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
I was up around Crag X yesterday and just wondering if anyone has climbed up there or knows about the routes up there...specifically, on the main crag, the arete to the right of Visit form the Footbinder (mentioned in the Vic Ranges guide as being worked on by Steve Monks) and the route to the right of that with the wierd looking ring bolts going up the flake. Name, grade, bolt quality etc...?
Also, if anyone has done Labyrinths, is it as good as it looks (it looks stellar) and is the gear any good (the guide mentions a fixed rp...).
Incidentally, on the walk in there are some new bolted routes on a small buttress and large block. The first one you come to is actually very enjoyable (for a low 20's 4 bolt route) despite it's appearance.
Even more obscurely, high up on the ridge way past Crag X (but to the right of the Grandstand) is a large leaning wall that has a route up it's right hand side - 2 old bolts lead to a great looking steep corner. Anyone know anything about it?
I haven't down any of the main routes - but I've rapped that wall a few times...
>Incidentally, on the walk in there are some new bolted routes on a small
>buttress and large block. The first one you come to is actually very enjoyable
>(for a low 20's 4 bolt route) despite it's appearance.
These are part of The Shire area developed by B. Eichler and Brendon Abernetty in 2005. They did heaps of excellent bouldering as well. Route descriptions below...
SWEET DUDE BLOCK
An orange scooped boulder appears immediatly after the big smooth red/orange wall. The twin aretes are the lines.
* Sweet 5m 19. Follow right hand line past 4 RBs on some big jugs.
*Dude 15m 21. Traverse in from L)slopey or R) crack of Left hand line. Staight up pasing 2RBS
medium wires and a 3rd RB.
BEARD BOULDER Problems R) to L) from descent.
*Pixie 15m 20. Classic moves. Start R) of arete up to RB to traverse L) to arete, cruxy. Follow arete past 3 RBs to tricky top out. Rap off tree. Or from DBB above Russian Roulette. FFA: B. Eichler Nov 04.
*Culture Shock 15m 17. Obvious natural crack. Tricky, pumpy start to slaby top out. FFA: N.Smith & B. Eichler jan 05.
Russian Roulette 10m 23/24. Vertical slabing! Follow thin line up a great closed seam, past 3 RBs to DBB. FFA: Brendon Nov04.
Bite the Bullet 10m 26+ Open Project
and on the MAIN Crag X cliff on the far left side (just right of the cave) is...
A) MISTY WALL
Above and right of red cave is a leadge wich guards the 25mtrs grey and orange wall of misty. All the routes start off this ledge. The routes are all worth the attention. They are long with technical face climbing and with tipically powerful cruxs up high were the wall kicks out for the last 10mtrs. Teh routes so far are mixed climbs and are a bit run out in places.
ACCESS: Scamble easily up via slabs to base of ledge. Climb 2mtr face onto ledge.
*Misty 25m 23. Start on steep arete and exciting spacey climb with great climbing the whole way. An exposed traverse past RB leads to a delicate face natural gear, and 2nd RB to join Misty Varient. Arrange gear and to top out as for MV. FFA B. Eichler and B. Abernetty. 29.05.05. (Neil it is a little run out passed the 1st ring to the gear, be cuatious. A Yellow and green alien are also helpful to protect the top shellow break.)
*Misty Varient 25m 22. Starting on ledge. Climb R) hand wall (on the detached block) easy with natural pro. Clip RB, on main wall, and make an exciting traverse L) along wall to gain verticle seam. Arrange good
wires and commit to tough run out crux sequence. Place a green and Yellow alien before reaching jugs as crack widens to top. Rap from DDB. FFA: B. Eichler & B. Abernetty Feb 05.
*Alecto 25m 25. A classic face climb start as for Misty Varient. From 1st RB head staight up (Balancy climbing on some small edges.) wall via a 2nd RB, good natural gear (small to medium wires) and a 3rd RB (protects Crux). Powerful, run out crux sequence leads to jug and good gear. FFA: B. Abernetty.
>Even more obscurely, high up on the ridge way past Crag X (but to the
>right of the Grandstand) is a large leaning wall that has a route up it's
>right hand side - 2 old bolts lead to a great looking steep corner. Anyone
>know anything about it?
I'd be keen to hear other people's opinions on Crag X. It fell off the radar after being developed but my recollection were that the good routes were exceptional. I never did Labyrinths, but I always thought it looked amazing.
I can recommend Promise Not To Tell (22). It might not be three stars, but it definitely has some character.
Steve Monks might actually be interested in retro-bolting some of his routes there. I recall seconding him up some two-pitch 26 at the right-hand end but the fixed protection was pretty minimal and I thought that the route suffered as a result. Steve's reply to me was that in twenty years the route would be considered a classic. We are now twenty years on and the route is still being ignored. Maybe it is time for a re-think.
Anyway, let us know if you repeat anything there and what you thought of it all.