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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
VIC Grampians (General) (General) (General) [ Grampians Guide | Images ] 

Author
Dreamtime Wall rock quality
rudi
31-Mar-2018
7:14:37 PM
Went to Dreamtime wall for the first time and I would like to comment on the rock quality.

I only climbed at the Moon Safari area, and did Totemic Arete and The Stolen Generation, so what I say may only apply to that buttress.

When on The Stolen Generation I pulled a good part of a ledge off soon after the crux. I pulled onto a jug, shook out a bit, then went to move up and clip the next bolt when the wall gave way and I went with it. Three large blocks and lots of small rocks rained down toward my belayer, who just managed to leap sideways and, assisted by me taking a large whipper, swung with the rope out of the way. We were fine. But it could have been a very bad accident. Had my belayer been hit by one of those blocks he would have been seriously injured or killed, which would then have likely resulted in him not holding my fall and me hitting the deck from a long way up the wall. And had anyone else been below at the time they also would have been badly injured. Helmets (which we were wearing) would not have helped against those blocks.

The reason for my post is to comment on the general guide description and some route descriptions that there is some loose rock which will likely clean up with more ascents to reveal quality rock and better climbing. I disagree. From what I saw the whole of this Moon Safari buttress has a large band of rotten rock at about 15-25m height that is shearing off and will keep shearing off. It appeared to me that the reason the rock consists of flat sharp side pulls and flakes is because of how the rock is fracturing.

My concern is that this crag contains a high concentration of easy/moderate sport climbing - unusual in the Grampians - which is attractive to beginners who may have a false sense of security clipping bolts. And sure the guide and some descriptions warn of loose rock. But I don't think it properly warns of areas of very rotten rock and the potential risk of a serious accident.

I know loose rock. I've climbed my share of alpine rock in New Zealand. But climbing a route on a mountain is different to sport cragging. One of the greatest features of Grampians climbing is the bulletproof orange and red rock. Unfortunately this wall doesn't have it (at least this Moonshine Buttress - maybe the rest is different).

E. Wells
1-Apr-2018
5:48:55 AM
Whoah , sounds like an awesome whipper! A photographers dream. Thanks for cleaning the route up a little more. I had a similar experience on a route named 'Thrust it with your Wife' , I notified the NPWS and Coonabarabran Shire council yet to date nothing has been done. Helmets dont help when your banging your head against a brick wall , as they prolong the process.

Jayford4321
1-Apr-2018
6:29:11 AM
On 1-Apr-2018 E. Wells wrote:
>I notified the NPWS and Coonabarabran Shire council yet to date nothing has been done. Helmets dont help when your banging your head against a brick wall , as they prolong the process.

You notified quasi govt about a climb?
Iím not surprised your head still hurting after your helmet experience too Ďcos both those actions are silly.

E. Wells
1-Apr-2018
7:47:34 AM
If we the people did not want Malcom leading our great democratic free country then we would not have voted him in. He has some solid banking credentials.
widewetandslippery
1-Apr-2018
10:53:46 AM
Um Rudi have you ever heard that anything can be dangerous, sounds like you need to employ a guide

Jayford4321
1-Apr-2018
11:05:02 AM
On 1-Apr-2018 E. Wells wrote:
>If we the people did not want Malcom leading our great democratic free
>country then we would not have voted him in. He has some solid banking
>credentials.

We didnít vote him in, the lib party did. They need to bring back rabbit I say, if they really want to perpetuate silliness. Talk about polls. 30 on the trott now, and kind of like having your pro clipped to a free falling block just detached off your climb.

Wide, rudi needs to climb on blueies choss to get a real measure instead of paying a guide for trundling lessons.
widewetandslippery
1-Apr-2018
12:56:34 PM
Agreed, something wrong with a route where foot holds don't crumble, hand holds snap, major features detatch
One Day Hero
1-Apr-2018
3:12:25 PM
I'm with Rudi on this one.

