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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 21
Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
VIC Buffalo Gorge North Side Wilkinson's Lookout Environs [ Gorge Guide ] 

Author
Cam hooks and Ozy

timfreddo
15-Sep-2016
6:10:42 PM
G'day,

Looking at maybe heading down (from the Bluies) to get on Ozy at buffalo early next week.
Wondering if people could help with the following:

1. any locals know what the snow/ice situation is at the moment? I'm guessing by now it'll be clear or snow but seepy..?
2. How many degrees should I take off Bright's temperature forecasts to get an idea of how cold it'll be up on Mt Buffalo
3. anyone (between Katoomba and Bright) have any cam hooks they would be willing to loan for beer?
4. anyone have an idea of the fixed gear status of Ozy Direct at the moment? I know there was talk of someone cleaning a whole bunch of pins ages ago or something..

Thanks in advance,
If you have some smart donkey comment then keep it in ya smart donkey brain.

kieranl
15-Sep-2016
6:43:57 PM
It's been damn wet in Victoria. Won't be any snow/ice but I'll bet the climb is soaking.
patto
15-Sep-2016
6:45:19 PM
Enjoy the snow. It has been dumping down.

To answer 2 just use the adiabatic lapse rate.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15-Sep-2016
7:07:30 PM
On 15/09/2016 timfreddo wrote:
>G'day,
>
>Looking at maybe heading down (from the Bluies) to get on Ozy at buffalo
>early next week.
>Wondering if people could help with the following:
>
>1. any locals know what the snow/ice situation is at the moment? I'm guessing
>by now it'll be clear or snow but seepy..?

Road was clear earlier this week and no snow chains required, ... however we have had a heap of rain in the last couple of days and I'd expect the odd rock may have detached from roadside embankments, and the possibility of trees down, though the Rangers are quick to get on top of those situations...

The route stays relatively dry once above the second pitch, and particularly so once above Big Grassy.
Weather forecast is for more rain early next week, so expect the bottom half to be wet as well as the top couple of pitches...
I wouldn't expect to find snow on it at the moment.

You could have more trouble crossing Crystal Brook if you intend going down the south side...

>2. How many degrees should I take off Bright's temperature forecasts to
>get an idea of how cold it'll be up on Mt Buffalo

In summer 10 degrees C.
In winter not as much in absolute degrees C, but wind chill factor makes up the difference... and then some!

>3. anyone (between Katoomba and Bright) have any cam hooks they would
>be willing to loan for beer?

I have a prior commitment trip away planned for early next week so can't help out there. They aren't necessary to do the route though...

>4. anyone have an idea of the fixed gear status of Ozy Direct at the moment?
>I know there was talk of someone cleaning a whole bunch of pins ages ago or something..
>
There is still the odd original piton on it, but modern day style of fixed gear waxes and wanes depending who recently epic-ed and the amount of ascents thereafter.
Most fixed gear on the route is usually found on the main roof.
Climb it not expecting to find any, then if you do come across some it will be either a bonus or a disappointment depending on your mindset!

>Thanks in advance,
>If you have some smart donkey comment then keep it in ya smart donkey brain.
>
>

phillipivan
15-Sep-2016
10:32:38 PM
On 15/09/2016 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Most fixed gear on the route is usually found on the main roof.
>Climb it not expecting to find any, then if you do come across some it
>will be either a bonus or a disappointment depending on your mindset!
>

There was a goodly number of fixed nuts in the roof last time I was there. Enough to make it pretty darn easy if you are happy to clip nuts whose placements you can't see (tip: if they were too hard to clean, they probably arent just about to pop).

There are still a half dozen odd fixed pins, maybe ten. Some of them handy, some right next to good gear.

I seem to recall hearing about a carrot or two pulling on the bolt ladder below the roof. If this is indeed the case, it should be easy enough to hook past there if you have an appropriately dimensioned hook (which is otherwise not really necessary). Perhaps someone with more recent experience can clarify.

lightfoot
16-Sep-2016
12:03:30 AM
Pm me if you commit. I've got some hooks you can borrow and i live in bright. Temps depend on wind chill too but on average I'd take 5-7 deg off bright. Its been wet for sure the 1st pitch would be slimy as, but it'd be an amazing place to hangout with the falls cranking!
cheers

IdratherbeclimbingM9
16-Sep-2016
8:03:41 AM
This mornings weather forecast reckons Monday is the pick of next week, being the only sunny day of it...

Note; If rain is forecast for the NE of Vic, then Mt Buffalo is a magnet for it with falls often being twice (or more) what the major towns around it get.
gfdonc
16-Sep-2016
9:15:50 AM
Agree to subtract 8C-10C from Myrtleford is a good guide.

