Rats Alley Guide

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Thanks to the following people who have contributed to this crag guide:

Campbell Gome Douglas Hockly Kieran Loughran Wendy Eden Gareth Llewellin muki Woods Adam Sabic

The size of a person's name reflects their Crag Karma, which is their level of contribution. You can help contribute to your local crag by adding descriptions, photos, topos and more.

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Table of contents

1. Rats Alley 18 routes in Cliff



All Trad climbing


The recess between Voodoo Buttress and the main wall.

Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, New Image Area

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

inherited from Arapiles

Descent Notes

25m abseil from the rap station above Blyth Street or 20m abseil from slings above Tarantula.


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).

inherited from Arapiles
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Glory Road

Probably superseded by 'Striptease Parade' now, but this was a bold effort back in the day.

Start: At L end of wall, on a sloping ledge.

FA: Andrew Thomson & Greg Child, 1976

20 Trad 30m
2 Striptease Parade

Straightens out 'Glory Road', making for a much better route.

Start: At L end of ledge, as for 'Glory Road'.

FA: Craig Peacock & Malcolm Matheson, 1980

20 Trad 30m
3 Osmond Terrace

As for SP to pockets, then move R into 'Rats Alley'. Stay with this for 10m, then head straight up brushed steak (where 'Rats Alley' moves L) past bolt and hollow flake.

Start: As for 'Striptease Parade'.

FA: Nyrie Dodd & Louise Shepherd., 1985

21 Trad 30m
4 Streetwise

A thin, almost-eliminate slab.

FA: Kieran Lawton, Gordon Poultney, Donna Bridge & Bec Pirzl, 2006

21 Mixed 25m, 5
5 Rats Alley

Committing slab climbing, but a highly enjoyable route. Unusual style for 'Arapiles'. Approach by scrambling up the easy corner.

Start: On the left hand wall, up the gully just before the chimney.

FA: Greg Child & Kim Carrigan, 1978

19 R Trad 30m
6 Blyth Street

Up 'Rats Alley' for 15 or so metres, then scoot R (across Streetwise) to a welcome bolt. Keep your head together and climb straight up to the top.

Start: As for 'Rats Alley'.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Hugh Foxtrot, 1978

21 Trad 35m
7 Blyth Street Direct Start

Climb straight up to the bolt on Blyth Street (after it's traverse), then continue to the top as for that. Do not fall.

Start: A few metres R of 'Rats Alley'.

FA: Warwick Baird, 2000

22 X Trad 12m
8 Deer Park Revisited

A short hard layback to L arete (rest). Move back R and up seam.

Start: From L end of ledge at half-height, near orange patch.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Terry Tremble, 1984

20 Trad 15m
9 Argyle Street

Climb straight up the orange wall.

Start: Below middle of orange patch.

FA: Terry Tremble, Kieran Loughran & Jane Wilkinson, 1984

19 Trad 15m
10 International Climbing Meat

Head diagonally R from 'Argyle Street' to the crack.

Start: Just R of 'Argyle Street'.

FA: Chris Baxter & Phil Wilkins, 1984

18 Trad 15m
11 Nightmare on Elmes Street

Up seam, step L at top into main crack and finish L of wide crack above.

Start: 1m R of crack in centre of outcrop.

FA: Louise Shepherd & Heather Phillips, 1992

19 Trad 15m
12 Brand X

Climb to ledge from the R, then into thin crack to the R. Up and then back L.

Start: On bushy ledge 3m up, at R end of crag.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Terry Tremble & Jane Wilkinson, 1984

15 Trad 12m
13 Nymph

Thrash up the chimney to a crack on the R wall.

Start: Wander up the gully to the base of the chimney.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Geoff Uebergang, 1967

16 Trad 42m
14 Ckoff

"For historical reasons only..."

Start: Near 'Nymph'.

FA: Norm Osborne, 1970

16 Trad 57m
15 Crystal Prophet

Original start was to bridge up chimney then swing onto R face with no gear! For some reason these days people clip the bolt on Crystal Vision and go L to the flake - still a bit bold. Up flake till it ends and move L and up to an exciting exit. Walk R to rap from 'Tarantula' anchor.

FA: Glenn Tempest, Kevin Lindorff & Peter Watson. (Mike Law climbed alt start in from R using a high runner in Tarantula), 1982

23 Trad 25m
16 Crystal Vision

Climb the thin wall between CP and T. Place a runner in 'Tarantula' before starting.

FA: John Smoothy & Mark Colyvan, 1986

26 Mixed 25m, 3
17 Tarantula

The steep and sustained L-facing corner. Great.

FA: Kevin Lindorff, Iain Sedgman (originally with 2 aids & later freed by Kevin), 1975

19 Trad 25m
18 Crystal Sausage

Steep bolted wall R of 'Tarantula'. Nobody ever does it because it's chipped and the bolts look rubbish, hence nobody knows if there is a rap anchor at the top (is there a rap anchor at the top?)

FA: Ant Prehn, 1990

27 Trad 25m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
15 Brand X Trad 12m
16 Ckoff Trad 57m
Nymph Trad 42m
18 International Climbing Meat Trad 15m
19 Argyle Street Trad 15m
Nightmare on Elmes Street Trad 15m
Tarantula Trad 25m
19 R Rats Alley Trad 30m
20 Deer Park Revisited Trad 15m
Glory Road Trad 30m
Striptease Parade Trad 30m
21 Blyth Street Trad 35m
Osmond Terrace Trad 30m
Streetwise Mixed 25m, 5
22 X Blyth Street Direct Start Trad 12m
23 Crystal Prophet Trad 25m
26 Crystal Vision Mixed 25m, 3
27 Crystal Sausage Trad 25m