Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The 1st Frog Buttress guidebook

Around the middle of 1969, Rick White produced his own guidebook to Frog Buttress and it was quickly out of date, requiring a second edition, published in December that year. The guide (pictured) listed more than 60 routes and suggested there would be many more. White observed: ‘This small outcrop, discovered climbingwise in November 1968, has been the scene of more activity in the past year than all other areas in the past ten years.’ And he was absolutely right. The explosion of climbing activity was unheralded in Queensland climbing history. It was something Rick White and Chris Meadows could never have imagined when they walked down the scree that day in November 1968. While the overall number of new climbing routes in Victoria and New South Wales at this time exceeded the Queensland achievements, climbing populations in the southern states far outweighed the small core of pioneers active in the deep north. It was an extraordinary and frenetic period which would last for at least another two years. Frog Buttress and the climbers it produced took Queensland to the forefront of climbing activity and achievement in Australia—at least until the early 1970s. For many climbers at this time, Frog Buttress and its style of climbing represented something akin to the Holy Grail. But dissent was in the ranks. Some viewed the climbing there as too short, or too strenuous, or too competitive—or all three. Others found jamming either difficult or unpleasant or both, and continued to search for new climbs elsewhere.

No comments: