|An early climbing party returns from Mount Lindesay (background), Christmas 1933 (A. A. Salmon collection).|
But before the postwar climbing boom in the early 1950s, the 1930s crowd relied more on their initiative and endurance. Bert Salmon and Lyle Vidler made the first ascent of Egg Rock in the Gold Coast hinterland in 1928 after catching a train to Nerang, then walking 40 kilometres to the pinnacle, climbing it and walking back to the station. All part of a good weekend out! Much earlier, the hardy Clark sisters had cycled 70 kilometres back to Brisbane on the same day they made the first female ascent of Crookneck in the Glasshouses in 1912!
|Raoul Mellish chats to a local farmer near Mount Barney with Bob Waring's Indian motorcycle in the foreground. Waring was on his way to make the first traverse of an exposed ledge on Leaning Peak, 1949 (Raoul Mellish collection).|
|A rudimentary rack on the bonnet of John Shera's Mazda 800 en route to The Glass Houses in 1968 |
(Michael Meadows collection).
Sheardie (pictured left giving up smoking in 1968) once drove his car almost to the base of the classic climb, East Crookneck, defying logic and gleefully leaving an ageing landrover wallowing behind him. His secret was speed – at all times and in all circumstances. We often spent more time making roadside repairs to the Sheard Hillman on the way to a climb than on the climb itself. But all good things come to and end. The moment Sheardie announced that he had ordered a brand new Torana, tweaked to his personal specifications, the Hillman was fair game. Ted Cais was first to strike painting a swastika on the doors and the slogan, ‘Hitler is king! along one side. Needless to say, within hours, the Hillman was pulled over by police – even Queensland cops couldn’t miss that – and the car was ordered off the road. When Sheard, again foolishly, made this announcement at a Kangaroo Point climbing afternoon, I decided to test out a theory of mine and dropped a 100 kg section of railway line from the cliff top onto his boot. As I suspected, it crashed straight through! Following that episode, even the wreckers wouldn’t take it so he dismembered the car with an axe.