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Billabong 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: John Wolfe & Al Ruiz, March 1969, FFA: John Long, Bill Antel & Rick Accomazzo December 1973
Page Views: 1,138
Submitted By: Tony B on Dec 31, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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BETA PHOTO: Climber on Billabong

Description 

A good route with some good spice to it. At what I found to be the crux I was 2 meters above a bolt, but 3 meters above a small ledge. A possible ankle-breaker.

Billabong is on the west end of the south face. An easy crack and corner ascends 10 meters to a system of black flakes for a few meters - chicken heads and puzzle pieces that protect well, but have a nearby bolt anyway. The climb continues up and slightly right on smooth white rock, where a crux or two can be found. The holds are sloping and slick, at least in the sunny afternoon. I found the climb significantly harder than most area 5.10's and also harder than Runaway (11a?) and some other 5.11- face climbs.

The crux for me, (who went right) was moving out and right onto a chalked feature on a small point on the cliff, perhaps approaching the 3rd bolt. My partner, who did not fall on the other 5.10 face routes we did, gave up on the right hand way after a few falls and went left for a fall as well, before eventually making it in that direction.

A few of the other spaces between bolts also contained cruxes above protection, but none with significant ledge-hitting potential. Reaching the top of the main face involves a 6 meter runout on 5.10- climbing. If the climb Run For Your Life is exciting for you, this may cause some issues.

Upon reaching the sloping ledge, a few cams can go into horizontals before traversing left to a finishing pitch, or right to an anchor, which requires some re-enforcement or a complete replacement to be good, as the existing webbing is in very poor condition.

Protection 

The trad portion of this route is mellow and a 5.10 climber may climb this on bolts alone... but why not take a set of nuts and cams? The "anchor" above the bolted pitch totally sucks and needs to be backed up anyway (.5"-1" cams)


Photos of Billabong Slideshow Add Photo
Billabong
BETA PHOTO: Billabong
Sarah Hays follows on Billibong (5.10, S). Photo b...
Sarah Hays follows on Billibong (5.10, S). Photo b...
Kevin Newell lookin' positive above the last bolt....
BETA PHOTO: Kevin Newell lookin' positive above the last bolt....

Comments on Billabong Add Comment
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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Mar 14, 2006
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Not a bad route, and thought the rating of 5.10c was appropriate. Between the first and second bolts on the major face portion of this route was certainly the crux. When I did it, one of the bolts was missing a hanger, so I had to slide a #4 nut over the stud. The second pitch, although ok, wasn't as fun as the first. Noone would call me a particularly bold climber, so I can't consider this being too run-out for the general crowd.
By john durr
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Dec 2, 2010
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

All the bolts on this route are modern and complete with hangers. This is a great route to do on a cold, sunny day if a guide in not standing at the base with a group.
By Brian Chastain
Mar 11, 2013

Apparently, everyone seems to have their own account and way of doing this route. Followed my friend up this taking it all the way to the top in a single pitch. Climbing the bolts and going straight to that chimney/chunky loose thing. From there head left to a more than thrilling mantle above the suspect gear in that chimney, clip a bolt and make another crux move to the last bolt. The photo of the Newell guy looks way off route as you can make your own judgement. The rope jets directly right from the last bolt on the lower section in that photo as he head to the crack. We just headed straight up on easy'ish slab from the last bolt and then head right to the short chimney. You can belay from there, but I don't see why.
By Drewsky
Dec 27, 2013

You can definitely climb to the right and into that crack as shown in the picture. I'm pretty sure my partner followed the climb that way. At the end I climbed up the weird disconnected chimney, then headed left past one (or two?) bolts in the upper horizontals. It was a bit of an epic despite the bolts and the fall potential was pretty bad at one point. Sounds like Brian maybe went the same way? I thought it was kind of scary but maybe it was just an off day...