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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 43
Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
All NSW (General) (General) (General)  

Author
So you want to climb Bunny Bucket Buttress…
mikllaw
1/06/2014
4:58:48 PM
Why are there so many epics on this route, mostly with parties who climb way harder than 18? For some reason many people pick it as their first multi-pitch route. They start late (camp there or drive up early, in summer you want to be off it by 2pm and in winter by 3pm), get horribly lost walking in and waste time on the 2 abseils (if you know what you’re doing, you can easily be at the base in 45 minutes, not 4 hours), waste time on belays (an extra 10 minutes on each belay is almost 1.5 hours) and get tired/ hot /cold/thirsty.

What can you do to avoid epics?

- Well, instead of starting late, camp there or drive up early. How early? In summer you want to be off it by 2pm and in winter by 3pm
- Instead of getting lost, do something near the Lunch Ledge (where the abseil access is) so you know the walk-in and abseils (Mirrorball, 4 pitch 19 with an optional 21 finishing pitch).
- Get your systems sorted on an easier or shorter route (Bellbird Wall (16), the endlessly popular and crappy Sweet Dreams (12), Dirty Rotten Pig (19)).
- Have an experienced party start a few hours behind you, if you’re having trouble they will catch up with you and drag you out.
- Sort out your belay rigging (2 slings or use the rope to make bunny ears to clip 2 bolts, either way it shouldn't take more than a minute) and abseil setups (if you use a prusik backup, do it the Petzl way with a knotted sling you clip your abseil device halfway up and the end becomes a safety sling).
- Know how to give a bit of tension if your seconding is faltering, and be aware you can ‘French Free’ by pulling on bolts if you're shattered.
- Know how to haul your second if they've lost contact with the rock.
- Know how to bail off the route (abseil down the climb and walk out; either down to the river and up Pierces Pass, or the scary traverse below the cliffs to join the Pierces Pass track higher).
- Know when the sun rises and sets, how to prussic, how to add friction to the abseil (adding an extra biner beforehand is best).
- If you are carrying a second rope, haul the pack on the steeper pitches if you’re feeling tired
- Be prepared to be benighted, that used to be the only option before phone coverage (if there was no phone reception I doubt people would call in as many rescues!). Phone reception can be bad on the lower pitches. Take a bit of food and water, beanies and downies, make a nest somewhere and shiver it out (best avoided in winter).
- Know where to go once you've finished the route, you can easily add a few hours by ignoring the map. It’s a good idea to copy and laminate the description, topo, and access maps, and leader and second should carry one each.
Dr Nick
1/06/2014
7:14:40 PM
I'll add carry dedicated gear for prussiking as well - either a couple of useful bits of 5 or 6mm cord, or Petzl Tiblocs. Full size Jumars or similar are probably a bit of overkill, but I've carried them on iffy stuff in the past.

I know how to prussik, but it's a pain to set up with random slings. If you're not carrying trad gear there's a good chance you won't even have these. And shoes come with velcro, so you might not even be able to Roger Moore 007 it.

This applies for both leader and second, since either could end up away from the rock, or needing to haul.
martym
1/06/2014
8:18:24 PM
Good on ya Mikl. Will this be added in the new edition of the BM Guidebook :p

On 1/06/2014 mikllaw wrote:
>- Be prepared to be benighted, that used to be the only option before
>phone coverage (if there was no phone reception I doubt people would call
>in as many rescues!). Phone reception can be bad on the lower pitches.
>Take a bit of food and water, beanies and downies, make a nest somewhere
>and shiver it out (best avoided in winter).

I think you could add to this: Know that you may not be rescued for a long time. If the emergency services don't think you're at serious risk, they won't come get you until conditions improve. So if you're just on the ledge in the dark - they'll tell you to snuggle up and wait till it's safe for them to collect you when the sun comes up.
Mike Bee
1/06/2014
10:39:53 PM
Can I suggest that if you are likely to have someone prussiking that they
a) practice first, the day before, not the day of the climb
b) try some other methods (eg grigri and tibloc, or atc guide/reverso and tibloc) as this is way faster and less tiring than two prussicks, and you'll probably have most of the gear with you already (except for a 42gram tibloc). I never intend to prussick with two loops ever again since using this system.

If you don't know how this methods works, see: http://blog.alpineinstitute.com/2012/08/ascending-systems.html
patto
1/06/2014
11:04:52 PM
Can the be printed on a sign and put in front of the rap?

It is sad, none of these things should be need to be told to people doing BBB.
simey
1/06/2014
11:36:13 PM
Why all this talk about prusiking??

Given that someone obviously has to lead each pitch first, then surely it will be quicker for the second to simply climb each pitch conventionally as opposed to prusiking it. Even with numerous rests, I bet seconding each pitch will be faster than prusiking.
mikllaw
2/06/2014
6:36:30 AM
On 1/06/2014 simey wrote:
>Why all this talk about prusiking??

