Arethusa

30-11-2019

Dirt Girl, Bad-arse Barbie, Shreevy, Dare Devil, Monners, The Wizard, Sketchy Maddog and meeee

Bad-arse Barbie mentioned she needed a bit of support to get back on the horse after last weekend’s incident so in a funny sort of round about way me and the Mad One pretty much invited ourselves, and later The Wizard, on to the trip she was doing with Dirt Girl. Belatedly we worked out it was originally suppose to be a girls trip….

Anyhoo,

It had been awhile since I’d seen some of this crew and it was the first time meeting Sheervy and Monners in real life so we do a meet and greet and I notice every one had the packs out ready to go.

Um, we still need to drive down a bit to the car park…..

The Crew

At the carpark we wake some campers with our not so quiet banter and then make our way along the trail

Last couple of times I’ve followed the trail down a bit far east and had to traverse back through scrub. This time I make more or less a bee line down the ridge. Through the scrub

Sketchy Maddog starts to “question” my navigation. It’s just down there. Says I. pointing to a big tree down the ridge

I think it’s over there. Says she. You’re shit navigator. It’s over that way

I’m pretty sure it’s just there. Say I

Oh shit, I can see the sling on the tree. Says she pointing to the very same tree I pointed to earlier.

1 point: Flynny

Two crazy souls right there. Sketchy Maddog took control of setting the abseils for the day. 1 point: Sketchy Maddog

We gain the creek and boulder hop down to the start of the canyon and one of the coolest abseils in the Blue Mountains.

Explaining the system. The rope goes through the thing and then you do a thing with the things so that when things happens you can do things and it keeps ya mate safe. Simplz ©Shreevy
Stunning shot by ©Madie. How good are phone cameras these days.

Even in this dry spell it didn’t disappoint

Click to enbiggen

The gang

Click to make large

It’s a great little canyon ©Madie

Click for the sake of clicking

Team work makes the Dream work

We’ve gotten through the canyon fairly quick without ever feeling like we were rushing. So we have an early lunch and chill out in the sun

Just around the corner is a magnificent view ©Madie

The traditional exit was to continue down, then traverse the Carne Wall, then get benighted. then cry a bit, then swear you’d never ever, ever do it again.

A climbing exit now makes Arethusa one of the most funnest, adventurous little canyons in the mountains. Not to mention how pretty it is.

But you need to have reasonable climbing skills

There are 3 proper climbing pitches, that are a little run out on lead, and several scrambles and hand over hands
Madie lead all of them. 3 Points Sketchy

And as luck would have it a cool breeze greets us for the walk out

Champion crew ©Shreevy

Party size: 8 all experienced

Time: 6.5hr car to car

I have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. And scratch where it itches.Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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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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Clarence Dams 11-01-17

With all the people who visit the Railway dams on Dargan crk at Clarence now days I wonder how many have ventured up into the backwater. It had been ages since I’ve done it.

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As well as leaps of faith the main wall is also great for deep water soloing

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There are lots of climbable lines on the wall, however most involve a blank section 3/4 the way up that require a long stretch or balancey moves on tiny climps while trying to smear with bare feet.

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If you have a bit of reach the green route is by far the easiest. For someone around the 180cm mark it’s only about a grade 16. Where the higher climber’s elbow is in the pic is a sneaky under cling. By stepping down and to the left  you can then come back up right, use your right hand to pull you into the wall with the under cling, this allows you to push up off your right foot while stretching your left hand straight up. A seemingly small hold just within reach is in fact a very nice jug. The black line is the hardest I have managed to do, way back when I was climbing lots. It involves a cool move to get over the shelf and a big dyno further up where the wall gets blank. I only managed it once. the Blue and purple traverse lines would be around 17. The red and Yellow lines were always a bit beyond me.