Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Out and beyond

In March 1966, Les Wood began his assault on Queensland putting up the climb,Trojan, weaving its way through the summit overhangs on Tibrogargan in the Glasshouses. ‘We went up there and let it unfold,’ Wood recalls. ‘It was just exploring really. I don't even remember if there was a guidebook. I don't remember finding it hard. Quite exhilarating. And I thought, “This has got a bit of class to it.” I don't know why “Trojan”—like something was hiding, maybe?’ Climbing every available weekend, he soon teamed up with Donn Groom and with Brian Driscoll, climbed a new route on Beerwah, calling it Slipknot, after a climb on White Ghyll in the Lake District. A week later he was back on Beerwah to climb Whynot, again with Groom. At Easter, he joined the BRC climbing trip to the Warrumbungles, seeking out the classic, Out and Beyond. ‘It had had only one ascent, classed as hard severe,’ Wood remembers. ‘It has a most impressive first pitch. So I did that but from the end of the traverse I had to retreat because Col Hocking didn't want to second it as he was getting married three weeks later. We did Vertigo and added a final pitch to it. The next day I went back to Out and Beyond with Ted Cais and John Tillack. John was a bit worried. Ted decided not to come. I can't remember why. I remember the route—really nice. I suppose, fairly exposed.’

Picture: Ted Cais collection

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