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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 54
Author
Speigals Overhang [North Jawbones, Cathedral Range
Rob668
24/05/2011
3:33:06 PM
On 24/05/2011 rolsen1 wrote:
>I think a rap is needed.
>
>RE the rap see http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=DisplayTopic&ForumID=1&Me
>sageID=39368&Replies=4&PagePos=0&Sort=#newpost
>
>Quote "If you are talking about the chains above "Captains of Industry"
>which is a gr 18 variant finish to Spiegals
>Overhang, two 50's get you to the tree below the first overlap on SO,
>its a hassle to rap off the tee tree,
>but then, so is walking down... the original plan was to have another
>set on the first belay of xenith/
>retribution (neat little ledge on arete above roofs) will make for an
>exciting drop to your bags and cleaner
>rope pull (plus rapping back down the trade route is crazy and crowded),
>on the day the batteries ran
>out... also explains why the last bolt on 'C of I' is showing a bit. So
>thats the plan anyway, I will get out
>there soon, unless of course someone beats me to it."
>
>
>
>I thought the bolt on xanthene looked pretty small and old (I didn't want
>to test it) as well but this was a number of years ago, maybe 8-10 and
>it may have been replaced since then. I dont think greg direct is too bad
>from memory and there may be wires placements near by anyway - have climbed
>this in the last couple of years.

I suspect that proposed Rap Line is going down a good, but not so well used route. My guide book is roughly 12,000 km away so I can't check the name too easily.

Be careful what you start, it may encourage others.
patto
24/05/2011
3:44:42 PM
Oh god! A rap would be fantastic!

I got stuck in those heinous prickle bushes earlier this year. Not the best way to end a fantastic climb.

(I would happily help the following weekend if people need it.)
gfdonc
24/05/2011
4:13:12 PM
Personally I don't think the walk off is so bad, it probably needs a prune though.

As I said I'm not really in favour. Two double rope raps is likely to be slower depending on the size of the party. Pulling ropes on bushy slabs is going to be problematic. However, others seem to like the idea, and I'll have the drill with me. I'll take a look.

In reply to the earlier post, it's possible to climb up the lower tower just about anywhere (jug city), but Route Two (edit) is the only route I recall and that goes on its right side, I was looking at a direct line down the left side. If the proposed line required 2x60m ropes would that be such a big deal these days?
A rap down the right-hand edge of the Central Buttress also looks like an option.

On a related note, I notice the route Divect doesn't appear in the latest Tempest/OSP guide, but something else appears in its place. Hmmm.
rolsen1
24/05/2011
4:35:18 PM
On 24/05/2011 gfdonc wrote:
>
>Have you got a copy of that photo without the legend on it?
>

No its not my photo just posted it and comment (which isn't mine either) from the other thread.

I'm not a local so my views on the Cathedrals don't and shouldn't matter but I've probably been there 30 times or so in the last 14 years, having dragged way too many people up Speigals for their first multi-pitch climb.

We last went there on Australia day, as some guys we took to do Speigals for their first multi-pitch are now leading and wanted to lead it themselves. It was a fairly warm day so most of us were in shorts and t-shirts. The prickles were horrendous, both on the walk in and descent walk - so much so that I can't see myself returning - the hill is bad enough without getting scratched to bits. IMO a rap or two (one for jungle scope buttress) would help make the crag bearable.
bones
24/05/2011
5:00:26 PM
What kind of thistles are they? Are they native or is it an infestation problem that could use the assistance of Landcare?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24/05/2011
7:46:20 PM
On 24/05/2011 rolsen1 wrote:
>I'm not a local so my views on the Cathedrals don't and shouldn't matter
>but I've probably been there 30 times or so in the last 14 years, having
>dragged way too many people up Speigals for their first multi-pitch climb.

?
I am intrigued by this attitude.

So it is not worth your time (for example), to petition for access to North Head, or Balls Pyramid, or etc?

... but you are local to somewhere right?
So, if you were part of only a small numbers local climbing scene, you would be happy to see mass opinion (likely by non-climbers) overtake your wishes without consultation at a local level?

