On episode 2 of the Lay Back Podcast, I interview Neil Monteith in the Fallout shelter under his house in the Blue Mountains.
Neil has been climbing for 27 years and has established more than 1000 new pitches of both sport and trad in Australia alone. We discuss his early beginnings climbing with an electrical cord and tow rope in Queensland in the early 90s, his trips to the US and an expedition to Baffin Island in the 2003. We dig into what motivates him to discover and develop new crags, and he gives us some insights into Australian climbing culture as he sees it, having lived in QLD, VIC and now NSW.
Neil’s enthusiasm for climbing is contagious. Upon finding out I was going to the Blue Mountains to conduct interviews, but not planning to climb, Neil insisted I bring my gear and head out. We rapped into a multi-pitch only for it to rain on the pitches we had to climb out. I thought Neil was getting me into an epic, but he’d judged the conditions well and the pitches dried out with plenty of time for us to climb out. We filmed the podcast into late into the night and the next day, Neil was back up at 6am to head out climbing again.
I filmed this episode, and you can watch it on YouTube, which I have embedded in the post below.
Neil and I after an afternoon of climbing, and a photo from Neil’s expedition to climb Mount Pieter Botte in Far North Queensland.