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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 22
Author
Just Arapiles, August
gfdonc
12/08/2012
11:38:12 AM
so .. WHERE THE BLOODY HELL WERE You?

After a lovely but rain-affected trip in to Dreamtime wall, resulting in 3 new routes, we decided it was time for a trip back to Arapiles.

Why the bloody hell not? Weekend weather had been variable but never extreme, so we made plans 2 weeks out and confirmed them 3 days before, despite some rain on the forecast.

Our companions, Karl and Nina, had some screwy logistics on Friday but somehow it all worked itself out and we separately arrived at the Pines around 10pm on Friday night. Paula and I had taken pizza in Ararat, the other two were starving and cooked pasta. Fortunately Steve G, Kim and the others were well established already with a fire roaring in the bottom end of the Pines. The place looked deserted.

The next morning our initial impressions were reinforced. Apart from our group, and a small group from Adelaide that were packing up, there were two tents in the Pines on a pleasant sunny Saturday morning.
Paula and I racked up and headed over to do Checkmate (17) while the SG group headed up to Bushrangers to introduce some gym climbers to the gentle art of trad leading on some single-digit routes. Sitting on Bard Buttress with the rock to ourselves in full sun, we were mostly climbing in t-shirts.

Back to camp for lunch then up to Central Gully for a few routes that Paula had been unable to get on due to their popularity. Jason (16) and then Beautiful Possibilities (15) the latter is starting to show signs of traffic, unusual to see polished holds on sandstone. After that we retired early (I had a phone call to make) and cooked burgers at camp.

The moon rose around 8:30pm, and the cliffs were clearly visible in the moonlight. Some comments were made that if I hadnt had so much to drink already... but somehow the insanity took hold. Karl and Nina racked up, and Paula and I followed with our gear but unsure about climbing in the dark under the influence. What was that thread about needing something to do on a Saturday night?

D Minor was close, and Nina hadnt done it. So up we went. Karl led through to the overhangs, by which time this was no longer a spectator sport, so Paula and I headed back to camp.

Racking up


Well, maybe it was a little cold.


On D Minor on a Saturday night.

The next morning, cool again but still climbable. A slow start was planned to allow the day to warm up a bit. Mid-morning, we went over to check out Baby Buttress with Paula onsighting the steep, well protected Scarlet Sage then me doing Mexican Madness. A light sprinkle caused us to pull the tarp out but not enough to stop climbing until it was time to head back for lunch. Later, we returned and went up King Rat Gully to do Scylla (16) more pleasant climbing than Id remembered and the classic Im a Little Asteroid (18). While seconding this on the rings it started to rain, Paula slipped off one of the wet holds and we got out of there as quickly as we could and headed back to camp. It was practically deserted.

Paula seconding Mexican Madness (17)

Monday morning the place was deserted, and again it was a sunny morning. Wed both taken the day off, and again made a slow start, packed the car then headed up to the Watchtower to do Sundance with the Take Five finish pitch. Showers mostly missed us again, despite the threat. At the top, some lunch and then enough time left to tick Hyperbola (17).


The Pines, sunny and deserted!

shortman
12/08/2012
5:00:37 PM
Nice Steve.

davidn
12/08/2012
6:45:04 PM
Nice to see some photos and a trip report. Really keen to hear more (in any trip report) about the climbs - not beta per se, but what did you find difficult, was it easy, what was the atmosphere, views, was it a great climb, should people avoid it like the plague... In that respect, enjoyed reading about the night climb.

(I don't know what 'the overhangs' are though, never jumped on D Minor)

ajfclark
12/08/2012
9:27:59 PM
On 12/08/2012 davidn wrote:
>Nice to see some photos and a trip report. Really keen to hear more (in
>any trip report) about the climbs - not beta per se, but what did you find
>difficult, was it easy, what was the atmosphere, views, was it a great
>climb, should people avoid it like the plague... In that respect, enjoyed
>reading about the night climb.
>
>(I don't know what 'the overhangs' are though, never jumped on D Minor)


Here's a pic of the top pitch of D Minor for you David:

Sabu
13/08/2012
10:49:55 AM
We were up in June and also had great weather. There were a few more people in the pines that time but it was still very empty. For some reason people tend to shy away from Araps in winter but I've always had a great time.
kieranl
13/08/2012
11:10:39 AM
On 12/08/2012 ajfclark wrote:
>Here's a pic of the top pitch of D Minor for you David:
>


This shot also makes it clear how you can come a cropper on this climb. If the leader falls at this point and the runner at their chest (assume it's there, though hidden) pops, the climber is going to be landing next to the belayer. They might stop on the ledge between the overhangs, I've seen that happen, but don't count on it. The runners in that top crack should be bombproof but enough have pulled to show that they can be stuffed up. So put in a couple from the ledge before starting up that top bit.

shortman
13/08/2012
11:51:08 AM
Has this climb really seen a fatality??
kieranl
13/08/2012
12:02:53 PM
Yes. One death, at least one serious injury. Both pulled the runner(s) in the top bulge, had no backups on the ledge and fell a long way. I think the climber who died was not wearing a helmet and the one who survived was but I won't swear to my memory of that. They both fell well below the belayer in the photo.

shortman
13/08/2012
12:07:41 PM
Far out. I remember thinking you wouldn't want to fall when I went through that last section.

The route sort of gives the sense that it is all over on that last ledge.
citationx
13/08/2012
12:13:38 PM
On 12/08/2012 gfdonc wrote:
>The Pines, sunny and deserted!


