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General Climbing Discussion

Angels beta

3:14:01 PM
Can anyone give me some beta on Where Angels Fear to Tread at Buffalo? Gear you need, gear you don't need, how long you can expect it to take on average, are the belays specific stances or all semi hanging? Do we need tape? Kevlar?
3:41:42 PM
Hey Rupert,
Not sure how fast you climb but we started at first light in January and didnt get off till a whisker before darkness. If you dont have high ankle climbing boots wear thick socks or tape your ankles.My Ankles still have the scars to testify. Tape your hands. You will be jamming your feet all day. Some call it trench warfare. Most of the belays are hanging but i just wore a standard petzl harness and didnt find it to uncomfortable. The first pitch seems heinously hard and will have you wondering about the grade. The rest of it seems about right for the grade. Take water and food (depending how quick you climb, i have heard of people doing it in four hours which is very quick) and shoes for the walk off up burstons crevasse. Be mindful that if you are gonna take a pack there is a resonably narrow chimney that saw me with broad shoulders and pack on thinking i was gonna spend the rest of my life stuck there. At the top of the climb we did a few roped scrambles before we felt safe just to walk off. We wore long pants and long sleeved shirts full old school style. Oh we also used double ropes mostly so that if we had to bail it would be quicker. Angels is a great day out. Have fun...write a trip report and let us all know how it goes...
3:48:09 PM
Ohh sorry Rupert neraly forgot the walk in (slide in) is hard going. Approach the climb with thoughts of leaving nothing at the bottom. Once you've walked down and climbed up again you really dont want to have too walk down again to collect gear...
4:10:31 PM
'twas a long time ago now but my recollections:
- take your time to tape up carefully. Double layers on the contact points for fist jambs. Take spare tape in case it works loose (mine did, I can still see the scar)
- first pitch is the worst - slightly steeper, the angle then eases. Semi hanging belays don't cause much grief
- stiff-soled high sided climbing boots would be ideal - except for the small traverse between cracklines. Your feet take a battering.
- you need a reasonable amount of mid-sized gear (not much variation in the crack width for the first 2-3 pitches. Medium cams ideal.
- it's a long day but worthwhile.
4:30:01 PM
Hi Rupert,

I have heard (as AdamK points out) that you should expect to get sliced to pieces.

Happy climbing!


5:10:52 PM
I did this years ago and don't remember doing it in anything like 9 pitches. With a 60m rope i imagien you can really stretch out picth length and save massive time. Doing it as a party of only two (both who can alternate leads) would be ideal. Saves belay mess on the semi-hanging belays.

5:38:18 PM
Be sure to start up the correct crack which is left of centre on the buttress. The obvious crack up the middle is the grade 19 direct start. It ends up with unproctected climbing on lousy chicken heads.

Last time I did it, took about 5 hours from car park to car park, and we were not super fast.

It can get really hot. You can fry in the sun with no wind in the gorge. Pick a cool day or leave it to the afternoon.

In spite of what people say, Angels is a great climb as long as you have reasonable crack climbing technique. The position is great. If in doubt, try Devilled Cream for a practice.

7:15:09 PM
It depends on your style quite a lot. It is worth remembering that back in the good old days Fred From (died mountaineering quite a while ago) did it in BARE FEET :-0

It has also been done in under 2 hours (how long would it take someone like HB to solo?). The first pitch is probably the crux but is only about 15 IMO. I've done it twice - never taped up and have no scars. Two others who started off just behind us got a bit lost on the way down - we were 1 1/2 pitches up when they arrived. Steve Monks has re-cairned the South Side Track (he and Zoe were the only climbers that turned up for that VCC working Bee) so it should be sweet now. The others started up the not well protected grade 19 variant in a flippant style with the leader just in jocks (!) and thinking about cheese graters when he was half way up.

