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Bungonia Gorge trip report, now with Pictures

9:14:00 PM
My Bungonia gorge trip report.

Thom and I had been meaning to climb down in the Gorge for a year or two now but with many failed attempts due to weather I was keeping my fingers crossed pretty tight that we would have clear sky's for the October long weekend..

With the weather report not looking too flash we decided to head down anyway, if worst comes to worst we could go exploring in the rain. So when Thom and Jay drove down Friday morning and were greeted by a dry, sunny day they made the most of it by exploring the massive gorge and Jay pulling onto his first ever limestone at a little wall up the gorge.

When I got home Friday arvo I ran around the house grabbing gear and supplies before heading down to pick up Andy (my co driver) for the drive down south. Why is it you always remember everything you forgot once you are on the drive down like your pillow, towel, water, water bottle, car candy etc!

I picked up Andy and we were on our way down, Jay called and asked how far away we were as Thom had just gone to bed (6:30pm, hed had night shift the night before and was really tired) poor Jay had no one to drink with. After a quick maccas stop we got into camp about 9:30pm and were amazed at just how good the camp facilities were. We had hot showers (even if they stopped for 30 seconds every 3 mins), a full indoor kitchen with heater and filter water poles.

A plan was hatched that evening, if the weather was good on Saturday we would do evolution, 250m 24 on the south wall. We woke Thom up and sorted the gear for a 5:30am start ("It will take all day, you will want an early start." Thanx Andy)

The south wall

Sat morning came around, grey but dry so after a quick breakfast we walked the red track into the gorge. This place is huge!!! You can't really see the scale of gorge from any of the current lookouts but when you are standing in the creek its very impressive. After straining our necks looking up we found our line and set off. Andy and Jay decided to do strangers in charm on the north wall so we could heckle each other.

Jay and Andy on the north wall.

The first pitch for Thom is an easy 15 then I was up for a 22 pitch with a thin move a couple of draws up, then good fun climbing. Thoms 3rd pitch was an interesting one with a "necky" move around the middle and a belay built out of some stretched gear from the next pitch. I got the first 23 pitch, the pocket pitch and I was very pumped by the top of this one and was glad to get it free. Thoms next pitch was a rad 22 that wasn't that hard but techie and really fun. At the top of the 5th pitch is a massive cave that you can untie and walk around, time for lunch. It was 12 and two pitches to go......all day climb?? So we decided to chill out for a while in the sun and watch Andy and Jay climb. Jay ended up leading his hardest trad climb on the 4th pitch, 22 which took him over an hour. From where we were sitting the line is well worn and easy to see but when on the north wall its hard to see where the next hold is so Jay got off route a couple of times but made it to the belay and was very relieved.

The top of pitch 4, the pocket pitch

Thom on pitch 5, my fav pitch

Meanwhile the sky was turning grey and before we noticed a storm was coming in. Crap... Thom started up the 24 just as the sleet and wind picked up while on the other side of the gorge Andy and Jay had decided to rap down, one pitch from the top. By the time Thom finished the pitch the wind and rain had stopped so when I cleaned the pitch and set off for the top pitch it started feeling like I was in the eye of the storm, with the weather coming back while I was half way up. The last pitch is a bit scary with an airy traverse before getting into a corner to the top shrub slope. After topping out we walked back to the car and set about our next goal...Drinking a bottle of 151 Rum!! By the time Jay and Andy walked out we were getting a bit pissy so we drove back to camp and started to make dinner.

Thom leading up the 6th pitch

The next morning we woke to rain and a hangover and not great climbing conditions. So after a shower and a late breakfast we walked back down and went exploring along the river. The boulder field at the far end is a site to see alone and great fun. The rain kept coming and going, so we headed up to chicken wall for some dry rock. I set about onsighting the 23 with Andy falling right at the top of the 24 which is a bit of a belayers nightmare with lots of loose rock raining down on poor Jay below.

