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Trip Report – Dave Reese: Crag Monkey to Mountain Goat

By Jimmy Finlayson

Dave Reese is a strong rock climber with ridiculous crimp strength (he can pull on the smallest holds!). He has a lanky build and we often joke that he is “mass-less”. His quiet demeanour is in direct contrast to his fiery red hair which is obviously a vent for his inner rage.

Dave is often found crushing hard climbs in the YMCA or at local crags. But recently like me he has been perpetually injured. So I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try turn him into an alpine rock climber……..

Trip 1: As an introduction to multi-pitch trad climbing I decided on the classic Moir’s Mate route: Bowen Allen Corner (grade 17). We had a great climb up Moir’s Mate, Dave easily followed me up 7 pitches and led one himself. Either his bravery or his silent personality masking any apprehension about the exposer. As usual we came a bit unstuck on the decent, first I got us lost and then I got the rope stuck. By the time we got back to the knife blade ridge above the homer tunnel it was raining. We carefully descended back to the hut and arrived well after dark. Dave’s first alpine rock route had been the full experience and he was absolutely spent!

Trip 2: Sabre North Buttress Direct Start (Grade 19). Having graduated from the basics of alpine rock climbing, I decided Dave was ready for the big time. Over Easter Peter O’neill, Peter Young, Dave and I headed to Sabre. As far as I’m aware Dave has had no alpine tramping experience. Despite this he did admirably hauling a pack that dwarf his lanky frame over to Lake Adelaide. On the way our navigational skill did their best to expose Dave to the terrors of mountaineering by inadvertently taking a less than optimal route, twice!davereesesouthland

We arrived at Phill’s Bivy late and rose early to climb to the base of Sabre’s mighty buttress. It was a 3 hour walk to the base and we started up the buttress at 10am. After 7 hours climbing Dave and I topped out to a glorious view of the surrounding mountains. With fading light and a short rope we had an adventurous decent to the col. We arrived back at our pack on night fall and were forced to scramble down the steepest parts of the access route under head lamp. We then stumbled through the boulder field following the sound of Pete’s whistle back to the bivvy. We got back after 9 and had been on the go for 15 hours.

After another 6 hour haul back to homer the next day, Dave had was again shattered. To celebrate we sunk into Peter Young’s Scottish Whiskey and play some entertaining hut games with the Homer Climbing rabble.

In the last few month Dave has sent two sweet alpine rock routes. It is hard to tell whether this style of climbing is to his likening. But either way this compact climbing machine has expressed competence for this type of pursuit.

Climb on Dave!

Posted: 20/05/16

Posted By: Narina Sutherland