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|Gramps Jul 2004: Stapyton, Black Ians
Was I keen to climb? Two and a half months since touching rock... you better believe it!
Adrian, Brad and myself took off for the Gramps late Friday night despite a forecast for isolated showers and a car so laden down with gear sparks flew as we hit the odd bump. We made Stawell in good time though hungry to find Raunchy Roster no longer offering their pizzas. Ado was bitter, but we managed to put this setback behind us long enough make tracks for Stapyton Campground amidst much planning for next days climbing.
The lads were up with the light and off to the campsite boulder for a bit of a warm up. Freezing fingers, and a complete lack of tickage for myself, but Brad and Ado bagged a V4. (See pics). Breaky followed then off to Summerday to warm into the roped climbing with Ado leading the ever familar OverKill (17), and a TR of Soweto (21) and Lofty Odours (21) the last of which I'd not done before. The very thin start totally puts me off leading this otherwise great climb. RPs on the crux moves within groundfall? Not for me.
Ado wanted to tick Golden Showers at Hollow Mt Block, so up we went, carting "The Gimp" Ado's bright orange home made bouldering pad for later in the day. He lead up in fine style - one dog, a dropped bolt plate, and the zig-zag clipping of two bolts. Bravely fighting a pump through the last moves (See pic on right), he made the lip to cheers from below. We all got up this classic before the wind started to really howl.
A short play at Sleepy Hollow followed where we all pretended to "work the moves" on the V16. I think I held one of the 60 odd roofs moves for about 2 seconds, which was probably the rest point. Keen for more achievable bouldering we hiked back down to reclaim The Gimp (which had been left to ponder it's temporary abandonment), and made our way to Andersons where the lads managed to tick another V4 that I could barely cling to. "Surely there's a V0 around here?" I asked, to be pointed in the direction of a "slab" no bigger than car. Not sure I can quite get into bouldering.
On the way out we found Alister (alrob) at the carpark, who fed us purple cake and was thus most welcome to join our camp for the night. Way, way too much food later we retired for the evening.
Sunday brought doggy weather so we canned our plans for Grey/Green walls and instead went to the ever popular Black Ians Rocks. Wanting to get back on the sharp end after so much time away I ticked Decree Nisi (16) and Objection Sustained (18) after which we TR'ed Ok I Confess (23). Al was the only one to get up this fun line clean. Then, further proving the validity of "Cake Of The Week" as a training diet, he lead "Down By Law" (24), the poorly protected "sport" route to the right of the cave. Huge scoops threatened ankle crushing falls but he styled up failing only 3m short of the summit where-in a thin runout slab became slick with a persistent drizzle that had followed us from the ranges. (See pic right, and halfway down this page for the full sequence).
Calling it a day, we packed up and headed off with the only remaining epic being a drive home in the rain sans windscreen wipers which had perished sometime during the previous weeks.
thanks for a great day at black ians, a "top sort" crag i reckon. great trip report too, but now the secret of "cake of the week" is out.......
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