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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

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 Page 1 of 6. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 102
Author
TR - Point Perp multipitch sport

nmonteith
6/05/2013
3:30:39 PM
Over the last few weeks I've been spending almost every climbing day available down at Point Perp. I've been suckered into the magic of the place - the blue skies, deep pockets, sun, 5 minute walk-ins and the endless space underneath your feet. Without fail these last few months have produced near perfect climbing conditions - gentle wind, little to no surf and enthused partners. Sadly a few of these partners have become the walking wounded, from Damo's dodgy knee, Mike's resurrected hand, Jake's grid-bolted back to Rick's all new synthetic hip. I feel like I need major surgery to fit in around here!

For those not too familiar with the 'Point many of the routes involve absieling into a stance part way down the 80m cliff. Sometimes this can only be 10m down on a comfy ledge, or 30m down to a hanging belay above a massive chossy roof. It's very rare for climbers to go below this point, all the way to the sea level. In fact it's so rare that the guidebook authors of the recent print guide put the "lower cliffs" section in the back of the guide (an odd layout choice in my opinion). One of the good things in the new guide however is the brilliant photo topos, taken by low flying aeroplane. What is quickly evident by browsing the guidebook is the 'gaps' in the routes - whole sections of cliff with no routes on them, even in sectors right under the Lighthouse! I ponder that the reason many of these 'gaps' have remained unclimbed is that they are usually hidden from view from either side. Without rapping down them (or taking a boat/plane) they remained elusive (probably not helped by the previous shitty guidebook). Simey or Damo will say they didn't get done because they weren't Taipan Wall of the Totem Pole.

On one of the days sitting around the Lighthouse waiting for others to arrive from Sydney I had a flip through the guidebook and spotted a gap. Not just a 2m section between two old routes, but a substantial section of cliff - at least 15m wide with no routes on it. The previous week I had repeated a new route of Lee Cujes that gave me an eagle eye on the lower cliffs - which from way above looked steep but good rock. I was intrigued. I stood up and walked 20 paces to arrive at the top of the cliff. Tired from the extensive approach I set to work trying to rig something to rap off. It was quickly evident that one reason there was no routes is that there was no trad gear at the top of the cliff - just a bunch of withered looking waist high bushes. I slung as many as I could and prayed that the friction of the rock against my rope would give me some security. Rapping over the 'edge' at Point Perp is always a hairy moment - it's 80m down to raging surf and rocks. Having the thought of the little bushes nagging in my mind wasn't very comforting! 10m down the cliff and I had forgotten all about it - I was staring at a slightly overhung wall, covered in holds and good rock. WTF? My 10 minutes of enquiring mind had struck gold! I rapped to the end of my 40m static, which was blowing in the breeze a good 50m from the ground and peered down below - the wall just continued down and became even more overhung. I excitedly jumared back up the rope, pulled it up and strolled back over to the other climbers now amassing around the lighthouse. Keeping a straight face and not raving like a lunatic was a struggle. A few questions from others about what I had been doing got a mumble. Secretly I was frothing!

Later that night after the others had left (and I had dealt with getting two flat tyres in the carpark) I rapped back down with my drill to stake my claim. I didn't get much done but I did manage to get further down the wall which only confirmed that the route would be a mutlipitch - not just top pitch. The next weekend it poured with rain and I stayed in Sydney. NIght and day I thought about the wall and what I could make from it. Surely something was wrong - a blank section, a death by choss section or seepage?? Nope. Upon my return a week later with masses more bolts, glue and 100m static it looked fantastic. 95% of the route was overhung and featured with plentiful pockets and jugs. There was only a short 2m section of crack in the top pitch that gave me a smug sense of satisfaction when I sunk a bolt nearby. I could have made the route a mixed route in places but the nature of the rock certainly meant that bolting made more sense because of the steep angle. Anyone who has a problem with sport route style should go and repeat the other 9 mixed routes I have established at Point Perp this season…

Next I had to find a willing partner in crime, someone who doesn't mind a bit more adventure than single pitch sport climbing (quite a struggle in NSW I've found). Many tradtastic Victorians may be horrified that it was Mr Matthew Brooks who joined into the fun. The first weekend we polished off my original three pitch line in perfect sunny conditions.


