Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
General Climbing Discussion
|Moonarie - Worth bringing a Sat. phone?
The disconnect between the two notions of a wilderness experience that I have seen expressed here
are so great that in my opinion it's not even a topic really worth discussing; the infection of electronic
devices in the wilderness is presumably only going to get worse, uh I mean more prevalent, so just I
just look away and do my own thing. These two kinds of people should just (and generally do) avoid
each other. Personally, if I ran into a party at the base of a crag like Moonarie and they had a sat
phone I would politely put as much physical distance between my climbing outing and theirs as I
possibly could. I don't want to become an unwilling participant in someone else's epic and I view
carrying a sat phone as being way out of your league on about 85% of the surface of the earth.
On the other hand, I'm a free-soloist because I think leader falls are both frightening and hazardous
and I consider myself to increase my margin of safety by relying solely on myself rather than on gear,
communication, or a rescue. Planning for rescue is planning for failure and failure in a vertical
environment is often a really bad thing. Climb well within your abilities, don't be a hero. In climbing
you're either going for it or you're not: if you are then there's no sat phone; if you're not then you're
supposed to be taking it easy and that means staying well within your own personal safety zone.
Maybe I could climb grade 30 but I could seriously care less, I'd rather safely enjoy climbing in the
teens all day long and all by myself.
One guy's opinion.
Recently at Arapiles, a well know chockstoner and arapiles local commented to me and stressed the benefits of having a mobile at the crag. He insisted how important it was when things go bad. My thoughts were that this was somewhat unecessary and further diminished the out bush notion of arapiles.
A satellite phone could be a good idea, but dozens of people climb up there every year and I haven't heard of any accidents where a sat phone would have made much difference. You won't get any type of normal mobile phone coverage, NextG or otherwise, so don't plan on that.
Moonarie is an amazing place, with some great climbs. It doesn't have the convenience of Araps, but it makes up for that with a greater sense of adventure in the approach, and in the routes too.
Dare I say it, but Moonarie probably has more distinct, awesome "lines" than Araps.
Take your hexes, and some big cams, you'll end up using them. Do what most do, haul your full rack up the hill the first morning, and then just leave all your gear up at Top Camp at night if you're heading back down to bottom camp. Having all you gear up there means you can pick and choose what pieces you need for the climb you're planning to do.
With 10 days, there's no rush, so enjoy some of the easier classics as a warm up. As already stated Nervine (12), Ultion (12) and Garden Refuse Removed Cheaply (GRRC, 13) are the classic, 3-star "easy" lines. Beware though, they aren't grade 12s as the book says, more like 14s if you climb at Morialta, or stiff 13s if you climb at Araps.
After that, get on Pagoda (15). Probably the wildest and most memorable 15 you'll ever do. Then Moondance (15) should be next. It's a long pitch (the book says 25, ends up being more like 38, but finishes at bolts), and has no stars in the 2001 guide book. It will get at least 2 stars when the book gets reprinted. You can rap off with double ropes, or you'll be better to walk to the Great Wall and rap off the far edge of that. Next, get into Hangover Layback (15), then Outside Chance (16, or 17 with the Buckleys finish), then Flying Butress (15 going on 18) and after that, Vortex (17) and Downwind of Angles (19).
If you're after a couple of shorter routes to fill in an hour or so, the Gargoyle Wall area has a few interesting ones, like Gargoyle (13), Corkscrew Retribution (14, a great climb to practice your hand jams and offwidth technique) and Tim Tam (16).
Anyway mate, enjoy your time up there.
The only thing to think about that you might not have considered is water. There is no water supply at bottom camp, and the tank up in the decent gully can run dry if the seepage stops. That said, I reckon they've had some rain up there in the last day or two, so the top tank should have enough for your daily drinking water. Don't bank on it to supply you for cooking and washing up though.
On 12/03/2009 patto wrote:
>Recently at Arapiles, a well know chockstoner and arapiles local commented
>to me and stressed the benefits of having a mobile at the crag. He insisted
>how important it was when things go bad. My thoughts were that this was
>somewhat unecessary and further diminished the out bush notion of arapiles.
Flush toilets, a kitchen sink, and a phone box ? your notion of out bush and mine are slightly different!
I carry a 3G phone at the piles when climbing, and the one day I left it at home was the day my partner
pulled the entire pitch and decked, if I'd had the phone I could have rung for the ambo as soon as I had
him stabilised, but as it was he had a bad concusion, and I had to wait with him until he could
remember that he had possible spinal injurys and needed to remain still (even though he was in pain)
and not get up, or try to find a more comfortable position, he would ask me where he was and what
had happened every time I had just finished explaining the situation.
