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The Northern Slabs is home to Booroomba's classic easier slab routes. Many of the routes are poorly protected by modern standards, with the potential for a long slide if you lose your grip, but most are protected against a groundfall at least.



The best way to the Northern Slabs is to take the central access track and skirt all the way under the North Buttress. From the look out walk left (looking out) along the cliff line and after about 50m there will be a steep gully trending back down and to the right towards the North Buttress.

Follow the track down the gully (it's pretty clear) and underneath Determinant Buttress then Central Slabs. At any cairned junctions take the left, low road. The track moves away from the rock after the Central Slabs, rejoining it at the right-hand edge of the Northern Slabs just left of Denethor / Counterbalance.


Descent Notes

There is a rap anchor at the top of Malmoth. This is also accessible by walking left along a ledge from the top of Sunstroke. Two 30m raps to ground.


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.


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Grade Route
14 Denethor Trad 110m 4

Climbs the slabs and grooves bordering the right-hand end of the northern slabs. Start at a short, steep black slab just left of a damp overhang where the walking track rises after skirting below 'The Terrace'.

  1. 30 metres - Up the slab (crux) to a ledge. Pull over the bulge and up the easy slabby corner moving right to a good stance.

  2. 20 metres - Rightwards over slabs and scrubby ledge, then up between blocks to belay beneath a leftwards-curving groove.

  3. 25 metres - Climb the groove, which is awkward near the top, step left and up a short V-corner. Continue up blocks and slabs to a small ledge above a tree.

  4. 30 metres - Up the crack behind the belay, which trends left to a small ledge. Pleasantly up the slab above using a thin seam, to the bushy ledge. A further 60 metres of easy slabs leads to the top of the buttress.

FA: Peter Aitchison & Tony Wood (alt.), 1969

14 * Lepton Trad 92m 5

Some good, easy and exposed climbing. A variation on 'Denethor' which follows a rightwards traverse. Start from the second belay.

  1. 24 metres - Climb the groove and wall above to a stance in the corner on the right.

  2. 10 metres - Climb the lichenous wall on the right, and then traverse right to an airy stance.

  3. 18 metres - Continue right along the ledge past a flake to a vertical band of rock of fine texture.

  4. 20 metres - Delightful, easy climbing up the band of rock. Continue up to a ledge with a corner belay.

  5. 20 metres - Climb up the corner and trend right to easy slabs.

FA: Peter Sands & J. Land, 1973

17 In Cold Blood Trad 35m

Start at the corner about three metres right of the second pitch of 'Denethor'. Up the corner, move right and climb another corner. Up then slightly left, and up a shallow groove. At the lichen move right to finish up 'Denethor'.

FA: Matthew Larkin & Glenn Jones, 1985

17 Fear of Frogs Trad 45m

Just another contrived slab. Arrange protection as for 'Peregrine'. Start about three metres right of the first belay on 'Counterbalance'. Straight up to the white streak which is followed to a curving ledge. Continue up right of a bush beneath the overlap then move left to finish up 'Peregrine'.

FA: Matthew Larkin, Patricia Blumstein & Glenn Jones, 1985

18 Peregrine Trad 70m 2

Start at the first belay on 'Counterbalance'.

  1. 45 metres - up as for 'Counterbalance', keeping to the right till a crack at about 10 metres. Up to a ledge and sling a small spike. Move up to a corner and up to the right end of a ledge. Up to and over a large overlap and climb a short corner to a ledge and tree belay.

  2. 25 metres - Up the slab to a corner (about three metres right of the big flake on the top pitch of 'Balance'). Continue to the top.

FA: Matthew Larkin & Glenn Jones, 1985

14 ** Counterbalance Trad 110m 4

A good introduction to the slabs, made 'a little serious' by the scarce (but solid) protection on the second pitch. Start as for 'Denethor'.

  1. 30 metres - Climb the short, hard slab, bulge and slabby corner above (as for 'Denethor) but instead of veering right, head straight up above a small overlap. Belay at the flake or on the ledge (the old tree belay has succumbed).

