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Buffalo Aid Weekend – report for 20-21 Nov 2010

3:13:52 PM
Buffalo Aid Weekend – report for 20-21 Nov 2010

At the risk of disappointing One Day Hero, with a low score this time ... ~> see HUDT factor Link 1 & HUDT factor Link 2~
Heh, heh, eheh?


Well, the much anticipated Aid Climbing weekend came and went without too much angst, and it seems that the participants, being fifteen aiding peoples plus five others who came for the free climbing (not counting the Sydney trio and photog for their own Ozy dream), were sufficiently stunned by what was involved, that words for a slander trip report fail them! ... ~> hence this one in hindsight.

Of interest (to me), is that five of the fifteen* were repeat offenders(!), and of the remaining ten newer bods, three are of the fairer gender...
For a dinosaur like me, these stats are heartening for the future, as I am also aware of about another dozen people who could not make it to this weekend for one reason or another, who are also interested in participating in anything similar in the future.
(*Travelled from various locations, as far away as Melbourne and Canberra, to attend).

I arrived early to commandeer the preferred campsite and only had to ward off one touring pommy family by telling them I was the first of twelve and let them assume motorcyclists by default! Was that the first sandbag of the weekend?
A number of other arrivals thought about it as they slowed in passing, however by then I had spread sufficient gear around that it was obvious I was claiming the area.
Ben_E arrived and not having met him before I was about to wield a hammer but he assured me he was only interested in participating in a clean aid weekend, so I let him pass.
It was good to meet and greet the new participants and also to renew old acquaintances, within the time honoured context of sharing a campfire for the remainder of the evening.

Morning arrived too early, as it does on such occasions, and the breaky intro to aid gear session went off with the usual oohs, and aahs...
"Rhubarb", I think I heard egosan and Fish Boy call from the back stalls!
To silence the critics with distraction, I introduced them to my patented ‘dunny cistern O-ring’ auto-reset screamer device.* It worked, as it wrapped up the session with no further questions, though I strongly suspect that the aid climbing newbies began to seriously wonder what they were letting themselves in for at that point!
(*The word must have got around, as next morning Bomber Pro donated various equipment to contribute to the success of the weekend aid endeavours and those, including me, who received a ‘factory made’ re-settable fall arrest device, are appreciative, and likely to put it to good use on future solo exploits.)

Enough re the intro.
~> Soon after the group girded its loins and adventure-trekked to Burston’s Crevasse to do aid battle with;-

Premiere (M5) ~ Fish Boy; who reports that many placements are thin and mostly "shitty" on it...

Stone Believer (M3) ~ phillipivan; who not only de-stoned it, but also apparently forgot to read the guidebook description where it says that “the exit is the crux”! Not to worry, as Brendan finished Caligula (done on aid as M1) by then, and helped out solving the crux at the top.

Agrippa (initial right hand crack M1), and left hand crack plus traverse (M2); were done by most and sundry, as was a short M1 direct start crack to the initial belay location of Caligula, with this latter very likely being a first ascent of same, though I can't remember who got on it first, possibly porter and Ben-E, if not markq and scooby?

Time gets away quickly when you are having fun, and perhaps equally fast when coming to grips with etts and daisies without snafu-ing; or the nuances of hooking for those uninitiated in that art; although Ben_E might beg to differ regarding the hooking as a photo (yet to be posted by egosan), testifies! The lesson learnt was that a helmet helps save the scone from a blown hook, but also that looking away from the tested piece at the right time can help dramatically!
~> Lookout peoples, next thing he will be up for the second 'hooks only' ascent of the RH crack start to Agrippa, if like me, he enjoys setting himself a challenge in how to bugger a straightforward M1 by turning it into an M5 (technique only), to enhance the game!

I don’t know about others, but that evening I learnt more about scotch whiskey types than I previously knew, along with miscellaneous info about apiary-ing (bee keeping!). I can also not recommend young bl@ke for keeping your camp fire alight(!), though it was smokily redeemed by some older hands present that were getting too cold while waiting, heh, heh, heh.

Next morning arrived even earlier than yesterdays one(!), so after some partook of c0ckroaches (robertsonja's expression was priceless!), and other desirable heart starters, the troops got their act together and departed for more aiding frivolity around the Gorge rim.

Mrs Fish Boy (Tanah) led Lift Girls Lament (aid M1), while robertsonja snaffled the much prized 3rd (aid) ascent of our 1st (grade) 24, Country Road (aid M3); leaving a certain he who shall remain nameless guidebook author bereft of that honour, though in the likely editorial rewrite of this TR, he will probably fix that for me! Heh, heh, heh.

