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ACT beta Trip Report, plus* (March 2010)...

10:44:11 PM
A link to a nmonteith TR post in another thread.

*Plus a short one from me...

Booroomba saw Brendan and myself on our second trip climbing together there last Sunday.
It is surprising how easy it can be to be comfortable with a climbing partner after minimal climbing time together. Last trip (Sept '09), we climbed Denethor linking in to Lepton and Ivory Coast, and since then I have climbed Vent Crack with another partner, but missed out on some variants to it that interested me.
We already knew what each others rack consisted of so the guess work in that area did not require sorting and we both had a lighter load as a result, so we arrived at the top camp before actually deciding what we would climb for the day, both of us being in cruise mode I guess...

Brendan had not done Vent Crack (Gd 14), and the Baryon Flake pitch combined with After The Reiving (Gd15) variants that I elaborated on were agreeable to him, so that became our agenda. We descended the central access track and although I did this with Nick last December, this time I managed to miss the subtle lead off it to access Snickers Wall on a higher tier. Looking up from the base of the northern slabs I thought 'that orange wall up there kind of looks familiar' and soon found myself at Denethor again having missed the right path! A short back-track and then bush bash involving some broken climbing effectively saw us add a direct start new pitch to gain Vent Crack where we roped up and Brendan led off.

As I had done, he combined pitches one and two and found the climbing to be better than it looked from below, as well as being sufficiently thought provoking to maintain interest. After rechecking the guide I led the Baryon Flake variant pitch and it is indeed a wafer flake that flexes when you climb it. At it's base I deliberated whether to climb the right side of it that is more of a crack than a flake and has better protection opportunities, but being used to Mt Buffalo cracks wanted variety in my climbing diet, so chose the more or less unprotectable thinner left side of the flake to achieve this. One could protect it with jiggery pokery but after the first nut I placed fell out as soon as I weighted the flake and it flexed, I decided it was easily do-able so committed to the moves regardless. The flake is fractured with see-through holes in places, so delicate weighting in the right direction is needed to maintain it's integrity. The pitch was soon dispatched and Brendan followed. He tried the left side as I suggested, but managed to break off a large sliver of rock and thought better of that undertaking, so climbed the right side, reckoning that the fresh scar on the left should direct following parties to the 'right' way to climb it!

Having done Vent before, it was much easier to make head and tail of the features as I rejoined Vent, and from this (Baryon-rejoins-Vent), angle I could clearly see where After The Reiving ascends a rather blank looking buttress. Hmm. Accessing it from the trench of Vent proved more trouble than it was worth, so Brendan climbed the left side of the heart shaped boulder blocking the trench (instead of right side as the guide suggests), and downclimbed the right side enough to place good protection, then retraced his steps higher to access the balancy but unprotected downward traverse moves to gain the line proper. This bit struck me as being a shorter but similar climbing situation as that found on Initiation at Mt Buffalo.

After seeing gear stripped off several aid climbs at Buffalo last weekend due to outward-load rope-tension, even with well placed belayers during falls, I was concerned that the thin climbing ahead of Brendan was going to have it's protection stay put if needed, and exhorted him to place the first gear for upward loading, since my belay was some distance horizontally out from where he was. This he duly did, and equalised it with a piece good for the downward load, then enjoyed the spaced but adequate subsequent protection on the climb. I followed and had fun with the nut tool getting the gear out. It is a good line and worth doing, so I shall be back to lead it in the future. I have a vivid mental picture of Brendan 'out there' on lead with the blankness of his surrounds and panoramic vista behind him, etched in my memory. Too bad I did not have a camera with me, though it probably would not have done that scene justice, especially with the three wedgetail eagles circling overhead at the time. Interestingly enough we came across a new double bolt belay/abseil anchor? after about 40m that although belonging to another climb, serves ATR well too.

