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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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VIC Grampians Central (General) (General) [ Grampians Guide | Images ] 

Author
Big Time Trundle at Rosea
SimMad
1/12/2008
3:23:58 PM
On Saturday Mark and I wandered our way up to Mt Rosea and after some head scratching and vague "it must be up that way" kinda route finding, made it to the top of the fourth pitch of "Into the Wild" where I plonked myself down on the wonderfully exposed belay ledge feeling generally good about the world and enjoying the breeze blowing up my skirt at about 100m off the deck. Mark came across the hand-traverse and after a quick gear swap took off up the final pitch described as "easily to the top". He was only just above the belay when the serenity was broken by a squeal like a stuck pig and with a string of indecipherable expletives he was back on the ledge, wide eyed and white. He had pulled down on a couple of holds and was stepping up a move or two off the belay when he felt a gentle wobbling, swaying sensation - nice in the breeze not so good up a cliff - it took a moment of confused 'this doesn't feel right' to realise that the holds he was on were not solid cliff but that rather they were part of a massive shield and the whole thing was rocking out away from the cliff. Had he peeled it off it would have turned over my head, severed the rope and both my legs just above the knee as it bounced into my ledge and then provided me quite the view of Mark clinging to it as it slowly spun ground ward. After taking a moment to compose himself he moved way right to give it a wide berth and quickly topped out and after a brief discussion we decided it was best to remove the beast. We knew that there was no one else at Rosea other than another pair who had come with us and they were out of harm's way climbing a route way down the other end plus we had a great view of the base of the cliff so I got up above it and saw that it was balancing ok but that the top had separated by about 15cm from the cliff proper. I rocked it with my foot but being the size of a fridge, and considering the awkward position with only little leverage, it took a bit of effort until I could get in between it and the cliff and employ the brute power of my ample ar@e, all the time Mark giving helpful instructions like, "Push harder". I had a momentís hesitation for dramatic effect before a final push dislodged it and sent it over. After it popped off It looked like it was falling in slow motion turning lazily over itself like something in space and it made a very calming whistling whoosh just before it exploded in an almighty boom, flattening trees and snapping branches as its broken bits shot out from the impact and a big plume of dust billowed up. Quite the spectacle. (The photos of the rising plume of dust were taken at least a minute after the impact.) When we got down the Staircase all our gear was covered in dust and branches though we were happy to see that none of it had been squished by an errant boulder.


Where it ended up


Where it used to be.


Ground level, my pack is under the branch.

We reckon it was the biggest trundle the Gramps have seen for a while.

Not counting our contribution there really was a huge amount of what looked like fresh debris and newly knocked over trees along the base of the cliff and it looked as if there had been some large bits fall off up above Fringedweller/The Ascension though from the ground it didn't look as if there was any damage to the routes themselves. Anyone know if this was fire-related or know about any long term mass wasting at Rosea?
kieranl
1/12/2008
10:44:04 PM
That's a pretty scary experience. Well trundled.
I'm guessing the rockfall from the Ascension area is probably fire-related as the trees on Tourist Buttress were killed so the fire was probably pretty intense.
I don't suppose the abseil tree has gone? Did you get any photos of that area?
Still big loose blocks do come off even the classic routes. There was one off the first pitch of Ascension some years ago and another off Diane. And just because the loose blocks on Debutante have "stood the test of time" doesn't mean that they are safe. It's a bit like the sharemarket - have a good look and take your chances. Be careful out there.

Capt_mulch
1/12/2008
11:04:33 PM
Awww dude, you prolly killed ants an things, not to mention the damage to the trees an stuff. This doesn't fit well with my don't put any bolts anywhere or spoil the cliff an wildlife type ethics stuff which I wish I was more able to hassle you about :-(
markk
2/12/2008
11:55:39 AM
On 1/12/2008 Capt_mulch wrote:
>Awww dude, you prolly killed ants an things, not to mention the damage
>to the trees an stuff. This doesn't fit well with my don't put any bolts
>anywhere or spoil the cliff an wildlife type ethics stuff which I wish
>I was more able to hassle you about :-(

I'm definitely not into bolting at places like Rosea either, but would you really want the cliff left in it's natural state, if it means you have a block tottering above you on a route, that is hard to identify, and dangerously unstable?

Based on the other big rock fall we saw from above ascension, I'd say that after the fires, climbers need to be extra alert at Rosea! take care out there!!!
SimMad
2/12/2008
12:36:51 PM
Sorry Kieranl didn't get any other photos of the Tourist Buttress but we are considering heading back in a couple of weeks to take on The Ascension so I'll let you know if that comes to pass. To continue with the stock market simile, I'm hoping the a@se doesn't completely fall out of the cliff on the next trip.

