Thursday, June 30, 2011


Forgive me for:
A. Asking your name more than once when we meet at the crag.
     I want to get to know everyone but I'm not great with names.

B. Blogging photos of myself. I'll keep it to a minimum.

C. Plus the usual stuff, coveting neighbours asses, trespassing, etc.

The loss of another of our precious own last week re-enforces my quest to know and value every one of you out there.
We are bound by our compulsion to climb harder and higher. It's not a trivial activity. It gives meaning to life. Clint gave more meaning to his life and ours through his climbing.

Getting involved in your striving for excellence is what enriches my climbing.

Scott Hailstone and I got up early to get these shots.
"Black Leather Dungarees" 26 at Coolum Cave has been untouched for years. Such an impressive route.
It's high and steep.
Years ago I made a start on developing this route.
I couldn't make sense of such crazy terrain and called on the expertise of Lee Cujes to map it out and send it.

Don't do this move.

Climbers, many things make us different but this is what makes us the same.
We love the fight, the struggle and swinging around high off the ground.

Wardrobe: models own.
The T-Shirt features an ancient Buddhist text refering to the nature of the world as illusion.
Illusion or not, I'm in.

That shoe I'm putting in your face would be the Red Chili Carona VCR
You don't have to watch the ads.

It's a big deal for me.
I am now honoured to be part of the Wild Country team with my own special page on their UK site.

That's the Wild Country Elite Ultralite  harness and Helium quickdraws.
It's just the gear you want for redpointing a route like BLD.
Radically light with superior action.

Here I am representing Red Chili on the Expedition Equipment site.

Brisbane climbers, you can get this amazing gear from local rockstar Oliver at K2

 I know you wanted to see a kneebar.
This one is bomber, and I never thought to use it when I first sent this route.
Age brings cunning.
It also brings laziness, senility and incontinence, but we make the most of it.

All photos: Scott Hailstone
Scott is about to embark on  a year long journey
through the worlds most amazing places.
Take care. Everyone.
Thanks Scott

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Here at jjobrienclimbing we are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with Blogger.
I'm with you, I can't believe the good people at Google would let this happen to such a site.
I won't be pushing this post, so welcome, if you found it. In the meantime sit back and reminisce with me a year after my visit to China and Tibet.

Enjoy this soothing image of our room at the Banyan Tree in Deqin in Yunnan province in China or Tibet, as you will. It would not be overstating it to say that Sandra liked this place.
3,500M of altitude, nothing but yaks and snow. Absolutely beautiful.
The bathroom was downstairs. Wild yaks couldn't drag us away.

But, as always, there was climbing to be done. So I pulled on my Chinese volleys and sampled the local granite at Tiger Leaping Gorge. The route marking was velly helpful.

Climbers, don't tell my Red Chili sponsors you saw me climbing in volleys.
( Bouldering, doesn't count.)

Everest looms. Chinese base camp is just up the road. Thin air, bright sun, stillness, reverence.

Bike Rack Mountain, Central China.
I can't remember when I've ever had so much fun.
I didn't want to leave. Some of the stuff just made me laugh so much, it was so inappropriately dangerous.

Model wears: Prana 3/4 pant. I think the photo shoot reveals that the pants are about three inches too long. Have your say.
That guy has got a printer and a laminater in that box. His mate will take your photo. A few Yuan and it's yours.

Everest again.
Remember Sheepy? My favorite black cashmere jacket?
Everest tent hotel. How amazing is that?

Returning via Hong Kong
They are going to need a bigger sun
 to get through that air.

Ah, back home at the jjobrienclimbing rainforest retreat.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

And still they come

Outbound Immigration in New Zealand have a hangboard.
If you can stick to the two finger slopers, for more than a minute, they let you pass.
Oliver Miller is the latest to get through to Australia.

First they sent Matt Eaton to put up the cave's then hardest line
"A Knee Bar too Far" 8a 29

Frey Yule came on the same boat I think.

After Matt became injured they put Sebastian Loewensteijn on the plane.

In a moment of overkill they sent the original Kiwi Krusher -
 Nick Sutter

Now we get the crimp fiend Oliver Miller.

All right we get it. You've got a factory over there.

He was sent specifically to bring down the Antoine Moussette open project, working title, "Taking Care of Business."

He just may be the one to do it.

His passport says he is 24. He's been climbing for 12 years, predominantly at Castle Hill.
12 years? Can that be right? Probably in some harsh government run climbing camp where they force kids to train in brutal, freezing conditions.
And feed them nothing but fush.

We are honoured to have you Oliver.
Do what you were sent for.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Age of Ascent

Ian Elliott is a modern sport climber.
He clips bolts, he grabs draws, he uses tricks, sticks and kneepads.

But he's no slouch.
Tenacity like a cockroach. He comes back from injuries again and again. The kind of stuff that would stop someone half his sons age.

He's known almost exclusively as Old Ian. Not sure how he got that name.

Style: Gandolf meets Harry Butler. Rocking these Arthritis support kneepads in blue, poly pro underwear in black, and red polar tech beanie by Hot Tuna.
He gets the coveted jjobrienclimbing tick.

Ian channels Bhagwan Shree Rajnessh as he works the moves on "Weapon of Choice" 27, Coolum Cave.
Spooky, huh?

I somehow feel proud that the cave has such a climber as Ian, as though I gain some prestige just by association.
Climbers, I have to confess to being ageist. I know, coming from me!
Old people, they gamble, they take drugs, they drive like maniacs.
But then there are exceptions that give us an alternative model.

I could watch it again and again:
The scene where this kindly old gentleman shows a Forester load of bumpy boys how to do the route they've been dogging all day. And then offers to retrieve their draws. Priceless.

Grow old, stay strong.