Kim Carrigan


Quick Info

Nationality: AU
Hardest Sport (Worked): 7b+
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 7b
Hardest Trad (Worked): E8
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E4
Hardest Trad (Flash): E6
Notable Partnerships
Mike Law
Dougie Hall

Kim Carrigan was a leading figure in Australian rock climbing in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He has put up hundreds of new routes around Australia, particularly at Arapiles.

References

[1] Interview with Andy Pollitt for UKClimbing.com 11th August 2017 https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629

Quick Info

Nationality: AU
Hardest Sport (Worked): 7b+
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 7b
Hardest Trad (Worked): E8
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E4
Hardest Trad (Flash): E6
Notable Partnerships
Mike Law
Dougie Hall

Kim Carrigan was a leading figure in Australian rock climbing in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He has put up hundreds of new routes around Australia, particularly at Arapiles.

References

[1] Interview with Andy Pollitt for UKClimbing.com 11th August 2017 https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629


Podcasts


Pics + Vids

Alien (7b)
Added at 08:02 on 28 February 2021
Lord of the Rings (8b)
Added at 22:09 on 09 September 2022
Lord of the Rings (8b)
Added at 13:09 on 12 September 2022

Ascents

13 recorded ascents.

This timeline is missing some ascents where the date of the ascent is unknown. Use the other tabs to view these ascents.
Year Climb Grade FA Ascent Date
1981 Psychic Threshold E5 (Lead Unknown) May 1981
1982 The Ogive E7 (Lead) 1982

First free ascent.

Brown Corduroy Trousers E7 (Lead) August 1982
India E7 (Lead) 2nd October 1982
1983
1984 Lord of the Rings 8b (Lead Did not finish) 1984

Kim came tantalisingly close to making the first ascent

Yeah, The Ring Route aka Serious Young Lizards really proved a bridge too far. The astounding thing was, that I'd bolted this route in 1982, long before anyone thought this would even be possible, which meant that I spent a long time learning the moves and developing the strength and fitness needed for a route like this. There was a complete lack of other routes of this difficulty from where this fitness could be gained. Despite being able to climb every move in my sleep, I could never quite bring it together. I still remember my best effort. I'd been shopping in Horsham for the weekly groceries and my fingers were already strained from carrying the shopping bags, but I thought I'll just pop up and give it a go. It had been drizzling, but because the wall was so steep, the route remained basically dry. First shot, I managed to redpoint straight to the last hold, but promptly slipped off mantling onto the wet slab above. That was it. [1]

On failing to do it:

I think I learnt that the more time you spend on a route the less likely you are to do it because you become so stupid at it. You lose the ability to believe you're ever going to climb it...The more you try it and fail, all you learn is how to fail, you don't learn how to climb it...I learnt that really, really well on The Ring Route. I learnt how to fall off that on every possible move, there was not one move I did not learn how to fall off. In fact one day I even climbed it! ... It had been raining...I climbed the thing straight through, got up on to the slab, it was all slippery and wet and I fell off! [2]

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629

[2] The Layback Podcast Ep1, December 2018, from ~60mins https://soundcloud.com/thelaybackpodcast/episode-1-kim-carrigan-get-out-of-your-castle

Ethiopia E8 (Lead) 1984

One of the ones I'm still most proud about is Ethiopia...I bolted it in the morning then gave it one shot at about 1 o'clock and got through to the second bolt [ed: from where the route leaves India?], fell off, came back down then packed up and thought I'd go home. But then I decided "Stuff it, I'll have another go" and then did it next shot.

I'd done India like a million times so it wasn't challenging having to do India first.

Masada E7 (Lead) 1984

Carrigan initially suggested an Australian grade of 30 which would have made it one of the hardest in the country at the time.

1985 America's Cup E6 (Lead Flash) 1985

Kim abbed the line to place a peg and then did it first go. [1]

References

[1] The Layback Podcast Ep1 from ~50mins, December 2018 https://soundcloud.com/thelaybackpodcast/episode-1-kim-carrigan-get-out-of-your-castle

Strawberries E7 (Lead) 1985

Date is a guess but likely some time in the 1980s.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629

The Rostrum E5 (Lead) 1985

The first all free ascent.

1986
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Lord of the Rings 8b (Lead Did not finish) 1984

Kim came tantalisingly close to making the first ascent

Yeah, The Ring Route aka Serious Young Lizards really proved a bridge too far. The astounding thing was, that I'd bolted this route in 1982, long before anyone thought this would even be possible, which meant that I spent a long time learning the moves and developing the strength and fitness needed for a route like this. There was a complete lack of other routes of this difficulty from where this fitness could be gained. Despite being able to climb every move in my sleep, I could never quite bring it together. I still remember my best effort. I'd been shopping in Horsham for the weekly groceries and my fingers were already strained from carrying the shopping bags, but I thought I'll just pop up and give it a go. It had been drizzling, but because the wall was so steep, the route remained basically dry. First shot, I managed to redpoint straight to the last hold, but promptly slipped off mantling onto the wet slab above. That was it. [1]

On failing to do it:

I think I learnt that the more time you spend on a route the less likely you are to do it because you become so stupid at it. You lose the ability to believe you're ever going to climb it...The more you try it and fail, all you learn is how to fail, you don't learn how to climb it...I learnt that really, really well on The Ring Route. I learnt how to fall off that on every possible move, there was not one move I did not learn how to fall off. In fact one day I even climbed it! ... It had been raining...I climbed the thing straight through, got up on to the slab, it was all slippery and wet and I fell off! [2]

[1] https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629

[2] The Layback Podcast Ep1, December 2018, from ~60mins https://soundcloud.com/thelaybackpodcast/episode-1-kim-carrigan-get-out-of-your-castle

Denim 7b+ (Lead)
Alien 7b (Lead Onsight)

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/546409015425278

Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Ethiopia E8 (Lead) 1984

One of the ones I'm still most proud about is Ethiopia...I bolted it in the morning then gave it one shot at about 1 o'clock and got through to the second bolt [ed: from where the route leaves India?], fell off, came back down then packed up and thought I'd go home. But then I decided "Stuff it, I'll have another go" and then did it next shot.

I'd done India like a million times so it wasn't challenging having to do India first.

The Ogive E7 (Lead) 1982

First free ascent.

Brown Corduroy Trousers E7 (Lead) August 1982
India E7 (Lead) 2nd October 1982
Masada E7 (Lead) 1984

Carrigan initially suggested an Australian grade of 30 which would have made it one of the hardest in the country at the time.

Strawberries E7 (Lead) 1985

Date is a guess but likely some time in the 1980s.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kim_carrigan_and_andy_pollitt-9629

America's Cup E6 (Lead Flash) 1985

Kim abbed the line to place a peg and then did it first go. [1]

References

[1] The Layback Podcast Ep1 from ~50mins, December 2018 https://soundcloud.com/thelaybackpodcast/episode-1-kim-carrigan-get-out-of-your-castle

Psychic Threshold E5 (Lead Unknown) May 1981
The Rostrum E5 (Lead) 1985

The first all free ascent.

Goliath E4 (Solo Onsight)

https://www.facebook.com/rockarchivist/photos/a.115405983249621/115406049916281

Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade