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General Climbing Discussion

Tell us about your groundfall experience!

6:49:09 PM
I took a groundfall from 'Guns and Roses' in the Warrumbungles once.

The start is 'runout' and hard to protect in my opinion. In fact it ascends a couple of metres to a ledge then surmounts an undercut 'start' to the face and corner above. Brilliant route though and excellent climbing at the grade.

Was way unfit, and flamed out placing fairly contrived protection for the moves. Downclimbed to the 1st ledge, shook out then went for it.
Fell 3 or 4m , ... ripped gear, landed on my side (ribcage) on the 1st ledge, bounced and went the extra distance. Rope went tight again at about my second roll in the scrub below.

Nothing broken but good bruises and scrapes.

Tourists saw the fall from about 300m away and reported it to National Parks Ranger.

Got up and marvelled at the fact that I look after my climbing 'rack' fairly meticulously, as I believe respect for the gear = attitude and professionalism, however I had just treated it outrageously by virtually throwing it on the ground from a height and jumping on it with my ribcage at the same time, then scuffed it over the 2nd edge to roll on it in the dirt again! The gear which ripped was effectively catapulted into the ledge also, before jumping on me in retribution.

Gear gets much better treatment in a conventional fall where it stays put.

About an hour later after coming out of a shower to get the gravel out of my abrasions, I bumped into said Ranger who guessed that I was the 'fallen climber'. I embarassingly admitted to the deed, unknowing that the incident had been reported.
... Not to worry, he was more interested in statistics than having to rescue me!

I have since climbed the route, but would still resist anyones attempts to 'make it safer'.

9:12:53 PM
I was looking around for a local climbing spot in my area (campbelltown, sydney) when i stumbled upon this place (not too bad for your backyard) albeit its upon a military firing range!

Myself and a friend with limited outdoor climbing experience at the time thought it was the bomb, a couple of really nice cracks up the flat face..

Anyways we decide this crack looks like a goer, its just big enough to squeeze my toes in and get a comfortable (?) hand cam happening, so i start the ascent, first placement was a cam then a little further up its get a bit narrow so a couple of nuts go in, they look fine to my inexperienced eyes and im feeling pretty confident about the situatation (let it beknown that this was relatively my first time placing gear without someone more experienced there, and i had my mind more on impressing the girl with me than my own safety)

so im now up about 4 -5m ive started getting a tad nervous about the prediciment ive placed myslef in , ive the cam in at 1st , and 2 or 3 nuts thereafter,, im going up and thinking "how cool is this, and sure that im making an impression upon this chick" i then take my right foot out, attempt to move up and i start slipping down, only a centimetre or so at first then a couple more and more, i panic rip my hand out and search for something to grab, nothing there, i lurch back and that son of a bitch gravity grasps me and says "you're mine" , bang bang bang sand and rock flies everywhere , oufff i hit the ground, the chick freaks out starts screaming, im on the ground looking up at the trees, winded, and not really knowing whats going on ...

no real damage , apart from my ego, i declare the climb too dangerous for mortal man and we ship out , with a bit of a limp and severly bruised ego...

(the massage and attention that night was worth it...)

i went back not long thereafter with a much more experienced climber and was shown the error of my ways, i now frequent the place and have got some pretty good lines up it no further accidents ! and 5 mins from home , its alot better than the local climbing gym..

7:45:49 AM
So do did the girl go climbing again or did you totally scare her off?

Is to your crag, is it public, and any room for some sport routes there?

9:47:15 AM
the chick is hooked on climbing now , i get reminded of that day to no end...

the place i found is public, but is on military land,

there are a couple of bolted lines in already that look as though they were done back in the 80's or earlier, all the climbs have been numbered, we counted around 30 -40 routes
the pic only shows one little area, in recent trips i did a bit more exploring and just around the corner there is a much larger, clean cliff, again numbered and bolted

its ok for a quick climb after work or a couple hours on a weekend, not worth travelling for though...

11:58:44 AM
Is there a guide or anything?

12:04:10 PM
I had a 10m grounder at Thompson's Pt (Nowra) about 6 wks ago on Barbie Twins (16) and landed on flat rock.

I was pretty uncurrent with trad, but my mate did the route before me and left the gear in, plus I was placing additional stuff as I went so we were being pretty careful.

At the crux I'd put a cam in a fairly marginal crack (it was more of a fold under a flake which opened downwards, it wasnt that deep and the edges were flared), but at the time I didn't think there was much else. As I tried to move up my feet slipped and I fell. The cam popped and then a nut below it popped as well (I can't remember who placed the nut).

After the 2nd bit of gear blew I sensory overloaded and blacked out so thankfully I missed the bit where I decked. I think I must have landed flat on my back, but put my right arm down. I ended up with an open fractured ulna, my radial head was dislocated up and along the inside edge of my humerus, I bruised/stretched my radial nerve so most of the extensor muscles in my forearm are paralysed (but I am starting to get a bit of muscle twitch coming back) and broke the transverse processes (the wing looking bits) on the right side of my L2, 3, 4 and 5 vertebrae. I wasn't wearing a helmet and by some weird fluke I didn't do any damage to my head, all I got was a little graze. By all rights I shouldn't have survived so I pretty stoked about coming off as lightly as I did.

My mate was totally switched on with the 1st aid and I owe her big time!! I couldn't have asked for anyone more in control and doing everything text book perfect.

At least I learned a lot of good lessons from it and I've had a good discussion about it on the Crag X forum trying to work out why the pro failed.
6:50:19 PM
no guide (that ive been able to find)

wouldnt mind making one though... just worried that if the army gets wind that people are going there, they may go after those tresspassing, or worse, destroy the area...

theres already a lot of bullet damage to the rocks around there.... @#$ cowboys ...

7:43:46 PM
Yeah probably ban it on public liability grounds, though the navy wre good about pt perp.

2:17:06 AM
On 20/03/2004 glacier-rat wrote:
>just worried that if the army gets wind
>that people are going there, they may go after those tresspassing, or worse,
>destroy the area...

From my sorta limited personal experience, if the crag is on a field firing range then the chances of Defence being cool about civies coming on to the land are very slim because of the whole liability thing, but I'd doubt that range control would actively look for people trespassing unless there was a lot of people making their presence really obvious. It's unlikely that they'd have enough pers on duty at the best of times to go searching for a small handfull of climbers. They definitely couldn't destroy the area (apart from maybe cutting off any bolts) because the environmental rules placed on military ranges are very restrictive and Defence wouldn't risk breaking them to stop people climbing.

Basically, everything's legal until you get caught, but if you do just be prepared to cop a large kick in the arse.

7:52:31 AM
Pt Perp is a designated firing range,
"In 1995 the Australian Maritime Safety Authority handed over management of the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse to the RAN, enabling the lighthouse and grounds to be managed as part of the Beecroft Weapons Range.", so you never know re use of the crag. Gotta be better than NPWS anyway. Maybe you can find out BJ being an "insider".

3:01:07 PM
On 21/03/2004 rodw wrote:
>Maybe you can find out BJ being an "insider".

Haha, don't get too optimisitic, I'm just a lowly SCDT. That is kind of weird that Pt Perp is on a range so I'll see if I can find anything.

The best people to ask about the range at Sydney would be Holsworthy Range Control (02) 9600 4372 if you wanted to try do things totally above board. I'm still thinking it's unlikely that they'd agree to let you climb, but with a bit of tact and persistance you never know.

I could just imagine the look on some poor platoon commander's face, out there on exercise, patrolling along and suddenly running into a bunch climbers.

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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