Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
General Climbing Discussion
|Tell us your benightment epic tale!
||4-Apr-2014 At 9:31:22 PM
|Yes, some benightments are half prepared for.
In 1971, Robert Staszewski (Squeek) and I pulled up the Mt Beerwah slabs to do the Original Bolt Route. This committing climb aids it's way through roofs and overhanging corners, is rarely if ever repeated and in the day, needed knife blades, bathooks as well as a heap of little tie-offs (because we didn't have bolt plates in Queensland and most of the bolts were rivets bashed into 1/2 inch deep holes).
On the final pitch, the first ascentionists ran out of bolts and rivets and had to use broken drill stems jammed into downward pointing shallow holes. Tie offs would possibly either cut on the brittle stems or snap them outright.
You had to be fast.
Squeak and I both agreed that we would take nothing except the gear. No water, no food, nothing. Of course there was a late start with the usual procrastination resulting in us reaching the only ledge on the climb, one steep rope length below the top- out, at about 7pm in the pitch dark.
Of course there was thunder and lightning on the horizon and of course it was moving towards us on our little 20 cm wide ledge with one little bush for shelter. Of course it started to rain and of course we were horrified because we didn't know which of the few anchors were bolts and which were rivets.
After tying myself to everything, I noticed Squeek shuffling about in his swami seat. From somewhere he produced a little cagoule which he had hidden in his pocket and to top it all, he produced a little nylon belay seat which he had also produced, possible from up his arse.
The night passed very slowly for me, with only half of my bum on the ledge, all of me soaking wet and all of me very cold.
Squeak seemed oblivious to my plight, dry in his cagoule and comfortably balanced in his belay seat.
Sometimes there are no clever or funny endings to a story. This is one of those.
We finished the climb next morning and drove home. I think I promised myself that from that day on I would never trust a person who paint marked their gear, stamped their name on karabiners or who had bespoke wooden racks made to store equipment.
Sometimes, climbing with a super good climber who is super organised means that you are climbing solo.
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