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
Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports
Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!
|TR - Vent Crack Booroomba
||Sunday, 20 December 2009 At 12:46:52 PM
|Refer to the topic involving the caste of thousands to organise this!! :-)
Well, after all that, only M9 and I went climbing. Wallnumbat* and Tightdryandgrippy*
made it as far as the implement de forensics and a carton of VB in Goulburn. I don't
know about everyone else. We started a bit late due to hanging around in the carpark
(where there is no phone reception), so I suggested to M9 that we head up to the
Booroomba top campsite, where you can get phone reception (standing on top of the
crag with line of sight to Canberra). We got up there and phoned Wallnumbat - sure
enough, he'd only just got out of bed and he and TD&G were going to be a no-show (M9
was amazed at my ability to foretell this situation - I told him it was easy - Adam +
Dave + carton of beer + bag of weed = no show, or turn up very late, drunk and stoned).
Anyway, feeling very sober and straight, M9 and I headed off to find Vent Crack(14). :-)
:-) :-) = 3 x heh
We headed down to the Northern Buttress and stayed high and clambered up onto the
terrace. We worked out where the start should be by spotting the obvious Snickers
Wall, and had to do some serious scrambling to get up to the base. The start is well
marked with a big white square and VC painted on the rock old school style.
M9 headed off on lead and decided to combine the first two pitches. He took quite a
while, but finally I headed off up the climb. The start is easy, but you then have to pull
up into a V shaped slot and slanting chimney. An easy bit of chimneying gets you up to
the belay ledge at the end of the first documented pitch. Then the fun begins. You
transition from a nice wide ledge onto a steep face with a slanting crack jutting out to
the left. The exposure is very peaky but there are lots of excellent holds all the way up.
The top of the wall has an excellent bum-way-out-in-the-air layback before you pull up
over onto some easier slab and up to the belay. The belay at the top of the second
pitch is in a nice big gully with a few bushes.
M9 wanted to head off on the variant (Baryon), but by then it was way after 1pm and I
protested that we really needed to get off the crag as I didn't want to die from skin
cancer. It wasn't too hot - mid twenties - but as the sun comes over the yardarm at
Booroomba in summer you will get fried with cosmic rays no matter what the
temperature. I argued that this time was good beta, and that we'd come back again with
a much earlier start and do the variant(s).
Reluctantly M9 headed off, combining pitches 3 and 4. From the Granite Guide it seems
that the original climb was done by bashing up the shrub filled gully, but we stayed to
the left, climbing up some fantastic granite slab. The first slab was rice bubble rough
and grippy, the second slab was smoother and lichen covered and felt a little less
secure. M9 was belaying off a very secure broken ledge that is typical of upper
Booroomba. I magnanimously offered to lead to the top, and headed off up a broken,
water streaked wall. The climbing was not strenuous, and I was really enjoying the
alpine feel of upper Booroomba. I found a big boulder to belay from and brought M9 up.
It was then an easy bush bash up the slope to the upper track.
Vent Crack, done in three pitches of about 50m each pitch. Great climbing with lots of
variation. Highly recommend - just start early!!
BTW - great leading M9!
* The earth bound alter egos of some well known Chocky members.
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