A pretty quiet day out and about on the crags of Arapiles today, although the school groups were up to their usual shenanigans with top-ropes festooned across a short steep crag that has virtually no easy routes. The hapless students were hanging on this series of ropes splayed across the cliffs like flies caught in a spider web - and moving about as much.
Our first route was The Dribble, a four pitch climb up Tiger Wall. If you don't have a small TCU and micro RP (I always wonder if those tiny little things would actually hold a fall), you'll have to climb the first eight metres of pitch one with no protection. Pitch two is short and takes good gear, while the 50 metre money pitch up the long crack also soaks up gear. The fourth pitch is a definite let down from the rest of the route, up two short rather dirty walls, but, the climbing is easy enough and over quickly. The walk-off Tiger Wall takes a little longer than other walls as you have to walk back to the road, down this to the track and follow that down Central Gully to the Pines campground. We ended up so close to Doug's next pick - Muldoon - that it didn't make sense to go back to the car for lunch as planned.
Doug leading the money pitch on The Dribbler
Doug did a grand job leading both pitches of Muldoon, which is STEEP. The crux is on pitch one where you have to step off a reasonable ledge and launch up some very steep ground with your butt hanging out over a huge overhang 30 metres off the ground - quite thrilling for the leader. Pitch two is still steep, but the jugs are big, positive and plentiful. The guidebook says the rappel off is 32 metres and a 30 metre rope will do, but, our 60 metre rope was about 8 metres up the wall when doubled so I think the rappel is a lot longer than 30 metres. Basically, you need two ropes to rappel as the rappel is free hanging much of the way. It is forecast to be 34 Celsius tomorrow, so we will have a day off climbing.