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Myxomatosis


Oct 20, 2009, 5:06 AM
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Big Adventures in Down Under
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Hey guys, just got a bit of time to sum up some of the recent climbing I have been doing around New Zealand and Australia....

I visited seven crags over two months of traveling.. Thought Id touch on each crag and its climbing.

So the story starts I was working 9 to 5.30 Mon to Fri on some dead end job in Auckland, decided I had had enough of the bull and handed in my notice and collected my payout.. which I spent over half on traveling and new gear (and I want to spend the rest on more gear Laugh)

So I fly out of Auckland and head straight to Christchurch and the home of...

Castle Hill

Castle, well what can one say, apart from flipping awesome! This place was so amazing and I miss it so dearly. I had read bad reviews of it being polished and crap but I only found a few polished climbs Spittle Hill near the car park, expected at any crag! The most impressive thing was just how HUGE this place is, Ive been to some big crags before but this place was just endless, we only visited two huge feilds out of the six huge feilds, must be over 10,000 problems in the valley alone.

The climbing is not a big pull and feast, it requires extreme balance and very subtle moves with the exact body position. V2's were hard and took some working, I know that sounds stupid because its such a low grade but you just couldnt pull really hard on a big hold, mainly coz there was no holds! Laugh

First few days I spent doing all the V2/3 problems with three stars, lots of fun and running around exploring to be had. Managed to tick my first V5 after ten attempts, pretty happy as just coming back from injury. Im sure I could have got some V6s if I had a few more days as I was getting close on some.

Heres a video I made..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chSb4fvXGzg

Sorry the sound has been cut off due to copy right issues.

Few pictures...





Spend seven days up on the Hill (two rest days) and then drove straight up to the best rated Sport Crag in New Zealand,

Paynes Ford (Northern end of South Island)

First time climbing Limestone routes (had bouldered a few crags before) and found the climbing very interesting and intense. I didnt take any photo's but I have a couple of videos I might upload. There isn't many easy routes so if your only climbing 15-20 your probably better off going to the Wanaka/Queenstown region.

The thing that makes Paynes so good is the people and the Globe Wall. The "Hang Dog" camp ground is the place to be, its set up by climbers for climbers and run by climbers still. Its a place where hippies can be hippie and climbers can shoot the breeze laughing at hippies. We had a few camp fire sing alongs, involving the whole camp ground and big family cook ups... great times and watch out for our up coming single "Crimp in my Crack"... Laugh

The Globe Wall, one of the most impressive walls I have ever seen. Its over hanging just slightly and only features are slopers, upon slopers. So many long great looking routes, all three stars all hard (23-27) mostly endurance feasts with some tricky shoulder moves thrown in. Wicked place. I didnt get much of a chance to climb here, my tendonitis flaired up from all the driving so was a quick two day stay, managed to climb all easy classics in pain Unimpressed


After Paynes we drove back to Christchurch and I flew out to Brisbane by myself to stay with my grand parents. It was a much needed break for my arms, so I spent most of my days shooting the breeze in sunny Queensland. Did however splash out on some cam's, tent, Jetboil GCS and biners...

I however did manage to hook up with local rc.com mad man (no he really is crazy) PhillBox and he showed me around his home crag...

Frog Buttress

Well climbing here was trad and epic. Frog had everything from fingers to hands, bridges to chimneys. I think every climb we did involved some different style of climbing. I had a really great time and it was awesome to learn off Phill, altho my speed wasnt as fast as Phill (sorry mate), I really tried my hardest to keep up and apply what I learnt. Also some really funny times... sleeping on a portaledge at the camp ground (no tent), steak meals at the local, talk like a china man day and general worry from me "there aint gonna be any snakes up there right?" Laugh

I managed to tick all the easiest classic's following Phill, Satan's Smoke Stack is was a highlight, a four sided chimneys (basicly climbing inside four colomns that had fallen on each other)... 35m's of solid chimney... When we got down Phill found an extra peace of gear, some aussie humour.. see photo below.

Phill also took on some unknown chimney climb, which turned up to be a climb with poor pro but he looked solid the whole way, lobbing melon size rocks out to make way for his pro.. I think he joked about using his nut tool for pro at one stage Laugh

I did some of my longest trad routes to date.. 40m 14, Electronic Flag, I still did manage to run it out a little (ran out of draws at the top Laugh) and also a few other easy short routes.

