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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This trip report can be found with pictures HERE
For a number of reasons, the last few months have left me unable to find much time for 'real' rock climbing, so when I had a free day yesterday I jumped at the chance to get outdoors!
We headed for the Cathedral Ranges in Victoria, Australia. This mountain range juts out of the plains like a knife edge. Steep, jagged and wild, it is home to some of the best sandstone slabs in the east.
My partner and I had decided on Spiegal's Overhang. A relatively easy route, it is considered one of the best slab/cracks (for the grade) in Victoria. VCC give it classic status!
Heavily laden with rack, ropes and food we made our approach. Access to the Jaw Bones is via a marginally defined track which weaves its was up the mountain across boulders, scree and mud. A new layer of undergrowth has lead to the uprising on a vast majority of prickly bushes, right at body height...
Prickled and puffing we found the start.
In the interest of saving time I ran P1 and P2 together; 45 meters of consistent slabbing with very little protection, it certainly kept me on my toes. Stopping at a dead tree I found a belay stance. It wasn't much, but there was some bomber gear to build an anchor.
Swinging leads, my parnter headed up P3. This pitch, again, 45 meters, looked amazing. Through two overhangs she went, jamming a hand crack the entire way. Upon surmounting the belay ledge I was a little disappointed I had not done it myself!!! Lovely climbing, with bomber jams and bomber pro. The belay had a little more room this time. Hidden behind a tree, a cosy in-cut, provided a lovely stance with a wide variety of reasonable protection
Meanwhile we had been watching our friends taking the more ambitious line to the left... The scary and run out slab!!!
I set off on the final push. We had moved reasonably quickly today, but still enjoying our time. A little more vegetated and not quite as exciting
Spiegal's is definitely full value for the grade. A little exposure, a little exciting, but ultimately not too difficult. Well worth the trek out if you're ever in the area
Happy climbing :-)
I really enjoy Speigels but hate the walk in and prickles, and the walk in:) Your day sounded like a lot of fun. The Buxton burgers are pretty good too....
Did you walk down or use the newish rap anchors?
We did notice one set of rap anchors. But these were at 70ish meters and we had only one rope.. Sadly, we walked.. I had forgotten to bring some shoes...
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