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South Jawbone, Post Fires

The recessed slabs of South Jawbone, (Pulp Friction is route no.7)

Tracey and I wandered up to South Jawbones the other day to check out some of the routes for the new Rockclimbs Around Melbourne guidebook that we are all working on at Open Spaces at the present. Joining us was Michael Hampton who really knows this crag well. I haven’t climbed on South Jawbone since when I freed Saknussum (17) back in 1975, so it was really interested in seeing the place. Tracey has never visited the crag and as the Victorian Climbing Club (VCC) Access Officer she felt it was her responsibility to check out the access to the base of the routes (and of course do a bit of climbing!). The fires have completely transformed this place. All of the trees have now vanished from around its base to be replaced with lush green grass (and fast growing prickle bushes). The cliff is now very clean with very little moss on the slabs (it was all burned away). It really is a great cliff and easily compares with nearby North Jawbone for long good-quality routes. I checked out the start of the each climb for the new guide and took some photos. We also repeated one of Michael’s old creations, Pulp Friction. We straightened out the first 25m pitch (placing a single bolt) at grade 17 and placed an important bolt anchor on first belay. The second 37m pitch was then also straightened out at grade 17 and a better belay ledge sorted out. The whole three pitch, 107m-long route is now worth two stars and climbs really well. In fact it is easily one of the best long routes in the valley. Anyway, all the details will appear in the guide which is due out this spring

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