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Morialta Gorge, Adelaide
1:03:33 PM
After a four day conference on femtosecond lasers, entangled photons and quantum computing - where my old supervisor
John Love received a life-long achievement award - it was finally time to hit the rockface. I never climbed in South
Australia and this was an occasion I should not miss. In the short time I had, basically two days, there was no time for
Moonarie and I followed my friend's Graig Roberts advice and paid a visit to Morialta Gorge. Located a mere 20 minutes
due north of Adelaide in the Eastern Hills. The drive is so short, you barely have time to buy lunch on the way - a good
change from the long-ish drive up to Blackheath.

Morialta Gorge offers numerous crags on both sides of the Gorge: we went to Far Crag located on the south side of the
the Gorge which, due to its eastern orientation, is covered with pleasant shades early in the afternoon even in December.
Although there are a couple of bolts here and there (e.g. on the classic "Pizzaz"), this is a trad climbing area. The very
good quality quartzite (metamorphosed sandstone) wall is reminiscent of Arapiles but highly fractured: hence the trad
nature of the crag with excellent gear placement.

Graig recommended some classic like "Pizzaz" (21m, 23) and "Barad Dur" (20m, 22) and I have only one comment for
you Craig: are you insane ! Instead we focussed on (basically) re-learning trad-climbing. So, we started on the aptly name
"Pedagogue" (20m,12) to get a feel of the rock (yes, Craig, that's 10 grades lower) followed by "Sheoak Corner" (15m,
12). By then, I felt like tackling some real hard stuff ;-) So we moved on to "Arev" (14m, 15) which provided some
excitement in the overhang and to "Golgotha" (15m, 16) where I managed to skip a bomber nut placement to give myself
a good dose of adrenaline running out the crux of the climb. Alex red-pointed the route but found it scary and hard as he
systematically refused to jam on the last 5 meters of the climb although the guide clearly says "a fine introduction to
jamming". That's what happen when you climb in the Blueys to often.

Perhaps the best route at that level is "Lord's prayer" described as an "adventure lead". A veteran of the crag we met on
site, John Lattanzio (hi John) suggested we use an alternate finish: the end of "Shewoodenduit" (20m,18). So I launched
into it, the crux being essentially the first move (BTW, no way this is a 15 crux, apparently erosion at the base made
things harder with time) and was off for an excellent experience. One of those climbs which is both surprising and
satisfying. The move to the alternate finish, left, pulling on a flake and stepping up onto the arête is magical.

So, if you ever visit Adelaide for fun or work, even for a short weekend, pack in your trad gear and drive up North Terrace,
pass the Tower Hotel, take a left at the Norton Summit Road find the swing gate and go for it.

Cheers, François

P.S. Here's a couple of pictures:

Alex refusing to jam on Arev

A typical profile of Far Crag: somewhere in there is Lord's prayer

1:34:28 PM
Your TR has inspired me to take a look at Morialta Gorge when next I visit Adelaide.
Thanks for posting it.

Your photo of it shows the classic 'V' pods within the jamming to be had above the climber. They look like the sort of thing that will take any size climbers hands, as well as good protection, so think you made a good choice in doing that line.
6:21:31 PM
Another climb named Golgotha. Why name a climb after the hill where Jesus got nailed up?
6:37:52 PM
On 14/12/2009 f_ladou wrote:
>The very good quality quartzite (metamorphosed sandstone) wall is reminiscent of
>Arapiles but highly fractured: hence the trad
>nature of the crag with excellent gear placement.

It's funny that you say that - being a local I hate the rock and think the gear's rubbish! I always use it
as a great practice area/lots of TRing.

Lead the occasional thing but usually save the leading for trips away!

Great to hear the gorge getting talked up though :)

9:35:01 PM
On 14/12/2009 f_ladou wrote:
. Located a mere 20 minutes
>due north of Adelaide in the Eastern Hills.

Actually its east of Adelaide; if you go due north you miss it entirly.

>A veteran of the crag we met on
>site, John Lattanzio (hi John)

lol, that sly dog, he lives in Nowra.

its good to see mori showcased and a great writeup, Im heading to Adelaide for the summer and its making me itch to head back to my local crag.
10:15:41 PM
Wow, that's the most appealing thing I've read about Mori ever! I don't know that I'd rave about the rock, and as a result, the gear, but it is entirely acceptable as a local crag when you consider how much climbing there is there only a stone's throw from the city. Baradur and Pizazz are amongst the best climbs there. Once you brush the film of dust washed down from the top off them. Still, I haven't been back since I moved out of home15 or so years ago.

Sammy S1
8:39:40 AM
That is where I had my first taste of outdoor climbing, and loved it.
11:52:38 AM
On 14/12/2009 NMcKinnon wrote:
>Another climb named Golgotha. Why name a climb after the hill where Jesus
>got nailed up?

And in any case, it should be used for aid climbs?

6:48:25 PM
I'm heading to Adelaide over Easter and am hoping to get to Morialta. Anyone have any info/topos they'd like to share? I'll likely just self belay on TR so am hoping there are some good, easily accessible climbs with easy access to the top of the crag.

Any info is greatly appreciated.

7:53:14 PM
Hey Mike happy to share some info on my local. What sort of grades are you looking at? Maybe PM me and I'll sort some info for you.

Alternatively myself and some mates are heading to Onkaparinga Gorge on Monday ..
12:16:23 AM
Not too hard to self TR belay at mori, there's a number of bolted (huge) anchors along the cliff line. unfortunately a number of climbs suffer from a lack of bolts/well positioned bolts to make them relatively safe leads (try leading bung (20) or resurrection (17) at far crag!) sport climbs in the adelaide hills generally suffer from poorly placed bolts with a number having groundfall potential from the second bolt. boulder bridge has some good leads, muesli (16), clea direct (15), extra g (21), balthazar (12).

9:09:59 PM
Hey Mike, I have a sketch topo of the Far Crag I can send you - just need to scan it at work tomorrow, I'll send it over in the morning. There's no topos in the guidebook so it's pretty handy for finding some of the climbs.
Cheers, Stu

9:16:19 PM
Thanks for the info guys. Much appreciated.

7:48:43 PM
dont forget triad, billard table, fasination and gorillaz for more entertainment!!

2:18:39 PM
I'll be in Radelaide next week and plan to climb on Friday. Anyone up for a play?
Mike Bee
10:52:59 AM
Normally I'd be there in a flash (I like showing visitors around), but I'm working 10-5, and then heading to Moonarie straight after work, so no can do.

2:35:33 PM
Thanks Mike, enjoy yourself at Moonarie. I hear it's fun...

Any areas you'd recommend I hit up for grade 21 or under radness?
12:20:47 PM
If you climb with a local you'll end up wherever but if you're self belaying The Billiard Table area is a good choice. Climbs like Popular Misconception (19), Up the Baize (20), Dropout (16), Fascination (20ish), The Billiard Table (18) and Tilt (19) are all worthwhile. This area starts about 100m closer to the city than the Boulder Bridge, if you know where that is. There's instructions and topos in the newish guidebook but if there happens to be locals around you wouldn't need it. The forecast looks dodgy for Friday so you'll probably end up bouldering at Norton anyway!

There are 18 messages in this topic.


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