Did you know?

Did you know that you can create an account to record, track and share your climbing ascents? Thousands of climbers are already doing this.

Description

An intoduction by Cameron Fairbairn

For years, the minions of the Maharaji guarded Ivory Rock from the prying interests of passing climbers. This huge unclimbed horseshoe buttress is visible from the road as you travel to Frog. For us it was always the beacon for Mt Flinders. Passed jokingly around the campfire, generations of 'Queensland' climbers have heard stories of secret cults guarding this cool formation. I remember years previously stopping at the "conference" centre to be turned away by security and being told to go to Mt Flinders further up the road if I wanted to climb something; in retrospect I should have listened to them then! In the last year we've been chased down and photographed, abruptly refused entry, and outright ignored by thousands of the Premies cultists when we questioned them about their gatherings. Visit ex-premie.org for the full story of this shady organisation. Anyway, just don't try to talk to them, they get very upset.

Mt Flinders' actual climbing history began very late, it wasn't until 2000 that '80s guru Kim Carrigan started developing a buttress on the summit ridge. Kim established six steep, sport climbs graded from 21 to 26 and a potential grade 29 project. Now, when we say steep we mean 'Queensland' steep; the wall is about forty metres high, ten degrees overhung and is north-east facing, so gets mid-arvo shade. After these routes were revealed in the pages of Rock, more climbers started checking Flinders out and in early 2001 Ross Ferguson started developing another wall on the opposite side of the ridge. Ross established six or so mixed routes of moderate grades, but on one occasion returned to find access to the mountain closed. The access gate locked and signs of indefinite closure due to remote area access surveys. What? So Ross did the final trek in for his gear and decided, disheartened, not to return. The reason for the closure, we believe, was due to an erosion hole forming in the main walking track about two-feet round. The new trail now bypasses this hole which, amazingly, is an erosion point into the back end of our recent major discovery, 'The Secret Cave'.

During Mt Flinders' closure, climbing was mostly forgotten. Then early this year Glen Foley called me to say he'd done a recon up to Kim's wall and had spied some new lines and would I be interested. He also told me about a rumoured cave some friends of his had stumbled upon five years earlier. We went there for Kim's wall, but when we found the cave all else was forgotten. 'The Secret Cave' is sixty metres high, but from twenty to fifty metres overhanging with the main wall being about twenty metres height at 60°- 80°. We had found the steepest terrain in QLD, or I should say rediscovered. We found a line of old 8mm hardware down the right wall of the cave that belonged to Frey Yule. We think he checked out the cave about five years previously but then moved interstate. The cave is SSW facing, so no sun all year round and only a 40min drive from 'Brisbane'. Unfortunately, there is also the 2.5km, 40min uphill walk in as well. The rock is solid volcanic trachyte with formations uncommon in Queensland; it's a mixture of fused blocks, huecos, crystallised slopers and hard crimps - the holds can be quite sharp. Some of the easier routes like 'The Nightmare of Milky Joe' (23) and 'Never Ask the Moon' (22) are super-fun cut-loose jug fests.

Early in the piece, Glen established 'Wet Jigsaw Puzzle' (25) a short pump fest that climbs out of the steepest part of the wall. To add to this he climbed 'King of the Mods' (29), adding to only a handful of 29s in 'Queensland'. Then the numbers rolled, I freed my project after my food was spiked 'Like a Man on Pepperoni' (28), possibly the steepest climb in 'Queensland'. That was until Glen equipped his, an 80° blank arête project, 'A Space Odyssey' 25m ? (all we know is its significantly harder than King of the Mods). At the time of writing this article, all the moves go; Glen is just contemplating the need to clip in on the crux low on the climb.

'The Secret Cave' consists of two developed areas: the steep main wall and a right hand wall which, although not as steep as the main wall, offers some challenging climbing. 'Terminus of Desire' (25) climbs from under the large undeveloped overhang. This route will be used to access the steeper upper wall which has the potential for a couple of super hard routes. With all this new development Ross returned to develop what he hoped would be a nice easy sub-20 warm up. He ended up establishing 'Finger Tips and Mountain Tops' (23), an intricate crimp-fest climbing above the lip of this right-hand buttress. Ross then established 'Song and Dance Man' (27) a steep juggy start into a hard crimper sequence. Glen the power monkey campused his way to glory on Backstroke of the West (26) while another buddy of ours Antoine Moussette battled scorpion-eating spiders on 'The French Connection' (27).

There is still so much more to do. Hard unclimbed projects, the undeveloped upper wall and the central cave section as well as some creative batman starts. 'The Secret Cave' has proved to be a valuable asset to 'Queensland' climbing, not only in the unique steep terrain, but also in the addition of ever increasing harder sport climbs in 'Queensland'.

