Mt Kuring-gai Club Trip

Nine climbers plus two trip leaders climbed the Lost and Found wall at Kuring-gai Chase National Park on 9 March 2019. The group came with a variety of experiences doing both trad and sports climbs. We had a lovely 26 degree day looking over Berowra waters. We had the Crag to ourselves the whole day. A little rain cooled the place down in the afternoon, followed by a little more rain. Some found shelter in a cave with the popular two star climbs **Woken Furies grade 18 and **STW grade 20. Even with the wet the day turned into a great fun climbing day.

Rebolting Update – March 2019

The SRC Rebolting Fund has had a busy month since it’s relaunch. Using the new hefty stash of bolts and glue the main work has centred around the Blue Mountains.

One of the main aims of this fund is to make sure the busiest crags in NSW are equipped as best as can be. No point wasting money rebolting obscure routes that no one does. So the first stop is probably the busiest small crags in NSW – the mighty Dam Cliffs. It’s a slightly odd place for bolts, with a mix of old and new bolts and even some attempts at rebolting done about 15 years ago that were not very good. Most people are probably under the assumption that any hanger-less bolts at this crag were glue-in bolts. This was proved wrong in a big way when rebolting began. There were some alarming short bash-ins still remaining on hyper popular routes in the Steep Wall. Some even popped out with a twist of fingers – no tools required! 5 routes were rebolted on this Steep Wall, there are no longer any carrots or spinning hangers in this sector. There are plenty of more bolts to fix at this crag in the future.

Atlantis crag has had four routes rebolted ready for the cooler winter months. There will be more rebolting to do here over the next year.

A cracked ringbolt at Boronia was also replaced – and the bolt will be sent for analysis by the UIAA. It was a homemade ring that appeared to be welded incorrectly. Scary to think about where else these bolts were placed.

Celebrity Crag has had two routes rebolted. The bolts removed were some of the very very worse ever seen. Held in with silicon sealant and hiding heavy corrosion and no welding on the ring. Absolute deathtraps now replaced with 3 tonne rated rings. After rebolting work done there last year (8 routes) this is now one of the best mid-grade sport crags in the Bluies. Put it on the top of your list if you haven’t visited yet. Fort Rock nearby has also had a refresh after John Smoothy requested it be rebolted before his passing a few years ago.

Railway Cliffs got rebolted last year and is now a great spot for the hotter months (funded outside of SRC). Later this year it is hoped that major rebolting work can begin at Bowens Creek and Logan Brae – both crags have a lot of spinning ringbolts.

After a big social media push we collected more than $1500 of donations – although a fair bit of that was from one generous SRC member. Please tell your friends to donate to this cause – bolts are expensive, about $10 each and there is no shortage of work to be done.

Phegans Bay Club Trip

On a warm summer Saturday 16 Feb 2019, we had a group of 15 people visit Phegans Bay crag near Woy Woy on the Central Coast. It’s a 45min-1hr drive north of Sydney and the best features of this crag are a 5min walk from the car, an easy decent down a short gully and importantly a south-east facing wall which is shady all day. Often non-climbers use the track around this area to get an amazing view over Brisbane Water to Woy Woy, Ettalong and Umina.

For my first Rockies event as trip leader, I wanted to organise a day for people who had limited or no outdoor climbing experience. It was great to see so many new faces and all the participants were very keen on having a great day and keeping safe. Fortunately, I had a co-leader in Jeff Crass who expertly setup top rope anchors and helped observe the group to ensure that no one got into trouble. He also showed his old school method of stick clipping a carrot bolt with a wire – particularly useful for some routes with an early crux.

Nestor had some notable sends leading Sharon Stone and the wide-ish trad crack Mohamed. Stingray and HS are also nice sport climbs on this wall. Most of the group climbed 3 routes on the Roundabout buttress – Knife Edge, R and the ungraded Q (Jeff set the standard by climbing this in approach shoes). Later in the day we setup 3 routes called U, V & W further down the crag which are reasonably bolted – although maybe not spaced perfectly for first-time lead climbers.

I hope to return to this crag again in the future as it provides a nice contrast to the nearby west-facing Berowra and Mount Kuring-gai crags. I’m also looking forward to seeing this crew join us at future Rockies club trips.

Geoff Cooper

Thanks to Jeff Crass and Richard Ly for providing the photographs

Nov 2018 AGM and our new Sydney Rockies Committee

Thanks all for attending the November AGM and welcome to the new Sydney Rockies Committee!

