|Buffalo Oysters ~ feasting on passion.
O Oysters, come and walk with us!
The Walrus did beseech.
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
~ ~ ~
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
The time has come, the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings.
~ Lewis Carroll; (excerpt; Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. ~ 1872).
… The above quote sets the scene for observations by an ordinary rock oyster of good climbing in a grand location; … and a risk taken by others of being slandered, due to leaving the Trip Report for me to write up.
An excellent site containing some photos associated with this Trip Report.
It has definitely been too long as this trip has been the better part of 12 months in the making for one reason or another, which goes for both intended outcomes planned within it’s few days as soon described. After much PM’ing & a bit of gear packing, Andrew & I left the hot lowlands for the cooler destination of Mt Buffalo. It was good to be back with climbing gear in tow. My obligatory overview checking of the Nth Wall of The Gorge was savoured, then we adjourned with binoculars & guidebooks to a specific lookout to reccy our proposed new line.
"Not as bad as I remember it", seemed to sum up the present flavour upon checking it out again. Bit of a bugger that it has a common start with another climb, but as a result we can surmise that our line will be hard, otherwise the old school would have snaffled it already due it being a more direct line to the top.
While we were memorising features of the climb another tourist arrives at our lookout but I pay little attention due to spying other climbers approaching their chosen destination on another part of the Nth Wall. Watching them set up to abseil into it, the tourist beside me strikes up a conversation and it is immediately apparent that he is not a normal tourist but instead a climber associated with the others over yonder. We talk the usual climber talk while continuing to watch the others, & during the course of conversation I am blown away by this individual pointing out 'our line' to us!, as a proposed good line that would go!! I reply something to the effect that if it was any good it would surely have been done already, while carefully maintaining a poker face. The experience reinforces in my mind that we definitely need to get on it as soon as possible.
After checking Catani for vacant campsites for Will and his tribe we text the result to him, then sojourn to Camp Feral. Later Mike arrives and we discuss set-up options for photogging tomorrows activities.
Next morning the 3 of us rendezvous with Will early & proceed to rig the abseil into our 1st objective for this trip. Will carefully sorts his 'light and fast' rack, setting aside half the stuff he wanted to borrow off me to ensure he had enough pro for the task of 'doing free' the line of Ozy Original from 'big grassy' on up. Mutterings about aid climbers & their penchant for gear, slide off me like water off an oyster; perhaps assisted by my lack of hearing due the synthetic ‘bauble sound’ in my earpiece as Andrew had set me up with half of his new walky-talky to assist shenanigans.
With too heavy a day pack, I test the abseil by descending with 200 m of static back-flaked in a canvas rope-pack dangling off my whaletail. At the only non-vertical section of the upper part of Ozy Direct, the static spills uncontrollably out of its bag and turns naturally into a spaghetti snarl halfway down the overhang below. Bugger. So much for careful rope management! Thinking it is a good thing the others who are a bit less familiar with such long-rope abseils are not having to deal with this clusterjam, I forgot the walky-talky had been left on in hands free mode, so Andrew cops an earful of my grumbling as I roundly abuse the tangle that tends to grow as I try to free it.
The effort was considerable & midway through this caper I notice that my ribcage hurts quite a bit, but attribute the pain to probably managing to jam the walky-talky against my ribs under the shoulder strap of the day-pack. Of more concern at the time was the fact that although I had additional friction added to the whaletail, I had allowed my bare forearm to contact the back of it, & sustained a minor burn in the process. After managing to free the snarls I continued without heat glazing the rope-sheath, to my destination of 'big grassy', where I threw the remaining rope off it to allow it to un-spiral. I measured its length when I pulled it up again as being near enough to 60 m, mentally noted this trivia for possible future use; ie this would reach the next belay down if I ever needed to do so from above.
Will joined me and before leading off commented on how out of climbing condition the line was due to lichen growth etc. Sports coddled climbers I think!, as I point out how much more overgrown the adjacent line of Lord Gumtree is. His eyes followed that line, & I further pointed out Holden Caulfield where it breaks the main roof. Upon noting his eyes widen as he saw the scabby flake involved I grinned; knowing that I had just confirmed in his mind that ye olde style aid climbers are indeed a mad breed of oyster.
