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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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Ice/Mixed routes
5:30:29 PM
I'm after some info on ice and mixed routes in Aus (Buller, Bogong, Blue Lake). Do these areas consistently form up year after year... particularly Blue Lake. From what I've heard it's a bit hit and miss. Just wondering if anyone has suggestions on likely times for ok ice, and what kind of weather conditions have formed up good ice in the past... um yeah and any other relevant info. Oh and is anyone keen for some winter action this year?

5:51:46 PM
Hey Joe,

The season here is very unpredictable. My observation is that unlike some areas, freeze-thawing is detrimental. In some places, this can help to consolidate ice. In Aus, there is little enough of the stuff that we don't have that luxury (if that makes sense).

I'd say the season is best timed with the ski season (predictably around July/Aug).
I'll be doing some mixed stuff this winter - stay in touch
8:29:04 PM
Mt Buller is often in season earlier rather than later, ie July not August. not too sure about Blue Lake
(haven't been there).
10:31:23 AM
At blue lake, early season (june/july) is best because the snow builds up and shortens the routes. Also the ampitheatre is very shady during this time so sun isn't really a problem. The snow thing doesn't seem to be as much of a problem at buller, but still early season is good for the shorter days (=less daylight to melt the ice). At buller you pretty much have to hit it after a clear night with a good freeze and early, before the sun comes onto it, or else in the middle of a cold, snowy snap (and it has to be a proper one). The real killer is the warm nor-westers, where the weather is windy and crap and feels cold but isn't.

Last season I went to Buller about 8 times and it was climbable on about 6 occasions I think.

12:19:20 PM
At Buller too, there are a few of us people that either live, or used to live in the area, that 'arrange' for a certain amount of water to be poured over one of the routes. This changes every year, so not sure what the plan is this year....

12:56:46 PM
yeh as had been said the ice is very hit and miss- i was there the whole season last year and only got really 3 days of really good ice, the rest was really thin and fragile
will be out there again this season & keen to hit up blue lake...gimme a ring (0408257138) when you're gonna be around. same to you cheesebreath... :)

1:05:47 PM
Will do!!

As said before, I'll be keen to try a few hairy scary missions to Pollux Outcrop, Buller (let us know when they empty the bathwater, Shaggy), and blue lake if I can wing enough time.
1:05:52 PM
the year before last (I think, whenever the big snow year was recently) was crap at Buller 'cause there was too much snow. it was kinda climbable, but very soft & unconsolidated. plus lots of steeper steps were much smaller or completely burried under the snow.

3:39:16 PM
yeh that was 04 season, thats the advantage of being a snowboarder AND a climber...when theres pow, you build kickers & drop off of things & when its too icy you climb!
10:20:27 AM
Cool thanks for the information everyone.
11:49:02 AM
All you need is to secretly plumb a hose from the snow makers to the top of the cliff that (occasionally) forms the enzian icicle. It would only work when cold too, since the snow makers should only work when its below freezing.

The conditions were quite good only on a couple of occasions last year, but if you relax your definition of ice climbing, then I reckon that (at buller at least) some of the best climbing occurs when there is limited ice. For example, the route I did with Dave Wallis last year, Party at the Bosses House, despite having only a very little bit of ice, about 80% of tool placements were in ice, with crampons mostly on rock and it climbed fantastic. Then again, when Steve and I climbed One in the Face, there was a lot of ice and it was all coming down on top of us.

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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