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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 56
Author
Vic/NSW big wall
RichA
17/06/2014
4:22:07 PM
Wow! Good response, cheers guys!

Certainly got a few to go at there. Always nice to get on routes recommended by people rather than just the guidebook.

Where Angels Fear is a route I'd love to do, but I'll be saving that for a while yet. Buffalo is much closer to me (near Mansfield) than the Blue Mountains so I'll get exploring up there to start with.

Thanks for the winter tips too. I've got a winter climbing trip to NZ lined up but need something closer to home to explore as well. Anyone got any tips on the best time of the season to head up to Mt Bogong for ice/neve gully lines? Presumably it would need a few freeze/thaw cycles to consolidate any recent snow - any particular weather patterns to look out for?

Thanks all, much appreciated.

Sabu
17/06/2014
5:03:39 PM
Seeing as you're in Mansfield, I nominate you to go up Buller once a week to check on the ice conditions for us (once winter actually arrives). Think of it as extra training that also benefits everyone in Melbourne with itchy ice tools...

Thanks in advance!
RichA
17/06/2014
6:41:09 PM
Haha, not quite Mansfield but pretty close. I'll happily report back what we find.

What is the most practical way to get to the climbs on Buller without spending much money on park fees, lifts etc? Is the best climbers approach suited to AT skis or is it mainly in the bush?
patto
17/06/2014
9:34:46 PM
On 17/06/2014 RichA wrote:
>What is the most practical way to get to the climbs on Buller without
>spending much money on park fees, lifts etc? Is the best climbers approach
>suited to AT skis or is it mainly in the bush?

Ascents that don't involve driving up the mountain will be mostly below the tree line and below the snow line. Snow shoes or even just hiking boots would normally be more suited than skis for approaches.

In fact last time I was a the summit of Buller (downhill skiing). I bumped into the hardy cartographers who produce ROOFTOP MAPS. The mature couple had had an interesting camponless ascent of the back side of Buller. Without climbing gear they did find it a little hairy!
http://www.abcmaps.com.au/Rooftop.htm

Sabu
17/06/2014
11:19:46 PM
On 17/06/2014 RichA wrote:
>Haha, not quite Mansfield but pretty close. I'll happily report back what
>we find.
>
>What is the most practical way to get to the climbs on Buller without
>spending much money on park fees, lifts etc? Is the best climbers approach
>suited to AT skis or is it mainly in the bush?

Up the West ridge. Best suited for boots (and crampons for the final climb to the summit) rather than skis. Its a straight forward 4km walk along the ridge, mostly in bush with the occasional scramble.

The best part is its totally free as the access road turns off before the main road up the mountain. No lift passes or parking permits needed. The crap part is walking all the way back when all you want to do is have a lazy ski down the mountain.

More info below:

http://www.chockstone.org/MtBulla/MtBulla.htm
GoUp!
18/06/2014
8:48:41 AM
The Original Route on Mt Banks is certainly a contender for BIG! 350m grade 13....ha ha ha! My wife and I did it as a classic overnight trip about 15 years ago, walking in from Pierces Pass, then bashing up from the valley floor, bivy on the bivi ledge then up up up....! I remember it having a definite 'alpine' feel - It just felt a lot bigger and more 'out there' than a lot of other routes in the Grose. Very special and highly recommended if you want an adventure.

sbm
18/06/2014
3:44:11 PM
No mention of Tassie yet, surely some of the best mountaineering style climbing in Aus has to be there, (complete with the experience of being tent bound for days by the roaring 40s). Is it really that much further than the Blueys from Victoria?

Rysavy Ridge, Cradle Mtn traverse, Mt Anne NE ridge...

Duang Daunk
18/06/2014
7:55:33 PM
On 16/06/2014 RichA wrote:
>I'm looking for the biggest/longest good climb in Vic/NSW.

On 18/06/2014 sbm wrote:
>No mention of Tassie yet
Tassie?
What part of the orig question dont't you understand?
martym
18/06/2014
8:33:36 PM
On 18/06/2014 Duang Daunk wrote:
>On 16/06/2014 RichA wrote:
>>I'm looking for the biggest/longest good climb in Vic/NSW.
>
>Tassie?
>What part of the orig question dont't you understand?

Yeah he's already booked his flight to New Zealand.
Wendy
19/06/2014
10:02:54 AM
You may have noticed, but Oz doesn't have much in the way of big walls ... Anything around 100m is big to us!

