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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 31
Author
TR The Iliad (16), Sublime Point, Blue Mtns

nmonteith
29/07/2013
6:28:36 PM
The last few years I have spent a considerable time down at Sublime Point, mostly doing new sport routes in the caves and walls. I've done a few of the older routes but several of the more major lines remained elusive. The main problem is convincing anyone to do them with me! Everyone does Sweet Dreams at some stage, but I was convinced there were other similar graded good trad multipitch routes for people to do if they were willing to give them a go. So I finally convinced someone (Paul Thompson) to repeat one of the best looking of the 60s era lines, The Iliad (16). For those who have been down there is starts in between Theory of Negativity and the Binary Cave - on a very non-descriptive black wall covered in vegetation. If you peered through the greenery you spot the towering orange headwall about 60m above. Armed with a pair of pruners, long pants and some dangly hexes we set to work!


Starting up the first pitch I had to cut away some small bushes and grass trees - to unearth a stellar easy handcrack. And by easy I mean grade 12 easy! Huge jugs on either side, and a bomber yellow camalot crack to protect it. 10m of this and I hit easy vegetated ledges that I cut my way through (sounding classic yet?) to arrive on a good ledge, bomber gear for the belay and an imposing arete above. The pitch was actually pretty fun considering - and i think my hack job has made it much more pleasant now. No worse than bushbashing up the ledges on pitch 1 of Sweet Dreams.

Pitch 2 begins with a very archaic piton.


A hard move to start to get onto the arete (shorties might struggle) leads to tricky clean grey face, then an exposed traverse right to join into a crackline perched above a roof. Exciting for the grade! The gear was generally good but spaced. and we had to dig out a few placements. This pitch ends at another big ledge with bomber trad to belay.


Paul on pitch 2 - just before traversing right to the crackline above the roof.

Me seconding the top section of the 2nd pitch. Mostly grey jugs.

The next pitch is stellar - and hard for a 16! It starts with an overhung orange corner with a few sneaky jams and a tricky stemming move to get over the lip. It then eases to pleasant bridging and jugging up brilliant orange rock following a major crackline. The exposure begins to set in at this point. The original description had a belay ina cave in the middle but I linked it together into the next pitch - which was the continuation of the orange crack, that turns into a bizarre ramp leading right below big overhangs.


Paul seconding the 4th pitch up the crazy ramp. Super bomber rock and great trad all the way.


Topping out with the headwall behind. This pitch ends on a great little ledge and tree belay - a five minute scramble up and right and you are back at the tourist lookout.

I really enjoyed the route, especially the excellent upper pitches. As a harder step-up from Sweet Dreams it is an excellent route that requires the ability to set good trad anchors. You'll need a full trad rack - with plenty of medium sized cams. 2nders would have no problems on the climb - there is no nasty traverse sections to scare them. I hope this report encourages a few others to give it a go! I have added a good description and topo to thecrag.com here

https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/australia/blue-mountains/main-area/area/321001125

We also romped up Knight's Mare (16) on the same day (it's the direct of Sweet Dreams) and didn't find it as pleasant as Iliad. It was a lot more vegetated, had a lot of very easy climbing but does have an amazing traverse pitch up high.
dalai
29/07/2013
6:47:27 PM
Nice report. What is the splitter to the right?





shortman
29/07/2013
7:02:43 PM
Grouse. Thanks Neil.

nmonteith
29/07/2013
7:22:01 PM
On 29/07/2013 dalai wrote:
>Nice report. What is the splitter to the right?

Nothing right now! Looks great though. Tips finger crack for 10m with a couple of face holds. Maybe 23ishhh.
PThomson
29/07/2013
7:54:24 PM
Shhhhh, Neil, don't spoil my new project... My plan for this coming weekend was to do P1 of Illiad, FA of that finger crack and up P2 of Illiad, then continue up Cynics United (before some afternoon awesomeness at Bentrovato wall)... But my partner has literally just bailed this evening... So we need to keep it on the hush hush. =P

I agree with Monty on this one, if you add some tolerance for some vegetation and moderately virgin rock, the actual movement, position and gear was great fun. It's almost a shame there isn't ONE more bit of gear between the first placement and the ledge placement at the start of P2, otherwise it would be a totally consumer trad route at the grade.