  2. 45 metres - Up the juggy brown slab trending left to where the holds vanish, make a delicate move left to a break then up and slightly left to a scooped recess. Move left, pulling onto curving breaks trending left, then up to broken ledges. The broken ledges trend right (towards Balance) and there is a wide white smear to the left. The next section is run out; head up and left, crossing the white smear; the holds start to vanish but then reappear as you make your way up and left to the double bolt belay as for Steele Breeze.

  3. 15 metres - Traverse right to follow slabby grooves slightly leftwards to the long overlap. Pull right onto a ledge to belay.

  4. 20 metres - Over blocks at the right-hand end of the ledge then up the easy slabs to a large bushy ledge.

FA: Tony Wood & J. Langford, 1969

17 * Solantic Mixed 120m 4, 2

A rising traverse of 'The Northern Slabs' from right to left, with some pleasant slab climbing on the second and third pitches. The second pitch is scarier to follow than to lead.

  1. 10 metres - Start as for 'Denethor'. Up the short black slab to a ledge belay.

  2. 40 metres - Delicately left along the vanishing ledge past a bolt to the corner (gear). Continue left along a smooth horizontal band (another bolt), and slightly up to DBB on the 'Equilibrium' ledge.

  3. 40 metres - Left along the vanishing ledge as for 'Equilibrium', continue delicately left and up (crux) to a V-shaped ledge then left and up to belay right of an overlap.

  4. 25 metres - Left under the overlap and up to a small ledge, then up and left to a mossy groove. Climb the groove and cross the overlap to join 'Sunstroke'.

FA: Peter Riddy & Peter Cocker, 1974

18 * Balance Mixed 130m 4, 1

A harder companion route to 'Counterbalance'. Start three metres left of 'Denethor'.

  1. 10 metres - Hard moves up the short black slab (crux) to belay at the left hand edge of the ledge.

  2. 30 metres - Diagonally left then up for seven metres, passing a bolt, step back right then straight up to the bulge and a flake. Traverse right to easier ground then back left up a ramp to double bolt belay in a recess above the bulge.

  3. 45 metres - Diagonally rightwards up the juggy brown slab to join 'Counterbalance'; a delicate step left to a break and up slightly left to a scooped recess. Good climbing directly above (don't veer right!) passes a curving thin ledge. Ease left up to double bolt belay as for 'Steele Breeze' and Counterbalance.

  4. 40 metres - Straight up, going left around the bushes, back right and over slabby ledges to a short corner. Up this to the prominent large flake, undercling rightwards then up the edge. Trend right up the easy slab to finish.

FA: Bill Wilson & R. Warder, 1974



Straight up the slab six metres left of the original (at marked start), to the second belay. The first ascent saw a 12 metre slide. In fact most of this portion of slab has been climbed as variant starts. Unprotected.

FA: Mary Kensington & Peter Morris, 1977

20 * Metal Fatigue Mixed 90m 2, 3

A fine direct slab. Start about 12 metres left of 'Balance' beneath two thin flakes.

  1. 45 metres - Up past the flakes, then trend slightly right past 3 bolts to the base of a prominent corner (runners). Exit left from the top of this, then over a bulge to a scoop and double bolt belay as for Balance (originally a poor peg).

  2. 45 metres - Straight up the brown slab behind the belay past 2 bolts, then more easily up the slab just right of the white water streak, passing another bolt. Double bolt belay on broken ledge shared with Counterbalance and Stele Breeze. John and Ray fatigued in 2015 allowing the additional metal, making the route now protected against ledge falls.

  3. 20 metres - Directly up the fine brown slab, and finish as for 'Balance' or 'Equilibrium'.

FA: John Smart & Ray Lassman (alt.), 1978


The best climb on 'The Northern Slabs'. Climb the first pitch of 'Metal Fatigue' and then traverse left to the second pitch of 'Stele Breeze'.

FA: Unknown

20 * Stele Breeze Mixed 100m 3, 4

The catch-cry "if it's got a runner it's not bold" still applies to the charming and absorbing second pitch. Start as for 'Metal Fatigue'. With Roark's agreement bolts on P1 now protect against a ground fall.

