|Recently, I decided it was time to se if my rope could once again be used to support my weight; it was time to get out in the fresh air and climb on rock.
Not that climbing indoors on plastic isn’t fun, but as there is only one gym here in Adelaide, choice is rather limited…you lucky East Coasters with all your fancy choices…damm you….
Anyway, as always the decision was were to climb.
Having climbed a bit in Victoria, I know what to expect from the various crags. The type of rock, camping facilities etc. The gramps is about 470km and worth every mind-numbing kilometre. Arapilies, a bit closer at about 420 km if you go the back way. From Melbourne I’ve done a number of successful day trips to both of these places.
But, after much deliberation, Moonarie was the chosen destination. we had ventured up there last year and had enjoyed great weather and for 5 days had the whole place to ourselves.
So my climbing buddy, who lives in Melb, made the flight over, we grabbed a quick coffee and a bite to eat and we are off on the road.
Situated about 460 km north of Adelaide in the Flinders ranges, Moonarie, compared to some Victorian crags, is like climbing in the wilderness. Although, we did have a satellite phone!
The rock is similar to that of Araplies, and on many of the routes just as sound.
Multi-pitch routes are the standard fare, climbs reach up to 130m at some points.
Only a handful of fully bolted routes currently exist.
The type of climbing is extremely varied, from all sizes of cracks, face, and hideous slopers, and that was only in the first pitch of the first climb of the trip.
There are about 500 climbs at present, the hardest being 28, but the place is still being developed, albeit slowly, and it will be a while (if ever!) before I get up to the 28 barrier.
We meet some funny characters, like the American dude who (with girlfriend in tow….) made the hike up to top camp with all his gear, bare feet, shirt off, bandana on, then proceeded to tape his hands as though he was casting as an extra in THE MUMMY, then asked us what crack routes there was as he didn’t bring a guide book, then had a brief argument with said girlfriend before returning to the camp site.
And then there was the couple in the tent near to us who had a piss bottle, that they emptied each morning……amazining, who the hell does that when they go camping???????
Camping is FREE, but there is no water on site. The walk to the base of the crag is uphill. Depending on fitness level it might take about an 45min to an hour.
We were there late September, just at the beginning of school holidays and there was about 12 people in total camping, and only about 6 of those were climbing at any one time.
Of course from Melb, it’s a wee bit of a drive (1200km??), but it’s a fantastic place to climb and would make for a REAL road trip. There is a relatively new guide book out, about 2 yrs old. Not of the same standard as Mentz/tempest efforts, but decent enough.
When I get some pics developed, I will see how they turn out on computer. Also took some video footage of climbing, but I can see that there is a lot to learn there!