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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

Author
Farewell Araps trip
TLockwood
30/09/2007
8:47:03 PM
Well here goes with my first chockstone trip report.
Beware, it is very long, it got out of hand a little.

It was nearing my 20th birthday and one of my closest mates (Ryan aka diablo) was soon to be heading off to his special forces training. It was concluded that a 4-day trip to Araps was just the remedy we needed to celebrate our respective milestones. It was planned that I would take the train to Ballarat on the Thursday 20th Sept and stay the night at Ryan’s and drive to Araps on the Friday with his girlfriend Bonnie, whilst another mate of ours, Reilly, would take public transport the whole way on Saturday (he ended up convincing his parents to drive him the whole way).

We packed the car full to the gunnels on Friday and left Ballarat around 3pm. Stopping in Horsham for a few groceries, we made it to Natimuk and stopped into my parents to drop of half a cake Bonnie had baked and pick up the rest of my climbing gear. Plans were fervently made to meet my dad at 10am the next morning as we raced against the setting sun to make it out to the pines and set up camp. Arriving at camp just past sunrise we quickly put up our tents; mine on its maiden voyage at Arapiles of all places (I knew it must be saved for a special trip). After a quick meal of mi goreng noodles, nicknamed miggaz, we hopped into bed, aiming for an early start.

Waking at 6am was just magic, throwing on all my clothes to ward of the crisp morning chill I jumped out of my tent and walked down to the toilet block taking in the morning bird’s calls and watching the sunrise over the golden hues of the Atridae and surrounds. I proceeded to set up the hammocks we had not set up the night before and had my breakfast of champions, 10 vitabrits, yum yum! Ryan and Bonnie were shortly awake and after breakfast we planned to head up to the Atridae for a nice easy introductory route - *Tantalus 7. I took the first short pitch while Ryan took the last. A lovely climb to ease back into the Arapiles feel, of moving, placing gear and the essence of the place.

Arriving back at camp at only a few minutes too 10 (who says you cant time things when out climbing!) we relaxed in the mid morning warmth whilst chatting to a family friend Ed Neve who was also at Araps till Tuesday with his boys Max and Todd. He pricked up his ears when I mentioned I was planning on ***Thundercrack 20 and we agreed that we could rendezvous there in the afternoon. He was going to take his boys up *Yo-Yo 16 whilst Myself, Ryan, Bonnie and my Dad went around to Looking Glass Wall. I lead my dad up *Ménage a Trois 16 and Ryan led Bonnie up *Hand Job 15, both of which felt tough for the grade. I especially made mine harder lay backing up the crack using brawn, whilst my dad bridged it, using his brain! Age hasn’t wearied him in the slightest. Rapping off the bollard we top roped Hard and Fast 19, which had next to no gear, but was fun nonetheless. Finishing off this nice little secluded wall, I led *Blow-by-Blow 15, which had quite a funky boulder start and a very pleasant continuation.

Time was marching so off and up to Thundercrack it was!! Bonnie and Ryan were still coiling ropes, etc so Dad and I went ahead and began the ascent up Ali’s and right up the back of the bluffs. Dad and I separated as I sped up a bit and arriving at the Base of Thundercrack, I dumped my gear and surveyed the climb for a few quiet moments as I caught my breath. As dad arrived I uncoiled the rope and the usual banter arose discussing the times dad had climbed Thundercrack with Norm Booth and Ray Lassman many moons ago. As Ed made his way up to us I supplemented my rack with some more draws and cams from his and tied in and stepped of the ground. I placed a nice large hex in the crack before I moved up to the small roof. Placing a small wire in the crack below the roof and one under the roof, I surveyed the crux, identifying key footholds and fingering the handholds as far as I could comfortably move without committing to the move. Deep breathe. Wipe the sweat on my pants. Swing the rack behind my back. Ok here goes. Reaching around the right hand corner of the small roof I find a small finger tip edge and, placing my feet further right and up, I pull myself over and onto my fight, reaching up and over my hand to the next crack, the jug! Hanging here, complements arise from Dad and Ed, saying “well done” and “nice one” accompanied by “don’t hang around, get some gear in and keep moving”. Placing a medium bomber cam I breathe a sigh of relief and contentment and call down the single word that reassures everyone – “that’s bomber”. Continuing on I reach the ledge and breathe a sigh of relief that the main crux is over, looking up, I remind myself that there is a long way to go yet. I place a few pieces and move up to the second crux, which appears to be a finger crack. I manage to work my right hand into a bomber jamb in the wider lower section, and, running my feet up off this jamb I reached over the bulge and thrust my left hand into a jamb where the crack widens. Off this jamb I’m able to run my feet up again and throw my right hand into another jamb further up the crack. Placing more bomber gear (this climb just eats it up!) I continue up the climb, at about grade 18 but nonetheless pumpy after the first half; more bomber jambs and solid gear ensue and I arrive at the wider section just below the final bulge. Here I find a hands free rest and stop to take it all in. Looking across central gully and down to the pines I reflect on what I have just achieved. I feel the blood pumping through my forearms and my heart beating to the unseen drums of the rock, yet all this while I feel calm, and at peace, appreciative of the emotional high I’m on. For the last few years I have been throwing myself at climbs such as this – Kachoong, Judgement Day, Christian Crack, Chinese Algebra, Tarantula, Wasp, Cruel Consistency, Little Thor; all of which have tested me in many ways, both physical and mental, and yielded copious amounts of satisfaction and pleasure, required to make it through the times in Melbourne at uni. Finishing of the climb I set up a belay with what little gear I have left over and bring Ed up it, commenting on how enjoyable it was to second the climb without the need to focus on gear and all the mindsets involved.

