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Previous Photos Gallery

Every so often Chockstone selects a recent picture taken by our members to be awarded the illustrious distinction of appearing in the "Photo Gallery". All photos are most welcome. Email Chockstone or leave feedback on the forum to send in contributions or to nominate a picture.

**** Mt Cook Summit By Andrew Stagg  13/02/2014
Mt Cook Summit   
Terry Harch leading and Julz McMahon belaying on the Summit Rocks of Mount Cook, NZ. We reached the summit via the Linda Glacier route in January.

With that much tat frozen to the summit, it's probably a good thing that it falls off every now and again. - wombly

Really atmospheric shot, thanks for sharing. - shiltz

With the inclusion of this mountaineering photo it is really great to see the diversification of Australian climbing within the Chocky photo gallery. This shot has (for me), most everything from a photographic perspective, due the strong human and natural elements incorporated into a well proportioned shot with a great sense of depth. Dramatic moody scenery; lead climber showing signs of altitude-exhaustion (appears to be resting rather than placing pro?), emphasising the effort involved getting to a seldom visited place; attentive (if not concerned?), belayer, well rugged up conveying the ambient conditions; and enough colour to emphasise the bleakness of location under such conditions; altogether summarising a different genre of the game we play! Visually the obvious choss quality of the rock makes the amount of tatt kind of understandable, but it is lamentable that the high places are not left in loftier-environmental condition. I presume that much of the tatt is left-behind abseil anchors, and the 'dead ropes' stuck while parties got off (or are they fixed to facilitate guided clients?), which makes me wonder if the mountaineering fraternity has the same ethical debates about tatt/bolts/fixed gear, that the low altitude climbing mob have? Congratulations to that team for their successful ascent, and thanks for sharing a snippet of it with us. - IdratherbeclimbingM9

I love the dark clouds in the background. Gives a real sense of foreboding and danger that's quite appropriate given the location. Also stoked to see a mountaineering pic up! - Sabu

Love the colors and sense of space. Awesome pic. - Miguel75

HA! I thought, interesting shot, shame there's no climber in view... Then I read M9's post and thought - what leader? Half a star off for the leader looking like a rock! Otherwise amazing photo, great atmosphere & depth - so much scenary squeezed into what is essentially a close up photo. Looks like a hell of a mission! Congratulations. - martym

Bloody good shot. Love the tatt. It really adds to the experience in my opinion, especially for those who like a sense of history about the place, as it fits right in there with old pitons, other fixed gear, and even used oxygen cylinders and expired bods for the really high stuff. - Duang Daunk

@ M9 - Thanks. It is high praise considering your usual critique of pic of the month. Yes, that is stuck rope you can see hanging down. We had the same issue on descent and I had to solo back up to recover it. @ MartyM - I agree, it's disappointing that Terry wasn't wearing colourful clothes; he's usually such a bright guy. But it adds a bit of mystery to the shot that it's not immediately obvious - kinda like 'Where's Terry'. Here's Julz, Terry and I on the summit: We were raising money for wounded Australians at the same time. If you'd like to donate you can go to: - Climboholic

Great shot of NZ alpine weather. Foreboding. The West Coast in the background in the main shot. A sunny carefree northerly aspect portrayed in the summit shot. - neverclimbed32

MartyM shouldnt you add a star for climber blending to rock - - - 'the climber in his element, is become one with the mountain, blending into his terrain, knowing nothing more then the ground he is." - braedenh88

Great to see a quality mountaineering shot and anything that replaces that gawd awful aiding nonsense we were lumbered with has to be a winner. - Big G

Great to see a photo of the alps on pic of the week. Congratulations on your climb. Re M9s questions This belay(?!) is known as 'spaghetti junction'. The major variations through the summit rocks intersect here at the base of the first steep step. Unfortunately this spot, while sheltered, is the worst rock in the summit rocks. There is a lot of junk that gets tied to together in an effort to believe that you have an anchor here. There are a couple of pitons and some big slung blocks way up the back that are tied in to the other pins, jammed knots, and the rest of the stuff with old cut-off rope ends and ancient tat. Part of the lower stuff gets cut out & replaced intermittently, although it is much more common to tie in more material in a manner that also incorporates the existing junk and then think light thoughts. Replacing the ropes on the back pitons would be such a pain that nobody tends to bother. Personally, I don't abseil from here because the anchor is junk. Most of the other commonly used abseil anchors through summit rocks now have a big wire cable and shackle in place to prevent the need to cut out and replace sling anchors and to prevent the build-up of tat as seen here. Especially as the snow level drops melting out more of the rotten rock at spaghetti junction, it would be good to drill some longer term anchors in better rock just above and extend them with cables, given the number of people who do climb through it, but raising this for discussion generates pretty emotive responses… . I think it is entirely sensible, not least because it used to be fairly normal just to climb down through summit rocks but the season where that seems a good idea is pretty short now. The ropes look like they have been recently abandoned after getting stuck or they could be connecting spaghetti junction to the much better anchor high above (since they are there they should be either tied in or cut out & removed). In general the only material fixed on the route is the abseil stations which accumulated over time, leading to a few being fitted with cable slings. Guided or not, everyone just climbs the mountain. It is a really good day out. edit - spelling/typo - stuart h

