Goto Chockstone Home

  Guide
  Gallery
  Tech Tips
  Articles
  Reviews
  Dictionary
  Links
  Forum
  Search
  About

      Sponsored By
      ROCK
   HARDWARE

  Shop

Black Diamond: SET of 8 "C4" Cams and 8 matching wire gates. Sizes .3 .4 .5 .75 1 2 3 & 4 and 8 anodised "neutrino" - wire gate karabiners. NB Comes with a FREE carry bag.  $775.00
20% Off

Chockstone Photography Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints





Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
Author
Ozymandias trip report (on Supertopo)...
simey
22-Mar-2017
6:23:11 PM
Last week I got the opportunity to climb with big wall legend John Middendorf at Mt Buffalo.

For those of you that aren't familiar with his name, John was prolific in the US in the 80s and 90s where he designed and made a lot of new climbing equipment (particularly portaledges) under his label A5. His resume of big walls also includes what was the biggest, big wall of all, when he and Xaver Bongard spent 15 days in one push establishing Grand Voyage on Great Trango in the Karakoram in 1992.

John's involvement in big wall climbing has been pretty non-existant the last couple of decades, particularly after moving to Tasmania with his wife Jeni to start a family. But last year during a family trip to Mt Arapiles, John was re-inspired to design a new portaledge after someone pointed out to him that no one was making lightweight models like he had done decades earlier. The end result of all this is the D4 portaledge which has number of new design elements and is considerably lighter than current models on the market.

John was keen to test it in the field and apparently I had suggested to him that we go and do an aided ascent of Ozymandias Direct (I had clearly forgotten that I hate aid climbing).

Here is John's story of the climb...

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Ozymandias-Direct-Mt-Buffalo-Australia/t13126n.html


IdratherbeclimbingM9
22-Mar-2017
10:12:40 PM
Thanks for posting that link simey.
Given your love of aid climbing I'm not at all surprised by your jumping at the chance to do an iconic aid climb with one of the icons of Big Wall climbing.
Heh, heh, heh.

It was a good read that I found interesting in a number of ways; particularly the grading assessment of the individual pitches and thoughts about them by Mr Middendorf, ... that I gleaned as much from the photos, (particularly his topo), as the words he wrote.

Over on Supertopo 'Pass the Pitons' Pete said;
>A JUMAR?? Wow, you even have the brittle cast aluminum handle backed up with a sling.
Hmm.
I noted it was the 'newer' yellow Jumars in use, and although backed up from the shank, was not backed up from the top attachment eye, particularly in the style that the old grey (thinner construction) jumars actually do require of that tactic being applied to them...

Oh, and simey; given that Mr Middendorf is also one of my inspirational climbing heroes, could you please correct the spelling of his name in your post?
Ta ;-)


As a side-note; it was also good to see Ben_E (one of our Chockstone members, and former Aussie resident USA expats, who has spent time on Ozymandias), contributing to that Supertopo thread!
simey
23-Mar-2017
12:18:19 AM
On 22/03/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Oh, and simey; given that Mr Middendorf is also one of my inspirational climbing heroes, could you please correct the spelling of his name in your post?
>Ta ;-)

Cheers for that M9. I will correct it.
TimP
23-Mar-2017
9:48:52 AM
Damn. I got up to version 2 of my portaledge but having seen the D4 will give up I think!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
23-Mar-2017
3:09:24 PM
On 23/03/2017 TimP wrote:
>Damn. I got up to version 2 of my portaledge but having seen the D4 will give up I think!

It's a pretty small niche market and for what it's worth I reckon yours as a single rates well, especially when it's not trying to compete in a D4 (D for Deuce?) double portaledge market?



Thanks simey for pleasing an old pedant re spelling.
I also noticed the 'correction' re Ozymandias Direct to Oxymandias Direct...
Presumably because you felt like a beast of burden humping Johns wall-pigwombat down the south side and then hauling it up various pitches ?
John freely admitted to enjoying having you along as a fit young ultra-marathoner to do the heavy work...
~> no good getting older if you don't become more cunning! Heh, heh, heh.

I also noticed that you are indeed taking on walling in a serious fashion, in that you enjoyed imbibing of the scotch during your extended hanging belay sojourn. There is big wall hope for you yet!
:)
simey
23-Mar-2017
8:41:22 PM
On 23/03/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Thanks simey for pleasing an old pedant re spelling.
>I also noticed the 'correction' re Ozymandias Direct to Oxymandias Direct...

Fixed that now too. Can't believe I miss-spelled the two main elements of the story.
dalai
24-Mar-2017
9:28:34 AM
On 23/03/2017 simey wrote:
>On 23/03/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>Thanks simey for pleasing an old pedant re spelling.
>>I also noticed the 'correction' re Ozymandias Direct to Oxymandias Direct...
>
>Fixed that now too. Can't believe I miss-spelled the two main elements
>of the story.

