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
After the recent flurry of activity on the slabs in this area and the corresponding increase in ascents of the old classic Noblesse Oblige, I (like Mikl), am interested in the opinion of others who have done the climb as to what grade you consider it to be.
The consensus not only has an effect on grading of new routes in that specific area, but also grading of similar climbs in other areas partially under development / yet to be developed.
Noblesse Oblige is given grade 13 by mikl after his retrobolt, but grade 11 (by him and fellow first ascentionist G. Gledhill), in the earlier guide. Do you think this is accurate or should it be changed up/down when the next guide is published?
Any thoughts / other opinions welcome, as I think this exercise could prove interesting given the changing demographic of climbers and their previous experience / background these days.
Please vote your preference or post an opinion if it is not covered by the options above.
From most accounts and my experience of about 30 years ago it's really the approach that needs grading. Once you get to the start of the climbing things are fine (unless it's too hot).
So, what we need is a grading system for approaches. Factors to take into account : distance, height gain/loss, difficulty of travel, navigation.
Let's see : If the Plaque area approach is 1, walk up to Rosea 5, walk to left end of Rosea 8, Mt Difficult 10, Sawmill Cliff 20 then Noblesse Oblige approach is probably about 15.
This is pretty rough. Could do with some refinement but could be very useful.
I have to agree Kieran. We found the approach so bloody difficult, that it became a project. I think one more redpoint attempt on the approach and we'll have it in the bag. Actually climbing N.O has kind of become secondary.
I concur - finding the start was harder than any of the climbing! A little tape to mark the best route in would be good. It will help to reduce erosion of the area and concentrate the track rather than have 5 different ones! Hopefully with all the recent traffic it is becoming a little clearer and easier to find?
The slabby approach stuff before the 1st pitch gave some in our party concerns. If you're confident then it's fine but if not take care.
All that being the case it's still a great day out and one (the only?) easy route @ Mt Buffalo. I hope more experiences like this can be found / developed as it's a great thing to take new comers to Mt Buffalo up as an introduction.
I find grading that style of climbing impossible. NO sounds like it has run out sections of easy ground. Either you are cruising, a bit wobbled or find you self terrified. I think grades for such routes depend on how used you are to the style as well. I'm happy with keeping the first ascentionists arbitary grade and realising the route is going to give surprises.
And, approach grdes, fantastic idea. Tell someone NO is a 2, what a sandbag. Easier to sandbag people on approaches than routes. What fun.
Thanks all for the feedback, ... which tends to confirm that it is graded correctly (not at all surprising), and as such I shall now revise the grade of a similar climb that climbau and I put up in quite another area, before (eventually), submitting it to VCC.
It is an interesting concept incorporating grading for an approach within the climb grade, and it is good that the 'adventure' of a climb involves more than the individual moves! Although I would advocate being conservative, I tend to think this may be going a bit far and would skew things too much. As an example, if this was to be applied equally to all, then many things at Frenchmans Cap would become off-scale!
I think the guidebook description of access should sufficiently cover this aspect, but in the case of N.O. maybe additional comment as to the grade of the 'approach slabs' (should one find themselves taking this option), should also be mentioned in any future guide/s.
>A little tape to mark the best route in would be good. >It will help to reduce erosion of the area and concentrate the track rather than have 5 different ones! >Hopefully with all the recent traffic it is becoming a little clearer and easier to find?
I am interested in this aspect too, and at the risk of being a bit of a devils advocate offer the following ...
On the random sample of perhaps my repeat of N.O. being its most recent ascent, I did not notice that it was clearer to find once 50 m or so away from the road due increased bush-bashing-traffic accessing it.
I did notice the odd cairn started here and there, but the regrowth scrub after the fires is still pretty thick in many places, and while looking for previous passage I came to the conclusion that I was occasionally on-route, but perhaps mostly off-route!
Would not the dispersal of access minimise potential erosion, until such times as the numbers* involved were to be a problem within itself?
(*Given the number of votes as an indication, I would guess that maybe twenty? people have accessed it this season, and perhaps twice that number if the other climbs in the area use the same access??).
when trying to grade this i keep thinking of other classic 13's i have done(and it is a classic) and one climb that got my heart pumping even for a 13 was muldoon. a total novice i think would struggle to come to terms that they would have the ability to make it to the top but when mostly walking(one hand keeping my hex'a from being naughty)hands free up most pitches of O.B its has to be less than a thirteen surely. the bush bash up to the start was steeper and way more dangerous!! (by the way russian spy is a machine!!!)