Goto Chockstone Home

  Tech Tips

      Sponsored By

Chockstone Photography
Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints

Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 47
Coolest features to climb in Australia

11:28:44 PM
That wave looking face, in WA, that was on the cover of Rock a few lifetimes ago.

That strange pinnacle in the Grose that Neil climbed.

Anything on the Kenny Boulder.
12:48:48 PM
From Mountain Magazine February 1974: Part 1

And now for something completely different

by Keith Lockwood

Way back in the dreamtime, Kerungra (the Earth-Mother) brought life on to the earth with her sacred Ngaltawaddi (Digging Stick), and created mortals. So runs the legend of the Loritdja aborigines who inhabit the desert around the Rock of Uluru, the rock that was their repository of sacred knowledge.

To whites, this rock is known as Ayers Rock, the famous tourist attraction rising 1,143ft. from the sandy and spiky, spinifex-grass plain in central Australia. Reputedly the biggest single stone in the world, it was first climbed by a white man in 1873 when explorer W. C. Gosse made an ascent via the only gentle face, a ramp on the north-west shoulder. Nowadays, hundreds of tourists follow in Gosse's footsteps, assisted by an 800ft. railing. There are also legends about young natives trying to climb the rock as a tribal initiation rite, legends as often as not sad in their conclusion.

In 1972, Andrew Thomson and I attempted to climb Kerungra's sacred Ngaltawaddi. Ngaltawaddi (also called the Kangaroo's Tail) is a unique tongue of rock, 350ft. high, leaning against the north face of Ayers Rock. Andrew and I planned our attempt from Melbourne, 2,000 miles away, with very limited information. We had tourist pamphlets, but each showed the rock having a different angle, and it was impossible to judge what the climbing would be like.

But in the hot mid-winter sun, the red rock destroyed any climbing fears. In fact, it didn't look worth the trouble, appearing to be an easy-angled romp. Early next morning, however, as I led off with the desert's cool morning breeze caressing the quiet, now soft-grey stone, Uluru stirred in defence. Loose flakes rattled down, making Andrew's photographic work difficult, although his belaying was easy. In the first 150ft. there was no place for runners, and I belayed, still in a chimney position, to a bolt. Andrew led through into an identical pitch.

Our situation was fantastic, and we revelled in our technically easy adventure up this mysterious and legendary rock.

I passed Andrew, 300ft. up, swinging gently in his Whillans harness. But 50ft. above, Ngaltawaddi forced me out on to the less friendly, indeed quite inhospitable, face. After 80ft. of nervy and unprotected slab work on the ubiquitous loose flakes, I reached the first good foothold on the climb, an 8" x 2" haven. I placed a welcome bolt. Way below, the ranger was conducting his morning excursion of the rock. His band of tourists suddenly grouped, pointing our way.
"You blokes get straight down from there." (Ranger, short-tempered.)
"Can you hear me? Get down here." (Ranger, uniformed.)
"It's safer for us to keep going." (Us, reasonably.)
"I don't give a damn about your safety, get straight down here!" (Ranger, armed.)

Don't ask us why, but we went down.
12:49:39 PM
From Mountain Magazine February 1974: Part 2

Ten months later, our travel-weary VW headed into the desert again, to settle unfinished business. In the last 850 miles to the rock, there are only three tired, dusty little towns. The legend of the Centre is of a great barren plain beneath a blazing, relentless sun. The sun certainly is dominant, but the languid desert is far from sterile. Low, undulating hills of deep red sand break the horizon, the hills themselves being dotted with the tough, pincushion­like spinifex. At times, generally in mid-afternoon, stunted skeletal trees float above a shimmering plain of gibber stones.

This time we were prepared for the Ayers Rock ranger. Our gear was hidden under the seats, and an emergency lot was cached in the bonnet. My palms sweated as I signed into the park; Andrew chain-smoked behind dark glasses. Four thousand miles was a long drive, if we were recognized and thrown out again. We passed as tourists.
Quite early next morning, we drove to the rock, lights out. While I found and climbed the chimney in the cool desert night, Andrew parked the car at the tourist ramp.
Pausing after four hundred familiar feet, we were treated to a superb sunrise as the desert woke, appearing almost translucent in the soft dawn light. Finches fluffed awake and skittered in the scrub way below, and a pair of eagles soared in effortless circles above the rock.

New terrain now confronted us. Out on the flanks of the monster, the rock swept smooth and unbroken above and below, the exposure effectively stilling our exuberance. A 1,000ft. water-scoured groove beckoned to the right, but was guarded by vertical walls, and Andrew ran out 150ft. of sustained and difficult climbing with one runner, before he reached a belay in the mental comfort of the groove. Over the centuries, occasional torrents have sculptured this huge feature into a series of vertical, dry waterfalls interrupted by stagnant pools. We bridged up this for six pitches, dispensing with belays. The theory was that if one of us came off, the other could brace himself across the groove. Fortunately, we didn't have to try it. As the angle rolled back we unroped, ignored the tourist gaze and, laughing hysterically, tore out of the place in a cloud of red dust. It had taken Ayers Rock exactly a hundred years to have a second route established, albeit secretly!