Sure you didn't do that just to annoy M9? ;-)

Nice report. Will have to drag myself up Ozy one of these days. Almost sounds like a great adventure...
Wendy
24-Mar-2017
9:45:49 AM
On 23/03/2017 simey wrote:
>On 23/03/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>Thanks simey for pleasing an old pedant re spelling.
>>I also noticed the 'correction' re Ozymandias Direct to Oxymandias Direct...
>
>Fixed that now too. Can't believe I miss-spelled the two main elements
>of the story.

I think it's further signs of that early onset dementia. Can't believe all this climbing you are doing this month.
simey
26-Mar-2017
7:25:32 PM
On 24/03/2017 Wendy wrote:
>On 23/03/2017 simey wrote:
>>Fixed that now too. Can't believe I miss-spelled the two main elements
>>of the story.

>I think it's further signs of that early onset dementia.
I wouldn't disagree with that.

>Can't believe all this climbing you are doing this month.
And I even went climbing again today!


IdratherbeclimbingM9
27-Mar-2017
9:29:54 AM
On 24/03/2017 dalai wrote:
>Nice report. Will have to drag myself up Ozy one of these days. Almost
>sounds like a great adventure...

Borrow a portaledge for yourself (as I only have a single), and I'll give you a guided tour* if you like, as I have everything else required.
(* Doing it in tour style without time constraint is highly recommended, and can include more spice if you desire, by mixing and matching with Holden Caulfield!)
dalai
27-Mar-2017
11:50:28 AM
Sounds brilliant M9. Preference has always been for a leisurely ascent rather than a speed record.

Always considered solo aid for my first attempt of Ozy, but the more sensible side of me says to definitely take you up on your offer. ;-)

IdratherbeclimbingM9
27-Mar-2017
2:31:34 PM
On 27/03/2017 dalai wrote:
>Sounds brilliant M9. Preference has always been for a leisurely ascent
>rather than a speed record.
>
>Always considered solo aid for my first attempt of Ozy, but the more sensible
>side of me says to definitely take you up on your offer. ;-)

Give me some dates to work with dalai!


Back to thread...
Over on Supertopo there are a couple of interesting reply posts to that Trip Report...

>
ionlyski
Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana

Mar 22, 2017 - 09:38am PT
Love the carrot bolts on the awkward traverse! Are those still being installed on routes today?
Arne

deuce4
climber
Hobart, Australia

Author's Reply Mar 22, 2017 - 03:00pm PT
I don't think anyone still places carrot bolts, and they are all getting replaced by expansion bolts and glue-ins in most places. Was surprised that these in particular hadn't been replaced, they will definitely snap one day, as they stick out miles and are quite rusted. Where the free version goes, the bolts have been largely been replaced (at that particular point, the free version traverses below those bolts into a nice crack), but there are a still a few critical rotten carrots for the clean aid climb.

Didn't mention it in the TR, but the free version of this route is truly amazing. Hats off to Steve Monks, who first did it all free way back in 1995, and Lee Cossey, who apparently fired it in a day in 2005 , and of course all others who have freed it - it looks a hard and very bold free climb (5.13), in a true big wall setting. We were also impressed with the one-day aid rim-to-rim solos of the route, like Kate Dooley's - lots of work! And of course HB's legendary solos of Ozy and Lord Gumtree in a day - wow!

I think there are some placements that even with clean ascents, might get blown out by camhooks and perhaps even when yarding out nuts on the clean, as well as some of the old carrots breaking and rendering sections unaidable on clean gear. I suspect there used to be more fixed pins in the route - now there are very few. It wouldn't seem unreasonable to me if someone put in a few more bolts to both protect the necky free climbing and to ensure its place as a moderate first big wall climb for Aussie El Cap aspirants.

p.s. interested all the comments about my old yellow jumars! When we first moved to Australia, it was theoretically only for a year or two, so I brought very little gear to Australia - actually, I like the yellow jumars mostly for the rigging jobs for movies and stuff, which comprised a large chuck of my income back in my big wall dirtbag days, which is why I brought them, but had retired them for big wall climbs way back in the 80's. All my other big wall gear is still in storage in Colorado, where it hasn't seen the light of day for 10 years!



Hmm.
>unreasonable
... or contentious?

Much as I respect you deuce4, I have to disagree with your premise of placing more bolts on established climbs on that wall, or indeed for 'retros' generally in Australia.