I thought it might be good to clarify how confident you feel on these sort of routes, because many of those suggested are remote, with varying degrees of poor rock and poor gear. So if you are saving Angels (which is one of the best protected, best rock routes listed so far), I thought you should be aware that places like the Bungles, you are looking at crap all gear on crap rock. Stunning location though. The stuff at Mackey's Lookout is run out on easy terrain but generally safe enough, and the access descriptions are much more reliable (and should be tracked these days) than things such at the Queen Vic route, which Kieran is probably the only person to have done in the last 25 years. I haven't done the Blue Mtns routes, but again, be ready for appalling rock, and not so detailed/accurate route descriptions and no obvious trafficked lines. Now is a pretty terrible time of year for buffalo, although I have wanted to go and climb something on the cathedral in the winter, because it would be beautiful with snow on the plateau.

The gramps have lots of classic, "meduim" length routes - with Mt Difficult and Stapyton closed though, Mt Rosea and the Asses Ears are the best options. Heretic is an awesome route. I can't think of a bad climb that is starred in the select guide at either crag, but again, routefinding and rock may be interesting on occasions, but a lot less so than in the Blueys or the QV route. Power Dive on Mt Abrupt was a fun day out, mostly for position than quality of climbing ... again, interesting rock. And not clear where the last pitches go, I suspect I just ad libbed. There is a longer 15 up the Chimney Pots, and I think a long 17ish thing in the Serra Range, both of which could be quite adventurous and untrafficed. Kieran can probably provide details of both, I imagine he has done them.

sbm
19/06/2014
10:22:01 AM
On 18/06/2014 Duang Daunk wrote:
>On 16/06/2014 RichA wrote:
>>I'm looking for the biggest/longest good climb in Vic/NSW.
>
>On 18/06/2014 sbm wrote:
>>No mention of Tassie yet
>Tassie?
>What part of the orig question dont't you understand?

The part where he asked for easy big walls in Vic/NSW
JohnK
19/06/2014
12:56:08 PM
>What is the most practical way to get to the climbs on Buller without
>spending much money on park fees, lifts etc? Is the best climbers approach
>suited to AT skis or is it mainly in the bush?

You can hike up via the West Ridge accessed via Doughty Rd which runs off the Mount Buller Rd after Mirimbah - look at the on-line guide to Mt buller as well.

Otherwise, do what most of us do, drive up before the gates open, ditch your car, and walk up to the summit and over to the West ridge- lots of trip reports on chocky from people in the past to refer to an on-line guide.

Lets see what July brings in terms of snow and ice!

p.s. For Bogong - just wait until mid July onwards and head up after a cold front has come in and there is lots of snow - whether you find ice on not depends
simey
19/06/2014
11:12:16 PM
On 19/06/2014 Wendy wrote:
> Now is a pretty terrible
>time of year for buffalo, although I have wanted to go and climb something
>on the cathedral in the winter, because it would be beautiful with snow
>on the plateau.
>

Wendy, this sounds like nonsense given you complain about climbing in the shade at Mt Arapiles!

ajfclark
20/06/2014
9:36:29 AM
The view would be beautiful, the whining wouldn't.
jrc
20/06/2014
1:05:30 PM
Wendy 100% agree with the Angels recommendation. BTW having done it a few times in Roibins shoes i did it again a couple of years back in Aces: 4 mascerates ankle bones by the top so a good idea to tape up your legs with modern shoes. Or try Humzoos suggestion of a Super guide as well as an EB on the offwidth thread.

With respect i do take exception about the Bungles having "crap all gear on crap rock'. Routes named in this thread include Cornerstone Rib & Elijah and Bastion Buttress all of which can be protected solidly by nuts cams & slings; exception being perhaps the lower easyish pitches of cornerstone and maybe the crux of Elijah where there are a few balancy grade 14-15 moves ~8 m above your last runner, which is quite sound in itself, just a way beneath your butt. The Elijah belays, although bolted 50 years ago, are all able to be reinforced with excellent nuts &/ cams.

The rock is very good quality generally in the Bungles, although i do accept there is a degree of randomness in how well it is attached to the mountain. Part of the risk equation!
Route finding can be a challenge too in the Bungles - Cornerstone is pretty easy; Bastion and Elijah have immense opportunities to veer into scary country. Suggesting Elijah is 16 (not you - elsewhere on this thread) (when its got a crux move of 18) is probably not a good idea especially in the age of sport, where folks who might not have sound gear placing skills can get into trouble on a route with very limited rescue opportunities, and where getting off route means long delays to the climb.