It took me half an hour to get to the point where I felt that he had grasped the situation and would not
forget it as soon as I left for help, then 15/20 minutes to run from Lower Yesterday Gully to the phone
box and make the call, then run back again, all up nearly 50 minutes that could have been used for
help to arrive.
for me it doesn't detract from the outdoor experience, if it's switched off in my pocket, then nobody,
except my partner for the day, even knows I have it with me, but if needed then its there.
Just the other week a fellow climber was running past where I was climbing with friends, nobody runs
that fast just to grab a forgotten item, I knew he was running for help ! so I stopped him and told him I
had a phone and where was the accident, he turned around told me and we both set of for his fallen
partner (he had also stripped the pitch and decked) I was still talking on the phone to emergency
services about the location when I decided that the injury's were not that serious, ie no spinals, no
internal bleeding, and no concussion or head injury's, just a badly sprained ankle, and ligament
damage, and therefore it would be quicker to form a hand litter and carry him out to a car that his
partner would go and get while we did the evac, it all worked out well, but could have been bad if it was
a life threatening set of injury's that needed swift response times, thank god it was simple.
Like having a mobile phone handy, simple.
on another note I get reception at the top of Moonarie with my 3G, not top camp, the summit.
Wow - I had no idea that still existed. As you can see, it's now 6 years since I updated it!
Best to go to the CCSA site Beefy referred to.
On 12/03/2009 bomber pro wrote:
>Flush toilets, a kitchen sink, and a phone box ? your notion of out bush
>and mine are slightly different!
Thats why I said 'further diminished' the out bush notion of arapiles. But I must say I am very partial to nice fush toilets of arapiles. :-)
>I carry a 3G phone at the piles when climbing, and the one day I left
>it at home was the day my partner pulled the entire pitch and decked...
I can't argue with that
>for me it doesn't detract from the outdoor experience, if it's switched
>off in my pocket, then nobody,
>except my partner for the day, even knows I have it with me, but if needed
>then its there.
You make a good argument. But regardless I am still not convinced that a phone is necessary as part of my crag arsenal. I damn well forget my sun hat too many times!The truth is though 50% of the time my phone is in my climbing pack anyway. :-)
Either way clearly there is a divide on electronic communication amoungst chockstoners. I see both sides of the arguement and would almost prefer to sit on the fence. But I wouldn't bring a Sat phone to Moonarie.
"I don't want to become an unwilling participant in someone else's epic and I view
carrying a sat phone as being way out of your league on about 85% of the surface of the earth...I'm a free-soloist because I think leader falls are both frightening and hazardous. "
Singersmith, your suggestion that taking precautions (eg placing gear, sat phones) increases the risk of accidents is pretty counterintuitive to me.
In my mind a leader fall is a whole lot more scary when you don't have any gear in!
On 12/03/2009 wallwombat wrote:
>On 12/03/2009 racingtadpole wrote:
>>When what is supposed to be a friendly discussion results in people sending
>>me PM's telling me I am ignorant because my opinion differs from that
>>they hold its time to bow out of participating in the thread.
>Who they hell did that?
Not guilty this time ;-)
That's pretty crook. No-one on this thread was issuing personal abuse. A full and frank exchange of opinions and a touch of sarcasm, sure, but that's Chockstone. Everyone's opinion is of equal value.
One thing worth mentioning: if your phone is pin-locked, you'd better give your pin to your partner before you start climbing.
I think (as part of the GSM spec and any more recent such as 3G and 3.5G) all phones
can still be used to make emergency calls regardless of whether it's pin-locked (or even
if there's no SIM in the phone).
When you switch it on and it's asking for the PIN you can still type in 000.
Also a good time to mention that you don't need to remember 112 anymore (unless your
phone is very old) as now 000 does the same thing - it will make an emergency call on
whatever terrestrial network is in-range. Even if you've got a vodafone sim and don't have
coverage at Mt Whatever, it's still worth trying 000 as if Telstra or Optus is in range your
call will get out.
On 13/03/2009 Richard Delaney wrote:
>can still be used to make emergency calls regardless of whether it's pin-locked
True. I still like the thought that my partner can call others if they need to, but you're right.
>When you switch it on and it's asking for the PIN you can still type in 000.
Or 112 for that matter, at least on my phone.
On 12/03/2009 singersmith wrote:
Personally, if I ran into a party at the base of a crag like
>Moonarie and they had a sat
>phone I would politely put as much physical distance between my climbing
>outing and theirs as I
>possibly could. I don't want to become an unwilling participant in someone
>else's epic and I view
>carrying a sat phone as being way out of your league on about 85% of the
>surface of the earth.
