Friday, August 8, 2008

Ozy Direct

Ozy Direct! Its about time I pulled my finger out and wrote that Trip Report I promised! Ive been a little busy recently, did 55 hours work this week! Im back doing some more height saftey sort of work and also doing some work at the local climbing gym(sold my soul). But its all good! one month till NZ so I need some cash, desperately!!

Anyways… so we’d done Holden Caulfield, we were stoked! The campsite up the hill is closed in winter so we made our way back down to Bright. This is the biggest town nearby, still small tho. We booked into a motel room, just like the movies. It was fairly cheap between us and it had luxuries like ensuite and kettle! We were a little tired and decided a few days off before we tried Ozy would be good. we spent a few days gorging on junk food, slacklining and just chillin and killin. We dried out all our gear and got the rack together for Ozy. Light is right and we cut back on everything, we wouldn’t even take a pack on the route! We would stuff our pockets with glucosey type stuff and take water on our harness. The weather forecast was good so all I took as a waterproof was a thin nylon jacket. If worst go to worst we could bail and walk out. The rack was packed, we had a big pasta meal and got a good nights sleep.

Ozymandias is classic. It follows an amazing corner system up the North Wall. It goes at A2 all up or 28 free, we would be aiding. When its freezing cold and half the holds are wet, free climbing gets hard! Its mainly thin aiding in the corner and uses mostly small cams/wires and cam hooks! Cam hooks are the shizzle! We left the car just as the sun was rising and walked to the Defender abseil station. We now knew exactly where we were going so it made life easier! By the time we got to the bottom of Ozy it was 8.20am, later then we had hoped but what can you do, we got on with it! I was going to lead all the pitches and Jed would clean, this would be much quicker. I started up the first pitch, I was wired on coffee and sugar so I was flying! We would be short fixing the whole route. This means when I got to the first belay I pulled up all the slack and fix it off so Jed can start jugging. I then put myself on belay with a gri-gri (unmodified) and coontinued climbing while Jed cleanded the pitch. This allowed me to have climbed 5-10 meters before I was put on belay. This continuous climbing was great but tiring! I arrived at Big Grassy at about 11.30. I really wanted to be there by midday so was stoked! I took a small break for some food and a drink! All was going well!

When Jed arrived at the ledge we swapped gear and I was off! I had climbed the next few pitches when we did Holden Caulfield so they fell swiftly. Before long I was dangling out the roof. I looked up at a fixed wire and something wasn’t right. I reached up, touched it and it fell out. Going the distance to the ground. So much for trusting fixed gear! I plugged a cam and was now looking at another fixed wire. I gave it a tug and it seemed fine! I jumped on to it and 3 seconds later I dropped two inches. My heart was in my mouth! I looked up at the small wire and nearly died. To this day I still don’t know why I wasn’t falling! The wire was just cammed over an edge. By this stage I had led just over 100m of aid-climbing, almost without break. I was shagged, proper rooted! I sucked it up and kept plugging and chugging up to the belay. I was now at the Gledhill bivy, where we slept a few days before. I took a quick break and set off. Jed got to the belay just as I needed him to tag me up the big gear. This pitch was fisty-cuffs with a tight corner with gear up the back! I was starting to get over thrutching and all the awkwardness. I looked around, smelt the roses for a minute then kept grinding it down. The next pitch was a little easier, I managed to have almost the whole pitch led by the time Jed had me on belay. we were so close now so I shifted up a gear. The last bit of the pitch had a mantle followed by some easy free climbing to the belay.

The mantle was fine but the rest was wet and scary. I only had bushwalking boots on, not easy! I slimed my way up some loose blobs of dirt, one move before the belay everything was slipping, I was almost off! My left hand clutched grass, my feet flailed, I got up and inch and slid down two. My right hand through for the jug, damn sloper! I cried out, I was going to take the ride! I threw my right a little further and to my surpise I found and edge! I turned it to dust and stood up. When I clipped in I almost threw up, that was close! It was almost dark so I set out up the final chimney/corner. It got dark halfway up the pitch. I almost missed the carrots in the dark! Before long I had tied to rope off on the handrail. I collapsed behind a boulder out of the wind. I was getting cold, dessed lightly for continuous climbing. Jed got to the top and I met him with a grin. We had done it! I check the watch and it was 6.45pm, we had climbed it in 10 hours 25 minutes. I was the happiest man alive! We got in the car and cranked the heater. I turned up the volume on the CD player, MGMT played out and we sank into that happy place when you’ve pushed it and come out on top!

We drove back down to the motel and even made it in time for a counter meal! We sank into a deep sleep before havign to wake and make the drive back to melbourne. We caught the ferry after meeting a few friends. We had plans to go the bar on the ferry for a few drinks but before we knew it we were sleeping in our cabin. We had been living the dream for 10 days, now I just needed to dream…