Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Creature of Habit

There was a crew again for the sneaky mid-weeker, Neil Monteith, Jas, Jason 'Pommy' Smith, Timbo and myself.

Timbo and I arrived early, so I took advantage of the Terrace being in the sun and headed over to the Fieg wall and finished bolting a short and punchy line at the top of the Fieg wall area, with Timbo running around on the ground helping out (thanks Tim).

Tim and I then headed down to the terrace to join the other boys for our warmups.
Now warmed up, Timbo headed up Pinching Pigeons 26 and put the gear on, working out all the moves quickly.

Neil 'Monty' Monteith made a flash ascent of the cave classic Black Leg Miner 25, a very tidy effort from the Crux Magazine editor.

Jas got back on his uber project that starts up Fresh Gording 26 in the back of the cave and then goes into the JRW's project, Pigeons Fanciers Nightmare cave traverse. Jas made good progress on this and was unlucky not to sink the crucial kneebar anout 3/4 of the way out and came off.

Jas Piper on Creature of Habit 27/8, Pic © Neil Monteith 2008

Pommy and Monty then decieded to have a go at Karma Gettin 26 (an 8 bolt extention to Toast 25) as JRW left the gear on it. The boys made some good progress on it, finding the opening moves of Toast quite bouldery. This then leads to a long resistance finish.

I went around to the Fieg wall and fired off Fog Horn Leg Horn 27 1st go today, clipping the new anchors this time, not the old lol, happy days.

Timbo then had another go at Pinching Pigeons and came close, but made an unfortunate foot mistake and came off, so close!!

Neil and Pommy kept workin on getting some good Karma, but unfortunately no joy there.

I then had a go at JRW's climb called The Troglodyte 25 which is a 2 pitch climb right of Toast. The 1st pitch isn't very inspiring and quite sharp and goes at 25. The 2nd pitch is very nice steep climbing, also at grade 25, so having done the 1st pitch a few years ago, I was keen to have a go at the 2nd pitch.
I went for a lap and got 3/4 of the way up and had a slumpy on the rope, I couldn't see the jug that was right infront of my face lol. But I made amends and sent it 2nd shot, a highly recommended route and a great find from JRW.

That's how the day ended, but Jas, Monty and Timbo were heading back the next day (Wed) for some more fun.

Sidenote - the next day (Wed) Jas sent his cave mega project and called it Creature of Habit 27/8 and Timbo sent Pinching Pigeons 26 last shot of the day. Nice work boys and congrats =)

The season up here is coming to an end with the warmer temperatures, but the 08 season has been good, with lots of visits from far & wide, lots of projects sent and plenty more to go, bring on 09. Hope you can make it up there next year, it will be an even better season.
There is a unsent 29 waiting and an unsent 30/31 both put up by George Fieg begging for an ascent =)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sandbagging........Buladelah style

There was a big crew for our Saturday jaunt to Buladelah. Young Mick, Old Mick,Old Mick's nephew Jason, Amina, Scott, Kate Doherty, Nick Kaz, Dan, JRW, AJ and myself.

We were hoping Mikl Law and Vanessa were going to come up and spend a few days in the Hunter Valley sampling some of our finest wines, and we might have even been able to drag them out for a good old fashioned sandbagging, but the lure of Nowra was all too easy *sigh* next time Mikl!!

The day wasn't shaping up so well, we were delayed with the State elections, so no early start at the crag for us (this turned out to be a blessing). The season is definitely coming to an end, as the higher temperatures were thwarting our warm ups.

Most of the guys stopped at the Bee Hive wall for a warm up, while JRW young Mick, AJ and myself headed down the hill a little to a shady Buladelah style 18 that JRW put up. It was certainly a very thought provoking warmup, the style would be described as technical window cleaning lol.

The sun was just about off the Terrace, so we headed around to the Cave and hit the Terrace. We warmed up on an unknown JRW climb that has a very high 1st bolt two climbs right of Just Kick It 21.

Nick Kaz decided to join us on the Terrace, I tipped JRW a wink, and recommended that Kaz should hop on my 4 bolt 21, called Flat White. If you have been climbing at Buladelah for a while and your eye is in, then you will have no trouble with this feisty little number, but unfortunately for Kaz, this was not to be the case. Kaz eventually got the 1st bolt clipped then proceeded to fall all over the start, then fell all the way to the second bolt and then all the way to the 3rd bolt. To Kaz's credit he didn't give up, just kept on fighting and cursing the 'girly man' who put the line up. There was plenty of sniggering from the two old fellas on the ground as the big fella cursed and fell all the way to the top.

