Bard Buttress All trad climbing

24 routes in cliff

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Access issues inherited from Arapiles

State Park

Approach

Note that a number of routes which actually climb the SE part of 'Bard Buttress' are not described here, but are instead under the Ali's area (found in the "Fang Buttress and Surrounds" section). They are put in that section because they start as for Ali's, at the top of the gully which divides 'Fang Buttress' from the 'Bard Buttress', and then head a bit right from there. As a result, this page describes all routes which are accessed from the gully itself or further right. The gully is fairly simple to scramble up and down, but there's several spots where you really don't want to fall off due to very nasty fall potential.

Several routes finish on the Bard Terrace, which is about 30m below the top of the buttress. To get off the Terrace you can do the final pitch of one of the other routes, but it's quickest to do an easy but very exposed walk/traverse off the left end of the ledge, which leads you into Ali's after about 40m. This traverse is often soloed but roping up for it isn't a bad idea.

To descend from the routes which go right to the top, you need to do a short little downclimb off the back of the buttress, which deposits you very close to Ali's cave. Then go through the cave, R around John's Pinnacle and down Ali's.

© (koala)

Descent Notes

From the top of the buttress there's a short down-climb off the back of the buttress to Ali's cave. Go through the cave and come out at John's Pinnacle. Go R and down Ali's. There are chains to rap down (45m). Or it's a fairly easy, but in places exposed, scramble down Ali's.

For routes that finish at the Bard terrace you can either climb Bard's 5th pitch or traverse L off the end of the terrace (roping up recommended) and scramble down to Ali's.

Ethic inherited from Arapiles

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).

Tags

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Routes

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Grade Route
1
20 Disguise the Limit Trad 20m

Reachy over the L side of the roof past a piton, then easily up a groove to a rap station.

Start: Start in a cave up near the top of the gully.

FA: Mike Law, Steve Howden, 1982

2
24 Redd Tracy Trad 20m

From the R side of the cave follow jugs out to the lip then a hard move to a break and straight up to rap anchor.

Start: Start just R of DtL.

FA: Rod Young (traversed off R after the crux)(Mike Law added the direct finish to the rap station onwith Steve Howden), 1982

3
23 R Malfunction Man Trad 30m

Committing roof then up to a ledge shared with 'Orpheus'. Now traverse R to a rap anchor (which may or may not exist or be useable).

Start: Start R of RT.

FA: Chris Shepherd, Mark Colyvan, 1983

4

Individual pitch grades were not supplied - overall grade is 18 but some pitches may be easier.

Start: Start: As for 'Orpheus'.

  1. 25m (18) Follow obvious and contrived line diagonally left, being careful not to step into gully.

  2. 10m (18) Up hideous grovel on left end of 'Redd Tracy' ledge. Belay when possible.

  3. 15m (18) Follow line up until it meets 'Directathal' and reverse first moves of this route to join Alis!

FA: Richard Smith, Greg Pritchard, Debra Sweet (1st pitch), Richard Smith, Deb Sweet and Jon Bassindale (2nd and 3rd pitches)., 1999

5
19 to 20 ** The Desired / Tony's Route Trad 60m

Later became Tony's Route (the present direct line), though 90% of it had been climbed in the 1960's as 'The Desired'.

Start: Start below the pitch 1 corner of 'Orpheus'.

  1. 45m (19) Directly up into the cruxy corner, then continue steeply up direct crack to a small stance.

  2. 30m (14) Much easier and less good climbing takes you to the Bard Terrace. Solo off left from here or climb the last pitch of Bard or the wide corner.

FA: Peter Jackson & Chris Baxter in climbing Orpheus solved the initial crux. Chris Dewhirst & Phillip Stranger established The Desired by climbing in from Orpheus, June 1967. The direct line as it now is, Tony Dignan, Guy Cotter, Mike Law,, 1981

6
19 Orpheus Trad 110m

Start: Start 15m up the gully, at an orange ledge.

  1. 18m (-) Traverse R on pale rock then up corner to belay at guano niche on the R.

  2. 43m (19) Originally done in 3 pitches. Up the L-trending ramp (move R around a hard bit).

  3. 18m (-) An overhang then up R.

  4. 33m (-) 'Steep' flake on L then up loose ledges.

FA: Peter Jackson, Chris Baxter, 1965

7
18 *** Eurydice Mixed 70m, 1

A fine old classic that has just about everything in it's two pitches. A great line with a fiery first pitch in an excellent position.

Start: On the E face of the 'Bard Buttress' there is a guano-stained recess about 25m off the ground, with a crack leading down R to the ground. Start under this crack.

  1. 33m (18) Up the crack to the niche past a very old BR, then head up and slightly R from the niche to a good ledge.

  2. 32m (17) A tricky steep move gains the long R-facing corner. Near it's top move R then up to the Bard Terrace.

FA: Bob Bull, Peter Jackson, Ted Batty, 1965

8
23 Bbruce Mixed 35m, 1

Up E until you have a roof on your right. Traverse R here, then up over bulge past BR and straight up to the nice ledge atop 'Eurydice' p1.

Start: Start as for E.

FA: Mike Law, Greg Garnham, 1981

9
20 * OPM Trad 15m

The steep sickle crack is a great alternative start for 'Poppies'. Finish up it.

Start: Start 2m R of E.

FA: Mike Law, Chris Baxter, Greg Garnham, 1981

10
23 Noseburger Direct Trad 80m

Overall grade is 23, but it's not clear how hard each pitch is.

Start: Start 2m L of P.

  1. 15m (-) Bouldery flake, then up to ledge above flake.

