A major geological feature. Start: Start beneath the prominent chimney. 1. 40m (10) (crux) The line to belay below an overhang. 2. 20m (-) Climb the overhang and continue up the line.
|2|| Tough Tusk
Arete right of 'Incisor'. Take lots of slings for the creaking jugs. Start: As for 'Incisor' 1. 40m (16) Bridge up 'Incisor' for 11.22 metres until a rising traverse gains the right arête. Up arête in a spectacular position, then up the wall about 2m left of the arête until the angle eases. A short juggy arête leads to a belay at the base of the orange headwall. 2. 25m (16) Step left and climb Incisor's overhang. Climb wall on the right to regain the arête, which is followed to the top.
|3|| Synchronised Tractor Maintenance
Quite good really, but the crux is a little intense. Should be OK now that the dust has cleared. Start: Start as for 'Incisor'. 1. 8m (20) (crux) Thin climbing on the R wall, 2 bolts, to a ledge. Large cams for belay. 2. 25m (18) Balance to bolt and follow shallow cracks, mostly to R of cracks, until the holds R of the cracks develop into a steep arete. Follow arete with increasing ease to easy slab and move diagonally R to abseil anchor for 'Empty Pockets' (40m abseil).
|4|| Empty Pockets
This excellent buttress has been done in one pitch (not on the first ascent) but that placed the second at serious risk on the start. Add some slings, cams to #2½ and a handful of wires to the rack. Some think that the climb is worthless, that may be due to style or aesthetic preferences but they may be right. Make up your own mind. Start: Start below slabby groove about 10m L of 'Strela', just R of the foot of the major Amphitheatre 'Gully'. 1. 15m (22) Teeter into groove and up this and short wall to thread belay (requires nut-key to thread), five bolts, optional #2 cam. 2. 25m (19) Many people abseil off and avoid this pitch which is a pity as it's good value. Pull up R of the belay and move back L to middle of buttress. Straight up, four bolts, #2½ cam after second bolt, to chain below overhang.
Generally nice climbing with a spectacular move through the overhang near the top, but spoiled by the first 10m shared with 'Strela'. Could improve with traffic. On the FA, the overhang at the top was avoided by traversing right and climbing easy ground to finish up a steep flake left of the finish of "Strela". The overhang was added by the team doing the variant start. Start: Start as for "Strela", the first chimney-line R of the foot of the Amphitheatre 'Gully'. 1. 25m (15) Up the dirty groove for 10m (large cams) and traverse L along sloping ledge to orange-tinged crack up buttress. Up crack to good ledge. 2. 20m (9) Climb groove from L end of ledge to below roof. 3. 25m (18) Swing through overhang (large nut, at least #10 wire, not cam) then wall and easy ledges to top.
|6|| Indentured (Variant Start)
Big slopes. Start: Start 1m L of the original start.
Not a classic. The first of the major chimney lines accessible without scrambling up the descent gully. The length of this climb is preposterous but it wasn't worth repeating in full to correct the description. If you wish to do so, go ahead. The various possible lines at the top of 'Strela' have all been done as variants to 'Indentured', 'Strela' and 'Filling'. Start: Start at the first chimney line R of the foot of the descent gully. 1. 21m (14) (crux) The first 10m is hard but protection is OK (large cams). Ascend the chimney (crux passing a bulge of dirt) until a second chimney starts on the R. Traverse R into this chimney and continue to a ledge 4m higher. 2. 37m (-) The bottomless chimney and follow the same line to ledge on the buttress between the two chimneys. 3. 37m (-) Step across the L-hand chimney then traverse, and up to regain the R-hand chimney. Up to below the prows near the top of the cliff. 4. 9m (-) Deep chimney.
Good, though the early part of the first pitch is a bit contrived. Poorly protected in spots. All pitches are about the same grade though pitch three is probably the most serious. Abseil as for 'Simpleton' or walk-off. Start: Start at a small groove 3m L of 'Molar Buttress'. 1. 25m (16) Up the groove, a move R, then up the wall with so-so protection to a good ledge. 2. 21m (16) Take a steep, juggy crack from the ledge then follow the R edge of the compact grey rock via a series of large chicken heads to a superbly fashioned ledge on the R. Probably the best pitch on the climb. 3. 30m (16) More chicken heads for 4m then easier but not well-protected climbing leads up leftish via a slab, corner and wall.