As a general rule (there are always exceptions), if someone has bothered to rap into a route with a drill and hammer, I expect them to also make an effort to check for loose rock. If you place a dozen bolts and a loweroff on a 20m wall, and also leave fuching loose housebricks all over the thing, you're a fuching wally!
I don't always hate choss, and I don't always hate sport routes, but can't think of a chossy sport route where I didn't think the route developer was some type of lazy dickhead. In what universe do you need 30kN glue-in rings to make things safe, while 40kg flakes held to the wall with lizard jizz are an acceptable risk?
gfdonc
1-Apr-2018
5:00:36 PM
Can't comment on the specific route in question, but Dreamtime is a little unusual for Grampians as the strata (?) runs vertically meaning the layers of sandstone are apt to peel off. It also allows water to travel down between the layers, helping the process.

Disclaimer: I'm no geologist.

Hence DTW tends to exfoliate. It's also one of the few crags in the Grampians with a scree slope at the bottom, just to emphasise the point.

I've established (and cleaned) some routes there and at some point you have to make a decision to stop trying to prise bits off so there'll be some cliff left for future generations.
(No, it's not really that bad but you get my point.)
One Day Hero
1-Apr-2018
5:50:20 PM
On 1-Apr-2018 gfdonc wrote:
>I've established (and cleaned) some routes there and at some point you
>have to make a decision to stop trying to prise bits off so there'll be
>some cliff left for future generations.

This is known as China syndrome, common on volcanic cliffs. If you have a narrow band of bottomless choss, glue and a bit of discrete reo can be the answer. If it's the whole wall, why the fuch are you bolting it in the first place?
kp
3-Apr-2018
10:51:44 AM
Yeah I can see your point. Creating a mass bolted loose cliff was always a weird concept to me.

I think the first ascentionists have not glued or pinned (at all I believe??), even on the loose horrors. Other routes are stunning, bulletproof rock with no loose holds. I respect the effort involved in bolting these things. Cleaning is something like a days work or more in some cases. I've had a good time climbing at this cliff, but am always very cautious of loose rock.

Maybe it would be best if the guidebook was clear on the choss vs. the great rock. Mark any choss with a hand warning sign?
egosan
3-Apr-2018
5:15:21 PM
Part of the problem is the zeal with which a certain first ascensionist talks up the crag. Having climbed there, dodged dinner plate sized shirken while belaying and helped "clean" a route; I am just a zealous at suggesting there is no such thing as a clean route at that crag.

It is a beautiful spot. Go climb there. Just don't stand under anyone climbing....
gfdonc
5-Apr-2018
9:51:33 AM
Hmm this seems to cover it:

http://www.splitterchoss.com/2013/02/21/the-top-5-things-developers-say-to-get-you-to-their-crag/
egosan
7-Apr-2018
9:35:18 AM
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is an example of the rock quality at Dream time:

Pasang Kidar Sherpa leading the West ridge of Dreamtime Wall. [Photo] Dawa Yangzum Sherpa

Jayford4321
7-Apr-2018
10:05:30 AM
On 7-Apr-2018 egosan wrote:
>A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is an example of the rock quality at Dream time:

When I first saw that it made me think of Kanetoad Point in the climb centre of Brisvegas , then I thought of Olly smirking on the ledge (pic on front page of Chocky at the mo) , but no , I then realize the spectacularness is due to global warming.

So , if someone climbs a consolidated by ice and snow route in yesteryear , then someone else comes along afetr it is global warmed and climbs it in its new condition like that , do they get to claim it as another first ascent cos surely they'd be two completely different experiences , with the only thing in common being that climber would be silly to go to the edge of a cornice no matter if it be snow or rock like that?

Also I'm keen to learn what the pictured lead would be graded by Ewbank given it's a rock climb now , an if that grade changes after the climber passes the crux of the keystone holding it all togethr.

There are 15 messages in this topic.

 

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