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|Araps Weekend Oct 2004: 14 pitches of fun
Araps was fanastic though packed with school kiddies on hols. We were forced into the lower gums, but probably got a quieter time because of it.
Saturday Tick List:
Check Mate (17 lead): Combined pitches 1 & 2 avoiding rope drag with some super long slings. Pitch 3 (crux), took some interesting route finding. I believe we correctly stuck to the left arÍte, but there was a lot of chalk running up the middle of the face just left of Bard's 3rd pitch. Our path had some interesting moves. Jammed in 3 small pieces then launched into a shallow little corner thing, plugged in a 0.5 camalot with only 2 heads of contact and pulled the crux moves - airy! I could have done a better job of protecting it with a smaller cam rather than the 0.5 and maybe an RP backup, but I decided to keep moving with jugs in sight above. More decisions were required further up, but despite venturing right for a while, I stuck to the left arÍte all the way to the top. Very nice climbing though Brad nearly managed to dislodge two TV sized blocks onto the multitudes milling below while topping out. To be honest I hadn't noticed they were loose either.
Bard last pitch (12 lead): Fairly routine. Ivan (12 lead): An adventure indeed. The most fun pitch of the trip. Highlights include somehow managing to commit to a zero feet, double side pull crucifixion stance from which there could be no upwards progress then swearing "F-ing intimidating for a 12!" only to be laughed at by a girl toping out on a route below. Brad was ready to toss the day pack over the side, after discovering the joys of chimneying with it. To be fair I did offer to haul it.
Block Buster (11 lead): A romp as usual, which put us atop the Bluffs taking in the grand view. Missing Link (17 TR): I had wanted to lead it, but we only took one rope and having rapped down the TR was too tempting. While there we met a couple from the US. The guy was calmly ticking the whole crag, onsight leading the overhung routes 20, 23 then 27 to the right of our line, all in quick succession. Inspiring to watch. The girl offered us the chance to 2nd him and seemed surprised when we told her 27 was way out of our reach. Maybe it was our hard core top roping that convinced her :-)
The Rack (18?), Christian Crack (20?) and that 22 face route (all TR): Brad hadn't done these classics so it was the perfect way to end the day, and use up any last spec of energy. We both got up the 22 nicely and had trouble on the cracks. Here we met a couple from Sydney, a girl from the US and a dude from somewhere I know not. We flailed around on the routes, while they chatted to us of their 3 month stay at Araps and argued amongst themselves over how to best roll their weed. By this stage we'd done 10 pitches, some of them multiple times and were ready to answer the call of the big Texas Burger at the Nati pub.
During the night someone pulled up beside my car as I was sleeping in it and I thought I heard my name mentioned, though there was no sign of the owners of these voices in the morning. Mystery climbers in the dark.
Sunday Tick List:
Spurred on by the previous days partial success on the crack climbs I wanted to lead Mari (17), despite knowing of its slippery smooth crevices and ability to spit out cams like a sneezing chip eater. I lead up the little ramp and stood below the crux opening moves. However and the word "ground fall" echoed a little too loudly, so I reversed the moves and took on the mighty challenge (not) of the two star 14 to its left. This choice turned out to be greatly beneficial because not only did we thoroughly enjoy the delightful, no stress stemming of the 14 crack, but also got to rap down Mari and TR back up in complete safety, savouring all three stars from the comfort of a taught rope above. The crux opening moves went easier than expected and the roof was an absolute hoot, however I would have been way scared to lead it's glassy features.
Brad had unfinished business with Dramp (20) so we lassoed the plaque, and convinced ourselves we'd done enough leading to justify some more TR action. While Brad successfully worked the moves determined to find an elegant means up without thuggery I listened to a father encouraging his young daughter, who was probably climbing her age, up maximus (10) to our left... "I don't want you to weight the rope unless you're falling. Remember Yoda, there is only can and can not, no try". We left the pines, pondering that little piece of philosophy.
On the way out we did a quick TR of Little Thor (20) at Dec Crag, where a fit looking girl had taken a fall from above the roof onto a nut placed mid-way up the route. The piece was now fixed, though it came out easily enough with a nut tool and rock combo. Unfortunately the couple were in a hurry to get away and left before our retrieval was completed, so booty for us I guess.
All up one of the best Araps trips ever. Looking forward to doing it all again next weekend, hopefully with some Tassie crew.
I was all set to come down for a week (from Sydney) over the uni holidays, but sickness prevented this. Excellent trip report - I'm very jealous of you melbournian's who can do Araps for a weekend.
On 4/10/2004 Mike wrote:
>During the night someone pulled up beside my car as I was sleeping in it and I thought I heard my name mentioned, though there was no sign of the owners of these voices in the morning. Mystery climbers in the dark
That was either timmys car (the 4 Runner) or Em and Blackie (in the pocket sized Echo).
I actually saw you guys breifly in the morning, as i peered out the back of the car in which i was sleeping. but, it was still to early for my liking to get up, so i went back to sleep.
nice one Mike. There is a grade 20 (name escapes me) that goes up between Checkmate p3 & the Bard which could explain the chalk there.
A few of us had a most productive weekend down in the Victoria Ranges (Curiosity Crag & Gilhams)... blissfully unaware of such crowds....
On that note, Curiosity is in perfect condition for ticking a bunch of great routes as the weather warms up. The temps in the shade were perfect on Saturday, & the dam has plenty of water for a dip - get in there over the next month or so!!
And don't forget the short walk now that Waterworks track is open. Yes indeed, Curiosity will be ripe from now on - get in before summer strikes! Plus you see lots more wildlife down Vic Ranges way.
On 4/10/2004 Mike wrote:
> Ivan (12 lead): An adventure
>indeed. The most fun pitch of the trip. Highlights include somehow managing
>to commit to a zero feet, double side pull crucifixion stance from which
>there could be no upwards progress then swearing "F-ing intimidating for
>a 12!" only to be laughed at by a girl toping out on a route below.
Toughest grade 12 you will ever find, I reckon...!! (though the 11(?) chimney further left might be worse I hear !!)
Having not done anything at Araps (yet), why is the 'Ivan' graded 12 if it is obviously harder?
I thought guide book revisions would have arrived at concensus by now in the lower grades??
Seems like a case of new-leader-beware for this one???
A5, what ever you do, don't climb at Arapiles. Once you have you won't want to jamb anymore Mt Buffalo cracks!
On 8/10/2004 dalai wrote:
>A5, what ever you do, don't climb at Arapiles. Once you have you won't
>want to jamb anymore Mt Buffalo cracks!
I'm addicted to mank and choss, from learning the art of climbing on Sydney seacliffs many years ago.
Someone told me (back then) that Araps doesnt have enough of either for my liking, so I graduated to the 'Bungles instead!
On 4/10/2004 Mike wrote:
> "I don't want you to weight the rope unless you're falling. Remember Yoda,
> there is only can and can not, no try". We left the pines, pondering that little piece of
don't you recognise that tidbit of Arapiles toilet graffiti? I can't believe the number of people who foresake the smelly pits with their wall scrawls and pong it up at the pines. sheesh. I know it's got a noticeboard n you're likely to meet a hottie at the sinks but honestly the clivus is where it's at. Consider the following visuals:
(sorry, you'll have to simulate your own pit toilet smells, technology has its limits)
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