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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 2 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 37
Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
All NSW (General) (General) (General)  

Author
Walhalla - Wolgan Valley
mikepatt
16/10/2009
10:30:35 AM
The Pulpit/Ampitheatre link is quite good. Don't waste your time looking for the 'perfect, obvious belay seat' as I certainly didn't notice it. The Ampitheatre is good with an easy but very runout 2nd pitch. You should be able to rap down the big gully to the right (facing in)
There's also a few other reasonable route down the far left end of Baldy with link up potential.

wallwombat
16/10/2009
10:49:29 AM
Go for the Old Baldy Triple Crown - Excalibur, Central Direct and Scimitar in a day.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
16/10/2009
10:58:05 AM
On 15/10/2009 SteveC wrote:
>Diarrhoea chimney does read well despite its name, I think that is the
>one for us Ev. We will have that done by the time the sport falling contingent has brewed their second faffuccino

& mikepatt wrote;
>I have heard of a few ascents of Dihorrea Chimney, despite it's sandy reputation.

**Beta alert**
It isn't really sandy but is good bridging moves; ... then again I was more proficient with the sandy choss of Sydney sea cliffs in those days and by comparison-

Diarrhoea Chimney (~> possibly renamed Sunshine Crack along the way in an A. Penney Guide?), is a good route for easy access to the half way ledge that you can amble along to access Scimitar/Sword of Damocles, etc on Old Baldy.

I have done it several times and it is a pleasant and interesting route for the relatively easy grade. All you need to protect it is slings, that you thread through obvious places. The only bit that seems exposed for the newbies I have taken up it, are the final moves out of the chimney.
Many years ago it used to have a good gumtree (after that exit), at the top of a sloping ledge, to belay off, prior to the final topout up a short face behind it.
This got washed-out/blown over during a storm event about 25 years ago and I would think that setting a belay in that vicinity would now be problematic, ... though with today's longer ropes, and careful rigging to lessen rope-drag, one may be able to lead right through to the top now, especially if they had set a first belay on the chockstone in the chimney which makes for a rather short 'first pitch'.
One Day Hero
16/10/2009
4:56:22 PM
On 15/10/2009 mikepatt wrote:
>Paul Daniels death leading the first pitch in 1962


I thought Paul Daniel was in the guide, putting up routes at booroomba in the early 80's?!?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
16/10/2009
5:01:34 PM
Might have meant death-leading (as in bold runout)?

kuu
16/10/2009
5:16:51 PM
On 16/10/2009 One Day Hero wrote:
>On 15/10/2009 mikepatt wrote:
>>Paul Daniels death leading the first pitch in 1962
>
>
>I thought Paul Daniel was in the guide, putting up routes at booroomba
>in the early 80's?!?

I was there (the Wolgan Valley) at the time of that unfortunate accident but due to advancing memory
loss I can't be certain that mikepatt has the name correct. But I do know that the Paul Daniels of
Booroomba repute is a very different person, and responsible for some interesting climbs on that crag.

SteveC
16/10/2009
6:01:29 PM
The Wade Stevens guide names one Paul Griffiths killed on the first pitch in 1962. Is it a warning? A
commemoration? or merely a fact? Its hard to know what to think when guide books have this sort of
information. In the case of Walhalla, I am filled with fear and self doubt when contemplating an ascent.
However I know that dozens more people have died on routes such as Obituary. I am not filled with
much fear and only the usual levels of general self doubt when leading that route.

I think my point is that Walhalla could be a mega classic that nobody has repeated because it gets a
hand and a death in the guide book. Lots of routes get hands for little more than having suss rock for a
few metres, or one loose block. or perhaps by mistake where there should be star. War of the roses
gets a jolly roger in the SRC book, and a hand in Wade's, but apart from some giant well keyed in
blocks the only major danger there is if your belayer doesnt deem it necessary to back up the original
sling and peg anchor.

