Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Please excuse our French

By Rod Smith

After months of traditional climbing training we are now on the cusp of the long-awaited trip to Frenchman’s Cap.
(Picture, right: The South-East Face. The Sydney Route is the second route from the left).

On Friday Gus, Nigel, Mike and I will fly to Tasmania to prepare for our Sunday walk into the Cap.

Simon and his dad will complete our party, although they’ll be doing the walk only.

The four climbers have their sights set on Bryden Allen’s 1965 classic route A Toire La Gloire or, as it is more popularly known, The Sydney Route.

Three of the climbing party are members of the Sydney Rock Climbing Club, so it’s appropriate that we’re revisiting a route put up by one of our most accomplished members and one of Australian climbing’s most unsung heroes.

I can’t help but admit to feeling a little anxious, what with the route being 380m long with about five sustained pitches in the grade 16 or 17 area.

But as I offered to Mike today, the only thing we can do is take it one pitch at a time.

Any way, we’ll be back in Sydney on January 29 by which time I hope to have many tales to tell.