With time to spare we went and repeated Liz (Gd 15), located near the top of the North Buttress. This time I led it and was well pleased to do the thinnish, final open-book corner, that only takes good gear before it, and again just before top-out. It looks pretty straight forward climbing, but in my unfit condition hanging around to solve the climbing puzzle and place good gear was proving problematic. A good hex I got in at 2/3 height managed to get knocked as I climbed past, and dislodged to the point of being unreliable as pro. Bugger! With an awkward fingerlock and not much for the feet, I managed to fire in a good slcd, and with hands greasing out of the final metre of crack climbing, topped out with essence of fuel left in the tank. I was well pleased indeed, but after setting a belay found myself using two krabs on the belay device, as I wanted to minimise hand strength required to hold a fall if needed!

Got back to the car on dusk to stave off dehydration, and continued to enjoy the climbing company on the journey back to Canberra.

9:02:18 AM
Thanks for the TR. Brought back some memories. I climbed the left side of the Baryon flake as well. It is the bendiest rock I have ever climbed. And a thousand bogongs didn't like me climbing it and decided to fly out midway around it! Gear also moved in the expando flake.
I also didn't like the right side of the trench at the start of ATR, so climbed straight into the line up the thin and thinly protected short wall. Bit sketchy considering how amazingly hot it was on the day I did it.
I recalled placing 13 hexes on the 2 pitches of Liz when I did it (I carry a lot of hexes on Granite...)

9:22:38 AM
Any chance you can put some extra blank lines in that Rod? It's pretty hard to read...

10:22:18 AM
>blank lines
Done. (The post was a hurriedly knocked up effort late last night and I had not proof-read it).

Re Liz. We have done it as a single 45m pitch both times now and found it good to do that way (especially on a 60m rope), as the line is straight with the odd long sling for any pro off to the side. The rock is slicker than other lines at Booroomba, but thank-God jugs are there when needed. The guide says "Steep with an interesting finish" and that sums it up pretty well. The finish is somewhat out of character with the earlier climbing due being small RP size protection for the most part, unless one commits to the line and has juice enough to get the good pro in when higher, as I only just managed to do on this occasion.

11:14:00 AM
ill be in canberra for 3 weeks from the 12th april. hopefully i can find time to climb something. Ill bring a harness and shoes. is booromba good to climb at in april?

11:34:31 AM
>is booromba good to climb at in april?

All year round as far as I am concerned (though sometimes it is good to pick your weather window), ... but I am biased?
April would have good friction but possibly a cold wind if you are in the shade. With the right clothing it would be great to be there then.
3:18:24 PM
On 30/03/2010 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>Booroomba saw Brendan and myself on our second trip climbing together
>there last Sunday.
>It is surprising how easy it can be to be comfortable with a climbing
>partner after minimal climbing time together.

Just be careful M9, he may 'accidently" forget his tent and then try out his alpine bivy spooning technique. Things can start to get too comfortable if you know what I mean.

3:24:26 PM
... but it wasn't a 40 pitch alpine route like you chaps did not long ago, so I am OK for the moment; ... ~> though he did ask me about portaledge repairs, so I will be careful...
11:03:07 AM
On 31/03/2010 cruze wrote:
>I recalled placing 13 hexes on the 2 pitches of Liz when I did it (I carry
>a lot of hexes on Granite...)

That's more than lacing it up, that's cross-stiching with a bias binding.
Liz & her sister Jenny? on the other side of the cave are both worth doing!!!

11:26:20 AM
Better my second carry them than me fall off thinking another piece may have been helpful. Never pass a good gear placement... And 13 pieces in the 30-40 m is far from excessive.

And cross-stitching is fun.

12:01:29 PM
Hmm. Interesting comment by deadpoint.
Initially I thought the same about cruze using that many hexes, especially since a rack of hexes used to be in old Chouinard money(?), eleven units.
Upon reflection I placed gear on Liz about 11 or 12 times (every 3 to 4 m), and actually used about the same amount of pro as cruze due on 2 or three occasions I had doubled up gear (in quick succession placements), as backup type pieces.
I wouldn't categorise my lead as cross-stitched, as there would have been fair fall potential (6m?) in a couple of spots.
The climbing-protection sequence is good though, because you can make 2 or 3 moves and get good stances to again place pro.
Upon reflection for that lead I think I used three wired hexes, three slcd's, three nuts, and three tricams; plus four bits for the final belay on top.
My rope ran pretty much plumb vertical up the centre of the line, though much of the gear was off to the side/s somewhat.

