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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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Bungonia - Mystery old multipitch on South Wall

9:42:22 PM
Anyone know of any info about a mystery old mutlipitch on the far left of the South Wall of Bungonia Gorge? It is directly above the route Pulsar and Slope 'en Soapen on the slick slabs. There are several tiny very old rusty carrots (8mm) up a wall to a ledge (old manky rap ring thing) then a hard short corner and crusty face (two more tiny carrots, one with ancient tat on it). Then runout to ledge and double (pox) 8mm carrot belay. Above that is a black slab with at least two 8m carrots going rightish under a massive overhung wall. Above this wall is a ledge where I found at least two more of these tiny carrots. The condition and size of all the bolts made me think the route must date from the 70s. I think the route could be partially an aid route as certain sections seemed quite hard and the bolts were in strange places. I will post photos if this doesn't get someones attention. I have no idea how such a long route (at least 200m) and up impressive terrain never made it into a guidebook...

6:55:49 PM
My old boss Fritz Schaumberg used to talk about doing the FA of one of the walls @ Bungonia. He reckoned that he belayed in a cave so small that his partner couldn't get in and had b climb straight past. Probably in the 1970's time frame. I've never seen it recorded.
12:31:38 PM
I believe that Fritz Schaumburg and Enn Trupold often climbed in Bungonia 1960 and 1970th. Fritz no longer here, Enn still alive in Sydney. Will need to search for photos and climbing notes left by Fritz.

1:56:30 PM
Try asking Fantini!

3:02:13 PM
Harry Luxford also put up some climbs on the far left side of the South Wall. This was probably in the '70's.

12:58:53 PM
In a recent email Enn Truupold wrote . . .

... I did indeed do a little climbing with Fritz in Bungonia in very early sixties (!960-61).
Attached two 1960 pictures of Fritz somewhere in Bungonia.

As for the south wall, I witnessed from a distance Fritz and Don Dougall doing a route there. They could have left some pitons, but not carrots,
they were not yet invented at that time.

Best regards,
Enn Truupold

Enn Truupold's photos of Fritz Schaumburg climbing at Bungonia in 1960:

4:44:06 PM
Great photos! I had another good look on the weekend and am still intrigued. There are huge runouts on some sections that look desperately hard as free routes (24+?) and I saw no sign of trad or skyhook potential in between the bolts. I have no idea how they drilled the bolts on lead - maybe bathooks that have filled in with dirt again? Or maybe it was rap bolted? So I reckon this has to be a reasonably recent free route (ie Fantini in the 80s/90s). It certainly looks impossible for someone in the 60s/70s.

4:44:34 PM
Fantini hasn't replied to my Facebook message. Anyone 'friends' with him?
4:55:21 PM
Emailed you.
One Day Hero
11:08:55 PM
I don't reckon Fants checks the ol facebook every day, Neil. I can ask Dave Mc (who was on a bunch of the f.a.'s with John). Also try Keith Bell, he was a bit of a hard-hitter at the gorge in the 80's.
5:35:29 PM
Neil, yes as ODH say's I was on a bunch of f.a's with fants in the 80's and unfortunately as a result now suffer chronic PBWFSD (post Bungonia with fants stress disorder) blanking out all memory of the place. However if I dare to peak back into that terrifying time I do remember slopeín sopeín being desperate and unlikely (and with dodgy bolts?) but obviously thatís not the route you are talking about, and I do remember being responsible for hand drilling what are probably now rusted crap bolts while putting up a couple of those (crap) single pitch slabs right of pulsar (one being a single 12mm bolt, hanger and locking steel biner on top to rap off?) but the bolt line you are talking about doesnít ring any bells at all.
We used to keep a log book in camp pritikin (the flat ground under the low roof line left of jewel box), fants had a tin garbage can buried there to stash stuff. everyone kept this log book up to date with new routes and repeats at the time, it contained a lot of epic yarns from local and visiting OS climbers (doug scott even!), sadly this disappeared. It may have held a clue to your discovery, though the bolts as you describe them sound pretty ancient.

9:51:24 PM
Fantini got back to me...

"Neil.. This route is a puzzle. For I know nothing about it.. Carrots makes it real old.. Maybe it could have been Greg Mortimer & Jeff Morgan in the 70s, for they did a route on the North wall with carrots. Then there was Ewbank who put a few bolts in somewhere.. But what you describe sounds quite full on, for its quite steep at that end... All the post 70s routes are on proper bolts & hangers.. I'm stumped."

So still a total mystery!

10:00:01 PM
On 8/10/2014 dmcg wrote:
>if I dare to peak back into that terrifying time I do remember slopeín
>sopeín being desperate and unlikely (and with dodgy bolts?) but obviously
>thatís not the route you are talking about,

Slope'n Soapn is described just as a two pitch route - It has 4-5 bolts in the first pitch that look ok, but the first one has had it's hanger and nut stolen - or maybe that start is impossible and it is climbed via the first few metres of Pulsar. It has it's own rap chains and a tree rap off a major ledge that is separate from Pulsar.

>and I do remember being responsible
>for hand drilling what are probably now rusted crap bolts while putting
>up a couple of those (crap) single pitch slabs right of pulsar (one being
>a single 12mm bolt, hanger and locking steel biner on top to rap off?)
>but the bolt line you are talking about doesnít ring any bells at all.

The Mike Law-Smith guide I have from the early 90s lists three routes right of Pulsar - Stardust (20), Startreck (18) and Antique (20). Only Stardust has the first ascent details (Scott Camps 1985). Did you do the others? I'd love that additional bit of info for the online guide!

Here are some pics of some of the bolts I found.

9:01:03 AM
they do look ancient. when doing red super giant we came across an old short bolt ladder up a few meters of blank slab somewhere on maybe the second pitch that has carrots like those in your pic. We (at least me, and I know john) never placed any carrots at bungonia, only 10mm dyna bolts (except for a 12mm dyna bolt rap off somewhere on top of the stardust slab and a couple of 6mm dynabolts as aid when attempting a failed access route to the top of the wall teflon is now on).
I remember the start of slope'n sope'n looking impossible but turning out to be climbable with a leap of faith (literally). Dont remember that much about the routes we did right of stardust other than the most right hand one (could be antique but i never used that name, I think I called it star man but never recorded it in anything other than the camp pritikin log book) had a slick bouldery start protected by a 1/2 friend up to a bolt then natural gear to another bolt towards the top, then the 12mm rap bolt at the top.

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