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The best rock in this area - and indeed on the mountain.

Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, The Watchtower Faces Area

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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


The big streaked and polished face, right of the Watchtower.

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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

Start up the Watchtower Crack and then take a crack that leads up left to join original finish of 'Pumping' Part 1, a sweeping crack that leads to the large ledge at the first belay of Watchtower Crack.

FA: Hugh Foxcroft, Peter Newman & Nick Reeves., 1978

Fantastic climb.

Much of this climb remains in the shade until mid-afternoon so it can be feasible on a hot day. Running the first two pitches together can keep the belay in the shade until the top.

Despite the daunting appearance a mega-rack isn't required, but make sure you have a couple of bolt hangers and a #4 cam

  1. 25m (12) Climb the slab just right of the corner until you can move left onto a large ledge.

  2. 20m (14) Follow the main corner for a bit, then the left-hand line to a cosy cave.

  3. 18m (16) Up 4 metres into chimney below roof (old bolt). Traverse out right and move up into corner and another old bolt. On up corner to small stance and two pitons. If you want some shade, traverse left to a cave on the arete.

  4. 32m (16) Fairly sustained (FH) until past the overhang. Easily up slab.

FA: John Fahey, Peter Jackson, Ted Batty & Bob Bull, 1966

An obvious link pitch but it doesn't justify the voyage required to do it. Climb Watchtower Crack until level with the Skink traverse, then climb towards the arete and finish up Arachnus.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Mark Morhead, 1980

A technical, exhilirating route. A great contrast to its companion climb.

Start: As for 'The Watchtower Crack'.

  1. 25m (12) Climb the slab just right of the corner until you can move left onto a large ledge (first pitch of Watchtower Crack).

  2. 40m (18) Follow the main corner for a bit, then the left-hand line to a cave (second pitch of Watchtower Crack) and up to below the overhang. Traverse out right on fantastic horizontal break. Tricky moves gain sickle shaped line, then move up about 6m to a stance spanning the corner, which has some good wires and is surprisingly comfortable. Don't be tempted by the piton of 'Gollum' a few metres higher, you are much better off where you are.

  3. 42m (17) Follow the flake line, which eases towards the top.

FA: Chris Dewhirst & John Moore, 1966

If anyone suggests doing this climb, make sure they second the dangerous abseil section.

If anyone is even considering extending the climb by girdling the left Watchtower face and linking the two, could you please shoot yourself beforehand and save the rest of us the bother.

FA: Chris Baxter & Chris Dewhirst, 1967

This climb is very rarely done because of the seriousness of the first pitch, originally climbed as the second pitch of 'Pumping'.

Start on the first belay of Watchtower Crack, after doing 'Pumping' and not lowering off.

To further enhance the experience you could probably run the two pitches together with a 70 metre rope - that would be a trip.

  1. 40m (23) Start up easy corner, moving right into very thin corner. Up this corner, then right to break in roof. Climb boldly up wall above to end of 'Skink' traverse. Go left to belay in Watchtower Crack. A very serious pitch.

  2. 48m (20) Move back right to the centre of The 'Skink' traverse and climb straight up to join 'Gollum'. Finish up 'Gollum'. This pitch would be good in its own right but it is still quite serious.

FA: Pitch 1: Mark Moorhead & Kim Carrigan. Pitch 2, 1979

FA: Mark Moorhead & many more., 1980

Two interesting pitches that used to be thought very bold. But times change. Apparently gear can be found on the first pitch and Keith Egerton proved that even hexentrics in the horizontal breaks on the second pitch were adequate for 10 metre falls. The second pitch has cleaned up enormously over the years.

Start: Usually started by climbing 'The Confession' as the first pitch. Belay on the ring-bolts at the top of pitch 1 of 'Auto Da Fe'.

  1. 25m (18) up and through the overlaps. Traverse left above second overlap then up wall veering left into 'Skink'.

  2. 30m (20) Go up to a peg on the left arete. Step left and weave your way up the wall until it eases. Continue up and finish direct over the final overlap.

FA: Pitch 1 (Skink Connection) : Peter, Kevin Lindorff. Pitch 2 : Andrew Thomson & Mike Stone, 1976

Slabs and awkward cracks provide a good outing.

Start: As for 'The Watchtower Crack'.

  1. 25m (12) Climb the slab just right of the corner until you can move left onto a large ledge (as for pitch 1 of 'The Watchtower' Crack).

  2. 25m (13) Up dark-coloured face heading slightly right to flake sweeping to right. Step right with difficulty onto long ledge leading right. Walk right to ring bolts. An awkward pitch.

  3. 10m (14) Move off right end of ledge and climb poorly protected face to next ledge (bolts and chain).

  4. 25m (14) Long flake on right with tricky finish to ledge.

  5. 30m (12) From right end of ledge, head up wall and finish just right of little gully.

