It was a keen group of climbers who gathered at the Gracetown Caravan Park on the Friday of Australia Day Long Weekend.
A few of us had managed to escape Perth a little earlier and put in a day climbing at Wilyabrup Main Cliff in glorious conditions, arriving at the caravan to rendezvous with the others that evening.
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny. The forecast was for a hot day though happily not quite as hot as originally feared. Nonetheless, an early start was still advisable! A short drive to the Wilyabrup access carpark, then a short walk out to the Main Crag. These spectacular sea cliffs are such a thrill to climb. All the crags overlook the ocean and dolphins are frequently seen playing in the waves. A truly stunning location! The vast majority of the climbs at the Wilyabrup Cliffs are pure trad routes, with only a few mixed lines featuring a carrot or two. The rock is gneiss which is often a bit smoother than granite, though the two rock types are closely related.
Top ropes were set up on several classic climbs for those not yet leading trad or looking to challenge themselves on harder routes they would not be comfortable leading. This included several lines on the famous Stainless Steel Wall, as well as One for the Road (18) and more. Nearby, easier slabs offered good opportunities to practice placing gear on well-protected lines – great for those just starting to lead trad. Those more experienced with trad climbing partnered with those just starting out. There was a lot of swapping around of climbing partners through the day which lead to lots of new friends being made. Fantastic climbing, even with the warm conditions! Heading back to Gracie’s Caravan Park at the end of the day, some of us enjoyed a cheeky bevvy at the Cheeky Monkey Brewery and a swim at the beach.
On Sunday, we headed to Wilyabrup’s Banana Crag, north of Main Crag. There are a number of excellent climbs here, including the wonderful Banana Split (14) which saw a lot of traffic from the CAWA team. Very enjoyable indeed! Also a good set of harder routes and the option for a bit of top roping as needed. Another hot sunny day, so we found ourselves chasing the shade as the day progressed. A late afternoon finish and much-needed visit to Gracie’s Beach for a dip.
This was my first climbing trip with CAWA. The weekend away at Wilyabrup and Bob’s Hollow was the perfect setting to climb great routes, meet fellow climbers and make new friends. I was really pleased to see so many people join the trip as it gave plenty of chances to climb with more experienced people or share some knowledge with beginners. I will definitely keep an eye out for the next climbing trip Jiri organises!
On Monday, we headed down to Bob’s Hollow for some limestone sport climbing fun. A longer walk in along the Cape to Cape Track for those without a 4WD, but the glorious views make this a lot less arduous than it might otherwise be. We began with climbs on southern end of crag which were due to come into the sun first. This is a regular climbing spot for many of the CAWA team. A good chance to revisit some favourites and discover some new routes too.
A busy at Bob’s Hollow with several other groups of climbers also having come down from Perth for the weekend. A sports climbing fest! That evening, we enjoyed a wrap-up celebration dinner at one of the local breweries for those who were able to stay a little longer.
Only a few of us remained on Tuesday morning and put in a few last hours at back at Wilyabrup Main Cliff. A wonderful weekend of climbing much enjoyed by all.
Many thanks to the CAWA Committee for organising, especially Jiri!