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31. January 2009 08:24
by Rene Pallesen
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Opera in the Domain

31. January 2009 08:24 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

opera in the domain


Every year in Januar and February there is a big festival on in Sydney with different entertainment provided for free by the city and different sponsors. It is hard to make time to see everything, but we did have time to go and see the the Opera in the domain.

Opera in the Domain

We went there with Berry and his wife and had a nice evening.

Berry and his wife



26. January 2009 06:51
by Rene Pallesen
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Climbing Dam Cliffs Blue Mountains

26. January 2009 06:51 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

climbing dam cliffs blue mountains


This weekend Andy and I were supposed to have been going to Nowra to climb Saturday and Sunday, but the Australian weather dictated otherwise with 42 degrees in the shade Saturday.

Instead we changed the plans and went to Dams Cliffs in the Blue Mountains Sunday. This area is easily accessible, mainly in the shade and had got some great moderately graded climbs.

This was great as May also could join us. She had a really uncomfortable climb in Nowra with some friends some months ago and was afraid of getting back leading climbs (from her own words she was afraid to die). Nowra cen be very different and intimidating to someone going there the first time. We had a 7.30am start and she was half asleep when we picked her up and slept most of the way in the car.

When we got to the cliffs we decided to start on an easy warmup called"The Sisters of Fatima 16" and we asked May to do the first lead and she did a really good job. After this she seemed to have gotten over her fear.

Click here to see more climbing photos

We then moved over to a more moderate climb called "Shadow of the Goat 19" where I did the first lead...pleasant enough. We continued to "Truancy Officer 20" which I also led but which we decided was far easier (probably a 17).

After this we decided to stay in the 20+ territory and moved to a climb called "Vasco Pyjama 22" and Andy too the first lead.

Click here to see more climbing photos

At the second bolt he reached the Crux (The most difficult section on a climb) and after a number of tries coming off every time he bailed. When he got down he said "This climb has got Rene written all over it, it is a move that is in your territory!', so I was up next. I got up to the same section, and had a look at it a saw 2-3 possible ways through the section, but decided to go for a very long and very balancy reach first and managed to stick the top hold in the first attempt without falling off.

After this section the rest of the climb was easy. Both and and May then toproped the same climb (This is where the rope has already been placed on the top of the climb...which I had just done) and may cruised through the same section, but Andy still struggled. I honestly think that despite it being a long reach this is one of those climbs where it is an advantage being short.

After this we could decided what to do next. I was keen on doing another climb next to it called "Friendly Fire 22" but was worried about getting stuck half way up and not being able to clean it. One of the women climbing in one of the other groups said that if I'd just climb the previous one then this would be a lot easier (Looked a lot harder to me) so I decided to give it a go and lead it.

I was glad that I did, because the section that looked really difficult from the ground turned out to be sustained but now massively difficult once I got up there...this just proved that you should just jump on any climb that looks remotely climbable and is well protected regardless of its grade...they are just subjective numbers anyway.

After this we decided it was time to head back to the Big Smoke even though we were still strong enough to do another climb....it was getting late!


Download video of Rene Climbing at Dam Cliffs

18. January 2009 10:10
by Rene Pallesen
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Climbing Berowra

18. January 2009 10:10 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

climbing berowra


Today the Rockstar (Andy) and the Prong went climbing at Berowra. The news media had gotten the hint of the occasion and the paparazzi were there in full force taking photos.

Click here to see more climbing photos from 2009

The bureau had told us that it was going to be a cool day, but it turned out to be rather hot for Berowra (29 degrees) and around lunch time the face was pretty much in the sun...so it was skin cancer territory.

We started out by me leading on an easy(iere) climb called "The Wall Thing 18" ...very pleasant climb with a fairly reachy finish. We then did (I led) the "Boundary Rider 19" which was equally pleasant with an extremely long reach to the anchor and the first time I went for it I missed the hold on top (I had no idea where to aim) and peeled off giving myself a rockstar manicure in the process (This is when you feel off all your skin on your hands to the point where it starts bleeding).

We then did "Mental Fatigue 18" and by this time the face was getting hit by the sun and warming up. The sun was in our eyes and it was hard to see where to go. Last time May did this climb she peeled off half way up. This time there was a significant amount of blood stains on one of the holds despite it being a fairly simple and straightforward climb with good protection.

We started getting hot now and the Paparazzi had left so we decided that we didn't have to show off any longer and decided to do a direct variant to "Mental Fatigue" (sopposedly grade 20) on Toprope...very pleasant but would not have been very good on lead as the first bolt was up very high.

The last climb of the day was "Palm Sunday 21" this was the highlight of the day even though we did it on top rope. Next time I go to Berowra and have a good day then I'll definitely come back to this one and try and lead it.


Editors note: It turns out that the paparazzi weren't taking photos of the Rockstar and Prong. The reason why they were there was because Paris Hilton was there showing off her latest outdoor collection...seriously...who gives a sh..!


