Binary Cave

  • Grades: AU
  • Approach time: 15mins
  • Photos: 15
  • Ascents: 2,364
  • Aka: Thumb Roofs


A popular all-weather sport crag, with a couple of hairy rad cracks as well. This 50m wide section of orange wall extends left from Constipation Chimney and is protected from heavy rain by a vast roof 40m above the deck. The base is totally dry for 5m out from the cliff, is fairly flat and is a great place to hang out when the weather turns nasty (most routes were established during the wettest summer in memory!). There are currently more than 15 sport routes, and several rarely repeated old school steep trad lines. Most routes are 20-25m single pitches which end at anchors just below a large shale ledge. There are a couple of ancient aid routes which continue through the roofs above currently being freed as trad (plus future free trad potential!). Bring a rope mat as the base of the crag is dirty. Stick-clips are useful.

Access issues inherited from West Face (Main Area)

There are private houses directly above this cliffline - try not to be too noisy, especially in the carpark.


Walk left from Theory of Negativity Wall for about 100m to arrive at grid-bolted steep wall with an eroded base. You can't miss it. It takes about 15 minutes from the carpark.

Descent notes

All of the sport routes have lower-offs - but if you top-out onto the shale ledge on one of the trad routes there are two rap chains on either end of the ledge - one above Constipation Chimney, and the other above Hells Bells.

Ethic inherited from West Face (Main Area)

Sublime Point is an old climbing area, with many routes dating from the 1950s and 1960s. Aid and mixed climbing was the fashion then, and the easier routes can be pretty bold for a modern climber. In the last 10 years there have been a lot of well protected sport routes added. This has been seen as controversial by some climbers who consider the crag a 'mixed' climbing venue.


View historical timeline

The first routes established here would have been Constipation Chimney by members of the Rhum Du in the late '50s then rediscovered by the S.R.C. in '64. The first lines in the 'cave' were the aid lines through both tiers of the roofs climbed by Ewbank/Pickard, starting with Thumbs Down 13 M4 in 1967 (now ~23).

Activity ceased for almost half a century before the spurt bolters discovered the area was dry in any weather and ripe for rape-bolting. In the space of three years more than 15 sport routes were established, and several new trad cracks were also climbed. All of Ewbanks aid routes on the lower half of the crag were also free-climbed by Macca and Monty. The upper tier cave awaits further development....


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

A nice easy trad corner on the right side of the Binary Cave. Marked CCVS. There are now rap anchors added at the top of the first pitch. Be careful of some loose rock at the top.

A great wet weather protected slab climb! The right most bolted line on the wall, sharing the first few metres of the trad corner Constipation Chimney VS on far right of crag. A couple of clips are tricky if you are short. The bolts were a birthday gift from Vanessa and Ryan.

FA: Jason Lammers, 28 Jan 2012

Technical wall climbing up some great orange rock. Share the first three bolts of Birthday Bolts then take the left line direct up the steeper face. This was the first of the modern sport routes established in the Binary Cave, and kicked off Neil's tradition to establish a new route at this crag on every birthday. 3 years running so far.

FA: Neil Monteith, 2010

Line of rings up dark orange wall 3m left of 'Thirty Three Years'. Stick clip first bolt and campus the undercut start. Nice finish up steep prow, that is now a touch harder since a key hold fell off. The start of this route is shared with the next three routes as well.

FA: Neil Monteith, 16 Jan 2012

A bit squeezed in but has some great sustained climbing. Same start as for Flash Flood for a couple of bolts then take the next line of bolts to the left. Easily to small cave then punch out a committing move above it. Nice climbing to the top, staying just left of arête.

FA: Jason Lammers & Dan Mackey, 24 Nov 2012

Undercut start as for Flash Flood for a couple of bolts then slightly left and up the wall left of Stereo. A bit of a shutdown crux in the middle, that can be done slightly easier by climbing to the right of the bolts.

FFA: Neil Monteith, 22 Jan 2012

Really good sustained climbing that wanders around a bit to link a line above the overhung section. Start as for up Flash Flood (or Nice Day for a Disco), and then move left to the furthest line of ringbolts that traverses over lip of small cave, then climb up and right up the super headwall.

FA: Jason Lammers, 5 Feb 2012

This is not a full route, but confusingly an optional harder start to the previous couple of routes. Starts 2m left of Flash Flood at right side of overhung/cave. There is a hard/awkward move at the 3rd bolt before it links into the other routes.

Direct start links into LN, TV, S, or FF. 25m indicated height includes these 4 routes.

