Hot Spot Slot – Seeking Shade

Arapiles – day 4

Woke up better than yesterday. Cruised out to The Pines, and walked up to the Atreides, where Speedy and Triumphant went up the 3-star classic Muldoon. D and I went up Agamemnon around the corner. If the name is tickling any neglected history class grey cells, he’s the absolute heel who murdered his own daughter Iphigenia as a sacrifice so that the Grecian fleet could set sail to Troy, in pursuit of his brother Menelaus’ absconded wife, Helen. He later took the captive prophetess and Trojan princess Cassandra as his sex slave following the fall of Troy. She accurately predicted his death, which he ignored. Happily he got murdered by his wife Clytaemnestra in the bathtub with an axe when he arrived home, for what he did to her daughter (and also so that she could marry the lover she had met in the 10 years of the Greeks’ absence). Unhappily, Cassandra met the same axe-murderous fate. 

Satisfyingly, there’s an entire wall (i.e., collection of climbs) here called Cassandra wall, so take that as some long-overdue oneupwomanship. 

The climb is far more awesome than its poxy namesake legend. A towering chimney, leading up to bright sky and a beautiful sense of exposure as, one hand and foot on each wall, one looks down to the ground and out across the plains. 

As I was busy belaying D, and later climbing, Speedy gets the honor of demonstrating stemming out between the towering walls of Agamemnon. 

I missed out doing Agamemnon a few years back, playing photographer to D and Rocket on a shoulder-injury rest day, so it was extremely satisfying to finally get up it. 

Fleeing the sun and its attendant heat, D and I trekked across the valley up to the Preludes Wall, which has shade for most of the day. 

Up the grade 18 (not really, it’s a 13, much to Speedy and D’s chagrin) Stalagtite, which put us onto the ledge where, and I do agree that the classical references are coming thick and fast, the Pillars of Hercules stand. Trotted along the pillars to the rings at the top of the first pitch of Transylvania, where we met Speedy and Triumphant completing P1. Somehow Triumphant managed to tear a nasty flap of skin off on her finger. Ouch. D and I took a detour skywards to complete the second pitch, by which time it was around 2pm, and climbers had descended upon the shade of Preludes Wall like possums on an unprotected food bag. 

The Pillars of Hercules

Post-3pm lunch, D and I made a supply run into Horsham. By Demeter, I forget how much four adults can eat! We’re chomping through it. 

D and Speedy are currently headed out at 6pm to do some final climbs. I looked at the car thermometer reading 32 degrees C on the drive back to base, and firmly declined the offer of another sweaty thrash up cliffs. We’re due for some rain overnight, so hopefully the temperatures will cool off for our hike in the Grampians up to Hollow Mountain Cave. 

Fail of the day: the seam seal on my waterproof Platypus backpack (which I’ve been toting up each climb) has started to delaminate. Luckily the parentals dealt with this problem in South America, and diagnose a super glue repair. 

Win of the day: feeling worlds better. Arapiles in spring is beautiful. Lots of shingle back lizards about in the sun, with amputated-looking tails and shiny black eyes. Good fun climbing. 


About K.L. Webber

K.L. is a reading, writing, photography and rock-climbing enthusiast, who is enjoying as many facets as possible of eudaimonia, or the good life. It may involve finally making a successful sauerkraut. Until K.L. is able to get a dog, the main form of pet interaction is taking their mountain bike out for cycles. Check out more of K.L.'s work at:
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