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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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All NSW (General) (General) (General)  

Grades in the Wolgan?

2:08:42 PM
How sandbagged are the routes in the wolgan, particularly the grand routes on the upper cliff of old baldy (scimitar, excalibur)? Are they similar in difficulty to other grade 17-18 crack routes, such psychopath, amen corner, interstate 31, and the eternity? (I understand that there will be additional challenges in the wolgan such as a long approach, choss, logistics, weather, exposure, etc).

I've found that other areas developed in the 60's and 70's such as narrowneck feel hard for the grade. Is the wolgan similar?
2:44:32 PM
Similar grading as all those crags

E. Wells
4:06:36 PM
I dont find them at odds with the general system at all though only have done a few up there

5:41:42 PM
They seem about right to me

7:33:26 PM
the approaches are an extra 20 minutes, take plenty of hexes for old baldy

8:11:05 PM
On 23/09/2013 Drake wrote:
>How sandbagged are the routes in the wolgan, particularly the grand routes
>on the upper cliff of old baldy (scimitar, excalibur)?

The grades are spot on and should be considered as benchmarks to judge others by.

>(snip of original post)
>I've found that other areas developed in the 60's and 70's such as narrowneck
>feel hard for the grade. Is the wolgan similar?

If they feel hard for the grade, then you have become too used to soft sport grades.

Nick Clow
8:32:18 AM
Grades in the Wolgan are generally on the money and in line with the routes you mention.

Sizzler, at the Coke Ovens, possibly used to be a little bit of sandbag at 18, but is now 19.

Re. Old Baldy, one or two of the routes on the lower cliff (maybe No Complications, Secret Swinger??) seem to be a bit tough for their advertised grades because I think the ground below them has eroded. As a result each has a hard start consisting of a big jump to a giant flexing choss-jug and heel-hooking wrestling match to get going, the difficulty of which is disproportionate to the rest of the climb. It's also quite likely that one of these jugs will come off and someone will have an accident.

If I were going to do routes on Upper Baldy, I wouldn't bother about doing anything on the Lower Cliff and I would instead walk round to the right and straight up to the half-way ledge. The quality of the rock and climbs on Lower Baldy is poor and you will not be missing much. (I have personal experience of several tons of 'Ghoul' falling off it whilst climbing it.)

10:23:56 AM
Agree with Nick, walk up to the upper cliff when you first climb there. there are a few ok lower routes, Inversion is great but I think the upper pitch is dirty. Any suggestions?

10:30:47 AM
On 24/09/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>Agree with Nick, walk up to the upper cliff when you first climb there.
>there are a few ok lower routes, Inversion is great but I think the upper
>pitch is dirty. Any suggestions?

Solar Chimney*.
Heh, heh, heh.

(*It got renamed {twice!} somewhere along the way...).
11:09:17 AM
Hehe, I'm heading out there this weekend. In my (limited) experience at The Wolgan, the climbs aren't sandbagged, but are "on the money". Scimitar is 18 in the same way that Amen Corner at Piddo is an 18.

This weekend I'm after Stiletto (3-pitch 21, Mixed) and Day of the Long Knives (4-pitch 20, Mixed) on Upper Old Baldy, and maybe (if I get time) have a shot at Top of the Pops on Old Baldy Lower (has anyone tried this route before? I know it's supposed to be a real test piece.

I've done Secret Swinger, Zarathustra, Scimitar and Excalibur before.

Sunday is probably the Coke Ovens... too many awesome routes there to pick from.


Nick Clow
1:33:49 PM
> This weekend I'm after Stiletto (3-pitch 21, Mixed)

I did this many years ago, soon after Wade put it up:
- P1 is a really good long and sustained thin pitch (22?).
- P2 (crux) is 19 with a hard-to-see 2nd bolt in a run-out and somewhat strenuous position.
2:58:59 PM
The Slider and Lysander on lower Baldy are excellent cracks.

I rebolted Top of the Pops recently.
8:38:05 PM
G'day mabsydney,

Did you get a chance to try Top of the Pops after the rebolt? Thanks for the investment of steel and time, by the way. Hopefully I can put it to good use this weekend.


- Paul
Nick Clow
10:31:35 AM
> The Slider and Lysander on lower Baldy are excellent cracks

MAB, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, so fair enough. My view however is that 'excellent' is probably too strong a word!

Slider (an open book thin crack corner) looks a million dollars, but the experience of getting on it and hearing crunchy sounds (like you are standing on cornflakes) and dealing with the dirt and run-off rather puts you off.

Equally, Lysander - consisting of a couple of ok moves up to a choss-lip and mantle onto a choss beach (where you lie in the sand, no doubt explaining the name of the climb) - is not that great either.

But each to their own. Maybe I'm just soft (actually there's no maybe), but I really think you have to pick your spot in the Wolgan. I formed the view that the quality of climbs outside those at The Coal Mines, The Coke Ovens and Old Baldy Upper was variable and often disappointing, Great climbs at these three cliffs though.
12:23:20 PM

Yes, I have been on TOTP but I didn't get it. It's a great line although the crack is not as continuous as it looks. Probably right for the grade.

I rebolted the route to the right of it too, although it still requires a #3 camelot in a break low down. Can't remember the name of it, but it's excellent and nails for 23.
12:25:46 PM

There is plenty of choss that I avoid in the Wolgan, but by it's very nature it is chossy!

I consider The Slider and Lysander to be good routes, just a bit dirty. Yes there are better cleaner routes at the Coke Ovens.

BTW, I put new anchors on Lysander, so you can rap off good ones at the end of the 1st pitch. The 2nd pitch is not great.
4:12:12 PM
Hi All Was Climbing on lower baldy yesterday and got swooped by a large wedge tail eagle.
It Was quite a surprise and scary! Wing span would of been close to 3m at least it looked that way from 30cm away. Nesting season i guess.

8:41:05 PM
Wilma the Wedgie is back!!
9:45:05 PM
For those interested I was topping out on secret swinger.

There are 19 messages in this topic.


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