Meanwhile Dan was keen to sink some new bolts into a line that he had been spying in the Fieg wall area. It is a line of pockets left of the Fieg 29 abandoned Project. It climbs some very steep and rounded territory, can't wait to get a picture of this!!

Meanwhile back at the Cave, JRW was working my line called Karma Gettin 26, it's an 8 bolt extension to Toast 25, pure resistance to the diabolical crux finish. JRW has made some great progress with the line and has put large chunks of it together.

On the Terrace young Jason was top roping the Wayne's 16/18 and then did his 1st ever lead on it shortly after, with evil Uncle Mick saying that "he wouldn't tell his mother".
Kate joined the line up for Phelan feeling and took a whip on the way to the 2nd bolt ouch that's a scary little fall!

Dan and I headed round to the Fieg wall and had a lap up the un-named 27/8 that George did 3rd shot a few years ago, which I recently re-bolted. On the 2nd shot (of the day) I clipped the old anchors and fell 2 holds from the new anchors, doh!
Dan saved the day and waltzed up it for a team ascent and in the process gained the 2nd ascent of George's line. We have called it Fog Horn Leg Horn and given it a grade of 27. It's a very exciting finish, especially when you are pumped, so get on it.

Dan Wilde on Fog Horn Leg Horn 27, Image © Julian Hurrell 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mid Week Madness

We headed up to the Cave for our Wed RCD (rostered climbing day) with the Central Coast contingent (Pommy, Jules and Lofty). The day was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, perfect temps, things were shaping up for some good climbing.

We headed down to the Terrace to sample some of the tasty delights there. I started off with a 2nd ascent of Dan Wilde's new climb called Double Shot 23 (tough love @ 23) and managed to slip out of the crack on the onsight attempt.

JRW on Double Shot 23, The Terrace.

Lofty sent Jules up the classic Got that Pheelan feeling 21, followed by Flat White 21, smiles all around.

JRW and Pommy headed up Just Kick it 21 while we all headed back into the Cave to see Jules and Lofty flash Pull ya Plonka 23.

Dan Wilde hopped on his project sending it putting the draws on, calling it Long Wall Mining, going at 26. It starts up the alternate start to Black Leg Miner (right of the original start), then heads out left from the BLM rest ledge and finishes as the line hits the roof traverse of Pigeon Fanciers nightmare. Pommy decided to go for the 2nd ascent and went for a lap to feel the moves out.

I ventured round to the Fieg cave area to try George's 28 that I re-bolted, sorting the moves out. It felt more like 27, but climbed well. Dan Wilde then went for a lap, enjoying all the moves, putting it together really quickly.

Back in the Cave, Jules and Lofty headed up Black Leg Miner 25 (5.12b) with Jules making some great progress on this Cave resistance classic. Maybe next time for the boys from the Coast.

Julian Hurrell on Black Leg Miner 25 (5.12b)

Meanwhile Pommy had another 2 attempts on Dan's new Cave line, before it was time to head home.

Another good day was had by all, with everyone keen to head back.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Terrace

More Winter news from the Cave, but this time there has been some new route development from an area we have called The Terrace.

The Terrace is on the right side of the Cave, down on a small ledge about 3m or so wide and about 15m or so long. Its vertical climbing to a ledge and then a budge to the top. The climbing is surprisingly pumpy for such a vertical wall, maybe it's just the Buladelah factor.

There are 3 or so existing climbs put up on the Terrace some time ago, but because the main new route development has been the Cave, this little gem of a wall has been overlooked.

Just right of the Wayne & Wayne's carroted 16/17, I got the ball rollin and put up two new climbs, Flat White 21 and The Manic Barrister 22. Flat White had early repeat flash by Dan Wilde and almost by Jason Piper, lol, maybe it was just the conditions.
The Central Coast connection of Pete Weatherhead and Dave Lofthouse, upheld the flag for Jason, by repeating Flat White, confirming the grade. Tim Haasnoot made a 2nd ascent flash of TMB, confirming the grade of steely 22.

