Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Keep going mate, you're almost at the first bolt!
Graham Fairbairn attempting Frosty, circa 1993.
Photo taken from the first Nowra Guidebook.
A story that has been over a decade in the making came to a happy conclusion at Rosies a few weeks ago. Frosty, now a classic 29, was the first route bolted at this crag in he early nineties shortly after the crag was discovered by Paul Westwood.
Little Graham standing below Rosies on the day the crag was discovered! No Bolts, no chalk, just potential!
Jarred McCulloch put the bolts in and originally envisioned the line going right to the top of the crag (the finish still hasn't been climbed). At the time, Jarred's dreams were haunted by the sinister figure of Frosty the Bondage Clown who had a fetish for the colour orange! And so the route was named. After departing the Nowra scene to start breeding, Jarred bequeathed the route to Graham Fairbairn, then commonly known as Little Graham. Graham sensibly decided to route should finish at the obvious break, below the 8c finish and threw himself at it for a while. During this time the route became controversial as a bottom-feeder tried to steal the first ascent. To prevent this, a tyre was padlocked to crux bolt for a while! Graham then burned himself out and abandoned Frosty, Nowra and climbing all together.
As this saga was unfolding the real estate around Frosty was increasing as every other piece of climbable rock at Rosies was bolted, cleaned and climbed. Frosty went from lonesome figure on mighty wall to one of a number of classic lines. But Frosty sat idle and unloved until Andrew Bull took up the challenge and made the first ascent. A few years Graham, now known as G Man fell in love with climbing again and has jumped back into the sport with he same passion he had a teenager 15 years ago. Frosty still called G like a siren luring a sailor onto the fatal rocks. But this time a more cunning navigator was on the bridge and the G Man sailed safely to the anchors!
Things continue to buzz along at Nowra with plenty of ascents of all the classics. JJ got the coathanger out in the Grease Cave and busted into the Vehicle Of Hate 28 for a well deserved tick. At Bartondale, Christina Bedard found joy on the smooth stone of Krusty 28 while nearby at Rosies, Al Price made a rare ascent of the punishing Beefmeister 32 and Andi Richardson cruised up Frosty 29. Al's been going bonkers with the bolt drill, so watch this space for more new route action! (As always, please keep off the routes until they're climbed.) There's been plenty more happening, but as we've been unable to make it down for a few weeks we haven't had our finger on the Nowra pulse. So if you've done anything or know of anyone that has, let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put it up. We don't want this blog to only be about hard routes from a select few.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Before departing our shores for more limestone endowed places Vince and Helen Day spent three weeks getting into the traveling climber lifestyle at Nowra. Where else would you start a world tour of classic sport climbing areas? Helen added Shocked 26 and a second ascent of Chuck Steak 26 to the list of routes previously reported and Vinnie made the third ascent of Tramp Stamp/Trailer Trash 32 in the Grease Cave. There's a bit of confusion about the name of this route because even Zac's not sure what he called it! He told some people Tramp Stamp and others Trailer Trash. He likes to keep us on our toes!
Meanwhile Zac Vertrees has been working his harder version of the Grease Cave roof. This one goes up White Trash to just before the chain then follows a rib leftwards to join Tramp Stamp about halfway through the roof! This one's so good it's going to need at least three names!
Al Price's insatiable appetite for tickage has continued unabated with a recent ascent of Black Parasite (now considered more like 31 than the original 29!) and a flash of Comin' At Ya Pundy 29 shortly after redpointing The Para.
Lauren Chandler continues to work her way through the classics with recent ascents of Sid Vicious 26, Games Burger 25, Abdulmajid 24 and How Much Can a Koala Bear? 24.
At Thomo's, Chris Webb-Parsons made a flash ascent Vehicle Of Hate 28 and ticked the now fashionable Still Life With Chalk Bag 26.
The much talked about project of the moment is Al's monstrosity over at Cheesedale. This route climbs Metamorphosis 30 (a route first bolted by Brian Rattenbury, ground up, and climbed a few years ago by Pete Tosen after Rat took up fishing) and then launches through some crazy boulder problems and lots of very steep territory. As the route follows the biggest, steepest line at Cheesedale, people have been sniffing around up there for years. At about the same time Cheesemonster was being bolted, Tony Barten put the first dogging bolts in, bolting down about a third of the route before deciding he had bitten off more than he could chew and abandoning the route. Some years ago, Zac continued Tony's work, added more dogging bolts and drilled a few ring slots, but didn't come back. In finally fully bolting the thing and starting work on it Al has invested his own time, effort, funds and vision and deserves a fair crack at it. Please respect that and stay off the route.
We've added a blog sidebar which links to other Aussie climbing blogs (let us know of any more) including JJ's new Nowra Of The North blog which highlights the goings on at the fabled Goat Cave. Check it out.