What would you think is external influences type climbers came without consultation and developed your local cliffs with a different ethic to local wishes?

(Note key word: consultation).

I would argue that as a climber, and especially as one who uses the area (even if only occasionally), that your opinion counts for quite a bit more than you give it credit for!



rolsen1
24/05/2011
11:40:14 PM
On 24/05/2011 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On 24/05/2011 rolsen1 wrote:
>>I'm not a local so my views on the Cathedrals don't and shouldn't
>matter
>>but I've probably been there 30 times or so in the last 14 years, having
>>dragged way too many people up Speigals for their first multi-pitch climb.
>
>?
>I am intrigued by this attitude.
>
>So it is not worth your time (for example), to petition for access to
>North Head, or Balls Pyramid, or etc?
>

I didn't say that but I do also trust the local passionate communities eg Araps, Buff to get things generally right. If there is an email to send I have sent them before and I'll send them again :)

>... but you are local to somewhere right?
>So, if you were part of only a small numbers local climbing scene, you
>would be happy to see mass opinion (likely by non-climbers) overtake your
>wishes without consultation at a local level?
>

No, I'm not local to anywhere anymore :( and I was speaking about deferring to the local climbers not the local loggers at the Cathedral Range.

>What would you think is external influences type climbers came without
>consultation and developed your local cliffs with a different ethic to
>local wishes?
>
>(Note key word: consultation).
>
>I would argue that as a climber, and especially as one who uses the area
>(even if only occasionally), that your opinion counts for quite a bit more
>than you give it credit for!
>☺
>
>
>

If I was a local at Cathedrals of course I would voice an opinion, and would be part of the solution to solving the current problem there. It is just one guy that keeps cleaning Ben Cairn year after year, if/when he/she stops the crag will disappear unless someone else finds the passion.

I do think that those who visit a crag regularly and have a history with it, should have a greater say than those who seldom visit a crag. After all they are the ones who will be maintaining the tracks or replacing the bolts on the rap routes.

I also believe that most of our heated discussions around bolts at all of these crags will matter little in 50 or so years (possibly Araps will hold out a little longer) when most of us are gone and new "locals" have different ideas about safety and ethics.

And that doesn't bother me one bit.
Rob668
25/05/2011
4:29:09 AM
The prickles were not that bad last year. I walked down without shoes (my normal Cathedrals technique for the walk-off). It hurt a little, slowed me down a little more, but overall was ok.

Happy climbing

StuckNut
25/05/2011
9:14:22 AM
On 24/05/2011 rolsen1 wrote:

>I also believe that most of our heated discussions around bolts at all
>of these crags will matter little in 50 or so years (possibly Araps will
>hold out a little longer) when most of us are gone and new "locals" have
>different ideas about safety and ethics.
>
>And that doesn't bother me one bit.

I don't know, I think its up to current generations to at least try and set a standard or tradition for future generations. The attitude that we have have no control over the actions of future generations is a bit of a cop out.

A bit of an extreme example, but take that climbing spot on the border of Germany where rock climbing as a recreational activity was originally supposedly started - it has a tradition of using no hard protection at all, just knotted slings, cord and rope in place of chocks and nuts in order to protect the soft rock. Its far from the safest way to climb, but its tradition and it makes the place unique and attractive for that reason - you don't like it go climb elsewhere. That tradition has lasted since the beginning, imagine the original climbers there had the same attitude that oh well, the kids in the future will probably do what they want anyhow, why worry about it?

There is something to be said for setting a tradition, after all it is "Trad" climbing.

Pat
25/05/2011
9:43:27 AM
My 2c worth:

I dont find the chains that hard or dangerous to get to - but they are awkward. Nor the change over at half - way. There are a couple of small stances and I just make myself safe with a few cams at the stance.

However, I haven't done the change over when another party is on route and it is right in the line. Also, the tree will eventually cack it with rope rub, so it is not a long term solution.

I'm not sure a rap that needed 2 - 60's would work for as many people as one that took 2 50's. I have a 50 & a 60. Not sure what the majority of people would carry up there?

