Grampians Mostly trad climbing7,359 routes in crag
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Some of the best climbing in a Australia in a beautiful environment, often in great solitude.
For many climbers, memories of the Grampians are like memories of paradise. The warm winter sun, breathtaking sunsets lighting up Taipan Wall and sore tips from hard days. The Grampians are beautiful and the climbing reflects this. The solitude, routes that offer variety and adventure, these are the hallmarks of the Grampians.
The Grampians offer some of the most spectacular and high quality climbing in Australia. The beautiful thing about the Grampians is that it offers so much choice, there is plenty of good easier climbing in fantastic locations, and also probably the best hard routes in the land. When you talk about climbing in the Grampians you are referring to a multitude of crags and thousands of routes. There are a core of popular crags regularly visited, then there are a host of areas that are lucky to be visited more than once a year. The most popular crags are the ones with a combination of good access and a large amount of top routes. Among the most popular areas are 'Mt Stapylton' (which incorporates a number of crags like the enormously popular 'Summerday Valley', 'The Ampitheatre' and 'Taipan Wall'), 'Mt Rosea' (loads of quality multipitch routes) and 'Bundaleer' (an intimidating summer crag). Apart from this there is a plethora of marginally less important crags, all of which offer fantastic climbing.
Sport climbing is limited in the Grampians (although what there is, is of fantastic quality), there are three or four main areas, 'The Gallery' (steep thuggery of perfect orange sandstone), 'Millenium Caves' (very steep flawless rock with committing runouts), 'Van Diemens Land' (great fun) and 'Spurt Wall' (funky fun at the end of 'Taipan Wall'). Sport climbing in the Grampians begins at grade 22, so you want to be fairly competent.
Like Arapiles the trad climbing is very good, and generally the gear is exceptionally solid, there is often the occasional bolt. The harder routes to tend to be mainly on bolts. While you are here it is essential to check out Taipan Wall, unquestionably the best piece of rock in the land.
Climbing in the Grampians is generally less accessible than Arapiles, you will need to have a partner (there is no meeting someone here, unless you are lucky) and a car to get around in. The one benefit of being less accessible is that the Grampians is more of a wilderness experience. Bouldering has recently exploded in the Grampians, and there are loads of great problems to be found, including some of the hardest in the world. Bouldering is a good option if you are here in winter. All up the Grampians is a wonderful place, deserving of a decent stay. You will love it!
The northern part of the Park, including Mt Stapylton is currently closed to all access following the January 2014 fires. Check the Access Issues for each area.
Here's an update from Parks Victoria:
Grampians National Park Update – 14 February 2014 (Rock climbing and Bouldering)
The Northern Grampians Fire severely burnt the natural environment and much of the park infrastructure in and around Hollow Mountain, Summer Day Valley and Mt Stapylton – this includes many popular rock climbing and bouldering sites; as a result there are many park closures in place. The dry, rocky landscape is now extremely fragile and will take a long time to recover – the fire burnt extremely hot so in many cases regeneration will now occur (very slowly) from seed. Loss of vegetation, loose rocks, unstable soils and loss of access tracks means any foot traffic will have long term impacts on the recovery of the environment. Impacts now will also affect the sustainability of rock climbing sites well into the future.
Please respect the fragility of the environment and support the long term recovery of the Northern Grampians by remaining out of any closed areas. While Parks Victoria regrets the need to enforce closures, substantial fines will be imposed on those found in any closed, fire affected area.
Parks Victoria recognises the importance and popularity of the Northern Grampians to the rock climbing and bouldering communities and will be working closely with industry and community representatives throughout a staged reopening process. Environmental considerations will largely determine when sites are available to be reopened, and replacement of damaged infrastructure will occur as suitable funding is available.
As part of the recovery process, Parks Victoria will be identifying alternative options for climbing and bouldering, and will closely monitor impacts on these sites as their use and popularity increases. There will also be significant work done on the future experience of visitors in the Northern Grampians.
Parks Victoria is continuing to improve its understanding of the needs of climbers and boulderers and is intent on providing an experience that is well respected, regarded, promoted and understood throughout the Australian and International Climbing and bouldering communities.
Parks Victoria will be relying heavily on the climbing industry to work together to spread the messages about the fragility of the landscape and the long term sustainability of rock climbing in the Grampians. There may be opportunities for licenced tour operators, school and community based groups to become involved in the recovery process.
Due to closures in the Northern Grampians, the availability of rock climbing, camping, car touring and bushwalking experiences is limited. Sourcing information on available campgrounds and other accommodation options is recommended. Please visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au for park maps and regular Grampians fire recovery updates.
For detailed information on available rockclimbing and bouldering sites in and near to the Grampians please refer to recognised guidebooks/websites. A general list of open and available areas includes the following:
Rockclimbing sites open in the Grampians:
- Wonderland Range
- Serra Range (Including Mt Rosea and Bundaleer)
- Mt William Range
- Victoria Point area
- Victoria Range (Including the Red Rock, Muline and the Gallery area. Please respect cultural heritage and recovering fire affected areas)
Limited Bouldering Sites available in and near the Grampians:
- Victoria Range (Including the Gallery area. Please respect cultural heritage and recovering fire affected areas)
- Serra Range (Including Mt Rosea and Bundaleer)
- Mt Arapiles
- Mt Talbot
- The Black Range
Please remember your climbing etiquette:
- Only climb and boulder in open accessible areas
- Stick to tracks
- Respect fragile environmental areas and cultural heritage
- Keep an eye out for Aboriginal Art sites – Report to Parks Victoria if you come across anything new.
- Be mindful of cleaning
- No chipping or bolting
- Avoid excessive chalk
- Take your rubbish home with you
Parks Victoria - Grampians National Park
235km west of Melbourne. Driving is best. You can catch a train to Ballarat, then bus to Halls Gap. The only problem is that once you are there there is no way to get around unless you hire a car, or know someone that has one.
Where to stay
There are campgrounds throughout the Grampians. Most do have fees, but they are generally very reasonable.
Also a range of accommodation (cabins, B&B, backpackers, motels, etc) in Halls Gap and the other villages around the National Park.
There are no open trips for this crag
Learn about trips.