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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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VIC Arapiles The Watchtower Faces (General) Right Watchtower Face [ Arapiles Guide | Arapiles Images ] 

Topic Date User
an alternative approach to Gollum 29-Apr-2011 At 1:17:38 PM stuart h
I have been inspired by the suggestion of adding something to Gollum.

Like most of the respondents to the thread about retro-bolting Gollum, I can't really see any coherent argument for sticking a bolt into the route (despite having what are probably pretty liberal views) because Gollum itself has adequate pro and the Skink Connection pitch, while certainly bold, was better protected than I expected (based on the old description), is also avoidable and there isn't really a shortage of pitches of about that grade at Araps.

Rather than a bolt, which would would certainly generate 'heat' and really only address an avoidable pitch - in this case genuinely taking away more than it added- I reckon that the fun and excitement of Gollum can be enhanced by climbing an alternate first pitch to make for a sustained and adventurous outing all the way up the wall.

Instead of climbing The Confession or Auto de Fe, the usual approaches to Skink Connection - Gollum, start squeezed in between those routes and head straight up (probably about 5-6 feet left of Auto de Fe all the way). The line is pretty obvious on the photo topo of the face on p278 of the new Tempest/Mentz guide: it crosses the small diagonal overlap feature to reach the brown streak with parallel white stripes pouring down from the ledge. You continue directly up this.

The climbing is pretty much what you would expect based on the position: generally moderate slab climbing with good but spaced gear leading to trickier terrain up the streak. I thought it was harder and less well protected than Auto de Fe (but things always seem hard when you don't know if they will go) and I enjoyed the climbing enormously.

Lachie Currie and I climbed it around Easter 2005 and called it No Road Between in the absence of any information about any prior ascents. Take 2 ropes and a big rack including micro cams and multiple sets of RPs / micronuts.


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