  1. 45m (20) - Up past the two flakes, then up on scoops to the third bolt. Before you reach the corner traverse left past one more bolt (as for 'Solantic') to DBB as for 'Equilibrium'.

  2. 40m (20) - Diagonally right for 10m to a small area of broken rock and a bolt runner (placed on lead by Rick McGregor on the second ascent). Straight up left of the white water streak (RPs at half height) to double bolt belay on a broken ledge shared with 'Metal Fatigue' and 'Counterbalance'.

  3. 20m - as for 'Metal Fatigue'.

FA: Roark Muhlen, 1977

19 Total Control Trad 45m


Up the unprotected slab between 'Stele Breeze' and 'Rock Lobster', joining 'Solantic', originally soloed to 'allay boredom'!

FA: Mike Law-Smith & John Smart (solo), 1982

22 Rock Lobster Trad 90m 2

The first five metres is the crux. Start under the black slab six metres left of 'Stele Breeze'.

  1. 45 metres - Straight up to join 'Solantic'. Belay on the 'Equilibrium' ledge. Leave your rack with your second.

  2. 45 metres (unprotected?) - Move right for three metres, then straight up the slab just right of the dark brown water stain. The climbing eases off after 30 metres.

FA: Roark Muhlen & Paul Daniel, 1980

22 Rounge Lizard Trad 35m


Just another unprotected slab route to fill in the space. Start a few metres left of 'Rock Lobster'. It was inspected on top-rope before the first ascent.

FA: John Smart (solo), 1982

22 Tip Stripper Mixed 35m, 1

Another gap filler, but with a bolt for a bit of variety. Up the slab with hard moves past the bolt, over the bulge.

FA: Mike Law-Smith, 1982

22 Basilisk Trad 35m


An unprotected version of 'Tip Stripper', which starts about five metres to its left. Takes a parallel line with the hard moves at the bulge.

FA: Richard Watts (solo), 1984



A hard and better variation, with delicate friction climbing and no protection. Start five metres right and up from the original, on the top of a large flake. Up and slightly right (there was once a poor branch runner here, but the tree has succumbed), then follow the break beneath the bulge left to a brown water mark. Up this to the ledge.

FA: Roark Muhlen et al., 1976

17 *** Equilibrium Mixed 150m 4, 2

Quality climbing and relatively good protection make this one of the more popular routes in the area. The start is marked with a faint "E" and is located approximately 50m left of Denethor. This is around 10m right of Sunstroke.

  1. 50m (15*) A rope stretcher. Climb the left slainting groove for approximately 20m. Traverse right to sloping ledge and long break (cams). Head up the slab above to DBB rap station.
  2. 35m (17**) The money pitch. Traverse left and up to first bolt. Directly up to vertical break and 2nd bolt. Keep padding away to tree belay.
  3. 45m (17) A long traverse right broken up by a crack through the overlap. Keep going right until the corner is reached. This is the 3rd belay on Counterbalance. Scramble off left or;
  4. 25m (10) Over blocks and up low angled slabs to shrubery (as for Counterbalance).

Rebolted 2011.

FA: Peter Aitchison & Peter Cocker, 1969

17 Entropy Trad 28m


An unprotected variant of the second pitch of 'Equilibrium', first climbed by mistake and 'protected' with a taped-on sling. Climb the slab directly above the belay, trending slightly left as you go.

FA: Chris Larque, Damien Jones & Peter Mills, 1974

19 ** Just in Passing Trad 85m 2

Named because of the slide past the bolt on the first attempt. The first pitch is contrived, but the second is a fine direct slab climb. Start beneath a black slab midway between 'Equilibrium' and 'Sunstroke'.

  1. 50 metres - Up the slab to a recess, over a bulge then up the slab and groove above. Step right from just below the top of the groove and move up three metres to a short diagonal crack and runners. Continue diagonally right to climb a vertical break then step left at the top for a semi-hanging belay on nuts (next to the crux of the third pitch of 'Solantic'.)

