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Description

The South Buttress is shorter than some of the other areas at Booroomba, but packs a lot of punch nonetheless with a number of classic climbs. It rivals the North Buttress for popularity.

Approach

*Warning - The tracks marked in the ACT guide have changed following the bushfires.

From the top campsite, follow the track left (west). The track splits on a few occasions but trend right, keeping the high point on your right and follow the track down a wide gully with obvious water washouts. Chossy boulders will be close on your right. The track will wrap back around the cliff line with 'Integral Crack' giving it away that you're on the right path.

Follow the cliff-line around from here for another 50 meters or so to reach this sector. The obvious small needle on your left is Aitchison's Needle, and makes for a good landmark

Descent notes

If you don't want to walk off, there are rap stations at the top of the following climbs:

  • Jack's Crack - 30m. Serves Jack's Crack through to 'Lazaro's Staircase', with a short down-scramble
  • Cold Cuts - 15m. Serves several short climbs in the vicinity.
  • Vomit - 30m. Serves Gutz through to 'Feats Don't Fail Me Now'.

Ethic inherited from Booroomba Rocks

The ethic at Booroomba is generally staunchly traditional. Most climbing goes either entirely on gear or gear with bolts for those walls where there is insufficient gear to protect climbs. Climbs are occasionally rebolted, but retro-bolting would be considered vandalism of the lowest order.

History

View historical timeline

This area contains Booroomba's first line, Aitchison's Needle

Tags

Some content has been provided under license from: © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA) © ANU Moutaineering Club (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike)

Routes

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Grade Route

This is the easy angled, slanting crack 15 metres left of Rise and Fall. Scramble up a tree to start, walk up to another tree then up the crack.

FA: Jack O'Halloran & Peter Aitchison, 1966

Start 10 metres below and just to the left of Jack's Crack. A pathetic rising traverse left across a slab, then up a short corner. Scramble to the top as for the second pitch of Overhang Corner.

FA: Unknown

Start 10 metres right of Overhang Corner. Climb the crack to a good ledge. Move left and up the crack for four metres, through the bushes to a large block and up to a tree to finish.

FA: Simon Parker, Mike Preece & Tony McGarn, 1974

Originally a worthless aid climb called Rurp Crack, now a 'worthless free climb'. It was freed by John Smart with a bridge move against the tree and graded 21 but on the second ascent it was found to be 24 without the tree. Start at the thin crack three metres left of Blood Lust. Extreme start and hard moves to overcome the bulge at the top.

FA: Gary Scott, 1975

FFA: John Smart, 1976

Another obscure route. Start at the thin corner eight metres right of Overhang Corner. Up the thin corner and over the blocks at the top.

FA: Simon Parker & Gary Scott, 1977

The first pitch is quite good, but the second is rubbish. Luckily you can just do P1 and rap down from the chain at the top of Cold Cuts. Start (crux) in the corner ten metres right of Aitchison's Needle.

  1. 12m - Climb the corner crack to a huge ledge.

  2. 20m - Traverse right then up to a tree. Scramble to the top.

FA: Peter Aitchison & Tony Wood, 1966

Traverses left under the prominent overhang. Originally aided (16M3). Start at the top of the first pitch of Overhang Corner. Climb up to the roof. The crackless roof section is bypassed by climbing back down the vertical crack and traversing left along a weakness to about halfway, then climbing back up to the roof. A tricky end follows, then up to a belay on a bushy ledge.

FA: Neil Anderson & Stas Swierczkowski, 1971

FFA: John Smart, 1978

From the ledge at the top of Overhang Corner, clmb up the orange crack and wall to the roof. Traverse left as for the original.

FA: Joe Lynch & Mike Peck, 1985

Start just left of Overhang Corner. Up the wall past one bolt, then more easily up the arete and a short wall to finish.

FA: Adam Blizzard & Craig Kentwell, 1987

The slightly overhung wall with two bolts, opposite Aitchison's Needle. A hard bouldery start if you're short.

FA: Mike Peck, Adam Blizzard, Tony Barten, Craig Kentwell & Phil Georgeff, 1987

Shorter and slightly less appealing than its Scottish namesake. Up the vegetated line about three metres left of Cold Cuts.

