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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

 Page 1 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 64
Author
Miguel75 & PhillipIvan go gardening Lord Gumtree

phillipivan
20/02/2014
7:12:28 PM
Moved to its own thread. Chapter 2 is yours Mikey.

Mike & Phill's Bogus Journey

Prologue

PI: Hey Mikey, do you want climb Ozi?
M75: I'd love too Buddy, but I've promised to pop that cherry with another Mike.

---Many moons later---

PI: Hey Mikey, since you can't do Ozi how about Lord Gumtree.
M75: Sounds rad buddy! But um isn't that hard?
PI: yeah, like m7. Don't worry I'll lead all the hard stuff.
M75: coolies. Have you climbed much hard aid?
PI: None. How hard can it be.
M75: ...
PI: We'll do it in three days and have a sweet time.
M75: rad.

--- days later ---

PI: I think it would be easier to do it in two days. We could cut down on the excess jugging and hauling. A single sleeping bag unzipped will make a fine blanket for the two of us if the weather holds.
M75: ok, if you say so buddy.

--- a few hours after that ---

PI: you know, I hear the crux isn't all that. Anyway by the time we get to our planned high point for day 1 there is less than 100 meters of 'easy climbing' between us and the top. I think it would basically be a lot less effort just to do it in a single push, then we don't have to carry so much.

M75: Umm...
brendan
20/02/2014
7:53:51 PM
?? i don't get it? have you just climbed LG? or just spraying before you go and try it?

phillipivan
20/02/2014
8:09:18 PM
On 20/02/2014 brendan wrote:
>?? i don't get it? have you just climbed LG? or just spraying before you go and try it?

Brendan, tried and failed. Will try again sometime.
I've been very unproductive finishing some other TRs as M9 pointed out in another thread. I hoped starting one for M75 to contribute to might be more productive. Though granted confusing without any further context presently.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
20/02/2014
9:20:02 PM
On 20/02/2014 phillipivan wrote:
>I've been very unproductive finishing some other TRs as M9 pointed out in another thread.

Don't feel stressed about it as I can't think of many better excuses for not writing TR's about climbing than the fact of being out doing more climbing.
... And it sure beats the hell out of being an armchair internet voyeur living vicariously through such items!

Miguel75
21/02/2014
2:42:55 AM
Melton...sheez. I'm only in Melton.
Every time, I think I'm gonna wake up back at Buffalo.

When I was home after my first wall, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to Phill until I said yes to climbing Lord Gumtree. When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there...all I could think of was getting back onto the wall. I'm home a day now. Waiting for another climbing mission. Getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker. And every minute Phil thinks about climbing...he gets stronger. Each time I looked around...the walls moved in a little tighter.

Chapter 2 eh? The last few days have been a sleep deprived haze, but here's what I remember (I'll start by adding to Phill's established TR);

On 20/02/2014 phillipivan wrote:
>Moved to its own thread. Chapter 2 is yours Mikey.
>
>Mike & Phill's Bogus Journey
>
>Prologue
>
>PI: Hey Mikey, do you want climb Ozi?
>M75: I'd love too Buddy, but I've promised to pop that Cherry with another
>Mike.
>
>---Many moons later---
>
>PI: Hey Mikey, since you can't do Ozi how about Lord Gumtree.
>M75: Sounds rad buddy! But um isn't that hard?
>PI: yeah, like m7. Don't worry I'll lead all the hard stuff.
>M75: coolies. Have you climbed much hard aid?
>PI: None. How hard can it be.
M75: … Mmmm, whilst I like to think of myself as a big wall theorist I've never actually aided anything of consequence but agree, how hard could it be.
>PI: We'll do it in three days and have a sweet time.
M75: rad. I climb very slowly so am stoked to have a few days with which to climb slowly… I'll bring the portaledge and we'll make a right royal go of it.

>--- days later ---
>
>PI: I think it would be easier to do it in two days. We could cut down
>on the excess jugging and hauling. A single sleeping bag unzipped will
>make a fine blanket for the two of us if the weather holds.
M75: ok, if you say so buddy. Shiver bivi on big grassy eh? One sleeping bag between the two of us eh? No portaledge eh? M4 means cam hooks, tomahawks and lots of small gear eh? I've never really climbed anything that I can relate to M4, nor have I really ever led above cam hooks, tomahawks or multiple 00 cams/3 RP's… But I'm keen.

