March 2024 Owl Pillar Day Trip

Date: March 2, 2024
Location: Owl Pillar, Ngungun

Hey there, fellow climbers and weekend warriors! Our latest escapade on March 2nd took us to the iconic crags of Owl Pillar and Flat Battery Wall, where we laughed, cheered, and maybe even shed a tear or two (but we'll blame that on the chalk dust, shall we?). Our day on the rocks was a whirlwind of excitement as we tackled a variety of climbs, each presenting its own unique set of challenges and thrills.

The Crag
We kicked off our adventure at Owl Pillar, where we took on classics like Afternoon Delight, a grade 18 route that offered sustained climbing and stunning views, Dawn Raid, grade 19, featuring a challenging ascent that tested our skills and determination and Morning Madness, the rightmost line of bolts on 'Owl Pillar' which offers a grade 18 and 21 variation. The route is a bit mossy and follows the line of 4 ring bolts to lower-off on the right. Part of the group also ventured to Flat Battery Wall, the slabby wall right opposite to Owl Pillar, where we were met with intriguing routes like Bad Move and Charger. Despite the occasional sketchy bolt clips and run-out sections, we embraced the opportunity to push our limits and work on our trust issues on precarious feet and thin crimps. John and Ale also set up a trad line on Flat Battery called Roof Climb from the top, providing a unique opportunity for sport climbers to test their skills and enjoy the stunning surroundings from a different perspective. Each climb brought us closer together as a team, reinforcing the bonds of the club and the shared passion for the sport.

Unexpected Thrill of the Day: Bad Move
Ah, Bad Move. The name says it all. This climb was like a rollercoaster ride of emotions, complete with heart-pounding moments and triumphant victories. With the first bolt a solid 4 meters off the ground (because who needs an easy start, right?), this route had us on our toes from the get-go. Despite having only two bolts to the anchor, the climb is short and sharp, testing at every move due to the run-out sections and sketchy clips to the second bolt. But you know what they say: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and we did feel invincible after conquering this bad boy!

Climbers Milestones
For Annalisa, Flat Battery Wall was more than just a crag – it was a statement of growth as it was where she took her very first lead outdoors just about 2 years ago! From feeling terrified and getting the first-ever taste of the 'Elvis leg' to leading and sending the same climbs of this wall, this was certainly a moment to remember in Annalisa's climbing journey. Angela also conquered a milestone sending Afternoon Delight for the very first time showing advancement in her strengths as a climber.

The Adventure's Misadventures
Ah, the misadventures. Because what's a climbing trip without a few unexpected twists and turns!? For this trip, it was the faulty quickdraw discovered mid-lead on Afternoon Delight. One minute, we're gearing up for an epic send, and the next, we're dealing with a potential groundfall. With the experienced Scotty on belay keeping a watchful eye he noticed after Nick had passed the second clip that the gate was stuck open and the rope had come out of the draw. Nick decided to make the tough call to downclimb to safety, they managed to avert disaster, fix the draw and complete the climb safely. Lesson learned: always double-check your gear– it could mean the difference between a great day on the rocks and a not-so-great trip to the ER!

Route of the Day
Last but certainly not least, let's talk about the route of the day: Afternoon Delight, situated on Owl Pillar, the grade 18 face climb. With its sustained climbing and jaw-dropping views, it was the perfect blend of challenge and reward. Sure, there were moments when we perhaps questioned some of our life choices, but in the end, this was the climb that reminded us that rock climbing is a sport that requires physical strength, technical skills, quick thinking, and teamwork.

Next time, let's do better
As we wrap up our trip report, let's take a moment to reflect on what we've learned. Whether it's checking our gear, communicating more effectively, or simply being there to support our fellow climbers in the challenging moments when we head out to the crag we are responsible for ourselves and each other. Because at the end of the day, it's not just about the climbs – it's about the friendships we forge, the memories we make, and the laughter we share along the way.

Trip report wrap-up
And there you have it, – our March 2nd adventure in all its glory! From heart-pounding climbs to unexpected misadventures, it was a day we'll never forget. Just like those perfect summer climbing days, we decided to wrap things up a tad early and head for a refreshing dip in the ocean at Caloundra on Our way back to Brisbane. Take a look at the pictures to see some amazing acrobatic skills on the sandy shores.

As always,we look forward to more adventures together and hope to see you all on the rocks soon!

Happy climbing,
Brisbane Rockclimbing Club

P.S. Lindsey likes bush-bashing

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