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Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

Author
TR: Landslide Chimney, Dog Face, NSW.
robbio
15-Feb-2018
6:36:16 PM
To anyone who has actually climbed landslide chimney at Dog Face, Blue Mtns.

Now I'm sure most ascents are big bro-less, but would there be potential for placing them?

I own doubles of the big sizes (my largest size 4 extends to 305mm).

I am considering taking them (with or without my climbing partner's consent), but only if they can be of benefit.

I don't want to drag em up and not place them...

Thanks
PGS
26-Feb-2018
5:46:24 PM
No idea about big bros,

All I know is that I took waaay to much gear up it late last year.

It was pretty bloody sandy when we were there, made it really slippery

I'd recommend slinging the rack below you in a little bag, maybe kneepads too
Lee C
26-Feb-2018
7:11:46 PM
They may work but from memory it goes almost instantly from a scrapy cracky layback (crux) into the (relatively easy) chimney. Once you're in, as mentioned above, knee pads are probably more appropriate and pro can be found on the internal walls.
robbio
3-Mar-2018
11:26:52 AM
So I did Landslide Chimney a couple of weekends ago with my mate Paul Thompson in 4 pitches. It was great. Given the unique experience i thought i'd do little write up.

I cannot post it all in one go, perhaps it 's too long? Here it is in three parts.

PART 1/3

It had been on my to do list for years, ever since i read the guide description and walked out to the base to check it out. I just needed a partner who was suitably pysched to do it. Enter Paul Thompson.

Well no-one i know is more psyched for a "tradventure" than that of Paul. And despite him acknowledging that chossy chimneys are not his forte, i knew that he could not say no. The fact that he might not even enjoy the climb was irrelevant. Real climbers don't just climb their preferred style or just climb to their strengths. They should experience the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I was ready and willing to exploit this character trait of his for my personal gain.

Being the gentleman that Paul is, he did not shake his head when i insisted on bringing my big bros and hexes, nor did he roll his eyes when i asked if we could walk in via the scenic route rather than rap down Dogface itself. The walk-in felt like the right thing to do i thought. And so it was. I had him booked for yet another trad adventure.

Sunday morning, 7:30am. Bright and early I meet up with Paul at the Kiosk and proceed to sort out my climbing gear on a park table. A woman sitting across from us sees my climbing gear and asks me what we were up to for the day. "We're going to do a climb at Dogface. Landslide Chimney." I added. The woman laughed. "My husband has been trying to get me to follow him up that for years" but it's not really my idea of fun. Funny, here we are are about to head off and climb something that doesn't get many ascents, but it seems that every man and his dog has their own opinion on it.

After my usual phaffing about, we head down the Furber steps towards the climb, with my big bros swaying about and being a pain in the arse. The price you pay for slinging them with long cord i guess... After about 30minutes of walking, we could see our objective in the distance. My excitement builds. Much like a teenager who first lays eyes on a stick book. I find it hard to look away, and suddenly feel very small. Paul senses my excitement. "You should do the money pitch. You will love it whereas i will probably find it heinous". He is referring to the chimney pitch of course. My eyes light up. It is as though he has just offered me a two pack of cream caramels. "Thanks man, are you sure? We can always spud off as usual for the initial lead". But he doesn't seem too fussed. We soon reach the base of the climb. Paul racks up and is away, starting up the initial crack, the crux pitch. The old carrots are well camouflaged within the sandstone. So much so that he only spots the first one when it is already at his feet. He awkwardly manages to bend down and clip the old and rusty carrot. The climb is vegetated and run out, and Paul apologises for taking his time. If only he knew what was to come of my lead he need not have apologised. Higher up near the belay Paul looks at an ancient bolt and simply pulls off the bolt head with his thumb and forefinger and puts it in his chalk bag, much like some cool party trick. I knew he was getting strong but this was getting ridiculous. After setting up belay on a couple of old "ok" carrots and backing it up with another piece, up i come on second. "This would have been exciting on lead" i call out to Paul as i fight my way through a thick bush within the crack.
robbio
3-Mar-2018
11:27:59 AM
PART 2/3

With pitch 1 dispensed of, it was time for me to get my thrutch on. But not before i hung my rack down low in between my legs. The chimney was pretty tight so i was forced to spread my legs in order to get purchase with my knees on the wall in front of me. And to think i almost wore shorts... It takes a few meters to get into the groove so to speak, and from then on I am in my element. I soon find an old carrot but am quick to dismiss it. It is shaped like an hourglass, probably 2 or 3mm at it's thinnest due to corrosion. Not worth even clipping i thought, but low and behold i am able to set a number 4 big bro at the same height, but a little deeper into the chimney. I am happy to put it to good use. 2/3rds of the way through the chimney i feel as though i have come to a crossroad. Straight up above me the chimney looked too wide to bridge. Deeper in the chimney looked doable but dirty. Or out onto the arete looked easy and at least had some horizontals which should take gear..... After some deliberation I ventured out onto the arete at least to have a look. Like a moth drawn to a flame i was blindly drawn towards potential gear placements.

