Dear climbing community.
The next (exciting) phase of The Burnley Project is now well underway. On Saturday, we had several teams working at the site. We had a team on glueing, we had a team on drilling holes through steel to prepare it for the bolts that attach wood to steel, we had a team tinkering with the 45 degree wall, and we had a team putting wood up on the 30 degree wall. I think you'll be suitably impressed with their fantastic progress. It really is looking like a climbing wall now!
Natimuk resident Kieran Loughran popped by for a visit, and asked if it would be possible for us to pop it (the climbing wall) next to the skate park in Nati. Sorry Kieran, no can do!
People were working through the week to ensure we had all our ducks in line ready for the weekend. Myself and Steve Ford glued the panels for the 30 wall, Steve and Lou did heaps of prep work, drilling holds through steel in readiness for the attaching of wooden panels………
Thanks this week go to:
Martin Lama, who donated $$ to help us buy the pricey masonry drill bits that have contributed to the completion of the steel framework.
Jono Schmidt, who donated holds on his and Neil Monteith's behalf.
Richard Barrack, who played an important role in collecting supplies for me from stores I simply couldn't get to during operating hours, and hand-delivering them to me at work. Service with a smile!
David Ritman at Parks Victoria who is our ever-diligent man on the ground at Parks. We dragged Dave out of bed early again on Saturday morning – so he could let us in the door at 7.30am in the morning.
My mum… who collects our bread and scrolls supply from Bakers Delight for us, and delivers them to me.
Mullings Fasteners in Campbellfield, who provided us with a ridiculously affordable rate on the bolts and drill bits we needed for this phase. Turns out my friendly helper, Maree at Mullings, is a keen climber!
The Hardware Shop in Swan St Richmond. Phillip at the Hardware Shop has given us access to fantastic rates on all the bits and pieces we've needed, and really helped us immensely with regards to selecting the right wood for the job, and once again giving us a great rate on it as well. Thanks Phillip!
I would also like to mention the impressive support provided by enthusiastic Project Carpenter Steve Ford. Steve has been planning things out carefully over a progression of weeks, and ensured everything was prepared ready for installation day. Steve's fun and easy-going attitude ensured that everyone on his team had a fantastic time on the construction site. As for me, I am personally grateful for Steve's "no problem at all, I can sort that out" attitude. He ran the show beautifully, giving me about a million less things to worry about!!
I took lots and lots of photos for you to look at. I culled all the out-of-focus ones. I then thought about culling the submission even further to include only the perfectly-framed, perfectly-exposed pictures… but decided that in doing so, I'd deny you the chance of getting a decent insight into how on earth this thing was built. So here goes… a heap of photos.
VCC working with Parks Victoria
The first of the panels go onto the (30 degree) wall. David McKelvie (left) assists James Spain.
Steve Ford cutting wood to size. A member of his support crew, Adrian Hoel is pictured left. David McKelvie and James Spain are working in the background.
Nigel Preston bolting wood to steel.
Ben Wright (foreground) and Nigel Preston (background) work on attaching to attach panels to framework.
From left: Adrian Hoel, Steve Ford and James Spain working swiftly through the first row of wood.
From left: Nigel Preston, David McKelvie and Nick McKinnon are the overhead team, attaching the roofing panels to the wall.
Overhead team from left: David McKelvie, Nigel Preston, Nick McKinnon. Ground crew from left: Adrian Hoel, Ben Wright, James Spain and Steve Ford. These boys working well together to get the job done quickly.
Nigel Preston, Nick McKinnon, James Spain, Steve Ford and Adrian Hoel hold a panel to the wall so they can mark where it needs to be cut.
Precision cutting. James Spain and Adrian assist while Steve Ford custom-fits the wood to the requirement. Dean and family visited the site. They are pictured beyond the worksite fencing.
Jacqui Middleton (me!) at work bolting panels to the framework.
Nick McKinnon, James Spain, Steve Ford and Adrian Hoel hold a panel in place, while Nigel Preston clamps it down.
James Spain belts a bolt in with the mallet. Also pictured are Nigel Preston, Nick McKinnon and Adrian Hoel.
