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The prominent buttress immediately L of Major Mitchell Gully.

Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, Eskimo Nell Area

Access issues inherited from Arapiles

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 by walking left of 'Fang Buttress' and then up along the base of 'Morfydd' Wall.

© (koala)

Descent Notes

Scramble over the summit to find the road the head L until you find the sign-posted track down Central Gully.

It is also possible to cross the ridge and downclimb to Missing Link then descend via Ali's.

Either way it's a bit of an epic but DO NOT attempt the rap down Major Mitchell Gully. The pin is old and dodgy.

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).


Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)


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Grade Route
21 R Withnail and I Mixed 25m, 1

Tackles the hanging corner on the left side of a narrow grey/black buttress (Cow Cragg) immediately left of Lawrence's second pitch.

Start: Start at belay/rap station near the "Lawrence" traverse.

FA: Ingvar Lidman & Gerry Narkowicz, 2009

22 R Uncle Monty Mixed 25m, 1

Start as for Withnail and I. Climb the steep grey wall above to gain the arete proper of Cow Cragg passing a FH on its left (if you move right here it is about grade 20 and still worthwhile). Continue up the arete to join 'Marwood' at the top.

FA: Ingvar Lidman & Gerry Narkowicz, 2009

21 R Marwood Trad 25m

Gain the hanging corner as for Withnail and I. Continue up the obvious crack/seam in the wall above.

FA: Ingvar Lidman & Gerry Narkowicz, 2009

13 * Lawrence Trad 100m 3

Some think that the excellent climbing on the upper pitches makes up for the atrocious start; others strongly disagree.

Start: Start between 'Dreadnought' Buttress and 'Dunes Buttress' at a shrubby rib.

  1. 35m (9) Up the rib with vegetation issues (persevere: the climb gets better). Traverse right and belay near the beautiful ferns at DBB

  2. 35m (13) Bridge steeply up the chimney.

  3. 30m (13) More excellent chimneying on great rock.

FA: Peter Jackson & Reg Williams, 1965

21 R Tassie Devil Trad 45m

A varied route which parallels Lawrence to its right and features some interesting rock flutings.

The cruxes on this and the variation are runout on average gear and the rock is a little fragile in places.

Start: Start at the first belay of Lawrence

FA: Gerry Narcowicz & Ingvar Lidman, 2009

26 X Forbidden Fruit Mixed 55m 2, 2

The shenanigans on the first ascent suggest they were certainly consuming something forbidden...

Start: Start 2m L of Semi-detached.

  1. 25m (23) Up wall, traverse right to gain diagonal flake sytem and follow this to ledge. There is protection but it won't stop a groundfall from the crux.

  2. 20m (26) Scary face with fragile rock to crux past 2 bolts. Apparently you need double thumb sprags.

FA: James Falla, Dave Mudie (alt), Kieran Loughran, Richard Smith & late 80s, 1988

22 R Semi-detached Trad 35m 2

Serious start but finish is worthless. This original probe at the 'Forbidden Fruit' face got Kieran an invition onto the FF team.

Start: Start 4m L of 'Saracen'.

  1. 25m (22) Tough poorly protected start to dubious flake-block, then up R to jugs. Easier runout section up to overlap, over bulge and move L to join 'Saracen'. Belay at good ledge on L.

  2. 10m (22) The crack on the R side of the yellow wall, through the bulge then R to easy finish and go across to rap anchor for 'Sandpiper'.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Maureen Gallagher, 1987

16 * Saracen Trad 110m 4

The first and third pitches are good. It's best to run pitches 1 and 2 or 2 and 3 together, then you get two good, long pitches followed by an easy pitch off.

Start: Start below and L of the big overhangs, on the lower section of 'Dunes Buttress', at a layback crack.

  1. 35m (16) Up the corner for 6m, then swing up L past overhang onto slab. Trend L into bushy territory, then R into dirty groove to Arab's 3rd belay.

  2. 12m (-) Step L and up to small stance. Best to keep going up the next pitch rather than belay here.

