Episode I - Fight Against The Dark Side Of Gravity
Start Head to the extreme upper right part of the amphitheatre where there is a large clump of old Yellowwood trees. Second Coming starts here. Ten metres to the left is a solitary Yellowwood. Another five metres left a ledge begins and goes out horizontally left towards Armageddon Times while the land drops away. Five metres along this ledge is the start of the route marked by a small beacon and a piton one metre off the ledge.
- P1. 25m 22: Head up a steep crack in a shallow break. At 10m reach a piton. Break through overlaps up to the right to reach easier vertical ground. Then climb easily up and left to a standing-room ledge with good natural gear. There are two bolts.
- P2. 25m 19: Heads up right to a big obvious crack, up this crack then right and up to a big ledge more than a metre wide and very long. The stance has one bolt and one piton about 75cm apart. They are joined together by cord. There is a clip-gate biner on the bolt. There is good natural gear.
- P3. 35m 24: Head up a steep white-grey face then into a very thin orange crack. Ten metres up a one-finger, single-digit tenuous crank with trick footwork gets a long reach beyond a pinched out section of crack to tips-only into the tiny opening of the crack. A piton is a little higher. Then climb up another metre to an overlap then rail out right for 3 or 4 metres on a clean and exposed face. It’s a little tricky getting up. The route then converges with Second Coming and shares the next 10 metres to the original end of the Second Coming 2nd pitch below a roof with a standing ledge. At the stance there are two bolts close together and joined by black rope. There is a locking biner with a brass screwgate on one bolt. There is good natural gear.
- P4. 30m 26: This pitch shares the first 3 or 4 metres with Second Coming before that route traverses out right while Fighting continues straight up. The pitch starts with a pull through a small roof. Before committing to the crank you reach through and clip a piton. When hanging out you reach 30 cm higher and clip a bolt. (David Davies and Tony Dick had been much braver in 1988 when they led this ground-up without ironware!). It's then straight up on edges where hammers have been used to knock flaky stuff off and to create small edges. Three or four metres above the bolt there is another one. Jam the undercling crack and crank up to get onto easier ground. Head up and slightly right then leftwards with some tenuous but easy climbing on minimal protection. Here the route has converged with Second Coming. The stance is on easy ground with good natural protection.
- P5. 35m 16: This is the same pitch as for Second Coming. It heads up and left on easy ground to the jumbo ledge. A belay bolt has been placed a metre off the ground on the immaculate steep white face of Armageddon Direct presumably as a belay. It is doubtful that the bolt will remain there for long. There is good natural protection.
First Ascent: Martin “Wusel” Schendele and Daniel Gebel, September 2009. Note: This route description was written by Hilton Davies (second ascentionist, with Bruce Daniel, 3 Dec 2009) and it is therefore possible that the first ascentionists could have taken different lines between the bolts and pitons with different grades.
EITHER walk right to the gulley between Smalblaar ridge and the chesspieces. This involves three short abseils.
OR use the rap route (affectionately dubbed "Down Time"):
BE WARNED - IT IS EASY TO COCK THIS ABSEIL UP AND HAVE A NICE OLD EPIC
Towards the right hand side of the upper amphitheatre is a massive open book. Armageddon Time climbs the headwall to the right of this. The first anchors are on a ledge about 4m below the top, and 25m left of the massive open book.
- Rap 1: 40m. Rap off 2 bolts with equalized mailons. Straight down, past an overhang. Free-hanging for a bit. When you touch rock again place a #0.75 cam in a vertical slot and clip the rope in short. This will get you past the next bulge. The anchors are just beneath the bulge on a blank hanging stance.
- Rap 2: 30m. Rap off two bolts with nice long chains on them. Straight down to a ledge. Completely free-hanging rap. You can just reach the ledge if you lean out. The next anchors are just to the left.
- Rap 3: 60m. Rap off 2 bolts equalized with tat and leaver biners. Bring your own extra tat and biners if you're nervous. Straight down to the jumbo halfway ledge. Normal 60m ropes will just make this abseil to the upper ledge. Scramble down 3m to the lower ledge to find the next anchors.
- Rap 4: !!!63m!!! NORMAL 60M ROPES WILL BE TOO SHORT AND YOU WILL HAVE TO SACRIFICE SOME GEAR. Rap off two bolts. The lower bolt has a single chain which is backed up by a mailon to the upper bolt. The mailon cannot be screwed closed. Back this up if you are nervous. Straight down to a small ledge.
- Rap 5: !!!70m!!! Rap off two bolts equalized with maillons. Be careful how you thread the rope because it will get stuck if you cock it up. Normal 60m ropes will get you to a massive flake with an old piton behind it. You can then rap off this to the ground. The piton can be backed up by a wire if you're nervous, but all the gear is behind the same flake. Hmmmm? If you have 70m ropes you will reach a single bolt, or the ledge just below it.
- Rap 6: 10m. Either rap off the piton, or off the single bolt with a leaver biner, or scrable off to the right from the ledge.