Thursday, 31 January 2008
Had a FANTASTIC 6 days climbing. Both loved it. Climbed loads of classic trad routes, sports climbed a little harder, swam/washed in a dam and lived out of the van. Perfect.
A truly amazing place but being just the two of us did not pick up the camera much.
The Merio Van
We stayed in Sydney for two nights (and 2 days) first walking around the parks (seeing masses of bats) then the Opera House and finally getting on a harbor tour and visiting the aquarium.
On the second day we chilled out on Bondi beach and wished we had more money to hire surf boards. The waves looked fab. We also walked along the coast.
On the third day we made a visit to the art gallery then picked up our Wicked Van....
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Sunday, 6 January 2008
We spent the rest of the afternoon hunting down more beer in Hobart.
Looked around the yatchs that had completed the Sydney to Hobart race.
Celebrated the start of 2008 with fireworks.
The views from Mount Wellington were impressive.
After two and a bit weeks of 'holiday' it was finally back to Melbourne for some serious work finding just so we can pay for the next episode of the trip.
The Totem Pole was at the top of Marks tick list and we had to give it a go.
The first job if you are to climb the Tote is to abseil down the mainland sea cliff and swing on the end of the 60m rope like crazy until you can reach across the sea washed boulders, hang onto greasy side pulls and fiddle a carrot bolt plate on the cheapskate hangerless bolts. This was my job, as Mark was to be leading the two climbing pitches - at grade 24/25 its a bit hard for me.
Once Mark had slid down to me and I took a video clip on my camera (not good quality but worth a look - click on it to play).
(Oh yes, we did not have enough carrot bolt plates so that's why I used some dodgy rivet wires on one of the belay bolts)
Mark onsighted the first pitch in good style to the mid way ledge.
The second pitch was hard, but had some proper bolts on it. Just as Mark was starting up I noticed someone absailing down the cliff in a strange position. They then stopped a produced a large camera, 'Hay Mark' I called, 'you've got a photographer, you'll be famous'. Mark promptly fell off at the second bolt - d'oh.
Back at the belay ledge we jested that it would be freaky if it was Simon Carter taking more photos at the Totem Pole. Marks second attempt saw him to but not past the crux (you need to use a side pull that is blind to you around the arete). He made it to the top of this HARD pitch and had a little cheer.Mark Climbing the second pitch
I covered the ground to the top with a couple of rests (the excuse being I was dragging the abb rope to aid our escape). We signed the summit book and I slid back along our abb rope, now as a Tyrolean traverse.Once safely back on the mainland we confirmed that the photographer was indeed Simon Carter and had taken photos and would let us see them back at the campsite.
We explained there was no space at the campsite and we had had to sneaked in the night before. Before long the offer was made that we could pitch our tents on their site - and so ended the Totem Pole climb.
The next day, and probably for the first and last time ever Mark and I signed 'Model Release' forms so Simon could sell the photos. And yes he said he would sort us out some copies :-)
Mark leading 'Walking the Plank' 19 on Alchemy Wall
Dan and Mark getting to the start of a route on Tetragammaton Buttress in suddenly big seas.
The three of us and car at a sunny beach on the way to the B&B on Christmas day.
Christmas lunch on the beach at Coles Bay (after a good shower and change into Christmas outfits).
Christmas day walk along the beach.
Boxing day walk to Wineglass Bay
And quick swim in the clold water.
Frews Flutes area on Ben Lomond
Dan using bridging to rest from the splitter crack climbs
My first tape job to protect my hands