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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 43
Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
VIC Buffalo Gorge (General) (General) [ Gorge Guide ] 

Author
Mt Buffalo Gorge - North Wall descent.

macey
12/12/2008
9:07:47 PM
Hi. Ive climbed at Buffalo a fair bit over the last few years though have never been on the north wall. I,ve read the guide book and have decided it will probably be a while before I can make an ascent of anything on it as the grades are out of my grasp for the time being.

What I WOULD like to do however, is rap down the wall for a bit of fun and walk out of the gorge to to be picked up by my fiance Nicci. Can anyone give me any tips on the ease of this descent, whether the rap stations are in line, how easy the track is to find and any funky little manouvres I may need to make..?
It looks reasonably straight forward in the guide, though Id appreciate any beta which would make my descent safer and easier.

Ive done multi-pitch descents before and am well experienced in the technical aspect of things, just after any helpful beta anyone has to offer.....
fish boy
12/12/2008
9:10:23 PM
Which way were you wanting to go down?

Comet Ramp, Defender Rap or just throwing a long static will get you there, but that's what the guide tells you anway.


IdratherbeclimbingM9
12/12/2008
10:32:10 PM
Dave Chitty has his 200m abseil down, just left (facing out) of Fuhrer. This avoids the three pitch abseil off re-belays down Defender of The Faith to Fuhrer Ledge, and is done as one long abseil.
The reason I mention Daves abseil is that directly below where it hits Fuhrer Ledge, and a short scramble down to the obvious 'point', he has a further bolt re-belay that you can use to get down to Crystal Brook (2 further abs on double std length ropes?). From here the quickest 'out' up the south side is up right of Angels Buttress to Sewer Wall then on up to the oval.
This ascent can be a bit tricky in the vicinity of the cave/hole (2/3 height), for direction finding, and in wet weather can be difficult scrambling in the vicinity of where the old sewer pipe goes over a small drop-off (easier to climb the pipe!)...

The other alternative (once on Fuhrer is to proceed down Comet Ramp by 3 more abseils in the direction of Ozymandias to its base. The standard sth side track 'out' is then used after negotiating Crystal Brooks three channels in that vicinity. If you have not done it before then it can be a bit deceptive to follow as well, and I would recommend sussing it out by walking down it beforehand, so you know where it goes.
South side 'track' is not really a good description for it, as it has some minor climbing involved and some exposed portions skirting along/around dropoffs.

Your other alternatives from the base of Ozy area are to contour on the left (nth wall side) of the gorge down and around till you strike the road going from the base of mtn up to its top. It has many boulder-dropoffs to negotiate and is true bush-bashing as there is no defined track.
It is also further than you think it would be!

The last (& longest), option is to keep following Crystal Brook till it meets up with Eurobin Creek entering from the right, and then follow it downstream to the top of Eurobin Falls. The left side (looking D/stream) of Eurobin Falls is the easiest side to negotiate back to a 'made' track.
Once again, this is true bush-bash and boulder-negotiating territory.
~>I have heard there are still japanese in there who have not given up since the war ended ...
Heh, heh, heh.

Bring some binoculars and I can meet you up there some time to point out relevant landmarks ...
~> Nail a time with me vide PM.

macey
15/12/2008
6:17:25 PM
Thanks for the beta mate, I appreciate the knowledge of seasoned climbers like yourself. First hand experience is so much more valuable than what any guidebook can offer. I think I'll head down Defender to Fuhrer ledge, then continue down comet ramp to the base of Ozy. Going to spend an arvo checking out the walk in/out as I don't really want to be wandering round for lost for hours. As phone reception can crap, I have a couple of hand held UHF radios which have a 6km range, so I can still contact my girlfriend when I get bitten by a snake!! must head off to the kids school concert now, so thanks again and see you over xmas sometime.
gfdonc
15/12/2008
11:59:22 PM
Good luck with that. For some more info, check my trip report (in my profile).
As noted there, crossing the brook can be problematic.

The Defender rap is fun, consider extending the chain though (and retrieving your gear later). The rap down Comet ramp is easy to find from there, but watch out for loose crap in the gully - helmet.
The walkie-talkies are a great idea.

The main "wrong turn" is about 1/4 of the way up the gorge, where it looks like you head right towards some slabs, but that dead-ends. Instead, look for a short scramble up a steep wall with an old rope to grab onto. (Depending on your shoe rubber, this will be the crux of the whole ascent).