So I think my actual point is that we should climb Walhalla because it's reputation as a sandy
horrorshow is obviously inaccurate. and we should burn all the guidebooks

In Fact I just looked it up in the SRC book, not only does it get neither a skull or a hand hand nor any
other part of the body but it reads like a walk in the park.


mikepatt
18/10/2009
5:09:09 PM
On 16/10/2009 SteveC wrote:

>In Fact I just looked it up in the SRC book, not only does it get neither
>a skull or a hand hand nor any
>other part of the body but it reads like a walk in the park.

Or a day at the beach? BTW I got Paul Griffiths name muddled in my memory....

Eagerly awaiting trip report!
>
>
>

ajfclark
22/10/2009
9:31:48 AM
On 15/10/2009 evanbb wrote:
>Be interested to see what Dave McCleod is using top roping here
>

Dave MacLeod said...

For toprope self belay I use my shunt. All the details and tricks I've learned to make it work perfectly are in my free ebook how to climb hard trad - http://www.davemacleod.com/shop.html
Winston Smith
22/10/2009
2:11:29 PM
Mike,

It was indeed Paul Griffiths who died.

Here's the plaque on the lower cliff.



URL to pic here: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3185/2983107624_1eae568eb7.jpg
technogeekery
29/01/2013
11:33:59 AM
Found this online, and thought I'd preserve it with this thread. From the September 1962 "The Sydney Bushwalker"

"On Sunday August 5, a young climber, Paul Griffiths, fell to his death in the Wolgan Valley. The report in the daily newspaper was incomplete, and to a reader with any knowledge of climbing, would present an unflattering picture of the Club concerned, the Sydney Rock Climbing Club, and this, most unfairly. According to the paper version, Paul Griffiths and Fred Kitchener were climbing together, when Kitchener decided to rest, and Griffiths went on alone. Kitchener saw Griffiths above him, saw him slip and fall, and (still according to the paper) could only watch, powerless, as Griffiths plummetted past him.

The truth of the matter is that Griffiths and Kitchener. were climbing, roped together. Other pairs of climbers, similarly employed were in the vicinity, Both were climbers of some experience, Kitchener particularly so. On the pitch in question, Griffiths lead, being adequately belayed by Kitchener. When he was fifteen feet above Kitchener, Griffiths slipped and fell. Normally; Kitchener would have held him, but to his horror, as the rope grew taut, Griffiths broke free. Subsequent investigation showed that the knot in Griffiths' waist loop had come undone when the full shock of the fall was thrown on it, apparently due to having been faultily tied. Such is tragedy. A moment's inattentiveness to small detail, and a life is lost. The fact that Paul Griffiths was rock climbing has little bearing on this important truth. And so that Paul Griffiths should not have died in vain, we all should take this lesson deeply to heart."
Penny
7/02/2013
3:31:35 PM
That's a really sad story.

Are they describing the type of belay where the climber has a loop of rope tied around his waist and the partner is waist belaying? I had always assumed that these belays worked because people made sure they never fell on them. Does anyone know what its like to fall, or catch a fall, like this?
gfdonc
7/02/2013
3:52:54 PM
Yeah. Hurts a bit, and you can get rope burn, but not nearly as painful as a classic abseil in my experience.

Figure 8's and sticht plates were a bigger innovation than most modern climbers realize.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
7/02/2013
3:58:01 PM
On 7/02/2013 Penny wrote:
>That's a really sad story.
>
Agreed.

>Are they describing the type of belay where the climber has a loop of
>rope tied around his waist and the partner is waist belaying? I had always
>assumed that these belays worked because people made sure they never fell
>on them. Does anyone know what its like to fall, or catch a fall, like
>this?

People did fall, and given the strength of manilla ropes of the day it is a wonder that most of those falls were arrested without mishap.

When I first started climbing waist belays were common, though we had moved on from the days of simply tying the (new invention laid nylon), rope around our waist, as we used a waistloop made of (new invention of), seatbelt webbing (2" flat nylon tape), wrapped multiple times around the waist to spread the load.
Even so, carrying leather gloves for the belayer was still common practise, and nifty tricks like using a karabiner at rear of the belayers waistloop, helped stop friction burns to the belayers back.

