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Trip Report – Long Beach Climbing Weekend

By: Peter O’Neill

Source: Southland Section Newsletter (April 2018)

Months before the event, Clayton from Christchurch and I agreed on a date. 17th March. After Clayton booked the hall we advertised the date. Now all we needed was a bit of venison for the BBQ.

A few weeks before the event the Canterbury Westland section had names, and numbers of participants everything organised. Southland section had a couple of names of possible participants. Where is the commitment, people! The plan was to meet up at Long Beach Hall, camp outside in tents, and go climbing. $20 per head for camping and BBQ. Profits divided for crag repairs.

On the day we had 7 people show up. 3 young guns being Peter Thurlow, Matt Dugan, and Finn Dobbie. Our more mature members were Scott and Lyndsay, Mayumi and myself. I had managed to ‘find’ some nice tender venison so our part of the bargain was done. Now for the climbing. The young guns head off down the beach and the remainder of us headed to Mihiwaka. For me climbing at Mihiwaka is heaven. We didn’t get many routes done because of the experience levels on Saturday and the hangovers on Sunday. Scott told me it is his new favourite crag.

Saturday afternoon several of us watch Peter and Finn do a third and fourth ascent of a new climb at long beach. It was interesting because we were given a blow by blow account by Murray Judge. From sixty meters away he knew where every hold and foot placement was. This man has a brilliant memory for climbing routes.

On the Saturday night we were joined by the Otago’s Elder Statesmen of climbing who were able to give us all some advise, encouragement, and some really good tips on both climbing and travelling to climbing destinations. These guys were Steve Carr, Murray Judge, Dave Brash, and John Hamilton. They are all retired or semi-retired or as Steve put it full time climbers and part time workers. The BBQ was great and the opportunity to mix with fellow climbers (30) from other locations was great. The drinks flowed into the wee hours and a fine time was had by all. It was a rare to get some of the great climbing stories flowing from these guys who have been there and done that. Their wives accompanied them but did not climb and in-fact they gave me some good deer stalking tips, ha, true.

Murray was able to give me some interesting information about a climb over at Borland ‘Roaring Forties’ and he also gave me permission to ‘add’ a few bolts. Murray and John have continued with crag development around the Otago coast.

Clayton had managed to injure himself a couple of weeks before the meet, however he was committed to the cause. On the Friday afternoon he and I visited Calum Hudson’s mother Peg. The meet was Calum’s idea so that average climbers could get together and have a bit of fun. After a cup of tea with Peg, Clayton and I did the usual stuff of checking food, forms, and collecting money. Our section received $75 for crag repairs, from the meet.

For me as section chair this meet is very important, it is where we have gain the support to run Banff, Section trips and courses. The guys from Christchurch are also willing to give our younger climber tips and a little help. So next year set aside a weekend in early March for the Long Beach Climbing meet. You may be surprised about who you meet or what new climbing info you may gain.

Posted: 14/05/18

Posted By: Narina Sutherland