History: First climbed on February 14, 1965 by Bryden Allen, John Davis, Jack Pettigrew and David Witham. Jack Hill climbed to the summot with Jack Pettigrew on the following day. Don Willcox and Ben Sandilands were part of the support team. Ben's reports of the expedition in the Sydney Morning Herald form a chronological and accurate account of the climb.
Photos of the Pyramid by Ian Hutton
Bryden had extensive experience rockclimbing on the coast of Cornwall, where the pitches start straight from the sea. On the Sydney sea-cliffs and on the volcanic rock around the Kiama blowhole, he drilled us in the technique of choosing a vertical site where the swell will not rake you over the rock but instead moves vertically up and down, of waiting for a lull in the waves, and of looking underwater for holds to use once the swell leaves you on the rock. Here you can see Bryden paying out the line to Jack Hill and Jack Pettigrew. This line was used to haul a rope ashore that was used in a circle formation to transfer food, gear, water drums and men to shore. Plenty of slack in the boat enabled the rope to accommodate the frequent movements of the boat way from the rock (endless loop arrangment) .
Photo by Dick Morris
Don Willcox, Jack Hill, John Davis, Bryden Allen, Dave Witham, Ben
At the flying boat base in Rose Bay, Feb. 1965.
Loading Clive Wilson's boat, the Pacific Chieftain. Clive (in hat and bare feet receiving pack from Ben Sandilands on the left) was important for the success of the expedition, as he was the only islander with a boat who was prepared to leave climbers on the Pyramid overnight.
Base camp at Ball's Pyramid: 1969 Filming Expedition:
Bryden at base camp wielding the centipede deterrent spray.
had been a big problem for the previous party, who were using Alpine
assault and had to bed down wherever they found themselves at night. In
consequence they has nocturnal sagas where centipedes emaerged,
despatched with piton hammers, then torches grew ever dimmer until
bites and contact led to swollen body parts. We were overequipped and
used the deterrent as we were able to choose our bivouacs on open,
ledges free of centipedes. X marks the summit. The more prominent spire
from theis angle is Winklesteins's steeple.
Bryden and Dave Witham on the Cheval Ridge between the Black Tower
the Summit. Notice the two small tents at base camp on the triangular
platform surrounded by foam.
Bryden, John Davis and Dave Witham........Summit celebration
Dave Witham, John Davis and Bryden Allen on the
Lord Howe Island in the background.