I've walked out twice, once via the wrong-turn (we ended up abseiling to get back on route), the other time more successfully (if you count such an extended walk-of-shame a success).

Travel light, it's all uphill with some steep scrambling in spots. You'll have two ropes with you of course.
DMWdesign
19/06/2014
11:26:21 PM
On 15/12/2008 gfdonc wrote:
>Good luck with that. For some more info, check my trip report (in my profile).
>As noted there, crossing the brook can be problematic.
>
>The Defender rap is fun, consider extending the chain though (and retrieving
>your gear later). The rap down Comet ramp is easy to find from there,
>but watch out for loose crap in the gully - helmet.
>The walkie-talkies are a great idea.
>
>The main "wrong turn" is about 1/4 of the way up the gorge, where it looks
>like you head right towards some slabs, but that dead-ends. Instead, look
>for a short scramble up a steep wall with an old rope to grab onto. (Depending
>on your shoe rubber, this will be the crux of the whole ascent).
>
>I've walked out twice, once via the wrong-turn (we ended up abseiling
>to get back on route), the other time more successfully (if you count such
>an extended walk-of-shame a success).
>
>Travel light, it's all uphill with some steep scrambling in spots. You'll
>have two ropes with you of course.
>

I am looking at doing the same abseil down Defender of the Faith
do you know what the pitch lengths are?
and what is the size of the stance like between each pitch - i.e. room for more than one person?
are there bolt belays at each pitch?

Pat
20/06/2014
9:45:01 AM
Having down the walk to the bottom of Ozy and back, I think if you are careful in your route finding at the base of Ozy you should find the walk out straightforward in terms of navigation once you find the track on the other side of the creeks for the walk out.

Rod could confirm this, but from the bivvy spot at the base of Ozzy right by the first creek crossing (on the Ozzy side) I would estimate that the track up the other side is somewhere between 50 and 100 meters downstream - as others have said crossing three creek courses. There are various pads through there and if you are used to bush bashing and have a good sense of direction it should pose no significant problems and in my opinion is the only significant navigation difficulty you should encounter. However some have found the creek dangerously high in the past - so be warned.

The walk out has a number of short sections of hand line in sketchy scrambling, but these are mostly sketchy when you have a massive haul bag on your back. On my walk down I wasn't carrying anything and I found them straight forward.

Have fun.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
20/06/2014
10:49:31 AM
On 20/06/2014 Pat wrote:
>from the bivvy spot at the base of Ozzy right by the first creek crossing (on the Ozzy side) I would estimate that the track up the other side is somewhere between 50 and 100 meters downstream

My memory thinks it closer to 150 - 200 m.

On 19/06/2014 DMWdesign wrote:
>I am looking at doing the same abseil down Defender of the Faith
>do you know what the pitch lengths are?
>and what is the size of the stance like between each pitch - i.e. room for more than one person?
>are there bolt belays at each pitch?

You can do it on double 50 m ropes, but 60's are better as the pitches are full length (47m, 47m, 51m - a stretched rope!).

1st abseil leads to a DBB chain anchor at waist height on a ledge about 1.8m long x 0.5m wide.

2nd abseil ends with a swing of about 4m to the right of the line, to a DBB chain anchor (waist height), on a small ledge that is only big enough for two people standing.

3rd abseil ends on Fuhrer Ledge (a major feature big enough to pitch a tent on!), also known as Comet Ramp.

Continue down Comet Ramp (two more 47m abseils*), or take the more direct line from the point jutting out into the gorge (located below the highest part of Fuhrer Ledge), where you can find another bolt belay without a chain. It has been a while since I was there and I think we did it on doubled 60's as the 4th abseil.

(*Beware the exposed scramble of about 6m to get to the top of the first of those two abseils).

It is a good adventure day out for those inclined for such.



timbigot
20/06/2014
12:50:38 PM
Thats sound like the best advice so far, If you take the comet ramp all the way from the top it is extremely easy to snag your rope. I haven't done it in years but the rope drag wont have got any better.
DMWdesign
23/06/2014
6:01:09 PM
On 20/06/2014 timbigot wrote:
>Thats sound like the best advice so far, If you take the comet ramp all
>the way from the top it is extremely easy to snag your rope. I haven't
>done it in years but the rope drag wont have got any better.

thanks very much for the info
just to clarify - are you saying it's better to descend the comet ramp in the 2 stages described in the previous post rather than one long abseil from the point (due to rope retrieval issues)?

also, at the bottom of the last abseil, is that the base of Ozymandias?.- from where you walk downstream 100m to look for the track out?

