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Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

tokyo bill
4:28:43 PM
Catching up now. Here's the 'Bungles trip report from fall 2005.

Absolutely fantastic place to climb. (Thanks to many on this site for pre-trip beta.)

4:39:26 PM
Nice report and pics - perfect for daydreaming the arvo away stuck in the office.

4:55:05 PM
Fabulous and inspiring!
Bob Saki
5:12:11 PM
you have a good stykle of storytelling, great photo journal
look fwd to more!
5:58:18 PM
Yep, great story, brings back many memories. Does anyone ever not get lost on 'out and beyond'? I though 3rd pitch of flight of the phenox is one of the most enjoyable pitches I've lead. Airy, consistent climbing and spaced but bomb proof gear. We climbed it as a rope stretching 50m to a hanging belay.
tokyo bill
6:08:28 PM
Hah - glad to hear that about Out and Beyond - we had just absolutely no clue where we were!

We had double 60s, so Col was able to make it to a bit of a ledge on his lead of pitch 3 of FotP. I, on the other hand, got three hanging belays and two traverse pitches with killer ropedrag on that route, not to mention having to screw around with the rappel. Can I have some cheese with my whine? ;-)

I actually enjoyed Lieben the most of all the routes we climbed, but would recommend any of them without thinking twice.

Maybe Grampians this fall? Hmmm....
6:14:33 PM
Looks like a great trip. Thanks for reminding what an awesome place it is.

6:51:01 PM
I've only been to the Bungles once, and that was about 20 years ago - pretty inexperienced then. We decided to start on Out & Beyond, but simply could not figure out where it went. From memory the pitch descriptions in the guide went something like "50m up. 40m up & left". Not very helpful.

Hey does anybody know if there is truth to the story I heard years ago that the track under the Bread Knife was built by climber in the 50's for climbing access, and that climbing there was banned because too many tourists used the climbers' track?

James Mc

7:07:02 PM
Living in Dubbo means its the only place to climb on the short trips!-and im gratefull for it! sitting ontop of belougery spire after an awsome ascent-priceless! thanks for a great story,it really is an awsome place to climb.

7:11:08 PM
The national parks have a huge sign at the base of the bread knife! It is banned as the tourists where complaining of "rocks falling from the sky " as the track is completly underneath the north eastern face.Some say the ranger sleeps in on sundays .......
8:41:05 PM
A climber living in Dubbo! I recently moved after spending 2 and a half years in Cobar!! Pity I didn't find out earlier, could have had some company for the 6hr drives to the Bluey's!

I did head out to the Bungles a couple of times though. What a place! The west face (Lieben etc) of Crater Bluff is definately the most intimidating cliff I've ever looked up at! I also found it a rewarding feeling getting to the top of Belougery Spire as you know that 'only climbers' have been there.

I thing the Bungles deserve a lot more respect and attention than what they recieve. Sure I haven't climbed at that many different places round Aus in my short time climbing, but they're definately a special place.

10:16:17 PM
HI ive PM'd you cheers

5:34:10 PM
>We follow some fourth class slabs up into a gully running between a small pinnacle and the main face, which might match the guide. I climb the pinnacle and then lean wildly out and get in a good yellow alien on the main wall.

You were actually in the correct place ! … ie being the start of the 36m (Joe Friend 1976 guidebook) second pitch of Out and Beyond (in its original form). It is called this name because P2 goes up (a move or two) then traverses right (… out) and beyond the aręte skyline into the next recess to belay for P3. It is an excellent though thinly protected traverse that is very airy for the grade. (As an aside it makes the traverse on Sultan at Mt Buffalo seem like a walk in the park … but requires the same sort of ‘headspace’ for the uninitiated).
Phil Draper and I added a two pitch direct start to O&B in 1994, though this only links up with the existing; ie guidebook pitch one became our pitch 3.

>Unfortunately, the rock above is extremely loose and the moves are pretty hard. Way harder than Oz 14 ought to be. I prove conclusively that the yellow alien is good by falling on it twice. We switch over and Col tries with the same result. On his second try he does a really neat jump/controlled fall back across from the main wall to the pinnacle. We decide this is not the way, pull the gear and traverse further left to an easier ramp.

