Category Archives: Latest News

Welcome to Melbourne!

For weeks Climbing Anchors taunted us with a new store coming to Melbourne, leaving clues as to where it could be, sending out videos of all their stock.

On Saturday 16 June, 2018 the wait was finally over!  They opened with a bang, offering all those who attended swag, from chalk balls to 1 month memberships from local climbing gyms.

The walls were packed with goodies, including tendon ropes, a very large range of climbing shoes and an entire wall of hardware (carabiners, cams, nuts,,,the list goes on).

To add to the excitement of this new store, Climbing Anchors are offering SCV members a 12.5% discount store wide!  To claim your discount, simply show your membership card* and they will do the rest.

So if you have been holding out for those new shoes, head out to Climbing Anchors, say welcome and take advantage of the member discount.

Climbing Anchors

64A Johnston St,
Collingwood VIC 3066

Monday to Friday, 10am – 6pm.
Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm.
Public Holidays we are closed.

*Download your membership card here.

CliffCare Victoria

Have you ever climbed outdoors? Ever wondered who looks after those paths to get to crags and protecting the environment climbers visit?

CliffCare Victoria is the environmental arm of the Victorian Climbing Club.  They work to educate, advocate and protect the environment we inhabit when we go climbing here in Victoria.

Coming up, CliffCare have their Annual Queens Birthday Planting day on Saturday 9 June, 2018 . This project includes the revegetation of the Mt Arapiles campground. To find out more and to sign up, visit the CliffCare Victoria website.

CliffCare is also a valuable resource to keep up-to-date on access changes to crags throughout Victoria.  This can change rapidly and unexpectedly as natural disasters happen.  Follow CliffCare on facebook to keep up-to-date on any new developments.

For those of you who enjoy sport climbing outdoors, there is currently a discussion regarding the development of fixed protection guidelines in the Grampians. They are currently seeking feedback and encouraging discussion on how these guidelines might look.  Please join in the conversation.

Open Lead Team 2018

The Open Lead Team for 2018 has been selected.  Among the elite athletes selected to represent Australia are Victorians Oceana Mackenzie, Claire Kassay, James Kassay and Campbell Harrison.

These four are the same four selected for the Open Bouldering Team earlier in 2018 demonstrating their capacity in both disciplines.

Congratulations and good luck in your adventures around the world! To view the entire lead and bouldering team, click here.

2018 National Lead rankings have also been released seeing some very familiar names and some new ones enter the top 10 including:

Open A Female

Oceana Mackenzie: 2nd
Sarah McKenzie: 4th
Charlotte Garden: 8th

Open A Male

James Kassay: 2nd
Ned Middlehurst: 4th
Matt Hoschke: 9th

Masters Female

Ally Driessen: 4th
Sue Middlehurst: 7th
Leanne Harvey: 8th

Masters Male

Justin Lindorff: 3rd
Dick Lodge: 5th
Tony Tarpangos: 9th

To view the full National Rankings including youth categories, click here.

Oceana Mackenzie makes Semi-Finals

This weekend the Japan IFSC Bouldering World Cup is being held with a large Australian cohort travelling to compete.  7 male competitors and 4 female competitors travelled including Victorian climber Oceana Mackenzie.

With a nail biting qualification round, Australian’s across the country were cheering their hearts out knowing that for a chance at semi-finals, Mackenzie needed to top her final boulder problem.

Mackenzie topped the final problem in 2 attempts to join a handful of Australian’s who have made it into semi-finals in bouldering.  Mackenzie joins fellow athletes Thomas Farrell, James Kassay, Samantha Edwards (Berry),  Chris Webb Parsons, Alan Pryce, Tiffany Melius and Chistina Bedard* on this achievement.

The Australian climbing community were ecstatic wishing all the best to Mackenzie hoping to see another Australian reach the finals.  Sport Climbing Victoria came together to watch the semi-finals Sunday morning and cheer on the Victorian athlete.

Mackenzie tackled each problem with composure to finish with a final place of 20th in a very strong field.  This was Mackenzie’s first ever world cup and was an amazing start to her competition career.  We look forward to watching this young crusher get stronger and stronger.

Make sure you tune in at 3.15pm to watch the finals!


*Know more about the history of Australian competition climbing? Please contact us at with more information.

2018 Clif Bar Youth Championships

From May 11-13, the largest annual Australian climbing event took place. 260 athletes gathered at Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym, Villawood to compete in the 2018 Australian Clif Bar Youth Championships. This is the second year where Sport Climbing Australia (SCA) has separated the youth national event from the adult national event and run all three disciplines in one weekend. The SCA is continuously improving how this busy weekend operates and by all accounts from athletes, team officials and the countless volunteers, the weekend ran smoothly with no major complaints about the planning and execution of the event.