It's a pretty important cliff that is local to Eastern Melbourne so even though I feel it would be worthwhile putting in a rap line, it's going to affect quite a few people's experience for a long time, so its important to think a location through to get the best long term solution. I reckon that the impact of a rap route would be much less than the impact of the track down the back continuing to get used.

I can't get up there Friday or Saturday, but I would be happy to make another time and scope it out with you Steve and any one else interested.

On a side note the prickly bushes proper name is Cathedral Range's Bastard Bush. It's some sort of indigenous acacia. Hardier than us rap routing climbers.
gfdonc
25/05/2011
11:40:28 AM
On 25/05/2011 Pat wrote:
>I'm not sure a rap that needed 2 - 60's would work for as many people
>as one that took 2 50's. I have a 50 & a 60. Not sure what the majority
>of people would carry up there?

I'm kinda with you on that one, my 'thin' rope for long raps was a 50m until just this week when I bought an 8.1x60m.
However, for me, 3 raps is probably too tedious, may as well walk down.

I've looked at a photo sent by ac and this is what I'm thinking:

I'm fairly sure you'd get to the big ledge with 2x50m. Then the option would be to make the rest in one rap with 2x60m or put another belay station somewhere on the lower buttress.

By the way the only route I found that tackles the lower buttress is Route Two (not Route One as I wrote earlier) and the proposed line is left of that route.

>On a side note the prickly bushes proper name is Cathedral Range's Bastard
>Bush. It's some sort of indigenous acacia. Hardier than us rap routing
>climbers.
We used to refer to them as poofta bushes, perhaps not politically correct these days.

Pat
25/05/2011
12:59:01 PM
I think that you are right for the pitch length from the top. Gregs Direct makes it in one rope length right to the top level with the start of your line.

There is a grade 14 up the LHS of this buttress 'Cold and Bold'. James Mc put it up, so he might be able to shed some light on pitch lengths if he can remember back to 2003. Guide book has two initial pitches of 35 meters that seem to put the second belay just above the buttress or right on the top of it to the left of your line.

Your route seems like the only possibility in two pitches, but I would be interested in poking around out to the right (looking at this photo) of Speigals top out, but I can't think of a change over stance on the cliff below that. If that could be arranged, then it might be possible to get two 50 meter raps rather than one 50 and one 60 as in your line.
earwig
25/05/2011
3:27:34 PM
On 24/05/2011 bones wrote:
>What kind of thistles are they? Are they native or is it an infestation
>problem that could use the assistance of Landcare?

It is a native - Acacia paradoxa - also known as Kangaroo Thorn or Hedge Wattle - but generally referred to using various cuss words. It is covered in sharp thorns about a centimtre long. I had a horrible time untangling rope from one on Jawbones once and had to 'grasp the nettle' as it were. I was picking thorns out of my hands a week later. Chewing through the rope and finishing the climb solo was probably a better option.
Fish Boy
25/05/2011
5:24:20 PM
Paradoxa because they have thorns and leaves? "Paradox"?
earwig
26/05/2011
9:14:58 AM
On 25/05/2011 Fish Boy wrote:
>Paradoxa because they have thorns and leaves? "Paradox"?

Dunno. In South Africa a lot of the Acacias have thorns, in Australia not so many.

Here is the beast in question.


gtempest
26/05/2011
11:35:42 AM
After three post bushfires trips (with Tracey Skinner, Michael Hampton, Greg Caire and others) we tried to find a better route up from the main walkers path to the base of North Jawbone (because the original climbers trail was severely eroded). We weren't successful. While there are various routes up the hill we discounted them because they were either too long, convoluted, difficult and/or eroded. In the end I think the original path will probably be the best option but it will probably need some future trail work.