You were actually attempting to do a (2nd ascent?) of a route that Vera Wong and Greg Croft did (?) in 1996. I don’t know what they named it, but it basically goes straight up (with quite sketchy pro) and stays left of O & B at a significantly harder grade; ... have not done it myself but would suggest 21+

>Up we go, Col leading.

>Unfortunately, we get off route again somehow. I lead the second pitch, which the guide says traverses right on sketchy pro to "loose blocks". I suspect that I didn't traverse far enough, but who knows?

You ended up doing a variation to the lower pitches of East Face Route and from your photos it looks to me like you came on line with the original finish to East Face Route.

>We give up on the guide. Col takes over the lead and guns a long one. I take a short one to reposition us on an easy ramp, and Col fires up again. Here I am below following the ramp.

>Where the heck are we, exactly?

Original East Face Route (255m Gd 10) on Belougery Spire.

>Gorgious day, fun outing. Who the heck cares what we climbed?

True. Very true !
That is the fantastic thing about the ’Bungles.

BTW there are many variations to many of the classics there due to many people having good times such as yourselves!
... robin wrote;
>Does anyone ever not get lost on 'out and beyond'?
Heh, heh, heh; ... love it!

Excellent trip report TB.
Thanks for the feedback (& refiring my memories!).

6:15:19 PM
Rod sounds like you know the Bungels! i climb with Phil Draper as often as possible-needless to say he is my mentor,awsome guy to know and climb with.I was out at the needle recently and saw your name on a lot of the climbs-may be a hard question but would you prefer the Bungels or the Bufffalo?

6:36:53 PM
>hard question but would you prefer the Bungels or the Bufffalo?
... for me the 'Bungles wins hands down for Trad and Buffalo for Aid.

>he is my mentor
Good to hear Phil is still climbing and that the mentor system is still passing from generation to generation. He had not long started when we 1st met up. He no doubt would have a few stories to tell about some adventures with me. Ask him to tell you about AJBH (AmyJordiBradleyHannah) an unpublished classic which we put up (along with John McKenna) on the proudest face of Timor!; ... or our 1st retreat from O & B (with its subsequent local controversy!!), as this was the day that Phil 1st learnt to trust 6mm prussic cord as a retreat sling; or Arhh Well, Dollar A Day/Schools Out, re the unfriendly yogi and combining m/cycles with climbing ...

If you want an adventure with him get him to take you up Napawi sometime. It is the next line right of O& B and includes a bomb-bay chimney a couple of hundred metres off the deck ...

Please give him my regards and tell him to contact me if ever intending climbing down this way.

Note to self: ... must make the time to revisit the 'Bungles again. I know of a few outrageous significant length aid lines that I can put up there, for the heroes to free at a later date!

Post edit;
>Hows the granite this time of year at Mt Buffalo?
Cold and snowy at the moment.

10:01:50 PM
I will certainly give him your regards,it sounds like there is many a story to be told!
He is on a cross country skiing trip @ kosiosko= im envyous!
Please let me know if your heading up this way,ive still along way to go til im as experienced as you both but if anything im good at carrying gear!
I just love it out there,belougery is breath-taking in the early morning light,was planing a trip this weekend but the rain said otherwise! Hows the granite this time of year at Mt Buffalo?
1:52:06 PM
Best trip report ever.
Only ever driven past myself.
My non-climbing partner recognised the bungles potential from a distance and forbade me from venturing any closer.
Am planning a reaffimation ceromony and this time around will be including the phases
'Honor and Obey' and 'Belay' in the vows.
Fool in the Rain
4:55:35 PM
Here's a trip report I wrote for CragX last year..

How much alcohol should four 40 year old plus climbers carry up to the hut at the Bungles for a (short) weekend trip? (drive up from Sydney Friday night/back Sunday night) We took 2 litres of port and 4 litres of wine.. this is sort of what happened..

