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Preamble
Preamble Early Gear Training Cox's Overhang Olos Hanger Wall

 

BUNGEE JUMPING BUREAUCRATS

 

Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point conjures up memories of rusty train tracks, long itchy grass, derelict "metho" drinkers, broken glass, loose flakes, gritty holds and strenuous moves in the sweltering afternoon sun after escaping drudgery at work or studies.  Of course, the Point’s mythical kangaroo was never spotted (and besides, where IS the pointy part, exactly)?  These conditions prevailed back in the 1960’s before ‘Roo Point (a.k.a. KP) was sanitized into a sophisticated urban convenience crag.  

KP suffered mindless abuse then as mere training for traditional, multi-pitch face climbing on real mountains like the Glasshouses, Maroon, Glennies, Greville and the Warrumbungles.  Stalwart members of the fledgling BRC would usually flail away on toprope attempting advanced moves like a layback, mantleshelf or even (gasp) a chinup.  Belay practice was another ignominy endured by the cliff as vast weights were hurled over to scorch rope tracks down hapless victims’ hides.  Most activity was concentrated on the small upper cliff and Cox’s Buttress.

A turning point came early in 1968 when, inspired by Les Wood’s bold style and a surfeit of power from construction work, Ted Cais led Cox’s Overhang.  This coincided with the emergence of a new generation of activists like Rick White, Greg Sheard, Mike and Chris Meadows, Paul Caffyn, Dave Reeve and others who foraged along the previously ignored central section and exploited the potential there.  Yet by the end of the year a landmark event diminished the interest and attention of this first wave.  This was the discovery of Frog Buttress in November 1968 by Rick and Chris.  The climbing style at KP was irrelevant to the crack-climbing techniques demanded by Frog where the abundance of superb new lines kept this generation occupied for a decade.

Even so the convenience of KP lured climbers back from time to time to hone face-climbing skills that were essential on interstate jaunts to the Blue Mountains and the 'Bungles.  New routes were starting to be led onsight at KP, mostly with peg protection.  Bolts were restricted to aid climbs so early leads tended to be somewhat runout.  Sadly few, if any, exist in their original condition today.  Enormous City Council bolts that would hold at least 20 MN now defile Cox’s Buttress.  These monsters are supposed to be for reinforcement but more likely they are anchors for Bungee Jumping Bureaucrats.

Now there’s a good new-route name!

 Contemporary KP information may be found at: http://www.immortal.com.au/climbing/guides/kangaroopoint/kangaroopoint.html

 

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Copyright (c) 2001 Ted Cais, All rights reserved.