Climbing Diaries Part 1: Getting off the Ground

Last week a young man was rescued from a 400 million year-old rock crack out west of Victoria. Famous in climbing circles, the Squeeze Test at Mt Arapiles is a committing clamber through a boulder that sits split in half not far from the local campsite. He had slipped and trapped his hip around 10 at night, and spent a rainy 10-hours there before rescue services were able to successfully slide him out to safety. Thousands have no doubt passed the Test since Mt Arapiles was first pioneered as a rock-climbing mecca in the 60’s, but to the uninitiated, the idea is fucking terrifying, and so it should be. I’ve squeezed through the rock a few times now, and let me tell you it’s no picnic, and I’m on the narrow side of skinny. Not that you’d need convincing, imagine yourself for a moment thrutching* your wedged body horizontally between two rocky surfaces. It’s too narrow to turn your head around once you’re in.

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