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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

Author
TR - Kurin-gai Lost & Found Wall
technogeekery
23/04/2013
9:37:55 PM
Went up to Mt Kurin-gai on Sunday for a quick days sport climbing. No mess, no fuss throw a rope and some draws into the topbox, fire up the KTM and head for the hills. It had been chucking down rain all Saturday so it was a big relief to see the sun come up in clear skies Sunday. No traffic at 7:30, so I shot through the tunnel and even the Pacific Highway went quickly. Soon I was winding my way through the Kurin-gai Industrial Estate (a most unlikely setting for a days climbing) and into the parking circle 30 minutes early. Quentin got there minutes later, obviously as keen as I was and Adrian (a Chocky member neither of us had met before) rolled in soon with his breakfast of champions a coffee and a vegetarian sausage roll. Into the forest past the motocross track, talking bikes and climbing, with the sun warming up the day around us, lorrikeets feasting on the gum flowers above us - all was well in the world.




It is a bit of a walk down to the Lost & Found wall, right down on the Berowra River. Id never been there before, but Quentin & Adrian had, and it was good to have guides to avoid the inevitable wandering about lost aspect to new areas. We followed the cairns down and around, across slippery slabs and over a little creek. Everything was wet, and gently steaming in the sun. Eventually we crossed the stream again and slithered down a sloping sandy shelf under a big cave the Lost & Found wall found once again. Many of the walls were running with water, others just damp but a few lines were almost dry. We jumped on Dingbat (14) and Lactose Free (16) perfect warm-up climbs, and almost dry. Closely bolted and pretty cruisy, they made a nice way to start off the day.


Quentin on Dingbat


Quentin on Lactose Free

Next up was Foundlings (17), which also fell easily enough a really nice line, quite steep but with great little incut holds, laybacks and little cracks just where you need them plus an interesting bulgy crux near the top good fun for all.


Alex on Foundlings (Photo Adrian Batey)

Suitably warmed up, we turned to one of our challenges for the day Lichen a Virgin Dog (18). The climb is not particularly special, but Quentin had fallen off it & scraped himself up quite badly last time, & was determined to get on it again. The climb goes up to the right of, then steeply over a little cave falling off the crux can involve you quite awkwardly with a large pointy rock near the top of the cave, and Quentin has the scars to prove it. I gave it a crack and found the moves out of and above the cave pretty scary steep, fingery, and requiring real commitment. I backed off a couple of times before screwing up the resolve, and committing to 2 thin moves before clipping the next bolt and finding some big holds. Pull, scrabble, tenuous clip with sewing-machine leg, and up to the ledge above. Realise Id been holding my breath for 3 minutes, and blow like a horse for a while, checking out the final kicker. The normally easy slab/face to the chains was not just wet, it was a little waterfall. I fell off it twice, cunningly preserving the onsite by landing on the ledge before weighting the rope. Eventually I worked out a way, and make it to the chains hooray!


Quentin checks out his nemesis- Lichen a Virgin Dog

After seeing my very shaky display of how not to cruise a route, nobody else was keen on repeating this, so we wandered along the base looking for something else to climb. There are some impressive faces along here, with some really cool lines, but just about everything was running with water. We scrambled up to a slabby area (with the scramble proving one of the most hazardous exercises of the day) where there were three almost dry lines, so we played on The Meaning of Life(15), Intelligent Design (16) & Evolution (17), all short, well bolted slab routes. Probably shouldnt be climbing sandstone when it is so damp, as I think we have added at least a grade to each of these by breaking off various hand & foot holds nice enough little routes, but better in the dry I suspect. Neat little aside Quentin points out some little flowers on a ledge that Id thought were wind-blown detritus were actually tiny carnivorous plants, complete with captured insects. Sundews, I think very cool.


Sundews - image lifted from the interwebs

Feeling stronger after lunch looking over the river, we decided to tackle Its a Dogs Life (19), which runs up just to the right of Lichen, but goes directly up. I stuffed about a bit at the crux, drawn left to the security of the big holds on the cave, but eventually worked out that it needed to be done directly up via a thin side pull. Much to my annoyance I didnt focus properly on the side pull and popped off on the first attempt fear-induced rushing. Having had a little rest on the bolt, I re-focused and sent it a very cool climb, and on my hit list for a clean ascent next time.


Adrian follows It's a Dog's Life

Adrian wanted to try a trad route nearby, a grade 15 crack line called Lost Property. It looked pretty damp early in the day, but was marginally better now, so he set off up it. 4m up at the base of the crack he discovered it was wet inside, and deciding discretion was the better part of valour, chose to leave it for another day. I borrowed his rack and headed up as well, but Adrian had it right the crack was soaking, and my first jamb slid out, my fist coated with orange rock slime. Deciding to layback instead, I promptly pulled most of the lip of the crack off. Sometimes Im slow to come to the right answer, but that was an unmistakeable sign - time to go climb something else.

