Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Climbing time is pretty restricted at the moment and it's going to get worse before it gets better. I had some time on Sunday and couldn't decide whether to go to the Quarry and try and get some shots for the guide or check some potential new routes that have been on my mind recently.
Decided to check the routes out so that I can find out if they are worth more effort or just forget about them. So packed up the rope, rack, grigri and various brushes and cleaning tools. Walk in was savage, the ferns are going strong, well overhead in places.
Set up the rope and dropped into the first line. The rock is relatively clean but still needs a good scrub. Ended up cleaning three routes, two are ready to roll and doable the other is a bit harder and has fuckall gear. The routes aren't massively long, but the climbing looks good and the holds are nice, I think there is room/potential for seven lines on the slab.Will head back when the ferns are brown bread.
Hanging on the rope in the warm sun, cleaning holds was a real pleasure. The time zipped by, I think I was cleaning for three hours and could of done another three no problem. It was also the realisation of something that has been knocking around my head for ages, it's good and very satisfying to be there doing it.
For the last few years, more than five but not ten years, I haven't used a wire brush, I gave all mine away as it seemed at the time that there was a lot of wire brushing going on and it was wrecking the rock. I felt it would be hypocritical to tell others not to use them and to use one myself. I have relied on stiff plastic brushes, elbow grease and scrubbing the rock with a thick canvas cloth. The latter is very effective as the loose crystal that are very common on granite get pulled off by the fibres of the cloth but it doesn't damage the rock. I recommend them, they are ideal for bouldering, but for routes where the number of holds is greater they are a little slow.
I pretty much wore through the above cloth on Sunday and this stuff is very heavey 14ounce cotton canvas. Might need to re-invest in a wire brush!
Friday, September 6, 2013
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
On Thursday Ped and I did Howlin Ridge. Got up early to avoid the worse of the heat but still got baked on the walk in. Racked up but didn't use rope or climbing shoes. It felt more like a scramble than a climb thought there was a few tricky sections.
Route finding is pretty easy there is pretty much a path. Took about 2hr15 including a lot of photoshoots en route.
Having done it in such beautiful conditions it seems like it would be shame to do it in shitty weather.
As for the grade, I would say Diff rather than VDiff.
For climbers it's a scramble. For scramblers it's a climb.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Went to back to Luggala with Andy on Saturday, started early so we were leaving as the day was really starting to heat up. Andy wanted an adventure and decided on Muskrat Ramble, the three star, three pitch HVS.
As we geared up a few midge lurked and I was worried but there was a decent breeze all day. Andy set off immediatly going off route as the guidebook start looked very dirty. He pulled quickly through some tricky climbing that didn't look that steep from the ground, an optical illusion, as it was steep and hard on the blunt end. The finish needed a good clean but overall decent pitch.
The belay was at this big oak tree and would be a great spot for a bivvy. The second pitch is the star. Steep and really really exposed. It made me feel like a beginner, nervous, overgripping and a little wobbly. Andy shot up it no hesitation. The same couldn't be said of me.
We belayed on the pine tree. Sensational spot, the rock dropping steeply beneath.
Andy decided on the last pitch of Crevasse Route rather than MR as it looked very dirty and probably isn't done very often. The start is a pretty hard, for VS, mantle onto a slab. I had trouble higher up, rushing a bit and getting all wrong handed.
We walked off and drank the beers Andy had stashed in the stream on the walk in. I was impressed with Andy's leading straight off the couch. The route felt hard and it appears that my goal of getting really solid on HVS is still a good bit off.
Oh and I spotted at least one very nice boulder problem.