Tuesday, October 04, 2005

In high places

Rick White, climbing with Dave Reeve, found the first route up the big east face on Mt Maroon in February 1968. They called it Deception I—a bold and circuitous 250 metre climb through a maze of loose blocks, clifflines, caves and corners. The following weekend, John Shera (pictured), my brother Chris and myself climbed the North Face of Leaning Peak. We were forced to bivvy on a ledge about 60 metres from the summit, completing the climb the following day. At 410 metres, it is the longest climb in Queensland and amongst the longest in Australia. With three of the biggest faces in southeast Queensland now climbed—the East Faces of Mt Barney and Mt Maroon and the North Face of Leaning Peak—attention turned to other problems, other lines. For the first time since the early 1950s when Kangaroo Point had been used as a top-roping and training cliff, climbers led the first hard routes there—Cais started the deluge with a bold lead of Cox’s Overhang in January. White followed with Nightfell and the classic, Adam’s Rib. Cais found Tombstone Row and four weeks later, the hardest climb on the cliff: the fiery Pterodactyl. The status of the Kangaroo Point cliffs had changed significantly and a hard core of new climbers had emerged.

Picture: Michael Meadows collection.

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