FA: Tony Barten, Craig Kentwell, Adam Blizzard & Mike Peck, 1987

Up Green Gully for a few metres, then traverse left (crux) and up.

FA: Adam Blizzard & Dominic Monypenny, 1988

Booroomba's first climb. The prominent pinnacle of rock standing a short distance out from the main face. It is climbed on its left edge as seen looking out from the main cliff.

FA: Peter Aitchison, 1966

A 'totally worthless addition'. The arete with a bolt on Aitchison's Needle, opposite the ordinary route; at last report, the bolt was falling out.

FA: Mike Law-Smith & Richard Watts, 1983

A pleasant pitch of jamming spoiled by too many ledges. The left-facing corner crack with a bush at its base, eight metres left of Aitchison's Needle. Climb up this to a large ledge and continue up to the roof. Diagonally left to join Possum and move right and up to the huge ledge. Finish up Possum or Carezzissima.

FA: David 'Nipper' Shirra & Bill Wilson., 1970

An alternate finish that is less contrived than the original. From the pillar at the start of the roof pull right up the flake and mossy wall above to the Possum ledge.

FA: Peter Mills, 1977

Exposed with an exciting finish. Climb up the third pitch of Possum, then traverse left for five metres past some dubious blocks and up the steepening ramp of blocks. The finish over the top is awkward and can be avoided by a short, bracing hand traverse left.

FA: Bob Watt & John Hoskins, 1970

Jug hauling up the 'vast expanse of rock' between Carezza and Possum. Start on the ledge a few metres above the ground. A bouldery start through the overlap, then more easily up the unprotected wall to a thin crack. Up this to the Pseudopossum ledge.

FA: John Stone, 1980

Short pitches, but packs a lot of climbing in that space.

  1. 16m The first pitch involves some harder-than-13 moves to get off the deck, then fairly easily upwards and left until you get to a belay before the traverse.

  2. 22m The traverse pitch provides some classic moves and a bit of fun for the second - make sure you place your gear well for those following! - heads right to a big grassy ledge (take your pick for belay).

  3. 12m Third pitch many take the alternate version (Carezzissima Finish) which goes more direct and at a harder grade. For the original, there's a few harder-than-13 moves to get up and over a flake and then easily up and away to finish off.

FA: John Price, Tony Wood & Peter Aitchison, 1967

An easier variant of Possum. Start from the first belay on Possum.

  1. 16m - Right along the ledge from the belay then back left up a ramp to join the second pitch of Possum at the end of the traverse; up to the big ledge.

  2. 10m - Walk up the slab and corner behind the trees.

FA: Unknown

A good find which takes you to the top of the first pitch of Possum. Start at the crack between Functor and Possum. Climb the crack and wall above.

FA: Matt Madin, Noel Ward & Phil Georgeff, 1985

A strenuous and committing route up the headwall between Possum and Functor. In a good position and the obvious continuation to Fall Guy. From the Possum ledge, traverse left under the diagonal overlap for about five metres to where it is split by a vertical crack. Up this to the top.

FA: Peter Mills & Phil Cullen, 1980

The steep orange wall with four bolts above the Possum traverse. Hard moves past the third bolt up to the fourth lead to the flake on Functor. Traverse right and finish up Sipple. Originally climbed with a rest on the top bolt.

FA: Tony Barten, Mike Peck & John Carlson, 1985

FFA: Chris Plant & mate, 1986

An impressive, but unfashionably wide line up the slightly overhanging wall above Possum, originally 18M3. The first pitch was originally climbed as a variant start to Possum by Dave Shirra and Bill Wilson in October 1970. Start at the corner eight metres left of Possum.

  1. 15m - Up the crack and the blocks to the Possum belay.

  2. 20m - Up the off-width crack and chimney to a horizontal crack. Traverse right and up the crack as for Sipple.

FA: Joe Friend, 1973

FFA: John Smart, 1978

Contrived, but the well spaced bolts produce photogenic plummets. From the first bolt on Kilowatt, move up left past another bolt and up Functor for four metres (#3 Friend). At the next bolt move around left onto the headwall and traverse four metres left to another bolt (M0). Straight up the headwall to finish up the overhanging S-shaped crack. The bolted line up the headwall is a George Fieg project.

