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|TR _ Checking out the Soft Parade
||18-Mar-2013 At 11:41:33 AM
|A few weeks ago i joked around with my Father about getting him out climbing again after 20 years (I remember watching him climb when i was around 5 or 6). As we had a few drinks he became more and more keen so we set a date and made a Plan to get out t Mt Boyce and do some easy Trad.
Come Friday morning and checking the weather report we were disappointed when we met at Glenbrook. Plans quickly changed from a day climbing to going up the mountains finding a nice place for coffee and lunch. By the time we got to Blackheath we were in heavy fog and cloud and continued on to Mt Vic.
Coffee, pies and pasties and an hour or so passed by and a glint of sunshine and we hatched a plan to check out "The soft Parade" out near Mt York with the intention of taking my cousin out for his first day in the near future.
We parked at Barden's lookout about 11 am and headed off down what seems to be a well worn track for a place developed in 2012. This place must be getting a bit of use.
So we roped up and I lead up an easy sport route for my dad to get his legs. After spending a few minutes explaining how to clean a route with rap anchors he got stuck into it. Its interesting how things have changed in the past 20 years since he had left the climbing scene. There wasn't double ring lower offs at the top of every climb back then and a top belay looking at the view was all part of the fun.
A few more low grade sport routes and i spied an interesting looking Trad line that wasn't in the guide between Okipoki and Soho Central. I thought why not and roped up and headed up placing some gear and heading off right into a short 5m hand size corner crack that climbed nicely about grade 8 or 9. Topped out on a bunch of leaf litter, rock sand and everything in between trying not to dislodge anything. I Managed to scramble back to a tree, build a belay and bring him up.
We finished off with some sport climbs around grade 15 and 16 both enjoying something that required some technique and having a few nice moves involved.
The end of the day there was smiles all round and the ideas of getting out onto some longer adventure stuff kept him flicking through the guide looking for our next trip together. I doubt he would have thought 25 years ago that he would be climbing with his son and setting a new route "25 Years On" grade9 8m. (this seems like an obvious line and i have a feeling someone may have done it and not written it up in the past so let me know).
The Soft Parade is certainly an good place to take someone new or the kids, plenty of easy stuff as well as some harder lines for the regular climbers and also a few nice trad lines that don't appear to have been done yet. I suspect though it will become as popular as damclifs is with new climbers
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