Well, its been a long time coming, but today we got to go climbing in the wonderful and extraordinary Blue Mountains. Rob and Ruth picked us up at about 7:40am from our place in Sydney and we headed West. The traffic was horrendous initially and we were feeling a little tired as we hadn’t slept well. It was great to be hanging with Ruth and Rob.
We stopped along the way for a coffee at Altitude Cafe for a quick caffeine fix and grabbed some of their renowned banana bread and superb Vietnamese Chicken Rolls. They are just divine. A must for travelling climbers.
We decided to climb at Mount York. It is a very old school crag however quite varied in its style. We started on the West side in the shade and holy hell it was like being in an icebox. The wind was high and the temps low for the morning. Karine had to borrow a thermal base layer off Rob as she was rattling in the cold weather. Miss K’s first experience of the cold in the Bluies. Not a great way to start the day when you are sleep deprived and in need of warmth.
We walked into the crag known as Mezzaluna, a beautiful platform high above the valley where the town of Hartley Vale is dwarfed by the surrounding cliffs. We tried to get warm as quickly as possible and struggled with the wind as it picked up a lashed the cliff face and us.
We warmed up on”My Grandmothers Dinky” 15 (5b) and our hands froze and went numb very rapidly. All of this climbing around the globe business had not prepared us for the cold and brazen sandstone of the Blue Mountains. Next was “Salubrious” 17 (5c). This route was one of the first I ever climbed and it used to be in the grade, it is now further from the grade than any other route on the wall. It’s closer to 21 (6c), holds have broken off and been polished up and truthfully it is nails.
Rob and Ruth had put the draws on “Community Service” 15 (5b) and left them for us, so Karine and I decided to try and continue to warm up. This route was good for that and great for Karine to get a feel for the verticalness that is Mount York. I am pretty sure she fell in love with the sandstone instantly. The friction was incredible and the rock is truly stunning.
We then wandered down to the right a little and located this lonely pitch on brand new rings. I checked the glue was dry and there was no tat on it so I thought give it a go. It was short pumpy little 19 (6a+). It was 10 metres of fun and K top-roped it without too much effort. It was great to see her enjoying the day as the sun drifted onto her back as she danced her way up the wall.
As it was a day of just hanging out and climbing routes we went across to the Deep Freeze Sector and did three of the routes there. “Damn These Electric Sex Pants” 19 (6a+), Last Call for Fame and Glory” 18 (6a) and Uncle Amy 18 (6a). All super fun routes on beautiful rock. The girls did really well and Rob and I had a great time doing some laps and enjoying the afternoon.
A great day in the mountains with more “Good Humans” 🙂