Dena and I went to Eaglestone Rock on Saturday, as a day trip. It is a 3.5 hour drive each way, but I was busting to get out of big smoke and on Sunday it was forecast to rain. We left Perth at 6 am, stopping at a petrol station first and at the Nungarin Cafe towards the end of trip. I have to say that place has the best beef pie I have ever eaten! The coffee is pretty good too, according to Dena.
When we got to the rock the warm-ups on the sunny east side were full of people so I did a new route just left of "Jack White" as a warm-up. We called it "Sisyphus". Next climb was "Bitter" (16) the standard crag warm-up, which regularly bowls over short people with its slabby reachy starting moves. This was followed by "Nudie"(19) a thin and crispy unpopular face climb right of the chimney. I then had a little break during which I watched Jonas and Ingvar put up a new 24 on the arete opposite Clockwork Orange. Looks thin and technical and Ingvar was impressive. Suitably motivated I then on-sighted Jonas' new route "The Lesser of the Two Evils" (20) and red-pointed the greater of the two evils "Ithica" (22), after a couple of runs on a toprope. Both are steep, reachy and with good holds.
On the other side of the main boulder there were topropes and draws all over the place so I did the only free route "You Don't Know Jack" an absorbing 17/18 face with an endless supply of good edges. An altogether different proposition was my own "Old School Leaver" (18) which starts off as a womb-like chimney followed by an airy out-there traverse left onto the face, then a cranky move and slab to the top.
Rob and Kate did "Capachow" a route I decked out on 10 years ago when I fell onto a low nut which pulled. Rob had no such bad luck on his RP. There were many people on "Wishbone" and "Fear the Smear", a route I RP'd 8 years ago and see no need to do again! Must be fearing the smear thing....or the fact that I twisted my ankle on one fall just enough to miss on the City2Surf 8 years ago. Instead, we went to try "Cold Nights", which I have not done.......it is only 18 but feels like a 21. It should really be called "Ripped Hands" and I abandoned it after 3 tries at finding a decent hold or jam above the lip.
For the finale, I had a go at a slanting crack 3m L of CN, which would be a new route if, after doing the crux, I did not rip off a 15kg flake and send it whizzing down straight at my belayers left arm. Cushioned with three layers of clothing, Dena made off without major damage but the resolute call "RIGHT....I'M DONE!" made it clear that we were going home. I was not pushing my luck as Dena was anyway not able to climb all day due to stubbing her toe at Rockface on Thursday. We said goodbyes and headed west, into the setting sun and gathering clouds. Pics here.