As i stop to place a good medium cam my remaining gear (which is still hanging down well below me) swings about, nearly pulling me of balance. I curse for a bit and quickly place the cam. I climb on gingerly up the arete, placing some crap gear as i go. The more i push on the sandier it becomes. I feel committed to continuing upwards at this point but am totally rattled. The sandy rock is certainly getting the best of me. "What the fu#k am i doing?" i mutter to myself. I long for being back in the chimney with the the sense of security it provided just moments earlier. I feel like an idiot for going offroute like this, especially when all i had to do was to continue cruising up the enjoyable chimney. But no point dwelling on it.

I look up and try to break it down to make it seem less overwhelming. Hand jam a sandy crack and pull onto the ledge and it's over, for the time being at least. I somehow make it happen and apologise to Paul for taking as long as did. At this point most of my biners are stuck closed to varying degrees due to the amount of sand in them. 2 big hexes and 2 big bros later, my belay in the sandy crack of doom was in place. The belay didn't exactly inspire me with confidence. Much like Paul's rusty carrot from 1hr earlier, the rock could be pulled apart and scraped away with my bare hands.

It felt only fair to lean back fully on my own belay and test my fate before sending Paul up on it. At least while my gear below me was still clipped into the rope. I lean back, eyes fixated on the gear in the crack. Such big gear but such shit rock. I could hear and see the pieces shift as they bit and scraped into the sandy crack, which sent sand pouring down over my eyes. It was not a nice feeling but it held my weight. "That's a start". I thought to myself. "It's going to have to do..."
robbio
3-Mar-2018
11:28:16 AM
PART 3/3:

As each minute passes, my feeling of security on my semi hanging belay improves, if only for a little. I can hear Paul below me but cannot see him. He is finding the tight chimney more challenging than i did. He later puts this down to him having longer limbs than i, but i like to put it down to me just being an awesome thrutcher, even if my route finding ego has just taken a beating. Before too long he is out on the arete below me. More sand and small stones shower down on him as i adjust my stance to make room for his arrival. At this point he had already removed all gear from the pitch. The only thing now keeping us from falling all the way to the base of the cliff was the gear in the belay...

He tries to negotiate pulling onto the belay ledge. This is made more challenging as i am in the way. That very moment a loose sandy block that formed the extreme end of the arete gives way, which sends paul falling. During that brief moment we both wonder whether the belay will hold us both. Yay, the belay held. Good times. Thank Fu#K for that i thought.

A cloud of dust fills the air which makes it's way all the way down to the base of the climb. It seems to linger for a long time as we both process what had happened, and what would had happened had the belay not held. Many apologies later we exchange leads and Paul traverses back around to the chimney. After some easy chimney moves Paul was at the base of a sweet looking little offwidth and sets up belay with some more big bros. The big bros were certainly coming in handy. Time for some comfort food to put our minds at ease. I pull out my snickers bar from my chalk bag, and Paul nibbles down on a muesli bar. We felt that we had earned them. The final offwidth is short but sweet and not too bad once i finally get established in it. At this point i feel lucky to be leading all of the really fun parts of the climb, but that's how alternating leads go sometimes i guess. It was just long enough to remind me just how awesome offwidth climbing can feel, and just hard enough to remind me that i am pretty crap at climbing them. I top out into full sun. The whole climb had been in full shade as we'd hoped, despite topping out by around 3:30pm.

All in all, a good day out, even if made more terrifying than it had to be. I can't help but feel like an idiot for abandoning the chimney the way i did. I would like to go back and do it again sometime to do it proper. Rockin' the big bros yet again. I feel that in it's current state, it is more run out than ever before due to the state of the bolts. In my opinion i think it should be rebolted with shiny new carrots.... Big bros definately help, but most people obviously don't own any. I could have placed another number 4 if I had ventured deeper into the chimney. I once asked Mark Wilson about the climb and about the lack of gear. He basically told me that i had to do it and that it was a great climb. Run out yes, but its a chimney so you shouldn't fall out of it. I tend to agree.
dalai
3-Mar-2018
12:35:20 PM
Nice report. Would have been a tense moment when Paul fell with just you and the dodgy gear keeping you attached to the wall!
robbio
3-Mar-2018
1:22:10 PM
On 3-Mar-2018 dalai wrote:
>Nice report. Would have been a tense moment when Paul fell with just you
>and the dodgy gear keeping you attached to the wall!

