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17 Down Under: 17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark  $50.00
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Hard Way To The Top, The
(Doco) Mt Buffalo granite aid climbs, Ozymandias and Lord Gum Tree

Format Video  (Australian) Category Non-Fiction
Title Hard Way To The Top, The  Mins 26 
Starring Malcolm Matheson  RRP $35.00 AUD 
Director   Reviews
Edition   Ave Rating ***** (4.50 of 5)


User Comments

This is an iconic piece of Australian climbing history that is well documented, and a ''''''''must see'''''''' not only for history buffs, but also aspiring hard free climbers and humble aid climbers alike.

Malcolm Matheson (HB) rope-solos both Ozymandias Direct and Lord Gumtree in the same day with plenty of time to spare left over as well !
The feat simply blows me away, and to have it recorded is something to treasure in our relatively young climbing history.

The photographic angles are varied and sharp (including aerial), with both close-ups and panned out wide angles to let the viewer appreciate the enormity of the task. Watching Malcolm Matheson free climbing up the ''''''''Fang'''''''' pitch is inspirational stuff. It may only be grade 18 but there are few pitches of that grade in this country to rival its exposure.

The style of the video/dvd is documentary and gives suitable over-view and historical context. HB is a Man of few words and this comes across in the film which although not too invasive, manages to get some replies from him.
The music soundtrack background I found a little loud in places, though perhaps this is because it is not my flavour.

A bonus is the incorporated interview footage with early pioneer ascentionists like Chris Baxter, Chris Dewhirst, Geoff Gledhill, etc, and also with Steve Monks (at the end), regarding his freeing of Ozy Direct.

I agree with the above review this is an iconic piece of work, given the outstanding nature of Malcolm's achievement and the historical nature of the routes in question. My only negative is that at 26 minutes it's over too quickly!

I was very impressed indeed with the speed and confidence of Malcolm cruising up what others take days to do, and possibly years of lead up towards. I also appreciated the camera work, like close ups of tapping in No1 RP's with a nut tool. Plus the interviews with previous acensionists, really lend style to this production.

Recommended for viewing for all Mt Buffalo climbers, including those from overseas who might be thinnking of including this destination in their trip. Also any Aussie climber with a perchant for climbing history will appreciate this title, as well as those simply curious about roped aid-soloing. 

Further Reading:
Climbing Australia - Details on purchasing, etc.


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