After we relocated the day before to O’Neills campground in Gowrie Park at the base of Mount Roland (yes Rysavy Ridge is on that mountain, I made a picture of at my first day in Tassie more than 7 weeks earlier), we agreed to have an early start. So, at the 6th of March 2021 we got up at 5:00 o’clock. The plan was to have a quick breakfast and then start early with the approach, as it’s an about 2h walk from the car park to the base of the ridge. The night was quite chilly and we had some hoarfrost in the morning. The first question of Will was: Do you want to have a real coffee? Hmm…sure, why not 🤦♂️. That means: Measuring 15g of coffee beans on the scale, grinding them, prepare the AeroPress, put on the kettle, heat the water to 85°C temperature – monitored with a thermometer, and then press the freshly brewed coffee into the cup. I mean, that’s how we make real coffee right 😜. As the toilets didn’t work on the campground we needed to make a 30min detour via Sheffield as Will needed to take care of his internal pressure. At 7:00 o’clock we were finally at the car park. Ready to start walking…actually not too bad.
The approach trail is via a private property, but we gained permission to cross it. We just needed to sign into the guestbook. After about 2h we arrived at the base of the mountain. We got the gear ready and then had a bit of a discussion were to start. I said straight away, but Will run into a gully. Then we did some boulder moves and anyway gained the ridge. Will was still in his approach shoes, and as he didn’t want to downclimb he them into the other gully…great idea. I had my climbing shoes with me, but as they’re super aggressive I actually climbed the whole day in my boots. Rysavy ridge is a 12, and contrary to other Tassie climbs it’s not sandbagged. In that instance the grade conversion table works, and it’s an UIAA IV. It’s a long route of 400m and if you climb all on safety gear then it takes a while. Plus we had double ropes with us, which makes perfectly sense for multipitch trad climbing. But sometimes you’ve walking pitches through shrub, and dragging them all the way is really hard. We constantly swapped leads, and Will was now always happy with my gear placement. After about 4h we had our lunch break at a bit of wider ledge. The weather was gorgeous. It couldn’t have been a better climbing day. At about 17:00 o’clock we reached the top, and two other climbers followed us briefly behind. They were a bit more efficient in their rope handling, and thus about 2h faster than we.
We had a nice conversation on the top. Enjoyed the view to Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff before we started abseiling into the dirty gully. The gully is too steep to walk down, but not steep enough to have the rope freely flowing. Thus, rope got tangled frequently in the bush. We decided to abseil together, and take advantage of our multiple ropes. There was always old tad available for the anchors. That went all well until the 5th or 6th pitch. Then their rope got stuck, while they tried to pull it down. They didn’t get it free. We were already one abseil lower. Hence, Will climbed up, while I was belaying him on toprope. Now I was stuck there. They tried to pull it down with their weight, but it didn’t work. The lightest person then needed to prusik all the way up. Not a nice feeling, if you know the rope is only stuck on a single knot. But in the end, this was exactly was happened. Could happen to anyone. In the end it took us 3h down instead of 2h and it was already dawn when we were back at the bottom. Now, we needed to find Will’s boots quickly before it went completely dark. Walking down with the rest of the light of the day. We finally arrived at 21:00 o’clock at the car park. What a glorious day. That was my best climb in Tasmania!
The next day we slept in. There was a local polo games competition. This just happened to be on the other side of the fence. We had a bit of a hangover after our epic day and then decided to watch a few games. After more than 7 weeks of more or less travelling together (were we had very good times), it was time to say goodbye. Will headed to Hobart to pickup Jon before they went to Flinders Island, and I went to the pub in Sheffield…