  3. 33m (16) Go 2m R then up excellent grey crack. (A grade 8 variant established by the three Gledhills on 14/1/68 goes straight up the deep crack into the chimney on pitch 4).

  4. 34m (-) Ramble onwards.

FA: Chris Dewhirst, Phillip Stranger & Chris Baxter, 1967

24 * Top Cat Trad 35m

Veer up R from the corner and easily over small roof. Tough moves to a rest on the R, then out the main roof being wary of a captive loose block. Rap off as for 'Sandpiper'.

Start: Start as for 'Saracen'.

FA: Chris Shepherd, Louise Shepherd (the top roof (22) was first done by Kevin Lindorff & Peter Jacoband named Scaredy Cat), 1979


Start at a large chimney at the foot of the buttress, then traverse left until at the base of a short overhanging wall easily noted by large white jug, crux, then once past this, up on difficult and sharp layaways through small roof, then arriving at the rap station (26m).

Start: The overhung arete at the base of 'Dunes' buttress, up the offwidth chimney on the right.

FA: Chris Dewhirst, 1968

25 Soft Sell Trad 15m

The roof jam crack.

Start: Start under the small lump of rock with a flat top, up and R from the start of 'Sandpiper'.

FA: Kim Carrigan, 1981

20 ** Scarecrow Trad 28m

Climb Arab p3 for 4m then step L and up. Stay out of 'Saracen' and traverse R along the lip of the roof, to join a thin crack, straight on up the face, and take the roof by the R. The original route has a poxy independent first pitch starting 10m L of 'Saracen' but you're far better off approaching via Arab as described.

Start: Start at Arab's second belay.

FA: Chris Baxter & Russell Crow, 1984

16 * Arab Trad 110m 5

Start: 2m L of 'Dunes' is a R facing corner. Start by scrambling (or roping) up this to the top of the huge flake.

  1. 25m (16) Grey slab to strenuous chalked wall, then head L up stepped ramp to a belay ledge on the arete. (The original avoided the overlap by going way off R - this better direct way was done by Keith Lockwood and Geoff Schirmer 4/2/78).

  2. 10m (-) Step L then up over worrisome blocks and belay under orange corner.

  3. Variant 15m Straight up arete with reasonable pro and rock.

  4. 15m (16) Up orange corner then R under arching roof to arete.

  5. 25m (-) Up the line then L onto wall and belay under steep little crack (which is pitch 5 of Dunes).

  6. 32m (-) Traverse L, ignore scrubby crack, and take the balancy grey slab then join the final corner of 'Dunes'.

FA: Peter Jackson & Bob Bull, 1965

21 R * Live Footage Trad 35m 2

Definitely bold but the climbing is rubbish

Start: Start at Arab's 2nd belay.

  1. 15m (-) Climb the arete R of Arab's corner to a ledge.

  2. 20m (21) Continue up the undercut arete, which gets rather runout.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Michael Collie, 1982

17 * The Nile Trad 110m 3

A spectacular journey. 1. 20m Wall right of Sandpiper, continuing up slab/chimney, to good ledge. 2. 25m (crux) Break through overlap as for Arab, step up right, then follow the line of right-facing edges. (This line is left of an obvious yellow stripe of rock). Continue up wall, trending slightly left, to major horizontal break. Don’t touch the loose boulder sitting on the belay ledge. A dramatic, technically interesting pitch. 3. 20m Up black wall (left of Dunes) to the Oasis. 4. 20m As for Dunes, pitch 3. 5. 20m Move right to yellow corner, step up right and follow black rock direct to the summit.

FA: Tim Lockwood & Keith Lockwood, 2010

12 ** Dunes Trad 120m 5

The original version.

Start: Start up the L-facing corner of a huge flake leaning against the east face of the buttress (crawl through behind the flake from the right).

  1. 36m (-) Up the corner then trend R up slab to the base of a short chimney facing R into the gully.

  2. 6m (-) Up the chimney. (In Sep 88, Kieran Loughran and Meg Sleeman skipped the pitch 2 chimney by going straight up from the p1 slabs, pulling L onto ledge then up the flake and wall staying R towards the arete (grade 9)).