The setting teams had a titanic task prepping the walls for the weekend. There were two teams; a bouldering team headed up by an injured Tommy Krauss but ably helped from a very experienced team and a lead team headed up by Carlie LeBreton who has set countless times for youth competitors in Australia. We also had an international guest setter, Remy from France, who helped the lead team at the event ahead of running some setting workshops the following week.

The setting teams at the youth national championships were at their best and set up some of the best performances of the weekend, with no major setting mistakes despite the difficult task of splitting diverse fields and sometimes with terrain limitations. This shows how much the setting quality and expertise is improving in Australia. With now frequent international setting guests and familiar comments from them about the quality of setting – it’s clear that our setters are doing a better job than ever preparing our athletes for overseas competitions.

The athletic performance was incredible to watch too. Each event gave us multiple impressive performances but there were a couple of standout moments. In the lead competition the highlight was Oceana Mackenzie topping the Youth A female final. A powerful bottom and middle section spat her fellow competitors off the route. Oceana breezed past the middle crux and even though she had already secured the lead title went on to top the route having to fight for the last three moves. This was only one of her impressive performances, Oceana swept all three events for the Youth A female category and didn’t fall once the whole weekend.

For the bouldering the best show was put on by the Junior male category. Three competitors entered finals only separated by attempts from qualifications and so the stage was set for a great competition between Jesse Rufini from Queensland, Yossi Sundakov-Krumins from New South Wales and Ned Middlehurst from Victoria. After the first two problems, Yossi and Ned pulled out ahead with Ned ahead by one attempt. Yossi kept up the pressure on Ned topping all four finals problems but Ned kept his composure and flashed all four finals problems giving him a perfect score in finals. A close fought lead competition between Ned and Yossi which forced countback to the first qualifier meant that Ned had secured the combined victory too. Ned completed the sweep of all three events with a speed victory – great preparation for the Youth Olympics in Argentina later this year.

The speed competition was the biggest speed climbing event in Australian history with great participation from the youth athletes eager for a shot at the combined title. The standout performance came from Tasmanian Riley Thurstans who posted the competition best time of 10.56 seconds in his first qualifying run. This is particularly notable since Riley does not have access to a standard speed route in Tasmania and although the speed wall was not exactly at international standards it was very close.

Congratulations to all competitors during the event, all who attended and watched from afar were able to witness some personal best performances and incredible efforts. As always, a massive thank you to all the volunteers over the course of the event. Some volunteers put in 8 hour shifts to make it possible. If you are a parent or frequently attend these events with a team, please consider getting trained at your next state event and put your hand up to help out at the next national event – this will lighten the load for everyone

-Phil Goebel, President, Sport Climbing Victoria.

2018 Clif Bar Youth Championship Results:

Victorian Youth Team Selections

Thinking of heading to the 2018 Clif Bar Youth Championships but not sure if you qualify? Click here to read through the selection policy and determine if you qualify.

Note: There is a cap of 50 participants per gender per category so make sure you register early.

Click here to view the information pack for everything you need to know about the Youth Championships.

2018 Clif Youth Championship Details

Lead, Boulder, Speed

Date: 11 – 13 May, 2018
Location: Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym – 5/850  Woodville Road, Villawood, NSW 2163

QLD Youth State Lead Titles – Results

Sport Climbing in Australia has grown significantly in recent years.  In 2017, this lead Sport Climbing Australia (SCA) to split our National Lead Titles into Open and Youth competitions to accommodate the large numbers.

Queensland is the first state to adopt this into their state titles having held the Open Lead Titles on 10-11 March, 2018 and the Youth Lead Titles over the weekend on 21-22 April, 2018.

Congratulations to Jessica Buchanan who represented Victoria in the Youth C category coming 12th overall!

To view the full results, click here.

SCV Enters Olympic World

Sport Climbing Victoria are always striving to grow our sport and ensure we are recognised at an elite level.  We attend many functions to achieve this behind the scenes.  Board member Roisin Briscoe attended one such event last night:

As a new budding Olympic sport, Sport Climbing Victoria were delighted to accept an invite to the Victorian Olympic Council (VOC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Awards Cocktail evening held at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Upon arriving there was an instant sense of awe to know I was in the room with past Olympians who have taken their sport to the highest level.

The evening started with the Olympians Club of Victoria AGM which was chaired by President Leon Wiegard OAM.  Clearly comfortable in the role, Leon had the room under his spell from the moment he started.  He had a way of making the AGM fun and was finished with the formalities in lightening speed.

