17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
Yesterday I was out at Pierce's Pass checking a few things out in the fog. I headed across the carrotted traverse at the far right of the lunch ledge and spotted a few climbs.
Having returned I went to look them up to see what they were. Couldn't find anything about them on the ACA route db, thecrag.com, Sydney Rockies new route updates, my 2007 carter guide, or the pdf Pierce's Pass topo.
Here's a quick 'n' dirty piccie of the ones I was standing under.
The green line is a right trending line of rings. The red line is a line of bash ins that heads up a corner fold and traverses out under a small roof, before heading off I dont know where (this route is clearly not new, but yet strangely undocumented as far as i could tell)
Can anyone tell me what these routes are and give me an idea of where they go and how they climb?
I also saw a number of new(ish) looking routes sprouting up from all along the lunch ledge walkin. Its such a pity this area is so undocumented - sadly I had no idea what I was looking at most of the time.
The green line is another Mike Law megaclassic called Blue Ruin. It rarely gets a repeat but I thought it was a ripper.All on bolts. A few OK easier pitches but 2 classic long grade 24 pitches that will have you hooting and hollering the whole way up. Not sure what the red line is though
The other one is Big Trad Thong. I'm pretty certain this and Blue Ruin are in the 2010 edition of the guide.
Big Trad Thong 19 200m
Nice tradish climbing through a variety of steep places including some massive roofs you sidle around. Start below a steep yellow layback corner (pitch 1 of Blue Ruin) 70m right of the Mirrorball pinnacle. Take a standard rack plus extra big cams and hexes to fist + size, many slings, 10 brackets.
1) 18 45m Up corner to second ring, long slings (or come back and unclip the ring) and easy traverse to right arÍte and carrots, step around and up layback flake to ledge. R to next corner (BR), R along ledge, up then left to U and carrot belay.
2) 18 35m Up corner R of the belay, step R and up corner (BR), step R and up corner past 2 bolts, traverse left at top (BR) to carrot and U belay.
3) 19 25m Wander out left and up corner past cams and bolts, then back right past 2 more bolts, continue up rightwards to ledge. 3BB.
4) 20 35m Up to ledge (2BRs) then a hard move in the corner past bolts and up to roof and bolts. Massive traverse under 18m roof underclinging thin hand to fist crack. Pull lip and up ramp for 4m to 2U belay. Rope drag is a problem when belaying the second, sling the last few pieces, you might lower down to the lip to belay. Easier to lead than to second. Well protected but gripping.
5) 18 35m Up easy ramp and follow wide crack to large roof, 2U belay on lip. Get second to trundle 2nd block if the area below is clear.
6) 17 25m Up corner and groove (BR), step left into chimney (BR) and up easily to bolts on ledge on right.
M Law, V Peterson, N Monteith Dec 2008
Big Trad Thong is a fantastic route, only slightly marred by a little not perfect rock along the way. I have climbed worse.
That roof is more scary and airy than difficult. But it is very scary and airy. Very. It is well protected with a couple chunky cams. I think I remember getting a crucial head jam somewhere near the end. If you place your head jam just right your helmet will double as a bomber hex/noose. The crux is actually on the face before the traverse.
Rope drag was a real bitch on the roof pitch, Mikl slammed in another carrot the the left of the roof to clip after you pull over. It will help avoid draggins.
The loose blocks are gone. I'm thankful I got to watch that happen. KaBOOM.