Nialos Leaning

    leaning
  • proclivity: a natural inclination; "he has a proclivity for exaggeration"
  • atilt: departing or being caused to depart from the true vertical or horizontal; "the leaning tower of Pisa"; "the headstones were tilted"
  • A tendency or partiality of a particular kind
  • an inclination to do something; "he felt leanings toward frivolity"
nialos leaning
leaning peak, mt barney - the easy route up short leaning ridge
leaning peak, mt barney - the easy route up short leaning ridge
This is a rough sketch of the easy scrambling route up Short Leaning Ridge (which I'd grade at ca. 6-7, maybe a grade above Logan's Ridge). When I first viewed this panorama it had me in absolute awe (it still does!). At the time I didn't know much about Mt Barney, and having tried unsuccessfully to get up what I later discovered was Savage's Ridge, I decided to spend the next day walking around the base of the mountain to find the easy way up! By the time I got this far I'd realised my folly, but regardless continued on to the Upper Portals, where I camped that night. The next day I was back on the other side of the mountain and finally worked out how to get up Peasant's Ridge, (there was no sign in those days!) but I only made it to the East-West saddle before turning back to get down by nightfall. My guess is that most people begin a Short Leaning trip at the Lower Portals car park. From there it takes ca. 40-50 minutes to walk into the Lower Portals camping area, and a then further ca. 20-30 minutes to go up and over the steep hill on the western side of Mt Barney Creek above the Lower Portals, and then hop up Mt Barney Creek to the 'waterfall'. Short Leaning Ridge is on the rhs of the waterfall (ie. the upstream side), but to get onto the ridge it's probably best to start by scrambling up the spur to the left of the waterfall. When you're ca. 20-30 metres above the waterfall, cross Moonlight Slabs Creek (ie. the creek that feeds the waterfall) onto Short Leaning Ridge and try to get onto the ridge top asap (hopefully you'll find the faint Short Leaning Ridge track at some point). 5-10 minutes or so after leaving Moonlight Slabs Creek, you should be somewhere near the start of the broken red line I've drawn here. Provided you string together all the easy options, and don't wander onto more difficult terrain, this easy version of Short Leaning is generally straightforward, and for much of the way it's no more difficult than say Peasant's Ridge. Arguably the greatest issue involves carrying a rope up there (plus water, plus warm gear)! The scramble onto the summit block is perhaps the crux, mainly due to the exposure, though the lower slabby section also has a few minor difficulties. As things stand, the abseil off the eastern end of Leaning Peak involves a drop of ca. 22-23 metres, however this will change if/when the anchor 'tree' currently in use passes its use by date. You need to have above average fitness levels to do Short Leaning and ideally you should also have some basic climbing skills, or at least make the ascent with experienced climbers who can belay you at a few points if needs be. If you want to avoid an epic, you also need to know your way around Mt Barney, or have advanced bush navigation skills. From the Leaning Peak summit there are any number of return options, however I'd guess that most people probably abseil off the eastern end of Leaning Peak and then return to Mt Barney Creek via Eagles Ridge to the Isolated Peak shoulder and then come down Moonlight Slabs, etc. Note that the return route via Eagles Ridge is not entirely straightforward, and if you want to avoid some exposed down-climbing, will probably involve a bush excursion and a second abseil of ca. 28 metres down some steep slabs. If your goal is to return to the Lower Portals car park rather than to Mt Barney Creek, one option involves coming down Eagles Ridge to the Isolated/North saddle, and then descending east into the northern branch of Rocky Creek, which you follow downstream for ca. 30-40 minutes, before heading north across the open forest slopes to meet the Lower Portals track near where it crosses Rocky Creek proper. Unless you're doing a time trial, the basic up and down return trip from the Lower Portals car park might take 9-11 hours. The trip up the ridge from Mt Barney Creek might take 3-4 hours. Pic by M.M. The cliffs on the northern face of Leaning Peak are ca. 400 metres from top to the forest at the very base.
"SWISS (KEL), LEAN/NEAL, POSE-2 (DONDI)." (EARLY 80's)
"SWISS (KEL), LEAN/NEAL, POSE-2 (DONDI)." (EARLY 80's)
"WE WENT TO HIGHSCHOOL WITH LEAN. THE BROTHER WAS TALKATIVE AND A REAL BRAGGART. WHO KNEW WHAT WE COULD BELIEVE? HE WAS DOWN WITH US AS WELL AS WITH DURO AND DONDI. WHEN HE THREW US DOWN WITH CIA,TOP AND MAGIC CREWS. WE SCOFFED. TILL ONE MONDAY MORNING, WE CAUGHT ONE OF HIS PIECES RUNNING ALONGSIDE THEIRS.............LOL."