Even if the drooping rusted manky bolts on the Gledhill traverse that leads rightwards to break through the second roof that further leads up to The Fang, actually do break; then I reckon that traverse would still 'go' on clean aid by following the incipient crack where that wall joins the roof, as it's no thinner than the seam that runs through the Holden Caulfield portion of the roof... which was admittedly first done on rurps (though often do-able clean these days due to fixed RPs in it), would likely go clean on upside down small sized cam-hooks.

I'm not a good enough free-climber to comment about the need for more bolts on the free version but I respect history, and also the fact that the first free-ascentionist didn't feel it necessary to place more; along with the fact that it has been repeated at least several times in the condition that it is currently in...

As an aside, higher up on the Holden Caulfield route (which takes the cleaner right hand side of The Fang), there was a rivet, that went missing...
The route is still clean-aidable by using a bathook in the rivet hole.


Different topic if you haven't yet gleaned it from my replies. I very much enjoyed reading your Trip Report.
I find it an endless source of fascination reading of other peoples experiences on Ozy (or other routes that I've done on that wall), and ever since I educated myself further on wall climbing by reading your excellent books on the subject, I have mused about the possibility of reading of your exploits on one of our (mini by comparison)-walls.
It turned out to be a double delight reading that simey actually condescended to aid climbing after so many years of disparaging it!
Heh, heh, heh.

simey
27-Mar-2017
11:08:09 PM
On 27/03/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>It turned out to be a double delight reading that simey actually condescended
>to aid climbing after so many years of disparaging it!
>Heh, heh, heh.

I've aid soloed Ozy many, many years ago and done enough other aiding to know that it is not my favourite thing.

As for the other comments on Ozy. I actually felt like it could do with a bit of a fix-up. Clipping some of the old bolts and pegs (many of which are almost 50 years old) feels like pot luck. If one of those pieces blows then it might turn what is a straightforward piece of aiding into something seriously more difficult. I think the route already has got a tad harder in the 25 years since I last did it (I didn't need cam hooks last time).

I also felt the original route heading up the nice corner one pitch above Big Grassy might be better served by having its belay station a bit lower as opposed to the totally hanging belay in the corner.

Also, adding some belay bolts on the final ledge just below the last pitch of Ozy Direct/Lord Gumtree would seem logical as well. Clipping those bolts 15m away along that ledge seemed ridiculous.



deuce4
28-Mar-2017
6:51:57 PM
Hello all

Thanks for the comments and info, very cool route. Simon's the man, best aid climber I have climbed with this century!

M9, yes, I know saying something like that would raise eyebrows, but that's why I included the (to me), just a personal opinion. Far from being a local from any Australia Crag except for maybe Bushranger's Bluff for a few weeks each year, I was just throwing an idea out there-anyway, new bolts are certainly not necessary at this point, but might be in future.

I do wonder how likely it would be for more of the best to fire the pitches free without pre-placing gear. I can't really even conceive of the standard of climbing required to do so-one would have to have mind blowing control in bold runouts to get anything decent in some of those sections.

gnaguts
29-Mar-2017
8:35:54 PM
On 27/03/2017 simey wrote:
>As for the other comments on Ozy. I actually felt like it could do with
>a bit of a fix-up. Clipping some of the old bolts and pegs (many of which
>are almost 50 years old) feels like pot luck. If one of those pieces blows
>then it might turn what is a straightforward piece of aiding into something
>serious

I dont know bout fixin it up, cos ima all 4 lettin natural selection have its way with aiderz.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
30-Mar-2017
8:55:10 PM
On 28/03/2017 deuce4 wrote:
>(snip) new bolts are certainly not necessary at this point, but might be in future.
>
Fair enough as I am not against one for one replacements.

As far as the Gledhill traverse manky bolts are concerned, when I first did the route many years ago I considered them a crap-shoot then! So much so, that I only used them as progression pieces and clipped my rope (as protection) to the first good gear I could get beyond them! I have since continued to use that tactic on subsequent ascents.

On 27/03/2017 simey wrote:
>As for the other comments on Ozy. I actually felt like it could do with
>a bit of a fix-up. Clipping some of the old bolts and pegs (many of which
>are almost 50 years old) feels like pot luck.

... and sometimes so do the small RP's, and in more recent times cam-hooks, but that is the nature of aid climbing is it not?

>If one of those pieces blows then it might turn what is a straightforward piece of aiding into something seriously more difficult. I think the route already has got a tad harder
>in the 25 years since I last did it (I didn't need cam hooks last time).

This is also within the nature of aid climbing, as routes can become harder, or easier, with technology changes in gear and also with the popularity of the route sometimes causing changes to crucial features.

