Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
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|History Rewritten on first 23 in Australia
For the last 43 years it has been assumed that Henry Barber introduced grade 23 to Australia, officially Insomnia at Frog being the first one...though Kama Sutra at Araps on the same trip is harder. In researching a new book I'm writing on the history of Tasmanian climbing, I have discovered that Ian Lewis had free climbed Albatross at Lowdina near Hobart in 1974, before Hot Henry came in 1975. The guidebook credits Lewis with the first ascent, but gives the first free ascent to Henry, as it was reported that Lewis had a point of aid (rest) on his ascent. In recent interviews for the book, both Ian Lewis and his belayer Lyle Closs are adamant that it was done free. Albatross was the only route Henry Barber fell off on his Australian trip. I've been on it, and not many would argue with grade 24..its desperate. So there you go... Ian Lewis did the first grade 23 in Australia in 1974.
On 21-May-2018 tastrad wrote:
>For the last 43 years it has been assumed that Henry Barber introduced
>grade 23 to Australia, officially Insomnia at Frog being the first one...though
>Kama Sutra at Araps on the same trip is harder. In researching a new book
>I'm writing on the history of Tasmanian climbing, I have discovered that
>Ian Lewis had free climbed Albatross at Lowdina near Hobart in 1974, before
>Hot Henry came in 1975. The guidebook credits Lewis with the first ascent,
>but gives the first free ascent to Henry, as it was reported that Lewis
>had a point of aid (rest) on his ascent. In recent interviews for the book,
>both Ian Lewis and his belayer Lyle Closs are adamant that it was done
>free. Albatross was the only route Henry Barber fell off on his Australian
>trip. I've been on it, and not many would argue with grade 24..its desperate.
>So there you go... Ian Lewis did the first grade 23 in Australia in 1974.
So why did it take so long?
If the FAs reckoned other than the way it was written up it should have been corrected in subsequent guidebooks.
Sounds a bit like a retro to me.
What do you reckon KC would think of this new revision thing?
It took so long because the first ascensionists left Tasmania in the mid 70s and moved overseas, and dropped out of the local scene. Its only now that a history book is being written, that the questions about this climb have been asked for the first time.
I thought the only thing he fell off was at Girraween at Mt Norman.
Described as the big yellow open book corner at Wyberba in the old Classic Climbs of Australia book.
WE KNEW ABOUT THAT 10 YEARS AGO...
>Don't want to sound like an arse, and Henry was and is some kind of god, but he didn't introduce 23 to Australia. The first 23 was Albatross at Lowdina in Tassie, put up by Ian Lewis. Henry did the second ascent on his quick but awesome Tassie tour, a day or so after he freed Incipience (22) at Coles bay with me ineptly following. Albatross was probably the route that gave him the most trouble in Aus - he tried it a number of times and almost gave up before giving it one more try and getting up it. Unfortunately it was on a small, relatively unknown cliff and only Stefan Karpiniec was with him on the day - but that's irrelevant because the route was already done free when he got there, and it's still graded 23. He can certainly say he was the first to climb it on the first day he saw it - Ian tried it many times on many days before getting up it - but it was Australia's first 23. As we didn't quite realise 23 was possible back then I don't know if Ian had actually graded it 23, but Henry admitted to Stefan after climbing it that it was probably 23, and it still holds the grade.
AND THE ISSUE OF AUSTRALIAN GRADES WAS COVERED COMPREHENSIVELY HERE...
>>>What do you reckon KC would think of this new revision thing?
KC ALREADY KNOWS ALL ABOUT IT ... *AND* KC MADE THE 3RD ASCENT OF ALBATROSS....CLAW WAS THERE THAT DAY ...HE CAN CONFIRM...UNLESS IT WAS CLAW....OR JAVA....THEY ALL TOOK TURNS TO LEAD IT...
I'm considering writing a history of Tasmanian climbing, large coffee table format with lots of pics and stories.
I'd love to hear from anyone who was involved in early ascents in Tasmania, and see if you had any photos of your exploits and who might be willing to write something about your adventures..Bryden Allen ..first ascent of Sydney Route on Frenchmans..for example..Humzoo..I'm sure you've got some photos and interesting stories..Mentzy on the Totem Pole
Id be interested in people's thoughts.
>>>Id be interested in people's thoughts.
GOOD LUCK ........YA GUNNA NEED IT ...
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