Bunny Bucket Buttress

Last year Madie threatened/promised to drag me up Bunny Buckets Buttress. It’s kinda the big easy of the Pieces Pass area. A mega classic grade 18 that wonders up 310m of the Grose Valley clifflines.

Unfortunately I had a series of tendon injuries and just felt I’d be a liability.

I haven’t done a lot of climbing lately but was starting to feel good again. I mentioned to her that I’d be keen once I get a bit of endurance.

OK we are doing it Saturday, Says Madie. You and me on Bunny Buckets, Leo, Lucie and Felix will go up next to us on Randy Rabbit Ridge (a grade 20 that basically parallels BBB)

OH shit!! I’d done 8 pitches of climbing in the last 6 weeks. Bunny Buckets was 8 pitches one after another, 5 of which were right at my climbing limit at the moment. Not to mention most of the pitches were longer than any pitch I have done lately…

I admit I had a bit of a anxiety attack at the thought of not being up to it. I lost sleep worrying about it. I’d hate to be one of those people who claim they are better than they are then ruin everyone’s day by not being as good as they thought

Shut up brain. Suck it up! This is an awesome opportunity. No more excuses. I’m in.

I tend to get real nervous leading up to a trip right up until I get out of the car and get walking but after a crappy day at work on the Friday I slept like a log and I woke up feeling calm and excited for the day

The car park was packed. Don’t they know how cold it is? There are a few abseil routs down, We pick the fastest one and pass one group on setting up on the other. We then meet Lucas and Ben at the bottom, they graciously let us go first and somehow weren’t put off be my floundering about pretending to be a rock climber.

I’d have to say I had a moment halfway up pitch 3 where I was struggling with a move and started second guessing myself and it took Leo shouting encouragement/threats from across the void to convince me to push on. I tried again, got the move easy and continued on.

In the end I hang-dogged the first 3 pitches, took a swinger on the traverse where had to resort to ascenders to get back on route and, I climbed ugly but I got up with out needing to be hauled (TBH I think Madie was taking a lot of my weight at times) and I couldn’t be happier.

The second last pitch was a glorious vertical wall. Once again it was right at the upper end of my skill level but more to my style than the lower pitches at that grade. I was shot, muscle fatigue had well and truly set in. I’d struggle up 2 or 3m clip my safety to the bolt and hang, resting for what seemed an eternity then I’d go again. But I loved every minute of it.

My mates really are awesome.

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” -Anonymous

Surround yourself with awesome people, experience awesome things: Flynny

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Mt Boyce

A quick morning climb with Libby and Russ. It was good to dial back the difficulty and concentrate on trying to unlearn some bad technique that I have found myself falling in to.

Pun not intended.

Wait, yes it was.

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The Eyrie

22-01-2020

After our (my) botched attempt prior to new years we had to go back an do it properly.

For such an easy climb it has a lot of atmosphere

Life is like a box of chocolates: It doesn’t last long if you’re fat: Joe Lycett.

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Mt Alexanda 17-08-2019

17-08-2019

Jeremy, Aleasha, Russ, Madie and Me

Road trip!

For one reason or another I find myself picking up Madie and Russ and pointing our wheels south to meet up with Jez and Aleasha for some climbing at a popular little crag near Mittagong.

It was a perfect winters day and for a while we had the crag all to ourselves.

Madie, Russ and I set up on a nice looking 14, Selective Cleansing. It was a nice way to warm up

It was a short climb so we each have a lead and move around the corner for another 14, Open to Public Scrutiny. Basically 1 smeary move down low and a walk up the wall

Again Madie places the gear, then we pull the rope and each have a lead and leave the gear in place to swap routes with the others

Mean while had Jez and Aleasha set up on a more ambitious 21…. Crimp a Buttock They both have a quiet, smooth style. They are nice to watch.

The crimps to get over the over hang were a bit much on lead and Aleasha takes a slight detour around the overhang on a 17.

Jez would eventually follow her on lead while Madie and Russ manage the direct route on top rope.

I had the holds, just didn’t have the strength or confidence to pull them, even on top rope, and eventually with rock solid forearms I resorted to the by pass.

Feeling confident after the top rope we decide to have a lead on something a little more challenging, 17 or 18 would be nice… A slight miss read of the guide saw Madie leading up Silver Fox, 20

Now a just a few weeks ago we dragged each other up a 15 on top rope and were over the moon…. Well, I’ve never known her to back off a challenge and bang, she leads her first 20. While Gibbo and Aleasha are quiet and precise, The Mad One is pure determination, power and self belief, oh and a “little” more vocal 🙂

The challenge is out and I surprise myself by following her to bag the hardest climb I’ve done in over 20 years.

But that would pretty much be my last win for the day. With blown forearms I attempt to follow the others up a few more routes but fail.

Still stoked for the day. If you’d have asked me on the way down I would have said I’d be happy if a managed to second a 17. Bagging a 20 (with pre-placed gear) was a pleasant surprise.

Mt Alexandra is such a cool crag. Interesting routes on nice rock with a good mix of grades. No doubt we’ll be back.

Routes.

Selective Cleansing 14: Madie, Russ, me

Open to Public Scrutiny: 14 Madie, Me, Russ, Aleasha, Jez

Crimp a Buttock 21: Aleasha, Jez (17 variant on lead). Top rope: Madie, Russ Jez (Direct route) Me (17 Variant)

Silver Fox, 20: Madie, Me, Russ, Jez, Aleasha

Three and a Half Thousand 20: Jez, Madie Aleasha. Top rope Russ, Me (Failed)

Corner from Heaven 18: Aleasha, Jez, Madie: Top rope Russ

Madie and Jez then lead some pumpy little over hung route in the cave. Aleasha had a fair crack on top rope. Me and Rus were done

Make sure you become part of the glorious past in someone else’s future: A Penny

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