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Table of contents

1. Left Watchtower Face 33 routes in Cliff

Summary:
JFMAMJJASOND
seasonality
All Trad

Long/Lat: 141.838284, -36.752078

Access Issues: inherited from Arapiles

Bird Nesting October-December 2014 Cassandra Eurydice Raptors are nesting on these climbs. Please avoid the climbs until the young leave the nest (mid-December).

State Park

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).

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Rotten Row

Not really a climb, just an escape route. The diagonal ramp leading right from the base of the 'Siren' corner.

FA: Steve and Bob Craddock, 31st Dec

5Trad 60m
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
2 * Argonauts

Nice pitch high on the face.

FA: Steve Williams, Keith Lockwood, 1986

19Trad 40m
3 Roll Dem Bones

Good 2nd pitch with bold and committing crux well out from gear. (A couple of grades have been added to allow for this.) 'Hot Flap Direct Start' might be a better start than the current first pitch. Take doubles of all cams to #2 1/2 and three #2 TCUs or equivalent.

Start as for 'Hot Flap', below the flake marking the left edge of the 'Left Watchtower Face'.

  1. 23m (-) Up to the base of the flake and step L. Follow thin cracks up the face and over a steepening. Follow easy ground up and move R to belay on L edge of the 'Left Watchtower Face' (1st belay of Hot Flap).

  2. 35m (18) Move out R a few metres as for 'Hot Flap' and go up to a flake (if you get to a bolt you are about 3m too far R). Go up 5-7m R of the large chimney until the face steepens after about 20m. Get some wires in a flake then move L and boldly up (crux). Above the steepening, traverse 2m R below a thin overlap and then go back L and pull over the overlap. Easier ground leads up dirty groove to ledge on the 'Siren' traverse.

  3. 20m (-) Up the corner above then directly up to a good ledge below the recessed wall L of 'Siren' Buttress.

  4. 28m (-) An unpleasant crack marks the L side of the recessed wall. From below this crack move out L to an arete. Follow the easy but delightful arete to the top.

FA: Kieran Loughran and Meg Sleeman, Keith Lockwood, 1997

18 RTrad 100m
4 ** Hot Flap

Protection is generally reasonable but pitch 2 is sparsely protected.

Start below the right-leaning flake that leads into the chimney marking the left edge of the 'Left Watchtower Face'.

  1. 24m (8) Up and over right-leaning crack at 5 metres and continue to juggy ground. Belay on right arete.

  2. 30m (13) Step right onto main face and climb diagonally right on clean rock past 2 bolts and belay at third bolt.

  3. 32m (14) Traverse right and go up to big ledge below Siren's corner.

  4. 50m (13) Go up Siren's corner for about 25 metres then traverse right along weakness to bolt, or climb diagonally right to the same point. Either belay at the bolt (bad idea) or climb over horizontal breaks then up right to good ledge. Note that originally this pitch traversed from the bolt over to what is now 'Antigone'.

  5. 35m (12) Go right along ledge to left-leading diagonal crack that leads up through the summit roof.

FA: John Fahey, Bob Bull, 1965

14 RMixed 170m, 2
5 Tauraroa Direct Start

A logical but not very appealing start.

FA: Chris Baxter, Mike Stone, 1978

17Trad 25m
6 * Hot Flap Direct Start

This obvious start to 'Hot Flap' is well protected at the hardest point but then has a long runout on mossy rock. Still worth a star though.

FA: Phillip Stranger, Rob Taylor, 1967

16 RTrad 50m
7 Between the Lines

An interesting exploration that is superseded by other climbs.

FA: Ed Neve, Nick Reeves, 1978

16 RTrad 53m
8 * Sang Froid

Marginal protection on first pitch. Both this pitch and the its next-door neighbour 'Puppet' On A String are very good pitches but possibly the most serious of their grades at 'Arapiles'. Still not sure if they deserve the skull-and-crossbones (have taken them off this climb) but they are very serious.

Peter Watling accidentally climbed this pitch in the 70's thinking it was 'Hot Flap' Direct Start!

  1. 50m (18) Climb up midway between the black moss streaks to join 'Hot Flap'. Belay when rope runs out.