once you find the start of track out, is it obvious from then on - i.e well used? and does this track ascend the south wall of the Gorge?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
23/06/2014
6:14:19 PM
On 23/06/2014 DMWdesign wrote:
>On 20/06/2014 timbigot wrote:
>>Thats sound like the best advice so far, If you take the comet ramp all
>>the way from the top it is extremely easy to snag your rope. I haven't
>>done it in years but the rope drag wont have got any better.
>
>thanks very much for the info
>just to clarify - are you saying it's better to descend the comet ramp
>in the 2 stages described in the previous post rather than one long abseil
>from the point (due to rope retrieval issues)?
>
>also, at the bottom of the last abseil, is that the base of Ozymandias?- from where you walk downstream 100m to look for the track out?

>once you find the start of track out, is it obvious from then on - i.e well used? and does this track ascend the south wall of the Gorge?

No.
I take timbigot's post as being; do Defender into Comet, and proceed to base of Ozy.

I have not found rope snag to be an issue in the upper Comet Ramp abseils, but I am careful with my set-ups...

The issues that I have found there are;
Narrow slots that entrap haulbags!
Leaf-litter / twigs etc that pull down with the rope. Particularly off the first abseil anchor being a large snowgum adjacent the Guide Alice - Pulpit Rock Lookout. I usually clear the worst to avoid snagging the rope, but the 'fines' inevitably come down...

Base of Ozy is still sort of slot-like, and requires scrambling to get to the 'track'. Take care if this is wet, as it can be quite slippery and a twisted ankle from a fall here would make the south-side exit tedious.
Once the 'track is arrived at, it descends downhill directly away from the cliff, towards the creek.
This portion is obvious and hugs the shoulder of rock that forms the base approach to Ozy for about a third of it's length.
Total distance Ozy to creek is only about 120 m, maybe less.

The 100 m (more like 150+ m imo) referred to in earlier posts, is reference to the diagonal crossing of three channels of Crystal Brook, whilst heading in a downstream diagonal direction.

Once you cross the first channel of Crystal Brook, the track becomes indistinct, but generally heads diagonally downstream crossing the creeks other channels till you arrive at the south side near a pool with a fallen tree forming an upside down letter 'Y' in it.
Cross at this point.
The rest of the south side track varies between medium-easy to find, and a little more difficult.
In some places it actually loses some height before regaining it, but if you look far enough ahead, you will likely see small rock cairns on prominant boulders to mark the way...

Re ascending the south wall of the Gorge.
As earlier posts in this thread attest to, there are a number of options.
The most commonly used is the south-side track. This finishes via Mushroom Rock to the Hang-glider Ramp area near the Chalet.
Less well known and used is the 'track' from base of Angels Buttress to Sewer Wall. This involves some difficulties that have been elaborated in an earlier post. It finishes up Burston's Crevasse at the Cricket Pitch Oval (also near the Chalet).
The third/4th/etc option/s involve roped climbing linking various routes.

When are you undertaking this adventure of yours?
timbigot
23/06/2014
7:28:34 PM
What he said ^ . last time I was in the gorge the 2nd rap station was the split link chain variety, I don't know if this has improved but I was able to (with considerable skill), catch the last inch or less of the tail of my rope in the said split link. This meant I had to aid/thruch back up using my haul line to retrieve it. This was extremely sketchy as at on point I was forced to jug on said stuck rope and was almost sick when I finally saw what I had weighted. So to sum up, do what he said ^.
DMWdesign
23/06/2014
10:04:13 PM
>When are you undertaking this adventure of yours?

thank you for this very useful info

I am planning on doing this trip sometime in November - longer days & dryer rock
I am a canyoner but not a rock climber, so I want to make sure there are no desperate moves b/n abseils. So far it doesn't sound too bad.
I have done all the multi-pitch abseils around Katoomba (Mailaita Wall etc) but this sounds more exciting as the rebelay ledges are much smaller.
plus it's a bit closer to home (Melbourne)

Miguel75
23/06/2014
10:14:07 PM
On 23/06/2014 DMWdesign wrote:
>... SNIP... I am planning on doing this trip sometime in November - longer days &
>dryer rock...

