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Description

One of the most popular sport crags in the 'Grampians' - and one of the easiest to get to. Recent bolting (and retrobolting) has created a popular and busy little sector which contrasts nicely with the original old school trad routes. There is a wide variety of styles and grades so that most climbers would be pretty happy spending a day in this delightful shaded glen. The rock is extremely featured with large pockets and seams but can vary in quality with the lower section of the main wall suffering from sandy rock. Some expansion bolts have become loose over time - so take care, and if adding new routes please use glue-ins.

Historically this area has been one of the most developed crags at 'Hollow Mountain'. In 1983 the Lindorff brothers established the two infuriatingly thin face routes of 'Airplay' (21) and 'Levitation' (22) as well as the undeservedly ignored 'No Fixed Address' (21). A few years later Louise Shepherd established one of the first of the hard routes in the area with her bold ascent of 'Amnesty International' (24). Her partner on this route, Steve Monks, added his own wicked creation, the drought affected 'Chinese Water Torture' (22). In the early 90s Martin Lama and Graeme Smith added two variations to a theme on the 'Airplay' wall. 'Julia Roberts' (21) and 'Infinite Dreams' (22) were the result. In 1993 James McIntosh lead his way through choss and moss to create his own version of the 'Lost Arrow' spire (15). Seven years later Ray Lassman and Keith Lockwood boldly climbed the arete right of the main wall to produce No Fixed Gear (18). Unfortunately this route lasted less than twelve months before it was unknowingly retrobolted by Dianne Fermi to create the aptly named 'Amnesia' (17). This act heralded a near explosion of new route activity by a new younger generation of sport climbers. Matt Brooks returned with a vengeance establishing one of the hardest routes outside of 'Sandinista' Wall with his 'United Nations' (30). He also added the very popular 'The Tyrants Grasp' (22) and 'Freedom Fighter' (27). David Isaacs created further controversy by bolting a crack/seam to create 'Sting' Like A Bee (24). Recent years have seen the rest of the real estate slowly being filled by extensions, linkups and the usual. This area has become one of the more popular sport crags in the 'Grampians'.

© (nmonteith)

Access issues inherited from North Grampians

This area is now reopening after the fires in early 2014

Here's an update from Parks Victoria:

Grampians National Park Update – 17 September 2014 (Rock climbing and Bouldering)

In January 2014 a large bushfire swept through the Northern Grampians causing widespread damage to visitor sites, roads and walking tracks. Many popular rockclimbing and bouldering sites were also impacted including Hollow Mountain, Summerday Valley and Mt Stapylton.

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.

Recently, Parks Victoria, volunteers and contractors completed recovery projects within rock climbing areas to reinstate damaged walking trails, realign rock climbing access and replace directional signage.

As of Saturday 20th September access will once again be available to rock climbing and bouldering areas within the Stapylton Amphitheatre in addition to those already available in the Flat Rock area. The access track from Flat Rock has been realigned into Grey and Green Walls and to Taipan wall. Please follow these new alignments and refrain from walking off track.

Open Rock Climbing and Bouldering Areas in the Northern Grampians:

  • Central Buttress
  • Grey & Green Walls
  • Taipan Wall (Upper and Lower)
  • Spurt Wall
  • Epsilon Wall
  • Trackside Bouldering area
  • Snakepit
  • Wildsides
  • Spurt and Afterglow

Closures remain in place at all other Northern Grampians Climbing and Bouldering sites for the time being, including Summerday Valley, Andersons, The kindergarten, Van Diemens Land and Cut Lunch Walls. Stapylton Campground also remains closed. Plantation Campground is the closest, open campground.

Parks Victoria will continue to assess damage and undertake recovery works over the coming months. Updates will be posted as re-openings occur. 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 anyone found in any closed, fire affected areas.

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.parks.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:

  • Stapylton Amphitheatre
  • Flat Rock
  • 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:
  • Stapylton Amphitheatre
  • 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

Approach

The most foolproof approach from the 'Hollow Mountain' car park is to follow the 'Hollow Mountain' Summit tourist trail to the base of 'Sandinista' Wall, then walk R along the base of the cliffs for about 80m to the 'Moral Vandal' Block, and keep going another 50m or so to emerge in this shady amphitheatre with a heavily pocketed central wall. A more direct and quicker approach, if you know the trails, is to turn right off the 'Hollow Mountain' Summit tourist trail about 150m before you get to 'Sandinista' Wall, and walk right about 100m under Gun Buttress, and then stumble 50m up the right end of Gun Buttress to pop into Amnesty Amphitheatre.

This area keeps fairly dry in light rain - but tends to seep after extended liquid downfalls. The routes get morning sun, however many routes will be shady most of the day as they lie under the tree line.

© (nmonteith)

Tags

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

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