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Yesterday saw the removal of the last remaining shrub (waratah) at the top of this route. Never easy to negotiate past, this shrub has been taunting climbers for the past year since the Robinson gang gardened the dirct finish. Back to yesterday..... An older gentleman tooled up with his new Xmas pressie (retractable pruning saw), made short work of this recidivist offender. Waratah dispatched! It is worth noting that if you've not done the direct finish yet you might be tempted to include a couple of additional hand to fist size cams to augment what you would normally take.  Is the direct finish better than the original? My money is on the original finish.... Any comments?

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  1. These old buggers and their Christmas presents. What next?  If we don't watch them they'll have the Hakea tree out of Fiddlesticks before you can say Jack (or Phil) Robinson (smile). The new finish is good, but lacks the rude technical shock of the old way.

  2. Waratahs and Hakeas

    Couldn’t resist taking the bait on this one.

    That waratah on ‘Digitalis’ was flowering brilliantly red when first cleaning out the direct finish. After trimming a couple of branches I didn’t have the heart to do any more.

    As for Hakeas, there are plenty of nasty ones around. I blunted a saw when taking a dead one out on ‘High Wire’

    And the one on the top of ‘Hakea’ on the Columns is mean and wouldn’t be missed.

    But on ‘Fiddlesticks’ ? The tree has such a huge, gnarled, iconic trunk, not a better lissosperma to be found on the Pipes.  

    Why not climb the face to the L of it for a few metres?

    If the ‘old buggers’ think that Digitalis(original finish) is best, where one goes L and up the wall, why not go L and up the wall for a few metres on ‘Fiddlesticks’ and then back in?

    Better than up a nasty old crack.

    It is common for those who don’t like cracks to go L at the top of Fiddlesticks too, onto the wall instead of keeping in the crack.

    Like the classic  block knocked off ‘Carpe Diem’, I would miss it.

    1. I don't miss the block on Carpe Diem, but I agree that the gnarled old hakea on Fiddlesticks is iconic. It wouldn't hurt however to trim a few of the branches back that are up against the rock. It is big and strong enough to cope.

  3. thank god. i like the hakea and don't think its in they way. i prefer to belay in the sun on the ledge then go up the face to do the hyper cool step around back into the crack from the pedestal. its also a handy landmark when describing where fiddlesticks is when sitting on top of northern butt with a couple of newbies.

    i think the direct finish of digitliis is great. nice one.