>--- a few hours after that ---
>
>PI: you know, I hear the crux isn't all that. Anyway by the time we get
>to our planned high point for day 1 there is less than 100 meters of 'easy
>climbing' between us and the top. I think it would basically be a lot less
>effort just to do it in a single push, then we don't have to carry so much.
>
M75: Umm… I'll do my best to knock the first three pitches off before lunch. But you do realise I'm a sloth right?
PI: If you can get us to the top of P3 by lunch I should be able to knock off P4-6 by dark and then we'll just plod up the remaining 4 pitches.
M75: Umm…

Phill called a few weeks ago to see if I was keen to climb Lord Gumtree and after much juggling of schedules and bribing of wife I was able to set a date. I finished work Tuesday morning, and met up with Phill at my station, consolidated gear and proceeded to Phill's work. After Phill knocked off we left for Buffalo around 21:40 arriving at approx. 01:30. After racking up and organising everything for the coming assault on Lord Gumtree we settled into bed around 02:15 with the alarm set for 05:30. As you may have read above, we had a single sleeping bag to share so snuggled up on the floor of the stone hut and dreamed the dream of potential ascencionists… We woke up altogether too soon and after breaky were off. The walk in was lovely and I was quite excited to spy the Ozy buttress and our potential line.

As we drew nearer we both commented on the obvious mossiness towards the top of pitch 3 but pushed on. When we arrived at Crystal Brook I was stoked to finally be at the place I've long dreamed about. Looking up towards the top of Defender, Ozy, Clouded Queen… all the lines I've long read about was awesome and I was looking forward to getting on the wall.

Ozy Buttress;


My plan was to get to the top of P3 by lunch and I figured I'd achieve it if I took it one placement at a time. The first touch of the slab was a pretty cool feeling given how long I've dreamed of climbing in the Gorge and then I had to make the first free move. Whilst it wasn't a tough move I was wearing work issued "blundstone" style boots and so didn't feel too secure at all. I pushed on and launched upwards, super stoked to finally be aiding on a real 'aid' climb. I punched the first pitch (M2) out in just over an hour and felt confident I'd make my lunchtime target. Having not aided in a while I was a quite inefficient though felt like I settled into a rhythm by the top of the first pitch. I progressed in my confidence and tried to second step as often as possible and really started to relax into the rhythm, place piece, clip aider, climb aider to second step, place new piece, clip aider etc… There were times where I should have used my fifi to clip into my gear/aider to help save energy though given my inexperience I chose to just use brute strength to pull through any difficulties and so suffered for my silliness later in the day.

Both Phill and M9 had suggested an efficient way to proceed was to make a cam hook placement or two before setting a solid piece of pro as it saved on gear and allowed for a speedier ascent. I tried this a few times and was really feeling the flow until the last few meters of the 2nd pitch. I'm not sure why but I found the gear seemed to dry up and was a lot thinner that I'd previously experienced. I pushed through and placed a red C3 backed up with a red offset DMM, which was overkill, but figured I'd have 3-4 hook moves to the anchors and appreciated the solid gear just in case. I really enjoyed, and started gaining confidence in the cam hooks and made the anchors in a little under two hours.

I was still on target for my lunchtime rendezvous with the P3 anchors though was feeling a little fatigued. I know, I know. P1 & 2 are only approx 50m of climbing and I know you're all probably wondering just how soft I am though I'll save my defence for later. At the P2 anchors I asked Phill if he'd like the 3rd pitch and he suggested it'd be awesome climbing and would be good for me to stick to our original plan so I launched upwards. Cam hooks were once again awesome and I found my new best friends; small tomahawks! They are awesome! I had one pin scar, not too far off the anchor, where I couldn't set the hook properly so Phill suggested the tomahawks. I placed the smallest one, with a red swage, and moved above it absolutely stoked on its bomberness. I left it as a piece of pro and continued upwards. The M4 climbing, for me, was awesome. The small gear, the views down into the gorge and the solitude all equalled one awesome experience. I finally figured out that fifiing into the aider biner also helped me save energy though I was already cramping and feeling a little more fatigued.

