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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

Author
TR - Ozymandias attempt May 2014

Miguel75
9/07/2014
9:26:48 PM
Fear and Loathing in Las Buffalos:

(Otherwise known as Mike and Mike’s slightly traumatizing adventure)

My buddy Mike and I are avid old school adventurers. Who needs fast and light when you can take way too much gear and expose yourself to untold levels of pain and suffering? Our TR’s from trips gone by; Mt Pilot, Seventh Pillar, Golgotha, Digit Dancer, Xanthene et al demonstrate a clear pattern… You name it and we’ve taken that climb to a new level of epic-ness and suffering. I’d like to think we have a special talent for it, maybe even a gift! Among our epic experiences and plans swirled an ethereal climb we’ve been talking about (in whispers) for years; Ozy direct.

I reckon Mike and I are happy to do things the hard way, sometimes even the really, really hard way because at the end of it all, we wind up having a really fun time together and a cool adventure to keep the stoke levels high until the next adventure…

Our first Ozy adventure was a great big wet adventure. It had been a very dry season and Crystal Brooke was barely flowing so the plan was to rap in via the Defender rap, with all our water and gear, fix the first two pitches Thursday night, climb to the Gledhill Bivi on Friday, topping out on Sat. On paper it sounded pretty good, easy if you will, but like all good stories (especially ours) the adventure didn’t quite work out as planned. We located the Defender rap chains about 4pm and with clear skies, prepared to rap in. While everything looked good to go I felt we should hold off on rapping until the following morning. Now some may say I’m chicken hearted, but I like to claim I’m sensitive to my environment… Either way I thought nothing of this feeling and we pushed on. Given I couldn’t shake the feeling I shared it with Mike and he backed me so we decided to stash our gear at the rap station, bivi up top and rap down in the morning.

Our plan ended up saving our bacon as the 10mm of rain forecast for Friday arrived Thursday night around 8pm and I reckon the 10mm fell in the first 5 minutes. Both Mike and I were content in our bivi bags, enjoying the pitter-patter of rain but this feeling of contentment changed when the rain became a biblical flood style storm around 9pm. Our bivi’s were excellent as far as keeping the rain out: in fact they were so good, and the water rising so fast, I started worrying we might actually become waterborne and float across the cricket pitch and into oncoming traffic. I could go on about the endless night of torrential rain keeping us both awake but to cut a long story short we ended up sitting in our Bivi’s, in the pouring rain, until about lunchtime Friday before finally calling it quits. All in all the forecast 10mm turned into almost 90mm of rain. The drive down was awesome, with waterfalls down the slabs and water across the road in points. It was a fun experience though I was secretly relieved we hadn’t drowned. The climbing we completed that weekend would have equated to about 20 vertical meters while walking the gear back and forth to the rap stations.

Ozy:1, Mike and Mike: 0

Enough about the past; lets fast-forward to our latest adventure…

Mike had recently moved to the Sunshine coast and we’d decided our next great Ozy adventure would be unveiled November 2014. After an ill-fated attempt of LGiaD (or Lord Gumtree in a Day for those not versed in climbing vernacular) I figured it would be beneficial to practice jugging so both Mike and I found suitable locations and got to work; I on the overhanging wall of 'Boogie til you Puke' at Camels Hump, Mike on the 3 storey wall of the building where he lives. I know I received some weird looks from other climber and walkers though I’d love to have seen Mike dangling from the side of his place explaining the situation to passers by… We were slowly getting stronger and yearned for a challenge and as luck would have it Mike found some free time, contacted me and so began the first portion of this epic; begging my wife for time off. I employed my usual siege tactic and within a few days had worn her down. She relented and we were set. The day of reckoning arrived, well the first day of reckoning as I still had a somewhat unimpressed wife and two kids waiting at home, but they could wait. Ozy was beckoning.

