We did Elecktra over xmas - an excellent route, but the descent was a bit more involved than the guide made out.
Downclimbing 15m down the back was near suicidal. Probably at least grade 15, and gets more and more overhung the further you downclimb - ending in a pumpy sketchy loose wet section (still 5m above the ground with nasty rocks to fall on). I was sketching big time as all the holds are side clings and slopers. One slip on any hand or foot and you would be cratoring into a very serious injury. I was overcommited and just had to suck it and downclimb it but its certainly one of the stupidest things ive done in recent memory. RAPPING OFF down the back is RECOMMENDED! There were enough blocks on the summit i'm sure you could rig something. Once you are down the back you need to traverse quite a way across to Solomans Sanctury - at least 200m - including once section that should be done roped up as its a sloping small ledge with a big drop below. We then downclimbed a little way on the Coxs Castle side of the waterfall andf found a ratty old sling around a loose chockstone. We replaced this sling and rapped about 40m to the ground. Getting back to the start of Elecktra and our bags involved some serious bushbashing along the base of the cliff - i would suggest bringing proper walking shoes and long pants!
Probably worth mentioning that getting from Le Grand Pump to Cox's Castle is a quite a way downhill and best done by staying at least 100m away from the base of the cliff in the centre of the giant gully leading to the lake, then traversing over across a few bush choked streams to make it to the bottom of the cliff. Its probably 20 minutes (?) further walk on from Le Grand Pump.
Rad route and area though...
There seems to be a complete lack of info (or photos) on how to access the left side of the main wall of Frenchmans (ie Chimes end). We scrambled up a horrible loose bowling ball gully that The Sydney Route starts up and at the top traversed directly under the cliff to the base of the route. The gully was a really horrible experience - quite dangerous having people below you as it was impossible not to knock big blocks off which went tumbling down. Are you supposed to go walk downhill from the Sydney Route and back up another gully? Someone should make an aerial view of the mountain marking the tourist track and climber access tracks (and routes). Also try as we might we couldn't spot the 'obvious' direct start to the Sydney route. I always believed no guidebook author should ever use the word 'obvious'. Im not sure what was the obvious we should have been looking for. Obvious crack? Obvious waterfall? Obvious moss? We never located any block or thread as a belay either.
Tierry le Fronde pitch 1 was badly protected in the first half. Any gear you could put in was behind very very hollow sounding flakes which I doubt would have held a fall. I was reluctant to even pull on them. Might be worth noting this so grade 16 leaders don't head up there thinking it's an easy route on the wall.
Hi Neil, Would you add your edits to the Guide? Or post them so we can do it for you? Probably best if you do it as then the wording is more likely to be correct.
Hi Neil and Tony, I must say I didn't find the gear on 'pitch one' of TLF a problem in 2020, so we must have gone different ways. I scaled a ~5m pillar that leans against the cliff, then up a series of small crack lines. I didn't go far enough R on the last pitch though, so ended up going through steep, loose grade 19 terrain).
We did TLF a couple of decades ago and didn't think there were any issues with protection, following the route description pretty closely.
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