I’m on the sharp end of the rope at the start of pitch five (or is it eight?) of Out and Beyond on the backside of Belougery’s in the Bungles and nothing’s looking too good. The guidebook description of “up” isn’t very helpful as the slightly overhanging loosely stacked TV sized blocks above look distinctly like “death on a stick”. It’s a 32-degree day and we’re in the full sun and I’m starting to wonder about my careful preparations for the trip. I’d done all the good things, once a week in the gym, a multipitch warm up the previous weekend and a good read of at least two guidebooks as well as listening to “hear say” beta. But last night things began to go a little astray..

It all started well, a late afternoon pick up in Katoomba with R, G and J already in the car. Maybe I should have joined the others in a burger at R’s favourite Mudgee truck stop the Busy B,. but the “cut the air with a knife” aroma of frying grease and the casual staff banter of lack of cleaning kind of put me off. Back in the car we drove on into the dark listening to R’s selection of Queens’ Greatest Hits II & I and then as a change Classic Rock Hits. It should have had Purple’s “Black Night” but it did have “Smoke on the Water” and we had a rousing sing along to “Bat Out of Hell”. Mmm, a bad bad sign.

We arrived at he car park at about eleven and started the uphill slog to the hut. J and me got there pretty quickly, too quickly so we thought we’d have a nightcap. Out comes the port cask. R and G arrived sometime later. R’s walked up barefoot due to a rapidly developing blister from his hiking boots. We’d all had a long day and needed to get up early so sack time was probably in order. Probably and sensibly, but somehow when B, Rob and some pommy fella turned up two hours later we’d seriously dented the port and showed no signs of stopping.
We must have at some stage because in an all too short time we were tumbling out of the bunks preparing to go climbing.

Food, coffee, gear, walk. Not a lot of time to think and soon I was stumbling towards our destination. A shortcut through some trees and I’m turning round to look at the rather large burnt, dead tree falling over as I pass, and don’t see the old trampled wire fence at my feet. I hit the ground with quite a thump (a sack full of climbing gear helps with the momentum) and a quick manual face inspection reveals blood and a painful swelling above my eye. Still anesthetised from the night before I picked myself up and continued.
We surfed the scree down the backside of Belougery’s and looked for the “obvious pinnacle” marking the start of the route. Soon the path was climbing back up a bit and I realised I’ve walked round the backside and could now see the usual front face, along with R & G who’d taken a frontal approach to the walk in.
I don’t know who made the decision but soon we were climbing up some easy slabs for about 70m passing some old tat and a piton on route. The obvious pinnacle was loosely identified and I climbed up the first pitch. Suddenly the description seemed possible. The “bridge” in the description is more like a big dirt coll between the cliff face and the slightly detached buttress/pinnacle. J placed a high piece on the “pinnacle”, “fell” across onto the face and climbed up and across the traverse. Spaced gear, an old fixed off route wire and J finally made the moves to the ancient ring piton belay.
I followed, feeling more than a little shaky and led thru, moving right a little and up. I was climbing very slowly and cautiously due to the rock and my condition. J followed the modern guidebook description up a brown rib; I followed and found myself at the start of this story.

I’m more than a little dehydrated and would probably have a raging headache if my head wasn’t aching from my fall. Everything above looks shit and scary. The only easy way is a small up and down climb to the left. Easy sounds good, but the rock quality isn’t and I put in some miserable pieces behind loose blocks to hopefully protect J as he down climbs the moves behind me, effectively on lead. A very scrubby ramp leads to a much more user-friendly wall/slab/big corner. J’s lead and he goes for the full 50m. Some nice bridging and I’m up with him now feeling weak and almost unable to stand up. Which I don’t really have to, just climb up a big beautiful blocky corner. Another good 50m of climbing, passing an old piton on route (but of which route we have no idea) a short pitch for J and unbelievably we’re at the top.

Postscript. It's probably more fun to drink after climbing but more interesting if you drink before..
tokyo bill
7:08:22 PM
Wow, thanks for all the further feedback!

It really makes me laugh that we were in the right place on O and B and couldn't even figure out where we were. Classic 'Bungles, by all accounts.

Definitely will have to go back and get on that, one of these days!

(And nice story with the keg of port, by the way - doubt I'd have made it out at all the following day, if it had been me. Hats off to you!)

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