Thanks for the clarification post stuart h. - IdratherbeclimbingM9

The rock looks terrible and the whole palaver looks quite cold. You should thinks about arAps for your next adventure. Better rock and cheaper. - Stugang

@ stugang >The rock looks terrible and the whole palaver looks quite cold. You should thinks about arAps for your next adventure. Better rock and cheaper. What has that got to do with real mountaineering? (On both of the dual meanings!) Heh, heh, heh. - IdratherbeclimbingM9

***** Cacophonic Crack By Phil Box  16/12/2013
Cacophonic Crack   
Sam May aid climbing Cacophonic Crack (Aid grade M2, free grade 21), at Disabled Lookout area of Mt Buffalo.

The most recent guidebook description says of this climb: "How much suffering can one climb pack into 15m?" However; ... this off-width line has seen the full circle of ascent-styles from its original ascent in 1974 by Ian Thomas and John Fantini involving 2 aids, then later freed by Henry Barber in 1975; to being a popular top-rope problem for many years after. In more recent times it has seen a revival as an interesting clean-aid problem involving stacked hexes, or more easily done on tube-chocks. It is a worthy trifecta at M2 for clean-aid aspirants to bag this route and its adjacent thinner companions, Thanksgiving Crack (M3), and The Cream Machine (M4). - IdratherbeclimbingM9

Further photos taken during that ascent... ~> Link to the Trip Reports that include this particular ascent; amongst others, done that weekend. - IdratherbeclimbingM9

No photos of him standing on a cam? - phillipivan

@ pi "No photos of him standing on a cam?" It would seem that arrangement didn't last long enough to photograph, though I was impressed by sbm's audacity in trying that technique! - IdratherbeclimbingM9

The pic is boring as batshit - which is why I give it 5 stars as it captures perfectly the essence of aiding a well protected slot. Should be called Catatonic Crack. - Stugang

aid climbing at disabled lookout area of mt buffalo? thats a pun right? good pic an nice scenery. - White Trash

Much as I am not into aid climbing, I have to admit the photos are half interesting because they make me curious about the route. - Duang Daunk

Love the birds-nest hairdo, bushy eyebrows and bondage-ettriers dress sense. Who is Sam when not being a very photogenic climber, and where can I get a latte with him? - simone

Have had a couple of plays on this on toprope, and it is nails! Managed to dog my way up to 2/3 height but once it gets too wide for a fist I am buggered! Highly recommend checking it out if you learnt to climb in a gym... - gordoste

Why didn't my favourite porn star simey get an appearance in photo format for that weekend? He reckons he was there so this is an unacceptable oversight, which I guess, gives others a shot at glory. - Duang Daunk

**** Windjammer By Dan Mitchell  4/11/2013
Dave Hoyle getting into the top crack of Windjammer (19) on Windjammer Wall, Point Perpendicular, NSW.

Sweet pic! - Nick Da Frog

Nice shot! - ademmert

Nice photo of an awesome route. But why the hand tape, that rock is as smooth as a baby's bottom! - robbio

Pretty sure the tape was just still on there from a previous route. Either that or I'm a massive soft c0ck? Probably the latter? - daave

I actually must confess that I have never climbed the route, when I saw the pic I confused it with a different climb, icebird.. oops. I'm sure you're not a massive soft c0ck, that's a big call. Personally I feel there's nothing better than having slightly sore hands as a reminder of the awesome jamming from the previous days of climbing, it helps me get through the work week! - robbio

Great shot and looks like a cracker of a route. - shortman

Nice! That shot alone has rekindled my desire to visit Point Perp (have not yet made it up there). And tape gloves leave a reminder of the weekend's awesome jamming for your week at work as well, albeit in the form of little bits of sticky grey gunk stuck in the hairs of your wrists. Beats scabs... - Ben_E

Ahhh the point! This is an all round awesome photo - with a great in-situ climber to round it off! Love the waves, the imposing crack to come, the composition - half crazy shoreline half blank rock face with the crack creating a nice halfway line. I thought I've climbed WindJammer, but that crack isn't ringing any bells... What's the weather like down south this weekend..... - martym

great body position, crack looks awesome. great use of the 2/3 to 1/3 'rule. - Big G

A well balanced photo with many engaging components made more so with the juxtaposition of colour/movement of the component pieces. The perspective certainly draws the viewer in and makes them feel like they are there. One of the things that would have made it better photographically for me, would have been more involvement visually by the belayer, but that is just an unfortunate timing of when the shutter was pressed I guess. - IdratherbeclimbingM9

God, its horrible! I'm scarred by the sight of daave's face enough in my daily life and seeing it here is just too much!! Seriously though, that is a cool shot. I'm starting to think a camera pole at the point could be really fun...... - Sonic

Love it... - Miguel75

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