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TR _ Checking out the Soft Parade

11:41:33 AM
A few weeks ago i joked around with my Father about getting him out climbing again after 20 years (I remember watching him climb when i was around 5 or 6). As we had a few drinks he became more and more keen so we set a date and made a Plan to get out t Mt Boyce and do some easy Trad.

Come Friday morning and checking the weather report we were disappointed when we met at Glenbrook. Plans quickly changed from a day climbing to going up the mountains finding a nice place for coffee and lunch. By the time we got to Blackheath we were in heavy fog and cloud and continued on to Mt Vic.
Coffee, pies and pasties and an hour or so passed by and a glint of sunshine and we hatched a plan to check out "The soft Parade" out near Mt York with the intention of taking my cousin out for his first day in the near future.

We parked at Barden's lookout about 11 am and headed off down what seems to be a well worn track for a place developed in 2012. This place must be getting a bit of use.
So we roped up and I lead up an easy sport route for my dad to get his legs. After spending a few minutes explaining how to clean a route with rap anchors he got stuck into it. Its interesting how things have changed in the past 20 years since he had left the climbing scene. There wasn't double ring lower offs at the top of every climb back then and a top belay looking at the view was all part of the fun.
A few more low grade sport routes and i spied an interesting looking Trad line that wasn't in the guide between Okipoki and Soho Central. I thought why not and roped up and headed up placing some gear and heading off right into a short 5m hand size corner crack that climbed nicely about grade 8 or 9. Topped out on a bunch of leaf litter, rock sand and everything in between trying not to dislodge anything. I Managed to scramble back to a tree, build a belay and bring him up.

We finished off with some sport climbs around grade 15 and 16 both enjoying something that required some technique and having a few nice moves involved.
The end of the day there was smiles all round and the ideas of getting out onto some longer adventure stuff kept him flicking through the guide looking for our next trip together. I doubt he would have thought 25 years ago that he would be climbing with his son and setting a new route "25 Years On" grade9 8m. (this seems like an obvious line and i have a feeling someone may have done it and not written it up in the past so let me know).

The Soft Parade is certainly an good place to take someone new or the kids, plenty of easy stuff as well as some harder lines for the regular climbers and also a few nice trad lines that don't appear to have been done yet. I suspect though it will become as popular as damclifs is with new climbers

12:12:41 PM
Awesome TR. Sounds like your Dad's stoke has been rekindled. If he gets keen enough you could help him build a rack, with all the gear you might need;)

1:48:22 PM
On 18/03/2013 Miguel75 wrote:
>Awesome TR. Sounds like your Dad's stoke has been rekindled. If he gets
>keen enough you could help him build a rack, with all the gear you might

Don't think ill see him on the sharp end any time soon but never know. Could always give him his old forged friends and hexes back that are somewhere in my storeage.
6:32:36 PM
Hi Batey,

Always good to hear about new places especially for beginners. There's real shortage of that in the Blueys.

Your dad will be at the sharp end in no time!

Cheers, François

White Trash
2:40:42 PM
On 18/03/2013 Miguel75 wrote:
>Awesome TR. Sounds like your Dad's stoke has been rekindled. If he gets
>keen enough you could help him build a rack, with all the gear you might

id be interested in what he thinks of all the bolts and lower offs and chalk these days.

good trip report batey.
5:47:31 PM
Thanks Batey - sounds like a great place to take my kids.

7:34:00 PM
We climbed at Soft Parade about 6 months ago, and I'm not so sure about taking your beloved progeny with you, unless you're planning to scrap the current lot (and start again?), We found that there was a scary amount of loose rock around, with the possible exception of two or three climbs we didn't get to check out as there was a party of beginners on them.
9:24:37 AM
OK, thanks for that. Might have to check it out by myself first - although I do have 2 kids, so there is redundancy there.
Nick Clow
9:34:10 AM
I wouldn't bother if I were you Technogeekery, I would go somewhere worthwhile instead.
8:43:30 AM
Nick - got any suggestions then for taking small kids to? My boys are 6 & 8, so looking for easy access, grades 8-14 or so, preferably with walk-around access for setting up TR. Not too much like this around...

1:09:24 PM
Soft parade is good for what you want, easy grade and easy access to the top to setup top ropes...just like everywhere make sure the kids are aware of rock fall and keep and eye on them...but don't think the rock fall issue is that bad TBH

5:12:23 PM
How about Mount Boyce? We've climbed there with our kids (They're about the same age as yours) and that went alright. They got up The Eyrie and Another Mans Juliet without too much of a fuss. It kind of fits your description. There's Abseil Slab and Abseil Arete for easier climbing.

You can set up anchors at the the top, lower them off on the end of the rope and bring them back up or teach them to abseil if they don't already know. I found they like it when you belay from the top of the cliff.

Stay away from Spoilt Brats Wall:)

Don't know where you live but Barrenjoey Headland is also good for top roping. The grades are stiffer however the walk up and top rope access is handy. I learn't to climb there top roping so it can't be that hard.

Dam cliffs obviously.

Where happy to meet up one day, get the kids on the wall on something easy and belay each other etc.

8:50:28 AM
Thanks Pedro & Rob.

Pedro - I'll drop you a line, sounds like fun

9:02:11 AM
Bangor would be fun for them as well :-)
Nick Clow
9:28:47 AM

My comments were really aimed at the fact that it seems any $hit pile with mid-grade climbs and lots of bolts will be popular these days.

For climbing with kids, there is the Mt Boyce Abseil end, although this is now not as good as it used to be when the ladders existed. Abseil Wall, Abseil Arete etc. There is a small slabby boulder above these climbs which is useful for beginners to practice their footwork on.

Mt York - there is a slabby wall with easy routes on it R of Lishenback. The ledge above it has a few anchors.


Lindfield Rocks?
12:16:30 PM
Nick - yes, wasn't really thinking of the Soft parade as a must do for myself - just not a great deal of easily accessed, topropeable climbs for young kids. Thanks for those other suggestions.

Bundy - yes, have taken them to Bangor, and its great, really kid friendly area and a couple of nice easy climbs too, we'll go again.

Batey - sorry - end hijack...

There are 16 messages in this topic.


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