BASE?

BASE

A colleague at work mentioned this today:

… you ever considered (or done any) BASE jumping? Caught a program the other week about Dan Witchalls and for some reason I thought of you! Is BASE just a bit too reckless?

An interesting question, and one I thought my answer to was worth publishing…

Hmm, BASE… When I learnt to skydive some years ago this was the plan, to go on to BASE, but it never really happened – cost, lack of time, etc. Yes, scary stuff, I think I watched the same TV program, the one where his mate crashed jumping a building in China and then again at the end of the program on a cliff in Norway? Not sure it’s reckless though, it’s one those sports where a meticulous attention detail is required, and needs to be maintained. Just one slip in this attention, a parachute cord just a millimetre out of place etc., and it’s game-over! It’s very hard to keep the attention going when you get very familiar with something, i.e. you become complacent. So in may ways the right skill set isn’t being brave, reckless, or some kind of crazy dude (although these all help), it’s having an incredibly fastidious attention to detail and being quite a little dull and a pernickety kind of person…

Any thoughts on my dismissal of BASE jumping bravery?

Blue Mountains

Two more days of climbing in the Blue Mountains before we head off on the first leg of our Australian rock climbing road trip.

Awesome top pitch of Eyrie at Mount Boyce
Awesome top pitch of Eyrie at Mount Boyce

The first was at Mount Boyce, a great single and two pitch venue. Lots of bolted routes. I say bolted, but these are Aussie bolts; Carrot bolts. Big machine bolts driven into the rock with no hangers. You carry the hangers in your chalk bag and have to slot them on as you ascend. Clipping the hanger secures it, filling the wider part of the slot that fits over the machine bolt head with the back of the karabiner. So far we don’t like them much. We all agreed, either bolt the route properly or leave it for natural protection.

Anyway, saying that, we did have lots of fun, until the scorching sun forced us off the rock.

A beer after the climbing at the Victoria Hotel
A beer after the climbing at the Victoria Hotel

We had fun that night with a traditional Australian BBQ with massive slabs of steak.

Nice pinny Ian!
Nice pinny Ian!

Our final day at the Blueys was saved for a full day multi pitch extravaganza. We went off to find Bunny Bucket Buttress (is that the right name?) a nine pitch route with an amazing and committing approach, while the others joined Andrew for Tom Thumb on Fortress Ridge Mount Hay.

Approach to Bunny Buckets (?)
Approach to Bunny Buckets (?)
Laetitia half way up the awesome nine pitch route
Laetitia half way up the awesome nine pitch route
80m of a vertical jug fest!  The best pitch(es) ever!!!
80m of a vertical jug fest! The best pitch(es) ever!!!
Amazing Blue Mountain views!<br />Check out the overhanging BASE jumping platform...
Amazing Blue Mountain views!
Check out the overhanging BASE jumping platform...

Amazing scenery, amazing climbing. A perfect day for all.