Are they little fenced replacement trees that i can see in that photo if i squint hard enough?
What are they replacing the pines with, in the end? (I probably missed and entire thread about that...)
kieranl
13/08/2012
12:16:10 PM
On 13/08/2012 citationx wrote:
>On 12/08/2012 gfdonc wrote:
>>The Pines, sunny and deserted!
>
>
>Are they little fenced replacement trees that i can see in that photo
>if i squint hard enough?
Actually impaling stakes for retro-bolters.
gfdonc
13/08/2012
12:21:08 PM
I was also of the belief the fatality was contributed to because he was trying to lead the whole thing in one pitch - hence lots more slack and stretch contributing to the fall.

On 12/08/2012 davidn wrote:
>Really keen to hear more (in any trip report) about the climbs - not beta per se,

Well I've already been chastised recently for 'blowing peoples onsight' so I'll proceed cautiously - or some of you better stop reading.

Excepting the two routes on Baby Buttress these are all routes I've been on before, and enjoyed. They were on my partner's tick list and I was happy to go and repeat them, so that says something!

Checkmate is steep and a bit fingery/pumpy. In terms of terrain it is terrific, right up the front of a proud buttress. We traversed off from Bard Terrace mainly because I've done that top pitch too many times.

The routes in Central Gully are lovely. Jason is well protected until you step left, where there's a fiddly wire for one more hard move. The top section is easy. BP is just so nice the whole way, good (but small) holds with good gear.

Baby Buttress was a new experience and both routes we did there were worthwhile. Scarlet Sage was the better of them and a great gr 15 trad lead - good gear but steep and with a double bolt belay at the top.

Scylla can either be lovely steep bridging or a bit of a grovel if you muck it up. Gear is excellent but I suggest you place a bomber wire at the very top before heading left to belay, so that your second isn't exposed to a swing (and it'll help rope drag too).

Asteroid .. ah what can one say? Lovely, very clean, well protected and sustained face climbing. It's a bit of a hike to get up there though. If you have a single 60m rope to rap off with, it just reaches back down to gully just above the base of Scylla.

Sundance - one of my fave routes at that level if you combine it with the Take Five finish (which raises the grade a little). The first pitch is superb gr 12 until you make a balancy traverse right to a single bolt belay (off a carrot so take a bracket, plus cams down low to back it up). Next pitch is superb low-angle face climbing. Belay at the first ledge (fiddly gear) if you need to keep a closer eye on your second, or continue a bit to the next ledge. Pitch 3 is superb slabbing with adequate gear (take cams). Pitch 4 - my variant - you can do Take Five in its entirety with a thin start, or start up the crack past the tree as for Sundance then traverse over left to breach the overlap(s). A smallish cam is handy. A super pitch in a great position high on the Watchtower faces.

davidn
13/08/2012
12:25:20 PM
Nice thanks, exactly what I meant - and if people want a real onsight they should just stop reading all trip reports. Though if their memory is anything like mine it wouldn't make a lick of difference anyway.
kieranl
13/08/2012
12:36:14 PM
On 13/08/2012 gfdonc wrote:
>I was also of the belief the fatality was contributed to because he was
>trying to lead the whole thing in one pitch - hence lots more slack and
>stretch contributing to the fall.
>
I think you're right. Also the change in rope angle lifted out lower runners under load before the top runner pulled.

>Sundance - one of my fave routes at that level if you combine it with
>the Take Five finish (which raises the grade a little). The first pitch
>is superb gr 12 until you make a balancy traverse left to a single bolt
>belay (off a carrot so take a bracket, plus cams down low to back it up).
Presumably facing out to do this traverse left :)
Also I think at the bolt belay there is a bombproof big wire further right.
gfdonc
13/08/2012
12:42:22 PM
On 13/08/2012 kieranl wrote:
>Presumably facing out to do this traverse left :)
Oops corrected.

cruze
13/08/2012
3:04:40 PM
On 12/08/2012 gfdonc wrote:
>so .. WHERE THE BLOODY HELL WERE You?
Thanks for the TR.
August...hey? 3 days skiing the semi-commercial Canterbury, NZ fields out of 4 weekend days. Great conditions.
On GOOD days in winter, Arapiles is awesome.
gfdonc
13/08/2012
3:37:32 PM
Hm, 3 days in Enzed isn't too bad either. I was there this time last year, Hutt and some backcountry and spent a day at Craigieburn. Awesome except for the Spindle of Death (which is awesome in a completely different sense).
maelgwn
13/08/2012
4:32:43 PM
On 13/08/2012 gfdonc wrote:
>Hm, 3 days in Enzed isn't too bad either. I was there this time last year,
>Hutt and some backcountry and spent a day at Craigieburn. Awesome except
>for the Spindle of Death (which is awesome in a completely different sense).
>

You should be glad for the spindle of death. Keeps the crowds and punters away. :)
NinaCh
19/08/2012
7:58:54 AM
Great report and thanks for sharing it...it was an awesome weekend, to be repeated soon and surely, D Minor in the moonlight...mindblowing :)

Karl and I were pretty lucky to get some good routes in with heavy rain starting just when leaving back to Melbs.

My absolute favourite this weekend 'Gilt Edged' ... good stuff and yeah, my poor jamming skills are slightly improving.

Sandbag of the weekend 'Electra'...how the hell is that smeary thrutchy thing to be climbed???

Hope to cya out there soon!


IdratherbeclimbingM9
19/08/2012
7:09:41 PM
On 19/08/2012 NinaCh wrote:
>Sandbag of the weekend 'Electra'...how the hell is that smeary thrutchy
>thing to be climbed???
>
That is what sandbags are all about!

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 22
There are 22 messages in this topic.

 

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