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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

Author
Sweet Dreams...Toby, Sean & Moto
Chipbutty
18/05/2010
7:55:31 PM
Hi All, I have never written a trip report before so here goes

After a break of over six months from climbing due to study it came time to get out to the blueys for a long awaited weekend of climbing. Met friends in Blackheath on Sat morning and decided Mt Boyce would be a good choice. First lead was Goldstar pitch one with the possibility of trying pitch two, this idea faded quickly as I reached the crux on p1, from the bottom I had been confident but now I struggled for about twenty minutes trying to drag myself up through the thinner part of the crack only making it after a small fall, disappointed in my efforts I brought my two friends up who both cruised it though no one was willing to lead the second pitch! Next up was the route next to it, I forget it's name but it is a good 19? with two pretty thin sections at least for me even though I was on second this time. after this it was up to Sean to lead Gates of Janus, this I had led about a year prior on the windiest day I have ever climbed on and nearly gotten blown off. My confidence returned when I romped up easily on second though by now my unaccustomed body was tired. Lastly Moto decided to lead Gently mine to get some more experience on trad gear and I thoroughly enjoyed seconding. The daylight faded and we headed for food and to camp at Mt York.
After a good nights sleep I was sore from Sat so I decided to take Sean up Sweet Dreams as he had not climbed it before, the journey to the base set the scene of adventure though that was yet to come... I suggested Sean lead the first short pitch, I would take the second so that he could lead the traverse and the last pitch where I would cunningly convince him to try the great 17 variant at the top by acting like that was the only way, well he figured out it wasn't when I said it was seventeen but was up for it any way. We decided that like the party before us we would haul the unnecessarily heavy pack that we had brought with us after he had set up the belay at the top and thrown the spare end of the single 60 we were climbing on down to me, what could possibly go wrong.
Sean led up and enjoyed the climb though neglected to take in the view which I thought was a great part of climbing this variant, he reached the top and looked for the bolts I pointed him in the direction of them and he looked some more declaring there to be none, at which point he set up a trad belay in a spot that I was not particularly confident in, I asked lots of questions and he convinced me that it was safe, I then suggested he throw the rope down, meaning pull up all available rope and throw what is left over down to me, there was after all more than enough, well he threw the rope down alright, the whole rope! expletives rang out from him as he realised what he had done and I think I called him a d#*k head.
The rope now hung from the quickdraws on the carrots and one small cam that had been placed right below the top and though close it was to dangerous for Sean to de-belay and reach it. All the time we had been climbing there had been a guy bolting nearby, we had chatted a little and all was pleasant, however I now felt like a right muppet and felt that he probably thought the same.
I looked at the rope and decided that if I anchored the end that went through the gear I could prussik up the free end whilst leaving the pack attached to the end to pull up afterwards, then anchor the free end on the bolts at the top abseil down retrieve the gear and get belayed back to the top, the first part, prussiking went well hauling the bag did not, as I pulled it swung out and under the end that was running through the gear (of course) and got stuck, luckily releasing some rope through the quickdraws freed the pack thank funk and from here on the plan worked, I anchored the end to the bolts rapped down got the gear and climbed back up, ate some banana bread and we both went home, ahhh. All in all it was a great weekend! If you have read this thank you and remember the moral of this story is.................(insert)


IdratherbeclimbingM9
18/05/2010
8:21:48 PM
On 18/05/2010 tobyh wrote:
>Hi All, I have never written a trip report before so here goes

Good trip report tobyh, and thanks for posting it.

It sounds to me, that you were fortunate in being able to retrieve the free-end of the rope after it came down, to enable you to prussik out; though this would have involved it's own jiggery pokery due the small cam taking the whole load (& not pulling), plus the roped solo topout for you beyond that point.
I am glad you had those skills in your bag of tricks, so as to enable your self rescue.

>and remember the moral of this story is.................(insert)

~> that you are trying to out-epic Oliver & Steve?

Hans
18/05/2010
9:51:57 PM
Sweet Dreams is such a top climb hey. I remember having a similar feeling leading the final pitch (e.g. not being able to find belay anchors) but they showed up in the end.
Chipbutty
19/05/2010
6:36:51 PM
On 18/05/2010 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Good trip report tobyh, and thanks for posting it.

Thanks!

I will have to try harder to out epic Oliver and Steve I think though I should be careful what I wish for!
Chipbutty
19/05/2010
6:38:56 PM
On 18/05/2010 Hans wrote:
>Sweet Dreams is such a top climb hey. I remember having a similar feeling
>leading the final pitch (e.g. not being able to find belay anchors) but
>they showed up in the end.

It sure is, thats the third time I have climbed it and the fourth time I have climbed the last pitch. Next time I will take the doubles.
DanMac
20/05/2010
10:47:49 AM
On 18/05/2010 Hans wrote:
>Sweet Dreams is such a top climb hey. I remember having a similar feeling
>leading the final pitch (e.g. not being able to find belay anchors) but
>they showed up in the end.

I climbed it for the first time myself a few months ago, and had a similar epic... I led the last pitch and went straight past the anchors. Couldn't find them for the life of me.
It was the windiest day I have ever climbed on, making communication impossible with the 3 grumpy, dehydrated people on the lunch ledge!
I ended up building a trad belay, and all that could be communicated was:
"did you find the rings?"
"no, but i'm on belay"
"what??"
Luckily we were climbing with 2 parties, so one of them came up on the second rope to suss out what was going on. All good in the end, but it took us something like 4 hours to get up it...

gordoste
20/05/2010
11:04:25 AM
The moral is ... throwing a rope should be one of those situations where you think "Am I really doing the right thing here?". In 99% of climbing situations you shouldn't need to throw a rope until you're abseiling. If you do it incorrectly you're at least going to have a fair bit of unnecessary trouble. In a less forgiving environment the consequences can be more extreme. I also learnt this the hard way but fortunately it was similar to yours - just required a bit of extra effort to get the rope back.