  2. 30m (23) Directly up the arete to Bard's 2nd belay.

  3. 35m (23) Continue directly up arete to Bard Terrace.

FA: Mike Law, Mike Law-Smith, Geoff Robertson, 1981

11
21 * Poppies Trad 100m

Deduct a star and add a few grades if you do the original direct start and the final pitch.

  1. 35m (19) Start about 20m up L from The Bard and traverse R to an angular block/flake. (The original version started a few metres L of The Bard and climbed direct up the slick blank slab at 21). Up the flake then straight up to join 'Checkmate' for 7m before belaying just L of The Bard's 2nd belay.

  2. 35m (19) Punch through the low roof at a weakness 3m R of 'Eurydice', then blast up the great wall above staying a few metres L of the main arete.

  3. -m (-)

FA: Mike Law, Kevin Lindorff, 1977

12
18 Lubricant Trad 10m

The middle of the face, kinking R at one point.

Start: Start on the back of the boulder at the base of the 'Bard Buttress'.

FA: Stephen Hamilton, Nick Tapp, 1990

13
17 R ** Checkmate Trad 120m

Borderline whether it deserves the "serious" tag, but the crux is quite tricky, with spaced pro. Then again, you've got plenty of clean air up there, and it's still a great route.

Start: Start as for The Bard.

  1. 24m (9) Climb the initial slab of Bard and the corner cracks then belay at the start of the R-leading ramp.

  2. 20m (16) Pull up L from the ramp then traverse L above the bulge for 6m, then up the face a few metres L of the arete. Belay on the same ledge as The Bard's 2nd belay.

  3. 27m (17) Up the line on the R side of the main arete for 8m to a small roof. Now launch up left via steep exciting climbing to gain the next line, which gradually eases. Belay under the obvious roof.

  4. 12m (16) Step a bit R to get through the roofs without too much difficulty, to finish on the Bard Terrace.

FA: John Moore, Chris Dewhirst, 1967

14
12 *** Bard Trad 120m

Start at the R end of the base of the buttress.

  1. 43m (12) Up the slab (some fiddly pro) to L facing corner. Up corner to ramp. Belay at top of ramp.

  2. 12m (12) Move around the arete, then up. Airy traverse L around the arete (grovel across or grab the undercling, lean back and find good holds above), and across the front face to belay on the nose.

  3. 20m (12, crux) Diagonally R across the face to a bottomless chimney. Belay at the top of the chimney.

  4. 15m (12) Up the steep juggy line to the Bard Terrace.

  5. 30m (12) Up the bottomless corner then R onto and up the wall.

FA: Jim Newlands and Bruce Hocking, 1965

15

Start: Start as for The Bard.

  1. 34m (-) Up the initial slab of The Bard, but instead of gaining the ramp via the easy corner on the L, step R and up a crack to the ramp. Belay at the top of the ramp.

  2. 25m (20) Take the line just L of the arete to a ledge. The face above has a tough committing move (although you can avoid it on the R), after which you move L and go up the arete. Move R at the scary loose blocks then up to ledge.

  3. 14m (-) Climb the R crack (R of Bard p4) to the Bard Terrace.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Bill Andrews, Richard Morris, 1985

16
22 * Wall Street Trad 25m
17
22 Turning Point Trad 10m
18
22 * Heavy Dudes Trad 35m
19
23 Poppies pitch 3 Trad 30m

Described separately so that 'Poppies' pitches 1 and 2 get noticed as a great 19. This pitch is all over after the start so it's not worth doing ... unless it's your best option to impress a hottie bumbly hanging around on Bard Terrace.

Start: Start on the Bard Terrace, a few metres L of the final pitch of Bard.

FA: Mike Law or Kevin Lindorff, 1977

20
18 Shepherds in Love Trad 32m

Take a line just L of 'Eurydice' p2, with a steep flake down low then a loose wall above.

Start: Start at the first belay of 'Eurydice'.

FA: Mike Law, Chris Baxter, Dennis Kemp, 1981

21

Move up then follow the underclings R across 'Orpheus' to join the upper part of p1 of TD.

Start: Start up L from the start of 'Orpheus'.

FA: Robin Miller, Louise Shepherd, 1982

22
22 ** Wall Turning Dudes Trad 75m

Each pitch was established independently, and you can repeat them that way if you wish. Linking them into one route is the way to go, however.

Start: Start R of The Bard.

  1. 30m (22) 'Wall Street' (*). Mossy start then jam through the roof, and doddle up the ramp to belay atop pitch 1 of The Bard.

  2. 10m (22) Turning Point. From the top of The Bard pitch 1, step L and take the seam. Then blindly L around the bulge and up to the 2nd belay of The Bard.

  3. 35m (22) Heavy Dudes (*). Work your way up the white groove R of 'Checkmate' pitch 3 and left of The Bard pitch 3. There's a loose block. At the bulge, awesome moves head L then up the leaning headwall.

FA: p1 Rod Young, Mark Moorhead, 1980

FA: p2 Mark Moorhead, Tony Dignan, Geoff Little, 1980

FA: p3 Mike Law, Chris Baxter, Greg Garnham, 1981

23
19 Eurydice RHF Trad 35m

Left of Poppies' roof on the arete above Bard Terrace there are two options. This is the right one. The hard bit is the first roof, obviously, then doddle to the top.

Start: Start on Bard Terrace above 'Eurydice' p2.

24
19 Eurydice LHF Trad 30m

Left of Poppies' roof on the arete above Bard Terrace there are two options. This is the left one. The hard bit is the first roof, obviously, then doddle to the top.

Start: Start on the Bard Terrace above 'Eurydice' p2.