The sun has risen and up we get no time to relax and enjoy the morning, we have a mountain to climb.
It was 7:30am time enough to have breakfast and then head to the climb. So here we were heading along the trail we found the day before this time we were much more excited than before, or was it just nervous tension thinking about what we were about to take on, We arrive at the base of the climb, it was a perfect day.
Thinking about it I don’t think it could have been any better.. the temperature was perfect there was just enough wind and the sun was not too hot. So off we went as we planned the day before Jeyoz started out ,pretty easy as we expected and we also finished the pitch a lot quicker this time.
Looking good time to take on pitch 2, so off I went in search of the next bolt, ah that right no bolts on this on trad – hmm so where are the spots to put the pro, well there’s a good hold let see if I can put pro in there, you have got to be kidding me no cracks nothing I’m now about 6-7 meters out and then I spot it, a bolt what there was no mention about that in the topo but hey right no I don’t really care I’m 40 + meters of the ground and 7 meters out from my last pro, Its about now you love the sound a quick draw makes when the gate click shut as you pass the rope through. Ok lets hope there’s more good placement locations over the next 30 meters NOPE more of the same but there were al least 2 bots on the way up. So I reach the belay with a sigh of relief, SAFE I yell.
Time for jeyoz to set off, about 15 min later he arrives, thank goodness for that the belay was a hanging belay and I had had enough of hanging around, thank goodness for a comfortable harness. Now I wish I had the camera when Jey oz had arrive you should have seen his face the first thing he said was something along the lines of where was the pro I only have 2 quick draws.
What was really going through his mind was probably “ these bloody aussies are nuts you just climbed 35 meters with 2 bolts – what am I doing here. Time for the crux at least we knew that there were 11 bolts over 40 meters 1 every 4 meters not too bad.
Time for Jey oz to show the way or maybe not, after the seeing the last pitch and the unreliability of the topo it was time to reassess, were we really prepared to take this on. Fun and the enjoyment of climbing rock is why we are here, but was the crux going to be anything like the last pitch a 8 meter fall hmm.
So we reassessed, Should we continue or head back. I was feeling good the climbing was good and had felt good with the moves well within my ability and even thought at times was run out did not feel uncomfortable, so on we pushed. This climb was ours so off I went over the crux felt pretty easy – what were we complaining about. SAFE then I take the time to enjoy the view, WOW you could see the ocean and all the way up the coast- then I looked down you know that feeling you get when you feel slightly uncomfortable and look around to double check you belay just to make sure your all safe – followed by the buzz of adrenaline.
Back to the job no time to look around Jey oz is on his was up over the crux. All was good thought easy. Jeyoz arrived at the belay and we took the time to discuss how easy we thought it was about a 20 not 21.
The next pitch was pretty easy, but I do have some tips though. When belaying and you need to take your shoes off make sure you have something to attach them too.
Before taking them off dropping a shoe at 100+ meters would make the last half of the climb a lot more uncomfortable than the shoes are on the belay.
Pitch #5 Jeyoz was right bush climbing, somewhere there was a path through the scrub, it would have been easier to climb the rock.
Jeyoz keep a look out for a bolt it should be around here somewhere, cant be too far away I’m running out of scrub and thats the edge of the cliff.
Here it is found it ! Time to have a read of the topo - Unlikely start moving left along v shape edge, look up at the climb above the bolt – there’s the v shaped edge so where is the start Hmm yep that and unlikely start, so off I go – ok I’m up here now where too next I can only go right now but that’s a really good hold I’m about 3 meters off the ground about now and that hold would put me 4- not feeling confident, so I down climb and have another look.
Yep that’s it left jug right pocket edge on that lip with the right foot and reach for the crack to finish, cool lets go. Jug pocket edge crack FUCK where to now, ok time for gear no bolt in sight, #3 cam should go in this crack, it’s a bit offset but I need to get something in right now, yep that’s the one time to test 2 good tugs and a third for good luck POP out it comes SHIT ! ok lets go for the big one and put it in the crack around the corner. As I pick it up I notice that one of the wires that actuates the cam has come undone and only 1 cam would pull back ^^%^&^*&(^%!@$@ too pumped to down climb now need to put something in.
Its amazing what you can do with one hand when you need to – but there was no way the cam was going to fit and hold, It was about now that a fall was evident and time to mentally get prepared while still trying to place the pro any way possible, the holds I have were good but I was not in a position to rest I was changing hands from crimp to jam to (*&(*%%$$% off I come - body just said too tired can hold on anymore next thing I know I’m upside down in the bush and jeyoz is looking down asking if I’m ok.
After a very deep breath I give him the thumbs up. at this stage could not talk was filled with all the feelings you could thinks of after taking a 4 meter fall about 200 meters up, luckily i took out a tree on the way down this broke some of the fall. I was exhausted I felt as though I had no energy to continue the climb.
Then I looked at the wall. And there it was the start of the climb it was so obvious I could have kicked my self, a further 2 meters down no wonder they said unlikely start you cant see it when you clip you need to go further down before you go up. Well I was in no state to start again and was hoping that I would get the energy back by the time jeyoz had finished the climb, that is if he was not unnerved from seeing me drop off.
Time for jeyoz to call on all his skills and some new ones, Off he went it looked much easier that what I had tried the first time - but just to be on the cautious side pro was placed and where it would fit ,half meter by half meter.
Now what we have not mentioned yet is that we brought a second rope just in case we needed to rap off, most of the time the second was carrying this up but this time there was no way I had the strength left, so jey oz went up to the first bolt he could find then we lowered back to collect he rope.
Then up he went to top out, It was my turn now the last pitch some of my strength had come back by now so off I went felt like a 21 after what I had just put myself through, not long and I was at the top with Jeyoz.
We had don’t it, what a saga praise all round with sighs of relief. But it was not over yet now we had to find out was to the summit through the bush, there was a faint track kind of but finally as we keep going it turned into a well worn path and as we ducked under more shrubs there it was the summit a well worn are a about 5 meters round.
We were glad to arrive time to have some food and water and rest before setting of back down the mountain. It was 2:15 pm 6 hours after we started – wow we did better that we thought but we still had to get down, there were a couple of options rap off another climb or take the trekkers path back down. At this stage we chose the trekkers path, we were tired. About 1.5 hours later we arrived at the 4WD, the trek down was pretty difficult no to mention busy with walkers that thought the would give the mountain a go.
At stage we were actually down climbing what I would class as grade 3-4 not bad for the average jo who had done no climbing before.
After this we headed back to camp and had well deserved beer or 2 maybe even 3, during the trip back we made the decision to head back to Brisbane and get comfortable nights sleep. Also so we could go bouldering at kangaroo point the next day fresh and fit, slight sore maybe.