that may be useful in future. A deeper discussion was held on the variety of bolts that we may encounter in the Blueys and how to recognise the condition of these. Rigging a bomb-proof anchor with gear, lowering a second when belaying in guide-mode and hauling methods were covered and it was great to get insights into the rationale of how to use these techniques safely from experienced leaders.


Many thanks to the participants for giving their time and willingness to contribute to the club. And a huge thanks to Hugh & Bridie for their passion for safe climbing and patience in dealing with the thousands of questions over the 2 days. Well done!


Christmas Cheer

Jean heads over a little problem at Mt Piddington. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]
David at the start of an interesting crack. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]
A big thank you to everyone who came along to the Christmas climb and dinner over the past weekend. Despite the heat, a great day climbing was had by all at Mt Piddington with everyone managing some good climbs, and many increasing their skill level trying something new! The sun was out in full force and by lunchtime the cliffs were in full sunlight which made the conditions quite tricky, but it didn’t halt the climbing and everyone had a very enjoyable day.

We then headed back to Jean’s house in Hartley Vale for a very welcome shower and a wonderful Christmas dinner and evening socializing. Here we were able to catch up with friends and family, and meet some new club members over great food and drinks. A good time was had by all.



Wonderful table decorations straight from the yard. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]



Fairy lights, tarps and tables give everything a lovely look. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]
A huge thank you needs to go to Jean for allowing us to camp in her yard and use her showers as well as providing tables, chairs, tarps, eating equipment and everything else for making this night go ahead so well. Another massive thank you to Kathy, our chef for the evening, for the amazing food (which disappeared surprisingly quickly!) and everyone else who supplied tables, tarps, eskies and other useful items. Finally a big thank you to everyone who helped with set up and clean up – it was much appreciated.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2018!!


Social climbs go from strength to strength

Our president, Matt, gets to grips with a new bouldering problem. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]

The T-shirts were out in force on Monday at St Leonards’ for the social climb. If you haven’t got one already – they are disappearing fast so get in touch with us to get your own!

Liam gets stuck into a crack. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]

We had eight members and one new non-member come along on Monday night where we managed to get a heap of climbing in in a short evening there. More than half the members there were in the club t-shirts making it very easy to locate who was around. It was a great evening all round with plenty of climbing and new partners met. The $15 burgers at Gilroy’s after was an added bonus. Thanks to everyone for coming along!

Martin reaches for the top. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]
Andrew gets started on a new climb with Martin belaying. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]

Banff Film Festival Social Evening

Sydney Rockies Members ready for the big event. [Photo Courtesy J Mycroft]
Last night fifteen members of the club headed to the Hayden Orpheum to see the world tour of the Banff Film Festival for 2017. With dinner and drinks at the Barrel Bar and Dining, it was a fantastic way to meet some new faces and catch up with friends before the event.

Seeing some amazing footage of the world, hearing some inspirational stories and learning to always follow your dreams – even when it is as unique as being a flying drummer – was made more special by the amazing setting that is the main theater of the Hayden Orpheum Cinema.

We also had the privilege of being able to be a part of a question and answer session with Paul Pritchard after seeing his inspirational short film ‘Doing it Scared’. Well done to our treasurer Elly for getting the best audience question of the evening!

A special event, and one I hope everyone enjoyed. Keep a look out for more film festival evenings later in the year!

Fascinating Q&A session with the amazing Paul Pritchard was an added bonus to the evening! [Photo Courtesy J Mycroft]

March Social Climb

Silvio (climbing) and Liam (belaying) get stuck into an interesting puzzle. [Photo Courtesy J. Mycroft]
I don’t know about anyone else – but I am loving these social climbs! I think they are showing the club members at their best – with the better climbers getting in and helping those of us that might be struggling with some aspects of the sport. I can, of course, only speak for myself on this one, but having other climbers show an interest in helping your progress is a real confidence boost. I was encouraged to get up some climbs I wouldn’t normally push myself to do – and surprised myself in the process.

Last night we headed to St Leonard’s for a couple of hours climbing and then dinner at Gilroys aftewards for some great food and fantastic conversation.

Next social climb is Wednesday April the 19th and we are back at St Peter’s climbing gym from 6pm. Look out for the Sydney Rockies T-shirts and come and join us for the evening. Non members are always welcome!

Thanks to everyone who made it such an enjoyable evening last night. Hope to see you at the next one!

Social Secretary

Successful Clean Up Australia Day Outing

On the fifth of March four intrepid members of the Rockies defied the elements and decided to venture into Rosa Gully for Clean Up Australia Day. The variety of rubbish we found was quite remarkable including a single thong (someone’s got a sore foot), a reusable shopping bag (not sure someone had the right idea there), four cars and multiple plastic bags, bottles and coffee cups.

A successful haul! Photo courtesy Michael Combley

We weren’t able to extract the cars – but we did manage to get seven full bags of rubbish out of the gully. We were very pleased with our haul and rewarded ourselves with fresh muffins. All in all it was a highly successful day out. Keep an eye out for the next issue of Thrutch for a full report of the day.


Members enjoy extra discounts at the Mountain Equipment evening

A big thanks to Mountain Equipment for putting on an extra special discount day for us last Thursday. From all accounts there were many members who took advantage of the additional discount to upgrade or stock up before the winter season approaches.

Some members then gathered for a delicious dinner at the Red Oak whilst reviewing their new gear. Keep a look out in the next Thrutch for a full account of the evening!

Flying Trapeze Social

In September, a few intrepid Rockies members went along to St Peters. Instead of the usual trip to the climbing gym, they went on an adventurous social to Sydney Trapeze School for a 2 hour flying trapeze lesson.

The session started with a quick warm up, and learning how to do a ‘knee hang’ on a static trapeze.  This basically involved hanging upside down from the trapeze bar by your knees, and letting go with your arms. After mastering the right technique on the ground, it was time to climb the giant wobbly ladder and have a go whilst flying through the air. It was a lot of fun, and luckily the Rockies avoided embarrassment by being better at it than the 12 year old girls who were also at the session!

After nailing the swinging knee hang, and dropping onto the giant net, the next ‘trick’ was to turn the knee hang into a back flip! Each person got a few goes at this, with varying levels of success. Then it was time for the grand finale. The final trick was to do a swinging knee hang, and then get caught in the air by one of the trapeze instructors, who was swinging from another trapeze.  Everyone managed the grab successfully, which was a great way to finish off the session.  The lesson was excellent fun, and nobody had to use the stretcher board and neck brace we spotted in the corner of the room!

Photo by Elly Short

For more news about upcoming Rockies social events please keep an eye out for details on our mailing list, Facebook page and the website.