FA: Jason Lammers, 1 Dec 2012

Unlikely well protected trad climbing. Starts 6m left of Flash Flood. Weave up blocky steep stuff to under big roof. Swing right across break and up seam crack to topout onto shale ledge and single ubolt + trad belay. Long draws useful to avoid rope drag.

FA: Rich Sonnerdale & Neil Monteith, 2010

Proof no-one climbs trad anymore. Climb Torrential for 12m to under big roof. Place #5 cam in slot with long sling then committing traverse left under roof and up technical small corner on great rock to bolt belay on shale ledge. Double ropes or long slings make rope drag much more pleasant.

FA: Neil Monteith & Rich Sonnerdale, 2010

Some funky moves and a great example of Bundy's creative vision to squeeze in another route! Up groove behind small tree. Swing through the roof and onto the face. Left, up and then back to the right crossing Middle Finger and on to orange headwall.

FA: Jason Lammers, 25 Feb 2012

5m left of MF, just left of small tree leaning against cliff. Steep juggy start up to big roof. Monkey across imposing roof flake then up super headwall.

FA: Neil Monteith, 18 Feb 2012

Popular steep climbing. Climb up juggy cracks and flakes to the biggest roof at Binary Cave. Crank over this with a bouldery lip move then up great orange headwall. Two long draws in the roof help reduce rope drag.

FFA: Ben JengA, 18 Feb 2012

Not the best route here due to the chossy halfway shale ledge. Up the juggy wall right of Thumbs Up crack to large shale ledge under roof. Clip fixed sling then hand traverse shale ledge left to join into Thumbs Up's roof crack section. Up crack for a move then hand traverse back right above dramatic roof then up great orange wall.

FA: Matt Brooks, 15 Jul 2013

1 24 25m
2 27m
3 15 40m

An exciting steep trad line that doesn't see much love. The first pitch has been freed recently, but the upper pitches probably haven't seen a repeat in decades. For the first pitch bring a full rack including micro cams and several long slings. Start at crackline through steep wall 3m left of Swinging in the Rain.

  1. 25m (24) The double roof pitch. First roof is bouldery, the second is reachy and pumpy. Finish up fantastic easy corner to trad belay on shale ledge.

  2. 27m (- M4) Very thin seam crack splitting roof above. Probably requires pitons. Might go free?

  3. 40m (15) Easy trench crack to top.

FA: John Ewbank, 1967

FFA: Neil Monteith & Rich Sonnerdale (pitch 1 only), 2010

Has a reputation for being tough for the grade and having a tricky pocket sequence. Starts just left of Thumbs Up. Boulder though a couple of roofs to an easy head wall.

FFA: Ben JengA, 18 Feb 2012

Effectively a 2nd pitch to Digitalicious through the short steep roofs above the shale ledge. Short right facing flake, wall then long move through roof to jug. Hand traverse right then up steep wall above to crux section passing the final bolt. Mantle the lip to finish. Back-jump.

Set by Neil Monteith, 29 Jun 2013

FFA: Lee Cujes, 28 Mar 2016

The left hand finish to Armistice Direct via an outrageous foot free hand-traverse along a series of incut holds across a blank orange shield. Finish with hands over the lip. Lower off large single U-bolt or backjump.

Set by Neil Monteith, 15 Jul 2013

FA: Neil Monteith & Paul Thompson, 28 Jul 2013

Go go stop. The best of the harder routes at the Binary Cave Steep bouldery start trending right to rooflet then straight up the gorgeous orange wall on small sloping holds to an easier finish.

FA: Neil Monteith, Chris Coghill, Steve G, Rich Sonnerdale & Will Monks, 12 Feb 2012

Whilst Bundy and Macca pissed around on their sport/trad project over several years Steve noticed the chalk Macca had left from trying the direct start and managed to bolt send this harder version in one weekend. It's the route between Binary Neil and Thumbs Out.

Looks as though it has a couple of impassable blank sections, but some focussed oomph will see you through, provided you have average or better wingspan. Very good climbing which deserves more attention.

FA: Steve Grkovic, Jun 2014

THE most edited description on thecrag.com. Taking a wild swing, but I suspect I'm right.

Controversial work in progress that has dragged on for more than six years without a reported first free ascent! Maybe if people spent time climbing it rather than retro-bolting it and bolt-bolting then it would get done sooner? Maybe if it didn't get bolted at all would have been best! The route was 'most certainly' first rapped and top-roped by Monty on Aus Day 2012, (in total ethic mode leaving no chalk, tick marks, or doing any cleaning) on the same day he bolted Survival Day. Macca then tried it ground-up on a completely different day and pronounced it a 'trad project'. Less than a year later it got ringed by Bundy & co. with no consultation despite being listed here as a project. It then had some of the ringbolts disabled by 'bolting' through them. -10 points for the bolting, +10 points for the disabling effort -20 points for all the faffing and not actual climbing!