FA: Tony Barten, 1986

The wide crack three metres left of Functor; it overhangs 20 metres up giving an exposed finish.

  1. 16m - Climb the crack, move to the right of the large flake and belay in an alcove. An unnecessary bolt replaces the original piton below the flake.

  2. 14m - Up the back of the alcove and delicately to the top of the blocks. Left then over a block and up the corner to Hortensia.

  3. 20m - The second pitch of Hortensia - up the slab and then desperately up the chimney past a flake.

FA: Peter Aitchison & Lazzaro Bonazzi, 1969

Start just left of the original. Straight up the crack to the alcove.

FA: Joe Friend, 1973

You could be at Arapiles for this overhung climb, which was quite controversial because of its blatantly chipped holds and four bolts. Start two metres left of Lazarro's Direct. Follow the bolts (and chalk if there's any there). Pull over the roof and up the wall to double bolt belay.

FA: Tony Barten & Mike Peck, 1985

The bolts just to the left of Cakes and Ale. Shares anchors with Cakes and Ale.

FA: Justin Ryan, 2006

The steep, wide crack in line with Gutz, below Hortensia.

FA: John Fantini

Involves little new climbing and it hasn't exactly been overwhelmed with repeats. Start as for Gutz, Hortensia etc.

  1. 25m - Walk along the ledge and follow the slabby groove up and right to a small ledge on the arete. Move up to a large flake and traverse right onto the arete. Up this to the roof.

  2. 20m - Traverse right to finish up Sipple.

FA: Matthew Larkin & Glenn Jones, 1986

From the large flake continue straight up the bulge with a bolt on the left.

FA: Matt Madin, 1987

A popular and varied climb with an awkward chimney at the top. Start on the ledge about 12 metres up and left from Lazarro's Staircase.

  1. 20m - Easily right along a ledge, up the steep crack to another ledge and belay at the top of the corner crack on a sloping ledge.

  2. 20m - Up the slab and then desperately up the chimney past a flake.

FA: Tony Wood & K. Sanderson, 1968

The line between Hortensia and Matrix. Start as for Hortensia. Pull onto the next ledge to climb a crack and blocks to a small stance. Continue up towards the steep crack above and where it bulges step right onto the wall. Traverse right and finish up a tight chimney.

FA: Nick Gallimore & Noel Beyon, 1971

Better than the original pike-out. Instead of traversing right, continue up the crack above.

FA: Chris Larque, A. George & John Fantini, 1974

Start as for Hortensia.

  1. 25m - Pull onto the next ledge, then up the left-hand crack to a small stance on Gutz. Continue leftwards up to the prominent curving corner; the exit is slightly awkward.

  2. 15m - Wander on up as you will.

FA: Peter Aitchison & Neil Anderson, 1968

The right side of the arete. Start as for Matrix. Climb up the flake, left along the break to the arete, then up the wall past four bolts. Move left to the "Dreamweaver jug" at the last bolt, and up the arete to DBB.

FA: Peter Weber & Mike Meyers, 1982

The left wall of the arete between Matrix and Vomit, now without a flake making it even more serious. Great climbing with some protection (spend time placing it). Start at the short corner directly beneath the arete. Up this past a bolt and follow the thin line left of the arete to mid-height. Move back right onto the arete and follow it to DBB.

FA: John Smart & Ray Lassman, 1978

The white water streak between Vomit and Dreamweaver, with excellent bouldery face climbing. Either start up Vomit and move right along the ledge to the first bolt, or boulder the hard, short wall. Follow the bolts, place some gear (including #3 camalot) then straight through the overhang above. Scramble up to DBB as for Vomit. Originally a bold and direct wall with good ankle-breaking potential, Mike added bolts in 1990 making it very popular.

FA: Mike Law-Smith & Guy de Lacey, 1982

Good hand jamming. The steep corner crack six metres left of Matrix with a bulge to finish. There is a bolt belay up and back from the top.

FA: Rick White & Ian 'Ptortoise' Paterson, 1971

Lovely moves through the roof, but watch out for the spike!! Up the thin corner just left of Vomit, through the triangular roof and up the crack above.

FA: John Smart, 1978

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