Rapping in - showing the steepness of the lower pitches.

Fixing a 100m static to the cliff top meant we hit the sea level quickly and made fast progress up the route. The first pitch is 35m long, overhangs about 4m and gets increasingly harder and pumpier the higher you get. To me it felt like a Red River Gorge route - the masses of pump and the feeling of imminent failure the higher you get until you end up lunging for anything to reach the anchors.


Matt on Pitch 1 (23). The rap rope shows the cliff angle!


Matt seconds the first pitch

The belay is a little ledge off to the left of the route. You can actually join this pitch into the 2nd pitch - a shorter 13m section of 24 on remarkable marbled white rock with pockets - this makes a monster 50m+ pitch. The top pitch is varied - starting out with a little section of undercut brittleness then a (shock horror) section of bolted crack- then a long section of sloping pockets. The crux is a dark orange section of superb rock with small pebbles and crimps that took me quite a bit of effort to unlock (after bolting 3 pitches my hands were trashed). The finish is the usual massive sandy heucos that characterise Point Perp's upper section. All in all it was 3 quality pitches, all overhung and all bolted. All Guns Blazing was a suitable name since it was Anzac Day and we were bring buzzed by fighter planes and Navy boats all day. My arms were also wasted. Is this route the Weaselburger of Point Perp?

After this ascent Matt was hooked on the potential of this mega sea level wall so there was no question about where we were climbing next weekend! This time both Matt and I brought two drills, 200m of static, food, water, aiding gear. It was on from dawn! It was overcast and the wind was picking up - not great conditions for hanging a long free hanging rope! By midday we had two new routes bolted waiting to go. Matt ticked his first shot - a 50m endurance pitch at grade 25. It looked fantastic but I was beginning to get splashed by waves on my belay stance at the base of the cliff. The swell was certainly picking up - with that unnerving feeling that the swell is actually higher than where I am standing on the ledge. By the time Matt got back to the ground (via our handy static) the wind was howling and I was shivering in my tshirt and shorts. To belay me Matt decided to move the belay from the base of the cliff up to the first bolt on my route - about 7m up the cliff. I thought this was an overkill- but was proved wrong 5 minutes later when the first of the big swells smashed into the base of the cliff - drenching where we had been standing previously. Holy crap! The wind was screaming, I was being tossed around like a kite - but I was grinning ear to ear! The climbing was amazing once again - more steep jugs, air, surf, noise. It was Patagonia 3 hours from my home! A couple of hours later we emerged from the dark recesses of a southerly bluster - hauled our mountain of gear up the cliff and sat soaking in scenery after the amazing day of climbing. Another two new routes done! Suddenly, without warning four Airforce planes hurtled by at ground level - right along the cliff edge. They spun and turned, their pilots clearly visible to us sitting on the top of the cliff, and roared into the distance. Point Perp - a top spot.


A bit of a topo.

These routes are located between Battle Cruiser and Destroyer (p.50 of the new guide)

Route descriptions can be found here (do a search for Seahawk)
https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/australia/point-perpendicular/area/317950311

Big G
6/05/2013
4:34:11 PM
Sounds awesome, just need to get over this hernia.....






and then add about 3 grades to my climbing ability and proabably lose 20kg. Still, looks awesome Neil.
MichaelOR
6/05/2013
5:01:54 PM
Great effort Neil - or is it Niel nowadays? Looks like an awesome wall and climbs. Some things don't change!

tnd
6/05/2013
5:06:47 PM
Great to see more ring bolts going in at the Point.
One Day Hero
6/05/2013
5:15:45 PM
On 6/05/2013 tnd wrote:
>Great to see more ring bolts going in at the Point.

