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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Is Australia really all that?? 4-May-2007 At 11:25:59 PM JBM

PM me your best contact details and I can give you the scoop on climbing, skiing and living in Melbourne.

The climbing scene here is totally different to Atlanta.

I grew up in Atlanta and moved to Melbourne about 5 years ago, so can give you some beta on making the move, cost of living, etc. I also came over not having ever been to Australia.

The quick summary is:

1) You can climb more days here than you could in Atlanta - even in summer. Araps sh*ts all over T-Wall, Boatrock, etc. The rock is superb.
2) Sport climbing (as compared to back home) is virtually non-existent so bring your Trad Rack
3) The majority of good climbing has a tendency to be extremely concentrated (eg Araps) with a couple of "ok" crags that are day trip worthy if you can't make the 3 hour drive/weekend commitment
4) Skiing is touch and go. Last season was abyssmal - however, local "oracles" are predicting a better season this year
5) Mountain biking is a 6 on a scale of 1-10 when compared to the riding in and around Atlanta. (Thinking Bull Mountain, Six Gap, etc up and around Dahlonega).
6) Windsurfing - Supposed to be world class, but I could not tell you as I don't do it.
7) Cost of living - depends on the package you have negotiatied. Make sure you get LAFHA and that you can pay rent out of pre-tax income (all dependent on wether you come over on a 457 Long Stay Visa or if you decide to come over as Permanent Resident). I recommend you come over on a 457 and then do your residency if you decide to stay longer than 4 years.
8) I believe that Melbourne is about 1/2 the size of Atlanta. Melbourne is also about 10 times easier to get around than Atlanta and does not require outrageous commutes as do some of the folks that live outside 285. No smog except when there are bushfires.
9) I am a management consultant - I can at least tell you from that perspective that the economy is going well.
10) Lastly, 1 in 3 Australians is a cannibal and eats their young.

All in all, it's a pretty kick ass place. The drives to the crags are about the same as if you drove up to Looking Glass or Whitesides back home. The style of climbing here will take a little bit of getting used to: Most of the lines are not incredibly inspiring looking from the ground but once you are on them the moves are beautiful. That said, most climbs here are face climbs and often involve playing "find the hidden hold" at the crux.

Finally, watch out for Drop Bears and Hoop Snakes....they're a killer.


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