|10|| Molar Buttress
Something to get its teeth into you. The start and finish are enjoyable, but the middle pitches are weird, spooky and poorly protected. Take a double-length sling. Start: Start 9m R of 'Strela' at the initials "MB" below a groove. 1. 35m (12) Gain the groove and follow it to the first big ledge. Traverse 10m R along the ledge before belaying. 2. 15m (9) Scramble up diagonally R. Step around the arete to gain the ramp that runs back L. Follow the ramp and then step out onto the front. Move L a bit and then up to belay on another big ledge. 3. 25m (12) Move up a bit and then traverse L to the other side of an obvious horn of rock. Things get strange here and it's hard to work out where to go. Go L to mantle onto a huge, vibrating knob. Move up and R and back R to a weakness in the overhangs. Scuttle up this exposed break to the next big ledge. 4. 25m (12) Quite pleasant climbing up intermittent cracks and walls. If you head up and rightward you should arrive at the abseil bolts as for Simpleton.
|11|| Toothless Tigers
Nice arête 2m right of 'Molar Buttress', between 'Molar Buttress' and 'Herbal Sin'. Start: Just to the right of the first pitch of 'Molar Buttress', below the right arete of a groove.
|12|| Herbal Sin
An impressive overhang. Originally graded 17! Not too hard but you'ld get a nasty thump if you fell off the crux. Start: Start 4m R of 'Molar Buttress'.
|13|| Disco Dilemma
Great sport first pitch and OK trad second pitch. "And she's begging you please not to tease her with reason, Cause all she wants to do is dance. You're in a Disco Dilemma", Mike Rudd Start: Two metres right of Herbal Sim below diagonal groove. 1. 15m (22) Take R-leading groove (5 FH) to rap station. 2. 20m (18) Hand traverse left along the break beneath the overhang and swing left onto a steep wall. Up the clean seam to large ledge. Rap from Herbal Sim anchor.
|14|| Gross Encounters
Not a popular concept. Takes the corner out L of the main 'Simpleton' corner with a loose crux. Start: There is a chimney/gully 10m R of Molar Buttress; start 1m R of this gully. 1. 15m (-) Up the line in the short wall to a bushy ledge. 2. 30m (17) (crux) Take the corner at the L end of the ledge until it fades out. Traverse L to a bushy cave. 3. 35m (-) L to the arete. Up just L of arete with an exciting swing over a bulge.
|15|| Exit Strategy
Well protected moves up an impressive and steep wall. Seconds should take prussics and/or not unclip the first bolt until it is at their waist. Gear: take a standard trad rack with a set of wires and cams. A large cam is needed for the Simpleton roof, and save a medium to large cam (BD#2 or Friend #3) for the final horizontal break. Start: as for Simpleton, from the ledge below Missing. 1. (43m, 18, 1 bolts) Follow Simpleton up to the cave and continue around the roof and up the corner. Where Simpleton steps right, continue up the orange corner. Tricky moves (might be 19) lead to a DRB belay in the corner at a tiny stance. 2. (20m, 22, 2 bolts) Squeeze past your belayer and make subtle moves up the corner to a horizontal break (cams 20-30mm). Left and up to a flake and bolt. Up to another small flake, finger traverse left to a bolt, then left and up to horizontal break. Exit left onto the arête for a rest. Up the steep but easier grey wall to the chains.
A magnificent climb up a great line. The first pitch can be avoided by scrambling up the slabs below 'Technical Ecstasy' and traversing in. Do the finish as described (it's worth it) and save the obvious finish for 'Technical Ecstasy'. Take 1 or 2 large cams (e.g. #4 or #5 camalot). Start: Start as for 'Gross Encounters', 1m R of gully. 1. 30m (18) Climb the short wall to large ledge, up to next ledge and follow overlap R to long, narrow treed ledge where the wall steepens (the scramble from 'Technical Ecstasy' comes in here from the right). Move up then L off ledge and belay on small ledge at foot of huge corner, about 7m below obvious cave. 2. 35m (18) Up to cave and out R and up to FH at lip (a thin sling can protect the clip) and follow the line. At 25m exciting moves lead into the thin line just to the R. Belay on a great small ledge with an old (untrustworthy) carrot bolt and bomber trad. 3. 20m (18) On until 4m below the roof. Traverse L (wildly exposed) across the wall to easy ground.
