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TR Echo Point, You Can't Stop the Music (19)
11:13:14 PM
Generally doing new routes ground up is a cunning way of making a crap route. In this case there were so many possible starts and finishes that doing the route ground up seemed sensible. Neil, me, and my 2 bad knees hobbled down Furber steps and round below echo point, then up to the base of Ice. The line I had envisaged was thin, blank and dirty; and had tied off retreat pitons and bolts in it.

We walked 10m further left and an easy corner led up to a roof and a fused corner above. I got this pitch and once again convinced myself that Iím not a trad climber. I kept being scared while cleaning and come down, then wander up the newly cleaned super easy ground that Iíd been sketching on a minute earlier.

starting pitch 1

Maybe 18? I belayed on gear, then added 2 bolts to free up the gear for the next pitch. This was the Salathe pitch, named for the sweeping blank lines and rock orchids.

Looking down the fused corner on P1

Neil led through up the drums of doom pitch, a solid but drummy 18 up a layback crack, then right to the next cracks. The Ceusse pitch, or what Ceusse would be like if was made of drummy layback flakes. I watched him do an amusing exit onto a shale ledge, then he disappeared and there was a long wait. Eventually he said he kept slipping down the shale, so I told him to cut a step with is hammer. Once stabilised, he hauled a drill and put in a 2 bolt belay.

Me seconding P2

Walk right 20m, then Neil led a short easy pitch to below the long thin crack and belayed. I thrashed and drilled up the headwall at the start of pitch 5 into the thin crack,

drilling on lead

is a dirty business.

It was getting a bit Celsius and I was in the sun- outrage. The whole reason we were there on a 33c day was that the ĎIceí wall is rumoured to never see the sun. I cleaned and grunted my way up the pitch above (thin seam up a slab) till I started cramping on every move and handed over to Neil, who cleaned and grunted up the rest of the pitch. Trad 19, though what that is in sport grades I donít know. This was the Taipan wall pitch, the rock is what Taipan would look like after an acid attack. I convinced Neil that the top wasnít 20m away and we bailed for the day. I spent that night with all my body parts having random cramps after dehydration.

Three days later we rapped down and swung across to Neilís highpoint and set up a belay

On the hanging belay at Neil's highpoint.

I started cleaning and grunting my way up again. In pitch 6 , every piece of gear Iíd place I would recommend to anyone exept me; Iím not a trad climber at all. The 40m pitch took all my gear and a lot of time as I hauled the drill up twice to place bolts. The rock is good (waterwashed) but there was a lot of dirt in the crack (waterwashed) and should clean up well. This is the Arapiles pitch, what araps would be like if the cracks were mostly fused and all the good holds were thin ironstone edges. 17?

From here Neil led off right up a headwall,

Neil leaving the belay on the last pitch

which had great rock and holds, but no gear, so there was a lot of freebolting (placing bolts off poor holds) then a steep section with great rock and cams. Quite a nice pitch to lead now I think. P7 18.

Neil freebolting on the last pitch

Itís an ok climb, but interesting as itís the easiest real route of the cliff (Tarzan is for vegetation specialists). Climbing ground-up made a one star route for once (mostly as we were following crack systems (like thin cracks on upper Old Baldy), though thatís the exception rather than the rule. Good positions and surrounded by lots of tourist malarkey. Like most ground up efforts, a fun adventure but not necessarily a great climb.

All scratches aquired in the 2m of scrambling after the climb.

And the name? They play the Indiana Jones theme every 5 minutes when the Scenic Railway leaves the Valley. When we were cleaning and stressing about what was coming up, you had to get going when the music started again.

5:34:49 AM
Great TR!

I particularly liked this quote: "Like most ground up efforts, a fun adventure but not necessarily a great climb." The one and only significant new route I've done ground up (down at Mt Hay with Hayden Brotchie) was one of the best days of climbing I've ever had, but I wouldn't recommend the route to anyone (well, except for a pitch here or there).

Makes me wonder if there are areas that should be left completely undocumented, so that anyone who wants to can go and have a new route adventure, whether it's really a new route or not? Mt Hay seems like a great place for this kind of experience, although the documentation cat is well and truly out of that bag now...

6:20:22 AM
Thanks for a fun TR. Looks like you both had a fun day out of the sun.
7:36:25 AM
Forget that shitty Elphinstone Crag that they have been developing up there. This route sounds like the business. Obviously the climbing was simply too good for Elphinstone to rate a mention among your pitch names.

8:06:00 AM
vague route description on

9:44:35 AM
On 11/01/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>vague route description on

I added the missing last pitch and adjusted the pitch lengths. :-)

9:46:49 AM
p.s. Both of us were very surprised we managed to do this ground up placing minimal bolts! The wall is quite intimidating from a distance but mostly covered in good jugs. Not sure if it will ever 'clean up with traffic' but it was a fun adventure within a few minutes of the carpark.
10:22:38 AM
On 11/01/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>Not sure if it will ever 'clean up with traffic' but it was a fun adventure within a few minutes of the carpark.

The route has to receive traffic to 'clean up'. I think this might be a stumbling block.

Eduardo Slabofvic
10:39:14 AM
Simey, your PM box is full. Can you give me back my cake tray? I assume you've finished eating all the left over cake

11:09:15 AM
On 11/01/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>p.s. Both of us were very surprised we managed to do this ground up placing
>minimal bolts! The wall is quite intimidating from a distance but mostly
>covered in good jugs. Not sure if it will ever 'clean up with traffic'
>but it was a fun adventure within a few minutes of the carpark.

It will when Mikl retro bolts it with a million rings :-)
11:18:51 AM
Simey, by Blueys standards this is a good trad route, though it will probably never become a trade route. Climbing 70s style was amusing for a day, I'll have to do it again some time.

Me leading pitch 6

11:19:28 AM
what's the sun/shade algorithm for this cliff in the end?
12:06:19 PM
It gets sun after 3 in midsummer, most of the time it's a deep freeze.

Stu, I'm keen to do a repeat after the next rains (a lot of the dirt has washed down after the slope above was burnt out a year ago). Also i have some old mags for you if you want them.

12:56:57 PM
It should be noted all bolts are retrotastic bash-in carrots. They should be fashionably rusty soon.

There are 14 messages in this topic.


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