The 'not to be missed’ aid weekend classics of Thanksgiving Crack (M3), and The Cream Machine (M4), were again given a workout by our newly inspired cast of cohorts.
Thanksgiving Crack proved it’s popularity and was basically friendly to us, however The Cream Machine retains it’s recalcitrant attitude, and gave some of us a hard time; particularly its topout, which is quickly gaining a reputation in folklore, this further enshrined by egosan’s recounting to incredulous attemptees of his memorable use of a nut tool to facilitate same last aid weekend.
Since last season it seems that TCM has resorted to growing more moss on top to try and repel the eager attempts of wannabe aiders...

The 'immortalised in a TR' prize, this trip, for the hardest fought battle with TCM, goes to bones; who not only kept getting back on after flight-time for both himself and a lighter belayer(!), but also for succumbing to TCM’s topout spell and being snafu-d on the final move. This constituted by a memorable ‘close to FF 1.5’ back onto his daisy, due to inadvertently not unclipping from his highest ettrier while moving off it to attempt glory! ~> His lead rope just started coming tight as the fall finished!

Earlier, bl@ke progressing his photography skills, managed to capture on video one of bones’s flight sessions, that is still the subject of fall-post-mortem. It appears that he rested on a well placed #1 RP, but before he could get comfortable found himself airborne, with the arrest of his fall resulting in further gear being stripped below that piece downwards, as well as one base-piece by upward rope tension. A well placed upward load piece adjacent the belayer (startedwithtrees), prevented further upward stripping of the route, though not the lifting of the belayer from the ground up to the limit of her tether. The RP remained in-situ but broke its cable slightly above low-centre of the karabiner ‘eye’. The krab involved showed slight marking from cable wear, but no damage.
I witnessed the fall, and further examined the video, but am at a loss to explain the RP breakage, as on first hand close inspection of the RP it appeared to be new and otherwise undamaged.
In hindsight, my best guess as to the cause of breakage under basically a body-weight situation, is that maybe bones fifi-ed directly into the piece alongside the ettrier krab, and that slight sideways movement
3:54:17 PM
I think you're right about the fifi severing the RP - would be interesting to post a pic of it up here.
Egosan - do you still have the infamous RP?
I owe you a replacement
Fish Boy
5:10:03 PM
Mrs Fish Boy will crack the shits at that...she still has her last name, despite it being Kennett!!!!
Fish Boy
5:39:49 PM
An M10 is a blank piece of rock and an M1 is a hand crack.

6:09:06 PM
Someone enquired about aid grades, then later deleted their post, and Fish Boy replied;
>An M10 is a blank piece of rock and an M1 is a hand crack.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up, though like other Ewbank grades, exposure (protection or lack of), comes into it, along with how sustained the climbing is.

>Mrs Fish Boy will crack the shits at that...she still has her last name (snip)

Sorry. I did not catch the surname at the time, and have adopted the protocol of using Chocky-User-ID's where possible.

~> hastens to change topic...!

Loaded and ready to claim a campsite for the mob, but doing the obligatory Nth wall recce first.

Fish Boy on the overhanging Premiere in the background, with phillipivan leading Stone Believer, and robersonja belaying well back, after dodging a sizable bomb of rock thrown down at him dislodged by the leader earlier.

Ben_E cleaning Brendan's lead of Caligula.

Startedwithtrees belaying bones on LH start to Agrippa. scooby on the RH start to same, belayed by markq (out of sight).

bones and scooby on Agrippa with robertsonja on the lookout for a bomb in the background, and porter following the action from a safe distance in the foreground!

Tanah?, or Kirrie?? doing the aid traverse.

bones on The Cream Machine (left) and bl@ke on Thanksgiving Crack (right).
~ photo courtesy of BP.

Evening light on Buffalo at end of an enjoyable weekend.

6:46:29 PM
Pics ripped off cross-linked from the Find Climbers thread dealing with the same weekend.

bl@kes pics...

Fish Boy on Premiere M5

Bigwall Brunching

The brown patch is where a big chunk came off and nearly took out robertsonja

egosan on his M6 creation from last time

Fish Boy’s pics...
On 23/11/2010 Fish Boy wrote:

>People in Burston's Crevasse.
>A little crack at the base of Burston's. (L-R, Marq, Egosan, Scooby, M9,
>Andrew, Ben, Blake, Bones and +1, Brendan, Marq, Egosan
>Went free climbing behind the campsite
>Brendan and me, and a whole lot of gear (and subies).
>Robertsonja on Country Road. We know his opinion on bolts, what about wine bottles? Phillip on belay.