President: Jean Cane

Vice President: Geoff Cooper

Treasurer: Kate Baranska

Business: Kyong Choe

Library: Kyong Choe

Social: Ben Hefferan

Secretary: Paul Griffith

Access: Tim Macartney-snape (Bolting: c/o Neil Monteith)

IT: Freddie Gouws

Membership: Nestor Woodhart

Thrutch: Demetrius Kalatzis

Trips: Mikl Law

Giddy with delight

Trip Leader Skills Course

On the weekend of 8/9 Dec, Hugh & Bridie from the Blue Mountains Climbing School kindly donated their time to assist a small group of Rockies members who are keen to lead club trips in the future. The first day was focussed on the processes and guidelines for trip leaders to use when planning a trip, briefing participants and activities at the crag. The sessions were interactive and helpful in being able to determine what hazards may be expected at club trips and how to address them. In addition we were able to gain some insights into how to build a first-aid kit and the importance of having a few people at each club trip that have up-to-date first-aid skills.

 

The second day was for practical skills and after finding a shady wall at Medlow Bath, we managed to get a few climbs in before covering a few key areas that may be useful in future. A deeper discussion was held on the variety of bolts that we may encounter in the Blueys and how to recognise the condition of these. Rigging a bomb-proof anchor with gear, lowering a second when belaying in guide-mode and hauling methods were covered and it was great to get insights into the rationale of how to use these techniques safely from experienced leaders.

 

Many thanks to the participants for giving their time and willingness to contribute to the club. And a huge thanks to Hugh & Bridie for their passion for safe climbing and patience in dealing with the thousands of questions over the 2 days. Well done!

 

Christmas Cheer

Jean heads over a little problem at Mt Piddington. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]
David at the start of an interesting crack. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]
A big thank you to everyone who came along to the Christmas climb and dinner over the past weekend. Despite the heat, a great day climbing was had by all at Mt Piddington with everyone managing some good climbs, and many increasing their skill level trying something new! The sun was out in full force and by lunchtime the cliffs were in full sunlight which made the conditions quite tricky, but it didn’t halt the climbing and everyone had a very enjoyable day.

We then headed back to Jean’s house in Hartley Vale for a very welcome shower and a wonderful Christmas dinner and evening socializing. Here we were able to catch up with friends and family, and meet some new club members over great food and drinks. A good time was had by all.

 

 

Wonderful table decorations straight from the yard. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]
 

 

 

Fairy lights, tarps and tables give everything a lovely look. [Photo courtesy J Mycroft]
A huge thank you needs to go to Jean for allowing us to camp in her yard and use her showers as well as providing tables, chairs, tarps, eating equipment and everything else for making this night go ahead so well. Another massive thank you to Kathy, our chef for the evening, for the amazing food (which disappeared surprisingly quickly!) and everyone else who supplied tables, tarps, eskies and other useful items. Finally a big thank you to everyone who helped with set up and clean up – it was much appreciated.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2018!!

 

New Committee

Thank you to everyone who came to or provided a proxy for the SRC AGM. For those of you who could not attend the results were:

  • President – Andrew Lishmund
  • Vice President – Andrew Stevenson
  • Treasurer – Elly Short
  • Club Secretary – Mark Holmes
  • Membership Secretary – Nestor Woodhart
  • Access Officer – Jean Cane
  • Business Manager – Kyong Choe
  • Social Secretary – Martin Bucknall
  • Thrutch Editor – Andrew Lishmund
  • IT Officer – Matt Short
  • Librarian – Kyong Choe

SRC Committee 2017

Also thank you for everyone who ran a trip last year. As you know club members who run a trip go into a prize draw to win 1 of 5 $100 Mountain Equipment vouchers, the winners this year were:

  • Andrew Lishmund
  • Andrew Stevenson
  • Hugh Ward
  • Jean Cane

It has been an honour to lead the club over the past 2 years and I have been glad for all the support I have received from the committee and other members during my time as President. I am happy to now pass leadership of the Club on to Andrew L who I am sure will do a great job.

Social climbs go from strength to strength

Our president, Matt, gets to grips with a new bouldering problem. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]

The T-shirts were out in force on Monday at St Leonards’ for the social climb. If you haven’t got one already – they are disappearing fast so get in touch with us to get your own!

Liam gets stuck into a crack. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]

We had eight members and one new non-member come along on Monday night where we managed to get a heap of climbing in in a short evening there. More than half the members there were in the club t-shirts making it very easy to locate who was around. It was a great evening all round with plenty of climbing and new partners met. The $15 burgers at Gilroy’s after was an added bonus. Thanks to everyone for coming along!

Martin reaches for the top. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]
Andrew gets started on a new climb with Martin belaying. [Photo courtesy A Lishmund]