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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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VIC Buffalo (General) (General) (General) [ Mt Buffalo Guide | Images ] 

Where Angels Fear to Tread - bloody epic
5:14:22 PM
Jumped on WAFTT over the Christmas break. We certainly weren't disappointed. Some random observations for anyone thinking about getting on it.

We followed the instructions posted earlier in this thread by @gfdonc and they worked a treat. The path was well cairned and pretty easy to follow. I think it took us about 45 mins to walk down from the chalet and we weren't rushing.

The Climb
We broke it down as follows (I led P1 and P3)

P1 ~35m and belayed at a decent, comfy stance above a decent sized tree/bush in the crack. The start of the pitch felt hard. It's the most vertical climbing on the whole route and, combined with the initial shock of just how uncomfortable the jamming is, it came as a bit of a shock.

P2 ~60m with a semi hanging belay after the wide section.

P3 ~40m with belay at the top of the funky chimney thing (I went up it as I didn't realise you could go around to the right). It was bloody awkward with a small day pack on but for me the crux of that pitch is the climbing lower down where the crack disappears to nothing and you have a few feet of very thin climbing before you make the big ledge.

P4 ~40m with belay at another big ledge. Off width awkward corner thing followed by off width crack followed by fridge hugging. A real treat ;)

At this stage that's the end of the main climbing from what we could tell, and for us this is where the adventure really began. We hadn't previously explored the exit via Burston's Crevasse (BC) which turned out to be a mistake. From the ledge at the end of P4 we climbed 3 or 4 additional shortish pitches, each one getting more and more iffy as decent rock ran out and dirt and bushes took over. The beta we had read talked about going right form the end of the main climbing after the fridge hugging pitch. We did this but had it in our minds that we hadn't gone far enough to the right so as we got higher we were expecting BC to be on our right. Of course it's not, it's down and on your left. Unfortunately it took us an age to figure this out. The solution in the end was to call reinforcements and have the girls (who both decided to give WAFTT a miss - can't imagine why) who coo-eeed from the top of the crevasse.

In all it took about 6.5 hours to climb and about 4 hours to find our way to BC after the main climbing was done.

Other stuff:

We took 3 x #4 C4s and 2 x #3 and used them plenty. Maybe 3 x #4 was a bit of overkill but I'd certainly take 2. No need for a #5 IMO. I wouldn't worry with anything smaller than maybe 0.5.

We climbed on a nice cool summers day but still got through about 5 liters of water between us, admittedly the buggering around trying to find BC contributed a fair bit to the total time on rock.

We took two way radios. It wasn't an especially breezy day and we probably could have managed without them but it was nice to have. You also get decent Telstra coverage on the wall.

In general I think the climb is a bit of a sandbag. It's hard to separate the true difficultly of the climb from the general physicality/brutality of it. The granite is incredibly coarse and, as described by everyone else, shreds hands, forearms (it's deep) and feet, and this alone takes it out of you, but I also think individual bits of the climb are a grade or two harder than 17, the think part at the top of P3 for instance. We climbed Sultan and Maharaja on the same trip and both of those felt easier. I think if 17 was your limit then you'd find WAFTT to proper struggle. If you're up for a bit of an adventure though then it's a great day out.

5:40:13 PM
You went right from the top of the route? Right while facing the cliff? Away from Burston's?
6:45:40 PM
Yup, essentially we went too far up and to climbers right until we reached a point where we couldn't go any further without climbing some truly dodgy stuff. In hindsight that wouldn't have helped anyway as the buttress is detached with BC running behind it.

Even from the top BC is still pretty tricky to find, with a number of false trails and dead ends. It's the kind of mistake that seems hard to make once you know the setup but easy enough to do at the time. In particular we got a bit fixated on the beta that talked about doing "down and right" from the top of the P4 ledge.

7:13:21 PM
From the top of the fridge hugging (indicated as Slap [sic] Arete on page 67 of the guide), there's two main options:

- Scramble down and right and then immediately head up the dirty slabby corner, (pushing past some bushes last time I was there)

- Between the dirty corner and the top of the fridge pitch there's a curving, right leaning crack. It's interesting, more exciting climbing. Cleaner than the corner.

Either way, on the next ledge head left to the juggy dyke crack and up.

This is the end of the route propper. Scramble left around the corner (pretty sure you should be able to see Caligula from here) and then across some (snow?) grass up into Burston's Crevasse.

I recommend scoping the exit to the route ahead of time. It also gives an opportunity to leave a cache of water etc at the top of the route.

8:21:46 PM
You found Sultan easier than WAFTT? Cripes!
9:41:38 AM
Like I said, the high ouch-factor of WAFTT makes the grading a bit trickier I reckon. Even just resting in that trench can be uncomfortable. Sultan by contrast is a bit awkward but mostly because you have to trust some not very inspiring, lichen-covered feet pulling around those corners.