He set off and made relatively easy work of the Gd 24 climbing, which soon engrossed him sufficiently that murmurs of appreciation for location, drifted down to me. Meanwhile I too was thoroughly enjoying the experience of being here at campsite 35 with a climber capable of getting me out of this location to the top in a day, which is quite a change from the previous times I had been here. Relatively new also to me was belaying a very competent climber, and I appreciated the poetry in motion. Spaced pro-pieces were placed rapidly on the first attempt, and the clipping of same was a short and very smooth affair. None of the double-time drawn out stuff of dragging rope and feeling for a clip; this was precision in action. I was conscious after being caught out on the 1st clip, of not creating rope-drag for him at such times by firing slack into the system as needed. I mused his mastery only comes with mileage on rock and it was good to see first hand. I also found myself wondering if others ever noted similar about my crusty ability to finagle obtuse aid placements?, though the timeframes involved are obviously very different.
Meanwhile Mike had abseiled to below the main roof and was hovering on the static like a bird of prey waiting to swoop his quarry with a lense. Looking upwards the rock architecture was magnificent from my perspective and seeing him up there suspended well out from the rock gave further perspective to the size of the corner, and the scale of the roof on Ozy Direct. It was worth being here again for that view alone.
Mike on photog duty above first belay after Ozy Original/Direct divergence.
Soon enough the call came that the rope was fixed and I could follow and clean the pitch. Will informed me when I arrived at the hanging belay that the pitch just cleaned had a fixed wire on it, but as I was unknowing of this I already had it, so it now adorns my rack as booty!
Perspectives. Interesting things really.
I mean the next pitch is a grade 22, but to my 'low grade' eye the climbing looked equal to the last pitch only cleaner. It was certainly straightforward and follows a magic layback corner to a belay out of site due to an angle change near the top.
Given the grade was less, I was somewhat surprised by the more methodical style of climbing that Will was now demonstrating. He was placing gear much more frequently and I wryly not
Awesome TR M9.
The thought of M8 scares the #$%^ out of me! Consecutive highsteps on hooks!!!
Nice TR Rod. Thanks for the pic Will.
The hanging belays were quite spectacular with views extending out into the valley.
Whilst easter egging for the dropped wires I was quite astounded at how well camoflaged one particular wire was. The wire was sitting on a clean slab of rock in full sun, and the glare off the rock totally blinded me. It wasn't till I had given up and started down climbing that the wire came into view with a change in perspective and in deed the wire had been right next to my hand (2cm away) the whole time!
It truly was an adventure and I look forward to going back to complete what will surely become a modern day classic and potentially one of the more consistent hard aid climbs on the mount.
Thanks Rod for sharing the spirit of adventure.
Mike, thanks for "hanging" around and taking cool pics over that weekend. Thanks Will and family for the good company and climbing inspiration. And to Milly, thanks for the seal of approval after inspecting my cookware and the lessons in percussion.
On 15/01/2008 Organ Pipe wrote:
>Awesome TR M9.
>The thought of M8 scares the #$%^ out of me! Consecutive highsteps on
I know what you mean OP, that's why I handed the "easy" lead to Rod as soon as i hit the belay!!! I've also decided to "let" him take the crux lead as well ;)
Thanks Rod, a great and enjoyable read.
Great Trip report Rod, you really scored a good line there, I hope the intercostal heals up soon!
The TR itself really puts you in the mood to break out the ets and have a crack at some blank face.
I've got a theory that the trend for hard trad, after the bland sanitised bolt clipping has reached saturation
point in some climbers, is just a precursor for another shift in the trend towards hard aid!
My theory comes from having instructed an unprecedented number of future aid climbers in the fine art of
thruch and dangle this last year (2007) about 30 aspirants altogether so far! (about 1/3 solo aid)
I hope that this will also be a move towards using the guide as a tool for looking at the blanks, as
opposed to looking for the stars.....BP
There ya go WM; ~> trip report is posted and I did not slanderously mention your pretty pink rope once!
Heh, heh, heh.
>I hope the intercostal heals up soon!
Thanks. Dr reckons I should notice significant improvement after two weeks, though others may say 'Whats the point? as it is no doubt taking me a while to get over aid climbing'!