Walking back to camp I felt a surge of pride that Thundercrack had allowed me to crawl my way up her magnificently steep and bulging line. Relaxing by the campfire that night, in the knowledge that I had 3 more days of climbing, and I had already accomplished my main aim, I felt more at home than I had ever felt. Needless to say we went out bouldering after tea in the dark by head torch and bike lights. We even did the squeeze in the dark, very good fun! Not so for the people behind me as I had bare feet; I wasn’t going to rub my new climbing boots through the dirt! As we crawled into bed at about 1am, my fingers felt quite warm, letting me know that they were worn through nicely.

The next day (Sunday) Norm was out and we all went up to the Organ pipes and while I led Jen’s Roof, Ryan took Bonnie and Reilly up Diapason. While we were at the chains on Jen’s Roof we decided we would also top rope Dirge, out of ease with the chains, just as Dad arrived from Nati. After lunch back at the pines, our late night and the warm sun caught up with us and had us all yawning so the afternoon became a sleepy one with nothing but pure relaxation achieved.

Monday morning arrived and we were back up at the Atridae, this time on *Hell for leather 15. Ryan took the lead and Bonnie and Reilly were ecstatic with their clean seconds of this climb, both being relative beginners. Afterwards we sought the shade behind Lizard Procrastination pinnacle, as I led Ryan up *English Ethics 21, a climb I had seconded a friend up in 2002. I had led *Cruel Consistency 21 in November ’06 so the start was fresh in my mind, although it took me a little while to remember the undercling used to get off the deck. Moving across the face to the bolt I matched on a tiny edge to reach the better edge, which Ryan managed to stretch across to (he’s taller than me :p). This climb still managed to test me although I wouldn’t say it did as much as Thundercrack did.
To finish off the afternoon we headed up to Heckle and Jeckle area. I lead *Jeckle and Ryan lead the *grade 13 there (it’s name escapes me at the moment). Bonnie and Reilly seconded both of them, requiring some assistance on Jeckle’s start, which involved my shoulder. Afterwards I relished in placing many large hexes on *Mr Hyde 15 which Ryan relished in seconding me up! Back to camp for more fireside tales and a few drinks to see us off to sleep peacefully beneath the stars.

Tuesday morning we began the arduous task that no one wishes to do - packing up camp. After a while, the little honda civic was once again packed to near overflowing, and the four of us, yes, four of us squeezed in (I’m sure it wasn’t legal) and drove to the summit not quite sure what we would do. We ended up climbing Lone Pine Corner, and please grade 8, which myself and my sister followed our dad up on the first ascent when I was six. It was nice to be away from the crowds of the Organ pipes on a less traveled climb that provided a nice ending to the day and trip. Back in Nati, milkshakes were ordered and the most fun that could ever be had with 20c was had in the skate park. Flicking the coins down the quarter pipe and watching then roll over the feature in the middle then up the other quarter pipe and back to you was absolutely bizarre yet quite entertaining! The best fun I’ve had with 20c since putting then on the train line and waiting for the train to squash them.

Hope you enjoyed the TR, it’s a bit long yes, but I got on a roll.
Cheers, Tim
Access T CliffCare
30/09/2007
9:43:49 PM
Sounds like it really was "just magic"! Nice one Tim.

Glad to hear you're still eating your 10 vitabrits.

belayslave
30/09/2007
10:34:33 PM
Thanks Tim, that TR was great. from someone who's been out of action for a while, reading your TR i
had great memories of all the feelings and places that you wrote about so well.

muki
1/10/2007
1:31:36 AM
Good to read your trip report, glad you had such a great time, happy that you jumped on Jens Roof.
I hope that you enjoyed the climb, Its been seeing more and more traffic lately, seems quite popular.
TLockwood
1/10/2007
10:44:55 AM
Yeh Jens Roof was a good fun climb, loved swingin across the roof on those buckets!

steph
1/10/2007
11:48:36 AM
Post some of those photos up here, they're great!
TLockwood
1/10/2007
12:20:02 PM
if i knew how to i would steph!

new2thegame
1/10/2007
1:53:45 PM
excellent lunch time read!

Dom
1/10/2007
1:56:17 PM
On 1/10/2007 TLockwood wrote:
>if i knew how to i would steph!

Hit the "adding pictures" link to the right of the cancel button when you go to post Tim.
TLockwood
2/10/2007
7:01:51 PM


leading English Ethics



Ryan seconding English Ethics



left to right, Reilly, Myself, Ryan, Bonnie (smoke made photo a lil hazy)



In with those lovely hexes on Mr Hyde



Ryan seconding Mr Hyde

There are 10 messages in this topic.

 

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