This was followed by the VOC AGM who also moved through the formalities at a brisk pace to ensure more attention could be given to the awardees of the hour.

There were three awardees to be honoured last night which was followed by recognition of William Alstergren QC who was recognised for his work as the former Vice President of the VOC (pictured top right).

The first honour was awarded to Thomas Sweeney of Tennis Victoria for the Julius Patching Sports Official of the Year Award. This award is to honour an official who has gone above and beyond in their sport. In 2015 Thomas Sweeney was also awarded the Official of the Year at the Vic Sport Awards.

This was followed by an induction of Life Membership to the Victorian Olympic Council.  This was awarded to Raymond Weinberg AM, who designed and manufactured the first Australian Olympic lapel pin in 1952 for the Helsinki Olympics among many other accomplishments.  This was accepted on his behalf by daughter Michelle Weinberg (pictured bottom right). Michelle mentioned that there is no such thing as an ex olympian – I look forward to the day one of our athletes gets to make that claim.

The final honour for the evening was the Order of Merit of the Victorian Olympic Council awarded to Nicole Livingstone OAM (pictured top left).  Livingstone is a three-time swimming Olympian and has recently taken up the role as the Chief Executive Officer of AFL Women’s – a passion I share with Nicole!

This concluded the formalities and guests were encouraged to mingle with the dignitaries.  Naturally, I headed directly to Warwick Waters, Executive Director, to talk all things climbing, making sure I mentioned our Youth Olympic hopeful Ned Middlehurst and VIS athlete Oceana Makcenzie. It was humbling to have Warwick offer his full support to climbing – I am sure I will be in touch soon!

-Roisin Briscoe, Vice President, Sport Climbing Victoria.

Melbourne Climbing School

Ever wanted to take your indoor climbing outdoors?  Victoria is lucky to have skilled guides operating from Melbourne, Geelong, Mt Arapiles and the Grampians to get you there.

Sport Climbing Victoria spoke with Aaron Lowndes of the Melbourne Climbing School on where he came from:

In 1996, a 14 year old me saw a plain, vertical-only, unpainted-plywood climbing wall in my school’s gymnasium and I knew immediately that this was the sport for me. I pestered our PE teacher until he let a small group of us use it at lunchtimes.

With Mr Clarke teaching us how to use the ropes, harnesses and carabiners (there were no belay devices), a passion was born and rock-climbing has been a part of my life ever since. Initially, of course, it was only a hobby – accounting was the path I chose through university, and I almost wholly resigned myself to following that career to a wealthy retirement. Even so, I always fantasised that I would love to teach rock-climbing “for real”, for a job instead of voluntarily through clubs.

I eventually sought out the Guide and Instructor qualifications through the Australian Climbing Instructors Association (ACIA), but even with that certificate in place, it took me until mid-2015 to work up the nerve to leave the suit-and-tie-wearing auditor job I had and to begin planning the Melbourne Climbing School.

I am now a husband and a proud father, and split my time between being a stay-at-home-dad three days a week, and running courses and trips on the other four.

– Aaron Lowndes, Melbourne Climbing School.

For more information on the Melbourne Climbing School and to book a course, click here.

Northside Women’s Workshops

Victoria is an exciting place to be with many events and programs to further develop your climbing skills and techniques.

Katie Kaminsky chats to Sport Climbing Victoria about one of these programs:

The Northside Women’s Workshops are in their third year, covering a variety of topics including yoga for climbing, hangboard training, how to write yourself a targeted training program, mindfulness for climbing, introduction to dynos, technique classes, Qigong through hula hooping and how to minimise the risk of injury – my favourite! These sessions are run fortnightly on Saturday mornings from 8am-10am at either Brunswick or Northcote Northside Boulders, and have common themes encouraging confidence in women climbers through education and practice.

In previous years, I’ve run generic workshops on injury including how to rehabilitate hands and how to promote strong and resilient bodies for climbing.  This year we’re getting more specific – shoulders were discussed a few months ago and forearm tendons will be explored in May. The workshop environment lets us explore some of the theory behind climbing physiology and anatomy and then tie that in with on-the-wall technique, training exercises and concepts. It’s a privilege to facilitate and participate in such fun and empowering dialogues – get climbing, ladies!

-Katie Kaminsky, Physiotherapist and Sport Climbing Victoria Board Member. To find out more about Katie, click here.

For more information on these workshops visit the Northside Boulders Facebook page.

Make sure you check out our Calendar for these and other events and programs running in Victoria.