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Table of contents

1. Taipan Wall 86 routes in Cliff

Summary:
JFMAMJJASOND
seasonality
Trad, Sport and Aid

Long/Lat: 142.385454, -36.896140

Description:© (willmonks)

(a) Before you leave the car, please try to poo in the toilets at Flat Rock car park; and

(b) if you need to poo while at the crag (which should be rare if you adhere to (a)!), then please walk at least 50m (no, 10m from the base of the crag is NOT ok!) and make sure you bury your poo and paper.

(c) do not burn your paper. Visiting Americans and Euros bringing this practice with them start bushfires all too often - the Australian bush is highly flammable!

It's a shame we have to start with the above, but unfortunately the popularity of this great crag is having some side effects caused by those who are happy to shit in their own nest. Don't stuff it for the rest of us!

Now onto the good news. 'Taipan Wall' is widely considered to be the best single crag in 'Australia', and many climbers consider that it ranks up there amongst the very best crags in the world. It is certainly the most outstanding climbing feature of the Grampians: a 200m long, overhanging wall up to 60 metres high, which positively glows a stunning orange in the evening sunshine. And the wall doesn't only have good looks: the climbs themselves are almost all of incredibly high quality. While a number of climbs unfortunately require a bolt for aid or have a crux move that is grades harder than anything else on the climb, the climbs are nevertheless generally magnificent.

Because of the uniformly excellent quality of the climbing, previous guides have used "Taipan stars", which effectively involved deducting a star from most routes and only giving 3 stars to those particularly sublime routes which push for the mythical 4th star! In a break with that tradition, this guide gives stars wherever they're deserved - and 'Taipan' deserves plenty! To help you work out what is the absolute cream of the crop, look out for the group of "Taipan's Top 5": Daedalus, Cardigan St (pitch 2), 'Feather Boa', 'Serpentine', and 'World Party' (pitch 3). It could have also been a "Top 7" because Mr Joshua and 'The Seventh Pillar' are right up there too.

Despite a reputation of being largely inaccessible to moderate climbers, the truth is that if you climb in the low 20s there are many days' worth of truly fantastic climbing to be had. In this regard it is worth remembering that, at times when difficult multi-pitch routes are all a bit too much, many of the hard classics have excellent easier first pitches. In particular, the following pitches are highly recommended, and have rap anchors:

'Sordid Orchids' p1 (** 20m 25);

Seventh Banana p1 (** 20m 23);

~Sirocco p1 (* 20m 21);

'Medusa' p1 (* 40m 25);

~Seventh Pillar LHV (* 45m 23);

Seventh Pillar LHV (short version) (* 28m 22);

~Serpentine p1 (* 35m 24);

Naja p1 (** 30m 27);

'World Party' p1 (* 20m 21);

Mr Joshua p1 (* 30m 25);

~Kaa p1 (20m 23).

(The ~ symbol indicates pitches which must be seconded because they traverse too much to allow rap-cleaning).

Note that a 60m rope is required to lower off many routes, and longer ropes are often very handy. A 100m rope has even been used to work Father O from the ground! In any event, you often need every metre of your rope to lower off, and you're often trying to land on a ledge, so there is a real chance of ending up dangling in space or worse. Take careful note of the rap length and pitch length information provided against each route, and tie a knot in the end of your rope.

Because most routes have slopers and/or smooth holds, bear in mind that temperature and humidity conditions have a strong bearing on route difficulty. The wall has shade until 1-2pm so generally speaking, depending on the forecast daily maximum temperature, you should plan as follows:

>35C: climb elsewhere

28-35C: make a very early start and expect to be roasted off by noon

23-27C: exploit the mornings, but may be ok to carry on in the afternoon sun

17-22C: prime 'Taipan' conditions. Go hard!

<17C: Morning shade will be cold, afternoon sunshine will be glorious, although limited to only a few hours in winter.

