Thursday, 22 February 2007

Arapiles 2007

love that arapiles rack

The anual Lorne conference was once again followed by a week of Arapiles mayhem. As well as the usual crowd (Neil, Ben and Tony), Yen, our US postdoc also tagged along. En route we perused Koalas on the Great Ocean Road, as well as the crumbling Apostles. It was then off to the pines where our dusty abode, camp scumbag, was set up. The bottom left of the pines turned out to be not so bad. Relatively flat and a short walk from the loo, but still miserable in a dust-storm. New discoveries this trip included the squeeze-through boulder (not recommended with bare feet), stumpy jerkey, daily swims in the dam (highly recommended), and rides in the halmock (a game involving ogive brine, a stomach and a halmock - not recommended). As usual, Neil (aka, The Punisher) was out to score as many route ticks a day as possible, which left the rest of us pretty trashed early on. I satiated my love of the big easy by climbing Eskimo Nell (10, with Yen), Dunes (13, with Ben), and a couple of others which I'm struggling to recall. As far as harder grades are concerned, Neil and I had a few intense sessions during which I managed to tick the much anticipated New Image (20), and Neil made valient attempts on Running on Empty (the theme of their drive down, 21) and the intimidating Cecelia (22), which involves a horrifying leap to a jug just to get on the climb. And how could I forget Neils foray onto Collision Course (22). Bees 4, climbers nil, but most amusing at times. Tony also cleaned the lovely Tannin (19), something he'd had his eye on for a while.

We were also treated to a spectacularly foggy morning, some impressive afternoon thunder clouds, and lots of interesting fauna (Yen was most intrigued), the odd goanna, echidna, and various styles of wallaby. Over the course of the week the oven was gradually being cranked up, draining us to the point of packing it in a day early. Not unusual for Feb though. We also managed a morning at the Gramps (Summerday Valley) before pulling up stumps and heading direction Halls gap to a stroll up a valley culminating in swimming in a refreshing waterfall.

En route back to Sydney, Yen and I travelled via Khankoban and the Alpine Way, strolling up Kosiousko, before the long boring drive back to Sydney.
Erskine House conference centre
BBQ at one of the rented beach houses

Great Ocean Road

camp scumbag with occupants Neil, Tony , Ben and Yen

Neil sorts gear somewhere on the left watchtower face

Neil finishing the upper wall Gollum style

Neil contemplating "Running on Empty"

The squeeze-through - not as easy as it looked

camp food, scumbag style

we are easily amused by CRUX #2

Yen at the 2nd pitch belay on Eskimo Nell (10)

Trench warfare at the end of Eskimo Nell.

Ben and Dave tackle Dunes

Bath time

not a good recipe!

The best climber in the pines

Tony about to blast up Muldoon (14)

Ben, Tony and Yen atop Tiger wall

Chimney action, Agamemnom (10)

Neil, pre and post launch on Cecelia (22)

Dave trying to escape bees on Collision Course
Neil concede that the bees have won
Neil on Soweto (21), Grampians

en route to the top of Australia

Summit of Mt Kosiousko

Rams head range