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
Funny thing perception. On our first trip I remember the rotten and frightening rock.
On the second trip the rock was fine. Looked hard, but couldn't find anything wrong with
it. It is a rock like basalt with air bubbles in it so had plenty of grip. Climbing grades
were 14-18 depending which route you took.
When you look at the pyramid from the longest side, the skyline traverse is a series of
flat sections and vertical faces. There is very little scrambling up slopes. The only
scrambling is the first 100 metres to gannet green.
The SW face is very steep, having been formed through undercutting by the waves. It is
in shadow most of the time and looks a fearsome place. I've looked it now for over 2
weeks, and couldn't see a route up it directly under the summit. But then you never can.
The opposite face, NE, has a lot of sloping vegetation. It would be a mix of messy and
The strongest 3 memories are:
first, the continual waves, you felt they were clawing at you, trying to pull you off. They
The second is the birds, their joyful soaring and diving, their cries day and night, the smell of their guano, and their trusting nature, sometimes you had to fight them for a
hand hold. They would land on you at night if you were sleeping where they normally did.
Thirdly, the magnificent exposure,at 500-600 metres it was all around you on a very
narrow ridge and pinnacle route. I've been higher since, but felt nothing to match it.
When we set out to climb it, I don't think any of us had even seen a picture of it. Just
knew the name and set out to climb it. Just for the adventure.
It's the sort of place and should not be locked up in a few old farts memories.
Don't let the dead hand of bureaucracy win this one.