9:46:00 AM
I don't remember the first pitch of WAFTT being sharp or painful. I do recall getting quite pumped the first time I climbed it because I wasn't warmed up at all but I don't recall any of the route being that uncomfortable actually. I've done it more than once so it cannot have been that bad, can it?

Did you have tape gloves and high top boots/taped/rubber covered ankles?

9:59:37 AM
On 6/01/2015 ajfclark wrote:

>Did you have tape gloves and high top boots/taped/rubber covered ankles?

With this and half way competent hand jamming technique the ouch factor shouldn't be excessively high.
10:02:42 AM
On 6/01/2015 ajfclark wrote:
> I don't recall any of the route being that uncomfortable

A lot of posts on here from others would beg to differ ;) Good on you though if you had the necessary style/technique/thick skin that made it pain free.

>Did you have tape gloves and high top boots/taped/rubber covered ankles?

Yup taped hands and lightly taped ankles and the outside of each shoe. The ankle/shoe tape was ripped through in the first pitch or two. Should have gone several layers for those. We also both lost a fair bit of skin on the forearms from jamming deep into the back of the crack during the wider, fist sized bits.

10:55:37 AM
Sounds like an equipment issue to me. :-)

The last time I climbed it in a long sleeved shirt, with tape gloves, long pants and a pair of 5.10 grandstones. Probably had a teatowel on my head under my helmet.

I make my gloves starting about where you'd wear a watch, maybe a touch higher. They cover every boney bit of the back of my hands, wrist, and the first knuckle of each finger and thumb. Extra tape is carried for running repairs if needed. They are thick enough that I cut them off at the wrist and reuse them at the end of the route.

I can't find a good picture of them before or after WAFTT, but here's a pic of them on Love & Respect:

10:56:13 AM
Here's a pic from the first time I did WAFTT:

Amusingly Scott actually tore a 50 cent piece sized hole in one shoe around the ball of the foot area while leading up to this point. He was alternating between laughing and crying about it as he moved up.

11:18:16 AM
Since I'm posting pictures, here's one of the exit into Burston's Crevasse:

The lowest arrow is the pinnacle behind the squeeze chimney, just before the fridge hugging.
Next arrow is the top of the fridge hugging.
Next arrow is the top of the juggy dyke crack.
The long arrow is an approximation of how to get into Burston's Crevasse. From memory, where that arrow starts, there's a short (1.5m) corner you climb over, then across and down slightly over the snow grass and then up an unlikely looking corner system, then pick your way through the boulders to the tip of the arrow and up Burston's.

And from the other side of the gorge:

The lowest arrow is the pinnacle behind the squeeze chimney, just before the fridge hugging.
Next arrow is the top of the fridge hugging. This is where you need head slightly right.
The blue arrow is Scott on the dirty slab corner, to his left is the cleaner, harder crackline.
Next red arrow is me belaying at the top of the juggy dyke crack. From here we headed straight up over the small boulders to the line of bushes and the next arrow.
The last red arrow is when the exit goes around to the left.

The red arrows should roughly correspond between the two photos.
12:43:47 PM
These couple of shots from the WednesdayClimbers picasaweb link from earlier in the thread are also useful :

To find Angels harder than Sultan suggests some shortfall in technique. When I did Angels many years ago I would have struggled to climb Sultan but I was reasonably confident on easy Buffalo graunchs.

12:52:24 PM
I did WAFTT last year for the first time. Did the original start which was stiff for 17 and has a bush in the way about 10m up - luckily that wasn't my lead. I thought the crux was where the crack thins right out after you transition from one hand crack to another and just before a big ledge. It was my second lead (pitch 4) but I think we might have combined some pitches so could be P5 in the route description. The fridge hugging came after that and was a bit awkward but not all that hard.
We didn't tape up, wore normal rock shoes and swung leads. Hands and ankles got a few minor scratches but nothing unusual for 6 or 7 pitches of climbing. One way to reduce the carnage is to take advantage of the fact it is less than vertical and heel toe the offwidth sections rather than jamming your whole leg in. The scramble off into Burston's was a bit messy, it might have helped to check it out in advance but then again I'm not sure the finish off the route would have been obvious from above.
We got started straight after breakfast and topped out in time for a late lunch - about 4-5 hours all up I think.
So I'm putting in a vote for this route as a fun outing though I can see how it could easily become a bloody epic.

1:31:47 PM
On 6/01/2015 kieranl wrote:
>These couple of shots from the WednesdayClimbers picasaweb link from earlier
>in the thread are also useful :
>To find Angels harder than Sultan suggests some shortfall in technique.
>When I did Angels many years ago I would have struggled to climb Sultan
>but I was reasonably confident on easy Buffalo graunchs.

Think this gets the win for most gear used

1:43:15 PM

Very creative!
3:24:31 PM
On 6/01/2015 shortman wrote:
>Very creative!
awesome Xmas decoration idea!

 Page 3 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 57
There are 57 messages in this topic.


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