Climbing and Abseiling

A Climbing Experience & Caring for the Land

White Water Wall

Two weeks ago the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students came together and headed out to White Water Wall in Tasmania’s beautiful Freycinet National Park.  This trip gave the opportunity for the climbing students to show off their skills and instruct the paddlers through a full experience as their clients in both abseil and top roping on Freycinet’s iconic granite walls.

The two days spent on the ropes gave an excellent chance for climbers to get a feel for what working as an instructor post Cert IV will be like and to consolidate all their skills.  For paddlers the pressure was off and they were able to soak up the sun while pushing themselves to find the next hold on the wall.

The next two days of the trip were spent working with field officers Fiona, Scott and Marty from the Parks & Wildlife Service on environmental management.  With an aim of subtly and sustainably improving the White Water Wall campsite and surrounding areas, we got our hands dirty.

Displaying an incredibly strong work ethic the Cert IV students and instructors launched into their work and accomplished a massive amount in the areas of re-vegetation, drainage, signage and overall maintaining the areas natural integrity for the future.

Before saying goodbye to the coast the majority of us dove into the cold clear winter waters and washed off the week’s sweat.  With learning, plenty of laughs and some dirt under our fingernails we climbed onto the bus hopefully leaving Freycinet even better than we found it.

The following is a thank you email from Fiona, a Ranger with the Parks & Wildlife Service at Freycinet:

“On behalf of the Acting Senior Ranger Richard Dakin and the staff of the Freycinet Field Centre and Freycinet Visitor Centre, I would like to sincerely thank you and the Cert IV Rec volunteer group for their terrific work at White Water Wall and also Honeymoon Bay.  I’m particularly pleased with the outcome at White Water Wall where the group worked on drainage, revegetation and presentation of the site and I am sure this will be appreciated by the many visitors and members of the climbing fraternity who will visit there.

The works were completed safely and sympathetically to balance with the existing ambience of the site; this is a very good outcome and really builds upon the work done by previous years Cert IV Rec volunteer groups.

Although we had initially planned two days of works at White Water Wall, the speed with which your group achieved the proposed outcomes far exceeded our expectations and this led to the choice to look at works on another site within the park.

I hope to revisit the site soon and (as promised) when I do I will take many photos which I will forward to you.  Your group can be justifiably proud of what they achieved and when they return to White Water and Honeymoon in the future they can take some ownership for the good environmental outcomes we are seeing at these sites”.

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Single Pitch Abseil and Top Rope Climbing Instructor Assessments

Two weeks ago the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation Climbing and Abseiling team made tracks from Hobart to Freycinet National Park for their final assessments to become qualified TCIA instructors.

The assessments took place at the popular and extremely beautiful White Water Wall area which provides incredible oceanic views and numerous world-class climbs on stable granite faces. Students chose to spend four days prior to the assessment, getting to know each of the site’s unique and sometimes frustrating characteristics, perfecting their rigging work, practicing rescues and simply enjoying the time spent in such a spectacular place.

When Wednesday finally came around, bringing assessment time with it, the team could not have been better prepared. They met each morning with students from the Kingston High School Year 10 Outdoor Education Class who have been heavily involved with the TasTAFE training program this year and were very keen for three days of vertical hauling up rock slabs and abseiling from cliff tops.

All of the practice and hard work that the Certificate IV students had invested in preparation for this moment became immediately apparent; the sessions that they ran were conducted in a very safe, efficient and enjoyable manner, creating a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the students and instructors alike. A fantastic progression in confidence and ability was demonstrated by all and at the end of the program students walked away as qualified TCIA instructors.

To top off an amazing week, the trip also happened to coincide with the annual Humpback Whale migration. Over the course of the week there were multiple sightings of these truly magnificent gentle giants as they moved south towards Antarctica to feed on krill, several swam by and played within 20m of the cliff base. Using their extremely large and powerful flippers, humpback whales are able to perform incredible breaches and aerial manoeuvres, sometimes launching their entire 30,000-40,000 kg frame out of the water! To witness such a majestic performance so closely was a truly special experience for all of the students.

Humpback Whale

 

Climbing at Freycinet

Climbing

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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Trips Galore

Sea Kayakers

We have an incredibly busy week at TasTAFE with five trips currently out in the field.

Our Certificate IV in Guiding students left yesterday morning for the East Coast where they are currently demonstrating their sea kayaking skills on the Freycinet Peninsula.

We also have a group of mountain bikers in the North East; half of the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation students are on their Raft Guides Course at Arm River, with the other half climbing and abseiling at Freycinet for the week.

Some of the Certificate III Outdoor Recreation students are on their Work Placements at Rosny College; Hobart College and Guilford Young College and the Certificate III in Guiding students are about to head out to Port Arthur for three days, focusing on convict heritage.

Needless to say our equipment store is very bare!