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 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
Abseiler hurt on Bluff Mountain, Warrumbungles

3:58:59 PM
Hi all,

I spotted the article this morning, it states that there was an accident at the Warrumbungles on the weekend.

Ok, so I'm hoping for a speedy and complete recovery for the injured party, and would like to send a big thank you to the those involved in the rescue.

But now I'm wondering if it's a just a case of climbers being called abseilers, or if there really is an abseil route down Bluff mountain. I can't see anything noted on The Crag, and I always thought you walked off,

If there is, does anyone know where it is, and how often is used? Given Bluff mountain's height and it's reputation for loose rock, I'd hesitate about heading up any route nearby when there was a party heading down.


4:37:07 PM
Not sure about the abseilers or their selected descent route, but I do love the aerial photograph. Different to any that I have seen before. It reveals the 'eye for a line' that Bryden Allen and John Ewbank possessed with Stonewall Jackson, Elija and Ginsberg all strong and prominent.
5:16:46 PM
Bloody hard to rescue there. Good on the rescuers.

E. Wells
6:01:58 PM
Climbers for sure. They may have been bailing though (abseiling) pretty expensive undertaking abseiling there unless your only 1/3 way up Elijah. Best wishes to em. (Unless they were nevermind)
7:48:35 PM

The article is mostly full of 'unverified facts'. Briefly:

I was one of the climbers on the ledge with my friend who had taken a fall. We were climbing Bastion Buttress and we think we got off-route about 90m below the summit. My friend took a fall and hit his head (but didn't pass out). I was able to reach him and we set off a PLB about 6pm. We had phone reception as well to co-ordinate with the rescue teams involved and we had 2 other friends helping out at the top (they had been climbing another route).

The rescue team managed to reach us at 9:30 am and we were hauled to the top.

We will post a full trip report soon. We are all okay now though.


E. Wells
8:00:47 PM
There is no route to get off!! (not entirely true , can be too far left) It sounds like you were very close to the top. There are places (50 percent of the time?) on that thing where a fall would definitely end like that. Glad it all turned out ok.

9:11:18 PM
Hey Eamonn,

thanks for the reply, and glad to hear you're all ok.

I think I got off route on the upper pitches of Bastion as well, maybe went too far right, so you're not alone there.

And yes , lthomas, the picture is a pearler. it's now my wallpaper

8:32:06 AM
You can see the Phoenix... Not really clear from the ground.
8:55:02 AM
Whew. Not a place to be injured or benighted. Was almost stuck there myself once. Glad you're all OK.

E. Wells
8:58:17 AM
Last year i was lucky enough to fly in a small italian 5 seat plane about this low straight over sunset...with some low wisps of cloud in the valleys. Magic. My memory of Bastion Buttress was being a little left initially then being on the spur so much so that you could see the overhanging wall on right at a few belays. One particularly special big flat ledge right on the nose of spur. We had no idea mind you as with most things out there. I was with a relatively inexperienced climber so another vivid memory was being belayed from a Xanthorea grass tree. Good times.

8:50:11 PM
I was lucky enough to be taking a bathroom break at the top of the scree right under Stonewall Jackson at the exact same time that the helicopter was winching them out on Monday morning. Ironically, I was almost killed by toilet bowl sized rock they dislodged. A quick movement saved me.... Good times!
The CRA and popo, and the boys staying at the hut worked hard that night.

Eduardo Slabofvic
9:18:04 PM
On 15/06/2016 Keenas wrote:
>I was lucky enough to be taking a bathroom break
killed by toilet bowl
A quick movement saved me....
>Good times!

You do realise that I am the bottom joke teller on this site

11:03:46 AM
Caught up with Eamonn last night at the gym. I hear that the leader's helmet was written off after the fall and damn near cracked in half! Big hit. Sounded like they did pretty well to at least get both of them back to a larger ledge, after the traversy confused pitch the leader was trying in the twilight.

Things that came out of it

- they were using a single rope. There was a comment that double ropes would have made retreat maybe a more viable option.
- the first aid kit they had hadn't been checked in a while, it had just been thrown in the pack, and the emergency blanket basically disintegrated from age when they pulled it out of the packet and was useless, so the night was a lot colder than it needed to be.
2:15:11 PM
Thanks for the update!

I'm going to buy a new space blanket!
3:04:28 PM
Just an update with the full trip report (warning: LONG) if you're interested in reading.

6:15:43 PM
"he was singing Jamiroquai so I knew he hadnít passed out."
10:34:17 PM
Thanks for the account. You kept it together when thing went pear-shaped. One thing that people could take from your story is the importance of time: "We left Sydney in the wee hours of Saturday morning"; "we woke up at 6.30 on Sunday morning (turns out this wasnít early enough...),". Starting late cuts your options and adds pressure.
But well done overall.
9:03:43 AM
Yes, good comments K.
After years of exploring remote crags I finally bought myself a PLB recently.
$245 cheap insurance.

I think my Bungles epic has been a victim of Chockstone truncation syndrome, will have to restore it sometime.
12:46:03 AM
I read your TR; very bad luck with the fall I suspect you were off route which is easy enough to do in the Bungles.

Re time, 630 should easily be early enough for BB even at this time of year. That said, you need to have a risk plan on these routes if you are taking too long by P2 (ie the highest you can easily rap from) then its a lot more sensible to go back to camp rather than enhance your experience with after dark ascents.

That said - except for Bryden & KB - we have all had epics in the Bungles. BB is a great climb but even if you can flash reds at the gym and clip 25s at Shipley it doesnt hurt to remember the Bungles experience is more like mountaineering with its not always merry collection of objective hazards - try Vertigo, try cornerstone, yes take the right ropes for the abseil descents but being used to the rock makes a big difference.
BB is on a 250m high cliff which implies a different set of hazards from something like Vertigo itself on a 70m high cliff.
If nothing else there are 5 belays to set up vs 2 on vertigo (max).
At 15 mins per belay (about the time sports/gym bunnies take to work out how to belay off gear on a piece of rock they've never seen before) thats getting on for an extra hour - the sun doesn't stop for you though.

Glad to hear you are all ok
6:01:27 AM
Also, a JRC once said to me about Bungles in late may through till september, "the days are just too short"

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
There are 27 messages in this topic.


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