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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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VIC Eastern Ben Cairn (General) (General) [ Ben Cairn Guide | Images ] 

Ben Cairn

10:14:01 AM
Thinking of taking a trip up to Ben Cairn when the weather gets a little warmer. Have heard the road was out is this still the case. Also heard there is a new fence. Is it still possible to belay off it or are there other options? Havnt visited the crag for around ten years. Do people still visit it of has the moss won? Am taking a newish climber and want to put him through the pain of Plum Jam!!!

6:00:53 PM
Don't know about the current status of the road - someone else can enlighten you. One section of fence had been replaced last time I was up there, perhaps it it all done now?

Yes many of the more obscure routes have gone under the moss - however the majority of the good ones are still very clean. The major crack lines like plum jamb are fine, its mostly the lower angled top of the slabs that get really green.

Have fun and mind the leeches :)

6:31:03 PM
road has been fixed after storms but it is seasonally closed each winter. several superb routes and visited quite often so many are moss free. road may be open by now but check with vicroads.

11:57:16 AM
The new fence is heaps better for belaying off than the old one. It doesn't rattle around like the old one did. If you want to do the ultra-safe thing and sling two different posts, you will need long slings.
12:12:57 PM
Winter closure is to the weekend before the Melbourne Cup.
9:41:42 AM
Access rd is now open.

Some routes will need a bit of a clean up though as the greenery is fighting back and the first bolt on digit dancer / pancake flake is looking a bit droopy and may do with a rebolt if anyone with the relevant gear / experience to do it is up that way.
9:22:28 PM
Aah, BC brushing and bolting season. It must be Spring.
10:41:05 PM
On 2/11/2005 gfdonc wrote:
>Aah, BC brushing and bolting season. It must be Spring.

cool, let us know when you're done cleaning the place up steve

PS: you can leave the nail polish at home
12:51:25 PM
Finally made it back to the old place after many years break.

It was 28C up there (with 37 in Melbourne) so a fairly good place to escape the heat.
Did Raspberry Ripple, Digit Dancer, Pancake, a (new?) variant to Jerry's Big Corner, Frankenstein and Flapjack. Was going to do Skating Away but the other two there were on it - it would be bit sad having to queue when there are only 4 people at a crag.

Some comments:
If my memory serves correctly that first bolt on Digit Dancer was always a bit droopy, and the second one a bit flush. Connoiseurs of stainless will disagree, but I thought those bolts were in amazingly good nick considering they've been there 25 years.

The whole place is a bit gritty and some routes are unclean. Frankenstein was one of the worst, little bits of moss growing back, obviously doesn't get enough traffic. Some new wave of dedicated people with time on their hands needs to learn the fine art of wire-brushing by abseil. Basically the place needs maintenance, or lots more traffic.

Jerry's Big Corner was the subject of a death-defying layback by my partner who eventually realised smearing on greenery with no pro was likely to end badly, and downclimbed. We subsequently did a variant by starting up Glass Slippers to the bolt, then across to the corner, hence avoiding the mossy layback. Nicer that the original, perhaps gr 16. Anyone done this before?

There were some weathered flowers at the guardrail, with "BDL" scratched under them. Anyone know what this is?

Neilo, your repositioned bolt on Frankenstein is great. Amusingly the other two climbers still thought the moves up to the bolt were too committing & backed off - so I suggest you haven't entirely destroyed the character of the route!
- Steve

9:09:43 PM
new fence? You mean the one that is more than 7 years old???

The bdl is a memorial to a local but not to do with climbers. Been there a couple of years now but haven't met the griever yet. apparently a widower.

the good bolts you mention are acknowledged to be substandard and dangerous even if they look okay, so watch it!
8:51:37 AM
The railing is new if you haven't been to Ben Cairn for 12 or so years sking... ;-)

I ventured up there for the first time in over a decade a couple of weeks ago. Spent all the day on the lower tier and had a great time. There has been some cleaning going on by conscientious individual/s with a few lines showing signs of recent cleaning, so all is not lost!

But I do second gfdoncs appraisal that Frankenstein needs a fresh clean, mostly in the last half...

11:19:15 AM
On 10/12/2006 gfdonc wrote:
>Jerry's Big Corner was the subject of a death-defying layback by my partner
>who eventually realised smearing on greenery with no pro was likely to
>end badly, and downclimbed. We subsequently did a variant by starting
>up Glass Slippers to the bolt, then across to the corner, hence avoiding
>the mossy layback. Nicer that the original, perhaps gr 16. Anyone done
>this before?
>>- Steve

Yep, that's how I did it. I thought it was my first 14 lead but will happily accept 16. Surely nobody in their right mind would go up that unprotected mossy layback, when the alternative is nice moves with 2-3 cams to a good bolt. With that start it's a pretty safe and enjoyable outing (unlike one or two climbs around GR15 there which have loadsa deck out potential).

I think that guidebook describes Jerry's as "not as bad as it looks." With that sort of recommendation, it probably gets overlooked by people who would enjoy it.
11:51:53 AM
Hehe. Yeah, thanks for the replies.
The "new fence" will always be the new fence to an old-timer like me.

Perhaps Jerry's corner was clean enough at one stage to head up the layback. My partner did make all the moves OK, just baulked at the last reach around with slippery feet and a likely groundfall (a good call if ever I saw one).

Frankenstein would have been a nicer outing if freshly brushed.

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