But what else? Everything within our grade range was soaking. Except there was a route up a steeply overhung yellow cave nearby that went at 19 surely that would be dry so off we went to look. Woken Furies (19) takes a direct line up some outrageous jugs in the soft yellow choss under an overhang. But when we got closer, the choss didnt look so chossy and it certainly was dry so game on. The first move is a fairly delicate mantle up onto a little beak of rock, and you are starting from a ledge 10m up so I stick clipped the first bolt (thanks Adrian for showing me how to improvise a stick clip!) and headed up into the steepness. Fantastic huge jug, clip, feet up, long reach, huge jug, clip, repeat. Then a fun stem/ backstep around a bulge at the top, and to the chains. 5 minutes max (had to do it fast cos Im weak) and its all over huge blast of adrenaline and joy nothing like taking on a steep scary route and finding it easy & super fun! If only it was twice as long it would be a 5 star classic. Quentin and Adrian both made it up as well, and it capped off a fantastic day for us all.


Alex on Woken Furies - wonderful photo by Adrian Batey

We sat for a bit watching the sun going down over the hills opposite, smoke from some campers drifting over the river, the only sound coming from the little waterfall nearby. Then pack the bags and yomp up the steep hike out, pushing a bit and enjoying the slow burn of hard working leg muscles. Take that, middle-aged spread!

So cheers to the Wills & Wills crag development team a very worthwhile little crag, perfect for a day out on the rocks close to home.

rodw
24/04/2013
8:56:14 AM
Glad ya had fun...for future reference, if you see my name in a guide book the climb wont be scary :)
SLacey
24/04/2013
10:39:17 AM
Great TR and great photos! I'm a hornsby local and I have still haven't got out to Mt Kuringai yet, although I've spent a lot of time at Berowra, so it's good to see a TR for one of my local crags! Now I've just got to find the time and a sunny day off and I'll have to go check it out
technogeekery
24/04/2013
11:27:55 AM
Rod - that is a pretty strong recommendation :-)

nmonteith
24/04/2013
12:00:09 PM
On the same day I went to Narabean Steep Side and it was a waterfall!
technogeekery
24/04/2013
1:46:42 PM
Yes, the list above was pretty much all the dry climbs... Will be nice by the weekend if this keeps up though.

JimmyS
24/04/2013
2:17:52 PM
Great trip report!

vwills
25/04/2013
11:17:29 PM
On 24/04/2013 rodw wrote:
>Glad ya had fun...for future reference, if you see my name in a guide book
>the climb wont be scary :)

Just make sure it has R and not V in front of it.
Dr Nick
28/04/2013
9:47:56 AM
The only scary Vwills climb I've done was a lot less scary after I'd done it, but I think it'll be more of a reach problem now. Ask R or WWW about it. But that's the kind of thing you get used to at new crags.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
28/04/2013
1:44:51 PM
On 23/04/2013 technogeekery wrote:
>Went up to Mt Kurin-gai on Sunday for a quick days sport climbing. No
>mess, no fuss throw a rope and some draws into the topbox, fire up the
>KTM and head for the hills. It had been chucking down rain all Saturday
>so it was a big relief to see the sun come up in clear skies Sunday. No
>traffic at 7:30, so I shot through the tunnel and even the Pacific Highway
>went quickly. Soon I was winding my way through the Kurin-gai Industrial
>Estate (a most unlikely setting for a days climbing) and into the parking
>circle 30 minutes early. Quentin got there minutes later, obviously as
>keen as I was and Adrian (a Chocky member neither of us had met before)
>rolled in soon with his breakfast of champions a coffee and a vegetarian
>sausage roll. Into the forest past the motocross track, talking bikes and
>climbing, with the sun warming up the day around us, lorrikeets feasting
>on the gum flowers above us - all was well in the world.
>(snip)

A good TR read techno, and a bit of an education for me too on how climbing is developing in that neck of the woods. It's also good to see others experiences on the lesser graded climbs that I suspect are more the normal climbing experience for most, and certainly myself!

It is also great to see others combining more than one passion for a days outing (motorcycling/climbing)...
Did more than one of you attended on motorcycles?

On another thread you wrote;
>KTM 950SM - just a joy to ride. Perfect urban weapon for Tokyo,(snip)
~> Obviously you are no longer in Tokyo, so is it the same bike or another KTM?
technogeekery
29/04/2013
8:36:29 AM
M9 - thanks. I only climb easy to moderate stuff, but always seems to be some interest in it, so will keep posting up TRs.

Yes, my regular partner Quentin rides a CBR 1000 R - not quite as comfortable to ride with rack & ropes, but he's pretty game and we've done a good few day trips climbing on our bikes.

Same KTM - the SM950 I bought in Japan. As it turned out, it was originally built for export to Australia, so had an Australian compliance plate - which meant it was easy to import when we came back to Aus last year. Huge win! It is 5 years old now but going strong - I keep looking at new bikes (very tasty new adventure bikes on the market from BMW, KTM and Triumph) but cant justify $15-20k on a new bike when the SM is going so strong, so just pamper the KTM with a new accessory or two and go for another year :-)

BlankSlab
29/04/2013
9:28:10 AM
Nice Trip report. Certainly was a fun day out and made use of what ever dry rock was there. Looking forward to getting out with you guys again in the future (moving house sucks).

There are 12 messages in this topic.

 

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