  2. 35m (-) Up to Siren's corner and climb right wall to stance just below Hot Flap's fourth pitch traverse.

  3. 35m (17) Up over traverse line then delicately up on black rock to two horizontal cracks. Step right to runners then back left and up impressive headwall to terrace.

  4. 10m (-) Groove in final wall.

FA: Malcolm Matheson, Keith Lockwood, 1983

18 RTrad 130m
9 Puppet on a String

Another pitch in a similar vein to 'Sang Froid', possibly the scarier of the two. 'Argonauts' makes a good finish.

FA: Dennis Kemp, Stephen Hamilton, Dave Mudie, 1987

18 XTrad 50m
10 *** Creon - Tales of Brave Ulysses 18Trad 110m
11 * Creon

A good climb all of the way. Finishing up Tales Of Brave Ulysses makes it even better.

Start on a platform below a seam about 30 metres right of the left edge of the face and 20 metres left of a deep line (Driftwood).

  1. 50m (17) Hard start into crack. When crack peters out step up to thread in flake at 10 metres (this bit is shared with 'Oedipus' Rex). Delicate climbing to left-leading diagonal flake line. Follow these, then straight up to join 'Hot Flap'. Belay on small ledge when the rope runs out.

  2. 50m (16) Up to the 'Siren' buttress and take the left-hand line up the front of this (right-hand line is Tales Of Brave Ulysses). This pitch can easily be split into two as on the first ascent.

FA: Hugh Foxcroft, Peter Watling, Nick Reeves (alt), 1979

17Trad 95m
12 New Route (name coming soon))

Start as for C/OR but continue straight up mossy wall where they go left and right. We continued straight up and then through Hot Flap. Could do with a clean up.

FA: Gareth Llewellin, Rob Saunders, 2012

Trad 60m
13 ** Oedipus Rex

Good long climb but the middle section is nothing special.

Start on a platform below a seam about 30 metres right of the left edge of the face and 20 metres left of a deep line (Driftwood).

  1. 30m (17) Hard start into crack. When crack peters out step up to thread in flake at 10 metres (this bit is shared with Creon). Get some runners, don't rely only on the fragile-looking thread, then traverse right under bulge, veer up right for 4 metres then straight up to belay at old bolt. Not a lot of good protection after the thread.

  2. 45m (13) Up broken area to big ledge and on up to 'Rotten Row'.

  3. 42m (14) Climb black bulge then smooth wall to bolt. On up face to left end of sloping ledge and up left to bigger ledge.

  4. 30m (16) Step right and up small, left-facing corner to the roof. Take flake through ceiling with hard move at lip. Easily up. Original finish took steep flake directly above belay (17) and then up through overhangs.

FA: Peter McKeand, Gordon Talbett, Clive Parker, 1968

17 RTrad 150m
14 Oedipal Wrecks

Not a bad start. Reasonable, if fiddly gear.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Norm Booth, Ray Lassman, 1994

20Trad 30m
15 Home of the Brave

Good climbing with only a short section of nondescript ground at the start of the second pitch.

There are some dangerous detached blocks/flakes on both first and final pitches and the final pitch is quite has some committing runouts. Tiny cams are essential on the last pitch.

Start: Start at the deep chimney line (Driftwood) that is the major feature of the 'Left Watchtower Face'.

  1. 45m (15) Up the chimney (Driftwood) for 12 metres and step left to ledge on arete with large block. Step left again and up to right end of large, bushy ledge. Up clean crack above and then continue up line of flakes around 3 metres left of 'Driftwood, taking care with a fragile section,' to small ledge.

  2. 28m (14) Pretty much straight up to large ledge. Traverse 2-3 metres right to orange streak (Antigone) and climb this to 'Rotten Row'.

  3. 38m (14) Continue up, delicately at first to large diagonal ledge below Hot Flap's final pitch.

  4. 25m (16) From the top of the step halfway along the ledge, climb the wall, moving left at first, to a large detached flake. Step back right and staright up wall and slab to crack in roof and up to join 'Hot Flap'.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Felicity Rousseaux, Meg Sleeman, 1989

16 RTrad 140m
16 Driftwood

A strange, unbalanced climb. Few people will do the climb as a whole, using the initial chimney as the start of another climb or doing the final, evil chimney after starting up something else.

