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Crag & Route Beta

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Topic Date User
Balls Pyramid 3-Jun-2009 At 2:26:23 PM John Davis
If there are any ascents you know of please let me know and I'll put them into the log.
A few years ago we had a 40 year reunion of climbers of Balls Pyramid and from our
memories we came up with the following:

A Brief History of Climbs on Ball's Pyramid:

Various parties have landed on the pyramid and claimed to have climbed it neglecting to
mention “climbed on it”. A common mistake made even today.

April 1964: (Nov in LHI guest book??? - check)
Estimated Visit No. 6
Rick Higgins Dave Roots: Single day to some distance above Gannet Green
Dave Roots estimates they got to the base of Winklestein Steeple.

Dec 1964
Estimated Visit No. 7 to Pyramid by climbers.
"Tai Hoa" from Sydney:
Heroic landing in high seas (see film): reached summit of Winklestein's
Rick Higgins
Dave Roots
John Hodson 25
Ian Gasking 20
David Kingsford-Smith 24
David Lambert 24 Filmed climb
Roger Whittaker 21 Filmed climb
Dick Smith 22
Dave Larkin 20

Feb 1965
Visit No. 8
First ascent; Via SE Ridge
Bryden Allen
David Witham
John Davis
Jack Pettigrew
Jack Hill.....all reached the summit

Don Willcox
Ben Sandilands (correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald whose long
distance swim from the Pyramid to the boat enabled photos of the climb to
appear on the front page of the paper on the following 2 days.).
?Jan 1969
Visit No. 9 by climbers:
The purpose of this expedition was for Gary Steer
and John Davis to make the movie, commissioned by the ABC, that can now be
viewed on DVD.

John Davis
Gary Steer
Jack Pettigrew
Rona Pettigrew (Nee Butler)
John Worral
John Dennis
Wes Kilham
Jim Smith
Sydney Tanner – Brisbane
Second “high altitude cargo technologist from Brisbane......all reached the summit

Nancy Maiden
Nancy’s nurse friend from Mudgee (Carol?)

First ascent of N Ridge: This climb involves a more difficult landing,
through shoals, and a more demanding, direct line compared with the SE
Ridge. The teetering towers of gendarmes were avoided by abseiling down to
ledges on the Eastern side that gave access to ledges leading to the summit

Keith Bell
Kevin Wilson with John Worral
Howard Bevan in Canada
Ray Lassman in Europe/America
Hugh Ward (now deceased)
Keith Royce (did not go to top)
Swimming rugged. Landing diff. Rocks and shoals
Huey went first
Fixed ropes used until 1/3 from summit
Ledges cave 200ft up
Sail sticks up on E. Side 500 - 700 ft up
Abseiled down E. Side to avoid gendarmes
Rainy (edge of tropical cyclone?) conclusion for those who stripped fixed ropes.
Summit block was 17-18 fair rock and steep

Attempt on West Face: Finished on the gendarmes of the N. Ridge instead of
summit. Dogged by rockfall and loss of gear.
John Worral
Hugh Ward (hurt when large rock came off)
Bill Zemek
Pete Hackett (hurt on landing. Did not climb).

Start on Ramp around side in lee
Written up along with Ross Vining expedition (see...).

Early 1973
Alpine style skyline traverse during Cyclone Kirsty
Laded by boat "Lulawai" skippered by Clive Wilson
1st alpine ascent & skyline traverse
Up South ridge and Down the North
Greg Mortimer
Keith Bell

Dec 1978
Boat "Melaleuca" from Sydney.
Ascent of south ridge and return to sea level via the same ridge.
Ross Vining
Bill Blunt
Ian Brown

Robert Stascewski Qld.
Rick White
Full skyline traverse

Helicopter-assisted ascent: Climbers jumped into the water from chopper.
John Worral
Hugh Ward
Dick Smith

Bell Ranger whose engines are not susceptible to interference by flying
birds (which would otherwise be a big problem on Ball's); no doors
Vietnam veteran as Pilot
Called up pilot for a beer, delivered in pitch dark!
Chopper took Dick off summit
Filmed by ABC for big country.

Claimed Pyramid as part of NSW as a bet with the Premier of NSW Neville Wran
Prior to this Balls Pyramid was an unclaimed rock. It then came under the control of the
National Parks & Wildlife and the unfortunate result is that it in now illegal to climb Balls

French expedition last to Pyramid.
French party arrived at time when closure of BP to access was being
discussed. Last official climbing party. French lady stayed ashore.
Clive Wilson in Lulawai

Japanese expedition were landed by boat "Beaumont"/ Jim Whistler on "Santara"
complete transverse

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