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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 31
Author
Climbing on borrowed time

Organ Pipe
15/05/2009
2:47:38 PM
My thinking about Arapiles changed significantly when I read Keith Lockwood’s ‘Arapiles a million mountains’ at the beginning of 2008.
When I’m belaying high up on the mount looking out over the fantastic vista I can’t but think about the way in which time affects, and has affected the mountain. For example, observing the wave smoothed stone at the base of Castle Crag, contemplating whether a rainforest even engulfed the crag, and imagining being present at some of the more instant events at the mount – such as the day the chock-stone at the top of P1 of D-Major fell into it’s current location.

I get to thinking: I wonder if we (mankind) vanished overnight, how long would it take for all the chalk to wash away, then beyond that, how long it would take for all the bolts and rap anchors to dissolve away.

Anyway, the point of this post is to query whether anyone has seen / been around for / or known of any of what I like to call those “instant events” that dramatically alter a climb. I mean we’re all climbing decaying stone after all, and although we may all be long gone by the time Kachoong’s roof flake dethatches, it’s gonna happen eventually right? Or the entire first pitch of The Seventh Pillar. It bends and flexes in the warmth of the sun each afternoon. Or the triangular section of stone at the end of the first pitch of Passport to Insanity (below the roof). These features are on borrowed time (albeit a very long time compared to our lives perhaps).

nmonteith
15/05/2009
2:54:44 PM
I once climbed a corner crack route at a basalt crag in SE QLD near Binna Burra. I came back a few weeks later and the entire 15m high pillar that formed one side of the pillar was lying on the ground about 20m down the hill. Dog Face in the Blue Mountains has to be one of the most 'famous' examples - a 200m+ wall that just fell down (revealing a looser but more vertical wall behind it!).
simey
15/05/2009
3:25:13 PM
I think you would be surprised at the number major geological happenings and altered climbs that have occured within our lifetime.

A few examples I can think of include...
- the summit of Mt Cook falling off
- the Bonatti Pillar in the Alps falling down
- London Bridge collapsing and also some of the Twelve Apostles falling into the sea

I wouldn't be at all surprised if we saw the flake on Kachoong come off, or the Totem Pole collapse before we die.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
15/05/2009
3:29:53 PM
On 15/05/2009 Organ Pipe wrote:
>/ been around for /
... how old do you think some of the Chockstoners are?
Heh, heh, heh.

Happens quite a lot.
Can be scary, like when the USA persons were injured in a landslide in Yosemite some years back. Probably youtube or pics of the event somewhere as I remember seeing footage... I think there was a climber death associated with a subsequent landslide in the vicinity?

Can be mystical, like on a misty morning while I was solo climbing in Buffalo Gorge and heard a loud boom as a large bit of granite detonated after detaching itself somewhere further up the gorge. ~>Tends to make one stop and appreciate the moment...

I'd expect mountaineers to say that every avalanche and every creak and groan of a glacier is 'instant' evidence for you~

Sometimes they change as said in jest here.
... or at other times are noted like in this thread.
climberman
15/05/2009
3:32:12 PM
dogface was given a little hurry-up by the coal mine below it, I'd hazard.

The good Dr
15/05/2009
3:52:59 PM
Not to mention parts of Troll Wall in Norway,
There were people rescued from the 'island' after London Bridge collapsed, who had walked over it minutes earlier!!

nmonteith
15/05/2009
3:58:36 PM
The start layback pillar on the East Face of Crookneck (Glasshouse Mtns) fell off a while back. It turned it from a cruisy 17 layback into quite a techy balancy face 19.

Below is a pic of a huge rock fall / avalanche I witnessed whilst walking out down the Hooker Valley in New Zealand. It was triggered by an earthquake (which we didn't feel?). The rockfall was so big that the NZ government sent some geologists out to study it. Lucky for us it fell down 15 minutes after we had walked past the impact zone!


IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
15/05/2009
4:34:36 PM
simey wrote:
>I wouldn't be at all surprised if we saw the flake on Kachoong come off, or the Totem Pole collapse before we die.


Brett Banister reported on thesarvo back on 28/10/07 that Sally Jamison wrote to him that the Totem Pole is already gone*.








(*... yeah, yeah, I already know; but I'm sure someone will tell me anyway).








nmonteith wrote:
>The start layback pillar on the East Face of Crookneck (Glasshouse Mtns) fell off a while back. It turned it from a cruisy 17 layback into quite a techy balancy face 19.