4. January 2009 10:46
by Rene Pallesen
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Climbing Bardens Lookout - Blue Mountains

4. January 2009 10:46 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

climbing bardens lookout


Saturday morning we drove out to the Blue mountains to spend the day there climbing (Unfortunately Andy couldn't go on an overnight trip).

When we got up there it was cold, covered in clouds and drizzling. We decided to have a coffee and breakfast to check if it would clear up...and fortunately it did.

We were planning to go to Shipley, but after studying the guide we decided to go to Bardens Lookout instead.

Click here to see more photos of climbing

It was completely dry and it turned out to be a day with a perfect temperature and we did some really nice and varied climbs (I would tell you the climbs but someone stole/took my guide book during the day). We started on a grade 16 (Karinya I think) for warmup, and then moved to a very pleasant grade 18 (Jolly Good Fellow). I then had a go at a grade 20 (Dr Do Little) with a very reachy and balancy move up the top which almost made me fall off (Andy had a hard time on this move).



We then did a grade 19 (Little Triggers) and by this time my strength was gone so I only just managed to lead it (almost came off clipping the top anchor as I was drained). The climbs are fairly long at Bardens Lookout and I don't have a lot of endurance because the climbs in the gyms are too short.

Phil had a go at a grade 21 (Hang on to Yourself) and was really struggling on it and came off 4-6 times one of which was captured on video and once he came off upside down. Eventually he got through it and I toptoped and cleaned it (With a lot of grunt and swearing).

Download video of Andy Climbing 1
Download video of Andy Climbing 2
Download video of Andy being Lowered
Download video of Phil Falling

1. January 2009 10:31
by Rene Pallesen
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New Years Day...golf at Brighton Golf Club

1. January 2009 10:31 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

new years day golf at brighton golf club


As tradition dictates we played golf with Sasha on new years day. And he had booked a time at Brighton Golf Club (Moorebank) at a civilised hour (1.30pm).

Kim and I hadn't played for about 10 months as we had been too busy with all the other things in 2008 (see the rest of the blog postings).

Click on photo to see more photos

I think we played a fairly decent game considering the time since we'd last played but both Kim and I were fairly tired after the 18 holes. It was a hot day with temperatures in the mid thirties and the course was fairly hot...so we drank lots of water as we went.

31. December 2008 10:42
by Rene Pallesen
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New Years Eve 2008

31. December 2008 10:42 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

new years eve


Every year both Kim and I have been in the Sydney harbour area to watch the fireworks on New Years Eve.



But this year we decided to have a quiet new years eve just the two of us with a visit to the movies and then a nice dinner at home.



We did however watch the fireworks from our balcony at midnight and it looked just as spectacular as previous years (I borrowed the photo above from another site).

27. December 2008 11:53
by Rene Pallesen
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Smiths Lake Christmas Trip

27. December 2008 11:53 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

smiths lake christmas trip


Between Christmas and New year we drove with Kims family up to Smiths Lake (300km North of Sydney). We rented a house on the lake up there.

We hired a tinny (small aluminium boat) a couple of days and went fishing and managed to catch a lot of breams (a lot too small to keep).

Click here to see more photos from XMas

Click here to see more photos from XMas

Kims dad loves fishing and he quickly found out that in the morning and evening the fish were at the shore just outside the house.

In the evening we cooked nice dinners and BBQ's and the cookaburras came to the balcony around dinner time to check if there were leftovers. We had a bit of fun with them as you can see.

Click here to see more photos from XMas

In the evenings we played Blackjack (Kim and I cleaned up) and had nice food and wine.

Click here to see more photos from XMas

Chong (The husband of Kims sister) showed his more feminine side.

Click here to see more photos from XMas

The rest of the time we spent at the beach playing in the waves and playing with Kims sisters kids.

Click here to see more photos from XMas

Click here to see more photos from XMas

25. December 2008 11:21
by Rene Pallesen
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Christmas Day

25. December 2008 11:21 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

christmas day


Christmas day was celebrated with Kims family at her sisters house.

A lot of people were there and everyone had been asked to bring some food. Kim had cooked Red Duck Curry the day before while I was preparing the Christmas Eve dinner.

Click here to see more XMas photos

Again...lots of food, playing table tennis, jumping the trampoline and all the kids got to open their presents.

Click here to see more XMas photos

24. December 2008 11:16
by Rene Pallesen
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Christmas Eve

24. December 2008 11:16 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

christmas eve


Christmas even was celebrated in the traditional Danish way in the evening of the 24th December.

Kim and I had invited some friends over to out new house and prepared the traditional roast duck, ris-a-la-mande and large tiger prawns for entrees.

Click here to see more XMas photos

It was a nice evening and we didn't finish until well after midnight and all of us were really full by the time we finished dinner. There was a couple of kid and after dinner they got to open their Christmas presents.


12. December 2008 08:31
by Rene Pallesen
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Kims dads Birthday

12. December 2008 08:31 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

kims dads birthday


Every year on Kims dads birthday we celebrate with the family. Every couple brings a couple of dishes of food and we all share it.

Kims Family
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