17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
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||Thursday, 7 March 2013 At 9:42:29 AM
|Trying not to totally steal the other thread ...
On 6/03/2013 Wendy wrote:
>maybe it's like that pair of Tasmanians who told us what a great route
>Battleship Cruiser was...
What's wrong with Battlecruiser?
On 7/03/2013 Doug wrote:
>What's wrong with Battlecruiser?
Exactly. It's a great route. I think when Wendy had the operation on her shoulder last year, they accidently removed her cojones too.
On 7/03/2013 Doug wrote:
>On 6/03/2013 Wendy wrote:
>>maybe it's like that pair of Tasmanians who told us what a great route
>>Battleship Cruiser was...
>What's wrong with Battlecruiser?
>Battlecruiser is awesome! Especially if you finish up Space Cowboy.
Simey, I think you might need to be given honorary Tasmanian status. I will forgive the others because they actually are Tasmanian. I have concluded that there's something a little skewed in the Tasmanian perspective. I think Gareth might be an honorary Tasmanian too.
We turned up at the crag intending to climb Third Bird, but it was still in the sun and Battlecruiser was just coming into the shade. It wasn't as appealling looking as Third Bird, but these Tasmanians had just got off it and said it was great, 3 stars. So we wander up it. Douglas is leading as we weren't sure about my shoulder on 18s yet, and the first corner is choss of the finest degree. Loose stuff on the surface, loose stuff in the crack, a nice sandpit on the way. I crawled as far out of the firing line as I could, and Douglas commented "I thought impeccable rock was part of the requisites for a 3 star route". He disappears out of sight around the roof, there are a few sounds of battle unexpected to hear from him on an 18 and eventually he's safe. I wander up the first corner in amazement at what could be considered rock, but from the roof, the rock is better and the climbing exactly the sort of stuff I like, so with a nice knee bar or two and a hand jam, I uttered one of the catch cries of our trip. "It's quite a good pitch on second". Then you get to the top of the pitch and what looks like a good crack turns out to be a tall, skinny flake standing in not much just waiting for you to pull it onto you. We did begin to wonder if those Tasmanians were just trying to sandbag the Victorians.
Still, it's a great position hanging out on the Pipes. So we sit down and look around and notice Space Cowboy going straight up. This is the pitch that the guidebook say is better than sex. We could only conclude that they are doing it wrong. Really, it was less than 10 metres of not that appealing looking black flake and the odd face hold before you joined Battlecruiser anyway. Douglas decides to head up the normal route and shortly after wonders "Maybe they have a 17 star system in Tasmania"? It's another choosy corner fully of loose flakes and bodgy chockstones, but heads up to an impressive looking steep line out to the right. The line turns out to be made of drummy flakes and fangs of rock wedged into them, all looking dubiously connected to the main cliff. You pull out through these into a little hanging corner formed by another very questionable bit of rock. It's a great position. The moves are cool. The rock is just terrible. Douglas didn't feel like any of the rock his gear was in would hold a fall onto it and was nearly sick with terror by the time he got to the top. It was quite a good pitch on second though.
Then to add to the fun, finding the rap station. The guide suggests you get up this pitch, wander up a little further and there they are. Of course, at the top of the pitch, there's nothing obvious. Some choss, some bushes, some dirt. I thought Douglas needed some relief from the terror, and I wandered up to find the rap stations. I think I ended up with half the cliff, dirt and vegetation down my top in exchange for half the skin on my legs. Climbing over and under bushes and up something a little worse than the top of Frog as far as loose, dirty scree goes is also not on my general interpretation of 3 stars either. Let alone when you have to climb down some of it again, head left, head right ... Still we found a nice modern rap station. But I am perplexed as to why it was placed there? I thought it must be because you can walk over to it from other routes, but then we did Third Bird the next day, and getting over from there involved a similarly awful pitch up in order to do a spectacularly awful pitch down the other side to get there. I can only conclude it is to add to the experience.
Battlecruiser has some great climbing in it, but honestly, it has some of the worst rock I have ever encountered, and it's not that I am unfamiliar with awful rock! I have a moderately high choss tolerance. But really, that was some impressive choss. I am kind of amazed that neither the guidebook, nor the Tasmanian pair mentioned that it might have just a little loose and fragile rock.
We did 11 stars worth of climbing on the Pipes. To be perfectly honest, it was realistically about 4 stars worth of climbing. But the weather was good and the position is great, and we got to have coffee and pastries in Hobart (not to mention internet so I could tell people they were wrong) before climbing. Hobart is quite a nice city in good weather. Then it became 18 and raining. I like home.
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