>On the other hand, I'm a free-soloist because I think leader falls are
>both frightening and hazardous
>and I consider myself to increase my margin of safety by relying solely
>on myself rather than on gear,
>communication, or a rescue. Planning for rescue is planning for failure
>and failure in a vertical
>environment is often a really bad thing. Climb well within your abilities,
>don't be a hero.
When I see people soloing, I put as much distance as I politely can between myself and them because I don't want to have to clean up the mess when it all goes wrong. Uncontrollable or freak accidents do occur. Rock breaks. Birds swoop. Snakes and spiders inhabit rock crevices they may not like sharing with you. Idiots throw things from look outs. Earthquakes, unpredicted storms, flying pigs!
Appropriately used gear and well prepared plans for worst case scenarios are not being out of your depth or increasing your risk but responsible management of a situation. I haven't looked into the stats but I reckon the proportion of deaths of soloists to the number of soloists is way greater than that of leaders. Does that make sense? I'm trying to say lots of people lead, and not many of them die!
Though there are differences and there are differences!
Free solo vs roped solo for example, ... & maybe even simulclimbing to a lesser extent?
I have found the difference of solo to be about the degree of difference between leading and seconding on a roped ascent. Sure it is another level, but the whole game of climbing is absurd to many is it not?
From a statistical point of view, I consider most climbing to be like belays.
They are seldom put to the test, ... given the amount of climbing done and belays constructed.
>I reckon the proportion of deaths of soloists to the number of soloists is way greater than that of leaders. Does that make sense? I'm trying to say lots of people lead, and not many of them die!
I suspect that there is a lot of soloing done, where no accidents occur.
How many people 'solo' dodgy access to climbs for example...?
... and conversely how many tourists wandering off the beaten track suffer calamity, or not, when they find themselves effectively soloing!
I am not sure it is valid to be quite so black and white within a grey area!
On 13/03/2009 Wendy wrote:
>I haven't looked into the stats but I reckon the proportion of deaths of soloists to the number of soloists is way greater than that of leaders.
Intentional, hardish free soloing is a personal thing that lies way beyond reasoning or rationalisation. It's certainly a very selfish thing to do if you feel at all close to other members of our species. But I'm sure the proportion of deaths of leaders is way greater than that of topropers, hence should we all be toproping?!
I think soloing is the most pure form of climbing, like the joy of scooting up a tree when you're a kid, and roped ascents are mere derivatives of that simple pleasure. But I'm glad that most climbers don't do it. I agree with Wendy that it's not pleasant to watch and I also prefer to leave the area. I also don't like to inflict the sight of me soloing on too many people. I suspect there's a gender difference in attitudes to soloing with men being the risk-takers and women being more sensible, very broadly speaking.
I've always regarded soloing as a perfectly legitimate, albeit serious, aspect of our sport. I'm not sure the "stats" exist, or would mean anything, because comparing soloing and lead climbing is like comparing apples and oranges. But I can offer my stats. I've soloed about 740 climbs from grade 1 (Sunny Gully!) to 22, mainly in SA, Victoria and France, on rock ranging from great to rubbish. I've had about 6 "moments" of insecurity (or worse): one at Morialta when an arete I was laybacking broke (I landed on a ledge), another at Morialta when I discovered the top section of a route to be in a particularly gritty state, a hold breaking in Cleland (I managed to hold on one-handed with the feet skating), and 3 climbs in France - one ended in no man's land, another was a low grade climb super polished up high, and the other had some extremely tough moves for a 4c!
I've also done a deadpoint to a horizontal and felt cold reptilian skin, but luckily it was only a sleepy lizard!
I've probably led a similar number of climbs and broke some bones on one occasion as a result of, ironically, trying to place protection.
All this sounds very dodgy.
In fact climbing at such remote and obscure locations as Moonarie would definitely be considered dodgy.
Moonarie even has dodgy reception, ... but there are many places like that I hear.
I have heard that even in the inner suburbs of Melbourne one can get dodgy reception, and there are dodgy calls being made there all the time.
Well fear not faint hearted, as our good friends at Nokia* have designed a phone that is guaranteed to get you all the attention you need when you need it most ...
(*disclaimer; I have no connection to/shares in/ etc/ etc).
What do you reckon?
On 15/03/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>I have found the difference of solo to be about the degree of difference
>between leading and seconding on a roped ascent.
I agree. Climbers who condemn soloing are hypocritical.
I 'soloed' a grade 4 or something to put up and take down some top ropes. Does that make me irresponsible and risking myself and others? Likewise I've climbed on routes that were run out over 20m, is this soloing?
That said I don't consider that I have ever 'soloed' a climb. Shit I haven't even done tip toe ridge. I'm not about to start soloing but I wont condemn it either. It is all a matter of degree,
There are 56 messages in this topic.
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