Agreed X2. Makes me want to check it out again. I really enjoyed the clear sense of exploration and seeing a climb absolutely sewn up with gear, rather than the redpoint that we are used to seeing in videos. Much more like one of my days out - quite accessible.
Tempted to make Woolamai my local crag - probably need to go there to be cured of that!
Great new guidebook. We holiday down at Phillip Island a bit, but I'd always been unable to drag my climbing partner down there for a go at Woolamai. He kept muttering about run out and choss... So it's really good to have these quality write ups so we know what we might be getting into.
Chelsea organised MUMC climbers to check the route descriptions and take photos then wrote a new guidebook for Cape Woolamai. She did the layout and design with Richard Dale (Sticky). They generously gave me a co-author credit despite the fact that all I did was go climbing and answer a few questions (best editing gig ever).
Woolamai is a pink granite. The pink apparently comes from lots of feldspar. It is really pretty and a notable feature of many of Melbourneís most impressive late 19th century buildings which used it for facing and decoration, sourcing the stone from a quarry on the San Remo side of the cape.
In its non-polished, still a sea cliff form, it doesnít look nearly as clean and solid as Port Stephens appears in pictures (Iíve never been there). Expect a grainy surface and ledges that require care.
The climbing is straightforward; the setting is brilliant. For harder routes I climb on two single ropes (I take 30m ropes if climbing anywhere but the big cliff) and take a couple of screamers and lots of cams.
The whole environment requires a degree of care, but the stories have always been exaggerated. You could always spend another day cragging at Camelís but, especially with Chelseaís new guidebook, people should have no trouble enjoying the place - ocean, sky, stone & a bit of adventure - without finding themselves facing anything unacceptable.
Woolamai is easily my favourite day trip from Melbourne. The climbing on the more difficult routes is engaging without being unreasonable. It is beautiful and a day out is always memorable.
On 23/03/2014 stuart h wrote:
>In its non-polished, still a sea cliff form, it doesnít look nearly as
>clean and solid as Port Stephens appears in pictures (Iíve never been there).
>Expect a grainy surface and ledges that require care.
A lot of the Port Stephens rock is quite poor quality. Granular, loose and rounded. It actually does remind me a lot of the rock I saw on my one and only time I climbed at Woolamai.
On 23/03/2014 pecheur wrote:
>Yes there a new print guidebook by MUMC.
Found this little blurb online...
"Cape Woolamai Rockclimbing is a glossy A5 paperback with 96 full-colour pages. It covers Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island (Victoria), exclusively, featuring 75 climbs. Cape Woolamai offers seacliff climbing, with an atmosphere that highlights its position in Bass Strait The crag is comprised of several kilometres of broken coastline, with its highest wall 75 metres of pink granite.Authors Stuart Hollaway and Chelsea Brunckhorst."
I'm sure it's a lovely book but the maths doesn't add up - 75 climbs in a 96 page guide?! Lots of pretty full page pictures or really long route descriptions? My Gramps guide had 900+ routes in 240 pages....
On 23/03/2014 nmonteith wrote:
>I'm sure it's a lovely book but the maths doesn't add up - 75 climbs in
>a 96 page guide?! Lots of pretty full page pictures or really long route
>descriptions? My Gramps guide had 900+ routes in 240 pages....
Yes, on an raw efficiency basis of climbs per page or dollars per climb the Cape Woolamai guide book doesn't deliver. But I'm not sure that's how you measure guide book quality... For a budding young climber looking for their first guidebook for their shelf then sure they probably should look at other crags and other books. (We all know the great crags and great guidebooks.)
But the Cape Woolamai guidebook is for somebody wanting something a bit different from the regular Victorian climbing haunts. Something a little bit more adventurous and still with plenty of room for more exploration.
It is a great guidebook for less cost than the fuel to get you there. Though some might argue that the quality of the guidebook exceeds the quality of the rock. ;-)