Yeah......great that you found solid rock down there Neil, I hope I'm not going to see rings next to good breaks ;)

nmonteith
6/05/2013
6:16:18 PM
On 6/05/2013 Big G wrote:
>Sounds awesome, just need to get over this hernia.....
>
>and then add about 3 grades to my climbing ability and proabably lose
>20kg. Still, looks awesome Neil.

The top pitch of Seahawk is only grade 19/20ish and in a pretty rad position! 36m long - lots of bolts.

Big G
6/05/2013
6:20:04 PM
perfect - i'll be on that soonish!
One Day Hero
6/05/2013
6:21:08 PM
On 6/05/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>36m long - lots of bolts.

I think you meant to say "36m long, and remarkably the route has none of the breaks and pockets which characterise most of the cliff, therefore there's no potential for natural gear. So instead I placed quite a few bolts (but not nearly as many as would be in a similar length route in the Blueys, because The Point tends to be a bit bolder)"

Right?

nmonteith
6/05/2013
6:50:35 PM
No Damo, that was the other 9 new routes I did - which I suspect will get no repeats. I bolted this one for the other 10%, and to match the other well bolted routes in the area. Feel free to go add your own routes if you like. Plenty of rock out there. This one is no where near your precious Windjammer.

FYI, I did Rex Hunt last week (Alziehmers ascent) - talk about bolts next to trad placements! Guide says bring gear but every time I thought about placing something I realized there was a bolt within reach. So I guess that will get chopped. Or maybe the decade old route Repulse on the lower cliffs - with 12 bolts in 30 metres. You have a lot of work to do....
One Day Hero
6/05/2013
7:07:28 PM
On 6/05/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>Feel free to go add your own routes if
>you like. Plenty of rock out there.

Ummm, you know that is a ridiculous argument. Did you read Rob's bolting guidelines he linked onto Chocky? Am I to take it that those guidelines are going to be widely ignored?
argos44
6/05/2013
7:43:05 PM
Awesome job Neil. Keen to check it out some day.


nmonteith
6/05/2013
8:14:03 PM
On 6/05/2013 One Day Hero wrote:
>On 6/05/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>>Feel free to go add your own routes if
>>you like. Plenty of rock out there.
>
>Ummm, you know that is a ridiculous argument.

Why? I am giving you a direct 'way out' that involves some proactive and creative work from you - rather than destroying others work. I 100% respect the style of a first ascent. I've given you the location.

> Did you read Rob's bolting
>guidelines he linked onto Chocky? Am I to take it that those guidelines
>are going to be widely ignored?

There are 9 other routes done in "Damo Approved Style". I even named a few after you! Including the enticing Delusions of Grandeur. So by 'widely' you mean? You specifically asked for new routers to stay away from Windjammer and established routes - so we did.

Regarding the guidelines. Look up the route "Repulse" and see who did the first ascent and how many bolts it has. Then look up Superliner. Then look up Rock Termite. Seeing a theme emerging? A guideline is a guide - a suggestion. They are not laws. Even the 'lawmakers' seem to see them as a grey area....
technogeekery
6/05/2013
8:33:59 PM
Wow - way to go! PP is a truly awe-inspiring place, and it is great to see some new lines going up there - and opening up the lower cliffs, to boot. Will have to appreciate from afar (a bit above my paygrade) but might have a play on the top pitch as you suggest. Nice work.
One Day Hero
6/05/2013
9:34:27 PM
On 6/05/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>Why? I am giving you a direct 'way out' that involves some proactive and
>creative work from you - rather than destroying others work. I 100% respect
>the style of a first ascent. I've given you the location.

You're proposing the standard bullshit. A race to consume the limited resource which will be won by the faction which can consume at the fastest rate, with the least consideration as to whether their "classic new routes" are actually any good.

Hmmm, creative work, eh? On the weekend I spent a lot of time brushing up a pair of mega classic granite cracks which had fallen into disrepair..........but apparently that isn't "contributing to sport" as much as bolting new choss.

>You specifically asked for new routers to stay away from Windjammer
>and established routes - so we did.