While previous adventures usually resulted in fun memories, we also made use of them as learning opportunities. While we learnt lots on the climbing side, and adapted as best we could we still had to contend with father time. Neither of us climb on Sunday and given I finished work at 8am on Thursday we had a tight schedule but we were pumped… We were committed! We made good time traveling up the Hume and all was well until we received a call from my wife, asking if we planned to eat anything for the next three days. We laughed at her silliness and confirmed we’d meticulously planned and packed our food stores. She then laughed at our silliness, reminding us our food was still in the fridge at home… We stopped laughing for a minute or two and decided we’d stop for a quick shop in Myrtleford. We arrived at the Southside hut around 3pm, had a quick rejig of gear and were off, again, on the walk down the Southside track. I’d previously walked in along this track twice so felt confident knowing where to go. I’d also walked out once before and I had vowed to never do it again…

We arrived at the base of Ozy around 5pm to find it quite wet and misty, which probably wasn’t odd given it was wet and misty on the walk down but these descriptions are for you the readers of this tale. If you’ve never done the walk into the base of Ozy, or even ‘Where Angels Fear to Tread ‘with a 30kg haul bag, protaledge or big wall rack than I’d heartily recommend you put it on your to do list. Or if you want a similar experience closer to home I’d suggest you go and lay in the driveway and have a friend back their car over you; in my mind they’d feel about the same. Mike had the ungainly portaledge to deal with which looked heinous at times and when we arrived at the base we were both more than a little tired. We dumped the gear at the little bivi site and ran up to touch the base of Ozy where we decided with the impending dark, wet rock and tired wet bodies, we’d start in the morning.

Both Mike and I were very stoked to finally be at the base of Ozy together and were looking forward to sleeping in the little bivi spot next to the brook. For those who are not familiar with said bivi spot it isn’t terrible large, or flat but it’s in a beautiful location and we were stoked! We both chatted excitedly about the upcoming festivities and were finally overcome by sleep only to be woken up in the early hours by rain, followed by more rain. We finally “woke” up to overcast drizzly conditions and though what the hell, there’s nothing else to do but climb up. Mike was a touch sore from a fall on the walk in though was stoked for pitch one. (When I say he had a fall, I mean he kinda smashed himself. He was carrying the rack and portaledge on the way down and where you have to down climb the knotted ropes Mike took a pretty nasty swinging fall. He smacked his ribs and back pretty hard though ponied up and pushed through). We rolled out of bed around 8am and made our way up to the start. Mike geared up and launched upwards through the waterfall that was the slab on P1. He moved up past the first two bolts and figured he’d break out the hooks early on. He made a move onto a BD talon hooked on a good looking edge and committed to it, moving gingerly upwards towards the next bolt. All was right in the world right up until the point Mike made a sideways move and popped the hook, taking a daisy fall on the first hanger and by the looks of things shaking a kidney loose. With both of the hard falls he’d taken I was stoked he wanted to keep going. Being a trooper he jumped straight back on the horse and launched upwards again, this time trying to free the moves. If you had dry rock the moves aren’t too hard but with water flowing over the rock, and the bolt maybe 2 meters above him he was a little tentative, as was I.

After reviewing the situation Mike launched upwards again, cleaned his Daisy and made a few tenuous free moves to a nice secure stance. I was a little worried about the next few moves to the bolt, and being prepared, I talked Mike into stick clipping the top bolt. Mike nailed it pretty quickly and then launched upwards on his first ever aid pitch. If you’ve never aided you may not be aware of just how slow the process can be, especially in the rain. It was awesome watching Mike get into the climb, and having previously climbed the pitch I knew how spoogy it could be, especially in the wet. Mike wasn’t moving too well after his falls and his hiking boots weren’t helping him get into his aiders as the lugs on the soles caught the aiders at every move. I could see his relief at reaching the anchors and was stoked for him having climbed his first pitch on Ozy. I cleaned the pitch, with my new found jugging efficiency, and we hung out at the top for a while just enjoying the ambiance. We had a good discussion about where we stood in relation to our schedule, Mike’s back, and the possibility of me leading every pitch. I suggested I wasn’t up to the challenge of leading and hauling every pitch in a one day attempt, and with much sadness decided that discretion was the better part of valor. We rapped off and decided to bivi for the night, walking out the following morning.

