Central Buttress Mostly trad climbing30 routes in cliff
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Most of the following has been copied directly from Kieran Loughran's excellent Amphitheatre guide - thanks!
'Central Buttress' is the big somewhat scrappy looking area extending right from the Amphitheatre 'Gully', until the cliffline breaks down into a gully before the Grey & Green Walls. It offers a wide variety of climbs with a few outstanding classics. While some of the cliffs do not look particularly attractive at first sight, don't let that put you off. The highlight of this area, and the best section of the entire Amphitheatre apart from 'Taipan Wall', is the recess containing 'Simpleton', 'Missing' and 'Technical Ecstasy'.
'Central Buttress' is in the shade until early afternoon. 'Simpleton' gets sun only on summer evenings. An early start on a hot day can see you up a good climb before the heat of the afternoon. The climbs left of 'Simpleton' appear grey and amorphous but are generally quite steep and more difficult than appearances suggest.© (willmonks)
Access issues inherited from North Grampians
This area is now reopening after the fires in early 2014
Here's an update from Parks Victoria (18 September 2015):
People – it has been a long time coming, and the recovering areas thank you for your patience. As of the 18th September, most of the climbing areas in the North Grampians still closed, will once again open. These areas though, are still fragile and deserve to have a little extra thought given, if and when you decide to head there. The Mt Difficult Range is still in a very fragile state and because of this, some of the closures here will remain in place, except for those cliffs listed. Check out the list below and please continue to read the care info following it. Thank you all in the climbing and bouldering community who have been understanding of the closures and have been actively promoting it to others. Lots of other areas have seen renewed interest. Whilst Nature will continue to throw these events at us, it is obvious that there are always enough cliffs and boulders to go around.
To aid the long term recovery of the Northern Grampians there is a general closure in place for rock climbing throughout the Mt Difficult Range, except for the main climbing areas stated below. Please support the long term recovery of fire affected areas by remaining out of any closed sites. See closure map for further detail. While Parks Victoria regrets the need to enforce closures, substantial fines will be imposed on those found in any closed, fire affected areas. Open and accessible rock climbing and bouldering areas in the Northern Grampians Hollow Mountain Area Barc Cliff , Gunn Buttress , Battlescarred Blocks / The Ammo Shop, Amnesty Wall Area , Andersens , Clicke Area (incl. Kindergarten routes) The Kindergarten (bouldering) Expedition Crag, Turtle Rocks, Sandinista Cliffs, Pensioners Wall Area, Red Wall Area incl Echoes Block, Loopeys , Hollow Mountain Cave, Legoland, Cut Lunch Walls , Koalasquatsy Wall Tribute Wall , The Dungeon, Bad Moon Rising Wall Van Dieman’s Land, Rambla Wall, A-Frame Boulder
Summerday Valley Flying Blind. Wall of Fools, Back Wall Bowler Boulder
*Note closures are in place to Main wall, Left wall, Bird wall and Calcutti crag and others east of Summerday Valley due to threatened plant species regeneration, cultural heritage protection and trail degradation.Mt Stapylton Amphitheatre Northern Wall, Central Buttress, Sabre Gully, Grey and Green Walls, Taipan Wall Spurt Wall, Bouldering Buttress, Lower Taipan, Afterglow Wall, Afterglow Boulders ,The Plaza Strip, The Snake Pit , Trackside Boulders. Citadel . Ground Control Caves, Cave Club, Between the Sheeps, Spurt Wall (Bouldering), The Titanic (Bouldering) Flat Rock Area West Flank / Wall of Fuels, Bellepheron Wall ,Epsilon Wall ,Bouldering Cloud Cuckoo Land , Note: new access track between flat rock, the kindergarten and Andersons via Bellepheron wall. Mt Zero Area Pangaea Walls, Toolondo Waters, 4 Cornered Crag, Mt Zero Summit Cliff, Mount Zero West Walls
Iskra Crag Flower Power Block, Shadow Buttress, Emu Crag , Sunstroke Area , Pigs in Space Buttress, Main West Face, Dolgoruki Wall First Tier, Second Tier, Third Tier , North Western Outcrop, Eastern Walls 36 Chambers , Dolgoruki Wall and Three Tiers
Pohlner track and Smith Road Area The Rust Bucket, Martini Rock, Worship Wall, Point 447 ,Bordel Buttress, Mt Emu The Crows Nest, The Eyrie , The Unnamed Cliff, An Unnamed Cliff, Olive Grove, Cave Of Ghosts Cliffs, Ghost Block, The Olive Cave, The Ravine
CLOSED CLIMBING AREAS
North West Mt Difficult Range Sickle Wall , Mawson Slab, Mt Difficult Cliff, Epaminondas Buttress, Troopers Creek Cliff, Mt Difficult Summit ,Mt Bloody Impossible Mt Stapylton Campground Cave , Sentinel Wall , The Guardhouse, Warden Wall , Campground Boulders, Titanic Boulder, Doddery Rock, Mt Pleasant ,The Rockwall Area ,Briggs Bluff Area
Follow the walking track from Flat Rock down into the Amphitheatre for about 150m past 'Epsilon Wall', avoiding any right-hand turns. Follow a faint pad on the left to soon arrive below the Amphitheatre 'Gully'. 'Central Buttress' extends from here to your right.
Descent: Descend via the abseil near 'Simpleton' or the 'Hollow Mountain' walking track towards Summer Day Valley (return into the Amphitheatre is then possible by walking beneath Amnesty, Clicke, Kindergarden and Northern Walls areas). Avoid the horrible dangerous Amphitheatre 'Gully' (which I refuse to call by its traditional name of "the descent gully"!). Parties with novice climbers are strongly advised to use the walking track for descent.
'Simpleton' Abseil Route: This is the only abseil descent from this area, and allows the awful Amphitheatre 'Gully' to be avoided, but it has its own hazards. If you have two 50m ropes, you need to use the old anchors: from the top of 'Simpleton' (near a lonely 4m pine tree), move out to the front of the cliff and scramble down 5 metres to the chains, the scramble is fairly easy but very exposed - one snapped hold or foot slip and you're facing a death fall. If in doubt, keep the rope on. Have slings ready to clip into the anchors, which are now worryingly rusty. It is a 50 metre abseil, and the first 40 metres are free hanging. Abseil ends on long ledge at the base of 'Missing'. Either scramble down the initial slabs of 'Technical Ecstasy' or do a further short abseil from trees. If you take novices on this descent (not recommended) you must be able to rescue them if they get stuck on the long free abseil section. On a pragmatic note, remember that belaying a novice on descent can take just as long as simply walking off.
In May '09 a new anchor was added at the top of the 'Simpleton' corner, and this can be accessed much less dangerously than the original anchor because you don't need to do the scary 5m downclimb. To use this new anchor you need two 60m ropes.
Climbs are described from left to right.© (willmonks)
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
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