17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
On 6/06/2007 superstu wrote:
>The bit of cliff I bouldered was too soft, but bits higher up looked OK.
>There was a bit of tat about 10m up, and apparently the story goes long taim ago some >scouts came along and went for a climb (or was it an abseil??? hard to work out in >rambling tok pisin) but one fell off and died and that was the end of that!!
That tatt is my mates ‘smashie’ (aluminium version of a bashie), that he left while descending off the cliff!
He led the first part of that line and took a fall about half way up it. He was too knackered to give it another shot, so he placed his retreat piece there as a backup, and I lowered him off.
We pulled the rope (as you do on old fashioned ground up adventure ascents), and I led the climb.
I too, took a significant fall higher up, but we managed to complete it. I used the same mashie when I abseiled off back-cleaning (in two pitches), due to only having a single 50m rope with us at the time.
If my memory serves me well, I believe that tatt to be up rightwards out of frame, in those shots.
>So the locals were not all enthusiastic that I climb their little rock but
>they didn't mind showing me around the place.
We obtained permission from the Luluai (senior head-man / tribal spokesperson), to climb there. He squatted on his haunches in the shade on the other side of the track from us, watching us climbing in searing heat on that wall (it faces west), and was suitably impressed with our antics (particularly the falls), as the locals had never seen anything like it up until then.
Interestingly enough we did not end up with much of an audience in terms of sheer numbers at that location, (compared to other times), as was often the case, when I climbed in PNG.
The other line/s we did were further left. The easier obvious one was given up on at about half height due to antagonising a bee hive within the crack that we did not know about when we started up the line.
The other successful topout line took a natural weakness up the wall.
Another false start line there that we attempted on the 2nd cliffline further left, was memorable to me because I trundled a small (fist sized) stone, while leading at about 4 m up, and before I could blink a gazillion biting ants swarmed up my arm and got stuck into me around my neck and under my helmet. I wiped my forearm across my face to regain some sight, as by then they were on my face and needed wiping away. It gave me a brief glimpse of where to ‘deck out’ (due being too high above lower pro), and I jumped (though wouldn't normally from that height), to get away from them!!
>Apparently further up the road is a bigger cliff but I didn't get to see it. I wonder if that is
I have followed that road up past Elimbari to the next village and there is not a lot of easy access further rock worth climbing that I saw, however there is some good caving to be had (some of which I did), further out in that direction.
>The road through Chuave has been realigned recently, but
>there is a left turn off the highlands highway (going towards hagen from
>goroka) which heads up into the hills.
>I assume you would have seen the rock up around wilhelm. Did any of that
>inspire you? I think the dry season for that area is about now if I recall.
>Not that I'm thinking of heading up there any time soon - it's election
>time right now (fun fun fun)
I attempted to climb on a major arete flanking the cirque lake at 11,000 ft, but succumbed to altitude sickness pretty quickly, so that was the end of that. I always intended to get back there with a week up my sleeve to pre-acclimatise, and then enjoy the climbing to be had, but it never eventuated due to suitably distracting myself.
Excellent memories, and I am sorry I did not reply more fully back then superstu.