There are 3 points where a second could drop below roofs and a minute of prusiking would get them back to the next bolt. I'd just carry 2 x 15cm loops of 4 mm cord.
martym
2/06/2014
8:52:57 AM
Since it's named for "Sport Bunnies" - why not something like this:

Go to your local gym, preferably one with lead facilities. Climb to the top 20 times.
Each time you get to the top, set up an anchor, haul a rope up behind you & abseil back down.
Then wrap the rope around your shoulders and walk home in the dark.

I reckon that would sort at least the numptiest of numpties out...

Superstu
2/06/2014
11:23:16 AM
Clearly parties are taking too much time finding their way out there, locating the climb, following the route, and walking out. Maybe someone should borrow one of those road line marking wheelie machines and mark a big yellow line from the carpark, to the rap, to the base of the climb, up each pitch, and then back to the car.

It works well for mountain bikers in Moab, can't see why it wouldn't work for the sport bunny climbers too!










martym
2/06/2014
11:37:21 AM
On 2/06/2014 Superstu wrote:
>Clearly parties are taking too much time finding their way out there, locating
>the climb, following the route, and walking out. Maybe someone should borrow
>one of those road line marking wheelie machines and mark a big yellow
>line from the carpark, to the rap, to the base of the climb, up each pitch,
>and then back to the car.

Could you also highlight the holds that aren't covered in chalk? And add tick marks to the best footholds...

Or how about putting a little clock at each belay?
"12-2pm still ok if you don't take a break"
"3.30pm? retreat! call 000!!"
gfdonc
2/06/2014
12:34:01 PM
Interesting. I don't know whether to be amused, amazed or concerned.

We don't have a strong culture of long ascents here in Austraya, so the alpine principles of early starts, moving fast, and having a bail plan don't get practiced. BBB, being one of the most accessible long routes around is always going to attract its share of first-timers.

I think it's worth measuring how long you take on other multipitch routes before you take it on. The calculation may be sobering. If you're taking an hour a pitch between you (not uncommon) then do the maths - 9 hours for BBB, plus walking in, two raps, and walking out. Then set the alarm.


barefootbushman
2/06/2014
1:04:45 PM
I totally agree with Mikl about getting your systems sorted on easier shorter multipitches. Bellbird Road and Sweet Dreams are excellent introductions into climbing longer routes in the Blueys. And Mirrorball is also a good intro into climbing at Pierces Pass. BBB is always going to attract beginners because it appears so easy in the guidebooks.

I hate hearing about incidents requiring climbers to be rescued. I take the decision to call in rescue very seriously (never had to), and would much rather take the character-building shiver bivy option then put other peoples lives at risk. Not only that, these events bring un-needed attention to our sport, and given the fragile relationships between climbers and land managers in many areas in Australia, who knows what restrictions could be placed on climbing.

Just harden up people!

Duang Daunk
2/06/2014
1:23:37 PM
On 2/06/2014 gfdonc wrote:
>Interesting. I don't know whether to be amused, amazed or concerned.
>
>We don't have a strong culture of long ascents here in Austraya, so the
>alpine principles of early starts, moving fast, and having a bail plan
>don't get practiced. BBB, being one of the most accessible long routes
>around is always going to attract its share of first-timers.
>
>I think it's worth measuring how long you take on other multipitch routes
>before you take it on. The calculation may be sobering. If you're taking
>an hour a pitch between you (not uncommon) then do the maths - 9 hours
>for BBB, plus walking in, two raps, and walking out. Then set the alarm.
>
Good advice.
Another thing that can be done is to put suitable warnings for this climb in the next guidebook about the number of epics it attracts.
Either that or take away the warm and fuzzy nature of its name by renamiming it Bunny Epic Buttress.
One Day Hero
2/06/2014
2:04:29 PM
Another thing which I'd add is; Have you ever climbed 200m in a day before? If not, go to a single pitch crag and attempt to lead and second 200m worth of easy climbing in a day........repeat until you succeed.

sbm
2/06/2014
2:11:48 PM
Other short bolted moderate multipitches to practice on:

Sweet Dreams 14
Hocus Pocus 8
Wild Is The Wind 15 (skip first pitch by rapping in)
Schwing 18
I Don't Tip 15, Let's Get A Taco 18 & Stuck In The Middle With You 19 (all rap in)
Bellbird Wall 18 (rap in)
Shandy 8 & Dirty Rotten Pig 19 (extra rap + short bushwalk to retreat)
Whymper 19
The Rift 19
Mirrorball 19 (long retreat)
Cartwheeling 19
This Sporting Life 20

Except for where I've noted these are all easily retreatable.