There isn't any room left for new routes on Windjammer, unless you want to punch in more bullshit 21s up the horizontal breaks then loweroff when it blanks out. I don't recall saying "feel free to go to town sportbolting at the Lighthouse"!

>Regarding the guidelines. Look up the route "Repulse" and see who did
>the first ascent and how many bolts it has. Then look up Superliner. Then
>look up Rock Termite. Seeing a theme emerging? A guideline is a guide -
>a suggestion. They are not laws. Even the 'lawmakers' seem to see them
>as a grey area....

I've climbed Repulse, the rock was absolutely atrocious. Can't imagine any gear on it would be trustworthy (in fact, I hope the bolts are extra long). Don't know about the other two, haven't done them.

Again, if the bolters can only see black and white then the rule is no bolts where good gear is available, and I'm happy to participate in readjusting all the routes at The Point.

BundyBear
7/05/2013
9:18:03 AM
On 6/05/2013 nmonteith wrote:

Then
>look up Rock Termite. Seeing a theme emerging? A guideline is a guide -
>a suggestion. They are not laws. Even the 'lawmakers' seem to see them
>as a grey area....

So they can over bolt a 15m grade 12 with 9 bolts, but chop Rick's bolts on a 16 ?? I dont understand ??
Nick Clow
7/05/2013
9:29:30 AM
> A race to consume the limited resource which will be won by the faction which can consume at the fastest rate, with the least consideration as to whether their "classic new routes" are actually any good.

I get that too from the TR. It's insightful that the starting point is unadulterated excitement at a 'gap', a blank bit of wall and the consequent drive "I must bolt it". Quality of route is secondary.

They may of course be good routes, but for the reasons that Neil finds it difficult to get partners to do multi-pitch sport, they will very seldom get done (especially as they are quite hard). By definition sport climbers like convenient single pitch climbing. By definition also climbers who like 'adventure' and multi-pitch routes do not tend to want to follow a line of ring-bolts.

Damo666
7/05/2013
9:49:26 AM
On 7/05/2013 Nick Clow wrote:
>> A race to consume the limited resource ...
>
>I get that too from the TR. It's insightful that the starting point is
>unadulterated excitement at a 'gap', a blank bit of wall and the consequent
>drive "I must bolt it".
>
>

+1

But it was (gasp!) 'at least 15m'! lol

I also resent that Neil presents this activity as 'creative work' that automatically demands respect and gratitude from strangers, and then implies that the only authentic alternative reaction is to go and 'develop' even more rock in some other way.

"I bolted this one for the other 10%..." - no Neil, you bolted it for you. I'm not anti bolts, but I am anti bullsh!t.

Macciza
7/05/2013
10:10:28 AM
On 7/05/2013 Damo666 wrote:
>"I bolted this one for the other 10%..." - no Neil, you bolted it for you. I'm not anti bolts, but I am anti bullsh!t.

+ 10

Snacks
7/05/2013
10:20:18 AM
You could have gone all out and named it "All drills blazing".

nmonteith
7/05/2013
10:30:40 AM
On 7/05/2013 Nick Clow wrote:
>> A race to consume the limited resource which will be won by the faction
>which can consume at the fastest rate, with the least consideration as
>to whether their "classic new routes" are actually any good.
>
>I get that too from the TR. It's insightful that the starting point is
>unadulterated excitement at a 'gap', a blank bit of wall and the consequent
>drive "I must bolt it". Quality of route is secondary.
>
>They may of course be good routes, but for the reasons that Neil finds
>it difficult to get partners to do multi-pitch sport, they will very seldom
>get done (especially as they are quite hard). By definition sport climbers
>like convenient single pitch climbing. By definition also climbers who
>like 'adventure' and multi-pitch routes do not tend to want to follow a
>line of ring-bolts.

Although routes with similar grades such as Hotel Cali and Weaselburger get a fair few ascents in the Bluies. But you are right, any route that requires rapping in for multiple pitches will always be less popular. But the reward is generally greater.

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