FA: John Fahey, Peter Jackson & Bob Bull, 1964

Great climbing all the way. One of the best and most varied climbs of its grade on the Watchtower Faces. Individual pitch grades were not supplied - the overall grade is 15 but some pitches may be easier.

Start: As for 'The Confession'.

  1. 45m (15) Start up 'The Confession' for 3-4m then verge left and up to tiny corner. Continue up left edge of the orange streak to a long right-facing flake/corner. Follow this to the big overhang which is turned on its right-hand edge. Once above the overhang, another corner leads direct to the left end of the 'Salamander' ledge. Belay on the ring bolts as for 'Auto Da Fe'.

  2. 15m (15) Up white streaks 2m left of the belay, over overlap, then right to chains. (Noddy first did this pitch around 1975 when putting up 'The Confession' (before 'Skink' Connection, 'Gollum' et al went that way)).

  3. 50m (15) Climb Salamander's 4th pitch for about 4m to a good horizontal slot on the left wall. Traverse 2m left as soon as possible - with the horizontal slot at head level - any higher, and you miss the best climbing. Then climb direct up the black streak all the way to the top. Pull through summit overhang on the left. (Noddy did the upper part of this pitch on the FA of Brolga).

FA: Tim Lockwood, Keith Lockwood. (alts) This climb has been about 30 years in the making & although the above party were first to do it in its entirety., 2004

Very good pitch. Make sure to take some tiny wires for the crux move.

Start 10 metres right of Watchtower Crack at a little block.

Note: this route is marked incorrectly in Simey and Glenn's '99 guide. It goes up the curvaceous white streak at 2/3 height, slightly right of where it is marked on page 230.

FA: Ed Neve & Keith Lockwood, 1975

Normally done as part of Gollum and is described as the first pitch of that climb.

Between 2nd pitches of 'Auto Da Fe' and 'Fly Lichen Eagle'.

Start: At the rap anchors in the middle of the RWF (Salamander ledge).

FA: Tim Day & Wade Stevens., 1996

Generally moderate slab climbing with good but spaced gear leading to trickier terrain up the final streak providing an alternative first pitch for Gollum. Double ropes and a big rack help to arrange protection.

Climb midway between The Confession and Auto de Fe, mostly 1.5 – 2m left of Auto de Fe. At about 2/3 height cross the small diagonal overlap and follow the brown streak with 2 parallel white stripes (clearly seen in the topo on p278 of Metz/Tempest guide) to the ledge.

This climb description was derived from a Chockstone post by Stuart.

FA: Stuart Holloway & Lachie Currie, 2005

A fantastic climb with three fantastic pitches of very different styles.

Start: At a hard move to large dish, avoidable

  1. 40m (21) up slabs vaguely left, to eventually drift right through a fingery thin section to a belay ledge and rap station.

  2. 20m (21) head up from the left side of the belay ledge, through a serious section requiring RP's then through bulge and drift right to meet 'Skink',belay possible and best to avoid rope drag.

  3. 30m (21) from the belay in 'Skink' head left and climb the wall and heel hook onto the slab and up to the top, small opposing wires can be used in the horizontals if no micro cams are available.

FA: Robin Miller & Kim Karrigan, 1982

chop route, no gear, 23 slabing with an X rating

FA: muki Woods

The superb second pitch has only one drawback, the possibility of being knocked off by an abseil rope from above.

This was an extremely bold, mossy lead before abseil route went in.

Start midway between 'Auto Da Fe' and 'Gecko' below the abseil line.

  1. 45m (17) Unprotected to bulge at 6 metres. Continue up to the abseil chains, keeping religiously between the other climbs.

  2. 45m (20) From just left of chains go boldly up clean streak. At horizontal, step right to tricky moves leading to easier ground. Up to overlap, step left, up overhang and so to top abseil bolts.

FA: Chris Baxter, Hugh Foxcroft & Peter Megens, 1983

A nice pitch that can be done as a direct start to 'Salamander' or as a climb in its own right.

FA: Chris Dewhirst, Chris Baxter & John Moore, 1965

As for Gecko (14) to the rap chains then follow Salamander to the top.

The climb originally finished up 'Salamander' but stepping left into 'Smeagol' is much better.

Start: Midway between 'Gecko' and 'Brolga'.

  1. 25m (15) Straight up middle of slab, keeping roughly midway between 'Gecko' and 'Brolga'.

The original finish of 'Brolga' and the best way to finish the climb, if the rap route is not in use. Probably grade 18 if the final bulge to the rap anchor is taken direct or about 14 if taken further left. At end of Brolga P2, up and left to join 'Fly lichen Eagle'.

FA: D.Smith, 1994

Fantastic slab climbing up immaculate rock.

Start: Middle of the face.

  1. 30m (15) Climb to the ledge. Marginal gear.

  2. 45m (16) The best pitch. Amazing climbing on incredible rock. Blast straight up the wall heading for the tree ledge.