BBB is mostly pretty cruisy ("blah blah the headwall would be grade 15 at piddo") but it does have a fierce moment or two, i'd expect someone to at least be able to dog ever climb on that list.

miguel75
2/06/2014
2:18:09 PM
On 2/06/2014 Superstu wrote:
>Clearly parties are taking too much time finding their way out there, locating
>the climb, following the route, and walking out. Maybe someone should borrow
>one of those road line marking wheelie machines and mark a big yellow
>line from the carpark, to the rap, to the base of the climb, up each pitch,
>and then back to the car.

But what happens if the yellow line didn't go straight back to your car? I'd probably epic in the car park waiting for someone to point out my car...

Superstu
2/06/2014
2:35:35 PM
On 2/06/2014 miguel75 wrote:
>But what happens if the yellow line didn't go straight back to your car?
>I'd probably epic in the car park waiting for someone to point out my car...

It's actually all part of my cunning plan to open a cafe on the Bells Line of Road and have the yellow line run right up to the bar.

kuu
2/06/2014
2:46:12 PM
On 2/06/2014 miguel75 wrote:
>
>But what happens if the yellow line didn't go straight back to your car?
>I'd probably epic in the car park waiting for someone to point out my car...

If you're in NSW call 000 and ask the nice policeman to locate your car using their tricky new Vehicle Registration Identification software. ;-)
GoUp!
2/06/2014
3:12:50 PM
Be prepared mentally and physically. Long days out on big walls exposes you to vastly different set of conditions than short hard routes and thus need better preparation and skills.
- I can imagine for newbies to multi-pitch that the mental strain of a massively new dimension of exposure and isolation could be somewhat intimidating. In part, this is why we do such routes but don't just expect to adapt to such conditions at the drop of a hat. Work into it to harden up. Freaking out, frozen with fear, uncontrolled spewing and other bodily releases, unexpected exhaustion through terror, irrational behaviour etc etc are just some of the symptons I've seen in those not quite yet adjusted to the space and out-there-ness.
- On the day focus all energies to the job at hand. Keep focussing on efficiency and continual strive to shed minutes off here and there. 10 minutes extra setting up each belay can easy add up to 1-2hrs wasted...and that can mean the difference between getting to the pub for a beer or being benighted. Eat whilst belaying. Do everything you can think of to keep the momentum of your team going up.
- Have confidence in your skills and ability before you go. Remember the iceberg principal - underlying the performance on the day should be a vast array of experience.
- Be 100% confident in your partner and be prepared to give 100% to your partner. Do you really want to be up there with that gumby/loser/selfish prick who'll leave you in the lurch should the shit start hitting the fan. Heavy concept but think that Aussie mateship bit and whether you or they are willing to make 'a sacrifice' - remember that its all you out there so it best be a good team.
- Have a mantra. Hippy shit but it works. Mine was GoUp.....!!!! It is amazing how well it keeps you focussed on the job at hand, keeps you motivated to keep going, and gives you the upper hand on any borderline decisions as you are already goal/outcome focussed.
- Each have a photocopy of the route description stuffed down your shirt. Trying to hear your belaying scream directions from 40m away in a wind wastes time and can be way stressfull and exhausting.
- Have a photocopy of the topo map of the area, a small compass and a headtorch. The route sometimes isn't finished until you get back to the car!
- KNOW THE WEATHER. I just don't understand why people launch out on big things when thunderstorms, rain or high winds are predicted. High winds are as bad (or worse) than rain. 3pm is an approx time for thunderstorms in the Grose. If it hasn't happened by 3pm then you may be OK.
- Leave the tight shoes at home and wear something comfortable.
- Water is essential. Double ropes - period. Helmets...absolutely.
- Take lots of long slings....lots! Big routes often wander and you want gear that allows you to do this - otherwise the rope drag will become obscene. The outcome will slow progress down, exhaust you (arms cramping whilst belaying second) and increase risk of chopping your ropes.
- Take turns leading in blocks (eg morning block and afternoon block) to assist with maintaining focus, provide good 'rests' and minimise gear sorting issues and racking preferences.
- Have an all over fitness rather than just a sport climbing fitness. Some of these routes are very draining in ways you may not expect. Have you ever had cramping so bad you can no longer pull up the rope whilst belaying your second...you'll be in a spot of bother should it happen!
- Performance on walls vs sport routes are different concepts. Think a 'big picture' concept rather than a 'micro scale' issue. The ability to pull a heinous move on a sport route may have some value somewhere on a wall, but a more complete range of skills (ropework, speed, confidence, route finding, decision making etc etc) are likely to lead to better overall performance and success on a wall.

Success on these routes is what you'll remember long after you've forgotten that billionth worthless clip up......

Miguel75
2/06/2014
3:35:31 PM
On 2/06/2014 Superstu wrote:
>It's actually all part of my cunning plan to open a cafe on the Bells
>Line of Road and have the yellow line run right up to the bar.

Provided you deliver an après epic Hot Chocolate with extra marshmallows to me, (lying on the road waiting for the Police to point out my car) than I'll happily support your plan...

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