  2. 35 metres - Straight up the cleaned slab above, passing one bolt. Easy slabs lead to tree belays at the overlap. Finish as for 'Equilibrium'.

FA: Paul Daniel, Mike Law-Smith, John Smart & Geoff Robertson, 1982

9 ** Sunstroke Trad 120m 4

An easy, popular classic. Climbed on a searing summer's day, it was the first climb done on 'The Northern Slabs', taking the line of least resistance. Start at a slanting crack eight metres left of 'Equilibrium'.

  1. 40 metres - Rightwards up the crack to start, then follow the groove leftwards to a sloping ledge. Belay at some wedged blocks.

  2. 20 metres - Doddle leftwards up the groove to a tree belay in the corner.

  3. 25 metres - Through the tree, up the wall on the right, left and up the steepening groove. Continue to a tree and ledge on the right.

  4. 35 metres - Up the twin grooves to a large terrace covered with loose rock.

This is often run together into two pitches (1/2, 3/4) rather than four.

FA: Peter Aitchison & Ian Raine, 1968

9 Sunstroke Variant Trad 45m 2

2b. 20 metres - From the first belay, climb the groove for six metres and traverse right to a parallel crack; climb this and the large blocks to a good stance. 3b. 25 metres - Move left across the slab, back to the main groove and third belay.

FA: Unknown

17 Sunday Stroll Trad 50m

Just what Booroomba needs - another route on 'The Northern Slabs'. Takes a fairly direct line between 'Sunstroke' and 'Bird of Prey'.

FA: Harry "Bumperbar" Luxford & Kevin Westren, 1984

17 ** Bird of Prey Trad 60m 2

One of the better slabs of the grade. Start just to the left of a flake resting against the slab 15 metres left of 'Sunstroke'.

  1. 25 metres - a technical start. Delicately up for seven metres, step right to a small ledge, then straight up to belay on 'Sunstroke'.

  2. 35 metres - danger - superb but unprotected. Move right over broken rock, back left up a short ramp then straight up the slab to the overlap. Belay stance on the right. Finish up 'Equilibrium', 'Solantic', or 'Tachyon'.

FA: Paul Daniel, John Carlson & Mike Peck, 1979

18 Sleepwalker Mixed 110m 4, 2

Quite good, similar to Solantic. Start at the bottom of the small corner four metres up and left of Bird of Prey.

  1. 25 Metres - Up the corner, step left past a bolt onto the slab, then trend righwards past a second bolt to the first Sunstroke belay.

  2. 35 metres - A rising traverse right along the weakness for 15 metres, then across and slightly down to DBB on the Equilibrium ledge.

  3. 30 metres - Crux. Right and up to the bolt (as for the second pitch of Stele Breeze), then traverse delicately across the white water streak. Move down and right to DBB (as for Balance and Metal Fatigue).

  4. 20 metres - Traverse right straight across the slab to a finish on the Denethor ledge.

FA: Neil, Phil Montgomery (var.) & Donna Mrockowski, 1979

15 * Ephemeros Mixed 75m 4, 3

A pleasant doddle. Start the slab five metres right of Tachyon.

  1. 25 metres - Straight up the slab past three bolts to belay at a ledge next to a corner (second belay on Sunstroke)

  2. 25 metres - Continue up the slab on the right of the tree to a small ledge

  3. 15 metres - Up on the slab and a rib of rock to a good ledge

  4. 10 metres - Climb the wall above the ledge to a bush, then continue to another ledge. Alternatively, and more easily, move a few metres right and climb the short wall above. Traverse right and finish up a crack.

FA: Peter Sands & Tony Wood (var.), 1971

14 Tachyon Trad 80m 3

Wanders all over the place. Take a map and compass. Start at the overlap with a crack on the left edge of the main expanse of slabs.

  1. 25 metres - Layback the pleasant crack to the sloping ledge (second belay on Sunstroke)

  2. 20 metres - Climb up to the right of the then traverse right and slightly up to a bush. Belay on the ledge above.

  3. 35 metres - Step down and traverse right below a dirty corner. Up this a little and left onto the slab. Climb the right edge of the slab and surmount the overlap to finish up a slab to a good ledge. Finish up the last pitch of Ephemeros.

