17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
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We set out to climb the Bunny Bucket Butress yesterday. We meet there and set off.
We follow the track and get to the abseil. Throw on ours safety's and heads to the rap
rings. The sky is overcast and it's looking a little grey. Unsure if we would head off, i
open my pack to get a drink and unclip my helmet in the process. It tumbles out of
my pack and rolls straight off the cliff. I watch it head to the left side of the mirrorball
some where. We figure the rain should hold off at least until we clear the first 3
crux pitches. We rap off. We get to the bottom of the second abseil. I walk out to
check that the rope would pull, and there's my helmet. Right at my feet, and on the opposite
side of the mirrorball, Awesome.
We head off down the trail and scramble up to the bottom of the climb, and set off. I reach up
through the first move and something goes twang in my hand. I blow the move and just pull the
draw. Lets get a move on.
First 3 pitches go un eventful, and are great climbing. There are some great moves and
the position is amazing. Defiantly recommended.
We clear the first 3 pitches, and the clouds have moved in. It starts to sprinkle. We take
shelter, and sit it out. We figure the rest of the climb should not be as critical if it's wet.
The shower stops and we set off.
An easy climb up past a few rings to a belay. My second follows, and it starts to rain again.
We take take shelter.
The next move, i pull up over a bulge and am confronted by a steep, muddy track going up
through soaking wet scrub. Well it was my helmet i think to my self, and it hasn't started
raining again. Off we go.
I belay my second up and he makes some comment about gum boots. It starts to rain. We
set off on the next pitch.
Next moves are under a roof, the climbing is good and i am glad i have the extra extenders.
I pull around past the roof, the rain has stopped and the holds are fairly dry. Yet another
great pitch, with some great climbing. Watch the rope drag.
My second follows. He pulls through the roofs and it starts to rain. I retreat under a ledge and
belay from there. The clouds are in the valley, it's peaceful and the view is amazing.
My second climbs onto the ledge and looks un impressed.
We take shelter under the ledge and wait for the rain to stop. It doesn't. It's proper rain
now and it has set in. We decide to link the next two pitches at 40mtrs. I set off. There
is no protection from the rain and the wall is soaking. The rain is getting heavier the
further i go. The jugs are amazing, and the rock is quite interesting. I hope that nothing
I climb on and notice the bolts are getting a little further apart. My foot slips.
But the hand holds are amazing, and i reach out and clip. I look up and realize that i am in a
mini waterfall, and it's still raining. I am a fair way up the climb now and running low on
draws. I try to get an idea of how many i had left, but my pack is in the way. I get to the
next ring and clip it. I then realize i have one draw left. I look up and can see some rings
but no belay. I decide to keep the draw through the next move. That's when the jugs ran out.
I reach up and all i can find is slippery, soaking wet slopers. I decide to move a little left and
go up there. The holds are no better, but in the rain it seemed to the better option. I pull
up onto the ledge, and immediately spot the belay. Looking down at the last empty ring, i shake
my head. Oh well,I guess 14 draws is enough after all.
I bring up my second and he comments about the waterfall.
We set off on the next pitch. It's still raining. I move left and up into a cave. There is a ring and
one bolt. It's dry and slightly warmer, so i set up a belay and bring up my second. We sit in the
dry for a bit. Starting to feel a little cold we set off to finish the climb.
We get to the top of the last easy pitch. We coil the rope and set off down the trail.
It's not long before the trail fades into scrub. Damn, must have taken a wrong turn. We
decide to bush bash up the ridge and meet the main trail for the area. It's still raining.
We get back to the cars, soaked and a little cold from a good part of the day spent in the
rain. We head home. Damn i think, after all that, i blew the onsight on the first move.
All in all, despite it being wet for most of the way, What a great climb. I will definitely be back.
Just next time, on a better day, and hopefully in the dry. But hey, we did get my helmet back.
Oh, and it's still raining.
Gold! Nice work, Samual. Never look a serendipity in the mouth.
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