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Wabbit Wocks - 13/12/03
11:39:52 AM
On Saturday, myself, girlfriend Nicole, and friends Derek and Sven headed up to Wabbit Wocks at Mt Alexander. The purpose of the trip was to have climbed on granite before heading off to Freycinet in Tassie in a few weeks.

On the drive up we bumped into Robin and Tuesday at Malmsbury bakery, the home of some very nice quiches, who were also heading up to Mt Alexander. The drive up was uneventful, although there was a brief moment of confusion on the dirt roads at Mt Alexander and a moment of concern as Derek attempted to drive his Holden Barina company car around/through some very sizable potholes/craters.

We all walked up to the wocks together. Robin and Tuesday got started on Inquisition so the rest of us headed up to the main slab. Nicole claimed the first excitement for the day, knocking her down jacket (which proved unecessary) off a boulder and consequently a long way down the hill, much to Sven's amusement.

Nicole and I did bedbug (* 13), while Derek and Sven did Link up (12). My first taste of granite was enjoyable, including a solid hand jam at the final move. Next I lead "the thin end of the wedgie" (** 16) followed by "bottle of smoke" (* 18). I liked the moves on bottle better than wedgie, perhaps because I found the climbing easier. I need to work on my slabbing I think. While Nicole and I did these ones, Sven led "no right turn" (11). Robin and Tuesday had also come up to the main slab and climbed a few routes, Robin also investigating a potential new route, before they headed off for the day.

Our interpid four then headed down to inquisition (*** 14), and it is worth every star that it gets. I led the route, set up and anchor and was then lowered off. Derek and Sven then both led the route with pre-placed gear, both enjoying it, although I was concerned that Sven might hyper-ventilate given he was doing a very large amount of breathing. I then stick clipped the first bolt on Hendo's Arete (21) and attempted it, although I was thwarted by the start (Robin, how did you do it?).

The ensuing challenge of how to retrieve the first draw made the perfect test of the macgyver skills of the three mechanical engineers present. Derek, took the lead and laid down the ground rules, i.e. that we get one "turn" each. His idea involved a stick, the nut key, some tape and a prussik. Despite coming close on a few occasions, it was unsuccessful. He then broke his own rules of one turn each, and took and more direct approach succeeding in opening the gate and getting the lip of the wire gate caught on the hanger. Some more jiggling gave us the draw and the conclusion was made that in future, the first draw whould be clipped with a keylock gate to assist in macgyver type draw retrieval.

All in all, we had a great day. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed climbing on granite, although I will get back to you after Freycinet on whether this applies to routes more than 15m long!

1:31:40 PM
Inquistion is a very nice climb, isn't it? I remember I was on a high for a week after leading it, one of my first leads. The rest of wabbit wocks isn't bad, though I think Black Hill is better.

I always find the moves you can do at the end of a days climbing on granite quite amazing - moves you would not have thought possible at the begining of the day.


4:54:53 PM
Granite certainly forces you to learn to trust your feet!!
5:20:25 PM
On 16/12/2003 Richard wrote:
>Inquistion is a very nice climb, isn't it?

Yep, certainly one of the best 14s I have done. Although, it must be the ultimate "chipped"climb, given that according to the guidebook it resulted from quarrying.
5:52:31 PM
Giday Gerard,

Ahh, the fine art of sand bagging is alive and well. It's kind of a bouldery start. I reached up to the high hold, frictioned our right then ran my feet up to just below the good hand hold. The rest of the climb is easy if you get up the first few moves.

It's very rare these days that I climb grade 14 let alone enjoy them but the Inquisition was a classic.

Good trip report.

6:11:46 PM
Robin, did you start from the ground or from the boulder under the arete? Where I was meant to start was a topic of debate amongst the four of us.
6:18:14 AM
I started off the boulder. It looked pretty hard off the ground and the description didn't say not to use the boulder.

9:49:22 AM
On 16/12/2003 G wrote:
>I then stick clipped the first bolt on Hendo's Arete (21) and attempted it
>although I was thwarted by the start (Robin, how did you do it?).

There is video over here, although it's top rope. Start off the boulder on the right face. (The original direct start on the left face has lost some cruical edges). From memory the hard bit is flipping from the right face onto the left face, which unfortuately isn't in the video. After that it's easy layback to glory.

Next time try Tail Feather - it will scary the living Daylights out of you.
1:54:51 PM
OK I see part of my problem. I first tried from the ground, then from the boulder. However, from the boulder I tried to go straight onto the left hand face where the bolts are. This proved very difficult due. I was able to get my right hand up level with the bolt by straddling the arete, as in the video, but I couldn't work out what I was going for next. Maybe next time.

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