17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
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Wolgan Trip Report
Spent the APEC Long Weekend tradding our was around the Wolgan Valley. All 6 of us were first time visitors. Conditions were generally rubbish (cold with frequent scudding showers) so no long routes were really attempted. We did some fun stuff despite this, and Iím stinging to get back out there.
Day 1: Cragging at the Coke Ovens, Lower.
Ben and Jo wandered up Deathbed Confession, describing it as a good doddle with some good views and adequate protection. It reminded me of the wall at Mt Boyce right of the Eyrie, but without the exciting headwall at the top.
Dan and Steve jammed their paddles into Sizzler, a good looking grade 19 hand crack, with a feisty roof move to start.
I then lead Organ Grinder, a 14 corner with excellent gear. Great fun climbing, the best 14 Iíve done, with 2 separate cruxes involving some weird climbing. I wonít ruin it for you. Steve then lead the Monkey Business direct finish, a 15 that sort of laybacks around the edge of a chossy cave. Again, excellent thought provoking climbing with good gear. Rain ended play early, and we spent the afternoon sitting in a nice cave, swearing at the ravens for stealing our food, and cursing our stupidity for not bringing beer up to the crag.
Day 2: More showers and a late arrival. Steve was dying from Equine Flu and not up for getting caught on a route in the rain. Chris arrived from Canberra around 9:30 and so we formulated a plan. The weather was atrocious, so why not do some mountaineering? And so off we went, gully bashing our way up the east end of Old Baldy, with some classic grade 3 chimneying and pagoda climbing complimented with plenty of falling rubbish and liberal doses of swearing and blasphemy. Good times. The view from the summit was actually worth the effort and was quite enough to make the legs wobble. We then abseiled down Stilletto (90m) and then down the lower cliff somewhere near Garbage Guts Gully. Spectacular exposure was had the whole way down, especially going past the cave near the top of Old Baldy!
Day 3: More sickness and weakness led to another slow start arriving at the crag at about 12:30. Travelling as a team of 3 made the going slow but quite social. Went up Barrel Organ, a pants filling grade 13 corner (pretty stiff for the grade) with a couple of rooves and some really funky moves. The gear was really good and the rock mostly good, despite appearances. Finishing that took us up to the end of the day, so we bailed out (stopping for a quick drink inside one of the Coke Ovens) and headed home. Not a great climbing weekend, but a good drinking weekend, and therefore not a bad result.
Photos of the shenanigans are available here if youíre interested.
Great report Evan. The photos of the chimney scramble were amusing!
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