A link to another perspective of Country Road.
(photo by climbau)
7:29:19 PM
Great report, M9, thanks. I was very disappointed to miss the trip at the last minute. Still pursuing my apprenticeship in the dark arts, but climbing the house is a poor substitute for the gorge. Hope to be back there soon.
Fish Boy
9:40:07 PM
Phillip, did I sell you two cams a while back?

8:49:54 AM
I think so.

12:29:46 PM
On 16/12/2010 WM wrote:
>what's the route in the second last photo?

It looks to me like, Comeback Trail 29m 16,M3 ~ located next to Country Road.
~> Fish Boy will have to confirm this for you, he being the climber in that photo.

Hey WM; this route is a good one for you, as "an obvious free possibility".
~> It is on P86 of the current guide and says other things that you might enjoy about it*...

(*Recollections come to mind of comments you made about Ozy when I belayed you freeing the upper pitches of it one time...Heh, heh, heh. )

12:33:40 PM
That was my guess too but I wasn't sure.
Fish Boy
4:48:51 PM
That's the one. I was checking it out for freeing, and the corner is easy aside from the 1st move which is 19ish. Under the roof needs a clean but it pretty simple, low 20's I'd guess. The crack up the corner is full of shit too....

5:04:55 PM
On 16/12/2010 Fish Boy wrote:
>That's the one. I was checking it out for freeing, and the corner is easy
>aside from the 1st move which is 19ish. Under the roof needs a clean but
>it pretty simple, low 20's I'd guess. The crack up the corner is full of
>shit too....

It is interesting how grades interact.
That climb was originally graded 14,M3 by P. McKeand, & C. Dewhirst on 6/12/70
... and then regraded to 16,M3 when C. Dewhirst removed one aid at the start.
~> so a move of 19 turns a 14 into a 16 !!

I shouldn't be surprised, as there is a world of difference in style between Thanksgiving Crack at M3 and Country Road at M3 ...
~> however with Country Road going at 24, that would fit with your prediction of low twenties when the top of Comeback Trail is freed.

7:35:23 PM
On 15/12/2010 Fish Boy wrote:
>Phillip, did I sell you two cams a while back?

Fish Boy
4:47:28 PM
That first move is wet, dirty and has no holds so it was up there near my limit but just a guess.

I can't see how jugging two 5 cams up and offwidth is M3...sounds more like M1 to me. The roof on comeback trail took small gear, solid, but would be tricky to place on a free lead and it might take up hand holds.

5:53:14 PM
On 17/12/2010 Fish Boy wrote:
>I can't see how jugging two 5 cams up and offwidth is M3...sounds more
>like M1 to me.

I tend to agree with that, however that pitch starts at a belay under the roof, so I was allowing for the awkwardness of getting established in the crack on the headwall.
When I did it, it seemed a bit out there at the time, however in hindsight with harder routes under my belt, I tend to think it M2-ish now.
~> This raises the question in my mind, ... I wonder if John Ewbank would revise his grading system if he allowed for today's equipment / training knowledge / etc?

>The roof on comeback trail took small gear, solid, but would
>be tricky to place on a free lead and it might take up hand holds.

~> Taking up the handholds with gear is always a bummer, and potentially adds grades to a route!?
11:37:09 PM
Oi!! That fire I made was a masterpiece!
Fish Boy
11:53:01 PM
Yeah, but falls would be fun there anyway so no need for much gear...

9:25:51 AM
On 17/12/2010 Bl@ke wrote:
>Oi!! That fire I made was a masterpiece!

It sure was.
The green-wood-smoke touch, was a master of camouflage for any heat from it!

On 17/12/2010 Fish Boy wrote: (Re Comeback Trail 29m 16,M3)
>Yeah, but falls would be fun there anyway so no need for much gear...

~> unless something rips and the resulting pendulum ends up back into the side wall.

Actually, all this talk about it (and your photo), have re-inspired me to have another look at it. I eyed it off once before, but the architecture of the roof on CR was a stronger magnet to me at the time.
With your recent ascent of it, and maybe mine (as aid this season), to clean up the placements by default, ... WM should'nt have too much to comment about hehx ??? if he frees it, unless of course, he is using his Hard Rain yardstick for cleanness of line!

~> If singersmith & Wendy are following this thread, they might also change objective to it after they have warmed up on CR?

The race is on?
~> What HUDT factor would you give it??
Fish Boy
11:05:43 AM
Um, actually I want to free it, that's why I jumped on first! It will need a fair bit of cleaning if it wants to be a nice route that gets repeated.

When I did hard rain it the first pitch was gross. Seeping and slimy, big fists in pond muck really....

I'd say it rates about 24 on the HUDT....

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There are 29 messages in this topic.


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