Thanks! Yes it certainly was.
armstp
3-Mar-2018
2:06:47 PM
I thought you must have moved to the Blueys to escape from me talking you into climbing that kind of choss in the Gramps. Obviously not so! Good report, sounds like a fun climb [if you like that kind of thing].
robbio
3-Mar-2018
5:21:21 PM
On 3-Mar-2018 armstp wrote:
>I thought you must have moved to the Blueys to escape from me talking you
>into climbing that kind of choss in the Gramps. Obviously not so! Good
>report, sounds like a fun climb [if you like that kind of thing].

Hi there Phil. I must say that I would take Gramps choss over Blueys choss any day of the week. I miss Victorian rock dearly. You are spoiled down there, you know that don't you?
PThomson
4-Mar-2018
4:05:26 AM
Great TR Rob! Your visceral, first-person stream-of-consciousness style totally captured the experience of the day.

I wrote this writeup on my ascent which I think echoes what you wrote!

"A hard route to rate, quality-wise. P1 (access pitch) is scary climbing on mossy, vegetated choss with big runouts between average gear. The overhanging offwidth at the end is engaging climbing. P2 (the 50m Chimney) Money Pitch is the best body-squeeze psuedo-chimney I've ever done (climbing wise), BUT the rock is rubbish (which isn't SUCH a big problem in a chimney) with giant runouts between average gear placements. I found fitting into it hard with my huuuuuge legs, and ended up climbing it like an offwidth. P3 (exit pitch) has a crap start on teetering blocks, but ended with a brilliant slick body-squeeze offwidth on great rock. Quite bold, and old-fashioned desperate (don't underestimate a grade 18 Chimney!!! Especially when your 8m up from your last bit of very average gear), but far from terrible. Unrelated to the ACTUAL climb, we ended up off-route at the end of the Money Pitch on virgin dogface megapox (it's a long story how we ended up there...), and I managed to rip off a cubic meter of rock (which filled the chimney and corner system with clouds of orange sand as it disintegrated) and took a terrifying fall on an utterly hideous megachoss belay. Yah, it was gripping."

I've got a bunch of photos I'll share on here when I get a chance (im down in Tassie at the moment).

Regards,

-Frothy.


macciza
4-Mar-2018
5:35:05 PM
On 3-Mar-2018 robbio wrote:
>Hi there Phil. I must say that I would take Gramps choss over Blueys choss
>any day of the week. I miss Victorian rock dearly. You are spoiled down
>there, you know that don't you?

Yeah , nah ... though SH is pretty good... maybe you should try that next time you're down that way...

Oh, and considering they didn't really have 'gear' as such when it was first climbed explains why it was bolted at the time ... but times have changed and obviously they aren't that necessary anymore ... so maybe just leave it as it is ... except for maybe the belays....

Good effort lads..
Cheers...

Duang Daunk
4-Mar-2018
5:57:21 PM
>choss

I overheard my friend bro Eduardo telling bro simey that he is privileged because he likes choss.
His rationale was that the world has way more choss than quality rock and since he specialises in it then his smorgasbord is bigger and not only that, but he doesnt have to compete with others for it!

SH is top of his Vic hit list but no one will belay him on it for fear of having to follow and clean it.
robbio
5-Mar-2018
6:05:57 PM
So what's SH then?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
5-Mar-2018
6:18:05 PM
On 5-Mar-2018 robbio wrote:
>So what's SH then?

This is Maccas moment to shine (again)... as nothing beats a 1st hand account!

But here are some historical clues for you in the meantime...

http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?ForumID=1&Action=Display&MessageID=57163&PagePos=&Sort=

http://neilshaulbag.smugmug.com/Sports/Climbing/23022008-Serpentine-20th/i-j2LDqcD

http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Display&ForumID=1&MessageID=58039&Replies=0



I really enjoyed reading your Trip Report(s), and also PTs view of the same event.
As an armchair climber for the moment, living vicariously through others experiences, I found it very engaging.
Thanks for posting it up on Chocky.
Pthomson
6-Mar-2018
11:51:27 AM
Shai Halud... chossy for the gramps, bomber for the blueys.

Did you Know: Shai Halud is the great sandworm, also called a Maker, and is the catalyst in narcotic spice melange production... Spicy... bwahaha... punny.

Macciza
6-Mar-2018
12:34:31 PM
Oh Damn ...
I missed the 10th Anniversary celebrations ....
And 30th for Serpentine ....
Happy climbing everyone ...

Oh and I think I prefer Blueies choss ... far more predictable ...

Duang Daunk
6-Mar-2018
12:37:34 PM
On 6-Mar-2018 Pthomson wrote:
>Shai Halud... chossy for the gramps, bomber for the blueys.
>
Id like to hear bro Maccas take on that. . . , as the climber involved , and also one with Doggie Climbs experience , as after your recent experience on doggie , Im sure youd agree it rates highly on the choss scale to validate his opinion.

Other than that , I look forward to reading a TR from you after your ascent of SH , now that you have a taste for choss.

There are 18 messages in this topic.

 

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