Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports
Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!
|Mt Buffalo 2016 Aid Festival w/end of 26-27 Nov.
||2-Dec-2016 At 2:01:11 PM
|If this post works I’ll update with more and provide TR’s for my last ozy original trip and rolling stone wall trip recently. I hope it works as I haven’t had good luck posting so far. I have done it on a word doc on good advice in case it is rejected. I will try some pics and vids section by section as suggested to identify the suspicious text.
Yeah I remember getting to the base of the 1st pitch for the first time and looking at the free moves from the bolt and my shoes plus gear loading me down and thinking ‘I came here to Aid not free climb’! My partner Karl on that climb led pitch 1 and I was grateful. I had a similar oh crap moment on Pitch 9 after the pontooth pitch where it leads up a ramp to the base of the chimney and there was no gear, a heap of loose dirt and crap rock and a nasty swinging fall potential. I ended up using a cordillette to sling a knob whilst standing on a small ball nut placement which I had literally carved out of the rock. Anywhere else it would’ve been a ramp but 200m up with a heavy rack, crap shoes and looseness everywhere it got me gripped for a little bit.
I reckon both times I’ve climbed Ozy I have reached a mental crux around the 2nd pitch after grassy. It’s when you are posed with options between the original, the direct etc. When I start thinking about the benefits of one Vs the other it usually comes down to time and the fear of being benighted on thin gear etc. I reckon everyone goes up there hoping to do the direct but when I start to decide on those options the other option of bailing becomes a possibility as well for it is no longer a case of ‘this is what we are doing’; it becomes more of a judgment and without the experience to know how long, how hard etc the unknown above is I find the path of least resistance can become very tempting. Even though this may mean the walk out of the gorge which is by no means the easy way out. I also miss my family around this point as well and question my motivations for these adventures. The Doco ‘solo’ when Andrew McAuley sets off in tears to NZ leaving his family haunts me still and although the real risks of his trip in comparison to Ozy are in no way in the same realm the question remains.
I’m rambling a bit but the point is I completely understand bailing and I’m amazed that fall didn’t end the trip then and there. Tim you’re spot on with all the elements needing to align and luckily for us it did this trip but throw in another variable like a big fall, cramps etc it could’ve easily gone the other way. An 8m fall would’ve rattled anyone and I was fearing the same thing leaving that 1st bolt with my oversized rack and shite shoes. Well done. I’ve got your biners if you want me to post them as well.
Briefly onto our trip:
We had the plan to swap leads a bit but I ended up leading all the pitches whilst Mark sorted everything else out and remained as patient as a saint and cool as a cucumber in the face of his 1st real aid climb and seconding the roofs etc. I remember my 1st trip with Karl and thinking on pitch 1 and 3 of the original route that I wouldn’t have wanted to lead them but this time once it was decided that I’d lead it all I found it easier to tackle as there was no doubt if I could handball a pitch or two. I have often found with climbing that I get more nervous at the thought of leading while seconding than I do actually leading it.
We prepared for three days (single ledge and hammock) with the possibility of a two day ascent. We reached grassy round 4pm on day one then on day two reached Gledhill at 3:30pm the following day. The roof was amazing! I had yates adjustable daisy’s which made life easy. The 1st piece after the lip I placed popped and I fell over the void which was surprisingly fine with me at the time. I had expected the corner after the roof to be cruisy but it got quite thin in parts. . We made the call to bivy there which as a great decision as it made the trip hanging out over that void in perfect weather.
Day 3 went smooth; I got through the pontooth and the aforementioned lasso pitch and set up a redirect pulley on the bolts below the chimney(the guide mentioned big gear for this pitch but I don’t recall using much more than two #4s). This allowed me to haul from the base of the final pitch but when Mark reached the redirect we tied the pigs off at the belay and stripped the redirect down so we could just haul straight up once we topped out. This worked a treat.
Final pitch was great, nice solid gear on the crack to the left and with two 4’s and two 5’s the offwidth was just a leap frogging dream.
Topped out and went and checked it out from the other side again.
Things I learned: Portaledges are freakin awesome!!, gloves are gold, next time wear kneepads. Without a doubt the best on ground goes to both my black and yellow C3 cams. C3’s are spot on and made life much more comfortable on lead. I didn’t have any offset wires but next time I’ll bring them.
I think three days is a great way to take the pressure off a team. If you have a ledge I would recommend doing it this way for your 1st attempt as you get to soak it in and if you are slow or late to walk in etc it doesn't matter so much. We could have fixed pitches from each bivy before crashing each night but there wasn't any need and it meant we could just hang out.
Pic from ‘Freespirit Photography’ from the south side of the gorge. Not sure on the resolution with compression but Mark is on the ledge belaying me on the pontooth pitch in the pic. This can be seen clearly in the full size image though. (straight to the pool room). Thanks for the Pic Ailsa!!
Can't get any of the vids to embed but here's a link to youtube.
Gledhill Bivy morning
Ball nut held a fall after cam hook popped chunk off orange corner pitch.
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