Sunday, 23 March 2008

You know its the right time to leave Arapiles when...

Stu working his magicon Voodoo 19

Easter weekend and off to Arapiles almost the whole of the climbing Melbourne community goes. The Pines campsite was packed, think free Font campsite on Easter weekend during foot and mouth year.

I had the best of weekend. On Friday I managed High Dive second go - my first 23 lead on trad gear. Did some other good ones on Sat, then pulled it out and climbed Oresties second go on Sunday (I got suck first go while putting in the gear and could not move) - my first 24 on trad gear.
The botton part of Oresties 24
Mid way and on the top traverse of Oresties

Sunday afternoon I managed to talk Mark into climbing with me even though the sun was out as it was my last day climbing at Arapiles. We soloed ?? up the front of the Watchtower, ran down, soloed Watchtower Chimney (12), ran down and ran up Skink (18) in two long pitches. Excellent fun! BUT the strangest thing...

Back in November Jo and mines first climb in Australia was Watchtower Crack, we had a good climb but it rained quite hard when I was leading the top pitch. Now, then I was sat at the top of Skink belaying Mark a lone dark cloud came over and large drops of rain fell for 3 mins or so. Others were there, I'm not making this up.
This was at the top of my first climb in Oz (and so Arapilies) and the top of my last climb at Arapiles as we are off to New Zealand soon.
Is this a freak event or what? (and if its what, what is what?)
Time to leave Arapiles.

I had to leave a day before everyone else (including Jo) to go to work on Easter Monday.

Photos will of course be added when Jo arrives back with my camera.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Doing some sums...

So what have we been spending the last 7 months doing?

Since leaving England 219 days ago the stats so far are:
108 days Traveling & Sightseeing = 49%
73 days climbing (331 pitches) = 33%
33 days working = 15%
5 days diving = 2%

Humm, feels like we've been working all the time at the moment but it appears we have no grounds to complain.

The Australian F1 Grand Prix

So another 'while I'm away traveling' ticked off the list. And what a great day it was too.
Being very hot and sunny the announcements kept saying you must keep hydrated, so down went a beer or two. The pre F1 races were strange but a good spot was found (even with our cheep tickets) at the exit to corner two. We saw crashes and cheered Lewis Hamilton to victory.

Photos will follow when i get around to it.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Loving and Loathing - the Mount Buffalo weekend.

After two weeks of working we get a three day weekend off. So at last we take advantage of the hot weather forecast and drive up to the alpine Mount Buffalo.

Really good to see a new area, excellent campsite (with running water and Hot showers!) and classic stared routes to be climbed.

All the climbs that followed cracks and dykes were much fun ( or so I thought) but the prodominant slabs were a horror show - four carrot bolts in 30m of rough cheese grating granite with only 'padding' holds anyone?

Anyway, we just about coped and added another crag to our global list of ticks.

Mark belaying Meg on a grade 20 slab.

Mark near the top of a grade 22 arete. The dyke flake on the right was an excellent 19.

Me, at the top of the same 22 arete - hard bit done but still pooing myself with the friction slab top out (the last bolt being at least 10m below!).