Me above my first tomahawk on P3 (you can see the beginnings of the gardens above me)


There came a point in the climb, maybe 5/6m below the P3 anchor where the climbing turned into a full on botanical garden. I'm not talking a little moss; I mean large swathes of grass and weed dense enough for Hiroo Onoda to hide out for another 30 years. I started gardening and really struggled to get placements clean enough to feel confident. A few times I'd place an offset cam, step up in the aider and have it slip and slide around, which was starting to unnerve me, so I forewent gear for my trusty cam hooks reasoning they'd never let me down…. until I got sick of gardening and placed the smallest cam hook in a fairly shallow placement. I bounce tested the hook and stepped up, happily keeping my head down and gaze averted. The cam creaked and held so I smiled and boogied on up. Just as I got to the third step the placement blew. Phill heard the twang and asked if I'd just blown a hook, to which I replied in my best high pitched squeal, "Yes, watch me pleaaassssssseeeee". Luckily for me the hook hadn't pulled out of the placement, instead it had blown a chunk of rock out, about the size of a 5c piece, and come to rest precariously, as a regular hook on two very small crystals. I, madly thinking light thoughts, managed to wrangle in a higher cam hook and gently stepped up into the new aider, happy to not have fallen to my death. I fought my way to the top and struggled to find the double carrots that signalled the P3 anchor. After what felt like an eternity, and thinking a star picket would have been the best choice of anchor considering the abundance of dirt, I spied the corner of a carrot poking out of the moss. I scrapped around and found the second carrot only to find I was a bolt plate down:( I slung the carrot with a nut and fixed the rope for Phill, who easily jugged the pitch and arrived at the anchor.

By this time it was 13:30, meaning I'd taken approx 6 hours to punch out the first three pitches. I know it's quite a long time but took heart given it was my first time really aiding with purpose. Given the overgrown nature of P4 and due to the later hour, we decided to punch it to big grassy to decide what we'd do; continue with our planned LG in a day attempt, or move onto Ozy original? It was around this time that we heard a voice from above quite clearly exclaim, "You're on the wrong climb!" I've always felt divine guidance was available in times of need but wondered about this manifestation. I soon realised it wasn't the Almighty and was more than likely M9 as we'd hidden some cams for him to pick up. Having previously confirmed our intentions of climbing LG we were both quite sure it was Rod so waved to the figure at the Sth Side lookout and continued on up. I was quite fatigued, and cramping, by this time and really loved the tortuous jug to BG.

As I arrived at BG I was struck by the realisation that Big Grassy was neither big, nor grassy. Nonetheless it was a lovely break with beautiful views. One view I'm not wanting to repeat is that of watching Phill's helmet tumble over the side and float effortlessly down into the void...

Phill eating lunch on BG;


Looking up my nostrils, and towards the rooves;


Looking towards Porepunkah;


We discussed our current progress and decided with an incoming thunderstorm, a lack of bivi gear and my severe cramping discretion was the better part of valour and so rapped off into the oblivion. Phill was quite gracious given I'd cost him his onsite of LG though was happy to accommodate me after declaring that in alpine vernacular, "we'd reached the end of difficulties." The rap was uneventful, aside from using a 7.5 and 10.5 rope to bail on and as luck would have it, found Phill's helmet in the trees just below the beginning of the second pitch. As we neared the ground we started hearing additional voices and saw a group of people rapping down comet ramp. I thought they may have been looking to climb Ozy but turned out to be a group of outdoor ed students doing a practice assessment. Their assessment was for the following day requiring them to guide another person down the Defender rap to the base of Ozy and then up the Sth Side track to the hut. I reckon it would have to be one of the best assessments I've ever heard of and they all looked to be having fun. I on the other hand was not very excited for the Sth Side walk of shame.

Once back at the car we had a hot meal, a hot shower and then once the rain hit decided to drive home… The drive home was quite the experience; we tried our luck at getting a counter meal in Myrtleford but given it was 21:00 on a weeknight we had no such luck and kept driving. We pulled over for a nap at Milawa, stopped for a Maccas meal in Glenrowan and then powered through to Wallan before succumbing to another sleep stop. We woke up at approx 05:00 and completed the drive home…

All in all it was good clean fun (if you don't count the dirt on P3) though a very heartbreaking trip. I was sorely disappointed that my physical inability to push on cost Phill his LG in a day plan.

