Last weekend, after a long lay-off from anything remotely resembling trad climbing (chossy quarry bolted routes although not exactly sport, feel a bit less scary) Nick and I elected to do a couple of routes on the Hazards at Freycinet – big bold slabby granite multipitches.
The first we did with Gill, (Japhlion 16, 5 pitches, 150-odd metres) and in trying to lead the crux pitch, I realised my head was not quite together this early in the season. Backed off a tough (probably E1 5c-ish) layback crack and let Nick take the honours.
We went back for more, with an ascent of Stud City 19, 3 pitches, 120 metres [18,18,19] [in that inconsistent style typical of long routes here this equates to about top-end E3 5c] on which I forced Nick to lead all the pitches, having gotten a bit freaked out by the opressive atmosphere building as the darkness inked in and the wind rose. This turned out to be a mistake – the two hardest pitches had desperate traverses WAY scarier to second than to lead, so I gibbered and whinged my way up getting more and more terrified by the second, with less and less logic. We made it, with Nick taking a baby-whipper, and the loss of a cam which despite all efforts, refused to budge!
Yesterday, we hit the Organ Pipes, and I resolved to get my head together with an attempt at Raspberry Jam and Crackers 17 on Northern Buttress. Apart from the rain forcing me to rest on a wire as it turned the top of the pitch into a waterfall, it went well! A fantastic route with beautiful face moves some way above good but small gear giving elegant climbing which feels more like a grade 19 than a 17, and did my head wonders! Today though, it rains….such is the spring. Heading out to Bruny for the weekend for a diving/kayaking combo with Danika and Stuart. Should be fun!!!