-Paul


Miguel75
29/07/2013
8:34:20 PM
Awesome TR guys. Thanks for sharing the pics and stoke.

pmonks
30/07/2013
1:15:17 AM
Nice TR! I assume you were scoping out the steep orange buttress as you went up. Much potential?

Nmonteith
30/07/2013
7:21:59 AM
On 30/07/2013 pmonks wrote:
>Nice TR! I assume you were scoping out the steep orange buttress as you
>went up. Much potential?

Actually it was the other way round! I scoped Iliad when I was climbing that overhang headwall as part of my 5 pitch route Cynics United (24).
mikllaw
30/07/2013
8:50:37 AM
Would P1 of Cynics United be a better trad first pitch?

Could the old pin be 'replaced' by a single high bolt? on P2

Sounds like fun, I realise that I scoped the line with you a while ago, but it's easier to read the rock than an old guidebook description.
technogeekery
30/07/2013
8:55:52 AM
Nice TR, this looks great! Good resurrection, I'd like to get on this. Will check out your description further and put it on the list.

nmonteith
30/07/2013
9:57:59 AM
On 30/07/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>Would P1 of Cynics United be a better trad first pitch?

Yes! Good idea. Pitch of of Cynics is a good little grade 15ish crack with no vegetation and great gear (and a bolt belay!)

>Could the old pin be 'replaced' by a single high bolt? on P2

Probably worth doing as the pin is worthless and the gear above it wasn't easy to find. There was some vegetation in a seam crack that could produce something if you dug it out - but I didn't have a nut tool. I'd dig it out before placing a bolt just to be sure.
mikepatt
30/07/2013
12:19:57 PM
Nice report, I climbed the first pitch a few years ago as it is shared with Odyssey Walls. I remember an ancient fixed hanger, maybe of pitch 2 of O.W.

I also did an accidental lower traverse right across the face from Nightsmare to the bolted finishes of Sweet Dreams, including an unintended pendulum after dislodging a big (old style) TV sized block which would have killed anyone on the Sweet Dreams traverse...
ah, happy days

Mike.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
3/08/2013
10:59:53 AM
On 29/07/2013 PThomson wrote:
>I agree with Monty on this one, if you add some tolerance for some vegetation
>and moderately virgin rock, the actual movement, position and gear was
>great fun. It's almost a shame there isn't ONE more bit of gear between
>the first placement and the ledge placement at the start of P2, otherwise
>it would be a totally consumer trad route at the grade.
>
>-Paul
>
You blokes just re-demonstrated it can be done in good style without the 'ONE more bit of gear'...

One persons consumer classic is many another persons travesty.


On 30/07/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>On 30/07/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>>Could the old pin be 'replaced' by a single high bolt? on P2
>
>Probably worth doing as the pin is worthless and the gear above it wasn't
>easy to find. There was some vegetation in a seam crack that could produce
>something if you dug it out - but I didn't have a nut tool. I'd dig it
>out before placing a bolt just to be sure.

I am glad that you are prepared to canvass that option before reaching for the drill.
At least by finding the piton, you had confirmation of being on the original route line.
As an aside, you would almost have to be the first experienced tradster that I have heard of leading a trad multipitch without a nut tool!


I also enjoyed reading your Trip Report with its good photos, and the re-finding of an oldie but a goodie climbing classic.
It is an interesting phenomena how such routes fall out of the public eye/favour over generational change, only to be later rediscovered as the good climbing that they actually are.
Next time you shall have to do it in Dunlop Volleys!
Heh, heh, heh.
PThomson
4/08/2013
6:58:43 PM
M9 - I find your comment kind of redundant.

I mean, I wasn't bothered by the splat-potential of the runout, and I certainly wouldn't wack a bolt in there to protect it. But the fact is that compared to Sweet Dreams, this is a REAL classic (as far as a "climbers climb" at the grade goes), and one dangerous run-out section that will keep most climbers off it (and subsequently probably result in it revegetating without any other repeats) means that this sort of pure trad adventure climbing will remain unknown. You said "It is an interesting phenomena how such routes fall out of the public eye/favour over generational change, only to be later rediscovered...", which is exactly my point in my previous comment.

I agree, not every route should be a "consumer classic", but like Firebug (at 17) this has validity as a trad climbers consumer classic (which, these days, is a rarity in itself).

