Photo: The climbers tackling Tasmania’s Totem Pole during rough weather. (ABC News: Peter Curtis)
The rugged sea cliffs that tower along the Tasman Peninsula are home to one of the most iconic playgrounds for outdoor rock climbing, the Totem Pole.
“It’s one of the first really remote climbing locations that I remember seeing a picture of,” American climber Libby Sauter says.
“Being on the sides of cliffs going up them and just being out in the wild is where we get our jollies.”
Adding to the challenge is the notorious Tassie weather, with high winds and a thick sea mist setting in as the team begins to climb.
Garry Phillips is a veteran of the ‘Tote’, having climbed it a dozen times and pioneered a new route.
“See how wet it is?” he jokes. “Might have a shave.”
As the waves surge below, Ms Sauter abseils to the base to start her ascent.
She does whatever it takes to reach the top, jamming arms and legs into miniature holds and hugging the rock tight.
Hovering above her is ‘Crazy’ John Fischer..
“This is what I live for really … If you’re not excited by this sort of thing I don’t know what to say, you’re not alive,” he laughs.