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TRIP: Mt Buffalo 2016 Aid Festival
Date Attendees Invite Status
26/11 To 27-Nov-2016 Andrew_M (CONFIRMED), bax673 (CONFIRMED), Ben_E (REJECTED), ChuckNorris (INVITED), Dave_S (CONFIRMED), Eduardo Slabofvic (CONFIRMED), IdratherbeclimbingM9 (CONFIRMED), Jayford4321 (REJECTED), Lightfoot (CONFIRMED), Macciza (TENTATIVE), Miguel75 (REJECTED), MonkeyBoy (CONFIRMED), One Day Hero (INVITED), phillipivan (REJECTED), simey (CONFIRMED), sturge (CONFIRMED), TimP (CONFIRMED)  PUBLIC CONFIRMED

Mt Buffalo 2016 Aid Festival w/end of 26-27 Nov.
7:46:10 AM
On 24/11/2016 Sturge wrote:
>Hey Andrew, PM'd you back.
>Also, I know it's a bit late notice, but does anyone in the group have
>a spare pair of ascenders (and maybe a spare daisy) I could borrow for
>the weekend?
>I've just realised mine are with my work kit, which is still in Sydney.

I'm in bright and cant make the trip but have 2 spare daisies and some jumars if you want to pick them up. Also have aiders if u need. email me
3:34:23 PM
On 25/11/2016 lightfoot wrote:
>I'm in bright and cant make the trip but have 2 spare daisies and some
>jumars if you want to pick them up. Also have aiders if u need. email me

Thanks for the offer lightfoot, but I'm all sorted now.

10:24:45 PM
Well, time for a quick interim photo trip report from the 2016 Buffalo Aidfest. I’ll leave the wordsmiths to fill in the story, but in short it was a great weekend, at least for those of us on the Plateau. We’ll have to wait to hear how the two parties on the North Wall got on…

M9 in the middle of his aid climbing brain dump. Note the stunned expressions on Sean_B and Keith as they try to take it all in:

Sturge leading Thanksgiving Crack

Keith enjoying Cacaphonic Crack:

Sean launching onto Thanksgiving...

...and higher up

Me about to grovel into the offwidth free moves on Loose Fit

Sturge jugging Loose Fit. There were some rather naughty words being spoken at the time.

Sean_B and Keith on Faust and Elizabeth before Sean began harassing the local wildlife (a brown snake in the crack).

Massive shout out to M9 for organizing everything and for passing on all his expertise!
7:29:49 PM
Looked like fun, sorry to miss it. We just got off ozy direct today, shattered and stoked after a 3 day ascent. A few falls a lot of laughs and the most spectacular bivy at gledhill.
There's now a fixed ball nut above the roof half way up to gledhill belay. I put it in as a novelty then pulled a good flake off with a cam hook. (May take a grade off the free?!) The result is my ball nut held and weld.

Good times. Pics may come if i can work it out.

3:01:04 PM
Hey All ! So Dave_S, TimP and I had a go at Ozy direct over the Aid weekend and kept the north wall spirit alive throughout the weekend. We ended up bailing about half way up, just before the big roof, which was my call and also the second time for a bail off the big line ! it was a good effort though and we spent a good night on big grassy and woke to the most amazing sunrise on Sunday so while we didn't make it to the top it was definitely a worthwhile adventure !

I do just have to say a MASSIVE thanks to M9 who spotted us bailing and hiked in to help our dejected and a little broken selves hike out with a shit load of gear. Spotting M9 as we were crossing Crystal Brook was such a weird double take moment it was great. Anyway he spurred us on to burn the reserve tank and get up and out of the valley before dark. Nice One M9 - I owe you one !

This being the second time I have bailed from Ozy I dont know if i have another attempt in me at the moment but its one of those things that as soon as i was rested and fed and watered again thinking a little straighter i started contemplating how it could be approached and what could be done differently to actually get to the top !
4:45:03 PM
Having done several routes on the north wall (although not Ozy), and bailed on others, I'm curious to know. Was it simply a matter of time, or was there some other reason you bailed?
10:40:08 AM
It was an epic adventure for sure and we made it to about half way up. Great to have slept at Big Grassy and have a go at hauling / leading / cleaning / Jumaring — all the aid gigs, including moving in the dark. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done.
I've been thinking about aid climbing for years: slowly collecting the gear and practicing the various bits at my home crag, but getting the real experience has given it all perspective.
With the scramble out we must have ascended a total of 450m in two days (with 450m descent too) way more impressive than just going to the top!