I'm planning a lightening reconnoiter mission of the Defender raps, around late Oct start of Nov. If you're looking for someone to go with let me know; I've walked out of the gorge a few times now and am well acquainted with the walk of fame/shame;)
DMWdesign
23/06/2014
10:20:48 PM
On 23/06/2014 timbigot wrote:
>What he said ^ . last time I was in the gorge the 2nd rap station was the
>split link chain variety, I don't know if this has improved but I was able
>to (with considerable skill), catch the last inch or less of the tail of
>my rope in the said split link. This meant I had to aid/thruch back up
>using my haul line to retrieve it. This was extremely sketchy as at on
>point I was forced to jug on said stuck rope and was almost sick when I
>finally saw what I had weighted. So to sum up, do what he said ^.

can you clarify above - sounds tricky:
was that the 2nd rap station of Defender?
split link chain variety - what's that as I can't visualize what it is
how exactly did you catch your rope?

"So to sum up, do what he said" - sorry, but what does that refer to?

Macciza
23/06/2014
10:23:57 PM
Bugger waiting till then . . .
Phillipivan and I have semi plans to hit up the North Wall in maybe a month or so, once the weather settles in . . .
Hows it going down that way anyway, has this latest set of cold fronts brought much joy to the gorge yet?
Oh yeah Phil hows in month or so sound, we can start looking for a good bad weather window sometime after that maybe . . .
DMWdesign
23/06/2014
10:33:50 PM
On 23/06/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>On 23/06/2014 DMWdesign wrote:
>>... SNIP... I am planning on doing this trip sometime in November - longer
>days &
>>dryer rock...
>
>I'm planning a lightening reconnoiter mission of the Defender raps, around
>late Oct start of Nov. If you're looking for someone to go with let me
>know; I've walked out of the gorge a few times now and am well acquainted
>with the walk of fame/shame;)

Thank you,yes I may be interested in your offer
As much as the info in this forum has been really helpful, I really should do a recce too before dragging others down.
how do we contact each other? - this is the first time I have done this forum stuff

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24/06/2014
8:57:51 AM
On 23/06/2014 DMWdesign wrote:
>I really should do a recce too before dragging others down.

What you are proposing to do, ... many others refer to as being the recce.
Your best recce option without actually doing the abseils, is to view the route from the south side with a good (strong) set of binoculars. Even better if you do prior homework and photocopy a guidebook or print off a website, the line of the route Defender Of The Faith, so you know what you are looking at in good detail.
There are some South Side Lookouts that are quite close and give excellent views across the gorge to it.

There is another alternative.
A guiding company based at Mt Buffalo runs adventure activities that includes what you propose to do, as well as a multipitch south side of the gorge abseil day. Do a google search for Adventure Guides Australia...


>how do we contact each other? - this is the first time I have done this forum stuff

Click on the little envelope icon next to Miguel75's name on his post.




Re your reply to timbigot;
(Sorry to pre-empt you timbigot, but I am online now and the original poster might want a more timely reply, to fuel further questions it would seem! Heh, heh, heh.)
>can you clarify above - sounds tricky:

It was an unfortunate snagging of his rope. It sounds like he had the skills and equipment required to retrieve it, and learnt a bit more in the process, due the scare factor involved :(
I am sure timbigot can elaborate further, as these snafu's on walls have a habit of etching themselves in our memories... :)

>was that the 2nd rap station of Defender?

No. He is talking about the upper abseils of Comet Ramp that also lead to the base of Defender Of The Faith.

>split link chain variety - what's that as I can't visualize what it is how exactly did you catch your rope?

Sometimes split links are used on chains to connect the chain to itself or other anchors. It sounds like his rope unfortunately got snagged on such an item.

>"So to sum up, do what he said" - sorry, but what does that refer to?

He is referring to my post, where I agreed with others that abseiling Defender down to Fuhrer Ledge/Comet Ramp (one and the same location), then proceeding down Comet Ramp's further abseils to base of Ozymandias, is better than doing the upper abseils of Comet Ramp to join the same place at the base of Defender.
Both are feasible. It is a subjective choice.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24/06/2014
9:23:03 AM
On 23/06/2014 Macciza wrote:
>Hows it going down that way anyway, has this latest set of cold fronts brought much joy to the gorge yet?

Yesterday was as much rain (58 mm) along with the snow up there, so it was slush.
Temperatures are colder today, so it should be all snow up there. (Falls and Hotham are talking top of -5 today...)
This 'goodforyou' weather should continue and extend into early next week, with predictions of 1 m of snowfall by then at the major ski-fields... ~> not bad for a first dump of the season.

phillipivan
24/06/2014
10:28:41 AM
Macca, I have two options. Next Monday/Tuesday. Or after August 22nd though we may be risking doing it in 'spring' conditions by then.

Preferences?

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