The last panel of the climbing fascia is raised ready to be measured and cut. Adrian Hoel, James Spain, Steve Ford and Nick McKinnon have the system down-pat.
The man of the moment – carpentry phase team leader Steve Ford in action. Cutting the last panel to size.
OK it's cut. Lift it….
Bolt it down. Excellent. The second row is complete!
Jacqui Middleton (me) behind the wall securing the bolts.
Have I missed any? Scanning for bolts.
Nick McKinnon happy as Larry working on the wood.
A close-up of the task at hand – panels must be secured at regular intervals with 8mm coach bolts.
Eddie Rawlins oversees the use of the "bang bang" tool. This thing is awesome. It tightens the nut of a bolt in an instant!
The worksite is abandoned. Why? It's lunchtime! But oh what progress. The climbing fascia is complete, and the team is working like a well-oiled machine. Everyone is excited because we know we will get all the wood up today.
The team at lunch.
The lovely Afra Yang cooked up a storm for everyone.
And then the rains came. We watched the river level rise, and wondered if we'd get to confirm that our wall stands up to flooding… on day one!!
A tourist boat cruises past. Ah the serenity.
James Spain, Nick McKinnon and Nigel Preston all had a fantastic day.
Ben Wright, the official carpenter's assistant of the afternoon shift.
Steve Ford. Cutting…
All work and no play makes Leigh a boring boy! Ben Wright and Steve Ford take time out for a short spate of good old-fashioned mucking around.
Lunch has digested, and the team readies itself to take on the roofing layer.
What do you MEAN you don't have English Breakfast?!! Nigel Preston has to settle for Earl Grey tea instead.
Anita Sharma makes an appearance from behind the wall.
The process for raising wood to the roofing layer is very complex. One team passes it to another.
Nick McKinnon and Nigel Preston position the first panel of the roofing layer.
Behind the scenes of The Burnley Project, Anita Sharma tightens bolts.
James Spain, Steve Ford and Anita Sharma all know what needs to be done. Everyone gets on with the job.
Steve Ford checks on "the outside world".
Ben Wright and Steve Ford moving another panel to the workbench.
It's going well! Quiet grins of satisfaction.
A view from the top of the wall.
Nigel Preston on the mallet
It’s getting dark in there! The headtorches come out as the wall starts to get more enclosed.
Hustle, people! Jacqui Middleton and Steve Ford race another panel over to the workzone.
The next day, we visited the site for some daylight piccies. In the light of day, it looks awesome! This is a pic of me on the bike track with a happy smile on my face after seeing the wall.
There it is! The 30 degree wall in all its glory.
It's important for people to know what on earth this is supposed to be. Here I am attaching signs to the structure.
Cutting the stickytape….
The wall, now proudly labelled with signs.
Some cyclists cruise by.
A sign, with the bike track in the background.
A sign, visible from the bike track, with the steel framework of the 45 degree wall in the background.
The right-hand end of the 30 degree wall.
Our intentions are clear. "Rock Climbing Walls under construction." Proudly sponsored by Transurban. Constructed by the combined efforts of Parks Victoria and the Victorian Climbing Club.
I think that pretty much says it all!
Next working bee is this Saturday. I have a team readily assembled to put the wood up on the 45 degree wall.
Cheers to all
VCC working with Parks Victoria
Great progress on the wall!
Kudo to Jac and the crew for getting all the timber bolted on the 30 degree wall over the weekend!
Melberg is becoming a better city
this might seem stupid to you guys but why are there panels on top of the wall is this to prevent theifs from steeling holds or do you guys plan on placing holds over the lip.
Prevent theft. No holds are planned to be placed over the lip.
I can guarantee that someone will attempt the 'top-out' slabby mantle though.... pure plywood friction at
i've glued sandpaper on my shoes as a replacement for stealth C4 for this very reason
I am not sure if it has been discussed on chockstone but there has been some suggestion of a plaque or
similar at burnley to acknowledge those who have contributed to its construction.
Below is an email I sent to Jacqui but the comments and particuarly the praise are relevant to all those
who have contributed to this fantastic project. To the group of people who have put in a massive effort to
make this the success it will be.
