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|A Weekend at the Grampians 21/22 August
||22-Aug-2004 At 9:50:00 PM
|I thought I would write a trip report, since it is something I haven’t done yet.
The story begins back in June, when I spent an awesome week up in sunny Nowra. This place affirmed my love of bolt-clipping (I must admit, I am a wimpy gym rat, I love my bolts!) and really inspired me as to what I could possibly climb. Thus I returned from NSW all psyched up, with resolutions to train hard and get outdoors more often. I had visions of getting super strong and going to the Gramps every weekend.
Flash forward a couple of months – I still hadn’t been to the Gramps and didn’t seem to be any stronger. Somehow I seemed to be always busy with uni, friends or other stuff, and never seemed to actually find a weekend to get to the Grampians. I had managed to go to the indoor gym a bit more often, but was not really training hard – it seemed all my resolutions were going out the window.
Finally this weekend I was free and had found someone who was keen to go. So Dan (Korel) and I headed off to the Gramps at 6am on Sat morning, with a quick stop at Maccas and Safeway. We headed up Hollow Mountain to the Amnesty Wall. I had been here in Easter where I had tried on toprope The Tyrants Grasp (22?), this time I was determined to tick it on lead. A quick lesson to Dan on the finer arts of lead belaying (this was his second time outdoors and first time lead belaying), stick clip the first draw and I was ready to go. I decided I would just get the draws on first and then go for the send – I climbed up taking a few rests, so Dan could get a feel for the way lead belaying works. It felt much easier than when I had tried it in Easter – hopefully this means I’ve improved! Dan then had a go on toprope and got to the last bolt – a fantastic effort I thought for someone who hasn’t been climbing that long. Then it was my turn to get back on the sharp end…
Starting off, the first few moves on the juggy pockets felt harder than I remembered. I started to tense up. A bit of deep breathing and mental encouragement left me feeling more relaxed. I knew then that I could do this climb – even though I was pumped, the moves flowed and I soon found myself clipping the loweroffs. Yay! Satisfaction that finally I was a little closer to achieving my goals.
After this I led the slab climb with the two variant endings up the aręte (don’t know the name, but the grades are supposedly 21/23). I think the moves up the left-side are nicer than the right-side. Then I belayed Dan on his first ever lead climb – the slab up to the first chains (Grade 17). Very exciting to be a part of someone’s first lead climbing experience!
Sunday we went to the Watchtower, but got rained out – so it was back to Melbourne. But I will be back to the Grampians…
So I take from this fantastic weekend of climbing, some newfound motivation and confirmation that those indoor gym sessions do actually payoff. Now I just have to get my trad grades up!
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