After three exhausting days with Phill, I had to call it quits as I wasn't able to climb 12's on the last afternoon Laugh Sorry dude, I was totally shagged, no climbing for 12 months and the heat..


My Bed




Most of the rock looked like this...


After that I spent a few days recovery I flew down to Sydney, got me a rental car and drove straight down to the sport climbing paradise of

Nowra

Well, the stories I heard about Nowra were all true, sand bagged and hard Laugh
The first day managed to hook up with some guys and they took me out to a new crag called Utopia which is further west up the valley from Nowra itself. I managed to bolt my first climb, a nice little 18 and gave my new American friend the FA (he new to climbing and I already got plently of boulder probs to my name) so it was nice to see him get his name in the new guide book coming out soon.
Crag was nice with some very fresh rock, first time I've ever had to crimp the crystals in the rock Laugh, broke a few holds off and had a great day... until the trip back home. Managed to find the car no problems through the thick bush with no trail but then managed to get lost in a National Park for a few hours.. drove 10km one way, then drove back 10km the same way and then found our way out? There was only one road, so we were totally dumbfounded how we made it back Laugh







Second day me and Brent (my favourite american) climbed at Thompsons Point... yes it was sand bagged but not all routes. Some were easier than others while others require some real balls to the wall smear on nothing moves, i decided over hangs have bigger holds and could be more fun so we had a few tries on a 20 on the pocket wall, can't remember name but the translation from french was "I want to sleep with my sister" Laugh No photo's from the day was to busy sending all over. Got shot down on an 18 for the first time in two years.. LOL...

Monday morning I drove down to the

Blue Mountains

Through Kangaroo Valley and an amazing view from the hills above the whole valley which was covered in fog. I accidently block up some poor servo toilet and did the runner, was funny at the time.

First day I climbed up at Mt York with an awesome climber called Dave. Dave showed me around and chucked me on a few easy routes, thankfully putting hangers on the carrots for me Laugh Onsighted some lovely routers, they were so amazing thought they had to be manufactured (but they were not). Lots of crimps on iron that ran through the sandstone, great feet so it was quite technical climbing but also a little power full. Found some interesting now hands rests and the beta for the whole blue mountains I found was "Pull really hard on very small crimps and get feet high" Laugh not to say the climbing was bad, it was probably the best sport climbing Ive ever done. I also got dive bombed my an eagle while climbing, my first bird while climbing experience Crazy

Second day was my first rest day in awhile, so made the most of it, got felt up at senic world by some rather large girl (not fun) then got attacked by ducklings (semi funny), my rental car got dented in car park (not amusing), walked 7km around the three sisters, down great stair case then back through the rain forest (longest walk I ever done) and then to top it all off, I drank whiskey in my car and laughed at some poor lady spend four hours to put up her tent, great rest day activities Laugh

Third day I hooked up with some of Daves friends who had the day off work and went up to Boronia Point in some freezing conditions (this coming form a NZer). First time I ever got screaming baffies in my hands while climbing. No Epic sends on my last day, was feeling very ill, teach me right for eating old fried rice and drinking to much. Laugh

Some more photos...










To sum it all up, had an awesome time, meet some great people (could be said about all climbing trips). This was my first time hunting crags for climbing partners and managed to get belays on everyday, quite surprising. The Aussie guys were so friendly, even to an old kiwi and lots of great memories!

Blue Mountains is an awesome place to sport climb and I didnt even touch on the old trad routes they have hidden up in the valleys. Castle Hill tho, man what a place! Can't wait to get back there.


gblauer
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Oct 20, 2009, 6:05 AM
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Ok, makes me want to quit my job and spend the rest of my life climbing.


Myxomatosis


Oct 20, 2009, 6:15 AM
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Totally worth it.... until you run out of money Laugh or put a dent in your rental car Unsure

I will add, all the landscape pictures of rock from Blue Mountains is all unclimbed,,, thats how much they got out there! Endless i tell you.


kachoong


Oct 20, 2009, 6:46 AM
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Great read! Nice pics! It's awesome to be taken home like that! Thanks!

You're guaranteed a great fun day of climbing with the mastah Mr Box! He's a blast to climb with and is always crackin' jokes! I think Satan's is one of his favorite routes at Frog. Did he get you on Materialistic Protitution and show you how he does it in his bare feet? Hah!! I fin Devils Wart (grade 15 down the far right end) to be one of my favorite of the easy moderates. Devil's Dihedral (20) and Pirhana (20) were my faves of the crag.

Yeah, the Blue's is endless... a bit like the Grampians too. You could spend your whole life climbing a different route each time and still not be done with it.

Never got to Castle Hill when I was there... I was always hanging around Mt Cook.... but I want to go one day!

btw... there's a way you can get your music onto your youtube vids. You need a program which slows or speeds the music by an undetectable percentage (like 0.1%), re-save it and then put it back in your video. You can search for how to do this actually on youtube. LMAO!


steinmethod


Oct 20, 2009, 6:53 AM
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Great trip report. I am planning on heading to new zealand and australia in the new year. This information will come in handy. I will be going solo so will be looking for climbing partners.

Looks like you had a blast!


Partner macherry


Oct 20, 2009, 10:32 AM
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great TR!!


Partner philbox
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Oct 20, 2009, 1:58 PM
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Hey Myxo, was my pleasure to have climbed with a fellow rc.commy. I wish it happened more often. Great pics too.


seatbeltpants


Oct 20, 2009, 7:14 PM
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nice tr - sitting in my office here feeling jealous. damn you!

steve


Myxomatosis


Oct 20, 2009, 8:12 PM
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philbox wrote:
Hey Myxo, was my pleasure to have climbed with a fellow rc.commy. I wish it happened more often. Great pics too.

Yeah man.. only if we started talking like Chinamen on Day 1... Ill have to work on my trad and pace and come back and climb some lightly harder stuff, fingers and hand cracks Smile I'm just happy I didn't get any of your gear stuck!

Kachoo, I think I tried to lead Devils Wart but had a mere on that one, first take on gear Laugh five meters off the deck Laugh I managed to tick everything else under that grade. Are you talking about the short hand crack grade 12? I found out I couldn't hand jam (never been on a hand jam) so used tiny crimps on face Laugh I should of just lead it, into the deep end.


kachoong


Oct 21, 2009, 5:30 AM
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Myxomatosis wrote:
philbox wrote:
Hey Myxo, was my pleasure to have climbed with a fellow rc.commy. I wish it happened more often. Great pics too.

Yeah man.. only if we started talking like Chinamen on Day 1... Ill have to work on my trad and pace and come back and climb some lightly harder stuff, fingers and hand cracks Smile I'm just happy I didn't get any of your gear stuck!

Kachoo, I think I tried to lead Devils Wart but had a mere on that one, first take on gear Laugh five meters off the deck Laugh I managed to tick everything else under that grade. Are you talking about the short hand crack grade 12? I found out I couldn't hand jam (never been on a hand jam) so used tiny crimps on face Laugh I should of just lead it, into the deep end.

Ahh...yoo try Parson's Preasure! Grade 12! Yes... go eat more noodle... come back and send!

Frog is the place to get your trad head in check! One of the best places I've climbed to learn the whole trad game.... that's all there really is.... and classic after classic all lined up in rows!

Glad you guys had fun!


I_do


Oct 21, 2009, 6:53 AM
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Myxomatosis wrote:
Totally worth it.... until you run out of money Laugh or put a dent in your rental car Unsure

I will add, all the landscape pictures of rock from Blue Mountains is all unclimbed,,, thats how much they got out there! Endless i tell you.

Steak at the dugs is great isn't it? The way it hangs off of both sides of you plate... And I'm glad I'm not the only one who found nowra hard and sometimes somewhat scary!

As for castle hill, O my god it was so good! Totally agreed with the polished remark, go climb one of the other 9999 problems.

Speaking of rentals

http://www.facebook.com/...692&id=627979781

Too bad we didn't meet up in the end but good to see you had a great time.


Myxomatosis


Oct 21, 2009, 7:26 AM
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Steak was good... had the fish 2nd night.. not as good but OK...

I did Korca at Nowra, first time I've had to take on an 18 in years Laugh I was just to scared to smear on nothing with the worst side pull ever Laugh One take and got there in the end, humbling.

Your facebook is blocked to me, permissions I think.

Glad ya loved Castle.. I gotta go back real soon!! Maybe a Autumn mission.


kachoong


Oct 21, 2009, 7:34 AM
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Myxomatosis wrote:
Steak was good... had the fish 2nd night.. not as good but OK...

I did Korca at Nowra, first time I've had to take on an 18 in years Laugh I was just to scared to smear on nothing with the worst side pull ever Laugh One take and got there in the end, humbling.

Your facebook is blocked to me, permissions I think.

Glad ya loved Castle.. I gotta go back real soon!! Maybe a Autumn mission.

Did Phil have his usual double Sarsparella? Cool


Myxomatosis


Oct 21, 2009, 7:42 AM
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kachoong wrote:
Myxomatosis wrote:
Steak was good... had the fish 2nd night.. not as good but OK...

I did Korca at Nowra, first time I've had to take on an 18 in years Laugh I was just to scared to smear on nothing with the worst side pull ever Laugh One take and got there in the end, humbling.

Your facebook is blocked to me, permissions I think.

Glad ya loved Castle.. I gotta go back real soon!! Maybe a Autumn mission.

Did Phil have his usual double Sarsparella? Cool

LaughLaughLaughLaugh

The lady had it poured before we even got inside...

Hey Phill.. I went to the factory shop where they make them, somewhere in Brisbane and you could get them for 60c a can. Angelic


Partner philbox
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Oct 22, 2009, 1:23 AM
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Oh yes, I did indeed have my usual double sarsparilla. I think she made it a triple, man it was strong. Gotta love the Doogs pub eh. Best climbers pub evar.


mikebee


Oct 22, 2009, 1:47 AM
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Sounds like a great trip.
I had a couple of days in Castle Hill in January after a couple of weeks around Mt Cook. It was awesome. Normally I'm a trad climber who stays right away from bouldering (there is no real bouldering in Adelaide) so I've never been psyched for it. But at Castle Hill, I could definitely be a convert.

Save some $$, and get some more trad under your belt and then come down to some of the more southern crags. Obviously the big place to visit is Arapiles, but the Gramps are certainly worth a look too. If you're liking the burly old school style climbing, then head to Moonarie - old school style, old school grades.


xaniel2000


Oct 22, 2009, 7:08 AM
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Great TR, thanks for posting! Really enjoyed reading it while stuck at the office, makes me want to quit right now! I also really like that you climbed multiple styles; bouldering, sport AND trad, that's awesome. I have a hard time getting my friends to do trips like that, seems like some climbers are only into one or the other


Myxomatosis


Oct 22, 2009, 7:20 AM
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Most of the climbing in NZ has all three types at each crag, you will quite often find sport routes between the crack lines and boulders lying at the bottom of the hill... So everyone is just super psych'd to be out climbing, doesn't matter what it is. If you choose only one style, you will be visiting the same three places all your life.


Mke - My Dad was just telling me he wanted to buy another Landy over on the east coast and wanted me to drive it back to WA for him... I was like "you dick, I could have done so much more climbing!!!" Arap and Grampians and even West Cape How when I get to WA... bastard.... Need a few more bits of gear for my rack before I come back.. mainly a Helmet Laugh Dont worry Phill, mummy getting me one for my BDay next week.


(This post was edited by Myxomatosis on Oct 22, 2009, 7:22 AM)


Costa


Oct 24, 2009, 6:34 AM
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I love a sunburnt country haha nice to see some southern hemisphere action on here every now and then.

Awesome TR man, id be interested to see a topo of castle hill that place looks like a maze.

I climbed nowra last wknd but its about end of season there now, (getting too hot)

Which means Blueys is on but where to start!


Myxomatosis


Dec 1, 2009, 4:55 AM
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Ok so thought Id update my thread with some more climbing in Australia.

I am now based on the West Coast in Western Australia/Perth.

While the climbing around Perth is about a 1 out of 10 the climbing further south at the bottom around Albany is about a 7 out of 10.

So there is Wilybrup which is about three hours drive south of Perth in the Margaret River area. Its a granite sea cliff with some great lines, cracks, sport and even some mixed routes in there.