Start: Start at the deep chimney line that is the major feature of the 'Left Watchtower Face'.

  1. 60m (13) Up the deep line to large ledge. Either a 60 metres rope or a semi-hanging belay at some point is required.

  2. 16m (18) Walk 30 metres right into the chimney and belay. Climb the glass-smooth chimney (big cam).

FA: Ian Speedie, Mike Stone, Garry Kerkin.

FA: Peter Jackson and John Fahey climbed pitch 3 in earlyby traversing in from Siren., 1964

18Trad 120m
17 ** Driftwood/Antigone

FA: Speedie, Stone, Kerkin / Caffin, Wilcox

14Trad 120m
18 * Antigone

A very nice climb at the grade.

Start: Start at the deep chimney line (Driftwood) that is the major feature of the 'Left Watchtower Face'.

  1. 60m (13) Up chimney to large ledge (as for Driftwood). If you don't have a 60 metre rope there is a comfortable belay niche at 20m [as used on the first ascent] which allows 2 reasonable length pitches.

  2. 48m (14) Up orange streak to ledge then left and up wall to big ledge on left.

  3. 16m (12) Walk 10 metres left and up flake.

FA: Roger Caffin, Sue Wilcox, 1966

15Trad 120m
19 ** Sundance

Very enjoyable. The fourth pitch is runout but can be avoided.

  1. 42m (12) Bridge the crack (Driftwood) until it narrows at 35 metres. Traverse right to first belay of Wall Of The Afternoon Sun (carrot bolt.)

  2. 22m (15) Clean steep wall and seam directly above to big ledge on left.

  3. 30m (13) Step right and up orange streak to 'Rotten Row'. Move 10 metres right to flake belay under tree.

  4. 48m (14) As for final pitch of Wall Of The Afternoon Sun. Alternatively, escape up 'Rotten Row'.

FA: Keith Bell, Keith Lockwood, 1976

15Trad 140m
20 Sunset Strait

Start as for 'Wall of the Afternoon Sun'. Where 'Wall of the Afternoon Sun' traverses right, continue straight up. Belay on ledge between 'Antigone' and 'Sundance'. Either rappel from bollard or continue up one of the other climbs off this ledge.

FA: Stuart Hollaway & Dale Thistlethwaite, 2012

20Trad 60m
21 ** Wall of the Afternoon Sun

A neat route featuring a classy and thought-provoking first pitch.

Start: Start just right of the chimney splitting this face (sundance).

  1. 40m (19) Up the slab to the crack and good gear and a funky mantle to bolt. Step right (pocket, small profile cam or tricam) and slabby moves lead to more good climbing and another bolt and on to ledge and belay bolt.

  2. 27m (17) Move right to the prominent nose, bridge past its left side and up to ledge. Move 6 metres right to belay below tiny, right-facing corner.

  3. 22m (17) Up the little corner until it fades and continue boldly up wall. Technical bulge leads to 'Rotten Row'.

  4. 48m (14) Up easy flake behind conifer then steeply up to horizontal break at 20 metres. Short left-leading corner then veer left and up.

FFA: Peter McKeand

FA: Keith Lockwood, Norm Booth, 1969

19Trad 140m
22 If You're Lucky

Up short seam 5 metres right of Wall Of The Afternoon Sun. Hard moves lead past a peg runner (if it's still there). Traverse left 2 metres and over bulge to flake. Up then left to first belay of WOTAS.

Start: Not a bad line but doesn't see much traffic.

FA: Chris Shepherd, Cathy Blamey.., 1982

23Trad 40m
23 *** Take Five

Great climbing up the clean streak starting 15 metres left of 'Watchtower Chimney'.

  1. 45m (20) Straight up the clean streak passing small bulge to tiny stance level with base of chimney on 'Watchtower Chimney'. There's an unprotected move of about grade 16-17 at 7 metres.

  2. 40m (19) Up short crack then slab to ledge. Straight up left-hand streak then step right to tricky last move to 'Rotten Row'. Alternatively, from the ledge take the right-hand streak (21) to 'Rotten Row' (WOTAS is just to the right). Graham Sanders, Steve Howden 10-10-1982.