The first pitch will be wet and probably a little scary.

Crossing the creek at the bottom would be the crux if you go that way, Defender rap-in might be advisable.
tshaw
16-Sep-2016
11:41:23 AM
Did the original a few weeks back and found the route relatively dry. First pitch was really wet but no problems finding gear. All other pitches of the original were dry apart from the odd bit of snow in some shady areas. Top pitches of direct would be super wet and dirty at the moment.

The Falls are pumping so the river crossing would be challenging at the moment. Not sure if possible. Rap for sure

I have some cam hooks if you need to borrow the as well. Live at the base of the mountain in Porepunkah.

The weather is going to be very wet early next week. Could be worth waiting for a better weather window

Nathor
21-Sep-2016
10:57:58 AM
So I'm currently driving down from the bluies with Tim, original poster, and trying to think of our best plan of attack for ozy over the next few days.

Has anyone rapped the route? Can you get to big grassy? As our concern is that the first pitch will be a waterfall and crystal brook will be pumping and unfordable making retreat impossible. Or dose anyone have any master beta on paddling up the first pitch in these conditions.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
21-Sep-2016
1:00:56 PM
On 21/09/2016 Nathor wrote:
>So I'm currently driving down from the bluies with Tim, original poster,
>and trying to think of our best plan of attack for ozy over the next few days.
>
>Has anyone rapped the route?
Yes, I have abseiled it (with others) on a couple of occasions, but we were using a 200 m length rope...

>Can you get to big grassy?
Not really, if you are only using standard length ropes...
This is because once you abseil below the main roof you will be suspended in space and unable to re-anchor off the wall to continue down to Big Grassy.
It would be possible to abseil down to Big Grassy on standard ropes if you had a very detailed knowledge of all of the fixed belays on the north wall and criss-crossed routes linking some of them, but personally I reckon that'd be too potentially problematic to make it worthwhile trying.

>As our concern is that the first pitch will be a waterfall and crystal brook will be pumping and unfordable making retreat impossible.
First pitch will be wet and slippery and probably have running water given the amount of rain we've had, but its low angle won't be a waterfall. The weather is clearing somewhat, but you will be lucky if it fines right up as Mt Buffalo seems to catch any passing showers...
I have had to set an overhead safety line (pseudo-Tyrolean!), to get across the main channel of Crystal Brook on one occasion.
If you go that way then you will find that when the water level is up it has a number of channels to cross, so you can guarantee getting wet...

>Or dose anyone have any master beta on paddling up the first pitch in these conditions.
I have climbed the first pitches in the rain. It is doable but not very pleasant, especially for the belayer who likely has to ward off hypothermia, while the leader can lose themselves in the activity of leading.

I've also climbed those pitches in 38+ degree conditions (on the route), and found that to be more unpleasant!

Your objective is worth the adventure, and if it turns out to be an unsuccessful ascent then the reconnaissance and learning curve is still worthwhile for a later attempt that will be even sweeter for the effort put in.

Nathor
21-Sep-2016
1:45:01 PM
Thanks for the info!
We have a 200m rope.
If we fix the 200m rope from belay above the pontooth, do you think it'd still too overhanging to hit big grassy or one of the belays above first pitch?
tshaw
21-Sep-2016
3:07:24 PM
As M9 said, First pitch will still be doable even if super wet. You will just have to dig out a few placements but once your 10 meters up you are all good. You can stick clip a few of the bolts if necessary.

Also agree with M9, definitely worth the adventure. Good wet fun.


IdratherbeclimbingM9
21-Sep-2016
3:12:04 PM
On 21/09/2016 Nathor wrote:
>Thanks for the info!
>We have a 200m rope.
> If we fix the 200m rope from belay above the pontooth, do you think it'd
>still too overhanging to hit big grassy or one of the belays above first
>pitch?

I used a separate static to anchor off the large boulders + gear (overkill redundancy) just outside (north) of the Wilkinson Lookout, ie just left (looking out) of the Ozy Direct/Lord Gumtree top-out. and created a 'PowerPoint' from which I anchored my 200 m.
This made the whole 200 m available... & it reached Big Grassy with about 70 m to spare, ie enough to get to the next hanging belay below easily.
The excess rope piled up on Big Grassy, but that was a fair while ago & BG has eroded further since, so today this excess might slide off BG?