One of these days I shall post up a big wall trip report that ends in success…

Miguel75
21/02/2014
1:03:35 PM
Success. The TR is now posted...

ajfclark
21/02/2014
1:12:37 PM
I should just change my username to Chockstone_Helpdesk...
kieranl
Online Now
21/02/2014
1:33:58 PM
The horror! The horror! Perhaps ajfclark could help you with the Doors backing track and a huey thwocking past.
6 hours to big Grassy on your first real aid route! That's pretty good moving Miguel.
I think that if your first visit to the north wall doesn't end in the walk of shame then you haven't been sufficiently over-ambitious.

shortman
21/02/2014
1:37:55 PM
On 21/02/2014 ajfclark wrote:
>I should just change my username to Chockstone_Helpdesk...

ha ha

Miguel75
21/02/2014
1:45:14 PM
Thanks for your help Andrew. And thanks Kieran, I'm pretty happy with my efforts though still a little saddened. I never want to walk out of the gorge again;)
One Day Hero
21/02/2014
2:45:32 PM
Far out Mikey, stop being such a pussy. If you're going to attempt ambitious goals, getting your arse regularly kicked is to be expected. I dunno about everyone else, but I consider climbing Lord Gumtree in a day (for your first time on the North Wall) as a fairly ambitious goal. Good on you for having a crack, but it was obviously a bit of a long shot.

How about focussing on the positives? You just learned a shitload of valuable lessons, such as;
-climbing dirty, overgrown routes isn't nearly as much fun as climbing clean rock
-retreating out of the gorge sucks a bit, but now that you've done it once it'll be easier next time (if there is a next time)
-seeing as you got yourself to big grassy (up a bunch of vegetated choss) in half a day, you'll absolutely hose it in when you get on Ozy
-There is no such thing as "onsighting" an aid route, you're pulling on every bloody piece!
-Joining someone on their half-baked crazy adventure is the opposite of letting them down, no matter what the outcome
-There's something about aid climbing which brings on cramps like nothing else. I found that sucking down a salt sachet every couple of hours seemed to help

Now, I hope you're getting your arse back to Buffalo asap to finally do Ozy with your mormon mate. If you're forced to bail again just suck it up, bail like a man, and go back for as many tries as it takes. Looking for guaranteed success is a good way to ensure that it'll never happen.
bones
21/02/2014
2:53:27 PM
On 21/02/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>settled into bed around 02:15 with the alarm set for 05:30.

.......

>though was feeling a little fatigued. I know, I know. P1 & 2 are only approx
>50m of climbing and I know you're all probably wondering just how soft
>I am though I'll save my defence for later.

Actually I was wondering if I would have even been able to get up Hammer(3) at araps after less than three hours sleep

IdratherbeclimbingM9
21/02/2014
3:01:53 PM
A good reading collaborative TR fellahs.
Thanks for posting it up, as I always enjoy other people's perspectives and their experiences they have had on routes that I have an affinity with, as it brings back my own memories a little stronger.

A minor blessing that you may not have considered is that taking laden wombats up the south side track is not fun, so you're fast and light approach was good to that end!

I once had a partner bail on that wall, resulting in us camping at the base an extra night just to scoff our food, so we didn't have to carry it out, as we had full kit including portaledges etc.
Heh, heh, heh.

>Looking up my nostrils, and towards the rooves;

Scary stuff, ... the nostrils I mean! Interestingly that shot also captures part of Better than Disneyland, an M9 'splitting the wall' between O & LG, ... a different kind of scary for you to ponder when you return for the success that will be sweeter given your wall attempt this time.


ODH wrote;
>-There is no such thing as "onsighting" an aid route, you're pulling on every bloody piece!

I disagree. Getting up cleanly first shot, no rehearsing/inspection/etc is an onsight aid-ascent.
Falling while doing it is a level slightly below onsight, blah, blah, etc.
~> Back to making my new rope out of sewn caterpillars now, for a really-clean ascent of LG since the lads have done the gardening just before a thunderstorm!
Sshhh, don't anyone tell them that the rock up higher gets cleaner!
;-)

On another trip my climbing partner at the time (an avid gardener), retrieved an expensive helmet that we saw accidentally dropped by another party off Wilkinson Ledge (just below summit), the day before. It was surreal watching it float down then smack off Big Grassy to end up at the base...
He uses it as a hanging pot for a plant on his verandah now!

Post edit;
Something else to ponder...
The line has been freed.
~> The more I dwell on that fact, the more my mind bogles.
;-)

2nd post edit.
Thanks all for the conveyancing of the alien cams. I got them, despite M75 trying to hide them from me!

phillipivan
21/02/2014
4:08:52 PM
>A minor blessing that you may not have considered is that taking laden
>wombats up the south side track is not fun, so your fast and light approach
>was good to that end!

Slow and light. But still. I am reminded of a wonderful quote one of my colleagues in the industry taught me: I may be slow, but at least I'm expensive. For those that don't know what I do for a living, it's probably much funnier still.

