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Armidale 2001

posted May 30, 2008, 4:38 AM by Unknown user

Armidale - It's not the Verdon!

It's not often at the age of 36 that you get to have many new experiences all crammed into one weekend. But as a visiting English guest on my first BRC trip (and first trip to Australia) I even amazed myself at my own ignorance. I think I can be excused for never having heard of the Easter Bilby, but I definitely wish I'd never heard of any of the other dangerous Australian fauna - especially on a trip with a load of cheeky climbing chappies who are just looking for excuses to wind up the Pom, pointing out spiders I hadn't even seen and telling me that iguanas were baby crocs.

Emma at Gara Gorge

The visiting author (Emma Hilditch) at Gara Gorge.

As a friend of Steve's from college (well aware of his parsimony) I was not at all surprised to be taken to the cheapest eatery in town - my first dinner in an RSL was..... interesting. Even though I hadn't seen him for 8 years, Steve hadn't changed a bit, on the way up to Armidale we had to drive for over 2 hours to get a FREE coffee at a Driver Reviver (another great Australian institution), rather defeating the object, as Steve was nearly asleep at the wheel and we had passed more than one perfectly acceptable cafe!

Steve on SF (19)

Who says access is a problem!? Steve Waite on Sucking Faces (19), Ebor Gorge.

He hasn't lost his Midas touch with the weather either. Coming from a chilly drizzly UK spring, I was basking in the heat of a Brisbane autumn - until we got out of the car 3 hours into the journey and found we should have packed a few more jumpers! Thanks Steve.

James on SF

James Pfrunder starting up Sucking Faces (20) (Mike Freemantle belaying)

I realise I've not mentioned the climbing, but I'm afraid it's because I was too fat to get into my harness (which I haven't worn for 10 years) and Steve was still too depressingly good at it to inspire me. But everyone else seemed to have a great time (once we found the crags!) despite the overgrown cracks [at Ebor Gorge - Editor] and massive spiders (I think you get the picture!) If it's just climbing you want stick to Frog, but for a jolly good weekend away with a great bunch of people - the Armidale trip couldn't be beaten.

Emma Hilditch