Slabba-dabba-do! An absorbing, exacting and extremely long pitch. The lengthy co-crux slab sections are unique for the 'Grampians'. Take 6 brackets, cams from micro to #3, and a few wires. There's ledge-fall potential at the 2nd FH (oops). A retrobolt above the 1st bolt (and shifting the 1st bolt a bit lower) would be welcomed. Until then, a quick safer option is to scoot up the easy first 8m of 'Simpleton', walk R to Present's 3rd bolt, and lower off it to pre-clip/pre-extend the 2nd bolt. You could also climb this as a fantastic 24/5 by starting up 'Simpleton' and linking into this pitch at the 3rd bolt. Start: Scramble up to the ledge/terrace, 2-3m R of 'Simpleton', and 8m L of the start of 'Missing'. Straight up between Simpleton & Missing, past 2 FHs, 5 carrots (glue-in stainless) & Missing's crux bolt. Join Missing only for a bodylength, namely it's crux. Up high, stay 3-4m R of Simpleton until almost at the capping roof. If your rope is "only" 60m long, you may wish to belay here to avoid simul-climbing 5m. Finish out the roof of Technical Ecstasy.
A beautiful thin line leads to a large roof at the top of the cliff. You have to be good at placing RPs and other small wires, although the advent of microcams is a boon for this route. To a rack up to #3½ cam, add 2 sets of RPs and plenty of microcams, extra #2½ cam, thin sling and many quickdraws. A bolt was placed on the first pitch around 1996 because the original starting stump disintegrated. Start: Start by scrambling up 'Technical Ecstasy' for 15m to a terrace on the L where the real climbing starts. 1. 15m (22) Not as well protected as you'd like. Pull onto the wall 3m L of 'Technical Ecstasy' past FH and small cam, then to flake (marginal RPs - the fixed wire is gone). Continue to small stance. 2. 35m (23) (crux) Fantastic! Step L into thin line. Up wall and follow line up wavy slab to second wave, traverse L at bulge past bolt (carrot), reach past bulge and move back R to line. Up line, dodgy protection at first, to good horizontal break which is where you join 'Technical Ecstasy'. To belay you can either (a) hand-traverse L below bulge to Simpleton's bolt; (b) take the wild crack through the bulge and then move L to belay in the 'Simpleton' corner; or (c) belay on the line, on the slab above the bulge (as shown in topo). 3. 20m (22) Back R to line and up easy slab to roof. Step R a metre and monkey out the juggy flake through the 5m roof.
|19|| Technical Ecstasy Direct
Might get bumped up a grade once the third ascentionist gets back from cleaning his undies to give us his thoughts. The 18m of new climbing is only 2-4m L of the original second pitch, and can be escaped at a few spots. Otherwise, this version of the second pitch is every bit as good as the magnificent second pitch of 'Missing'. Start: Start as for TE. 1) (25m 18) Do a short version of pitch 1 of TE, belaying above the great initial vertical crack, 5m below the fat flakes. 2) (35m 23) Blast up the classy seam 2m L of the fat flakes, eventually rejoining the original second pitch for it's wild final cracks. Needs a full rack including a #8 hex, plus extra draws & multiples of micro-cams and micro-wires (and a good ability to place them!). Can be very well protected but gear is quite tricky in 1 or 2 spots. The direttissima finish to this pitch, through the bulge onto the top slab, was also done at bold 19 (and is shown in the ACA topo) but the original finish is better. 3) (15m 18) As per the original.
|20|| Technical Ecstasy
Another great route with some pretty bold bits on the second pitch. Start: Start at the toe of the slabs 18m R of 'Simpleton', just L of a gully. 1. 35m (16) Up easy slabs and past blocks to the cliff proper and a nice crack system up a wall. Up the crack to a slab and belay on the second ledge on the R. 2. 30m (20) Up short, wide, shallow crack (large cam) to a poorly protected reach and so to overhang (alternatively, move R from belay, go up and back L below overhang). Move past L side of overhang to overlap, L to thin crack, wild moves above gear lead up crack to next overlap/break. Go 4m L along this to the next crack/break over bulge (shared with Missing), then go L again to belay in 'Simpleton' corner. You can also traverse L along the major break across missing to reach Simpleton's 2nd belay (at the old carrot), but this is not as good. 3. 20m (16) Up the last bit of the 'Simpleton' corner to the capping roof and hand traverse L.
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