I did it not too long after that event without knowing about what had happened.
At the time I regarded it as tough for 17, and thought it either a sandbag or me not being used to Qld gradings!


dmnz
15/05/2009
4:46:37 PM
Didn't whole chunks of routes up on the Annette Plateau in NZ disappear? Would've been Vampire if I remember correctly

Check the most recent NZAJ

Organ Pipe
15/05/2009
7:22:23 PM
These are amazing.

Neil that corner in QLD must have had you thinking!!!

I can think of heaps of examples where a piece of stone looks like it shouldn't be hanging there.
The boot flake on El Cap springs to mind as an obvious example.

Organ Pipe
15/05/2009
7:26:37 PM
On 15/05/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On 15/05/2009 Organ Pipe wrote:
>>/ been around for /
>... how old do you think some of the Chockstoners are?
>Heh, heh, heh.

hahaha, I meant been in the area at the time :)

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
15/05/2009
7:50:08 PM
Heh, heh, heh.
Olbert
17/05/2009
11:10:35 AM
Not that its really a cliff/area/route changing event but I was on Chasing Amy at Porters Pass a week or so ago when a large chunk of rock decided it was time on the roof/arete to the right. I just saw something fall out of the corner of my eye and then heard an almighty crash. Lucky my belayer was out of the way!

wallwombat
17/05/2009
4:31:22 PM
Sometimes it's not an act of nature.




Eduardo Slabofvic
17/05/2009
5:07:28 PM
On a slightly simialr theme, I lead Salem yesterday and noticed that there is this runner slot just after you
do the traverse and step up. It's sort of the 1st comphy stance you get and the slot is right in front of
your nose. Everyone must put in the same small wire and you can now see how the rock around the slot
is smoothed out and has slightly rounded sandblasted look to it.

There's another one I noticed on the belay above Beautiful Possibilities. Imagine you've just finished the
route and you think, "O.K. where's some gear for the belay?", and you'ld look up and again right in front
your nose is a big slot that would taken just about anything you wanted to throw at it. Its edges are now
all rounded smooth.

and back on topic, someone out there would have been the person to pull the pillar off of the first pitch of
the East Face route on Crookneck. It used to move when you mantled on it, then it dissapeared. I've
always wondered if someone was mantling on top of it when it finally went.
WM
17/05/2009
7:26:22 PM
On 17/05/2009 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
> Everyone must put in the same small wire and you can now see how the rock around the slot is smoothed out and has slightly rounded sandblasted look to it.

After getting back to araps after a long absence I was surprised how many wire slots look like this - some probably go up a size every few years! Makes you wonder whether pontificating trad climbers really have the moral high ground when it comes to "permanently defacing the rock" ...

wallwombat
17/05/2009
7:43:10 PM
On 17/05/2009 WM wrote:

> Makes you wonder whether pontificating trad climbers really have the moral
>high ground when it comes to "permanently defacing the rock" ...

It does but when viewed by a non-climber or perhaps even a climber who hadn't been on the route before, such a slot would look natural, whereas a dirty big ring bolt, would not.

And we are talking a crag that see's a hell of a lot of traffic and has done for a long time.

How many times have you broken a foot hold or a hand hold on a climb?

The only way we can be assured that we are not in some way "permanently defacing the rock" is to keep the hell away from it altogether.

Are any of us willing to take that step?

Organ Pipe
17/05/2009
7:54:59 PM
Yeah I notice placements like that often on the well trod routes.

I've never witnessed rockfall larger than about tennis ball size before, but I was a bit spooked about a year ago when I racked up at the base of Phoenix. Large freshly deposited blocks all along the base of the wall there.

muki
17/05/2009
8:52:28 PM
Many years ago we were climbing at the "Organ Pipes" Mt Wellington in Hobart, we climbed about five
routes that day, and decided that we would climb again the next day.
On our return we found that a major buttress had given way and come down overnight.
It left a half kilometer long scar of fresh scree, 50m wide, down the major access track.
I can't imagine how many tons of rock altogether, but it would have been a thousand tons minimum!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
17/05/2009
9:00:54 PM
>Large freshly deposited blocks all along the base of the wall there.

Bungonia Gorge is full of similar.
John Fantini once told me he doesn't camp where I did down there at the time, due to having a large block (that he pointed to), land nearby. Instead he indicated towards a cave under an overhang where he camps to avoid such things.
A day later while looking down from a high belay on the wall above; I pondered on the fact that Johns camp is actually adjacent a dirty huge (read mega-huge ie football-field-length), chunk of rock that has broken away from the wall like a calving iceberg some time in the past, ... & the thought occurred to me that it was probably a similar overhang!

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There are 31 messages in this topic.

 

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