Ever wanted to get into trad climbing? Scared about placing protection? Well this could be the trip to ease you in. Weather allowing, I plan to lead a team out to Booroomba rocks and lead some easy/moderate routes such as Sunstroke, Denethor or Hermes. Whether you are a competent sport climber or a relative novice with only some experience climbing in gyms or on bouldering walls, this trip is an opportunity to lead, follow or second some trad pitches and discover what trad climbing is all about.
We will leave from ANU sport around 8:30am and drive to the Booroomba Rocks Campground (arriving around 9:30am). From there we will walk up the trail to the top of the cliff line. From here, we will split into groups of 2-3 climbers then either rappel into the base of the northern slabs, or walk to the base of determinant sector. This should will take 60-90min. We will then climb 2-3 routes (or until we run out of sunlight). After climbing we will then head back down the track and drive back to Canberra, arriving between 6-8pm.
Prerequisite experience requirements
Attending this trip as a trad lead climber, follower or second requires 3 separate tiers of skills and experience. When you sign up, please state your experience in the comments section. This sign up will be treated as an expression of interest and DOES NOT guarantee your participation. However, I do encourage anyone interested to apply. Trip numbers will be limited by the available gear as well as the number and competency of the lead climbers, who will effectively also be leading each group. There will be a pre-trip meeting THIS THURSDAY, where I will expect all followers and seconds to demonstrate their knot tying.
In order to lead trad climbs you must be competent in the following skills:
1. Lead climbing
2. Placing protection - (especially important as failure of a single piece on wandering climbs has heightened potential for ground fall)
3. Top belaying
4. Building trad anchors
6. First Aid
8. Abseiling multiple pitches using a third arm.
Followers (person who climbs chronologically after the lead climber):
1. Must know how to tie an alpine butterfly knot. Read this https://www.netknots.com/rope_knots/butterfly-knot and watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX1dWKg6Ttc. I will test this skill during the pre-trip meeting.
2. Must have the stamina and skill to climb 140m of grade 14-15 granite (YDS: 5.7). This is not far beyond most novices to climbing. Please speak to me if you have concerns about meeting this requirement. I will be able to estimate your climbing ability from climbing at ANU sport.
3. Must know how to abseil (this requirement may be waivered depending on the experience of the seconds in each party)
4. Must know how to tie a clove hitch. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=a58xEj9EG4c
Additional recommended skills for followers:
- lead belaying
- first aid
- basics of trad anchor construction
- know how to tie-in using a figure-of-eight
Seconds (person on the other end of the rope to the leaders)
1. Competent at lead belaying (experience lead belaying on sport climbs is transferable)
2. Familiar with the technique for removing trad gear (previous experience may be waivered).
3. Able to on-sight (climb without falling) grade 17 (YDS:5.9) routes.
4. Able to tie an alpine butterfly knot
5. Able to tie-in using a figure-of-knot
6. Must be able to abseil using a third arm.
Additional recommended skills for seconds:
- first aid
- self rescue
- familiarity with trad placements and anchor construction
Required equipment per group
- Trad rack
- First aid kit
- space blanket
- down-jacket (in case parties are stranded in an emergency)
Required personal equipment
- 2x Locking carabiners
- Belay device (preferably with guide mode or equivalent, for top belaying)
- Climbing shoes
- Prussik loops (optional for followers only)
- Sling/personal anchor system (safety – mandatory for followers only)
- Recommended: toilet paper
- Phone with topos of Booroomba rocks downloaded. See: https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/australia/booroomba-rocks