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  • #3553 Reply
    Matt Rosser

    Vital Link 25m 21

    Start as for Split Personality, don’t move left as for SP but go directly up on small holds to the ledge. Dynamic moves to get over the headwall. 2BR and small friends. Just brilliant fun. M. Rosser, J. Truscott 3 Jan 05

    #3554 Reply

    Earlier in December Peter spotted a nice natural line finishing directly above the start of Split Personality. We tried it on top rope and cleaned some of the lose suff off the top. There was a loose block in a cubby-hole near the top. With a lot of effort I managed to unkey and toss it. Going back after the holiday break imagine my lack of surprise to see a new bash-in just below the cubby-hole. Anyway we did the top-rope again and cleaned off some of the dirt. Our line follows Split Personality to the large ledge. From there it doesn’t follow the bolt line exactly. The bolt is in the middle of the blank band which would require a powerful under-cling and a long reach – “Dynamic moves” -. While we were there we tried the lower part of Vital Link on top rope (we are cautious people). Liz and I found it undoable, though Garath got up it.

    Next time I’ll take a broom and sweep the sand out of the slots

    #3555 Reply

    Sunday 16th Jan pm

    Well that was a busy day.

    We were in Mountain Quarry from 2pm with Danillo. The gate was open. Danillo on-sighted Vital Link. Doing the moves over the top bolt staticly; using the small layaway half a meter left of the bolt. I was happy to follow cleanly on top rope. This was all possible because we found the hidden manufactured hold to the right of the middle bolt. The previous attempt with Liz and Gareth we’d missed it. Although Gareth managed to get up without it.

    It is an interesting climb.

    Thereafter the rest of the crew arrived. Toc and Andrew and Susannah and Marieanne. Playboy and Penthouse were climbed and liberally strewn with gear, when. Suddenly. Above the entrance to the quarry there appeared a thick boiling column of black smoke. Toc called in a large bush fire on his mobile. Looking down from the quarry entrance the bush between the quarry and the road was ablaze. We couldn’t very well drive out of the quarry and as we felt secure where we were we carried on climbing. Though engulfed in smoke and flame the road out of the quarry was passable and we received the first of a number of visits from people in fire trucks. They seemed excitable – “do you realise you are surrounded by a bush fire?” – presumably rhetorical, it was rather obvious. Marieanne pointed out that the quarry was about the safest place to be and we weren’t about to dash out into the flames. They seemed disappointed at our apparent apathy but let us be for the meanwhile.

    Except now Toc and Andrew hesitated to bring anyone up Penthouse and Playboy because there’s a lot of dry grass near the belay. The fire had reached the toilet block, trees were starting to burn. The grass right of Hang Ten was going up in gouts of flame. Looking from the top of Playboy there appeared to be sheets of flame among the houses across the valley. We started to receive low fly-overs from helicopters. They would sound their sirens as they went over. Probably also trying to tell us there was a fire. All in all it was hardly conducive to a quiet day’s rock climbing. We decided that this was not really tolerable and if the noise and interuptions continued we would have to climb somewhere else. At which point more trucks arrived and said we had to leave since houses were burning and they needed the people who would be obliged to stay and watch us if we didn’t leave. The underbush in the valley had all burned away by now, so we followed the fire truck through the smoke and out onto the road. Excepting for Toc’s landrover. In the rush the keys were mislaid, so it was left in the quarry , along with all the gear hanging on Playboy and Penthouse.

    We went to Danilo’s and had pizza and red wine. Then at sunset we threaded our way back through the police blocks to the quarry and recovered the gear and the landrover. The fire people were very reasonable letting us go back in. There was no bush left but many trees were still burning.

    So the conclusion is that Vital Link is a very enjoyable climb, great fun. Danillo figured out how to do it statically and Gareth knows to do it without using the new hold. I recommend it. But pick a quiet day.

    #3556 Reply

    Now I know why I declined to go to Mt Quarry to climb yesterday!

    #3557 Reply
    Ethical Ombudsman

    Hey Matt, how about manufacturing a nice grade 12 for me ? I mean…other people used to drill high 20’s or 30’s…. now you drill 21’s, why stop there ? Pretty please !

    Anyway, natural holds are inconvenient.

    #3558 Reply

    Actually quite a lot of construction has been done at the base of Split Personality in the last few weeks. Someone’s built a belay platform and hacked away at the base. Probably the new hold was also added after the first ascent. We didn’t find it on our first trip out. No doubt if someone leads VL without it they can fill it in. A little bit of epoxy is all it’d need.

    #3559 Reply
    Jim Truscott

    The hold was not added after the first ascent. Please do not make spurious allegations without first checking your facts and stating clarly who you are. Please feel free to fill it with epoxy if you can do the route without it.

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