Goto Chockstone Home

  Tech Tips

      Sponsored By

Chockstone Photography
Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints

Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

Northern Grampians (4-6 March)

2:25:18 PM
I finally located another unemployed climber this week and we drove up to Stapylton on Tuesday morning. Allan hasn't been climbing long but can second grade 18s and is learning to lead climb.
We got to the campground around lunch time and decided to walk in and have a look at Mount Pleasant (it was the name that sold us). The walk in is pretty easy apart from the initial scrub bash across the creek. I'd say that it would have been harder before the fires a few years back and will gradually get harder again as the regrowth continues. The cliff is described in the Grampians Update (pdf) available on the VCC website. The climbs are 10-12m high on reasonably good rock. We started with "OP&OH" (14), a bottomless corner gained from a convenient block. Hauling up into the corner is the hard part. Then we had a look at the two grade 16 climbs. "Elizabeth" has a really nasty looking off-width start that I lacked the gear to protect (Camalot 4+) so we jumped on "Semillon" (16) instead. Its a nice little flake climb finishing up a corner that is over all to quickly. Our final Mount Pleasant route was "Rosehill" (17) which involves plenty of bridging and jamming up an overhanging corner. There are three other recorded routes; "Hunter Valley" (12) which looks a bit dull, "Phillip" (5) a straight-forward chimney and "Lovedale" (14) which looks quite good. The crag is worth a visit if you've got half a day to kill. It would be in the shade during the morining.
With what remained of the day we went in to have a look at Sentinel Cave. We had a bit of trouble finding the cairns but we'd sighted the cliff by then and soon worked out where we went wrong. We only had time for one route, "Dwarf Pumper" (20), which is trickier than it looks. I got myself in a mess trying to climb to the second bolt (I was too far right) and, by the time I had down-climbed a bit and worked out where the decent holds were, I was pretty pumped. I managed to clip the second bolt but didn't have the energy to continue so I ended up slumping on it. I was quite annoyed that I didn't get it on-sight. I had a quick look at the adjoining grade 23 as I rapped down. The finish looks pretty tough. I'll have to do a bit of training before I come back and give it a shot. From the cave we were able to locate the cliff that hosts "Fot as Huck" (17) and we had a quick look on our way down. It looks quite impressive so I'll definitely give it a go next trip.
On Wednesday we hit the Stapylton Amphitheatre. On the way in we stopped off at Bellerophon Wall (described in Kieran's guide) and did a few routes. I lead "Sky Rocket" (17) and "Pegleg" (16), both of which are quite worthwhile. Then Allan got some lead practise on "Bellerophon" (8). Next stop was the slab to the right of Central Buttress where we did "This Structure is Closed" (17). The climb takes the corner on the right-hand side of the slab. The start is a bit vegetated but once you've got past that its really nice climbing. I did the slab out left of this on a previous trip. Its about the same grade as the corner I'd say (although a lot more run-out), but I've not been able to find it in any updates. A friend said that he thought it was Norm Booth and Keith Lockwood who did the first ascent and put the two bolts in. Does anyone know any more details?
With Allan feeling confident after "This Structure is Closed" I pointed out "Simpleton" (18) and, after some coaxing, he agreed he could handle it. It was about 4pm by this time so we scambled up to the terrace near the start of "Missing" rather than waste time doing the first pitch (which doesn't look that attractive). I roped up and set off up the easy corner and ramp into the cave where most people belay from. Its from here that the real fun begins! A bit of face climbing brings you to the top of the cave and a fixed hanger. Then its up the corner, trying to use my two big cams to best advantage before stepping right to a smaller corner and plentiful nut placements. At this point you start to think you've got the climb beaten. That's when you encounter a small section of thin face climbing which really makes you think before finally reaching easy ground and the belay ledge. I used double ropes and would highly recommend this to other parties (you need two ropes to get down anyway). Allan followed smoothly and we were well on schedule. The third pitch begins with an easy ramble up the corner to the roof. Then comes an awesome hand traverse across under the roof, a good 60m off the deck. It really is a great conclusion to the climb. I got a good placement up in the top of the corner, a cam mid-way along the traverse and a nut at the end of the traverse. Allan was soon on his way up after me. When he got to the top of the corner though I think he started to wonder what he had got himself into. He sidled out a bit, then backed back to the corner to rest. This happened several times before he made it as far as the cam on about the fourth attempt. Unfortunately he got pumped removing the cam and rather than complete the traverse retreated to the corner again. Now he was faced with a real dilemna and a good swing if he fell. After resting for a good 10 minutes he ventured out again and put the cam back before retreating to the corner yet again. The sun was getting quite close to the horizon by now and the rock on Taipan Wall was going a brilliant deep red colour. After a long rest he decided it would be a lot harder by head torch ventured forth once more. He adopted a somewhat different approach to I had on lead. I'd traversed across using the ledge and the crack overhead for hand holds, whilst smearing my feet on the face. Allan stuck one leg on the ledge, one arm in the crack overhead and wriggled across. It probably didn't look pretty but it was effective. He made it across safely and we abseiled off just as the sun disappeared below the horizon.
We had to leave for home by 1:30pm on Thursday so we decided to join the crowds in Summerday Valley. I lead Fantasm (16), which is up behind Bird Wall, then Allan lead Waxman (11) and De Blanc (12) which are both great routes to practise leading on. All to soon it was into the car for the long drive back to Melbourne. I can't wait to get back next weekend (15-16 March) for more.

2:47:03 PM
Sounds like you had a great time. Where will you be this weekend? We are considering doing a few more newies in the Sentinel area on Monday if you are interested in joining us. We might not got up north though... we have much to do in the Vic Ranges.
3:01:37 PM
its good to hear people venturing out of the select guide. sounds like you guys had a good time.

nice report


4:07:07 PM
This weekend is a no go due to a wedding and a birthday. I'll be out again on the 15-16 March though. I spied a line up near "Fot as Huck" that I might try out. It looks doable on natural gear. I'll have to get done to the Victoria Ranges soon. Haven't been into some of those areas that the access ban covered. Also want to check out some of the new stuff you guys have done down there.

4:15:47 PM
The wall right of Fot as Huck has about 5 potenial lines in the grade 15-20 grades. They are all yours! I know Joemor has his eye on a few of themm - but since they are are trad its a free for all!
7:22:07 PM
i want the poor line involving the hand crack through roof/big buldge. but first in best dresses. go for it... just dont to forget to post results!


There are 6 messages in this topic.


Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Landscape Photos Australia

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.

Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | High Country Mountain Huts | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints