Flipping through a tatty old Rock magazine produces a flurry of emotions for me: the cloud of dust (and chalk) induces a fit of involuntary wheezing, and the outdated '90s graphics I’m never sure if I hate or love. But mostly it leads to an upward curl at the end of my lip – a knowing smile, from spying a photo of some Aussie character clad in the hideous fashion of the day, pulling a god-awful move in an outrageous position.
Today it is a photo of Malcolm ‘HB’ Matheson, ‘resting’ on the first ascent of Mussolini (28) on the North Wall of Buffalo Gorge. All you can see are his legs and his arse (of course, he’s wearing short shorts…) for his head and shoulders are completely swallowed by the square-cut recess he’s resting in.
The photo kindles a feeling of admiration and fondness – admiration for the feat and fondness for our local legends. Without magazines like Rock, Crux, Vertical Life, or any other magazines that have woven our unique tale, Australia’s adventurous past would largely be forgotten – celebrated only by those with a tendency to prattle on by a dying campfire.
It is a privilege to contribute to this ongoing story, and I owe every thanks to the people who have allowed me to do it.