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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Original routes at the grade 12-Oct-2010 At 1:07:44 PM prb
I put together a "making the grade in SA" list for our newsletter a few years ago. It wasn't easy under 15 (or over 30!) The problems under 15 were that (a) the Mountain Clubbers didn't usually record their early climbs at Morialta (b) when those routes were first climbed free is not clear, and (c) the big routes on the NE face of St Mary Peak done in 1965 were presumably given English grades which were roughly translated into Ewbank grades 5 and 6. These routes have been rarely if ever repeated and are off limits nowadays. A grade 12 claimed in 1969 was probably a repeat of the grade 5. What grade they would get these days would be interesting.

The climbs I settled on were these:

15 AUMC Route, Norton Summit, Peter Lawrence and John Wells 4/7/65
16 Ob-La-Di, Morialta, Mike Waite 10/1968
17 Kaddi-kra, Point Bonney, David Moriarty and Richard Horn 9/6/68
18 Shewoodenduit, Morialta, David Moriarty 18/8/68 or Skein Dhu, The Bluff, Stuart Fishwick and John Dutton 12/69
19 Hairy Guru, Moonarie, Nick Bendeli and Joe Friend 15/12/73
20 Bung Original, Morialta, Henry Barber 15/4/75
21 Lady Release, Moonarie, Colin Reece and Mike James 24/6/77
22 Barad-dr, Morialta, Henry Barber 15/4/75
23 Trojan, Moonarie, Kim Carrigan 5/1979
24 Grand Larceny, Moonarie, John Smart 31/8/78
25 Insect Fear, Moonarie, Kim Carrigan and Eddie Ozols 27/4/80
26 Full Torque, Moonarie, Kim Carrigan 1982
27 Kensington Park Duck Massacre, Norton Summit, Malcolm Matheson 8/1/89
28 The Womb Waltz, Moonarie, Stuart Williams 8/1989
29 Following a Feltch is No Fun Part II Morialta, Stuart Williams 3/1991
30 The Shining Path, Norton Summit, Matt Adams 1993 or Come Out Fighting, Norton Summit, Sharik Walker 12/1998
31 Nirvanoxyne and Good Karma Norton Summit, Frederic Bonnet 2005
32/33 The Wormhole Search, Norton Summit, Frederic Bonnet 2006

Corrections welcome. Sadly none of these were Australian firsts, Barad-dr may have been the closest approach. I think a lesson is that the grade isn't everything. I mean, KPDM is now almost a routine tick at the Summit but put the boys on Grand Larceny or the wide crack of Hairy Guru...! And I suspect the real sleeper on the list is Lady Release in the Northern Crags, featuring a 15m traverse, but I'm not sure if it's been repeated. Given Colin's grading at the time, it's a fair bet that it's tougher than Barad-dr!

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