|Tasmania , federation peak , looking for rack beta
So I agreed to go and climb the north west face on Federation peak this coming February http://www.thesarvo.com/confluence/display/thesarvo/Federation+Peak
As there is a two day walking we want to minimize weight, so I am looking for some rack beta. We are thinking of the following:
- 1 set of nut
- 1 set of camalots (.3 to 4)
- 4 draws and 6 extenders
- 70m 9.2 ropes
A 70 m ropes so we can use is as double rope when folded or easy link 2 pitches together.
Open to suggestion
A large pair of balls and good judgement.
On 12/12/2012 gaetanr wrote:
>As there is a two day walking we want to minimize weight, so I am looking for some rack beta. We are thinking of the following:
- 1 set of nut
- 1 set of camalots (.3 to 4)
- 4 draws and 6 extenders
- 70m 9.2 ropes
I have never been there (though it is on my 'to do' list), but I agree with Olbert...
>(On 12/12/2012 Olbert wrote:
>A large pair of balls and good judgement.)
... as your rack sounds a bit light to me.
~> Would be a bugger to hike in there and back off due to-
Don't forget to write us a trip report to let us know how it went...
I did this about 4 or 5 years ago. Was quite an adventure. We originally planned to try and link blade ridge into the NW face, but woke up at 4am to rain, so ended up just doing the NW face, which was fairly character building. Your rack sounds reasonable, though I'd suggest that you chuck in a few more draws, as the pitches are longing, maybe a second set of wires too.
The description of the crux roof is somewhat misleading. 'Jam out the roof to jugs'. I ugged up a horrible moss filled offwidth and was greated with wet slopy things at the top. Then I fell off, then it started pissing rain, then I started aid climbing.
Scope the descent before you do the route. You don't need to do the whole bush walkers traverse to get back to camp. You can scramble down a mega scree slope and then do a 40ish metre abseil from slings to get to the plateau above the campsite. The abseil goes over the 'The Climbing Gully' route (first climb in thesarvo guide). Best way to find the descent is to climb 'The Climbing Gully' the arvo before you climb go up and tag the summit and then come back down the same way.
The walking is without a doubt the hardest that I have done anywhere. In particular Moss Ridge. Take an EPIRB, I have never felt more alone than leading that crux roof pitch.
Also, if the weather looks crap, forget about it. We walked in with a one day weather window which incredibly held and we managed to climb. After we got back to the tent, it snowed all night. We were incredibly lucky.
You may not need the no 4 camalot; i think our biggest nut was a 10 hex.
A couple of racks of wires eg RPs, DMM wallnuts and stoppers would be a good idea.
A nut tool esp for cleaning cracks.
leading on double ropes is recommended the rock on the blade ridge pitches is very sharp & if you fall the wrong way you may slice your ropes. You need to do about 6 pitches up the first blade and it is all 16-17 and on wiedrly angled strata. !
Your chance of being noticed so someone can rescue you will be helped greatly if you have a Thwaites plateau observer.
jungle cutting gear...it took us 1 h from Thwaites plateau to the very bottom of BR, then 4h to the start of the climb through near vertical jungle.
I certainly placed a 4 camelot near the lip of the roof on the crux pitch, though it's probably not mandatory. Sure made aiding it easier!
I am glad we didn't do blade ridge based on your description of the approach! It was really difficult to find much information about getting to the bottom other than that you scrambled down the forest chute and then wandered next to the lake until you got to the base of the blade (which was meant to be very difficult to distinguish from the other blades).
I'd second the call for helmets as well. The last place you want to get brained. I would also recommend double ropes (50m doubles would be fine, we had 60m ones and the extra 10m wasn't that useful from memory). We didn't carry bivy gear but some light weight bivy sacks wouldn't be a bad idea, especially if you're doing blade ridge.
Good luck mate. You'd better write a trip report on your return. =P
The epic haul up Blade Ridge has been one of my climbing goals for quite a while... Alas, most people aren't as bat-$#!t crazy as me, and -smartly- baulk at the idea.
Thanks for the input guys,
For clarification we are planning to do The North West Face (route 8 on thesarvo) it doesn't include the blade ridge,
So it looks like we need more nuts and draws.