>I once had a partner bail on that wall, resulting in us camping at the
>base an extra night just to scoff our food, so we didn't have to carry
>it out, as we had full kit including portaledges etc.
>Heh, heh, heh.

Really the walk up and out isn't that bad. Not with our loads anyway. Unlike Mikey, I figure I'll be hiking up that track many more times in the years to come, this does not bother me one bit.

>>Looking up my nostrils, and towards the rooves;
>
>Scary stuff, ... the nostrils I mean! Interestingly that shot also captures
>part of Better than Disneyland, an M9 'splitting the wall' between O &
>LG, ... a different kind of scary for you to ponder when you return for
>the success that will be sweeter given your wall attempt this time.

Does that come up the fine and clean crack to the right of Mikey's large head? I was admiring it. Where does it go once the crack ends or curves to the left?

More trivia: at the first belay, so the end of pitch 1 of Ozi / LG there is an additional pair of belay bolts about three meters right in a sea of moss. What route is that for? I thought it might have been Crimes of Passion, but the guide says it shares the 1st 10m of LG's 2nd pitch, so that doesn't seem right.

>~> Back to making my new rope out of sewn caterpillars now, for a really-clean
>ascent of LG since the lads have done the gardening just before a thunderstorm!
>Sshhh, don't anyone tell them that the rock up higher gets cleaner!
>;-)

Hmm yes. It will be less work for any one who goes up there in the coming months thanks to M75's gardening.
Miguel75 completely failed to convey just how impressive the thunderstorm that rolled in around 8pm was. I was both tremendously relieved and disappointed not to be on the wall at the time.

phillipivan
21/02/2014
4:13:16 PM

>-Joining someone on their half-baked crazy adventure is the opposite of
>letting them down, no matter what the outcome

Agreed. Anyone keen to have another crack?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
21/02/2014
5:18:06 PM
On 21/02/2014 phillipivan wrote:
>>Better than Disneyland, an M9 'splitting the wall' between O & LG

>Does that come up the fine and clean crack to the right of Mikey's large
>head? I was admiring it. Where does it go once the crack ends or curves
>to the left?
>
It connects with the fourth belay on LG.
It breaks right and out overlap on heads, flakes, bat-hooks, and has one bolt.
I reckon a more direct line continues straight up over the second overlap (would go at M10?), to link in with Holden Caulfield...

>More trivia: at the first belay, so the end of pitch 1 of Ozi / LG there
>is an additional pair of belay bolts about three meters right in a sea
>of moss. What route is that for? I thought it might have been Crimes of
>Passion, but the guide says it shares the 1st 10m of LG's 2nd pitch, so
>that doesn't seem right.
>
How old do the bolts look? If they are reasonably new looking, then they are possibly a belay for the free version of LG?
If they are ancient, then they might be for using a hammock at first belay of Ozy?

>Miguel75 completely failed to convey just how impressive the thunderstorm
>that rolled in around 8pm was. I was both tremendously relieved and disappointed
>not to be on the wall at the time.

After riding home, I looked back at it, and was glad I was home, though was thinking about you as I didn't know you had bailed at that stage...

phillipivan
21/02/2014
5:35:44 PM
On 21/02/2014 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>
>How old do the bolts look? If they are reasonably new looking, then they
>are possibly a belay for the free version of LG?
>If they are ancient, then they might be for using a hammock at first belay
>of Ozy?
>
Two shiny carrots. So not that ancient.
huwj
21/02/2014
7:05:44 PM
Yeah, if M75 isn't keen for a repeat, I'll finish the job with you Phil...

And nice trip report and pics guys.
brendan
21/02/2014
7:24:21 PM
Nice effort guys. That mossy section at the top of pitch three looks horrible! I rapped down from BG to check out the start of LG last winter (and collect some booty) and it does look mossy although not quiet as bad as the section Miguel led.

Hopeful you can get down and have another crack at some stage again

Miguel75
21/02/2014
8:12:09 PM
Haha Damo, yeah I'm having a bit of a whinge but if you count the amount of "awesome's" in my post and compare that to the minimal heartbreaking sadness I still reckon the TR reads in the positive. You know I'm an insane optimist and I'm nowhere near quitting big wall stuff. In fact today I've been organizing an all Mormon assault on Ozy direct so stay tuned;) And I still plan on sleeping on the portaledge at every chance I get....

P.S. I'm still keen, let me work on some jugging skills and we'll get it done;)

P.P.S. I still want P7&8;)

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