Dan Wilde then put up 2 new routes, an extention to the W&W 16/17 called Frappe coming in at 23 with an exciting finish on the easy ground and an extention to Flat White called (name to come)??? coming in at 23/24.
This line follows the crack right of the double U-bolt loweroff of the W&W 16/17, but is accessed by climbing Flat White. Dan was grunting, so treat this grade with some suspision.

Its great to see some more moderate climbing at the Cave, giving everone a chance to experience this unusual type of rock and get a good warmup.

Pics to come =)

Back in the Cave, Nick 'Pickles' Cormack made a guest appearance on Sunday, warming up on the Terrace, then moved into the Cave to do Got that Pheelan Feeling 21, Pull ya Plonka 23, both onsight, then bagged the 3rd ascent of JRW's Troglodyte 25 (Pitch 2) 2nd shot. What a sweet piece of real estate this climb is on!!
He then turned his attention to Pinching Pigeons 26 and just missed it 2nd shot with a silly foot error, doh!! Bummer, of well got to have something to come back for =)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Cave

Well the Winter season is upon us and for those of us Novacastrian climbers tired of the 3 hour trip to the Blue Mountains (Blueys) or the 3.5 hour trip to Nowra, the best Winter option is Buladelah.

The Buladelah season has started off strong with several repeats of Jason Piper's classic Cave line, Pinching Pigeons 26 (5.12c). I was fortunate enough to bag the 2nd ascent, closely followed by Andy Richardson and Dan Wilde, both confirming the grade of 26. Andy flashed the 1st ground up ascent, linking Trotter's Trifecta 2 (24, 5.12a) into Pinching Pigeons. Mr Pumper, Rob Le Breton bagged the 2nd ascent of this obvious linkup and proposed a grade of 27 (5.12d).

Rob Le Breton on Black Leg Miner 25 (5.12b) © Tim Haasnoot

Rob Le Breton grabbed the 1st known Onsight of Black Leg Miner 25 (5.12b) put up several years ago by JRW, one for the pumpers!

On a flying 2 day visit, Jesse Lomas flashed Trotter's Trifecta 2 24 (5.12a), Onsighted Black Leg Miner 25 (5.12b) and redpointed the popular Toast 25 (5.12b) 2nd shot.

Girl Power saw Lauren Johnson flash Got that Pheelan Feeling 21 on the cave right side, a tidy effort indeed considering that many a hard man has taken a 'slumpy' on the rope on this technical pumper. Anika Jefferson also followed Loz's lead and dispatched it too. These girls have been hanging around Nowra strong girl Carlie LeBreton. Steel city sisters fo life.Lauren Johnson on Got that Phelan Feeling 21

On Wednesday (30/7/08) Buladelah stalwart JRW ticked his project The Troglodyte Pitch 2 25 (5.12b). It was a battle from start to finish, if JRW made one mistake he was off, fighting hard all the way to the anchors, WHAT A SEND!!! Congrats to JRW.

With the sending train fired up, I jumped on board and sent my cave project called Sugar Monster 27 (5.12d) on my 2nd burn of the day. It's 16 draws long and tackles the steep left hand side of the Cave. If you plan on repeating this one, pack at least 4 X 600mm slings with quickdraws attached and about 10 'double' draws.

JJ on Sugar Monster 27 (5.12c) © Tim Haasnoot

Jason Piper spent 4 days up at the Cave in a bolting frenzy. Adding a continuation to JRW's Pigeon Fancier's Nightmare 26, extending it out to the lip of the Cave, a MEGA roof traverse. He starts up his line Flesh Gording, joins into the Pigeon Fancier's Nightmare finish then continues on!! It will be the longest route in the Cave.
Jason not being thwarted by the night, threw on the headtorch and added new bolts below Pinching Pigeons to make a new line up the 'bow of the boat' to the PP anchor.

In the Fieg cave area, Jason re-bolted George Fieg's 29, name unknown, and we aren't sure if it has been done yet!! Anyone?? I re-bolted George's 28 on the right of the 29, name also unknown (I propose we call it "Cotton Legs" after George). Both of these lines look great and Im sure they will start receiving more attention, especially since the re-bolt.

Here is a video from Carlie & Rob at the F.I.S of some Goat Cave action.