I am definitely planning to write a trip report it's going to be epic !
The approach to the NW face is pretty exciting as well. You scramble and rap down a gully and then climb 2 pitches to get up to the blade. The first pitch was pretty scary, near vertical mud with very shallowly rooted Ti trees as holds and pro. Awesome!
Have fun. If you can move fast, I'd still link blade ridge into the NW face.
On 13/12/2012 Cam McKenzie wrote:
> near vertical mud with very shallowly rooted Ti
>trees as holds and pro. Awesome!
hmmm, i read that as in 'titanium' (Ti)... bomber 0.o
Those of you who have done this route... would you rate it as one of the classic climbs of Australia? The line of Blade Ridge then up the North West Face certainly looks amazing.
Also, which is better - the original line up the North West Face, or the Direct?
The Direct is definitely the line, but the climbing doesn't sound very appealing. What is the original route like?
On 14/12/2012 simey wrote:
>Those of you who have done this route... would you rate it as one of the
>classic climbs of Australia? The line of Blade Ridge then up the North
>West Face certainly looks amazing.
It's one of the most memorable routes I've done. In part probably due to the commitment of getting out there with all that gear, and the feeling of absolute isolation. It is certainly an amazing line (though we didn't get to do Blade Ridge). The climbing was good, on good rock for the most part. For the climbing alone it's probably not going to be considered one of the 'classic climbs of Australia', but as a package, it's pretty amazing.
As an experience, for me, I'd say that it surpassed climbing big rock routes in the Dolomites, which is saying something...
>Also, which is better - the original line up the North West Face, or the
>The Direct is definitely the line, but the climbing doesn't sound very
>appealing. What is the original route like?
I haven't done the original, but I'd think that the direct is probably better. If it had been dry when we'd done it then the crux pitch would have been much more enjoyable. The pitches afterwards were very good before it becomes scrambly at the end. They would have been even better if it wasn't pissing rain.
The original version would still be good, but given that it's got a squeeze chimney....
On 14/12/2012 Cam McKenzie wrote:
>As an experience, for me, I'd say that it surpassed climbing big rock
>routes in the Dolomites, which is saying something...
Thanks for that feedback. That is basically what I wanted to know. I certainly wasn't expecting anyone to say it involves 600m of delightful moves on solid rock with good gear.
If anyone though has a different opinion though of its worth, I would still be keen to hear it.
So, the memory - 35 years ago, now, was:
6am leave Thwaites Plateau. Down the forest chute. Wander across to the vague area on the opposite side, through primal plants not seen since the late Cretaceous.
7am At the bottom of the forest chute. One of these pieces of near vertical jungle above us is Blade Ridge. Lets try this one. Blunder up the virgin jungle.
8am. About 100m up the jungle. Discover anaconda skeleton. (not quite but it wouldn't have surprised us).
9am 100m higher. Jungle bash continues.
11am. Good grief this is rock, Lets have a rest and get roped up.
Noon. Keith leads first pitch, about 40m up steep face, statafied about 10 degrees off vertical. Reg & I lead various pitches thereafter. About 250m all up to the top of the first blade. actually very interesting and intense climbing on strangely angled quartzite. Consistently 16-17.
7pm Starts to drizzle. 8pm sight small overhang on RHS of blade with ledge and 'seat., In we go for the night. A cool night in a duvet, feet in pack. not too damp. Reg lights lightstick to keep us cheered up. Tells silly jokes. we reciprocate.
7am Foggy dawn , but not raining. Climb to top of first blade, then quickly up second. Third blade is about 100m long and a real knife edge!
1pm on the NW face itself. Nice quartzite 1 long pitch to the 'bus stop' where we shelter behind a large pinnacle. We take one look at the traverse to the chimney of the original roiute and decide to try the crack instead. Keith goes up to the roof, pulls on a big flake above it witch comes out and he takes a 30 footer! Bit bloody. Keith hauls the pack. It was a grunty, if juggy, second. My lead - the pitch after the roof is a classic gr 15 quartzite crack ladder, 50m of sheer fun. Final pitch a bit of a scramble. Walking off in gathering darkness we hardly noticed the scary dropoff to Lake Geeves. Great team, great 2 days. Simon, go do it.