Trad line through small rooflet - Marginal gear through roof, be careful... Bomber gear after roof, then traverse right to gear at right side of big break and up via crimps to gear, then easing to good nest of gear before final easy slab section. The race is on for who ticks this route - Jason or Macca? Stay tuned!! Either way this route was, is and always will be a trad route, if you can't step up to that challenge, please step back and stay away!

Thumbs In (Direct Variant) This is now the sport route Chalk Chops. Harder start. Starts a few metres to the right and joins route before crux. Start at large shelf and head up via breaks, out through roof, left to better holds and long move past blankness. Unfortunately this also got bolted after someone saw the chalk we (who?) left on it.

Extension-Project (Trad) Macca. Continue up from the big block straight up the steepening with limited small to medium large gear options turn the lip and up 5m to belay on ledge. Good gear is available here but bolts might be placed to allow lowering or continue to top . . .

Start just right of Thumbs Down on sandy shelf. Right trending wall to big horizontal break. Swing across this then lean back and reach the big jug over the lip. Up featured wall above. Might be grade 23, especially if you are tall.

FA: Neil Monteith, 28 Jan 2012

1 23 25m
2 23 10m
3 13 13m
4 30m

Another old aid route through a big ceiling that has now been partially freed.

  1. 25m (23) Chossy corner crack for 12m to large shale covered ledge and BR. Up short corner to roof, then traverse rightwards with difficulty (small cams) to lip of roof and easy crack finish and trad belay on shale ledge.

  2. 10m (10) Corner to ledge. Best linked into next pitch.

  3. 13m (23/M2) Up corner then right to prow. Overhung short corner (piton scars) and out hanging wall to juggy black stuff and up to ledge. Is being attempted as a free route by Macca (2013).

  4. 30m (15) Long easy black wall of horror jugs.

FA: John Ewbank, 4 Mar

FFA: Macciza (pitch 1), May 2012

First of the short sport routes just left of Thumbs Down. Nice wall to start then thin crimpy finish with a tricky to clip last bolt. Convince someone else to put the draws on first!

FA: Jason Lammers & Rick Phillips, 23 Feb 2012

Popular, mostly due to the bolts, easy grade and the weather protection. The middle of the three mini-routes. Wall to fun flake feature, then up tricky wall to finish. Some loose rock at the top.

FA: Neil Monteith, 28 Jan 2012

The cute little slab just right of free standing pillar.

FA: Jason Lammers, 12 Feb 2012

Sandy horizontals jugs to get started with cool moves above the break. Right of small pillar, and just left of Whimsical.

FA: Jason Lammers, 29 Jun 2013

Set by Jason Lammers, 29 Jun 2013

1 17 20m
2 25 25m

2 pitches. An easy first pitch, and a lovely hard pitch hidden up on the orange wall hanging above.

Start 5 metres left of the mini-totem pole pillar.

  1. 20m (17) Easy, peasy. A mix of FHs and ringbolts. You can lower off the big staple at the top of the wall, or much better, climb up to the ledge and do the second pitch. A rap anchor is 5m to the L, looking in, at the top of P2 of 'Hells Bells'.

  2. 22m (25) 'Steep' with a low crux, then nice moves to the top.

FA: Chris Coghill & Will Monks, 2012

Start: Start at blocky black corner 25m left of TD. There is a rap anchor at the top of Pitch 2, so you can do it as a single pitch and rap. This avoids the vegetated upper pitches.

  1. 10m (14) Up wall right of corner aiming for a small ledge below orange roof. Single old rusty carrot. Don't stop here - link this with pitch 2.

  2. 8m (15) Traverse left to arete plugging good gear in the crack under the roof. Belay at rap chain (stainless).

  3. 13m (-) Diagonally left to crack and old bolt belay. Mucho vegeteriano.

  4. 10m (16) Crack to bolt belay.

  5. 20m (-) Diagonally left for 8m then diagonally right to ledge and tree. Scramble off to the right.

Both Jason and Macca eyed this line off, nether realizing the other wanted the first ascent. Jason got in first, bolting and climbing it, then Macca did the same route on trad and called it a different name. Confused? Everyone is! The route is the crack on the buttress 2m left of Hells Bells and currently also has ringbolts.

FA: Macciza (on trad), 2013

FA: Jason Lammers, Paul Thomson, Neil Monteith & Matt Brooks, 26 Jan 2013


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