Sunrise from portaledge

Waking up on Ozymandius, North Wall, Mt Buffalo, second day of our attempt.img_1316

Ozymandius is a 300m granite climb at Mt Buffalo Victoria. We attempted to aid climb it in a team of three in November 2016, the plan was for three days and two nights on the wall.

It was an epic adventure for sure and we made it to about half way up. Great to have slept at Big Grassy and have a go at hauling / leading / cleaning / Jumaring — all the aid gigs, including moving in the dark. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ve been thinking about aid climbing for years: slowly collecting the gear and practicing the various techniques at my home crag, but getting the real experience has given it all perspective.

With the scramble out we must have ascended a total of 450m in two days (with 450m descent too) way more impressive than just going to the top!

A whole lot of factors lead to the bail: my preparation was disrupted so I wasn’t physically spot on, the last part of my new portaledge came late so I didn’t have time to refine it or set up a good carry system, my spectacularly slow lead on the first pitch out of Big Grassy made us late on day two. I was a bit dehydrated and possibly wobbly in the tummy from combination of rich food and drinking creek water. I think all the elements have to align to support you in this taxing situation.

We where lucky with perfect weather and there where moments of absolute beauty in amongst the fear and hardship — the crystal clear stream and the orange dawn over the mountains with crescent moon. Certainly an adventure I won’t forget!

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