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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

Bird Nesting September-December Raptors usually nest on the following climbs in Spring : Cassandra Eurydice, Harlequin Cracks, Revelations. Nesting usually finishes mid-December. There may or may not be signs in place at these times. Please keep 50m clear of these climbs if there appears to be nesting activity.

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
2,767
20m
4
48
2,318
12m
5
43
976
13m
4
122
1,930
20m
8
57
1,611
19m
5
Atridae Crag
58
3,470
31m
7
133
7,325
30m
14
411
8,116
24m
17
24
1,344
50m
1
Bluffs Crag
102
1,798
27m
5
120
2,387
65m
12
32
1,247
18m
2
45
425
23m
2
100
1,564
29m
5
376
5,224
27m
13
221
5,144
50m
11
198
1,787
29m
4
Far North Crag
173
1,222
28m
9
115
2,988
28m
5
185
72
23m

Open trips

There are no open trips for this crag

Learn about trips.