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The real Werribee Gorge experience

9:54:23 PM
My buddy and I have been climbing at Werribee Gorge quite a bit and usually spend our time in the Amphitheatre. Yesterday Chris and I decided to search for what I've been told is "the best jam crack in Melbourne", aka Centurion. I've read lots about it and it sounded pretty groovy so we went off searching. Our search may have been easier if I had of taken my VCC SW guide but I forgot it, and figured it'd be way more adventurous to take a chance and wander aimlessly....

And wander we did. We ended up finding a single carrot above a few interesting, cleanish looking climbs that we later learnt signifies the rap point for Centurion, though from the top we couldn't locate the "mega" crack. We saw two parallel cracks and thought they looked interesting so rapped in for a crack...

looking up at the possibilities:) There are parallel cracks, our chosen climb is directly under the rope while the second (harder) line is about a meter to the right.

I thought our chosen climb might go at ~18 and was kind of excited for a new WG adventure. The base of the cliff was a steepish, loose scree field (just like the top of the climb) and the first piece of gear looked to be a ways up so Chris built an anchor for the belayer, just in case;) I racked up first and launched upwards, filled with hope and excitement, which quickly turned to fear and terror as I broke off the only real foothold and then felt each of the 'good' hand holds flex precariously underhand... I down climbed, re psyched and launched upwards twice more but ran into crap rock and was by that time, very uninspired so handed the reigns to Chris. Chris started off strong, (both mentally and physically, breaking holds left and right) and managed to slot in a few pieces though it wasn't until he slotted a beautiful gold Dragon, in the only solid rock on the entire cliff, that I started breathing easier. Chris wisely called it a day and I had a final crack before Phillip joined us from above. We decided discretion was the call of the day so Phil threw a top rope down from above, rapped (with the obligatory falling rocks) and joined us for a frolic.

We all then launched up for a whack, Phil first, and we watched him struggle with the crap rock, juxtaposed with some really fun moves to the top. Chris was up next and just after he started up the heavens opened. He made short work of getting to the top and then it was my turn. Even on TR I wasn't too stoked on the rock. Most of the holds flex underhand & foot and while the climbing was fairly straight forward there was a really fun layback that switched from left to right partway up. I was very happy to get to the top, partly because of the crap rock on the climb and partly because of the continual rain of rocks coming from the top:)

After the trauma of crap rock at the base, on the climb and at the top we decided to take it easy by heading to Golgotha... The TR of which we'll save for another day:)

P.S. It turns out the climb we played on was called 'Mirage' gr19. The VCC SW guide makes it sound really appealing;
"Mirage 16m 19
This is the vertical crack-line immediately right of Roman Holiday. It starts as for Purist Oasis goes 2m left, then up parallel with that climb. Steep and awkward with disgusting rock, it's unlikely ever to have been, or to be led. FTRA Russ Crow 28.6.86"

P.P.S. Phil thinks my route selection sucks:)

9:55:48 PM
Can someone with the tech know how please link the photo from the facebook address? Or tell me how to do it?
10:55:11 PM

Right click on the photo - view properties - copy url. Then the usual html tags...

11:06:27 PM
Thanks Dalai.
11:21:01 PM
No worries. All part of the service ;-)

Stunned you actually stepped off the ground there! I once went around there looking for some great new lines and was stunned someone had climbed this choss. Thinking you may have been the second party to climb that!

11:47:13 PM
That was 'orrible. I wouldn't wish that lead on anyone.

2:24:28 AM
You know, as sketchy as that whole experience was, I kinda enjoyed it in a sick twisted way. I think it had something to do with not many people climbing it, so I'd really like to give it another shot next time Mikey-boy. It was pretty funny ;)


8:44:02 AM
The best(?) bit was when Mikey suffered some kind of traumatic flashback to Nam as a volley of choss hailed down on him. It was truly harrowing, I thought he was going to gnaw off his own leg.

9:02:23 AM
A fun TR with some equally fun associated comments, so thanks for posting them.

>Steep and awkward with disgusting rock, it's unlikely ever to have been, or to be led.
~> Now there's a challenge few choss loving adventurers can refuse!

11:15:20 AM
On 3/05/2013 phillipivan wrote:
>The best(?) bit was when Mikey suffered some kind of traumatic flashback
>to Nam as a volley of choss hailed down on him. It was truly harrowing,

I was prepared for (and given it is WG) almost welcomed the occasional rock from above but I was totally unprepared for the torrential onslaught that rained down from above. The gleeful look on Chris's face as he apologised spoke volumes too:)

>I thought he was going to gnaw off his own leg.

I was thinking of gnawing through my femoral artery to ease my suffering but figured Golgotha would do me in anyway...

11:40:39 AM
Ugh. It really takes the eye of love for WG to look at that picture and see "parallel cracks"... Not exactly Indian Creek, is it? Clearly a good day was had by all, though. When are we heading out, Mike?

12:16:13 PM
Despite my misgivings, then and now, the route's a contender for the "layback off the creaky flake of the week" award. I'm still amazed the whole thing didn't kill my belayer with me still clutching onto it.

4:36:57 PM
On 3/05/2013 Ben_E wrote:
>Ugh. It really takes the eye of love for WG to look at that picture and
>see "parallel cracks"...

You can see Chris up top preparing to rap and if I wasn't so busy blocking falling rocks with my spleen I would have taken a few more (better) pics:)

>Not exactly Indian Creek, is it?

Not exactly but lets run through some similarities;
Orange/red sandstone - Check
Crack* climb - Check *There was at least one section (~7 cm's) of splitter .4 C4 crack.
Utah "local" - Check

By my reckoning we weren't too far off a day at the creek:)

>Clearly a good day was had by all, though. When are we heading out, Mike?

I'm working the next two weekends though will be good anytime after that. Or anytime during the next two weeks:)

There are 13 messages in this topic.


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