I like your Grampians suggestions and i'll try a couple on our next Vic trip. Heretic looks like a ripper!
ithomas
20/06/2014
6:10:51 PM
G'day John. It's been a very long time. Totally agree with all of your points regarding the 'bungles, especially concerning the routes on Bluff Mt. In my opinion, Bluff offers the best climbing experience in Australia but to safely acquire that feeling a bit of thought, effort and commitment are required. An inexperienced leader could well get into serious difficulties on either Bastion Buttress or Elijah. Additionally, there is no way that Elijah should be considered just a grade 16 climb. It is not easy and anyone climbing 16s at Arapiles or on plastic would probably scare themselves silly. For newcomers I reckon Cornerstone Rib and Out and Beyond would be the ones to do first.
Wendy
20/06/2014
6:33:14 PM
Hi John, yeah, my comment should probably be considered in the light of (a) I am a massive wuss who would be in tears doing tenous grade 15 moves 8m above gear, (b) my judgement is skewed by living next to the best rock in the known universe and (c) I am trying to drum in the point that these are serious routes despite their grades. And maybe (d) exageration is always fun.

But overall, I think it is important to make sure that a person is really ready for the recommendations people are giving them by providing them with greater detail on the nature of the routes - like the randomness with which the rock is attached to the mountain! The remoteness of the crag, age of the guidebook, vague nature of descriptions, lack of traffic, complex descents and so forth. They can then make an informed decision as to whether that is what they are up for.

I did Angels in Moccasyms and my ankles come out of it fine. I must have some delicate thrutching technique going on.
Wendy
20/06/2014
6:37:50 PM
On 19/06/2014 simey wrote:
>On 19/06/2014 Wendy wrote:
>> Now is a pretty terrible
>>time of year for buffalo, although I have wanted to go and climb something
>>on the cathedral in the winter, because it would be beautiful with snow
>>on the plateau.
>>
>
>Wendy, this sounds like nonsense given you complain about climbing in
>the shade at Mt Arapiles!

I'm complaining incessantly about the conditions at Araps at the moment! It's miserable! Ok, so I have specific requirements for this winter buffalo outing. It's like my ski requirements. It must be sunny. Not too windy. But there must be snow. These conditions don't seem to come around at a convenient opportunity for me often enough, which is probably why I have never climbed on the cathedral in winter and haven't been skiing for about 5 years.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
20/06/2014
7:07:23 PM
On 20/06/2014 jrc wrote:
>Bastion and Elijah have immense opportunities to veer into scary country.

On 20/06/14 ithomas wrote:
>An inexperienced leader could well get into serious difficulties on either Bastion Buttress or Elijah.

Hmm.
Although I agree with all the other points of view expressed by these learned gents re the Warrumbungles in this thread, I tend to disagree with the comments about Bastion Buttress.

Bastion is effectively a Gd 13 blunt arete. If you stray left then things tend to become easier as the angle of climb also gets generally easier in that direction.
Straying right is immediately obvious that you are leaving the blunt arete to enter the wall/corner of Stonewall Jackson that is a grade 20 climb, and 7 grades harder! Not only that, but to get that far you have to cross over the climb Over and Out, a grade 21 deal-breaker for a teen-grade leader...
~> I do agree that to do the SJ thing, thinking you are on BB, would be scarey and likely serious difficult!


Ithomas
20/06/2014
8:55:25 PM
'Tending to disagree' is to have no opinion at all as someone famous once said. It is important not to asume that climbers are smart or competent and to asume that on big lonely cliffs, shit can happen.

I have had to rescue a party on Bastion Bluff because they strayed off route to the easy angled left. The blunt arete doesn't offer a terribly clear line when your nose is up against the rock and actually offers a number of possibilities some of which may lead rightwards into hard Stonewall Jackson territory and some of which lead into the technically easy ground to the left.
If you go right it will become obvious pretty quickly that you are in trouble and have to do something about it before you die.
If you mistakenly go left it is possible to get drawn ever deeper into a morass of loose, broken, poorly protected crap a long way off the ground.
A smart climber would probably not do Bastion Buttress at all (but see sentence 2). It may be easy but can be dangerous. And if its a little damp - well.
The point of John's post and my comment was not to argue about grades, but rather, to examine Wendy's comments and emphasise the seriousness of our premier big wall climbing area.

 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 56
There are 56 messages in this topic.

 

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