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Crag & Route Beta

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VIC Eastern Cathedral Range North Jawbone (General) [ Cathedral Guide | Images ] 

Speigall's Overhang descent/anchors
2:06:01 PM
I am planning on doing Speigall's Overhang on the weekend and I am not quite clear on the belay and descent situation.
The VCC guidebook says that there is a descent track at the north end of the cliff, but also mentions that the descent can be done st the south end of the cliff, plus rap anchors on the topwere mentioned, but what sort of rope do I need for that?
In the chockstone guide I read that there are anchors on top of P1 and P2 but the first ones were loose.
Has anyone done this route recently and can give me a bit of info what's there and what isn't?


2:55:36 PM
Easiest way is walk off, i've never tried rapping off. The track isn't too hard to find and it follows the cliff line descending with it on your right. it all becomes bush after a bit of scrambling and hooks round to come back to the base of the cliff.
Don't rely on bolts there is plenty of natural pro around for the belays.
hope that helps!
3:05:14 PM
Walk off, don't rap, around to the right and down the gully. Don't depend on bolts either.

Here's a pic of someone near the top of the second pitch taken from the Central Buttress. Easy angle. Nice climb though.

3:50:37 PM
Yes, walk off, rapping is not a sensible option there.

When you top out on Speigal's you are roughly at the right level - standing at the top of the route, head directly away from the cliff edge (or initially slightly left), over a boulder or two then through some trees until you reach a short scrambling gully that looks harder (from the top) than it is. This is down and right (facing the cliff i.e. north) of the actual summit.

It's fairly obvious, and the only way you could stuff it up is to ascend up left towards the summit (and potentially get off that way anyway) or too far right (where your path will be blocked by drop-offs).

Down-climb the gully with care (not hard and you can do it in your approach shoes) then you are on the main north-facing slope and can pick a track down this (loose surface in places) until it reaches a rough track that heads around the right-hand end of the cliff through the bastard prickle bushes.

The rough track usually ends up in the bush about level with the first belay on Spiegals, so you need to downclimb a short section of broken slab to get back to the start. Aim for the orange roof of "The Verandah" (see guide) as a reference point. Don't try to bypass the downclimb by heading lower around the hill, it doesn't work. Worth carrying your walking shoes up with you.

Re: belays. The belay at the end of p1 used to be a reasonable-size tree. This tree is now sitting at the base of the climb, decreasing my faith in using vegetation as runners. Plenty of nuts as options there. Likewise plenty of natural pro at the end of p2.

If you haven't been there before, take food, water and a headtorch.

3:57:19 PM
Thanks guys for all the advise.
It will be a fun climb to do :-)

5:41:29 PM
gfdonc's advice is spot on. From the very top of the cliff it is probably only 30 meters to the top of the
short down climb that he mentions. To find it you can follow a faint pad that contours around the slope,
only slightly to the right as he said. You mentioned bolts. There are none on Speigals, but as already said
each belay has plenty of natural anchors. The loose anchors you mention were probably the ones on
Junglescope/Jerry Pot - now removed. What guidebook said that bolts were loose?
8:37:49 PM
There is a chain down and right from the top but it won't get you down, a second set of chains was never added to my knowledge. The chains are at the top of a bolted grade 18 that breaks right out of speigals below the last overlap (I think). There is a topo on chockstone somewhere. The new climb is pretty good and very well bolted (some would say over bolted). Not really sure where it is meant to start though. There two or three meters right of the last pitch easy to see from the second last belay.

When walking down don't go down the first steep gully go a bit further around.

I think a second set of chains would be great as the track is quite steep in some places and a well placed rap route would be great.

Oh and finish up greg's direct.
10:55:20 AM
The VCC book for Eastern Victoria (printed 2002 I think) by Michael Hampton, Robin Holmes, & Paul Martin mentioned bolts and that some of them were loose.
But looking at the collective feedback, I think I will use the descent :-)

11:49:09 AM
Checked the guide - no mention of bolts. Had a look at this site's write up and there are a few lines that
imply the bolts are on Speigals, but if you read it carefully it says they are on the junglescope butress
which you would only know if you had been there with a current guide. The bolted route on RHS of
Speigals is Dalai's 'Cadence' (18?). Starts from the usual new second belay. Martin, am I right that the
chains were really only intended as a lower off for this route? or did you forsee turning them into a descent
1:07:24 PM
Dalai can answer for himself, but I climbed past those chains a year or so ago when doing Whiteline Fever on that side - I think I recall that they are below the top of the cliff, you could reach down over the lip to clip them but there's no stance there.

In other words they serve as a lower-off, not a rap station.
fish boy
2:34:11 PM
I always use them to rap. You can get to the skinny leg sized tree poking just below the overlap on speigals, near where Xanthene takes off..then you go down over the huge roof of that grade 16 (I think its a 16...). 2 raps, use doubles. Keeps erosion down...


4:08:39 PM

I thought that Xanthene was left of Speigals. Isn't the line of bolts for Cadence and the chain on the right
hand side at the top, looking at the cliff? Does the rap down bring you to a stance above Xenith/Whiteline
4:44:20 PM
On 13/06/2008 Pat wrote:
>The bolted route on RHS of
>Speigals is Dalai's 'Cadence' (18?). Starts from the usual new second

Cadence isn't that bolted line with the chain Pat. But is a full single pitch that takes the slab left of and parallel to Speigals from around its second belay to finish on the right half of Traverse of the Gods, where you step right to belay on Speigals.

So takes the slab through the two overlaps (two carrots on this pitch - I lead the FA without these but thought the gear was pretty poor) between Xanthene and Speigals.

It was initially incorrectly mistaken by Hampton as a repeat of Rockbottom Racer, which is to the left of Xanthene until Xanthenes belay then steps right and up.

5:58:57 PM
Thanks for setting me straight Martin,

its quite clear in the guide but I have never seen bolts on the LHS, but had seen the 5 or so bolts on the
RHS and assumed the guide was wrong because it mentions 3-5 bolts. So what is the line on the RHS? Is
it a retro bolt of the second pitch of Whiteline fever? Its only a couple of meters to the right most of the
way, looks nice though.

fish boy
8:49:41 PM
Dunno Pat...that's what I do..names kinda escape me.
1:05:04 PM
So how was it Steph?


Are you there?

Oh my god, she's still trying to find the descent track ...

There are 16 messages in this topic.


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