White Water Wall

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. 

Top Rope Climbing


Last week the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation climbing students were back at Freycinet’s White Water Wall to continue their skills in the vertical world.  This time: Top Rope Climbing.

There’s a saying about the east coast: it never rains, but it pours.  The weather was indeed challenging and powerful, with both high winds and heavy rain hitting the sea cliffs.  Never-the-less the students persevered and conducted rescues from above and below in their rain jackets and over-pants.  But the skies did clear when needed, creating windows for recreational climbing and sea-bird sightings.

For some added excitement one evening, the students were unexpectedly confronted with a challenging first aid scenario, where one of the instructors had fallen several meters down a fracture in the granite coastline; right to the edge of the rough ocean below.  Putting their skills to the test the students worked together to rescue their instructor by torch-light, making for a very long day but still a longer night – as they returned to camp on the cusp of the winter solstice.

The students now look forward to taking real participants on climbing and abseiling experiences, and putting their new skills to good use.

Photography: Matt Jones (student)

Climbing 1 Climbing 2 Climbing 4 Climbing 6 Climbing 5 Climbing 7 Climbing 8

 RTO Code:  60142

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