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General Climbing Discussion

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Tweets Trending on Chocky 30-Jan-2019 At 5:12:56 PM ima.seriousyoungliza

Simon Young probably nearly killed doing this in 2009...

'...Working for ‘the man’ was killing me slowly. Cage rage was slowly building up and i needed to break out and do something fun crazy and out there. Over new years Lauren Chandler came down for a trip to tas and i showed her some of the best places about. it was then i decided to go do something i had always dreamed of. I headed back to Melbourne for a few more weeks work, everyday thinking about the mission at hand. Soon the time came and i landed back onto the Hobart airport. i didnt bother checking the forecast for the next day, i own a rain-coat so that was inconsequential. As i drove down i was as happy as a pig in mud, the sky was blue!!!
i pulled into Fortesque Bay and paid my fees to avoid another run-in with the over zealous caretaker.(thats another story…) i shouldered the pack full of aiders ropes and other widgets to allow me to rope-solo the Aid Route(A3+/27 65m) on the Totem Pole. My housemate, Doug, had recently freeclimbed the line so his chalk was all over the route. he still had his tyrolean set-up to the summit, i could have gone across this and down but i wasnt feeling particularly homo so i set off to do it properly, ground-up.

the swing to the base is hard enough usually, i had a full aid-rack plus a lead rope plus four aiders plus the partridge in a pear tree so it took 3 goes to snag the new hangers at the belay. (cheers doug and deano!) the surf was pounding and the wind howling so i frigged in a belay and set off in search of dry rock. i made it to the higher belay without much fuss, theres heaps of bolts down low so i could move fast. i moved the belay higher, out of the waves then continued upwards.
i managed to get 10m out before i tried to go higher and was tugged back down by the gri-gri. with no good method for stacking the rope at the belay i had to head back down to clean up the tangles the wind had created, costing me more time.

soon i was looking up at the meat of the route, a thin seam that heads up to some hooks to the bolt-belay. i had to step around the arete into the seam and was exposed to the full force of the 70kmph winds! getting thrown around like a rag doll i continued up of tenious RPs before i faced an impass, the only bit that accepted gear had a useless rusty stub sticking out. i searched for ages to find anything to use. finally i moved off a tipped #1 pecker. up another foot the prospects of gear were no better. i ended up settling on a shitty sloping edge with a small dimple for a skyhook on the arete. staddling the arete i commited to the hook, watching my pecker fall out as i did so. i looked down past all the worthless pro and figured i’d end up somewhere near the sea when this hook blew. a minute passed and i was still there, the stuong gusts meant i couldnt get high on the piece and i dont know how my rocking around didnt dislodge it. i searched manically for the next piece, another shitty hook. about to commit to it i paused, this hook was suicide. there had to be something better. thirty second later i found it, a positive edge to sink my ‘talon’s into. highstepping up i clipped the bolt of the anchor, mumbling about how im selling my aid gear after this. it still staggers me that i didnt take the plunge.

i continued up of the belay passing the thin RURP seam. some hooking and delicately placed peckers saw me through to the final A1 crack to the summit. at this stage i heard voices, turning round to see two climbers. they had decided it too windy to climb that day but still came for a look. snapping off some pics they came across the tyrolean and joined me on the summit ledge. i had been to the true summit only weeks before but i had to go up once more, marking the first solo ascent of the Totem Pole. i smiled all the way back home, making the chesire cat look like a manic-depressive emo teen...'

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