Swinging leads is the quickest way up or consider leading 2 pitches then seconding for 2 pitches. Take as much water as you can comfortably carry, some munchies, suncream etc. If you take a pack, take a long sling so it can dangle below your legs on the chimneys. Another technique to consider is doing a lot of it on Gastons; from Gaston Rebuffat who actually developed the technique to battle with the off-widths in Chamonix.
10:03:26 PM
Definitely wear shoes on the walk down and carry them up the climb.
Choose a mild day because you will be in the sun all day.
Take water.
The first pitch isn't that hard, really good jamming at about 15.
The hardest pitch is just before the scrambling at the top and has a short, nasty wide section.
I can't remember any hanging stances but I did in in 1978 and some of the trees we stood in might have been burnt out since.
When I did Angels I was leading 18 and had been climbing 5 years. We climbed it on-sight in about six hours.

9:52:56 AM
Thanks all for the responses - Sounds like a big day out - whether you are wearing shoes, jocks or whatever. Does the crack take hexes ok in places or should we borrow every large cam we can find?

I'm looking at climbing Angels as training for my upcoming winter season in the You Yangs. ;)

9:55:09 AM
On 11/02/2004 gfdonc wrote:
- stiff-soled high sided climbing boots would be ideal - except for the
>small traverse between cracklines. Your feet take a battering.
>- you need a reasonable amount of mid-sized gear (not much variation in
>the crack width for the first 2-3 pitches. Medium cams ideal.
>- it's a long day but worthwhile.

I reckon if I had another go at it I'd consider wearing _waders_.

Doubling up on medium sized gear a definite, unless you like shuffling that single #2 camalot up behind you the whole way! We took a large pack (and to this day can't remember what the hell we had in it) and regretted it. Travel as light as you can because it can be a long , hot day.


1:12:56 PM
>I'm looking at climbing Angels as training for my upcoming winter season
>in the You Yangs. ;)

Now there is a contrast....

Rupert, speak to Ben, he did angels a year or so ago - though it seems like there is lots of great info here already. I'll expect a good trip report....

8:41:28 AM

We climbed Angels with

~ #5 Camelot
3 x #3 Camelot
2 x #2 Camelot
#1 Camelot
#3/4 Camelot
#1/2 Camelot
a couple of smaller cams
one set of wires.

On the first 6 pitches all of the large (#2 up) gear was used. The smaller cams were useful on the 6th pitch.

We took ~7 hours to get up the climb. Started with taping up in the car on sunrise.

It is one of the best climbs I've done if only you could avoid the dread offwidth 7th pitch.

It may also be useful to try extend as many pitches as possible to help speed up the climb.


7:33:29 AM
Hi Rupert,

I've done Angels twice. First time we started up the wrong crack (further to the right). When we retreated and finally got on route I attempted to climb it in Blunstones and with motorcyle gloves. Blunstones felt great but got jammed in the crack so they came off at the start. Motorcycle gloves lasted about 15m until I needed to use a cam and couldn't get my finger in the trigger. Conclusion: don't climb it in Blunstones and motorcycle gloves. It may be useful to tape your hands but even more useful to tape your ankles and wear socks.

Second time I did it we flew up it. If you are solid on cracks you can run it out a bit in 50m pitches. Taking a couple of extra cams for the belay speeds up the belay set up.

I guess the main thing with Angels is that you have to be strong on crack climbing, and the stronger you are the easier it is. The first pitch is a good indicator. If you struggle on the first pitch then you're in for a very long day.


5:10:57 PM

(cross link to similar thread for others wishing to do further homework)

9:24:52 AM
ahhhh the dreaded offwidth of pitch 7 or thereabouts...i think i managed to get a number 5 cam in down low and then i prayed the rest of the way. i really don't think that pitch can be climbed in style. i was a bleeding mess at the end of that pitch.

Eduardo Slabofvic
9:53:20 AM
Wear a long sleeved rugby jersy.

11:12:30 AM
hey this is victoria mate...that rugby jersey will have to be replaced with a footy jumper. just don't wear the matching shorts.

There are 18 messages in this topic.


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