Written by Pinnacle Ambassador, Kyle Addy
Knocking off after a night shift on Anzac Day morning, Dan Cox and I stared down the barrel of a 20-hour drive south to make the pilgrimage to some of the best climbing on earth. Dyurrite – Mt Araplies. After a day and a half drive, we finished the afternoon with a pleasant run up Eskimo Nell (10) and the wonderful, moderate Mari (17), and met up with the rest of the group.
One of first stops on our trip was Debutants and Centipedes (25). A classy, three bolt, mixed route with a mono pulling crux. This went in a couple of attempts after figuring out some unlikely beta. Earlier that day Mr Zen and the Art of Climbing, Ryan Siacci, ticked the awkward, horizontal trench Sport Climb This You Bastards which is possibly the worst (best?) sandbag in Australia at grade 18.
A highlight that stands out from the rest is the classic Morfydd (19). A mixture of Arapiles weirdness, groovy stemming and funky crack work really made it one of the best. Other assorted classic’s included Surface to Air (17), D Minor (14), Muldoon (13), Conifer Crack (9), Tannin (19), Dirge (17), Agamemnon (10), Lemmington (19), Kachoong (21), King Rat (20), Pilot Error (20), The Rack (18), Dune (13), The Golden Fleece (18), Piccolo (11) and a novelty run up Tiptoe Ridge (5).
One of my goals for the trip was the infamous test piece Squeakeasy(22). Being a “solid undertaking at the grade” I was putting a bit of pressure on myself to onsight. Particularly after I had a rough experience on another Henry Barber 22, Reaper on our last trip where a rainy, desperate onsight resulted in tearing my meniscus.
Armed with my best pair of white pants, I racked up, tied in and gave my belayer Sam a compulsory fist bump. “Friends that check each other don’t die”. After a committing start I arrived at a stance and my initial visions of sustained finger locks on slippery, bicycling feet soon disappeared. I was greeted with solid jambs up a subtle, intermittent crack. As I entered the crux, a sequence fell into place and jugs came to hand. Without a doubt this was one of my all-time favourites. I was so chuffed in fact I top roped it in bare feet.
We had couple of plays on one of Arapiles more sporty classics Slinkin Leopard (28); a four-bolt route with an optional cam and nut in a high secluded gully. It features a strenuous and footless traverse right, to an endurance run up a crimpy off vertical wall, followed by a traverse back left past a hella rad drive-by with an easing finish.
One standout grovel was a grunty onsight of Wizard of Ice (20). They say some of those who send Punks may not onsight the arcing trench of Wizard of Ice. Gen made second burn ascents of pumpy grade 20’s Christian Crack and Bam Bam. Even though these climbs are fairly short, they are high quality and extremely enjoyable.
Looking for an afternoon activity we moseyed up to chuck a rope over Paladin(24). Gen was intrigued to give it a go after following my send last year. Its reputation as the “crack test piece” no doubt enticing many would-be crack climbers, often receiving a rude awakening as they struggle with the entry to a flared, slippery bum crack of pure frustration.
An Araps 24 that caught my eye in the guide was The Philosopher (24). After a quick rap inspection in the dark the night, I found its status as hard to protect, not too extreme, with adequate, but fiddly gear at the crux. First tie in I made it through the tricky twin crack transition only to dry fire trying to clip a nut after the low crux. The second burn I wobbled through into the easier finish.
Over the month we made a couple of trips to the Grampians. The first was supporting Dan on a lead of the world-renowned classic: Serpentine. Gen and I came back after spotting a towering corner feature, the brilliant and sustained 2 pitch 18: Simpleton.
Our route to the Sunshine State saw us make a detour to the Blue Mountains and the birthplace of technical climbing in Australia: Mt Piddington. Gen made a smooth onsight of the elegant, lightning bolt crack The Eternity (18) and a very cold bare foot second on my behalf, as I’d forgotten my shoes. My feet, still numb from this excursion, stuffed themselves into Gen’s TC’s and lead up a very historic route The Janicpets (21). Another quick stop on the road home was our stomping ground Frog Buttress. This last stop meant we’d climbed at the four most iconic climbing destinations on the east coast in one week. Mega.
Looking for more great reads? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest climbing tech, crag recommendations and upcoming events.