Chicken Wall

Looking up at the far end of the south wall

We walked back in the showers to polenta wall and meet up with Amanda and Lee. Thom and I did the rad but weird polenta pumper and we all did the fun tufa route at the right end of the wall. Andy sent the aptly named nails second shot so he was stoked. We did a couple more routes on a new wall up the gorge but as it kept raining on and off and it was starting to get dark we walked out and packed up camp.

Jay sending the 24

The rad 24 on polenta wall

Bad navigation on the way home added 90km to our trip and glancing a roo. Never a dull moment, I got home at 12 at night.

Go to bungonia, its RAD.

10:05:14 PM
Awesome TR Benjenga. Bungonia, and your trip, sounds fun.

8:26:34 PM
awesome trip. When are we going back?

8:38:00 PM
10:12:56 PM
On 7/10/2011 Miguel75 wrote:

Like Ben said, it was an awesome weekend of climbing! The weather was a bit average but it didn't dampen our enthusiasm and we got lot's of great climbing done. The gorge has it all, insecure black slabs, air under the feet and lots of exposure, loose and at times and a little bit scary and short and powerful on bullet hard water polished grey rock.
I was on belay for over an hour, freezing in the wind and looking at my down jacket and beanie laying on the gorge floor were we had started the route, but i didn't care a bit. Jay was on his hardest trad lead, both in grade and style. he had never climbed on limestone before the weekend, gear placements are a bit trickier and reading the route is hard when your not used to reading that black rock. He did really well and i was happy to be holding his rope for him!
The move of the weekend however has to go to Tom. On Monday we were heading up Big Dark and Mysterious. Its a bolted route on the North (black) wall, it starts with a pitch of 19 slab before going through a bulging over lap for a pitch of 22, or so we thought. Not far after the bulge was a binner on a hanger and a scar left from a broken flake a body length above. Hmm, that's always a sign. After falling off a few times Tom yells down " i might just have to jump for a jug" With the bolt at his feet, i'm expecting him to lob up, he does a crazy looking all points off dyno to his left and latches a jug with one arm! "That was awesome" i yell, only to get back "yeah but i think i F#$%ED my shoulder" He hangs on the jug for a while, shakes his arm and jumps off before retreating from the biner.

9:28:30 AM
Ok yeah I should put some pictures up tonite. Andy could put some up as well.

9:40:12 PM
Wah-la! Pictures..

10:50:32 PM
Got any more info on the 23 and 24 on Chicken Wall?

7:32:01 AM
Yeah what do you need to know? Do you want me to update info onto thecrag?

8:42:48 AM
Are they worth doing? What kind of climbing - tufas, pockets? If you update the page with more info that would be great!

9:22:57 AM
Thanks for the pics guys. They look unreal.

11:57:04 AM
On 9/10/2011 davidn wrote:
>No, thecrag!!
>*tickles nmonteith*

Well since there is an almost complete guide to Bungonia on then that's probably the best place to put it! I'm actually a huge fan of the new, their online guide system is certainly superior to the other one. I just wish there was an easy way of transfering the route info across.

9:06:35 PM
I havent sign up to but I can give you the info.
The left hand route. 23 - slightly slaby with a mix of interesting holds, through a small roof and up to the chains. 30m
The route continues into Ben and lee 27 first pitch of bergerk project.

Right hand route. 24 - unprotected chipped slab on the right until onto the wall proper. Sustained climbing with some lose rock (belayer should wear a helmet) small roof at the top crux. Also 30, not so great.

No tufas or pockets, blocky limestone and choss. Lee says the wall gets better the higher you climb.
9:58:34 PM

Me on the 23 on the Chicken Wall

Lee trying an old Fieg project on the Polenta Pumper wall
6:53:00 PM
Great read! sounds awesome :)
8:57:11 PM
yeah maby sometime next year i will get down their i actually want to check out the caves as well.

There are 16 messages in this topic.


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