In this respect the fact it was originally given M4 (5??) and has 'settled' to M3, yet only gets C3 from our distinguished deuce4 would also seem an anomaly, as in my experience thin clean-aid is definitely harder to achieve than simply thugging up a pitch on pitons.
>
>I also felt the original route heading up the nice corner one pitch above
>Big Grassy might be better served by having its belay station a bit lower
>as opposed to the totally hanging belay in the corner.
>
I agree that belays are often better served if there are any natural features that lend themselves to being utilised for comfort instead of totally free hanging.
The belay that you used for your bivy was possibly a latter one that was installed for the free version, and as such was located using different criteria?

>Also, adding some belay bolts on the final ledge just below the last pitch
>of Ozy Direct/Lord Gumtree would seem logical as well. Clipping those bolts
>15m away along that ledge seemed ridiculous.

The bolts located at the base of the pseudo chimney (cave!), located just below the Wilkinson ledge (and well below base of final pitch of LG), are a latter addition. Many parties haul from Gledhill Bivy belay to them instead of to those on the headwall above The Fang...

The bolts located 15 m (?, I'd reckon less), along the Wilkinson ledge are also a latter addition and went in to serve a route originally known as 'A5 sportclimb', aka the final pitch of Strange Ritual, as put up by Steffan Eberhardt (sp?).
Ironically those same bolts actually serve hauling on Ozy Direct much better than those located at the base of that small final chimney mentioned above, as long as you manage to get your haul rope up the 'outside' of that chimney, as it's a straight shot down to Gledhill bivy from there; and also a fairly direct shot to the headwall belay if that was used. It all comes back to the length of haul-rope used, with 60m ropes being adequate for headwall to Wilko ledge...


Andrew_M
31-Mar-2017
8:55:59 AM
On 30/03/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>
>In this respect the fact it was originally given M4 (5??) and has 'settled' to M3, yet only gets C3 from our distinguished deuce4

Just trying to get my head around what you're saying here. Are you saying he's downgraded it?In the TR he rates it C2+/C3. You're the expert with different ratings systems, but doesn't C3 = A3 (clean) = ~M6??
kieranl
31-Mar-2017
10:40:11 AM
I think you're right there Andrew. When I did, a long time back, my partner placed a few pins at the start of pitch 3. The rest of it was pretty straightforward nutting except for the last move to the belay at top of pitch 2 (and we had only 2 cams, a #3 and #4).

It's interesting that they used the original pitch 2 belay rather than extending that pitch to the belay of the free version. I think it would be much safer to do a long second pitch and eliminate the risk (certainty) of hitting your belayer if you blow the crux immediately above them.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
31-Mar-2017
8:51:14 PM
On 31/03/2017 Andrew_M wrote:
>On 30/03/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>
>>In this respect the fact it was originally given M4 (5??) and has 'settled'
>to M3, yet only gets C3 from our distinguished deuce4
>
>Just trying to get my head around what you're saying here. Are you saying
>he's downgraded it?In the TR he rates it C2+/C3. You're the expert with
>different ratings systems, but doesn't C3 = A3 (clean) = ~M6??

OK; I have now done my homework, and I was wrong about Ozy settling to Gd M3...

Ozymandias originally done 18/20 Oct 1969 and given Gd?
Ozymandias Direct originally done 30/31 Jan 1972 and given Gd?

Mt Buffalo Guide: Peter Watling - 1976
Ozymandias Gd 14, M5
Ozymandias Direct Gd M4

Current Mt Buffalo Guide: Lindorff / Murray - 2006
Ozymandias Gd M4
Ozymandias Direct Gd M4

... Also from the current Mt Buffalo Guide (2006) Gd M4 = A2 as a (subjective?) conversion, according to the table therein...

~> Make of it what you will; but I am of the opinion that deuce4 has downgraded it by calling it C3, as in my opinion 'C' grades are generally harder than the original USA 'A' grades and I was of the belief that Ozy/Direct generally equated to A3 for grade (but am not sure at this present time where I got that opinion from!!, though an old article in Rock Magazine on Ozy rings vague memory bells...).
So, ... and if the Lindorff/Murray conversion (again subjective) of M4=A2 is correct... then I am obviously wrong.

Note: deuce4 - March 2017 assessment of Ozy Direct at Gd C3 does = A2+ = M5 (2006 Mt Buffalo Guide conversion table), ... so we are probably discussing the difference between one bees knees and anothers!
Heh, heh, heh.
widewetandslippery
31-Mar-2017
9:49:49 PM
rod we all know you're soft. me and the wombat have a bungles trip on the go. maybe you an john or mentzy could hook up for a big trip, if not a 3some can work.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
There are 27 messages in this topic.

 

Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Landscape Photos Australia

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.



Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | High Country Mountain Huts | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints