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Jan 6, 2003, 8:40 PM
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TR text and pics Blue Mountains
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Lee and Phils climbing trip to the Blue Mountains.

For more pics http://www.pbase.com/phil_box/blue_mountains_climbing_trip

6 days it shall be. We had worked out previously that this would be the amount of time alotted to our sojourn in the mountains.

We met up at the Gold Coast for our marathon trip in the Landcruiser Troop Carrier. My wife Jo would be coming along to do the touristy thing in the mountains so it would be three of us for the duration. We left at 6pm and drove through the night being very careful not to exceed the speed limit as the cops were out in plague proportions.

Having gotten to our place to stay and settled in we quickly headed out to Mt. Piddington Where we made our acquaintence with the sandstone. I loved the friction here and the cracks were a blast. On Edge was way hard, much harder than the grade belies. The Traverse Of The Gods was way cool, muchly to be recommended but then I had such a fun day at Piddo that I would really be recommending everything I did there. It was great that Lee knew his way around and had done some climbing at the various crags we would be visiting.


Phil reaching for the non existent holds on On Edge 22

Oh yes beside the track down to the crag would be the grand daddy of all cairns. You could almost set bouldering problems trying to reach the summit on this amazing rock construction. Of course we simply had to add a couple of stones as well to the pile.


:
28/12 - Mt Piddington
1. Psychopath 17. Lee OS, Phil 2nd.
2. The Eternity 18. Phil OS.
3. SSCC3 22. Lee OS, Phil 2nd.
4. The Carthegenian 15. Phil OS, Lee 2nd.
5. The Pharaoh 15. Phil OS, Lee 2nd.
6. Joseph 14. Lee OS, Phil 2nd.
7. On Edge 22. Phil 1 rest, Lee 2nd.
8. Traverse Of The Gods 18. Lee OS, Phil 2nd.
9. Flake Crack 17. Phil OS pitch 1.

That night we met all the other house guests amongst whom were Steve and Allison and of course the irrepressible Herb of Brooyar and Gympie climbing fame and his wife Jonesy. Scott Mcdonald was to join us as well and he would climb with us for the rest of the trip. Twas such fun climbing with Scott, I`m so glad he was there he certainly helped to make the trip the success it turned out to be. It would be remiss of me not to include Lee in the above praise as climbing with him was especially memorable.

I must say too that this trip was instigated by the Brisbane Rock Climbing Club and many thanks to Steve and Allison for the admin put in.

So on Sunday we would head out to a very convenient crag close to Blackheath where we were staying called Centennial Glen. Whoa, is that place steep and hard. I got the mother of all spankings at this crag. I need to become way better than I am to compete there. I fell all over Paddington before I realized that yeah it really was a 25. Acceptably Cosmic was fun to work though. By the time our day was done my hands were trashed. Take my advice if you really want to do the hard stuff and aren`t used to this rock then definitely tape the fingers up.


Lee laying it on the line on Horace Herrod

29/12 - Centennial Glen
10. Dr Foopsickle 20. Lee OS
11. Dr Foopsickle 20. Phil flash
12. Horrace Herrod 25. Lee pinkpoint. 2 shots in 2000. 4th shot overall.
13. Acceptably Cosmic 23. Lee flash.
14. Acceptably Cosmic 23. Phil pinkpoint 5th shot.
Better Than Nothing 27. Lee dog 1 move, 3 rests.
Pad'ngton 25. Phil ghost.

Well for Monday we had our multi pitch day put aside so we consulted the guide and as it turned out we chose to head up Hotel California near Pierces Pass. I`ve gotta say that this climb would have to be the highlight of the trip.

About an hour was lost to us due to another party hitting this climb ahead of us. Who would have thought that in the midst of a seemingly deserted wilderness another party would decide on doing this same route.

After the three pitch rap in approach we arrived at the bottom of the climb and Lee asked who should do the linked first and second pitches. Quick as a flash I nominated Lee (coward that I am). I`m glad that he did take up my offer as I`m sure I would have struggled to overcome a small roofy section on the first pitch.

These first two pitches offered some tricky technical face moves. The next pitch was a fun affair that trended right and up on reasonable holds. A rather trivial scramble and short wall was Lees next pitch. My turn again on an amazingly sculptured pitch which after going straight up turned into a traverse scramble.

We had lunch and finished off the last of our water and then it was Lees turn to lead. It turns out that he got to lead the way exposed lip traverse out to the edge of this soaring aręte which we would follow for perhaps 2 and a half pitches. This aręte was a right leaning affair so we pretty much had air under us for all of those pitches. I thought that my brains would be scrambled from fear of the exposure but after settling my mind and making peace with myself and not a little praying, I struck out after Lee and rather surprised myself how comfortable I felt.


Lee way out there on the traverse.

I found myself staying a little higher on the traverse than Lee and found a rail to hand scamper along which made this pitch seem much easier than Lees huffing and puffing made it out to be as he churned his way along down lower.


Looking out over the Grose Valley from pitch 7 belay

It was my turn to lead the grade 20 middle pitch of this great aręte. Way cool climbing and I find myself sorting the belay in no time at all and after a couple of pics it`s over to Lee to lead the penultimate pitch. So I`m seconding up and placed my hand into this huge pipe hold and go to crank on it. The pipe broke and sent me sailing into space and the pipe was sent to the bottom of this magnificent climb. Lee told me it was pretty spectacular from his stance.

We find ourselves at the top of the difficult sections and it is now only to scramble the final pitch but not before admiring the stunning and totally unique rock at the top of this wall. Iron stone intrusions like honeycomb were poking through almost pure white beach sand. All of which was vertical to overhanging. When looked upon it sort of played tricks on the eyes as there was so much mixed up strata to look upon. More or less like when you try to look at a repetitive pattern.

30/12 - Grose Valley
15. Hotel California 21
1 21. Lee OS
2 20. Lee OS
3 17. Phil OS
4 10. Lee OS
5 18. Phil OS
6 19. Lee OS
7 20. Phil OS
8 18. Lee OS, Phil 2nd fall due to rock breakage
9 Both solo

Due to the hold up with the other party we both got back pretty late from our special day out and the group was getting worried but it was all good when we turned up.

Tuesday was our day to go to Boronia Point where we could indulge in both easy and super hard classics. I really did enjoy Cowboy Clip, huge jugs on way steep territory. Lee onsighted Euchre and he looked way funny with his one and a half buttock rest on the middle of this climb.


Almost a no hands rest

31/12 - Boronia Pt
16. Mr Curly 17. Phil OS
17. Albatross 19. Lee OS
18. Albatross 19. Phil flash
19. Cowboy Clip 21. Lee OS
20. Cowboy Clip 21. Phil flash
21. Creature Without A Brain 17. Phil OS
22. Creature Without A Brain 17. Lee OS
23. Euchre 23. Lee OS
24. Squashed Parrot 14. Lee OS.
25. Squashed Parrot 14. Phil flash.
Euchre 23. Phil dog.

Rain was forecast for new years day and rain did eventuate. We all had a sleep in and got ourselves off to the Hydro Majestic for Brunch. I tried to sneak Lee a plate from the buffet but those pesky waiters were way too clever for us and so the plate had to be payed for. Do you think they`ve had dirtbag climbers there trying to eat for free before today? Nah, well, maybe.


Scott discussing the benefits of free? food.

After the Hydro we all wanted to go to The Edge Imax Cinema at Katoomba. Seems every climber in the world was there. I ran into Nathaniel from Toowoomba in Queensland and whilst waxing lyrical about Hotel California a voice interrupted me from behind and who should that be but Mike Law so I had a chat to him about the climb. Back home we finished watching our store of climbing videos.

1/1 – Nowhere climbing
Rain

Whilst Lee ran off with Scott to themselves silly on Wave Wall at Centennial Glen I went off with the group to Mt. Boyce. Bit of admin issues trying to find the correct approach road (we were on the other side of the railway line). We finally got ourselves sorted and down to the bottom to start the climbing for the day.

I had a most enjoyable day of it with my allotted partner Narelle who kept up with me for pretty much the whole day. I finally got to lead a bunch of routes as Narelle was entirely happy seconding not yet wanting to lead. I ended up climbing 385 metres for the day on seven climbs. The grades at this crag are deceptive as one can quite easily stray from the original ascent path into way harder territory which I did with regular monotiny. Fun though inventing it all as you go.


Narelle riding the belay


Erica topping out


2/1 - Centennial Glen & Mt Boyce
26. The Tube 24. Lee 3rd shot.
27. Billy Bunter 19. Lee flash.
28. Unknown 18. Lee OS.
Rubber Lover 25. Lee ghost. 3 shots. slapping second last hold. Too crimpy.
Apraxia 25. Lee ghost.
29. Khyber Pass 17.
30. Another Man's Juliet 15.
31. Set, Piece, Battle 14.
32. Atlantis 13.
33. The Eyrie 12.
34. Sweet Irish 9.
35. Tongan Corner 8.

Going home was a battle as we departed on the Thursday night at 9pm. After I got back I went up to Burleigh Headland and soloed up the handcracks, ah it`s so good to be back in Queensland but I tell you what Blue Mountains has some spectacular climbing which I shall definitely indulge in in the future.


[ This Message was edited by: philbox on 2003-01-06 20:41 ]

[ This Message was edited by: philbox on 2003-01-06 20:42 ]


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