FA: Peter Sands & Tony Wood (var), 1971

16 Eagle Eye Direct Trad 65m 3

Pleasant, clean slab climbing on the upper pitches. Start three metres left of Tachyon below a prominent flake.

  1. 15 metres - Crux. Up the steep, unprotected slab for six metres, then leftwards up to the vegetated ramp. Belay behind a large flake.

  2. 15 metres - Climb the wall and slab above to a ledge on Sunstroke.

  3. 35 metres - Climb the rbi then slab on the left of the Sunstroke grooves.

FA: Ian Taylor & Tony Wood (#1), 1970

9 Eagle Eye Trad 230m

An utterly worthless girdle of this area. Start 12 metres left of Tachyon and wander easily rightwards, up and down for 225 metres or so. See the 1976 guide (if you can!) if you want to do this.

FA: J. Langford & Tony Wood (alt.), 1970

8 ** Drunken Delight Trad 80m

Worth the walk if you're not too hung-over, with amazing scoopy rock on the latter pitches. Start as for 'Eagle Eye'.

  1. 20 metres - Climb the left slanting crack and ramp to the left.

  2. 30 metres - Climb the white slabby wall above to a small sloping ledge.

  3. 30 metres - Finish up the slab.

FA: Tony Wood, K. Warner (var.) & A. George, 1970

11 Prohibition Trad 72m

An easy slab with a surprisingly exposed second pitch. Start as for 'Drunken Delight'.

  1. 12 metres - Climb the slanting crack to the foot of the ramp.

  2. 20 metres - Diagonally right on the slab above the ramp for five metres, to a recess, then straight up to a ledge with a large block.

  3. 40 metres - Diagonally right on a weakness and up the right edge of the slab.

FA: Tony Wood & Ian Taylor, 1970

21 Picnic Trad 20m

"For those who like the taste of something smooth, with a few crunchy bits for spice" - Paul Daniel. Start 10 metres left and downhill from 'Drunken Delight', where a large flake has been prised from the slab. Up for five metres, step left and up to the bolt. Tricky moves to get standing on the horizontal band, then delicately straight up to the big ledge on 'Drunken Delight'.

FA: Paul Daniel & Mike Peck, 1985

22 Bounty Trad 25m

A serious lead. Start 15 metres left of 'Picnic' at a thin crack in front of a big tree. Climb up to beneath a bulge (#2 RP). Step left and face-climb leftwards up the bulge. Move onto the slab and traverse back right to a scoop and a #4 RP. Easy climbing leads to the top.

FA: Mike Law-Smith, Paul Daniel & Noel Ward, 1986

9 Aquanaut Trad 60m

Start 30 metres left of 'Drunken Delight' at a small, rightwards, vegetated ramp.

  1. 30 metres - Up the ramp, then up a slab from a flake. Belay at the left end of a ramp.

  2. 30 metres - Left, then up the slabby wall and right to a small sloping ledge. Finish up the third pitch of 'Drunken Delight'.

FA: Ian Taylor & Tony Wood, 1970

8 Melmoth Trad 80m

Yet another easy slab. Start six metres left of 'Aquanaut' at a wide, shallow groove with incipient cracks.

  1. 30 metres - Up the groove to a vegetated ledge.

  2. 20 metres - Leftwards to the top left of a large scoop.

  3. 30 metres - Straight up to a ledge.

FA: J. Hoskins, 1971

8 Euripus Trad 75m

Parallel to 'Melmoth', starting four metres to the left.

  1. 30 metres - Follow the crack line to a small tree.

  2. 10 metres - Easily left to a large block.

  3. 25 metres - Directly up the dark water stain.

  4. 10 metres - Climb the short wall on hollow rock.

FA: John Armstrong, 1971

11 Staircase Trad 45m

Start 30 metres up the hillside from 'Euripus'.

  1. 12 metres - Climb the slab trending left to finish atop the overlap.

  2. 33 metres - Climb the overhang (crux) on good holds, then straight up a slab.

FA: J. Hoskins, 1971


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