  3. 48m (17) From the tree, move left a little then follow the clean streak to the top, crossing Wall Of The Afternoon Sun at the horizontal break.

FA: Robin Miller (solo).., 1982

20 RTrad 140m
24 Tschumpel

Botanical line behind large dead tree at right end of 'Rotten Row'.

FA: Bruno Zeller, Anne McKenzie, 1969

5Trad 42m
25 Senile

Crack 5 metres right of 'Tschumpel', 1 metre left of 'Bindi'.

FA: Bruno Zeller, Anne McKenzie, 1969

7Trad 40m
26 Bindi

Chimney line 6 metres right of 'Tschumpel'

FA: Chris Baxter, Derek Lord, 1967

5Trad 25m
27 Pantouflage

Good finish but the crack is awful.

Start: Start at the end of the first pitch of 'Watchtower Chimney'.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Jim Bright, 1973

15Trad 96m
28 * The Watchtower Chimney DS 20Trad 15m
29 ** Watchtower Chimney

A climb which gets the heart going no matter if you're on lead or seconding, with the first pitch, by itself, being a great line!

Start: There are two deep cracks at the base of the Watchtower. Start at the left-hand crack.

  1. 45m (12) Up the fading crack to a ledge, traverse left past a bolt and climb the corner to small ledge.

  2. 17m (8) Up the rest of the corner to base of chimney

  3. 31m (12) Up the chimney without taking the detour. Belay just above

  4. 18m (8) A bouldery start leads to an easier finish.

FA: Michael Stone, Ian Speedie, Garry Kerkin, 1965

12Mixed 110m, 1
30 Radio Days

Runout, though avoidable, start.

Start at the base of 'Watchtower Chimney'.

  1. 15m (20) Swing out left and climb nose direct to slab above and belay at old bolt on Watchtower Chimney's traverse.

  2. 30m (-) Go straight up above bolt. Move left on narrow ledge then go up line right of arete to terrace.

  3. 50m (-) Finish how you wish.

FA: Maureen Gallagher, Chris Baxter (alt) and David Gallagher, 1987

20Trad 95m
31 Man Overboard

Start: Start at foot of Chimney on 'Watchtower Chimney'.

  1. 27m (18) Climb past left side of horizontal overlap. Up wall then veer right. Up wall and over horizontal flake near arete. Traverse right to below orange corner.

  2. 28m (18) Up wall on left of corner, over bulge, then up.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Steve Williams, 1985

18Trad 55m
32 ** colonal's eleven

No idea where this is supposed to be

15Trad 30m
33 * Watchtower Chimney Direct Start

Crack 3 metres right of 'Take Five' and 6 metres left of 'Watchtower Chimney'. When it fades continue boldly up to join 'Watchtower Chimney'.

FA: Neil Barr, Peter Watling.., 1980

20 RTrad 15m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
5 Bindi Trad 25m
Rotten Row Trad 60m
Tschumpel Trad 42m
7 Senile Trad 40m
12 ** Watchtower Chimney Mixed 110m, 1
14 ** Driftwood/Antigone Trad 120m
** Hot Flap Mixed 170m, 2
15 * Antigone Trad 120m
Pantouflage Trad 96m
** Sundance Trad 140m
** colonal's eleven Trad 30m
16 Between the Lines Trad 53m
Home of the Brave Trad 140m
* Hot Flap Direct Start Trad 50m
17 * Creon Trad 95m
** Oedipus Rex Trad 150m
Tauraroa Direct Start Trad 25m
18 *** Creon - Tales of Brave Ulysses Trad 110m
Driftwood Trad 120m
Man Overboard Trad 55m
Puppet on a String Trad 50m
Roll Dem Bones Trad 100m
* Sang Froid Trad 130m
19 * Argonauts Trad 40m
** Wall of the Afternoon Sun Trad 140m
20 Oedipal Wrecks Trad 30m
Radio Days Trad 95m
Sunset Strait Trad 60m
*** Take Five Trad 140m
* The Watchtower Chimney DS Trad 15m
* Watchtower Chimney Direct Start Trad 15m
23 If You're Lucky Trad 40m
? New Route (name coming soon)) Trad 60m