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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Babies at crags Tuesday, 10 August 2010 At 3:53:51 PM dalai
Message
On 10/08/2010 SteveH wrote:
>I am curious as to the story behind the dead body comment?!

I was on the last days of my yearly Nowra migration back in 97. My climbing partner for the month Matt Adams had just left to go back to SA, local Chris Wobblebuns had suggested I check out a project of his at Bartondale which I decided to do as I was on a rest day.

The path is under the crag, so to scope out the route I walked out into the bush some meters. Whilst standing out from the cliff I happened to look across ~6 metres and noticed something on the ground. Since locals throw rubbish off the cliff from their back yards I initially took little notice till I realized it was clothed and shoes at the end... The upper half was obscured by a bush so I had to walk closer to see what it was, thinking if anything someone as a prank threw off a clothed dummy. That was in my mind until I saw the decomposed hand and face!

I stood there in shock for a while looking, not believing what I was seeing. Till I finally realized I needed help, so I initially ran to South Central. I think I first went looking for other to confirm I wasn't crazy and it was a corpse, but it was a weekday and no one was there. So I went back to my car and drove to the police station, waited in the queue until my turn when finally at the counter I said in a quiet voice "What do you do if you think you've found a dead body?"

I was told to wait which I did till a detective came out and asked me questions. They then all got into another car and followed me back across the river. It was of course a corpse, the forensic guy suggested 4-6 weeks since death. When scrambling to the top with one detective he asked if the corpse was a local who was against climbers and so if I killed him! It was said as a joke but the underlying question was there as many of those who 'discover' the body are the murderers who want the body found supposedly.

Above was a park with a low wire fence and a sloping rock shelf covered with leaf litter. On the body was found a small alcohol bottle so in the end it was decided the guy who wasn't a local has stepped over the fence in the dark, possibly drunk and slipped off the edge.

I left them to the job of recovering the body and was asked to go back to the station to have a formal interview later in the afternoon. With that done, I drove on dark back to Julian's old campsite which was now vacant except for myself. I sat by the fire and all I could see was the decomposed face in the flames, so I went into town and finally found a newspaper so I could go back to camp and with the crossword occuppy my mind!

One restless nights sleep and I packed and left the next day...

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