Mount Wellington Rock climbing440 routes in crag
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Mt Wellington, the grand old lady of Tasmanian climbing. A series of buttresses and tiers that bring grown men to tears and where climbers make pacts with God, Neon or otherwise. There is so much history to this crag, listed in successive guidebooks, magazine articles and on the web. Regarding guidebooks, past or present; beware when any route description says, thought provoking, aka, there is a high change you could die. A safe way to determine the safety of a route is to take note of retreat slings and re-thread one yourself. Let some-one else’s epic evidence be your guide.
“The Mountain” is the alpha male of Australian suburban crags. It has an alpine flavour and with huge exposure – sitting on a lonely belay ledge, 1400m above Hobart, is cathartic. The rock itself, dolerite, has been lifted by volcano, frozen by winter snow and cracked by countless summer suns. The rock is friable and it is not uncommon to hear a hold hollow out under your desperate paws. Most people stay the classics as most of the bad stuff has been pulled off by some poor sod before you.
Lots of people like the Northern Buttress, lots of other climbers head to the Fiddlesticks or Moonraker for their multi-pitch fix and the others seek out some Jurassic route with rusted pitons and flaring cracks. Me, I like the tiers in the middle, lots of varied climbing on tall buttresses. Whatever draws you here and however well you climb, bring a helmet, bring a fleece and bring your courage, it will help you go further when everything else is telling you to bail!
On a sunny day, don’t arrive too late as the climber’s carpark only has places for about five vehicles. Beware climbing soon after winter as the ice has played its timeless games and expanded and loosened the rock. Be prepared for any weather, any time. Other than that, enjoy the Pipes experience – it’s unique.
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