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
Hi all. Just letting people know of a cliff i developed late last year with the help of some friends.
The story: After stumbling across a cliff named Tom Thumb (not knowing of this crag's existence) on the west side of Mt Clarence, i followed the cliffline southeast and came across some really impressive natural lines. Since then 12 trad climbs have been put up in ground up fashion, with the help of some climbing friends. Paul's suggestion for a name "the colliery" seemed appropriate, in reference to the old nearby clarence coal mine.
The whereabouts: The cliffline that makes up the colliery is situated on the southern tip of mount clarence. It can be seen when driving on the gap road between lithgow and hartley, but access to them is off bells line of road. Paul has likened the crag to an underdeveloped Mt York, which can be seen 4km south as the crow flies.
The climbing: In my biased opinion, i feel the longish walkins (esp if you don't own a 4wd) are rewarded by some really nice trad climbs in the easier to moderate grades. The majority of the climbs follow obvious natural cracks/corners, so you won't get lost enroute. The rock is generally good, but future traffic (if it occurs) will likely to brake off the odd hold on a few of the climbs.
The easiest climbs are good fun but maybe not ideal for people just leading at the grade (some are very exciting for the grade) and the harder ones are very worthwhile. 4 of the climbs take big gear, eg #5 & #6 camalots. Climb descriptions will tell you if big gear is needed.
The general aspect of the colliery is west facing, and is great for climbing out of the sun. Suprisingly, quite a few climbs don't really even get afternoon sun either. Good for hot sunny days.
In short, if you're up for some fun trad, single or 2 pitch, and are up for an adventure, then check it out.
Many thanks go to Alex, Morgan and Jonas for listening to me rave about the place and subsequently coming out and sharing some first ascents. Big thanks to Paul for helping me knock over the remaining obvious lines, and even bigger thanks for doing the write up on thecrag.com (I don't know if i would have ever got around to that one!). And thanks to Paul's dad for letting us use his 4wd on the last trip out there.
Thanks to my partner sam for putting up with my new routeing obsession of late.
If anyone has done any of these climbs previously let me know, i'd be keen to hear.
Cool, I gawk out that way often enough, great to hear of your adventures. Check out Odin Head at Mt Vic too! The two obvious gems are done but some more to go. Just drop down the right gully after the small saddle. Great hard roof crack still to go.....anyone?
Great work, i think we talked about it a few months back.
I have one minor whinge:- though the route descritions in thecrag and on the ACA website are a great resource if you are writing a guidebook, they are terrible as guides. Any chance you could migrate it to the SRC website.
here's one I did to the Fortress:- http://routes.sydneyrockies.org.au/confluence/display/nswrock/The+Fortress
You may have to ask Stu for access.
As per migrating the crag to the src website, there's a good reason why Paul did the write up instead of me, cause i would have taken years to do so. It's definately the least enjoyable part of doing new routes in my opinion. Maybe Paul should do it, i'm sure he'd love it!....
Now if thats not stretching the friendship, then i don't know what is, but its worth a try :)
Here's a pic thats not yet on thecrag.com, at least i don't think it is. It shows the awesomeness of Gina climbhard from a distance, just to wet someone's appetite.
After I saw Mikl's post I had a look at the Sydney Rockey's guide to refresh myself on the format. It's pretty straightforward and won't take long to do, I just need to get around to doing it.
Gina Climbhard is infinitely more impressive when you're standing below the monolithic roof.
EDIT: Hmmm, Disregard my above comment. I definately don't have the time to write the entire page from scratch in HTML. When I saw I could "live edit" existing crag pages, I thought that the guidebook might have incorporated that functionality across all its pages, but it seems that I was wrong. It may get done, but not anytime soon.
On 17/01/2013 PThomson wrote:
>EDIT: Hmmm, Disregard my above comment. I definately don't have
>the time to write the entire page from scratch in HTML. When I saw I could
>"live edit" existing crag pages, I thought that the guidebook might have
>incorporated that functionality across all its pages, but it seems that
>I was wrong. It may get done, but not anytime soon.
It does, you just need to select the guide template when you add a new page. Then save. Then go to your new page and press edit this page. The rest should be fairly straight forward.
Hmm... I'll try it out. I saw the HTML markup appear when I selected the "guide" template, and assumed the "template" was merely the basic HTML formatting to match the general page layout (since it only showed a small amount of text).
I've been out to the Colliery a few times lately. Bolted a few lines, and had a chance to repeat Rob's mega roof crack: Gina Climb-Hard (18).
I didn't manage to send my main remaining bolted project "Dorsal Fin" (hence it remains a closed project - details can be found here: http://www.thecrag.com/climbing/australia/blue-mountains/bells-line-of-road/route/272116356 , to get you salivating for when I send it), and took a pretty painful fall from the last hard move on it, but I'll be back within the next few weeks for the send of it, and hopefully my other partially bolted route "Pectoral Fin". I can say that Dorsal Fin is as awesome as I was hoping, and much harder than I was expecting.
Here are a few photos from Gina Climb-Hard.
Looking up from the belay at the end of P1, as Rob leads the funky roof pitch.
Looking out at Rob in the semi-hanging belay stance at the end of P2.
Seriously though, there's a mountain of potential still to go there (every time Rob and I head out there we spot new lines that need to be 'sent'), so if you don't mind a bit of a walk, or a bit of adventurous trad, don't hesitate to make your way out there.
PS: Sydney Rockies print-friendly guide coming soon. I've just finished hand-drawing a new access topo for the Colliery to add to it.
I've ticked Dorsal Fin arete as well (at hard-ish 22 for the Direct Start, on consensus from another climber), so most of my projects are pretty much done. If anyone is interested in new routing trad or bolted lines, I've got some photos of interesting features which are climb-able, or can give you some advice on the potential (as I see it). There is one particularly thin seam which could be fun on gear.
Here's a picture of my first ascent of Dorsal Fin (bottom right inset), and Computer Macca (Michael McEwen) on a subsequent repeat (main picture).