-Paul

BundyBear
5/08/2013
9:33:27 AM
Paul - Did you have a crack at the crack in the piccy above ?
PThomson
5/08/2013
9:59:28 AM
Heya Bundy. Nope, I wasn't really climbing with the sort of crew to jump on an exciting finger crack like that. Hopefully soon (before someone else jumps on it =P).

-Paul

IdratherbeclimbingM9
5/08/2013
6:03:43 PM
On 4/08/2013 PThomson wrote:
>M9 - I find your comment kind of redundant.
>
>I mean, I wasn't bothered by the splat-potential of the runout, and I
>certainly wouldn't wack a bolt in there to protect it. But the fact is
>that compared to Sweet Dreams, this is a REAL classic (as far as a "climbers
>climb" at the grade goes), and one dangerous run-out section that will
>keep most climbers off it (and subsequently probably result in it revegetating
>without any other repeats) means that this sort of pure trad adventure
>climbing will remain unknown. You said "It is an interesting phenomena
>how such routes fall out of the public eye/favour over generational change,
>only to be later rediscovered...", which is exactly my point in my previous
>comment.
>
>I agree, not every route should be a "consumer classic", but like Firebug
>(at 17) this has validity as a trad climbers consumer classic (which, these
>days, is a rarity in itself).
>
>-Paul

I strongly suspect that we are saying the same thing but in different terms.

You mention "this sort of pure trad adventure", ... which is my point; ... ie sometimes this involves a bold (for some) runout on (for some) easy ground, ... and you backed my premise by saying " I wasn't bothered by the splat-potential of the runout" !!

I also strongly suspect that anyone who feels capable of a multipitch Gd 16 adventure in a location that takes a bit of effort to get to, compared to the watered-down (allegedly)-'consumer classics' that seem to occupy many of the present day masses, ... is up to (capable of), the 'real' challenge...

Just because you and Neil 'rediscovered' a consumer classic, does not take away from the fact that it is exactly that, inclusive of any original boldness (on relatively easy ground), and would be a sacrilige to the original ascentionists if it was dumbed down to a later generation who may have weaker values.
jrc
5/08/2013
10:28:58 PM
Great TR Neil & Paul. For some reason Sublime has always had an appeal to me, i think i must like the height.After doing Queens Shift and Perseus (neither particularly recommended) we went onto Sweet Dreams on Keith Royce's recommendation. Keith assured us we would know we were on route when we got to the bolt. The bolt on the climb was next to the step-across. I repeated it with Nat in 1982,
In the late 90s we went up Bentrovarto, Hells Bells, Oedipus and Knights Mare - all recommended; all fairly original (well Bentro has some bolts from the modern 'directs' that cross P2) if you want the "trad" (I hate that word) experience go get on them! That said KM could probably do with a new bolt to replace the 50 y.old one on its crux and one at the belay at the base of the last pitch. The "tree anchor" appears to be missing after all. KM is a great hot day climb btw.

I went back with 2 young friends to do S Dreams in 2005. Somehow it had acquired lots more bolts(eg 20)!! and on fairly easy ground. Very convenient especially with inexperienced followers. I'd have to say, but for those amongst you looking to vent about the degradation (detradation(?)) of ancient routes SD would be a more appropriate opportunity rather than making an example about upgrading some dodgy old peg.
PThomson
5/08/2013
10:37:52 PM
Awesome insight into a spot of historical climbing, jrc. I can say that Oedipus P1 is more of a vertical botanical garden at the moment (it might get better above it), but Betrovato wall is one of the most aesthetically pleasing walls in the Blueys (in my opinion) and the PLAN is to climb everything on it in the immediate future (so far I've been trapped by Neil and Bundys awesome bolted routes on that wall, of which I'm yet to do a crap one).

I have a bit of a passion for obscure routes, and I can only hope that either my fellow obscurist (henceforth known as "Daddy Rob" due to his recent bounty) returns to climbing, or Neil offers to bring the gardening implements on our next trip, so I can keep getting my fix of obscurity.

-Paul
tris
6/08/2013
8:51:03 AM
Thanks for the awesome trip report, I love sublime point and will have to give this route a go next time I am in the mountains.

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There are 31 messages in this topic.

 

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