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TR - Orroral Ridge & Booroomba
5:24:32 PM
Had a weekend up at Canberra recently, decided to get in some granite. Granite is good for keeping you humble and stops you believing your own myths about what grade a climber you are.

We left early - my brother came with me, more for the camping and company, as he'd never climbed before. A good excuse for me to stick to easy grades.There was heavy fog most of the way up - so heavy we missed Goulburn altogther

Mist on the olive groves (credit Ian Ross)

We met up with my Canberra friend Stuart at the Orroral Ridge carpark, with the intention of doing all the easy routes at the Cloisters & the Tower. There aren't that many. And they aren't that easy.I started off with a slab called Tarantella at the Cloisters - slid off about 4 times before I got my slab feet working, then enjoyed it very much. Quite spicy for grade 10...

We went looking for Crackle and Snap - not sure we found them, but I backed off one of the ones we found, and then the other. Couldn't possibly have been Crackle and Snap, I'd never back off a grade 11...

Off to Tower Rocks, and climbed Dinero, Penny and a direct vaiant of Penny, which apparently used to be a solo problem and now sports some bolts. Hmm, I like bolts more than I thought I did.

Nice views from Tower Rocks - Orroral valley below

The obvious line is Dinero. Grade 8.

Ian on Penny - his first day climbing

Tiptoe along the ridge - on top of Penny / Dinero

Alex climbing Penny

Happy to at least have some climbs under our belts, it was off to Honeysuckle campsite for the night. Beautiful campsite, getting a bit cool this time of the year (-2 minimum) but we kept warm with good curry, fantastic wine, and decent gear.

Frosty sunrise (credit ian Ross)

Car camping = bacon & egg butties (cr Ian Ross)

No climbing until it warms up, so a pretty lazy start saw us hitting the trail up to Booroomba itself at 9:30 or so. Ian was off to visit our mother, so Stuart & I planned to climb something a bit longer and (very slightly) harder. I hadn't been to the Southern Buttress, so we went off that way, and after a bit of navigation issues (I wouldn't advise trying c--kers Gully - the main Southern Buttress descent isn't much further, and it is MUCH easier) we got down easily enough. Gawped at Integral Crack on the way past (looks great - maybe next time...hah)and eventually found Jack's Crack (9). It was much better than it looked - the lower reaches appear swamped by greenery, but we avoided it all on the slabs, and it made for a really good warmup - well protected if you have big gear (and you should see how big my gear is). Par for the course, if you are not used to granite, you probably won't find grade 9's beneath contempt...

Then on to Possum - 3 pitch grade 13. I led P1 & 3, Stuart led P2 - and we both got full value for money. Great fun, well protected, really quite hard in places for a 13, varied climbing and great positions - excellent climb :-)

Stuart climbs through P2 of Possom

Happiness is a big ledge with a great view

It was 3:30 by the time we topped out, so no time for anything more - you need to be moving well to get in lots of climbs at Booroomba. So we had a chilled out late lunch on the clifftop overlooking the Norther Buttress - what a view! And what a lot of wonderful climbs to come back to.

Looking over the Northern Buttress from the top

We'll be back - plenty more big stuff on those slabs

And then the long drive back to Sydney - 4 hours door to door, so not too bad, but when you are tired from a long day climbing...

Sunset and cows - the road back home (credit Ian Ross)

I love Booroomba, what a special place. One of these days I must go and spend a week or two there, and learn how to climb the damn stuff.
8:33:45 PM
Good trip report Alex. The photos are excellent and really capture the best of ACT granite. Looking forward to the next trip.


5:56:43 AM
Great photos!

9:50:13 AM
Another great trip report. Wish i wasn't moving house that weekend.

1:26:11 PM
On 11/06/2013 Batey wrote:
>Another great trip report. (snip)


Brings back fond memories...
The photo of the large belay ledge with the crack starting up a slanting left traverse, is a great alternate finish to that route!

4:15:24 PM
Great trip report.

I don't mean to be pedantic but the second and third last photos show the North Buttress and not the Northern Slabs. They are around the corner and a lot slabbier and a somewhat smoother.

Boorroomba is awesome. One of my favourite climbing spots.

I still wish the CCA would fork out for an escalator, though.

4:24:32 PM
On 11/06/2013 wallwombat wrote:
>I still wish the CCA would fork out for an escalator, though.

... and this written by a bloke who survived a Nangar epic!
5:03:18 PM
Thanks wallwombat, you are right of course. I've done Little Hermes on the N. Buttress, and Sunstroke on the N. Slabs, and they are quite different character. Edited accordingly.

Although in my defence, I am confused by the nomenclature (not to mention the topography) of Booroomba generally, would seem to be Eastern (not Northern) and Western (not Southern). Regardless, its a great place to get lost.
8:49:36 PM
Access note:
if you're going up to Orroral Ridge, be aware that Parks closes the dirt road beyond Honeysuckle Tracking Stn at the drop of a hat (rain, heat, certainly snow sadly).
The dirt road in to Booroomba also has a gate, but they seem a bit slower to lock that one...

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