I was fortunate in that I only ever held what most climbers these days would describe as 'slumps on the rope', rather than epic leader falls.

When I first bought a sticht plate, it took a mental readjustment on my part to relearn belaying by grabbing the rope and spreading my arms apart, rather than what I had previously learnt, which was grabbing the rope and crossing my arms in front of my stomach in order to increase rope friction.

On easy slabs while belaying seconds if a secure stance is available, I still sometimes use a waist belay in order to speed up multipitch ascents, as waist belays in competent hands still work.

Incidentally, modern harnesses evolved from the paractise of using a sling folded figure-eight fashion to pass ones legs through (and clipped to the waistloop), while hanging suspended by the waist, to take weight off ones diaphragm and enable easy breathing again after a fall into overhanging territory!
Penny
7/02/2013
4:05:51 PM
Gosh that sounds a bit serious and painful. What about lead falls? Are they really not as painful to take/catch as old-school abseiling?
Estey
7/02/2013
9:10:43 PM
On 7/02/2013 Penny wrote:
>That's a really sad story.
>
>Are they describing the type of belay where the climber has a loop of
>rope tied around his waist and the partner is waist belaying? I had always
>assumed that these belays worked because people made sure they never fell
>on them. Does anyone know what its like to fall, or catch a fall, like
>this?

Hey Penny. How you doing?

Reading this 50 years on still makes your heart sink. I can't answer your questions but the following extract from the history section in the 1984 Guide offers a bit of insight.

"There were two main reasons for the decline in popularity of the Wolgan in those days. One was Bryden's influence on where the club climbed. He didn't think much of the rock in the Wolgan, preferring the longer routes of the Grose Valley and the Warrumbubgles to the mini-crags nearer home. The other reason was the death of Paul Griffiths in 1962. Paul was killed when he fell whilst leading Walhalla (13) on the Old Baldy cliffline. So far this has been the only tragedy to mar the climbing scene in the Wolgan and since then, bowlines have been replaced by figure of eight knots."

I've heard quite a few Wolgan regulars talk about checking this route out. I've never heard of anyone climbing it. It looks pretty out there from across the valley.
technogeekery
21/02/2013
4:15:51 PM
On 16/10/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Diarrhoea Chimney (~> possibly renamed Sunshine Crack along the way in
>an A. Penney Guide?), is a good route for easy access to the half way ledge
>that you can amble along to access Scimitar/Sword of Damocles, etc on Old
>Baldy.
>
>I have done it several times and it is a pleasant and interesting route
>for the relatively easy grade. All you need to protect it is slings, that
>you thread through obvious places. The only bit that seems exposed for
>the newbies I have taken up it, are the final moves out of the chimney.
>Many years ago it used to have a good gumtree (after that exit), at the
>top of a sloping ledge, to belay off, prior to the final topout up a short
>face behind it.
>This got washed-out/blown over during a storm event about 25 years ago
>and I would think that setting a belay in that vicinity would now be problematic,
>... though with today's longer ropes, and careful rigging to lessen rope-drag,
>one may be able to lead right through to the top now, especially if they
>had set a first belay on the chockstone in the chimney which makes for
>a rather short 'first pitch'.

I took a wander up to the base of this on a rainy day recently just to have a look, it is a spectacular natural line. But from below it looked hideous, sandy, mossy, chossy & super friable - probably not helped by the ooze and seep from the gentle rain. As I stood there contemplating it in dismay, I heard a rising clatter and tried to hide under my arms as a handful of fist sized rocks slammed down into the moss around me. I fled in disarray, having no helmet and no friends and not wanting to die alone in the woods.

It looks great, might drag some sportclimber friends of mine up to show them how we used to roll in the old days :P

 Page 2 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 37
There are 37 messages in this topic.

 

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