  3. 40m (9) Traverse L, step down, and go a bit further L. One tricky move up then continue straight up easy wall to the Oasis (the big ledge between 2 huge boulders).

  4. 27m (-) Traverse L to ledge, then up the short steep crack with good jugs, and up the clean corner above.

  5. 10m (-) Short corner then easy finish.

FA: John Fahey & Peter Jackson, 1965

13 ** Dunes Direct Trad 100m 4

A good four pitches with the first, second and fourth having quite absorbing sections.

Start: Tuck under the boulder left of 'Eskimo Nell' - One metre right of the start of Arab.

  1. 30m (13)

  2. 25m (11)

  3. 22m (10)

  4. 23m (12)

FA: Greg Pritchard & Simon Mentz - mid's, 1990

18 Penal Confinement Trad 37m

Up the steep jam-crack through the V-cleft lip, then nice flake/crack to small ledge. Step L and up short corner.

Start: Start on the L side of the Oasis (which is 3-4 pitches up 'Dunes' or Eskimo Nell).

FA: Mike Law & Kim Carrigan, 1975


The usual offering from these two! The ugly offwidth roof/corner on the L side of the boulder. Finish up EN pitch 5.

Start: Start on the Oasis on the L side of the big boulder which 'Eskimo Nell' pitch 4 crawls under.

FA: Rod Young & Jeremy Boreham, 1977

10 R * Eskimo Nell LH start Trad 110m 5

Variant first pitch that avoids the greasy start of the original, but is quite runout. Squeeze through behind the block L of the original start to a ledge. Up the L side of the block and up the slab with very little gear to join the original first pitch at the corner/overlap

FA: Unknown

10 *** Eskimo Nell Trad 110m 5

Wonderful climbing up the right side of the Dunes Buttress, with virtually every pitch offering something of interest.

FA: John Moore, Chris Dewhirst, Chris Baxter & Laurie Beesley, 1968

13 Eskimo Nell RHS Trad 30m

Not bad, Seems hard for the grade. Start around R from 'Eskimo Nell' in the gully. Jam and undercling the diagonal crack on the left wall of the gully and continue more easily to first belay of 'Eskimo Nell'

FA: Clive Parker & Graham Squire, 1966


Start: Start as for 'Eskimo Nell RHS'

  1. 46m (13) Climb ENRHS then continue up ramp for some distance to belay below a corner, immediately right of the crack of 'Icecream Man'.

  2. 25m (-) Bridge undercut corner and follow line to the R side of the Oasis.

  3. 46m (-) The initial chimney of EN pitch 4, traverse 7m R, then straight up over bulges.

FA: Bill Andrews, Dave McLean & Barry Edwards, 1977

21 Scribble Trad 12m

The steep flakes up the middle of the short orange wall just R of 'Dunes' pitch 2.

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

FA: Rod Young & Chris Shepherd, 1982


The short steep arete 3m R of 'Scribble'. Off ledge into short crack, up to PR, then steep jugs.

Start: Start at Dunes' first belay.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Rod Young, 1982

23 Icecream Man Trad 20m

Go 8m R uphill from 'Kays Third Marriage'. Take the hand crack through the short roof.

Start: Start at Dunes' first belay.

FA: Rod Young & Tim Chapman, 1981


Go R under roof to juggy exit.

Start: Start on the ledge above 'Icecream Man'.

FA: Ant Prehn & Rod Young, 1983

19 R Ground Rush Trad 40m

Start and finish have poor pro. Straight up (was originally brushed very clean but may have grown back). Finish up shallow corner L of an orange nose.

Start: Start 10m L of 'Brontosaurus' at L end of ledge.

FA: Damien Hansen & Tim McCormack, 1989

18 Brontosaurus Trad 40m

Up the middle of the wall to short blank corner, then up and L and short crack.

Start: Start under the middle of the grubby wall.

FA: Rod Young & Tim Chapman, 1981


Check out what is happening in Dunes Buttress.