>My theory comes from having instructed an unprecedented number of future aid climbers in the fine art of thruch and dangle this last year (2007) about 30 aspirants altogether
... Many are called but few are chosen!
It will be interesting to see the pendulum swing back as I have noticed cycles within the game.
>have a crack at some blank face.
... There is still plenty of adventure left out there for those that want to find it.
... I still have yet to do that hook sequence!
Although I have already done similar elsewhere I consider this climb as part of a grander plan of working my way up through the grades and consolidating each one as I go.
The truely scary stuff is still calling me from a distance :)
On that note; I am impressed by your recent commitment/s to 7th Pillar and identify with 'the calling' that you experienced.
Yes, I agree, there is still way plenty of adventure left. There are huge expanses of unclimbed rock on Mt. Warning going begging. We have scoped out a line that I reckon will go. I can't wait for the weather to cool down again.
Inspiring TR Rod!! %-0
> There are huge expanses of unclimbed rock on Mt. Warning going begging
Count me in if you need a belay slave Phil! I'm a North Coast Old Boy and find the environment at Mount Warning magical. You've got to watch out for the little black wasps though when swimming neked with the hippy chicks in the creek (or was that just a mushroom flashback? ;-) )
Which reminds me, has anyone had a go at Nimbin Rocks?? (sorry for the hijack - mushroom/bush bud flashback free flowing thought association).
Yikes that (nimbin rocks) looks pretty nice.
Brad C has been doing some exploring around Nimbin Rocks. He has permission from one of the land owners to go exploring the possibilities there.
Belay slave, too right, it is always a mission to get through the magical enchanted broccoli forest that is haunted by trolls. Having extra sherpas along is always a must.
On 15/01/2008 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>There ya go WM; ~> trip report is posted and I did not slanderously mention
>your pretty pink rope once!
it's a better way to "get in touch with my feminine side" than by growing man boobs ... eh M9?
Nice one rod, sounds like you had a good time!
On 16/01/2008 WM wrote re using a pink rope;
>it's a better way to "get in touch with my feminine side" than by growing man boobs ... eh M9?
I don't know, as I have only managed to grow a chocolate’n’alcohol-gut.
I'm not sure why you are concerned about the issue, being the wisp (not carrying any excess weight), of a lad that you are!
You shall have to tell me if it works.
As a fashion accessory I am reliably informed that green aliens go well with pink ropes, and 8 m whips have got nothing on them!
Heh, heh, heh.
On 15/01/2008 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On that note; I am impressed by your recent commitment/s to 7th Pillar
>and identify with 'the calling' that you experienced.
Cheers Rod! I definetly feel the aid calling.
I hope BP is right about a change being in the air. Pretty soon I'll be drilling a hole in my Gri-Gri and heading off solo. My wife would shudder if she read this! : )
More to it than just drilling a hole! PM me for the full tech specs on modification.
On 16/01/2008 bomber pro wrote:
>More to it than just drilling a hole! PM me for the full tech specs on
Yeah I know, back when I was first getting interested in the idea / theory of aid climbing (long before I tried it) I read your piece on solo aid, modifying the Gri-Gri for solo aid / lead, and remember seing some pic's.
I remember an article in Thrutch many decades ago about people visiting Nimbin to go climbing. I don't recall if they got up anything but i do remember that they started popping Asprin so that they wouldn't seem conspicuous.
> they started popping Asprin
??? That's a weird way to refer to sucking on a great big Nimbin scoobie!!!
And there's no way to be 'inconspicuous' in Nimbin, as with all small country towns, everyone knows who everyone else is, and knows their stories - I won't get into the twisted world or relationships and who's related to whom...
Stoned local staring out the front window of the Freemason's Hotel, sucking on his first beer of the day: "Who are those guys over there with the Subaru?"
Other stoned local, on his third beer, and up to date on today's goss: "Those guys? Oh, they're just some f@#$ers who climb!".
Nimbin and it's environs was the area where Brizvegas and Armidale based climbers climbers would all
have their secret crags (circa mid 80's). There were a number of strange meetings which involved fleeting
looks and lots of running away....but then those Armidale types were a strange lot.....and where they got
that second head, no-one knows.
I never knew anyone who wrote up their ascents, but then it wouldn't be secret if they did.