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Hey guys,

Just signed up.  I'm mainlander wanting to come to tassie to play!  I am planning to do a few climbs on Mt Geryon this summer and have a few questions that I am curious about.

First off I already have read this site and I have Climb Tasmania, is there much more information in the Chris Baxter guide?  I'm not too fussed if there isn't much further stuff in the guides as I'm happy with the adventure.  But its still good ask.  I also have the notes from the original first ascent of the East Face which are an interesting read including a nice lead fall onto a hip belay! 

Also how often are these routes climbed?  Would you expect monthly visitation during the summer?  Or something more sporadic?

Thanks guys,

Mark

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9 Comments

  1. I'd be surprised if there is much in the baxter guide thats not in the online guide.

    Besides the Geryon Traverse, the routes get climbed bugger all.

    1. Thanks for the quick reply Jon.

      Why are the other routes avoided so much over the Traverse? I know the traverse has been graded 3stars but Orion looks like a pretty decent line.  Are the any reasons why its barely climbed apart from the obvious remoteness?  The East Face looks awesome.

      1. From Richard Eccleston, 

        Hi Mark,

        I've done a bit of climbing on Geryon and love the area and rate Orion. We did it in the early 90s - I think Adam Potito and I were perhaps the first to repeat Orion since RP and the original VCC ascents in the 70s. Basically it is a searing and sustained line up to the south col notch and the obvious thing to climb on the East Face of Geryon. After we repeated it a few other locals did it (Tim Chappell, Garn Cooper, Rodger Parkin, Toby Bown, Pete Rae etc) and broadly affirm our view.

         It is essentially sustained 19 with long pitches and small stances. From memory there is a chimney to a hanging scree then 4/5 50 metre pitches of 17/18 up a big corner system, through a small roof to a small stance and then a really sustained 19 pitch above that to a nice corner and some slightly easier ground. There is a final roof at the top which you can aid. Adam and I actually had an epic on it because we climbed it on a rare 30 degree day and got seriously dehydrated but that is another story!

         In short if you're experienced on dolorite its a great route in a fantastic situation - If you're happy on a trad route of similar grades on the pipes such as Icarus or Tartarus you would be fine. Beyond Orion the East face is a bit odd and even above the big sandstone overhang at its base, there aren't  many lines. I think Steve Monks has done a couple of modern routes out right of Orion in the mid-high 20s with intemitant protection. From what I've seem this doesn't surprise me. The north face of the Acropolis is different again - smaller (150m but with better lines) - I know Glenn Tempest thought the couple of hard crack climbs he did up there were the best he had done this side of Yosemite.

         Access is actually pretty easy - only a solid half day if you're fit (as opposed to at least a full day for Frenchmans or Federation) either over the Acropolis or up to the Geryon Campsite. The overhang under  the east face of Geryon is one of the most atmospheric bivi's around and worth a look even if you don't climb.

        Cheers

        Ricahrd

        1. Thank you very much Tony (& Richard).  I have emailed Richard following your post here.

          That response answered most of my questions.  I haven't climbed in tassie so I wasn't sure what climbing tassie dolerite entails exactly but after reading about Tartarus and Icarus I have a better idea.  It looks like tough crack climbing, something which is not necessarily my strength.  Recently I easily lead The Eternity (18) in the bluies which is a trad classic crack but I suspect tassie cracks will be harder.  But with a bit more training Orion is certainly in my reach.  I've climbed long routes in Yosemite and Squamish but long dolerite cracks will certainly be a new experience.

          Thanks!

          1. If you've climbed long cracks in Yosemite and Squamish (SUCH delicious rock at Squish especially) then you should have no problem with dolerite, which has a much a higher friction co-efficient than the granite at either of those North American destinations. Tape is probably more important on our dolerite than either Yosemite or Squish granite, depending on your jamming style.

            Have you climbed at Devil's Tower? I'd describe it as something like halfway between Yosemite granite and Tassie dolerite in terms of the way it feels.

            1. No I haven't climbed at Devils Tower unfortunately. I did do some killer jam climbs in Joshua Tree though.  Also I have hiked in Tasmania and have been up many of the peaks so I have 'felt' the rock.  I just have never climbed any of it with a rope and sticky rubber shoes. :-)

              I haven't actually climbed with proper taped hands before, though there were a few times in Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Buffalo that I wish I had!  I wouldn't say I'm super experienced with hard jamming but I have certainly done it!  I haven't had too much difficulty with sub 20 jamming.  But I do remember struggling on 20+ jamming that I found brutal on my hands even when seconding.

              To be honest I've often thought that I was a poor jammer but the ease that I coped with The Eternity (18) (super sustained and said to be maybe 19) compared to my second who was face climbing 21-22 did shows me that I shouldn't discount myself.  I like long routes and I'm normally quite comfortable moving fast on trad.  Though I will be putting some more work in to make sure I'm comfortable to move fast at this grade and on jamming.

              Either way there is a list of jam climbs in the araps guide book that I need to tick off before christmas.  Araps isn't known for jamming but I the jams it does have are tough for their grade.  Anyway it doesn't seem like the east face is regularly climbed so I'll be happy to post my experience in this thread.  Of course if the weather is good and I have plenty of time I might get other climbs done beyond the east face.

              Thanks for the interest!  I love this sight already.  :-D

              1. I don't remember Eternity being hard for the grade but i was climbing a lot at the time so was hard to tell.

                If at araps do electra, i didn't find it plesent but if you like that kind of thing.

                I can recommend The Shield on the pipes, tricky little crux hand/first stacks, but if you want to master crack climbing you should be focusing on the Ben.

                Orion sounds like it'll be an adventure, don't spend all summer training just go and do it :)

                1. I didn't think it was hard for its grade either.  I really think it depends alot on technique.  It is a sustained 18 all the way up but it is not quite vertical and the stances are there so if you find them it isn't strenuous at all.  But bluies climbs are often over graded IMO, so in comparison it is harder.  I did a 3 pitch exposed 19 (Dirty Rotten Pigs) the same day and was dissapointed as I felt that it was more like a 17.

                  I'm a mainlander Jed and I don't think I'll be getting down to tassie till February.  So I do have all summer to up here at araps to get strong.  I wasn't planning on hitting any other crags while I'm down there but now I think i'll squeeze one day in at the pipes.

                  1. Yeah wish i was training at araps right now :) Been waiting 4 days for it to stop raining so i can go up the pipes. I have some friends heading over to Araps on friday for a 2 week trip. If you bump into them have a chat about tas i'm sure they have lots of rabble which might interest you ;)

                    If you are only going to the pipes for a day don't do the sheild, much better climbs to do than that :)