I just wanted to say that I am really impressed by the way things are
progressing at Burnley. Its been a great effort by yourself and the
I think a plaque or sign recognising the efforts of those who have put a
large commitment into this project is a good idea. However I dont think
people like myself who put in a half day really deserve that sort of
recognition. Maybe a printed and laminated sign which may not last long
but would cost next to nothing is appropriate for the long list of minor
assistants. I guess the problem you face is that its hard to draw the
A plaque is a great idea. perhaps names don't have to be mentioned.Would it be enuff to acknowledge the efforts of volunteers, or mention main contributors only by name and have a general thankyou for the minor contributors such as yourself. Something like "thanx to the many volunteers.....", or "thanx to [insert main contributors here], and all the other volunteers....."
I'm looking into the manner in which history should recognise everyone's efforts on this project.
"bang bang" tool. Gold, absolute gold.
Well done you guys and especially you Jac for organising this very professional looking wall.
One thing I am a little mystified about is the reasoning behind having to cut the ply. Was the wall not built to suit the size of the ply.
That structure looks fantastic, all hot dipped gal components.
Is there any sort of plan to stop the holds from being stolen. I`m sure you've already thought through this so excuse my ignorant question.
A dodgey plan has been formulated, many eons ago, in a bold attempt to keep said holds on the walls.
I just wonder if we should run a sweep on how long it is before graffiti appears on these mighty walls.
> Is there any sort of plan to stop the holds from being stolen.
...or for that matter, a plan to prevent the walls from being covered in graffiti, or at least to minimise it? It seems inevitable that such an obvious target will be struck. Praps people don't mind so much if it is, provided the walls aren't actually damaged?
>Well done you guys and especially you Jac for organising this very professional
>One thing I am a little mystified about is the reasoning behind having
>to cut the ply. Was the wall not built to suit the size of the ply.
There are reasons for everything. There has to be coach bolts at regular intervals, and angle steel at regular intervals. This dictates where one piece of ply must end, and another begins.
Furthermore, all good plans are only worth a grain of salt on a project like this. The site is very irregular, and we are not allowed to drill into rio (steel reinforcing in concrete). The second we hit rio, we had to change the whole structure on the fly. This occurred a few times and there was no way to foresee it, really. I am thankful I had a dynamic team in place that could think on their feet.
>That structure looks fantastic, all hot dipped gal components.
>Is there any sort of plan to stop the holds from being stolen. I`m sure
>you've already thought through this so excuse my ignorant question.
Yes of course there is a plan. I do not wish to publish the solution on an internet forum.
Cheers to all.
>...or for that matter, a plan to prevent the walls from being covered
>in graffiti, or at least to minimise it? It seems inevitable that such
>an obvious target will be struck. Praps people don't mind so much if it
>is, provided the walls aren't actually damaged?
This was all discussed in the planning phase. There is only so much you can do. The cost of dealing with graffiti as it comes along is far less than the available prevention plans. The only other option was to use something other than plywood. Not an option.
I was working down at the site till well after dark last night. There was no graffiti then, and noone showed up to do any graffiti art for us. Touch wood, so far people are being respectful of the effort involved. I have placed signs on the wall to indicate what it is for. There are many reasons for this; one of which is to spark some interests in potential graffiti people to perhaps rethink graffitiing the wall, as it might provide some other purpose to them. The opportunity to access a free sporting facility. Touch wood, so far no graffiti. It will probably happen. It will almost certainly happen. I discussed the possibility of antigraffiti paint with Parks Vic and they said absolutely not to bother. If it occurs and it is bad enough, we'll paint over it. Antigraffiti paint solutions are way expensive. Furthermore they give a nasty slick surface for you to climb on.
Hee hee, razor wire and armed guards in towers every 20 feet.
Painting a rock mural over the wall would be a reasonably effective way to minimise graffiti. If the mural was of a very confusing pattern then the graffiti would be somewhat camoflaged. Lots of swirly rock patterns may be the order of the day. Any graffiti would then look like more rock. Might be a plan.