Aye Aye Cap'n - whilst I share your pain at the potential killed things I'm happy that we were not counted among them and that no one else will enter the annals under RIP on that particular beast, I'm not sure about the bolting reference but I guess we could have somehow bolted the block back onto the cliff if you feel that would have been the lesser of two evils....
citationx
3/12/2008
10:07:11 PM
On 1/12/2008 kieranl wrote:
>Still big loose blocks do come off even the classic routes. There was
>one off the first pitch of Ascension some years ago and another off Diane.
>And just because the loose blocks on Debutante have "stood the test of
>time" doesn't mean that they are safe. It's a bit like the sharemarket
>- have a good look and take your chances. Be careful out there.

i was part of the other pair mentioned and we did debutante that day. didn't notice any overly wobbly blocks on it so.. who knows? maybe they've already come off? :-)
simey
3/12/2008
11:56:35 PM
On 3/12/2008 citationx wrote:
>i was part of the other pair mentioned and we did debutante that day.
>didn't notice any overly wobbly blocks on it so.. who knows? maybe they've
>already come off? :-)

I think Debutante just recently saw a bit of trundling action.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
5/12/2008
3:43:27 PM
On 3/12/2008 simey wrote:
>On 3/12/2008 citationx wrote:
>>i was part of the other pair mentioned and we did debutante that day.
>>didn't notice any overly wobbly blocks on it so.. who knows? maybe they've
>>already come off? :-)
>
>I think Debutante just recently saw a bit of trundling action.

Congratulations simey!

For a guidebook author (a man of few words?), I am pleased to announce that this is simey's 1,000 th post.

Another milestone achieved.



~> Hex would be pleased and is currently sharing a sandwi(t)ch! with him now ...

The HEX
steffjones Nowra, Australia 1013 posts

simey
Simon Mentz Victoria, Australia 1003 posts

HEX
Steve Jones Nowra,NSW, Australia 999 posts




~> an interesting initiation / rite of passage to... ?
kieranl
8/12/2008
9:15:36 PM
The rockfall from high on Rosea was truly frightening - debris right down across the track. Looks like it came off from just left of the Fringe-Dweller roof - forgot the camera so no shots. Also a huge tree at the foot of One Night Stand has turned up its toes - just fallen over ripping it's roots out of the ground. Didn't appear to have been killed by the fire but who knows.
There seems to be a lot of activity at Rosea at present. Every time I visit something else big has come down. Maybe it's just coincidence or the fire or the long-term effects of the dry period.
Whatever else, definitely avoid the dead abseil trees on Knick-Knack (Mixed Climb) and the ones down the left side of Tourist Buttress. They might last for years but it is just too risky.
gfdonc
23/12/2008
11:38:36 PM
We were up there on Sunday and Monday. Had the place to ourselves. Doesn't everyone realise what a great crag this is? (Shhh).

The rockfall on Tourist Buttress is quite amazing. At least one large (I'm talking 60cm+ diameter) tree was uprooted by the carnage, and debris has made it all the way down to the walking track, about 150m down the hill. Here's a photo shot, looking down from The Ascension:


Here's another looking up from the walking track:


Yes you can see bits of smashed tree in both pictures. These are/were full-sized gums!

The block has taken off just right of where pitch 3 of The Ascension finishes. In fact when finishing that pitch I had to unavoidably stand on a semi-detached block next to the departed block. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture up there, but we are talking about a car-sized chunk of sandstone that fell off. Quite amazing.
gfdonc
24/12/2008
10:17:41 AM
10 megapixels must be good for something. Here's a crop from the previous shot, the missing block is circled.



IdratherbeclimbingM9
28/12/2008
3:17:04 PM
>we are talking about a car-sized chunk of sandstone that fell off. Quite amazing.

There is a volkswagon size floater (not sandstone) about 250m up an aid line that I have my eye on in the 'bungles ... ~> will be a worthy route once nature has taken its course, ... just need enough time to wait it out.

This sort of thing happens a lot more frequently than many of us know about I suspect. I have heard 'boom' in the gorge up Buffalo on days climbing when no others were present, and it brings to mind an Aron Ralston comment that "geologic time includes the present".

wombly
28/12/2008
4:44:54 PM
>This sort of thing happens a lot more frequently than many of us know about I suspect

you'd probably be right. Typical rates of cliff retreat in oz are in the order of 10-100 mm per thousand years. Doesn't sound like much, but multiply it by the area of the cliff such as rosea (i.e. 100 m by a couple of km) and it means that you need to have 1-10 fridge sized blocks fly free each year...

Phil Box
28/12/2008
9:19:45 PM
If a rock falls from a cliff and there is no one around to hear it does it make a sound?
kieranl
28/12/2008
10:34:51 PM

And here's a before shot

IdratherbeclimbingM9
29/12/2008
1:37:23 PM
Thanks for that shot kieranl. I find it interesting that the 'apparently consolidated' section fell from beside the overhanging piece that I would have thought more susceptible to collapse.
gfdonc's shot shows some features in the roof of the overhang that indicate it might still be a contender for that fate ...

Phil B wrote in very zen like fashion;
>If a rock falls from a cliff and there is no one around to hear it does it make a sound?

... at least not like the falling tree in the forest!

There are 16 messages in this topic.

 

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