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Summary

The most loved and known, easily accessible quality crag in the land.

Description

Heading towards Arapiles for some legendary climbing and starting to see it clearly for the first time, you will not have been alone if you feel a little disappointed. For taken from a distance Arapiles looks like a pile of choss.

It is the closer inspection that yields a glimpse of the true magic of Arapiles. For this is when Arapiles reveals itself. The beautiful rich golden and gray sandstone, hard and solid. The labyrinth of small gullies and hidden faces, the technical and varied climbing.

Added to this is that the true heart of Australian climbing resides at Arapiles and in particular the campground we call The Pines.

One of the greatest qualities Arapiles has, is its appeal to climbers of all abilities. It must be one of the few crags in the world which offers incredible quality routes at all grades.

The rock quality is such that even the easiest routes involve good rock and beautifully formed holds, a rarity at most crags. In the 'Experienced' range (approx grades 19-24) Arapiles is particularly blessed. It is only from grade 25 upwards that bolts start to kick in. Again the routes that are 25+ are incredibly good.

Climbing at Arapiles is a mixture of superb rock and technical moves on often steep and spectacular ground. Arapiles is the ideal place to become a more proficient trad climber. Arapiles is also very accessible, there are over 2000 routes all within easy walking distance.

One of the greatest things about Arapiles, which draw so many people to it apart from climbing, is the social scene. At popular times of the year the Pines campground can be very crowded, which some people may not like, but it is a good thing, because the atmosphere it creates is very social and friendly. You can turn up without a climbing partner, and be almost guaranteed to meet someone to climb with. It is great for meeting fantastic people from all over the globe.

There is so much more to say on this crag, Australia's premier crag, but that waits for you to discover it.

Access issues

State Park

Approach

300km west of Melbourne.

Driving is your best bet. Public Transport is available- catch the train to Ballarat, bus to Horsham. From Horsham it is easy to hitch a lift or take a feeder bus that runs daily out to Arapiles.

Where to stay

The Pines Campground is situated at the base of Arapiles, with water and toilets. Suitable for long and short term camping. More luxurious accommodation can be found in Natimuk i.e. Backpackers or Bed and Breakfast establishments. There is a campground at Lake Natimuk which has showers. Showers are also available at the Natimuk Pub for $5.

Ethic

Mount Arapiles is first and foremost a trad climbing area. The few sport climbs tend to be in the higher grades where no natural pro is available.

Bolting, particularly retro-bolting, is discouraged and should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with the local climbers, first ascensionists, etc. Inappropriately placed bolts have been chopped.

Do not chip the rock.

Look after the park.

  • Stick to the paths.

  • Don't disturb the wildlife.

  • Routes near peregrine falcon nesting sites are closed in the spring.

  • Minimise the impact of your camping (fuel stoves not fires, take your rubbish with you, etc).

Areas

Add subarea(s) Add topo Resequence Bulk edit
Name
Style
Climbs
Ticks
Height
Grades
33
2,671
20m
4
45
2,250
13m
5
42
936
13m
4
119
1,820
20m
8
58
1,489
19m
5
Atridae Crag
57
3,333
31m
7
131
7,021
30m
14
409
7,689
24m
17
 Trad,  Boulder and other styles
159
4,142
20m
20
24
1,301
50m
1
Bluffs Crag
102
1,720
27m
5
120
2,266
65m
12
32
1,221
18m
2
43
402
23m
2
100
1,483
29m
5
374
5,016
27m
14
220
4,944
50m
11
198
1,708
29m
4
Far North Crag
174
1,179
28m
9
115
2,908
28m
5
185
72
23m

Open trips

There are no open trips for this crag

Learn about trips.