Where do you get 'pontooth' from? I've always known it as 'The Fang'.
A fitting description because ascending its left side will eat you alive!
tshaw
21-Sep-2016
6:51:25 PM
On 21/09/2016 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>This made the whole 200 m available... & it reached Big Grassy with about
>65 m to spare, ie enough to get to the next hanging belay below.
>The excess rope piled up on Big Grassy, but that was a fair while ago
>& BG has eroded further since, so today this excess might slide off BG?

big grassy will still hold the excess rope. It is a great spot for lunch or making a hanging bivy(ledge or hammock) but would be pretty uncomfortable for two people to sleep on.

phillipivan
21-Sep-2016
7:24:20 PM
On 21/09/2016 tshaw wrote:
>As M9 said, First pitch will still be doable even if super wet. You will
>just have to dig out a few placements but once your 10 meters up you are
>all good. You can stick clip a few of the bolts if necessary.


Climbable, yes. Also pretty easy to slip off of and hit the deck. That shouldn't put you off; it didn't hurt all that much.
tshaw
21-Sep-2016
9:39:17 PM
On 21/09/2016 phillipivan wrote:
>On 21/09/2016 tshaw wrote:
>>As M9 said, First pitch will still be doable even if super wet. You will
>>just have to dig out a few placements but once your 10 meters up you
>are
>>all good. You can stick clip a few of the bolts if necessary.
>
>
>Climbable, yes. Also pretty easy to slip off of and hit the deck. That
>shouldn't put you off; it didn't hurt all that much.

how did it happen?


PhillipIvan
22-Sep-2016
6:59:41 AM
Foot slipped on the wet greasy slabby ground above the first bolt before the diagonal corner and higher bolt. Which would normally be grade very easy. I had a small cam in the weaknesses there but it pinged out pretty easy.

I have heard at least one other story of someone hitting the ground from around about that point when wet.

Timfreddo
23-Sep-2016
9:00:01 PM
Thanks all for the very detailed Beta, exactly what I was looking for :)
Ended up fixing a 200m rope to flat ledge just over the fence from Wilkinsons lookout. Was about 150 down to big grassy (yep, excess rope slid off ledge) end of the 200m rope made it to half way down pitch 2.

Ended up rapping with gear and ledge to big grassy in the rain. Got wet. Rapped down in the morning, climbed pitch 2 and 3 (end of pitch three was pretty mossy/slimey/wet).
Jugged out fixed line (seemed a better option than rapping down and getting across very flowing crystal brook) and had an epic hauling our stuff up the fixed line 150m from big grassy...

All in all a good experience, pity we missed the best looking pitches (except very happy not to have to do the fang pitch which was very dripping and unpleasant looking). Have to head back down when drier and try to do it in a day!
Glad to not have to do the first pitch (was running with water) and the top three pitches (also very wet) bit of a cop out but good learning experience.

I found the whole aiding thing a bit too artificial on Ozy (compared to things I've aided around the blue mountains, there's a lot more fixed carrots and pins). Thought it a bit strange that people used to be able to bash knife blades in the crack, but now it's not acceptable, but the damage has already been done. Pretty hard getting gear into some of the pin scars, cam hooks came in very useful.
Feels like it's much more insecure than it may have been when pins were the norm)

What are people's thoughts on the fixed gear? I found it hard to trust the 6mm bash in carrots that seem the norm for a fixed bolt, how long til the grade of the route goes up from the bolts getting old and unreliable...? I've always stuggled with the fact that on the first ascent those bolts would've been bomber, but one might get in trouble for replacing them with updated bomber bolts to the point where someone might even chop the now bolts to preserve the heritage... Doesn't make sense to me...

Thanks again for the help.

phillipivan
23-Sep-2016
11:07:36 PM
G'Day Tim,

Good work on having a crack in suboptimal conditions.

Yep the rock is pretty scarred up; but I don't really see that as much of a reason to continue using pins. Especially when it is quite protectable without. Were it not scarred it would be both harder to protect and harder to freeclimb.

Whilst I've found certain pitches of Ozi quite awkward to aid, the great roof and the fang especially, I thought almost all my gear placements quite secure. In the pin scars a combination of offset small nuts, micro cams and cam hooks will cover all possibilites on Ozi.

With regards to the old fixed pins and bolts: All the belays are equipped with modern bolts, and even if a rusty old pin or bash in failed, you would still have had to either f---ed up pretty bad or been extremely aggressive in your back cleaning for the falls to be anything but clean, so I don't think there is a compelling reason to replace with modern equipment. Heck even if a bolt pulled you could likely hook the hole for progression. I would be annoyed to see it rebolted. To me the bigger disappointment was the number of fixed wires through the great roof. I would love to see those cleaned (if they haven't been). When I was last climbed it, there was most of a biner of nuts stuck in that pitch.

I suppose if you ripped every bolt on the ladder below the roof...

My suspicion is that on the whole climbers on the route now are likely to be considerably safer than during the FA and early years. A combination of modern gear, a wealth of beta and reliable communication easily offset the odd flexing piton.

Best,

PI.


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