  3. 40m (14) A wandering pitch, starting from the left hand end of the ledge, and heading up and left.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Andrew Bowman, 1975

Plugs the gap between 'Brolga' and The Mantle; a void not improved by the filling.

Start 3 metres right of 'Brolga'.

  1. 35m (16) Up easily and slightly right. Swing back left to below tree and belay just left of this.

  2. 50m (16) Middle of wall between 'Brolga' and 'The Mantle', veering slightly left then right over slight bulge to easier ground.

  3. 10m (-) Up.

FA: Chris & Sue Baxter, 1983

More great slabbing.

Start: 8 metres right of 'Brolga', directly below a thin crack that doesn't quite reach the ground.

27m (13) Go up on the left and move right into the weakness. Up weakness then face to ledge, just left of some swordgrass. 46m (14) Up the wall past a bolt for 30 metres to the bulge. Pass this and find a semi-hanging belay above. People used to belay below the bulge but the anchors were poor. 14m (6) Easily up.

FA: Chris Dewhirst & John Moore, 1965

FA: Chris Dewhirst & John Moore, 1965

The first of a couple of nondescript routes up the vast moss gardens of the right Watchtower.

Start 5 metres right of 'The Mantle' at a clean seam.

  1. 27m (14) Up seam then step right to right-facing flake/overlap. Up on left sde of this to ledge.

  2. 20m (14) Up diagonally right to flake and clump of spear grass at 8 metres. Above left are two horizontal overlaps on bulge in wall. Pass these on the left, then back up right to good anchors. The bulge can be climbed direct at grade 20 with poor protection (Keith Egerton, Jane Wilkinson 1984).

  3. 48m (12) Straight up.

FA: Kieth Lockwood, Geoff Gledhill & Barry Edwards, 1981

Another mossy filler.

Start 8 metres right of Lounge LIzard on cleanish rock.

  1. 25m (14) Left past two holes near ground. step right an wander up to the base of a short corner (Chameleon).

  2. 50m (14) Up corner, over bulge and up.

  3. 10m (-) Up

FA: Peter Kraehenbuhl & Darren Crawford, 1990

Another just OK route wandering its way up the moss. Superseded by 'Chameleon Connection'.

FA: Norm Booth & Keith Lockwood, 1983

This route combines the best bits of 'Chameleon' and 'Joyride' as well as imrpoving the first pitch of 'Chameleon'.

Start 25 metres right of 'Brolga' at a short seam through a bulge, a few metres left of the bolted bulge of 'Omaha Beach'.

  1. 27m (14) Up technical seam then straight up mossy, easy ground to left end of good ledge.

  2. 22m (13) Step left and through steepening then straight up to little horizontal break level with terrace on right. Traverse right and belay below small, right-facing corner at left side of terrace.

  3. 39m (13) Corner and wall to big ledge.

  4. 18m (10) Move right and up two short walls then easy scramble off right.

FA: See Chameleon & Joyride, 2000

Another climb superseded by 'Chameleon Connection'.

FA: Peter Watling, Keith Lockwood & Kathy Burman (alt), 1975

Another clean streak that is proving popular.

Start: 10m Left of 'Panzer'.

  1. 30m (18) Climb bulging wall to easier ground. Move back L and straight up through weakness in undercut bulge. Belay as for 'Panzer'.

  2. 30m (16) Up Panzer's corner crack then traverse L following the flake. At the top of the flake go straight up and belay in V corner. The flake section at the beginning of this pitch was first done by Ed Neve, Peter Megens, Garry Wills as a variant to 'Panzer'. 27-04-1980.

  3. 20m (8) Scrabble to the top following crack up and L.

FA: Yosef Murphy & Shaun Kratzer

A fun pitch that tackles the left side of the Panzer pinnacle/turret. A nice finishing pitch to Omaha Beach.

From the belay after the second pitch of Panzer climb directly up into overhanging corner. Mantle up to reach a second overhang protected by a steep vertical crack. Careful of the loose rock at the top. Belay on top of the pinnacle.

FA: Kane Hendy & Geordie Webb, 31 Mar 2016

Start: Directly below the turret perching high above the right end of the face, just in front of a large boulder.

  1. 40m (12) Up 2 metres to horizontal weakness, travers delicately left along this for 6 metres, then go up to major overlap. Traverse left to break through left end of overlap to large ledge. Walk right to obvious, left-facing corner.

  2. 25m (12) Jam corner to roof and step right around arete. Climb wall past some old pitons to an inset ledge below final tower.

  3. 30m (12) Traverse right to shallow corner. Up corner then steeply up front of turret. Scramble down back.

FA: Bruce Hocking & Mike Stone, 1965

Good climbing but crux bulge is poorly protected. Originally graded 16.

FA: Yosef Murphy & John Fischer, 2007

Start on the terrace of Panzer's first belay, 4 metres right of the 'Panzer' corner.

FA: Darren Crawford & Peter Kaehenbuehl (alt), 1990


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