The Janicepts

Last Monday I had the privilege of joining a friend of mine to watch him attempt a climb known as The Janicepts.

Put up by the father of Australian climbing John Ewbank in 1966, it stood as the hardest climb in Australia for many years and to this day it is a formidable challenge not to be undertaken lightly.

So on a perfect spring morning I found myself watching Jara Johnston-Anderson and Bec Rawson going through the ritual of preparing for a climb. I had watched Jara attempt this climb 6 months earlier only to get shut down at the crux, 10 meters off the ground. We were now back to try again, he had been focused on this for months and the anticipation of the battle that would soon unfold was palpable.

After a couple of false starts, Jara came back down to settle himself, I was shooting from half way up a nearby tree and watching his body language through the lens I suddenly felt very nervous that this climb would beat him again.

Jara started the climb again and over the next hour I watched someone go through every extreme of emotion you could have. He voice shook with terror, he berated himself for courage and shouted out with moments of pure joy as he fought his way through this monster of a climb.

To say we were all emotional when he reached the top is to put it too simply. It's an amazing thing to watch someone overcome every fear they have to do something that seems impossible. When your mind and body are screaming for you to back down and give in, but you somehow find a way to keep going, pushing through it all to achieve your goal. It's inspirational to watch and a day well spent.

Jara sizing up the opposition

Jara sizing up the opposition

A climbing team well in sync

A climbing team well in sync

Into the mountain

Into the mountain

and trying to escape it

and trying to escape it

Looking for something remotely good

Looking for something remotely good

a brief moment of rest.. sort of

a brief moment of rest.. sort of

On to easier ground

On to easier ground

At the top beaming

At the top beaming

Jara, well happy and deservedly so 

Jara, well happy and deservedly so