So good to have M9's moral support and help with the load on the scramble out. Also for the debrief by the fire at Catani that night.
Great to climb with Dave and Owen — cool heads under duress, hats off to Owen who recovered from an 8m ground fall to lead the first two pitches. And to Dave for his climbing expertise and strength in carrying the haul bag in and out!

A whole lot of factors lead to the bail. For me, my preparation was disrupted so I wasn't physically spot on, the last part of the portaledge came late so I didn't have time to refine it or set up a good carry system, my spectacularly slow lead on the first pitch out of Big Grassy made us late on day 2. I was a bit dehydrated and possibly wobbly in the tummy from combination of rich food and drinking creek water. I think all the elements have to align to support you in this taxing situation.
We where lucky with perfect weather and there where moments of absolute beauty in amongst the fear and hardship — the crystal clear stream and the orange dawn over the mountains with crescent moon. Certainly an adventure I won't forget!

12:59:25 PM
>I'm curious to know. Was it simply a matter of time, or was
>there some other reason you bailed?

The main reason for me initiating the bail was that had a bit of a freak out. The factors that contributed to that were the ground fall i took the day before, time and also I think that I was pretty exhausted. I was already knackered before I even started due to a crazy work week ( involving a couple of overnight weird shifts ) we were then late up to buffalo and didn't get much sleep in the hut then rushed to sort out gear in the AM and left for walk in a little later than we wanted meaning we only got to big grassy after dark and didn't hit the hay until midnight.

But basically I just lost my bottle while jumarring

I think I might have one last crack at it maybe at the end of summer - but I think I need to take a good few days off work to get up to buffalo a day early and have one day up my sleeve if it goes longer than 2 nights on the wall for some reason.

One thing I did notice was that it was the jugging on a fixed line that pushed me over the edge - and it was the same thing that really did it the first attempt too.

Day one was fine - leading the first 2 pitches was ok - and getting up to big grassy ( be it in the dark ) also felt ok. But when i was jugging up from big grassy to the next belay it just seemed REALLY exposed and precarious. how do other people find jugging on a single fixed line ? it just strikes me that in every other situation you have a main and back up where when on a single line - even though I had 2 Jumars and a back up micro traxion on the line if the line goes, its all over red rover !

Would be good to know your thoughts chockstoners !
1:27:17 PM
Thanks for the explanation. I have a lot more sympathy than you might expect. (Given my own reasons for bailing in the past.)

Re jugging on a single line. In my mid-20's when I was actually climbing aid routes and doing lots of jugging, I would have wondered what you were on about. As I've got older (and wiser?), I know I'm a lot more suspicious about stuff I wouldn't have thought twice about in the past.

But having said that, I have to say that I see no theoretical problem with single line jugging. You trust the rope (that could lift a car) to save your life in a dynamic fall - it should easily be able to hold you in a static environment! If the rope's clean and you pay attention when clipping them in, two Jumars should be plenty. The odds of both failing would be astronomical!

I see really only two possible issues. You have to trust your that your partners have tied the rope on safely, and you have to trust that the rope won't get cut. I'd say the latter is again vanishingly unlikely with modern ropes on well known routes. (It might be different with fixed ropes used for days/weeks on alpine routes.)

One final thought. Never mind the Mt Buffalo north wall, think about all the thousands of metres of jugging that's done on El Cap each season!
1:28:25 PM
I've also bailed off a big wall (not ozy) for no particular reason other than a sense of unease and things not being "perfect", so I can sympathize with you blokes. I suspect a major component to making sure you finish the route is just trying really hard to not bail, as silly as that sounds. In the future if I get any sneaky little thoughts telling me to bail I'll try to only do so if there's a good reason for them.

When I first did ozy, we walked in the night before, which was brutal but it ensured we got an early start the following day and arrived at big grassy just as it was getting dark rather than a couple of hours after. I think we decided to walk in that night because when we arrived at the car park we were too nervous to sleep at the time

It sounds like you've got all the technical skills, but just need time to adjust to the exposure. Get really fit and efficient at aiding and hauling etc so the only real challenge is dealing with the exposure. You could abseil into Defender and climb out if you wanted to "acclimatise" to the gorge a bit more before giving ozy another bash.
2:01:11 PM
If this post works I’ll update with more and provide TR’s for my last ozy original trip and rolling stone wall trip recently. I hope it works as I haven’t had good luck posting so far. I have done it on a word doc on good advice in case it is rejected. I will try some pics and vids section by section as suggested to identify the suspicious text.