Other times which raise alarm bells for me - unclipping from an anchor (when not on belay), untying from a rope on a multipitch. In an ideal situation you should never have to do either of these so I double-check that I am actually going to be safe before doing them.

aarond
20/05/2010
3:55:59 PM
i had an exciting adventure on sweet dreams myself, probably not quite as bad...

anyway i did it with a mate after work in summer, left the car park at 630pm and got back to the car at 930pm doing the last pitch by head torch (the original plan) was great sitting at the belay final watching the sunset.

i did it a second time with another mate after work again, left at 6pm, got back at 930pm. all going to plan.

so next time i thought oh Ill take a beginner up and figured if they are only seconding and can comfortably climb the grade it shouldn't be too slow, i mean its no different to climbing 10 15m climbs in the gym on toprope in the afternoon right??



so we left at 4pm thinking thinking 4 1/2 hours of light should be ample time! anyway the walk down must have taken almost 1 hour... first problem.
then the sun was setting before the final pitch. ( no problem, id done this twice before, night climbing is like day climbing but you cant see the bottom)
but it is a problem for a beginner having to climb with the exposure and the fear of darkness approaching..... anyway 1030pm we reach the top after lots of abuse and screaming "i cant believe you would **** take my up this at night time!! what the **** were you thinking!" and resting and aiding up the final 17.


moral of my story, if your taking a beginner up sweet dreams, even if you think 4 hours ample time, its not. maybe leave 6+.
martym
20/05/2010
6:35:03 PM
> I then suggested he throw the rope down
I still don't understand why he didn't just haul the rope up?
You still had rope in your hands as you were belaying him right.
Chipbutty
20/05/2010
8:41:35 PM
On 20/05/2010 martym wrote:
>> I then suggested he throw the rope down
>I still don't understand why he didn't just haul the rope up?
>You still had rope in your hands as you were belaying him right.

I'm not sure I explained it well, it was silly really, I meant make safe , pull up all spare rope as there was stacks of it and throw an end down. I think we just had different ideas about how to go about it. I still probably have not explained it well enough, next time I will just carry a lighter pack!

Interestingly the second of the two climbers in front of us was struggling and decided to pull himself up on the rope until he could get a hold/stance and then the belayer who probably was not aware of this took in the slack, yikes.
martym
20/05/2010
9:55:20 PM
So the spare rope was to haul the pack?

Reading through this thread, I hope the new guide indicates that Sweet Dreams is not a beginners climb - but rather a lower grade mixed multi-pitch - of which there are few options. But having heard stories about people getting stuck at the last pitch in pitch black with no lights at all - later being rescued from the top by local police no less - it's important to stress Sweet Dreams ain't the best option for "first time multipitching"

Not saying that's what Tobyh has done- but obviously we forget how intimidating the Grosse looks to a noob from 200m above the treeline.
kieranl
20/05/2010
10:23:12 PM
On 20/05/2010 tobyh wrote:
>On 20/05/2010 martym wrote:
>>> I then suggested he throw the rope down
>>I still don't understand why he didn't just haul the rope up?
>>You still had rope in your hands as you were belaying him right.
>
>I'm not sure I explained it well, it was silly really, I meant make safe
>, pull up all spare rope as there was stacks of it and throw an end down.
>I think we just had different ideas about how to go about it. I still probably
>have not explained it well enough, next time I will just carry a lighter
>pack!
>
A few years back a bunch of the best american alpinists did this trick while retreating from high on the Rupal face of Nanga Parbat. They were lucky and stumbled across a cache of ropes from another party who had disappeared some years earlier. The moral: it's easy to make mistakes like this when you're in a stressful situation even if you're very experienced. Just have to learn from it.
Tommo
21/05/2010
11:25:43 PM
"expletives rang out from him as he realised what he had done and I think I called him a d#*k head..."

You called him a wanker, actually ;o) And lucky I was on a rope or I would have fallen off the cliff laughing.


"All the time we had been climbing there had been a guy bolting nearby, we had chatted a little and all was pleasant, however I now felt like a right muppet and felt that he probably thought the same".

I was terribly amused by you muppets, and a then a little concerned, and very nearly offered to jug back up my ropes and wander over and lend you one. But I didn't want to stick my nose in unless it looked like you were desperate or about to do something drastic and silly! Once it sounded like you had it under control, I definitely had another good chuckle.

Reminds me of being at Nowra and belaying my wife on Everything But The Wasp - one of her very first leads and her hardest at that point. She got to the chains as a storm rolled in and started bucketing down. As she was hanging from the wall clipped in with a couple of draws I was yelling directions (reminders) on how to safely thread for a lower off. And one point, over the roar of rain and wind, I could just make out my dear wife with the rope between her teeth, and it wasn't connected to anything else!
Chipbutty
24/05/2010
9:27:15 AM
Hi Tommo, thanks for the concern, I was wandering when I wrote this if the guy bolting would read this and here you are! hope your route is going well
Tommo
24/05/2010
9:44:54 PM
On 24/05/2010 tobyh wrote:
>Hi Tommo, thanks for the concern, I was wandering when I wrote this if
>the guy bolting would read this and here you are! hope your route is going
>well

Cheers mate, yes the route is finished and we're quite pleased. Will post the details soon.

There are 15 messages in this topic.

 

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