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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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VIC Arapiles The Bluffs (General) Bluff Major [ Arapiles Guide | Arapiles Images ] 

Beta on Thunder Crack (21) - The Bluffs

12:17:04 PM
Hi All -

Again, looking for beta on a trad project. Can anyone assist? Gear, overall perception of the climb, etc.



12:29:31 PM
It has a slippery bouldery start. Not good to do in the sun or in generally hot weather. The upper 3/4 is fairly straightforward (18ish) crack and corner climbing. It is a great route!
12:37:06 PM
The more you climb outside the crack, the more enjoyable it is. Upper 2/3's is gold.

Of course, thrutching your way up it is great value too.

12:40:39 PM
It had a couple of fixed wires in the first 6 or so metres to the ledge late last year. Will make the start easier if your not hanging around placing gear. I didnt climb it so dont know it the wires were any good or not (looked good from the ground though).
2:06:34 PM
Hurry through the first bit. Cruise and enjoy the rest. The 20 is for the first bit.

2:57:25 PM
Getting into the crack through the wide bit at the bottom looks horrendous and daunting. What is the pro like?
3:04:23 PM
The pro is fine! You could hang the whole bluffs off it ... Do hang around and place stuff in the pumpy start though, I don't want to be called out to clean up. Don't need anything special, you won't need to borrow my rack of big cams for it, but it's a fairly long sustained pitch, so take a sizable selection. You can get a micro cam in the middle of the crux if you want it, or a 2-3 camalot next. Stonker wires below that. Even I use a big horrible slopey face hold on that first bit, it's not a sick puppy Wendy special fat crack. It's an absolutely amazingly wonderful bloody classic impeccebly fabulous climb.
3:36:23 PM
Geez, Brad, sounds like the punters are giving it the big thumbs up. Sunday morning? I'll bring the camera.
4:21:40 PM
contary to popular belief, all you need is 5 draws and 4 bolt plates. Tis a great route. The start has a good fixed wire and the rest is nicely bolted.
11:00:13 AM
Simey must have fixed a few belays on his last ascent??

2:15:22 PM
hmm 5 draws for 30 m? maybe I'm just a pussy..... but....

Eduardo Slabofvic
11:36:47 AM
Great bolts too, nice and rusty with just a hint of bend in them.
2:22:01 PM
Is that what old bolts look like. I thought they were relics of an ancient civilization which populated
western Victoria before Mt Arapiles was uplifted. When I climbed Thuder Crack I recited an ancient mantra
each time I came across one of these relics and passed on quietly by so as not to disturb the ancestors.
8:54:53 PM
beta on Thunder Crack: Pumpy start but hang around long enough to place good gear. I met someone years ago who decked and broke his ankle. After the ledge it's a walk in the park particularly if you can jam.
10:04:15 PM
OK just so everyone else who wasn't within about 2km of the top of the Bluffs on Sunday midday knows - Brad aka JBM succeeded on his little project, quite vocally too ..
- Steve
trip report to follow.

9:37:53 AM
nice one brad.
i remember topping out in a thunder storm about 9 years ago. my climbing partner bravely handed me the rack he had cleaned and rapped off - leaving me to battle the elements and try to avoid getting hit by lightning.

10:08:30 AM
yeah, yeah - I did a bit of a victory dance once I got on top. Been staring at the line for about 12 months now mustering up the guts to have a go at it given all the hype.

Once you commit to the bouldery start it's not too bad. While some of the climbing above is quite "grunty" (I took the North American jamming approach..) the gear is all bomber and the moves quite airy.

A truly beautiful line in an incredible position. One of the most rewarding climbs I have done.

If you are thinking of doing it, go for it. It's really well protected.

Thanks to you all again for the excellent beta.


11:05:05 AM
Well I watched a couple of parties climb it yesterday (Monday) while we were over on the Dunes buttress and it looks amazing and quite climbable. Most had trouble with the start (including a few falls) but as mentioned above, the pro at the crux appeared to keep everyone safe and happy.

Interesting to watch the different approaches that people had in the very top wide section too. Some went out to the right edge of the 'chimney' bit and climbed that, others bridged up it on the outside and one guy climbed it inside and then got what looked like a hand jam in the very top where it pinched off before swinging wildly out and up. Great stuff.
11:18:00 AM
The Kodak 3.1 megapixel camera I was loaned (while my new Canon gets repaired) appears to have behaved itself so there will be some pics available of Brad's triumph tonight everyone! I have a half-finished roll of Velvia 100 in the SLR so that will take a little longer.

BTW a pretty clean ascent, one rest to 'get it together' after clipping the fixed wire but otherwise straight to the top placing all pro. The hand-jam to place the second runner is bomber but for the fact that you have to pull your hand out to place the runner!
- Steve

There are 19 messages in this topic.


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