No real big ticks but onsighted my first trad 16 (and also my super weakness jamming cracks). Lead a run out 40m 15 which was really about 12, had to make some interesting gear placements Laugh I had one bomber cam pocket the rest was just shit but I'd say it was a 4th class scramble more than anything.

Some shots of the climbing and view... including my little boulder project traverse... gotta get back down with brush and pad but Id say hardest move is V3-V4 which is near the end but will be good test of endurance and fun to play on.












Nasty bolting here......






And am I little ashamed to post this up... but had a mighty epic getting sand bagged further down the coast at Peak Head.

It wasn't the most exciting day climbing or my proudest. It basicly started poorly and finished I guess slightly better. Me and my climbing partner have been talking about doing Baylac Direct 18 3 pitch/150m's.

So it all starts with 'leaving no more than seven'... which turns into leaving at eight (on English time here). Me, my partner and two tourist/boulders. So we get under way and it's a long drive, not only in KM's but its pretty much the same road for 500km's and by the time we get lunch and get to the crag its nearing 1pm.

Start the walk in... 45minutes of down up down up then more scrambling up, cant complain, view was stunning

Down the south side of Peak Head...

View back to Bald Head


Easier part of the scrambling (My buddy down below)


Huge Boulder...

So we scramble up then scramble back down the other side. With not really having a good guide to the decent we just start winging it... scramble down the 3rd class and then reach the big boulder in the photo above. Now you have to go left to get the better approach but we blindly choose to the right (LOL) and ended up some 4th class scramble into a probably grade 13-14 climb. No problem for me and partner to down climb but we had two newbies with us. So Rigged up a anchor and CBF to put our harness's on so I just go old school and wrap some rope around there chest and body belay them down.... Funnily if you fell from the top, I was happy to catch him but if he was down most of the way... I pretty much decided Id rather let him fall than pull me down Laugh Harsh guy I know. He gets to the bottom and goes "I wish I didnt use a rope, I feel like a pussy"... I was like "Yeah but if you fell you would have said "I wish I had a rope".. which he argeed and we had a laugh.

The camera kinda got put away at this stage.... Well it was on the back of my harness ready for some ascent snaps. But this is the Northern Side of the Dome (where climbing is)




Couple of 'sport' routes on these faces... and by sport I mean run out slab climbs (40m four bolts or 50m six bolts)

So we get down to the climb, its quite intimidating, You belay from a boulder suspended up agasint the cliff about 6-7m's off the deck already. Then the climb starts into a horrible finger crack which has a nice pod low down but after that it tapers and flares into nothing. About 2-3m more meters you get to start of the Baylac crack. Prob 17 finger crack for 15m's then into huge juggy flake for another 10-12m's to the first belay.

So while we are trying to sort out some bomber pro so we both don't go splat... My buddy chucks in two nuts and I sit right under him on the top of the boulder, so we got some good directional stuff going on. Unfortunately the climb was either sandbagged or we suck (probably a bit of both as we are poor crack and granite climbers). hehe.

So my buddy takes about a heap of whippers onto a #3 BD nut... one of falls resulted in me getting landed on and his hex's giving me a good bump above my left eye Laugh I am climbing with a grit climber here, laugh it off Laugh Dam now got head ache for the rest of the day! Long story short....... we bailed on the start move Laugh Yeah pretty sad, we got about 4m's on a 150m climb. I am unsure of what the move entitled, I didnt give it a go... after seeping a bit of blood I was less than enthusiastic to fall on a tiny nut.

So after this we decide to hike out as quickly as possible and try catch a few climbs down the road at The Gap and the Natural Bridge.

We get there just as the sun is going down (the reason why the photos are washed out, bad light) and by this time we were a little over climbing so just hung out and I took some shots. Most of the cracks you can see are actually climbs.. most require an rappel to get into..



The Gap... more climbing to the right as well..


21 on the left crack and some easy climbs on the right side


Down at the Natural Bridge (see below) this is up the back of it.. some short and some hard climbs



Natural Bridge... crazy over hanging fist crack in the middle.. would be awesome if wasn't in such a weird place.


So Yeah.... there is a wee bit more climbing to visit here. I aint been to any of the sport crags yet Kalbarri/Bobs Hollow/Wallcliff and as much as I love trad climbing, will be nice to crank on some bolts again.


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