We did however work out a fairly straightforward walking descent off the cliff. After the bushfires we pretty much ruled out the original gully descent as it was too badly eroded and dangerous. It is much better and safer to descend the bushwalkers trail down from the summit to the North Jawbone Peak Saddle. A shallow gully (which wasn't burned in the fires) brings you back down to the bottom of the original descent gully at the right side of the cliff (American Dream etc). I've descended this way on all my subsequent visits to North Jawbones and it really is the easiest (walking) option. The only reason anyone would be tempted to descend the original descent gully would if they did any of the routes ending below Odd Wall (Xenith, Northern Ramble etc). Personally I still think it is easier to scramble up to the top of North Jawbone and descend as I've described. I'm sure that those who want to get down as quickly as possible will disagree.

There needs to be a rap station installed above the Fruit Hustler Area. This is a pretty busy section of the cliff (a couple of single pitch moderately-graded 2 star classics does this). A rap station would stop all those people having to scramble up the hideous gully to below Odd Wall and then walk down the original descent gully. As for a rappel descent down the cliff, this has been talked about for maybe 20 years or more. I spent a whole weekend once looking for the the best route down. Rapping down Left Buttress wasn't going to work as the best initial rap point anchors would take you directly down some of the most popular climbing on the cliff (and there were heaps of bushes). Next I checked out Central Buttress but it was too broken near the top and I figured that the ropes would probably get caught up in all the ledges and bushes (a shame as this buttress is of course the least used piece of rock on the cliff). Right Buttress again suffers from popularity. Dropping, rapping and pulling ropes should be avoided on potentially busy routes. At the time I figured the best possible rap descent would be located either down Travellers Slab or immediately to its left (The Knob). I didn't have a 60m rope then and I felt it was all too complicated to have to do two more raps down the slab left of Route 2 to reach the ground. Now 60m ropes are becoming the norm it may be worth having a new look at a possible rap descent down this section of the cliff.

Important things to consider are: any rappel descent should involve the minimum number of rappels possible (two would be ideal), must be located away from a conflict of interest with popular routes, should have the least possible rope management issues (ropes getting caught up when throwing and pulling) and finally, each rappel station must be located in a position where two or three climbers can safely pull, rig and rappel (I have no doubt that a rappel route down the cliff will attract climbers who have little or no experience at multi-pitch rappels).

Steve, if you are headed up to North Jawbone in the near future (I think it will probably be a bit wet up there tomorrow) I wouldn't mind joining you. Stay in touch.
gfdonc
26/05/2011
2:15:43 PM
Glenn,
Heading up tomorrow night. Saturday and Sunday weather looks good. My car is full, but others are coming up Saturday morning & they'll have room.

Thanks for the information and feedback. My suggested rap descent did have all those issues in mind, hence we've arrived at the same conclusion. Do you know if a 60m rope will reach from God's Ledge (or whatever you can scramble down to) to the ground?

So the current descent route is to head east from the summit? I haven't tried this, we'll check it out.
I also had a vague memory of rapping back down off Fruit Hustler, maybe I was mistaken?
- Steve
rolsen1
26/05/2011
2:33:05 PM
On 26/05/2011 gfdonc wrote:
> Do you know if a 60m rope will reach from God's Ledge (or whatever you
>can scramble down to) to the ground?
>

Looking at your photo, I doubt you'd make it even with 60s. A 50m rope on Speigals gets you from the ground to the tree below first overlap with not too much rope left over - and the pitch is straight.I'd guess the first rap on your line would be about 40m or so - given Greg's Direct is ~40m but starts higher but has a traverse.

PS. Thanks for looking into this
gfdonc
26/05/2011
3:46:24 PM
I'm thinking - given at this stage I have 3 seconds in my party and one leader - we might do Route Two to start and check out the rope length issue, then Travellers Slab.

Putting a belay station on the arete below the 'main' ledge might gain enough meters to make it in two raps.

Does anyone have info on the pin on Travellers? I recall it being kinda important but it would be 30 years old at least, could it be pulled and replaced with a bolt?

singersmith
26/05/2011
9:48:09 PM

>Does anyone have info on the pin on Travellers? I recall it being kinda
>important but it would be 30 years old at least, could it be pulled and
>replaced with a bolt?
>

What's wrong with replacing it with another pin?

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