We both knew the walk out would be tough but being out of time, along with more rain, helped confirm to us we’d made the right decision. It had been raining on and off all day and by the time we got off the wall we were both wet, tired and cold so we cooked up some hot food, lots of beans with Chorizo, and then hopped in the bivi’s around 4pm. It was around this time we heard a really weird sound echoing through the gorge, which grew louder and closer over the next 2 hours. I thought it might have been rocks rolling down the riverbed but Mike wasn’t sure. Right around 6pm we found out what it was when a couple of headlamp wearing heads (with bodies attached), emerged from Crystal Brook carrying large, loud and empty water bottles. We were surprised there were other people silly enough to walk in with the weather the way it was but it turns out they were from NSW and pretty stoked to get on Ozy. They were relieved when we told them we were planning on walking out the next day and after food we all bedded down for the night.

It rained most of the night and at one point I woke up and looked over to see Mike and the other two blokes had slid down to the left of the bivi site, with one of the NS Welshmen in a very damp looking bivi bag… It was a long, cold and wet night and I can only imagine how miserable he must have been.
Come first light we began our long walk out. I had the pig/wombat and Mike had the ledge and most of the rack. I reckon Mike got the raw end of the deal with the ledge because it was so unwieldy and kept snagging on everything. Can I say the walk out absolutely sucked! This point cannot be stressed enough! It was no fun at all but the beautiful vistas kept us recharged. As we crept closer to the top the clouds started swirling around us and created an ethereal atmosphere that was really quite beautiful. It reminded me of a snowstorm where sound is muted and the light is just amazing… With clouds shrouding the gorge; and trees and buttresses peeking through the mist it was pretty awesome and kept us going through the hellacious, ever upwards hiking. Spying Mushroom rock was a huge relief and I remember dropping the haulbag and almost skipping back to the car to get some food and water, of which we’d run out on the walk up. All up it had taken us about 6 hours to walk out from the base of Ozy. After the best hot meal I’ve ever eaten, we returned to Mushroom rock to collect the rest of the gear. We then changed into new, clean smelling clothes and after shouting encouragement to the NS Welshmen on P1 we were off home towards our loved ones.

While we didn’t achieve our goal we had one hell of an epic adventure and it really was an awesome experience being with a good buddy and suffering through a surprisingly fun epic…

At the top I vowed to never walk out of the Gorge again. Until the next time…

The rack;


Before the decent into hades began;


Are we there yet?


Mike on P1;


Beautiful view from halfway up the walk out;
martym
9/07/2014
11:15:23 PM
On 9/07/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>
>The rack;
>

Where's ya ballnutz??

miguel75
10/07/2014
10:12:15 AM
Hi mods, did someone change the title of my TR?
Chockstone Moderator
10/07/2014
12:38:55 PM
On 10/07/2014 miguel75 wrote:
>Hi mods, did someone change the title of my TR?

Yes, I changed it to include the name of the location, i.e. Mt Buffalo.

I did this because, the location is picked up within Chockstone internal links to the Guide and photos, and this particularly happens when searches are done, as the Search itself ( http://www.chockstone.org/Search.htm ), mostly focuses on thread titles and not every word written within any given thread.

The original search function worked ok till Chockstone content grew larger, and then it used to time-out.
The google search function was added later to the search function page to help avoid that problem.

Here are examples of other linked pages;
http://www.chockstone.org/guide.htm

http://www.chockstone.org/MtBuffalo/Gorge/Gorge.htm

http://www.chockstone.org/Gallery/BuffaloPics.htm

http://www.chockstone.org/GalleryRock.htm#Photos

You are free to leave your TR titled as it is (TR - Walking into and out of the gorge...), however it will be progressively harder to find in later years as Chockstone content continues to grow, due the key word "gorge" is too broad a term, and less intuitive for others who may search TR's for experience in that location to build upon for their own trip.

As an aside, I often also correct spelling mistakes within thread titles, simply to help the search function work efficiently.

Post edit;
Good Trip Report by the way.

Miguel75
10/07/2014
1:29:41 PM
Sounds like a good reason to change the title. Thanks for background on the search side of things.
Chockstone Moderator
10/07/2014
1:40:18 PM
On 10/07/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>Sounds like a good reason to change the title. Thanks for background on
>the search side of things.

Here is perhaps a better example.
Check out the Crag and route Beta section of Chockstone;
http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Forum&ForumID=15

There you will find a relatively recently revived thread, titled;
Mt Buffalo Gorge - North Wall descent.
http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=DisplayTopic&ForumID=15&MessageID=7277&Replies=42&PagePos=0&Sort=#NewPost

If you read the box at the very start of that thread it says;
Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
VIC Buffalo Gorge (General) (General) [ Gorge Guide ]

You may notice that the Gorge Guide is a link that can be followed, as one of the internal links that automatically cross-reference from key word in thread title.