An interesting side issue is that on Baryon and After The Reiving we used revolver krabs on long slings in two places and both times saw the revolver's rotate on the sling, so that the pully-section was acting on the sling and not the rope! This has not happened to me before and I have been impressed by their performance in reasonably frequent previous usage.
I discussed this with Brendan, and later on Liz again used a revolver, but this time I clove hitched the thin sling we were using on it to it's correct portion of the krab, to ensure it didn't invert. I was quite surprised when Brendan told me that despite this, the krab had again inverted by the time he arrived and cleaned it!
On each usage the sling involved was relatively free-hanging.

In the past I have usually used them on 1 inch tubular webbing with no problems, but with thin spectra style webbing we found them not functioning as intended.
I have since put rubber 'O' rings on them in quickdraw-keeper fashion, to hopefully prevent this tendency to invert in usage, in the future.

12:56:39 PM
On 7/04/2010 cruze wrote:
>Better my second carry them than me

When leading my prime concern is mass transfer to my second. I like to place my #4 and #5 straight off the deck, then a whole rack of hexes at the next good stance.

1:03:08 PM
On 7/04/2010 evanbb wrote:
>When leading my prime concern is mass transfer to my second. I like to
>place my #4 and #5 straight off the deck, then a whole rack of hexes at
>the next good stance.

Is the fact that you do more bouldering lately because they have wised up?
Heh, heh, heh.

1:25:25 PM
I should perhaps clarify that we split the climb into two pitches (which I wouldn't do next time) and that the number 13 is a total from both pitches. I don't own 13 hexes... But I remember only placing one cam and probably no wires...

Totally agree about offloading heavy gear early. I also strongly believe in volunteering to lead chimney pitches so that my second can carry the backpack. I also ensure that my smelly feet are well-placed to provide additional spice to any awkward top-outs for my second.
10:41:40 PM
13 hexes would be a bit heavy :)

I don't have that many, more a (beer) & nut man myself

Doing it in one pitch made the last bit, where you head a bit left and up - drag the rope.

I remember have to haul up a few handfuls of rope, probably lack of extending the runners on my part.

Another bloody ripper of a climb is Fearon (16), it well protected, has a bit of everything on it.

6:01:00 AM
Got to agree with Dave on that. Liz is best done in two pitches. I extended every runner and still had all sorts of trouble trying to top out when doing it as a single pitch.

Good route though. I think the ACT Granite editors were a bit thrifty when handing out stars. Liz deserves at least one

11:44:34 AM
You fellows must use shorter runners than Brendan and I.
When he led it he did the topout like deadpoint, ie
>Doing it in one pitch made the last bit, where you head a bit left and up - drag the rope.
... but did not comment about rope drag, so I assume he had an OK time of it.

When I seconded that time, I eyed off the clean but thinly protected corner topout on the right, and that is how I led it on this trip.
To do that corner direct probably ups the grade a bit, but it can also be done semi-direct by a single step left, up a move, then step back right into the corner proper, at pretty much the same grade but with more exposure.
I did not feel that rope drag was a problem even with the inverted roller-krab, that I had placed on the longest slung side-pro, lower down.

Are we starting at the same place?
We accessed the 'base' of the climb, by scrambling down the vegetated gully then traversing a slabby bit involving a hang-off-the-(new),-hanger-&-step-over-the-drop-off(!) move to gain a flat spot and roped up there.
The amount of rope we had left over tallies with the route description combined pitch lengths.

I have now added Fearon to my 'to do' list. Thanks for the tip.

12:01:26 PM
Yeah, I did the step left onto the pedestal thingy then step back right into the corner. The corner is undoubtedly the crux.
1:42:22 PM
>Are we starting at the same place?
>We accessed the 'base' of the climb, by scrambling down the vegetated gully then >traversing a slabby bit involving a hang-off-the-(new),-hanger-&-step-over-the-drop-off(!) >move to gain a flat spot and roped up there.

Sounds about right, before the fires you had to stem across to a tree and shimmy down it.

'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! That tree is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the tree 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THAT IS AN EX-TREE!!

Write out 1000 times
I must stop have random thoughts
I must stop have random thoughts
I must stop have random thoughts

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