Winter, 2017

Winter is just beginning, and you know what that means – the ice lines are getting fat and the snow pack is coming along in leaps and bounds.

Just kidding. I live in Queensland, where winter means that temperatures plunge from “fucking hot” to “mild with a chance of fucking hot”. Mornings are lovely at this time of year, but the midday sun still has something of a bite in our depleted atmosphere.

With this modest but appreciable decrease in temperature and humidity comes a great and powerful gift – friction. The return of this mythical beast marks the beginning of an annual pilgrimage, one which dates back to ancient times that are far beyond the memory of mortals – the 1970’s.

Yes, we’re talking about Frog Buttress, a migratory hub for those with a penchant for the dark art of crack climbing. The Easter Long Weekend has traditionally marked the start of the season, a time when Mt French comes alive with strange noises… curse words, clanking hexes and the rattling of rockers and camshafts as cars in various states of disrepair labour up the mountain.

It’s a great time to be at Frog, but that’s not even half of the good stuff on offer in South East Queensland during the cooler months. This is when the region is truly at its best.

The big mountains become hospitable during the middle of the year. This means that multipitch climbs on Tibrogargan, Beerwah and Maroon are in season, and bushwalking becomes rather pleasant on Mt Barney and any number of other lesser Scenic Rim peaks. Adventure races and Rogaine events are generally run at this time of year and can provide a worthy diversion for those who like to dabble in masochism. Many sport crags become all-day venues rather than offering fleeting morning sessions. It’s all rather civilised.

It’s also set to be a good time for us here at Zen and the Art of Climbing. Apart from the obvious benefits as mentioned above, it has come time to open the door to new contributors. Hopefully, you’ll soon begin to see words from various new authors filling these pages (as well as my usual dribble). Check out the “Write for Us” page in the “About Us” menu if you’re interested in more details.

But that’s really only the start. Additionally, there are a few major Zen related announcements to be made soon. There are still some details to be ironed out before these announcements come to light, but I think it’s safe to say that they will prove rather interesting. Watch this space.

Have a great winter if you’re from Queensland, or a great summer if you’re from the Northern Hemisphere. They’re practically the same thing anyway.

Ryan Siacci, Esq