A week before Easter I had no one to climb with. Three days later and I have 4 people keen to come along. So off we went. Chockstone members Joe Morgan, Mike Schedleberegererer and myself headed up on Thursday night, to be met by Lou and kezza on Friday.
A good way to start the trip, I was pulled over in some two horse town for doing 82 in a 60 zone. After much cursing myself... and the cop.... the Beautiful officer decided to let me of the $260 dollar fine...... A great way to start the trip.
First day was spent at Sentinel Cave. I was quite impressed upon first viewing and was keen to try ALL the routes there. First route of the day was Half Shark Half Man (17), I really enjoyed this route, a good little sport warm up. Joe, mike and myself all led the route. We then moved onto Dwarf Pumper (20) which I found was aptly named. I got the onsight but the route was quite tricky considering its small stature. Mike also managed a clean ascent. I then had an attempt at media puzzle, I had hoped to onsight this route, however, to put it bluntly I was climbing like shit and couldn't manage the start. Then when I finally pulled the start I got stuck again. Deciding against killing ourselves all day on one route, we decided to go and try some new routes on sentinel wall.
We did three routes:
Easier Puzzle 15m 10 (Me) Left of Half Shark, Half Man
Tatiana 12m 15 (Mike) Sentinel Wall
Know your signals 14m 15 (Me) Sentinal Wall
I led the route finding it to be quite nice although with a touch of dodgy rock. A good clean would help. I set up the belay and was tying myself in. I yelled down to mike saying "im looking for the big poof", mike took this as a call to start climbing. (??) About 5 meters of the ground I realized mike was climbing..... Anyway, I guess the route name makes sense now....
The next day we got up early and headed to sumerday valley. I was keen to try overkill (17). This has to be one of the nicest routes at sumerday, I especially enjoyed the upper section. I set up a TR for the others and it was probably a good idea as about 8 people wanted to try it. Lou, who is just starting to lead, did Deblanc (12) and Regata (13) and is starting to build her confidence. We then piked due to the fact that EVERY route had a party on it, and went bouldering at Andersen’s. We met a few friends there and did some nice problems including a very scary V4 with an evil landing, and a stupid balancy thing….. stupid caus I couldn’t do it….
The next day was sposed to be my rest day, the others were still keen to climb. We headed to sumerday again. Lou led the classic easy line Waxman (11) and Mike did the nice technical Rats tail (16). I was then talked into leading texas radio and the big beat (17), which I found to be VERY average. The highlight of the day though had to be mikes lead of frogs hollow (15). This wide crack, chimney looks horrid from the ground, but thanks to Tim and I in full sandbag mode told him it was nice with good gear (ive never even climbed it). It was funny that he didn’t even get suspicious when none of us wanted to second it. Bivying at about 8m by jamming himself in the crack, mike started to stress realizing even his biggest hex and cam were about 100 sizes to small. We sent up some smallish gear for physiological purposes. After much grunting, groaning and crying mike emerged at the top quite happy…. To be alive that is J
We met Roland and Ann Pauligk almost without knowing it; Ann especially was very interesting to talk to. Tim and I finished the day by doing Hawks (17). Tim was excited by the 50m single pitch, however it was one hard move of the deck then grade 14 for about 15 m, then about grade 6 for the rest… needless to say he was disappointed. The others spent the arvo watching james and sticky bouldering insane shit in the cave.
Next day we headed to bundaller. The mission for joe and tim was blimp. I was keen to but ended up piking out. Tim climbed well but dogged the lead, as did joe. However, they were both physced to climb such a great route. Kezza secconded the route and thougharlly enjoyed it. Mike and I headed off to do Basilisk Direct (16)… add 200 grades for exposure… This had to be one of the trip highlights for both of us. I linked the first two pitches into one which was really good, the climbing was consistently good, nice, steep and juggy with a balancy crux. The Direct finish goes through a 6m roof , which despite its terifying appearance, mike was still super keen to lead. You end up crawling though the roof on all fours. The hardest part is not getting stuck. Wearing a helmet makes it very hard. Theres a good sling on a spike to make it a bit more sane, however just as mike pulled into vertical position, the sling lifted off….. he replaced it for me so as I didn’t have a big swing should I come off. Mike pulled to the top, quite happy with himself. Then I hear, “phil, ur on belay…. I cant wait to see ur face….”
I set of to the roof and began to crawl though untill I hit a snag…. I got stuck and couldn’t move… So I spent 5 mins on all fours looking at thye party below us as they chuckeled at my position. Eventualy, I managed to twist sideways and reach the jug, I then wiggeled free and swung out. (would have made an interesting pic from the side, just a pair of legs dangling out of the roof)… I hung about for a seccond (to show off) then pulled up into the carck and finished the route. I was greeted with a big high five at the top…. A very memorable climb, thanks Mike.
I then jumped on Manic (25), deciding to try the propper start, ive done the cheat version at about grade 23, but had never even tried the proper start. I tried a couple of ways, then got some beta from a fellow climber, he said “just put ur hand this way. Low and behold, first shot. I climbed well but pumped out pulling onto the face. I reasted the climbed the rest clean. Tim the had a shot on TR and pulled the start (Thanks Mr Beta), but dogged it with a couple of rests. Good effort though.
To finish the day I had another play on Angular Perspective, making it about 4 moves further than last time…. Next time.
Next day, my car battery shit itself, so tim and I drove to stawl to get a new one. Lou, Kez and joe went up to bundaleer. Lou jumped on Enter Sandman (22), her first outdoor sport lead. She climbed like the australian champ(she is), and almost got the onsight, she fell while looking at the chains. A quick depump and rest and she got it clean with ease.
The rest of us bouldered a bit, and I had another shot at manic. The start is a piece of piss once you know how, anyway, same old storry, pumped out and fell in the same spot. Rested for like 10 seconds then finsihed the route…. Twas so close, alas…. No cigar.
Last day was spent at the gallery. I was keen to get on a few routes but felt pretty lazy. One route I did have enegry for though was weaveworld, which i was keen to onsight. (I carried up trad gear nuts and 2 cams to do the propper finish). I climbed well and felt pretty good as I pulled onto the face. As I reached up next to the bolt my foot slipped and I came screaming off taking a sizeable whipper, much bigger than the 4m stated by joe, I ended up near the second bolt. Thanks tim for the dynamic belay. I got back on and climbed the route clean, the arete is AMAZING and was a definite highlight, the whole route is good. Tim, Joe, Mike and Kez all had a shot at chain of fools but endurance eluded them all. We headed of early as we were all hungry and very tired.
Well, that was our trip, a great week with great company.
Thanks to all those that came, it was a very memorable easter.