I sat down with Simon Carter at his place in the Blue Mountains about a month ago, to record episode 3 of the Lay Back Podcast.

Since the early 90s Simon has been producing climbing photography and is described by the editor of Rock and Ice Magazine as “arguably the greatest climbing photographer of all time”. Simon took a chance on the climbing photography career path, not knowing where it would lead, and he’s worked immensely hard in pursuing that dream.

Many Australian climbers would be familiar with Simon’s Onsight Photography, which has published guidebooks for a range of Australian climbing destinations.

You can check out the Sloper App, talked about in the podcast, which Simon’s guidebooks will be available on. Simon also mentions Climbing Australia, and you can find his Onsight Photography site here.

Some shots of Simon over the years, including his camp setup in Arapiles and climbing on buildings in Canberra.

A selection of Simon Carter’s favorite shots.

All shots are copyright, and used with permission of Simon Carter. Thanks Simon!



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.

You can find Neil’s old website on the Internet Way Back machine here

You can also watch the film put together on the Baffin Island trip – Forty Days and Zero Nights here

Donate to CliffCare in Victoria here 
Join the Victorian Climbing Club here
Donate to ACAQ in Queensland here
Join the Sydney Rockclimbing Club here

Episode 1 – Kim Carrigan – Get Out of Your Own Castle

On episode 1 of The Lay Back, I sit down with Kim Carrigan. Kim had a significant impact on climbing in the 70s and 80s, pushing standards and establishing some of the hardest routes of the time in Australia. He travelled extensively to world class crags in the US and Europe, challenging the status quo and climbing the hardest routes of the time. We dive deep in the interview, Kim discusses everything from his youth, to his post-climbing successes as an entrepreneur, his thoughts on the current state of climbing and its future, as well as his own ambitions to return to the rock.

Podcast is available through the following links, or you can listen here on the Soundcloud player.

iTunes link
Stitcher (Android)

kim-carrigan-rings_SM Kim Carrigan on the Ring Route, now known as Lord of the Rings.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Tempest.

48416588_2215067142039863_7902029273840484352_oKim Carrigan and I after 3 hours of recording.

Thanks: Andreas K, Steve H, Dylan G, Nate B, Mark A, Chris W for helping guide research and questions for this episode.
Featured Track on Episode: Cold Funk – Funkorama – Kevin MacLeod