Saturday, 12 November 2011

It's been a Bungonia-athon with Andy R

Bungonia Gorge is only a few hours south of Sydney, has 300 meter high wall's and is the only limestone climbing we have anywhere close to us. I have been there a few times over the last 10 or 11 years and loved it every time i went, wether it was a long all day epic or single pitch sport climbing. But for some reason or another i had not managed to get myself there at all in the last 2 years. I tried twice last year, one time a friend flew up from Tassie only for us to have torrential rain and the other time i drove the whole way to the park only to find the gates closed for feral animal eradication.

This year i just had to "make it happen" so last month i teamed up with Tom, Ben and Jay, 3 psyched friends I train at Penrith with, along with Lee, Amanda, Gazza and Gordo for some good fun and great climbing. Although the summer temperatures were warming up that didn't slow us down. I got into the swing of things by doing a classic old trad route that i had always wanted to do called " Strangeness and Charm". We climbed the routes on the awesome "Chicken Wall" while constantly gazing up at the huge expanse of wall above that is just waiting to be climbed.

I then got onto work on a short powerful line named "Nails" 29,on awesomely hard polished rock that i had always wanted to try. The moves were great and i pleasantly surprised myself by sending second shot.

It was then back onto the black rock of the North Wall and have a shot of Masters of the Universe 19,23,26/7,23. What a cracker, i missed the onsight of the crux pitch but haven't had as much fun as fighting for it in a long time. The moves were hard, the feet were insecure, there is no chalk so finding the holds is desperate and the crux sequence ended up being completely sick!!!!

I was then drawn back to the short steep "palenta pumper" sector and established the shortest route in the gorge. What it lacks in height it makes up in moves, every hold is great and every move is rad!! 4 bolts of fun and you at the anchor. I think it ways in about 28 so maybe someone could go and repeat it and confirm the grade, it comes with a 3star guarantee!!!

I then did my part for the community and replaced the rusty old bolts and home made hanger on the classic "Saraha's route 24" with some bomber FIXE stainless steel ones.

However all good things must come to an end and besides a real cold overcast summer day it really is season over for the gorge, so it's back to dreaming about the water polished grey rock of Polenta pumper and Gasoline Alley, the tufa's of The Phantom menace wall, the orange caves high up on The South wall, the intimidating black face of The North wall and the giant over hanging yellow Chicken wall. Until next year.


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