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
I have vague memories of this climb (1978? sweeping pigeons and blocks into space under the roof? Nice rock at the start) but thought I'd clean it and see if it needed any more bolts to fix another nice trad route. I rapped down and added a bolt above the top hard section to protect the second (you walk right 5m to belay) then got under the roof.
It looked like you clipped an old carrot and climbed 4m higher to a crack, then ran it out under the roof and up for 5m to the next crack, not too bad. But it was a bit dirty so i swung in and pulled up the ropes to clean a few small blocks off the ledge. I plugged a cam into the crack and with about half my body weight on the cam the block lurched out and expoded in the narrow gully. It was the size of big 2 door fridge and made a right mess (I'd already checked that all was clear below before starting, i don't think rock fisherman understand "Below" or "Rock").
There's now 2 bolts in this section, and as the carrot was in a loose block, another bolt just below it. the rest of the gear is ok but spaced, and double ropes would help a lot. I also added a direct start which maintains the grade, but the whole route looks more like 20 than 17.
I'm still shocked at how large and solid the block looked , i certainly trusted it on the first ascent but obviously oozed bodyweight over it rather than yanking on it. If it had come off whilst I was climbing on it, instant strawberry jam would be the result.
The block in the foreground is about 0.8m across and most of the rubble is further yup the gully