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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|Buller West Ridge 24.8.13 with ice
Thought I would add another trip report about a little ice climbing in Vic.
Headed up the west ridge of buller with a friend today. It was my third time up there so I was keen to do some exploring and see what we could find - especially since I had a new pair of second hand tools that needed to be played with. We didn't have high expectations though as the snow was pretty soft even from very early on. The snow level was at Round hill so the walk along the ridge was interesting at times with some post holing toward the end.
When we got in sight of buller, Dave (who hasn't done any steep snow/ice stuff before) starting getting pretty excited and was suggesting lines everywhere. We decided to explore up to the left after giving up on the idea of going down to the waterfall area (there was some ice kicking around though). The best part was the early morning cloud had cleared and it was looking like a bluebird day.
After walking over onto the western face we found the upper rockband almost completely iced over. At this point nothing was going to stop me getting on that precious ice, so we gleefully ran around and setup a toprope and did a few laps until lunchtime. We went up two lines, both of which were only around 5-6m but beggars can't be choosy.
The first was slightly easier and hugged a rock corner with a fun first two moves where you had to step left onto the vertical ice and work your way up. The second had three solid vertical moves with good axe placements and a high step required for the first move to get onto solid ice for your feet. You could then move onto a small break before continuing up over another two bulges before topping out. For his first time Dave smashed it and I was loving every single second. Also very glad we were able to make the most of it despite our boots not being fully rigid and flexing all over the place. As a result our technique wasn't great as we relied more on the axe placements than feet but it seemed to work. A good set of alpine boots are definitely on the shopping list but given how much those things cost it may be a while!
After the sun started hitting the face we figured it was time to bail so we continued up the face onto the summit ridge. A lazy lunch on the summit was had with a few ski plebs around. Some of the more amusing conversations went like this:
Smart ass snowboarder: "Off to do some abseiling"
Us: "Yeah we already have" (close enough we figured)
Another pleb: "Ah you wont find any ice for your points around here today"
Us: "Actually there's some just around the corner!"
Little girl sitting on the summit as we walked past: "Are you going to fanny's finish?"
Us: No we're walking down there (pointing down the ridge)
Little girl (with a very serious face): "Don't die".
On the way back down we took the normal route and used it to explore some of the lines around the chutes while making a hit list for next time. Overall it was a ripper of a day and very satisfying, definitely going back for more asap.
Good one. It looks like you had a fun day of new-retro climbing!
... I particularly liked the first and last pics.
Sounds like a great day. I love your stoke and the pics were great too!
Thanks for sharing;)
Nice! It sounds like a fun day out was had. You've got me itching to get my winter gear out the cupboard now.
On 24/08/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>... I particularly liked the first and last pics.
Not bad for a smartphone either. We (or rather I) managed to leave the proper camera at home..
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