Getaway Stats

When to go: All day, any day. Providing you can handle the heat on the walk-in.

Routes: Bolted steep sport. 12 routes, 7 projects and grades from 23 - 29

© (nmonteith)

Access issues inherited from Flinders Peak (limited access)

Please respect the local roads and residents, keep gates closed at all times and do not leave any gear or rubbish in the cave. Tread lightly and stick to the trail on the way to and from the crag.

©

Approach

Drive: From Brisbane head out on the Centenary Highway, turn south at Ripley Rd. After about 10km this turns into Undulla Rd. After a further 7km turn right onto Mount Elliott Rd. On Mount Elliot Rd you eventually come to 2 sets of gates. Go through the gate and close them behind you. At the second set of gates, the right one is clearly someone's house, take the left gate. Drive to the end (bumpy dirt road) and park somewhere without blocking the final locked gate or the road.

Walk in: Follow the fire trail for 5 mins, to an intersection with a yellow SFT marker. Turn left (uphill). Soon you arrive at another yellow SFT marker. Go left again onto the faint trail. Follow through the trees to a clearing and Head left immediately. You should be able to follow this now well developed trail all the way to the crag without much trouble. At the small gear cave, scramble up the rock just left where the log leans against the wall.

© (nmonteith)

Tags

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Grade Route
1

Lets be honest, you didn't come here to climb 17's. Eaiser to climb as two pitches. Tred carefully at beginning of second pitch has some fragile rock.

  1. 10m (12)

  2. 15m (17)

FA: Ross Ferguson, 2007

2
22 * Dark Side Of The Moon Sport 20m, 9

Same start as NATM, left hand line leading to NATM anchors. Great holds the whole way up.

Note: Bolting could do with rearranging to prevent a possible ledge fall.

FFA: cal

FA: cal

Set by cal, 2016

3
22 * Never Ask the Moon Sport 25m, 8

This line became the classic introduction to Flinder's rock. The climbing is fun and there's jugs whenever you need them…clean the 4th draw after you climb past it.

Set by Tristan Baskerville, 2007

FA: Antoine Moussette, 2007

4

Slightly more demanding and steeper than its little brother. Climbs the first three bolts of "King of the Mods" then straight up! The upper grove is a delight. Will need a long runner on third bolt.

FA: Glen Foley & Cameron Fairbairn, 2007

5

It's a pity this line is a pitch off the ground. Solid rock and fun exposed climbing in an overhanging corner. Best accessed from "The Nightmare of Milky Joe" but "Never Ask the Moon" will get you there also.

FA: Cameron Fairbairn, 2007

6
27 ** King of the Mods Sport 15m

Ok the walls getting steeper and this was the first test piece established on the crag. Have a good rest at 3rd and head straight into the first crux, solved with some fancy beta. Take care clipping the 5th, shake out and then punch through the final roof to the anchor.

FA: Glen Foley, 2007

7
25 ** Wet Jigsaw Puzzle Sport 15m

This second climb established at the cliff is a demanding steep route, start from the little cave. Avoid doing a double heel hook no hands rest at 3rd and you'll walk away without ruptured abbs like visiting Brit Ben Heason! (5th bolt issue with rock cutting the dog bone has been fixed, and a fresh draw is on.)

FA: Glen Foley, Aden & Nathaniel, 2007

8

A relentless line, that will pump you all the way to the chains.

Set by Glen Foley

FA: Geoff Hall

9
31 to 33 * (Project - Adam Donoghue) Sport 18m, 5

Please do not climb this route after the 5th draw, their is a major loose block. Thank you.

Mega hard line up some seriously steep and blank looking territory.

First section (5 bolts) was bolted by Adam Donoghue back in the day. The next section (5 bolts) have since been placed with the possibility of it extending even further. This thing will be hard!

Set by Adam Donogue & Sam Bowman

10
30 ** Channing potatum open proj SportProject 20m

Climb adams proj until the 6th and then throw back right into the end of pepperoni. Great power climbing.

11
27 ** Like a Man on Pepperoni Sport 20m, 2, 9

Awesomely popular kneebar fest, starting to become a bit of a crag classic! Usually always draws on it, but take a long draw for the 6th bolt if not. Then commit to the second half and enjoy the air below you. 2nd pitch is not completely established.

  1. 20m (27) - 9 bolts

  2. 17m (-) 'Open Project' above the anchor. All the way to the lip of the cave.

FA: Cameron Fairbairn, 2007

12
28 *** Dr Pepper Sport 25m

Start up 'LAMOP' to 5th bolt then go right 6 more bolts to Space Odyssey's anchor. A long pumpy route.

FFA: Duncan Steel, 2015

FA: Duncan Steel, 2015

13
30 *** A Space Odyssey Sport 25m, 11

Begin off the big cheese Boulder right of LAMOP

Set by Glen Foley, 2006

FFA: Sam Bowman, 2015

14
28 *** Event Horizon Sport 14m, 7

Start as for the first 3 bolts of 'Entergalactic Ceiling' then branches left and up sustained head wall. Finishes at the anchor of Entergalactic Ceiling.

Set by Dan Gordon, 2016

FFA: Sam Bowman, 2016

15
27 *** Entergalactic Ceiling Sport 15m, 7

Start from the small boulder. Powerful over horizontal moves through the ceiling then up the hard steep wall above.

Set by Cameron F

FA: anon, 2015

16
27 *** Galactic Arachnid Sport 25m, 13

The extension to Entergalactic Ceiling. Continues from the chains across the cave to finish on the anchors of Saxicoline. Long and pumpy. Definitely harder than "Entergalactic Ceiling" but probably not by a full grade. Adds a whole lot more fun climbing to an already awesome route.

Set by Johnny Schwartz & Sam Bowman, 2015

FFA: Lucy Stirling, 2016

17
27 *** One Man Space Race Sport 25m, 14

Climb Entergalactic Ceiling then bust under past the fridge block of doom and head up the runnel. The link from the first bolt to the second of the extension is bold. A fun super pump lactic fest.

To reduce drag perform some trickery at the start of EC; clipping the next, then unclipping the last for bolts 2,3 and 4. Then when safe, the belayer or a friend can unclip the first bolt from the ground. A long sling with a revolver biner on the last bolt of EC helps with drag also. Avoid the temptation of clipping EC's anchor.

Set by Alexander Turnbull & anon, 2016

FFA: Lucy Stirling, 2016

18
33 ** Space Bandidos Sport

Climb astrobatics, the keep girdling to the right across pauls project until you end up the end of desperado. Long and pumpy, desperately needs a cool name.

FA: anon, 2016

19
32 Astrobatics Sport 25m, 14

Mega extension of 'Event Horizon'. After the last draw of 'Event Horizon' head right across cheese blocks and then continue right and then up the compact head wall.

Set by Sam Bowman & Johnny Schwartz, 2016

FFA: Sam bowman, 2016

20

Starts 2m to the right of "Entergalactic Ceiling". Give your eyes time to adjust. Interesting climbing into the back of the cave.

FA: Ross Ferguson, 2007

21
25 * Short Sighted Sport 8m, 4

Short roof problem 4 meters R of VA. Finishes as for VA's anchor. Fun.

FFA: Ross Ferguson, 2008

FA: Ross Ferguson, 2008

22
27 * Cosmic Caveman Sport 18m, 10

Starts up the back of the cave, 5m right of 'Short Sighted'. Take care to 4th, then super steep inverted madness for 2 bolts. Bust along the hanging wall traverse to a rest, then escape the rooflet and power up the headwall to the anchor.

Set by Tom Reid, 2016

FA: Tom Reid, 2016

FFA: Tom Reid, 2016

23

Really fun punchy little climb. Starts on the left side of the big hanging down boob/udder at the back right side of the cave. Stick Clip the first bolt as a tumble down the slope will make the walk out very unpleasant.

24
26 ** The Vallecula Groove Sport 8m, 5

In the steep grotto on the right side of the cave. Start way at the back, grunt thru the roof, and traverse the left wall to shared anchors with TVM. Belay bolt on wall adjacent slab.

FFA: Kenny Walker

Set by Kenny Walker

25
27 The Schlong Sport 14m, 10

Of average length but quite stiff. Extends TVG over the lip and up the headwall for a bunch more climbing. Use 600mm draws and drag is no problem.

Set by Kenny Walker

FFA: Kenny Walker, 2016

26
28 ** The Valsalva Manoeuvre Sport 8m, 6

In the grotto. Scramble up to ledge belay (fixed rope). Short but very steep R trending line out ceiling. One for the boulderers! Bust out a Valsalva manoeuvre to reach to chains before the lip. The extension is an open project.

Set by Kenny Walker

FFA: Kenny Walker, 2016

27
*** Open Project SportProject 14m, 10

Climb TVM and keep going up the extension. Open project for whoever is up for it. Grade 28 or 29?

Set by Kenny Walker

28
24 ** Saxicoline Sport 20m, 10

Super steep and super classic climbing up and through the almost improbable (for grade 24) looking line that finishes at the top of the cave chamber. It overhangs a solid 12 meters but the good holds just keep on coming!

Set by ross ferguson

FFA: ross ferguson, 2015

FA: ross ferguson, 2015

29
*** To Infinty and Beyond SportProject 30m, 7

Start "Saxicoline" but break right to get just above the lip following a series pockets to a big hueco. Keep pushing and turn around the lip. Closed, bolting to be completed.

Set by Andrew Lightfoot & radest, 2015

30
30 *** Desperado Sport 32m

<<< BEWARE >>>> 5th or 6th hanger is missing. Needs a new nut. Start up Saxicoline then sneak under and around the lip out onto the main face. Traverse out left along seam,then head up the righthand set of bolts through some big powerful moves on the head wall. If you're on heavily grinded holds, you're on route.

Set by Nate Foster & Sebastian l

FFA: Sebastian, 2016

31

Climb desperado and keep trucking left into the hard end crux of astrobatics.

32
29 old greg variante SportProject 98

Keep traversing left above the lip on before you get to the teats Then go up compact headwall.

Set by paul

33
32 to 34 The Salty Fries Project (Open) SportProject 25m, 14

Starts the same as Desparado but continues straight up the head wall when Desparado breaks left. Some very hard movies on good rock.

Set by Sam Bowman, Johnny Schwartz, Blake Stringer & Dan Gordon, 2016

34
25 ** Terminus of Desire Sport 15m, 7

Starts at the small slab. Unique holds and fun climbing see you to and through the corner. The original ending saw you clipping the chains from devious crimpers!

FA: Cameron Fairbairn, 2007

35
25 ** French Desire Sport 15m, 9

Up 'The French Connection' but head left after the shield crux to the 'Terminus of Desire' anchors for an easier finish. Great climbing and could be a good warm up option. Depending on who you ask, this was once the original finish for 'The French Connection'.

36
26 *** The French Connection Sport 20m, 9

Tricky move to get established on the shield. After a good shake at the knee bar, get under the blank bombe and punch to the anchor up high. Start from the big belay ledge down hill from Saxicoline. Up for 4 bolts to the shield, hard Boulder problem, then pump your way to the chains.

Set by Antoine Moussette, 2008

FA: Antoine Moussette, 2008

37
Radest SportProject 22m

Do The French Connection and get into the steep shallow corner to the left of FCUK.

Set by radest, 2015

38
28 * FCUK SportProject 31m, 14

Climb "The French Connection" and punch through the upper overhang to the left and top out (maybe/probably)! Grade 27/28 ? Open Project, get on it.

39
28 FCUK Too SportProject 31m

Climb FCUK but instead of topping out continue left to Desparado's Anchor. Possibly slightly easier than FCUK. Open Project, get on it.

40

Stick clip first. Climbs the first 3 bolts of 'The French Connection' then splits right. If you're like Glen you can just campus the crux!

FA: Glen Foley, 2007

41
24 * Hilltop Hoods Sport 8m

Finishes at "Talking with the Tax Man" anchors.

Set by ross ferguson, 2015

FFA: ross ferguson, 2015

FA: ross ferguson, 2015

42

Tricky crux.

Set by ross ferguson, 2016

FFA: ross ferguson, 2016

43

Stick clip first bolt. Short and sweet, traverse right passed the first bolt and then head straight up two the double bolt anchor.

FA: Gareth Llewellin, 2007

44
27 ** Song and Dance Man Sport 15m

Ross pulled himself out of a slump and sent this in 26 shots, about 4 every weekend for many weekends! Stick clip first bolt. This beautiful right sweeping, ever hardening line is worth singing and dancing about!

FA: Ross Ferguson, 2007

45

Up 'One Eyed Undertaker' and out of it's crux into the small corner on the left. Shown as route 19 on the old ACAQ route database topo: http://www.climb.org.au/upload2/1038.jpg.

46
29 *** One Eyed Undertaker Sport 16m, 7

Climbs direct through the steepness into the crux of 'Song and Dance Man'.

FFA: ross ferguson

FA: Equipped Gareth Llewelin, 2000

47
27 ** Siesta Sport 25m, 13

Bouldery sequences leading into technical crimps, climbing through to Fingertips and Mountain tops anchors. Clipping first bolt of OEUT with 600 sling, third bolt 600 sling and 7th bolt is a touch right using a 600 sling.

Set by Glenn Ferguson, 2016

FFA: Cal, 2016

48

A break from the steep stuff. An intricate crimp fest. Technical climbing around and above the lip of the cave.

FA: Ross Fergason, 2007

49
* Mega Offwith Sport 16m, 4

From the ACAQ route register this appears to be a partial project that finished half way up Desparado, on the topo it starts 20m off the ground... climb 13 on http://www.climb.org.au/upload2/1038.jpg

Activity

Check out what is happening in The Secret Cave.