Northern Wall Mostly trad climbing23 routes in cliff
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.
Get directions to here using Google Maps
Most of the following has been copied directly from Kieran Loughran's excellent Amphitheatre guide - thanks!
The Northern Walls offer a wide variety of climbs with a few being outstanding. While some of the cliffs do not look particularly attractive at first sight, don't let that put you off. These steep walls offer good wall climbing and a couple of weird grooves. There's not a bad climb here, but some are quite unusual and not to everyone's taste. Whatever else you do, don't miss out on 'Trident'.
The cliffs are shaded much of the time but get sun on summer mornings (as shown in the topo below, taken at 8:30 AM). It's a good spot for mild to warm days but it is quite sheltered so can get humid and sticky.© (willmonks)
Access issues inherited from North Grampians
This entire area is currently closed due to ongoing fire activity. Fires started on 15/1/2014 and swept the area. All access is prohibited.
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
This is the line of cliffs on the Northern extremity of the Amphitheatre, being the southern side of Wudjub Guyan (Hollow Mountain). The left side is above 'Epsilon Wall' and eventually becomes Kindergarden at the far left (West) end. The right side terminates at the major gully which separates the Northern Walls from 'Central Buttress'. 'Access' by walking into the Amphitheatre for about 150m past 'Epsilon Wall', then taking a well trodden sandy track up left towards 'Central Buttress', then walking back left along the base. The Northern Walls can also be accessed via Kindergarden, but this is slower, has scrambly bits and is verging on bushbashing at times.
The best descent from climbs in this area is by abseil. Two ropes are usually required. In the past the main descent, was a 40 metre abseil from the tree above Zola. The chain has been removed to prevent damage to the tree from ringbarking and climber movement around the tree. An anchor left of 'Trident' serves the climbs in that area (35m). There is another anchor at the top of 'Germinal' (30m)
The major gully to the right of the Northern Walls does not deserve it's title of Amphitheatre Descent 'Gully' because it is highly dangerous and 100% NOT recommended. Originally noted by the Gledhills as being "dangerous at night", this gully is dangerous even in broad daylight and fine weather!! It is often wet and features awkward chimneys, greasy slabby sections and difficult sections with dangerous landings. In recent years, broken glass has become a real hazard. There are few abseil anchors and it is not possible to abseil the gully in one rope length. At least one accident in this gully has resulted in serious head injuries. In short, it's far better to traverse from the top of your route of choice to one of the numerous abseil anchors.
In a break with tradition from previously published guidebooks, climbs below are described from RIGHT to LEFT - after all, this is how you approach them. Your first good reference point is the major splitter line of 'Germinal', just L of the big gully.© (willmonks)
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)