If you follow that link, you will further find at the top of the next page;
The Gorge, Mt Buffalo
[ Back | Images | Forum ]
Which are further auto-links, particularly the Images one as still being on subject.

Further, if you follow the Images link you will find at top of the next page;
Mt Buffalo, Porepunkah
[ Overview | Video | Trip Reports ]

Which auto-links searchers back to Trip Reports.

phillipivan
10/07/2014
7:01:45 PM
Finally!

Did you clean that bag before I stole it and ran away to you-know-where?

Miguel75
10/07/2014
8:05:27 PM
Yeah buddy all good. There's a bit of residual dirt on there but it should be clean enough for you know who when you're doing you know what, you know where;)

Have fun and be safe.

Duang Daunk
10/07/2014
9:24:48 PM
On 10/07/2014 phillipivan wrote:
>Finally!
>
>Did you clean that bag before I stole it and ran away to you-know-where?

On 10/07/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>Yeah buddy all good. There's a bit of residual dirt on there but it should
>be clean enough for you know who when you're doing you know what, you know
>where;)
>
>Have fun and be safe.

I know a dirt bag from dog knows where, that once went there, and did you know what, but since then has become addicted to bouldering.
A friend of mine suggested he take up the offer of a martini drink to get over it, but he told him to f--- off, err, go and get another star grade for his life.
Since then he has taken up sandbagging others by writing stuff and trying flying unsuccessfully for inspiration.

Hey mig, you are so gonna enjoy getting past the half way ledge on that sucka when you eventually get there.
You also gonna make a fortune selling off all the pita's you're collecting along the way too, bro.

phillipivan
10/07/2014
9:26:16 PM
Well I didn't die in transit, that's a plus.

Miguel75
10/07/2014
10:11:05 PM
Glad to hear Phil.

On 10/07/2014 Duang Daunk wrote:
>...SNIP... Hey mig, you are so gonna enjoy getting past the half way ledge on that
>sucka when you eventually get there.
>You also gonna make a fortune selling off all the pita's you're collecting
>along the way too, bro.

Thanks DD. I'm looking forward to the day I can make it past the halfway ledge on Androcles let alone Ozy;) I'm working on another foray into the gorge and plan on (incrementally) bettering my previous effort of reaching Big grassy... As far as Pita's; I'm not sure what you mean. I'm a big fan of the flatbread Pita. I like it, I eat it, I have a little. I keep it in a jar on top of my refrigerator. I'd like to put more in that jar.... If I can sell it, all the better;)

phillipivan
10/07/2014
10:47:42 PM
Perhaps you can snack on a Painini instead.

E. Wells
10/07/2014
11:07:06 PM
Great TR , making the right calls on the day matters!

Duang Daunk
11/07/2014
10:31:58 AM
On 10/07/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>Thanks DD. I'm looking forward to the day I can make it past the halfway
>ledge on Androcles let alone Ozy;) I'm working on another foray into the
>gorge and plan on (incrementally) bettering my previous effort of reaching
>Big grassy... As far as Pita's; I'm not sure what you mean. I'm a big fan
>of the flatbread Pita. I like it, I eat it, I have a little. I keep it
>in a jar on top of my refrigerator. I'd like to put more in that jar....
>If I can sell it, all the better;)
>

Eh bro, here is a little known fact for you.
The kea ( Nestor notabilis) from New Zealand is the only bird known to have a society in which the higher status individuals force others to work for them.

If you are a worker then that's the pits, doing the work is a pita.
One day you'll make it to kea status.
I heard that M9 told someone that it is more easily found up nearer the Gledhill Bivvy area. Others like Huw who recently posted a TR about soloing it have confirmed this.


On 10/07/2014 phillipivan wrote:
>Perhaps you can snack on a Painini instead.

Choice, though I reckon he is fuller than a googie on that diet already, and is still going stronger than hargs and bl@ke did on the dream.


phillipivan
12/07/2014
5:50:27 PM
It's a much improved on your draft Mikey. Good work, thanks for the bad weather reading.


There are 15 messages in this topic.

 

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