Australia. Ayers Rock: The Kangaroo's Tail. An account of the first ascent in May 1973 by Keith Lockwood and Andrew Thomson.
3:27:54 PM
Nah I reckon the rock would have a few awesome routes. The place is so awesome even a route involving 8 ft dynos between pockets you can sit in would be cool. Though I think there are a couple of better lines.
9:26:55 PM
We seam to be stuck on Uluru. How about the organ pipes at kaputar, remarkable rocks kangaroo island, wave wall in WA, and lastly honeycomb gorge in the Kennedy ranges.

1:46:36 PM
On 4/12/2015 One Day Hero wrote:
>There are barely any naturally protectable features which look worthwhile for climbing. >What looks really good are the many 150-200m? high gently overhanging walls covered with solid flakes.


A snippet from Classic Climbs Of Australia (Joe Friend) that compliments BA's posts above; ie Mountain 32, pp 24-25; from Keith Lockwood.
"Bolts were placed as the only possible protection up the steep slabs beneath the Tail itself. Despite the enclosure, the route is spectacularly exposed, especially when the necessary traverse-out begins after pitch three.
Arkose sandstone forms the bulk of the rock, providing excellent friction, yet breaking away into friable dinner-plate style flakes that come away in your hand."

CCoA also has the additional tidbits of info.

On a subsequent ascent, the protection was described as 'awful', but another climber described the initial pitches as 'easy' if you climb up the outside of the tail (?).
Apart from the Tourist Route or descent trail, there are now three important climbing routes on the rock including the Kangaroo Tail.

Reference - Ayers Rock 1952, in Peaks 3 (1981) (ceased publication).
Griffiths, John and Helen, Guide To Rock Climbs In The Northern Territory, the authors 1975, (out of print).

Photos from Classic Climbs of Australia...

Is he holding that flake on, so it doesn't take out the belayer?
Heh, heh, heh.

3:24:33 PM
On 4/12/2015 wallwombat wrote:
>That wave looking face, in WA, that was on the cover of Rock a few lifetimes ago.
Wave Rock at Hyden WA?

If it is what I'm thinking of then the face of it is unclimbable due basically having nil features on a blank concave but colourful wall, that is about 15 m* max in height.

(* Poor memory at play here due it has been a blerrie long time since I was there, but remember parking my 4WD vehicle on the rock apron at base and getting a photo of the wall using the vehicle for comparison scale.
It was only about four times the height of the vehicle.
From what I have heard of the place since, you are no longer allowed to get vehicles anywhere near that close, but it was 'out in the sticks' in those hazy-daze... Heh, heh, heh.)
7:38:05 PM
I believe a now NSW-based climber who grew up in Melbourne did a solo ascent of one side of The Rock. Sometime in the 80's I think. And my belief is fairly firm. About grade 13-14 I think he said.

11:20:13 PM
On 7/12/2015 gfdonc wrote:
>I believe a now NSW-based climber who grew up in Melbourne did a solo ascent
>of one side of The Rock. Sometime in the 80's I think. And my belief
>is fairly firm. About grade 13-14 I think he said.
Possibly the central blunt arete/ridge in the following pic?

I.e the direct line to summit that parallels the lower half of the Tourist Route?
6:12:10 AM
The 'wing' on flight of the phoenix, warrumbungles
1:43:50 PM
Tha Awsome Wall at Brunswick.

2:03:39 PM
Thanks for the pics M9....

5:25:16 PM
Dramp Anyone ?

Duang Daunk
5:39:14 PM
Coolest / Classic Climbs Of Australia?

My back steps into the house after a big night out, especially since my excellent renovations.

Pat B
12:03:39 PM
On 7/12/2015 gfdonc wrote:
>I believe a now NSW-based climber who grew up in Melbourne did a solo ascent
>of one side of The Rock. Sometime in the 80's I think. And my belief
>is fairly firm. About grade 13-14 I think he said.

Yes I can confirm this as I lived and climbed with this individual at the time he did this
5:32:06 PM
Uluru in the rain...

4:16:36 PM
Andrew's Bulge, Banger
7:57:59 PM
caucus corner on belougary (sp) in the bungles. one of the best lines in the country. never done it but still hope one day
8:01:51 AM
...with the direct finish through the roof (Dole diary)

E. Wells
5:16:31 PM
Caucasus corner is great but the route spends as little time possible in the corner!! Felt like a nice rest day activity after Neruda. For sure the bigger line than POTP but climbing so-so until last pitches i reckon.

 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 47
There are 47 messages in this topic.


Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Landscape Photos Australia

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.

Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | High Country Mountain Huts | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints