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Description

The area left of Tourist Buttress and up the Giant's Staircase along the old walking track has some of the earliest climbs done at Rosea. This does not mean that it is studded with classics, far from it. While the small area around Martin Eden offers a handful of brilliant climbs much of the rest around here is mediocre.

Access issues inherited from Mt Rosea

The final access restrictions at Rosea were lifted prior to Easter 2013.

Approach

Where the walking track hits the cliff it does a final hairpin turn and then climbs left up the Giant's Staircase. A pad moves off right at this point along the cliffline towards the major landmark that is Tourist Buttress, about thirty metres right of where the track meets the cliffs. The climbs in the Giant's Staircase area are described starting on the left side of Tourist Buttress and moving left.

Descent Notes

Follow a rough track south-east along the top until the walking track is reached. Follow the track to the top of the Giants Staircase. The top of this is often marked with tapes or cairns and is at 37.190150 S, 142.502186 E

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

Routes

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Grade Route
1
14 R Nyingtong Trad 130m

Generally disparaged in previous guides but takes some interesting territory. Originally started as for 'Tourist Direct' but described here with a direct start.

Start: Start just left of the narrow chimney (Brainchild) that marks the left side of 'Tourist Buttress'.

  1. 30m (15) Bridge easily up to ledge. Hard start to the corner off the ledge and up to next big ledge and tree. Up to next big ledge on right with large dead tree (second belay of Tourist Direct).

  2. 28m (11) Corner to difficult exit right around the roof at the top. Up 5 metres to small stance on right and old carrot bolt. (as for Tourist Direct) In the past people belayed here but it is much safer to continue. Traverse 4m left (wire or small cam unit at about 2m) then climb to a ledge (poor protection).

  3. 27m (-) Step left and climb the groove with distinct orange rock on its left. From the ledge above, go up and left to a smaller ledge just below a loose block.

  4. 33m (14) Up past block and up chimney. Step left then up and right. Finish up chimney.

FA: Paul Gillis, Bob Kenyon (alt), 1969

2
19 * Abysmal Brute Trad 120m

Another great route from Tim Beaman. It is unlikely that anyone has repeated the route exactly as climbed, with the original third pitch culminating in a lunge for a hold while a good 6 metres above the last gear! Mercifully there is an alternative!

Start: Start left of 'Nyingtong' at short wall below buttress split by crack, 10 metres right of where the walking track meets the cliff.

  1. 25m (16) Wall to small ledge, short, flared chimney then hand crack to large ledge

  2. 40m (19) Overhang then steep layback above. Go up more easily to top of easy-angled section.

  3. 35m (19) Up and right to the right of two steep corners. Corner past overhang to ledge then unprotectable off-width corner which all parties since the first ascent have avoided on right at grade 16.

  4. 20m (18) Continue in line

FA: Tim Beaman, Bryan Kennedy (alt) Gary Wills, Dick Evans did the variant on the third pitch., 1977

3
19 * A Bottle of Brut Trad 140m

A companion to 'Abysmal Brute' which you'll need to locate first.

Start: Start at big line immediately left of 'Abysmal Brute'.

  1. 27m (13) Up line to big ledge on right.

  2. 40m (19) Overhang 2 metres right of 'Abysmal Brute' and up steep line. Now up slab to second belay of that route (old DBB).

  3. 25m (19) Up left to grey groove in left arete of left one of a pair of steep, orange corners. Groove until it runs out on its right arete. 'Steep' headwall to scrubby ledge.

  4. 48m (19) Up left on rising ramp for 15 metres to intersect chimney at half-height. Chimney until it peters out. Up and right to finish up highest and steepest section of buttress.

FA: David Gairns, Chris Baxter, 1997

4
11 R Tourist Direct Trad 150m

An old wandering route that used to be considered something of a minor classic but has fallen into disuse. It was originally done in eight pitches but several of these can be combined and there are a couple of belay points that are probably best bypassed.

There is a lot of good climbing but the poorly protected section across the slabs at about 40 metres is a serious lead despite being quite easy.

Pinpointing the start is a bit difficult as existing descriptions rely on initials which are no longer evident.

Start: Start just right of where the track reaches the cliff at wide line just right of 'Flypaper Wall'.

  1. 24m (-) Easily to wide corner. Up corner until 5 metres below its top then traverse 3 metres right to ledge

  2. 17m (-) Right along the boulder-strewn ledge and up short corner-crack to terrace on the right.

  3. 33m (11) Corner to difficult exit right around the roof at the top. Up 5 metres to small stance on right and old carrot bolt. In the past people belayed here but it is much safer to continue. Traverse 6m left (wire or small cam at about 2m). This is quite easy but some of the large footholds are very mossy. Up diagonally left on clean, unprotected rock to old piton runner. Step up (excellent small cam placement 1m above peg) and move another 6m left to a tiny stance but good anchors.

  4. 22m (-) Go up for 3 metres then veer left to a long ledge. Traverse 9 metres left to below a conifer. It is possible to traverse right from this point along the break all the way to 'Tourist Buttress'. Unless you are doing the first ascent of 'Tourist Buttress', don't bother. Climbed by Herbert Schipper, Greg Lovejoy Easter 1963.

  5. 25m (-) The line just right of the belay then go up and left to an obvious long chimney. Climb up on the right and step left into the chimney and up to a good ledge on the right.

  6. 25m (-) Continue up the line which is steep at first. When about 10 metres below the top there is a choice of continuing straight up or going left and up. The left way is supposed to be easier but is a bit rounded and poorly protected at the very top.

FA: Geoff Shaw, Robin Dunse (alt), 1961

7
14 R * Doc's Chimney Trad 130m

Major line. The mossy poorly protected face at about 40 metres detracts from things.

Start: Start as for 'Tourist Direct'

  1. 41m (-) Climb the first two pitches of 'Tourist Direct'

  2. 33m (-) Corner to difficult exit right around the roof at the top. Up 5 metres to small stance on right and old carrot bolt (as for Tourist Direct). In the past people belayed here but it is much safer to continue. Climb the face on the left to the overhang. Up the corner, largely by its left wall to a big jammed block. Go left around the block and up through scrub above.

  3. 15m (-) Climb a small overhang and go up easily into the chimney.

  4. 18m (14) Chimney up 3 metres and out onto triangular ledge (?PR). Move back into the corner and go up into the smooth V chimney. Struggle up this and move left as soon as possible into an unlikely-looking shallow groove and go up to a ledge.

  5. 18m (-) Go Up.

FA: Chris Davis, Ian Guild.., 1963

8
11 Flypaper Wall Trad 130m

Another old route that takes some hostile territory but doesn't get done often these days. Some of the pitches could well be combined.

Start: Below twin cracks on a ledge a few metres above the hairpin bend where the track meets the cliff.

  1. 27m (11) Climb the right-hand crack past an ancient piton runner. Move right above the piton and go up to a ledge above a large tree.

  2. 24m (-) Climb the corner for 3 metres and traverse left for 12 metres. Move up on small holds and then more easily up and left to a tree.

  3. 12m (-) Step right and climb an awkward crack to the next tree.

  4. 30m (-) Move up a little to an easy traverse left for 12 metres to a corner. Climb the corner and continue straight up to a bushy ledge. Move left to belay.

  5. 33m (-) Move right into the gully that leads to the top. A very poorly protected finish at grade 16 is to climb straight up the rib above the belay. Bern Lyons 1963.

FA: George Glover, Greg Lovejoy, 2nd Apr

12

Lovely little pitch for the end of the day. A bit of dirt at the very start and end will clean up quickly.

Start: Start at the same point as 'Flypaper Wall'.

FA: Chris Baxter, Dave Gairns, 1998

13
16 * Sweet Maggots Trad 120m

Better than the name suggests. The first pitch can be done in its own right and would clean up well. This route incorporates the 'Showpiece' Crack, an obvious feature high on the cliff which looks brilliant from high on the Giant's Staircase and is still good close up.

Start: Below a mossy looking gully/groove just up left from the hairpin bend where the track meets the cliff.

  1. 47m (16) Climb the groove, step left and up the delicate face to a tree on the left.

  2. 33m (15) 'Layback' up 5 metres, step right around a nose and follow the corner tending slightly right to belay at the beginning of a short chimney or continue a few more metres to the foot of the 'Showpiece' Crack.

  3. 40m (12) Go up the chimney then up the wide crack (Showpiece Crack) for 18 metres and step right onto a ledge at its top. Continue easily

FA: Peter Canning, Tim Beaman (alt). The Showpiece Crack was first climbed by John Fahey, Peter Jackson, Ed Potworoski as a variant to Tourist Direct., 1965

14
23 ** Fuschia Trad 35m

Great climbing up the right-hand seam on the grey wall. Take many wires down to #0 RP. Scramble off right to tree.

FA: Ed Neve, Hugh Foxcroft, Gary Wills. Early 1980s, 2000

15
21 * Titus Trad 35m

More good climbing up the left-hand seam on the grey wall. Scramble off right to tree.

FA: Ed Neve, Hugh Foxcroft, Gary Wills. Early 1980s., 2000

16
18 Mr Pye Trad 40m

Pleasant climbing up the left arete of the grey wall after a harder start.

Start: Short crack below the corner marking the left side of the grey wall.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Brendan O'Leary, Jane Wilkinson., 1984

17
18 * Shibboleth Trad 130m

Devious route with the standard dropping dramatically after the first few metres.

Start: As for 'Mr Pye'.

  1. 42m (18) Climb the hard thin crack then continue up the corner above (loose blocks) to the yellow roofs. Step right to a big ledge.

  2. 27m (14) Straight up the grey wall then traverse down and right across a slab to the first corner. Climb this to the roof and traverse left on loos holdsuntil you can move up to a ledge below a corner.

  3. 30m (-) Bridge the corner to a ledge on the right at 25 metres. Right to a small stance below the next line.

  4. 30m (-) Up to the roof above and go right around it. Up and slightly left on friable jugs then up right into the main lin which is followed to the top.

FA: Geoff Gledhill, Chris Baxter and Julie Tulloch. Aids in the first few metres reputedly freed by Peter Traby., 1973

18

Great climbing but the crux groove leading to the overhangs has loose blocks and poor protection.

Start: Short crack below the corner marking the left side of the grey wall (as for 'Mr Pye' and Shibboleth).

  1. 15m (18) Good moves up the short, thin crack then go diagonally left to the foot of the grrove leading to the middle of the roof.

  2. 40m (19) Groove to roof (loose rock, runout). Corners above roof lead to long ledge with old bolts (relics of an attempt on first ascent of Pall Bearer).

  3. 40m (17) Into corner on left (rotten rock), step right into another crack and up to small ledge (may still be a dead tree here). Corner, flake and groove to top (this last little bit was the finish of Shady Aid)

FA: R Curtis, P Armstrong. varied leads

19
19 R *** Martin Eden Trad 110m

Fantastic climbing through large overhangs. Although the first pitch doesn't offer good climbing and is quite nasty the overall quality of the climb rises above this. Not all parties agree with this.

Start: Just right of a large tree about 40 metres left of where the walking track meets the cliff.

  1. 25m (17) Up difficult, poorly protected grey wall then more easily towards the orange corners and a ledge on the right.

  2. 43m (19) Go up to and up the short corner above then the orange, v-shaped groove on the left. Up this to a ledge on the right.

  3. 44m (18) From middle of ledge, go up towards the huge roof above. Hand-traverse left under the ceiling and pull up into the V-shaped groove at the lip. Groove to top

FA: Tim Beaman, Peter Canning, 1976

20
21
17 * Shady Aid Trad 120m

Significant as the first climb to tackle the overhangs on this wall but a bizarre approach from high in a tree and a wandering finish mean that it doesn't warrant repeating. The best part of the climb is now done as the second pitch of 'john Barleycorn'.

Start: Start at the tree by 'Martin Eden'.

  1. 50m (14) Climb the tree and branch until able to step onto the rock. Right to pedestal then up wall slightly left the veer right to detached flake. From right end of ledge up steep wall for 7 metres then left to ledge. Up to a small ledge.

  2. 25m (17) Up to roof, hand travers right to nose. Crack to ledge. This is same as pitch 2 of 'John Barleycorn'.

  3. 20m (15) A little right to climb overhang at weakness above BR. Now up a little and traverse a long way right to ledge and tree.

  4. 25m (-) Climb corner behind and exit right. From top of flake climb steep little wall then up more easily

FA: Chris Dewhirst, Michael Stone, 1973

23
18 ** John Barleycorn Trad 130m

Good direct climb with lots of good climbing.

Start: By the large tree at the start of 'Martin Eden'.

  1. 40m (16) Bridge up between tree and face and swing left on a jug and up initial wall. Continue up left-facing corner until 3 metres above wide ramp.

  2. 25m (17) Up to the roof and hand-traverse right to the nose. Up steep grey crack to a ledge on the left.

  3. 43m (18) Climb bulge on left past old bolts (Pall Bearer). Either continue directly in the line passing an overhang on the right or, at 8 metres, traverse right to the arete and climb an exposed crack which eventually rejoins the first line.

FA: Tim Beaman, Roland Pauligk. Independent start : Kieran Loughran, Gary Wills, 1982

24
20 ** Call of the Wild Aid 130m

Fine, sustained climbing with an unlikely crux that's a few grades harder than the rest of the climb and a fantastically exposed hand traverse high on the cliff.

Start: Start about 50 metres left of where the track meets the cliff just left of the big tree.

  1. 48m (18) Awkward start up indistinct crack and continue up to step left at 17 metres to grey crack. Up this to slabby area.

  2. 25m (-) Wander up to ledge 2 metres right of big corner (Bus Stop)

  3. 23m (21) Climb towards off-width roof (careful with loose-looking big block)and at 3 metres launch left and up into corner above. Up a couple of tricky moves then traverse right and go up to tree. (If you're so minded, skip the crux by aiding the hideous roof crack instead)

  4. 9m (17) Hand traverse right to the prow.

  5. 21m (-) Easily up the wall just right of the arete.

26
18 * Pall Bearer Trad 130m

Can safely be forgotten. Used to share Bus Stop's worthless start before traversing to the third pitch of 'John Barleycorn'. Lots of aid originally used on pitches 3 and 4.

Start: Start as for 'Bus Stop'.

  1. 42m (-) AS for 'Bus Stop'.

  2. 43m (-) Follow the second pitch of 'Bus Stop' for 25 metres then traverse right to a corner, go up a little and traverse right between overhangs. Up line to belay on right.

  3. 23m (18) Step left and over bulge past bolt. Up corner to tree.

  4. 25m (-) Down, then traverse right to crack. Up, passing overhang on right.

FA: Geoff Gledhill, Chris Baxter. Michael Stone and Geoff Gledhill cut it to three ais in. Freed by Tim Beaman Oct 1976., 1971

28
17 ** Bus Stop Trad 110m

Starting up the first two pitches of 'Call of the Wild' and finishing up a prominent corner gives quite a good route. The original start is described here but is best forgotten.

Start: Start about 10 metres left of 'Martin Eden'. Faded initals BS.

  1. 42m (12) Up right to a pinnacle, crack up left side of this and wall above. Not a good pitch.

  2. 30m (14) Step right and up groove, right into next groove, up to ledge on right. Along ledge then right on slabs then up left to ledge below overhang (second belay of Call of The Wild).

  3. 18m (17) Left into classic corner and jam to glory.

  4. 18m (14) Corner to top.

FA: Roger Caffin, Bruno Zeller (alt), 1968

29
17 Jiggery Pokery Trad 120m

Major choss starting up 'Bus Stop' and finishing up the prominent corner to the left.

Start: Start as for 'Bus Stop'.

  1. 42m (17) As for 'Bus Stop'.

  2. 38m (-) Left to wide line, up a few metres and right onto face. Diagonally right, step right, straight up to ledge, left to belay.

  3. 40m (17) Left into big corner. Up corner to rotten rock. Crack on right wall to overhang (? multiple peg runners, loose blocks). Dirty moves into clean corner. Up to top with a deviation onto right arete.

FA: Andrew Bowman, Chris Baxter (var), 1973

30
16 R * The White Cockade Trad 77m

OK first pitch but the top is not much fun. Both pitches have some loose or hollow blocks and protection is poor at a couple of crucial points.

Note that the variant start which is now graded 17 was put up by the same team on the following day and graded 15 so this route could be undergraded.

Start: Start 2 metres right of Commando Climb.

  1. 42m (16) Climb through break in overhang and follow corner. Step left and up arete and crack to ledge. Up right to ledge with gum tree. Protection on this pitch is poor around the 10-15 metre mark.

  2. 35m (16) Crack to big break (easy escape left), through overhang and up chimney to a hard, sandy finish.

FA: Peter Cunningham, Neil Barr, Peter Watling, 1981

31

A good pitch but poor protection for the crux section at about 12 metres. Originally graded 15.

Start: Start as for Commando Climb.

FA: Neil Barr, Peter Cunningham, Peter Watling., 1981

32
13 R Commando Climb Trad 74m

Takes some very unlikely territory for the grade. Also, the third pitch got left out of the 1977 Baxter Guide so heavens know what people made of it. It appears that the climb gains the major horizontal break about 25 metres below the top of the cliff on the third pitch and then traverses off left. Some quite experienced parties have had trouble following the route so it's been given a serious flag for now until it is further checked out.

Start: Up the giant staircase, about 37 metres left of 'Martin Eden'. Clear initials CC.

  1. 23m (12) Pull through the undercut start and straight up for 5 metres. Move right and up a short, scrubby crack to a ledge with a small tree. Continue up, veering right to a bushy ledge.

  2. 30m (13) Climb the line at the right end of the ledge for a few metres to another ledge. Step out left then head diagonally left up the steep wall with little protection to a ledge. Continue up to a small ledge in a corner (?thread belay). 3. 12m (-) Traverse left about 5 metres and climb up to the large horizontal crack. Belay near small conifer.

  3. 21m (-) Move left then scramble. 'Variant Finish' 9 :

  4. 14m Traverse left to below a corner. 5) 20m The corner. Ascent unknown. Exactly where this goes is unclear.

FA: Party Unknown. Easter., 1960

33
18 Blood On The Rocks Trad 90m

Finishes up a sustained groove in the head wall. Some dirt and loose blocks detract from the climb overall, but it could clean up quite well. Originally graded 14. Start: as for Commando Climb.

  1. 17m (12) Follow Commando Climb to ledge on the right.

  2. 44m (16) Crack on right then up right side of wall [L of closed groove]. Continue up steep seam, when it runs out traverse 3 metres left [loose blocks] then follow right leaning groove to bushy cave below overhang. The route may originally have gone higher before traversing L, this would be very unprotected and quite hard.

  3. 25m (18) Go 4 metres left along scrubby ledge. Crack to ledge on right. RH line with increasing difficulty to top.

FA: Scott Johnson, Toni Taggert, 1994

35
18 Missing In Action Trad 85m

Constantly engaging climbing.

Start: Start as for Commando Climb.

  1. 35m (18) Up for 3 metres then step around left and climb steep orange groove. After about 8 metres the groove dissipates and you can swing left onto the arete. Jugs up left side of arete lead to a technical corner which leads to a ledge.

  2. 25m (-) Move left 2 metres and swing up line via a layback edge and shonky looky (but OK) jug. Up line to major horizontal break.

  3. 25m (-) Around overhang at crack immediately right of belay. Straight up line to dramatic finish through summit overhang. This pitch may be the same as the finish of 'The White Cockade'.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Norm Booth (alt) and Tim Lockwood., 2001

36

Start: Start a few metres left of Commando Climb at a break in the overhang. There used to be some railings here but they have mercifully been removed.

  1. 25m (17) Pull through overhang and go up and step right into left of two parallel grooves. Go up to below overhang.

  2. 30m (-) Up right over loose block and up short groove. Step left to square-cut groove and climb it to next overhang. Crack above to bushy ledge below corner.

  3. 20m (-) Corner, then crack on right wall. (? is this pitch Bernie's Open Book?)

FA: Peter Cunningham, Keith Lockwood, Peter Watling, 1981

37
7 Easter Wall Trad 39m

Worthless.

Start: Supposed to start at initials 100 metres up the Giants Staircase. Not located yet.

  1. 30m (7) Up to large horizontal crack and on to scrubby ledge at 12 metres. Traverse 5 metres right to an undercut crack and up this for 6 metres. Move right and up scrubby chimney to tree.

  2. 9m (-) Move left behind the huge boulder. Climb up to an overhang, move left and finish up a groove.

FA: Geoff Shaw, Jack O'Halloran, 2nd Apr

38
6 Easter Hangover Trad 27m

Pull up and climb the face to a ledge. Step left and pull up on a small nose. Traverse up left into a chimney which goes to the top.

Start: Start 5 metres left of 'Easter Wall'. (? initialled)

FA: George Glover, Greg Lovejoy, 2nd Apr

39
15 * Bernie's Open Book Trad 20m

Good jamming and bridging exercise but hard to locate, probably because of inaccurate access descriptions in all the existing guides.

Start: Despite many guidebooks saying so this route is NOT accessed from the Giant's Staircase. When heading along the track towards the Staircase from the Northern/Rhand end of the cliff there is a little dip about 160m before the top of the Staircase where the track nears the cliff. Walk to the cliff edge and there is a short steep slightly vegetated gully leading to a ledge about 10m below. Head down to ledge turn R [facing cliff] and go about 5m to get up onto some blocks around the arête. A clean open book corner is directly above. BD 4 useful.

FA: Bernie Lyons. c., 1963

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