Introduction to Abseiling

In late Autumn, five Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students, their instructor Kim Ladiges, and a whole heap of climbing gear squeezed into two cars and headed to Freycinet National Park.

With minds full of knots and three-point anchor systems from a pre trip workshop, the students were well prepared for the newly appointed introduction to abseiling short course.  Perched safely on the gleaming granite cliffs of Tasmania’s infamous east coast the students learnt how to apply their knowledge of three-point anchor systems, whilst ensuring personal and group safety parameters on cliff edges.  They also touched on briefings, and learnt how to fit harnesses and helmets.  Not to forget the unexpected schooling on the dexterity and ingenuity of possums.

Special thanks to Kim Ladiges whose experience, teaching style and empathy enabled all the students to cross some personal barriers and move closer to being abseil guides.  Although they weren’t impressed he couldn’t extent daylight hours so that they could stay on the cliffs longer. 


Abseiling with Project Booyah

Several weeks ago the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation climbing and abseiling students headed to Launceston Police HQ to observe and assist in the running of a commercial style abseil operation for a youth group involved in the Booyah Program.

After inspecting and critiquing the abseiling rig on the roof of Police HQ, students had the opportunity to practice dispatching and abseiling from the roof.  After a night at Launceston PCYC (Police & Community Youth Club) which included some indoor climbing and a nachos feast, the group returned to Police HQ next morning in readiness for the Booyah group.

TasTAFE students conducted briefings, gear fitting and dispatching activities for the Booyah group under the supervision of Police and TasTAFE instructors while others in the TasTAFE group cooked up a BBQ lunch for all involved.

In addition to consolidating their abseiling, rigging and dispatching skills the TasTAFE students had the opportunity to work with young clients in a “real environment”.  Thanks to Richard Youd (TasTAFE instructor) for his guidance and to Ross McIvor (Project Booyah) for the opportunity to work with his group.

Introduction to Abseiling

For us allured to the vertical life, the first trip away for the students from the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation was an intense, information filled week spent at Freycinet National park.

The training was the first part of our BAI (Basic Abseil Instructor) and consisted of drilling into us the concepts of rigging bomb proof anchors.  Utilising natural features such as monolithic boulders and well girthed trees, the training oversaw and guided us all so that by the end of the week our final products were at an industry standard that even Steve Bannon wouldn’t hesitate to advise Trump to rap off them.

Apart from blue bird days, still calm waters, summer temperatures, great company and getting our vertical fix we were also blessed with the presence of Humpback Whales who came within 50m of the cliffs we were rigging.

Our instructors from the TCIA (Tasmanian Climbing Instructors Association), Stu Scott and Richard ‘Youdy’ Youd provided our group with enough information so that we all left feeling competent and confident.  It was truly a fantastic week.


More Climbing


NOT just another week at Freycinet National Park for the climbers…

The first week of Spring and the fourth week that the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation climbers made their way out to White Water Wall campground at Freycinet National Park.  This was to be their last chance to truly consolidate their rigging skills before their final assessments in October.

Spoilt with stunning sunrises, whales and a fresh large population of mosquitoes – the cliffs were ours alone to practice on.

On Tuesday the 6th of September, the climbing crew put their hard work and skills to the test and took a group of students from Dominic College out to Lassies Wall for a climb and an abseil.  The Dominic College students were a wonderful bunch of young people, who thoroughly enjoyed their day.  This exchange of experience was immeasurably important for the TasTAFE students, who generally only practice on each other.  We are all very grateful to Dominic College for allowing us the opportunity.

The remainder of the week consisted of:

Rig, climb, rescue, rig, abseil, rig, rescue, climb, rescue, rig!

Come the end of the week the Certificate IV students had gained a significant chunk of practice as well as further understanding of individual areas of improvement needed before assessments.  All in all, another big week of learning for all involved.  Big thanks to Gary, Richard and Dominic College students and staff.

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Abseiling & Climbing

Abseiling Intro

Last week the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation Climbing and Abseiling students headed out to Freycinet’s White Water Wall for their abseiling introduction trip.

Over the 5 days the students practiced everything they needed to achieve their Basic Abseil Instructor (BAI) certification later in the year, with rigging, rope work and rescues.

They were on the sea cliffs from dawn till dusk, and powered on with night sessions every evening to solidify their techniques. It was a balmy trip with unseasonably warm June weather and impressively clear nights. Both seals, dolphins, and a rare sea eagle were spotted off the east coast (a welcome distraction from the cliffs below).

All in all the students made a lot of progress, covering a huge amount of material; but the climbing has only just begun and there’s plenty more to learn!

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Climbing at Freycinet


Two weeks ago our Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation students camped at White Water Wall, a beautiful part of Freycinet National Park.  It is a world-class rock climbing and abseiling area with many ideal locations along the granite-covered coast for us to hone our skills in becoming instructors.  This is also the area where we will be assessed in a month’s time.

We were drenched with rain for the first couple of days but we still carried on with our plan. We spent our days on the cliffs and our nights doing more study and talking about group management when leading our school groups.  The sun finally came out!

We are well on our way to becoming Basic Abseiling Instructors and Top Rope Instructors which are qualifications that will allow us to join the Tasmanian Climbing Instructors Association.

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Adventures with Migrant Education Students

Migrant Education Week

Our Migrant Education week was an amazing experience for the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation team.

During the week the student’s had the opportunity to hear many incredible stories about the life and journeys of the TasTAFE migrant students, that were both humbling and inspiring. They participated in a Students against Racism class that educates people about everyday racism and how it effects people.

The Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation students then had the opportunity to take the students out abseiling and climbing at Blackmans Bay. It was a very rewarding experience to see students overcome their trepidation as they hung over the blowhole with water surging below them.  Then to see their smiling faces when they got to the bottom.

It was time to face those fears for a second time in two days as the students then strapped on their PFD’s (personal flotation devices), wetsuits and helmets for an adventure down the Derwent River with the rafting guide students.  What started off with a little apprehension soon became a fun filled journey meandering our way down the rapids.   A great day for all!

Thanks to everyone involved in creating this amazing experience – it won’t be forgotten!

Migrant Education Week

Migrant Education Week

Migrant Education Week

Migrant Education Week - Abseiling

Migrant Education Week - Abseiling

Migrant Education Week - Abseiling

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Migrant Education Week

Migrant Education Week - Rafting

Migrant Education Week - Rafting

Migrant Education Week - Rafting