Yeah I remember getting to the base of the 1st pitch for the first time and looking at the free moves from the bolt and my shoes plus gear loading me down and thinking ‘I came here to Aid not free climb’! My partner Karl on that climb led pitch 1 and I was grateful. I had a similar oh crap moment on Pitch 9 after the pontooth pitch where it leads up a ramp to the base of the chimney and there was no gear, a heap of loose dirt and crap rock and a nasty swinging fall potential. I ended up using a cordillette to sling a knob whilst standing on a small ball nut placement which I had literally carved out of the rock. Anywhere else it would’ve been a ramp but 200m up with a heavy rack, crap shoes and looseness everywhere it got me gripped for a little bit.

I reckon both times I’ve climbed Ozy I have reached a mental crux around the 2nd pitch after grassy. It’s when you are posed with options between the original, the direct etc. When I start thinking about the benefits of one Vs the other it usually comes down to time and the fear of being benighted on thin gear etc. I reckon everyone goes up there hoping to do the direct but when I start to decide on those options the other option of bailing becomes a possibility as well for it is no longer a case of ‘this is what we are doing’; it becomes more of a judgment and without the experience to know how long, how hard etc the unknown above is I find the path of least resistance can become very tempting. Even though this may mean the walk out of the gorge which is by no means the easy way out. I also miss my family around this point as well and question my motivations for these adventures. The Doco ‘solo’ when Andrew McAuley sets off in tears to NZ leaving his family haunts me still and although the real risks of his trip in comparison to Ozy are in no way in the same realm the question remains.

I’m rambling a bit but the point is I completely understand bailing and I’m amazed that fall didn’t end the trip then and there. Tim you’re spot on with all the elements needing to align and luckily for us it did this trip but throw in another variable like a big fall, cramps etc it could’ve easily gone the other way. An 8m fall would’ve rattled anyone and I was fearing the same thing leaving that 1st bolt with my oversized rack and shite shoes. Well done. I’ve got your biners if you want me to post them as well.

Briefly onto our trip:
We had the plan to swap leads a bit but I ended up leading all the pitches whilst Mark sorted everything else out and remained as patient as a saint and cool as a cucumber in the face of his 1st real aid climb and seconding the roofs etc. I remember my 1st trip with Karl and thinking on pitch 1 and 3 of the original route that I wouldn’t have wanted to lead them but this time once it was decided that I’d lead it all I found it easier to tackle as there was no doubt if I could handball a pitch or two. I have often found with climbing that I get more nervous at the thought of leading while seconding than I do actually leading it.

We prepared for three days (single ledge and hammock) with the possibility of a two day ascent. We reached grassy round 4pm on day one then on day two reached Gledhill at 3:30pm the following day. The roof was amazing! I had yates adjustable daisy’s which made life easy. The 1st piece after the lip I placed popped and I fell over the void which was surprisingly fine with me at the time. I had expected the corner after the roof to be cruisy but it got quite thin in parts. . We made the call to bivy there which as a great decision as it made the trip hanging out over that void in perfect weather.

Day 3 went smooth; I got through the pontooth and the aforementioned lasso pitch and set up a redirect pulley on the bolts below the chimney(the guide mentioned big gear for this pitch but I don’t recall using much more than two #4s). This allowed me to haul from the base of the final pitch but when Mark reached the redirect we tied the pigs off at the belay and stripped the redirect down so we could just haul straight up once we topped out. This worked a treat.

Final pitch was great, nice solid gear on the crack to the left and with two 4’s and two 5’s the offwidth was just a leap frogging dream.
Topped out and went and checked it out from the other side again.

Things I learned: Portaledges are freakin awesome!!, gloves are gold, next time wear kneepads. Without a doubt the best on ground goes to both my black and yellow C3 cams. C3’s are spot on and made life much more comfortable on lead. I didn’t have any offset wires but next time I’ll bring them.

I think three days is a great way to take the pressure off a team. If you have a ledge I would recommend doing it this way for your 1st attempt as you get to soak it in and if you are slow or late to walk in etc it doesn't matter so much. We could have fixed pitches from each bivy before crashing each night but there wasn't any need and it meant we could just hang out.

Pic from ‘Freespirit Photography’ from the south side of the gorge. Not sure on the resolution with compression but Mark is on the ledge belaying me on the pontooth pitch in the pic. This can be seen clearly in the full size image though. (straight to the pool room). Thanks for the Pic Ailsa!!

Can't get any of the vids to embed but here's a link to youtube.

Gledhill Bivy morning

Ball nut held a fall after cam hook popped chunk off orange corner pitch.
2:50:08 PM
Just uploaded some more images from our go on Ozy:

4:25:23 PM
On 7/12/2016 TimP wrote:
>Just uploaded some more images from our go on Ozy:
good pano-pic of tha hammock bivy in there.
U should sub it on2 shockstone photo gallery as Ur Ozy trip woz worth it 4 that shot alone.

 Page 2 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 33
There are 33 messages in this topic.


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