'Taipan' is a good venue on days of light showers, but is not great if it really rains. Despite the large areas of always-dry orange rock, the grey & black lichen streaks will seep. The black streaks can develop a surprisingly strong trickle if there's been decent rainfall, due to the fairly large slabs above which drain down these lines. Also, despite the majority of the crag being overhung, the prevailing southwest winds tend to bring rain into the base onto packs and belayers. Plus, if its anything more than passing showers then the humidity will make all the slopers seem harder to hold on to! And don't count on a retreat to 'Spurt Wall' - despite the huge rooves protecting it from direct rain, it has an amazing ability to soak up moisture and all the crimps become disgustingly spoodgy. So, 'Taipan' is a good choice on days of light showers, but if rain sets in you're better off going somewhere shorter, steeper and thuggier.

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

Approach:© (willmonks)

Drive to Flat Rock carpark and walk up Flat Rock (noting the difference between "flat" and "horizontal"!). Follow the track down into the Amphitheatre and across the flats. About 300m into the Amphitheatre the track starts to rise again and here the first boulders are met on the left (Trackside Bouldering Area), at this point leave the main track and head left. Follow this track uphill through the boulders for 100 metres or so to a tall boulder on the left with a prominent arete. From here the path up to 'Taipan Wall' is nowadays a well trodden highway, and meets the base of the cliff between 'The Great Divide' and Seventh Banana.

Descents: for climbs on the left half of the wall (i.e. all routes left of, and including, Serpentine), the descent is by a 40 metre abseil from the top of 'Clean Sweep'. Anchors atop other routes (such as 'Divided Years', Father O, Cardigan St and Mirage) are either unsafe to access from above or are poorly arranged for rope pulling, so the 'Clean Sweep' anchor is the only option. It is recommended to get your bearings beforehand (e.g. from the top of Flat Rock) as the anchor can be a little tricky to find from above. Traversing along the top of the wall to this anchor is quite exposed, particularly the section above Father O. While some people opt for the scary traverse on the very edge of the clifftop, this is not trivial above Cardigan St and the fall potential could hardly be worse. The better option is probably to stay about 12m back up from the clifftop above Cardigan St and Father O but this is still quite exposed so take care, and if in doubt rope up. Once you're at the 'Clean Sweep' abseil anchor, make sure to test-pull the ropes before the last person comes down because the ropes regularly get jammed on this abseil. Hint: the last person should step to abseiler's left to avoid laying the ropes in the offending groove on the lip. Right of 'Serpentine' it is not safe to walk unroped along the clifftop, and descent details are specified against each individual route below.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Mission Over Tokyo Gunigalg Gully Connection

The easiest way to the top of 'Taipan' if you want to pre-place gear or take photos from rap. It is also a great beginners route with excellent rock, big features and good pro.

Start: Start 3m L of 'Mission Over Tokyo' (to avoid it's tricky starting crack).

FA: Andy Pollitt?, 2000

8Trad 50m
2 * Mission Over Tokyo

A couple of exciting moves but the rest is ordinary.

Start: Start about 10m down left of 'Atomic Tadpole' at far left edge of wall and about 15m right of the major vile-looking chimney of 'Gunigalg Gully'.

  1. 20m (18) Up the short tricky crack, step right then up slab and belay before steepening.

  2. 20m (18) Up until level with roofline to right. Dangle right around the arete then easily up face to final steepening. Exit left.

FA: James McIntosh, Melanie Taws (alt), 1988

18Trad 55m
3 * Atomic Tadpole

An attractive climb with an intimidating finish. Usually done in a single pitch.

Start: Start on the elevated ledge, just L of the boulder, at the base of the nice face crack in the middle of the grey slab.

  1. 30m (18) Up finger crack to overhang, dangle around then up slabby wall to belay below headwall.

  2. 10m (20) Boldly up faint scoops on headwall (small shallow wires).

FA: Glenn Tempest & Kevin Lindorff, 1977

20Trad 55m
4 * Posy

A selection of the various flowers, plus some nice poses of its own.

Start: Start on top of the big boulder perched on the ledge between 'Atomic Tadpole' and 'Tokyo Rose' (but it's a better more sustained pitch if you start up UG).

FA: Will Monks, Mike File, 2005

24Mixed 30m, 3
5 * Tokyo Connection

Takes in the good pitches of 'Tokyo Rose' and Mission over Tokyo, and avoids the rubbish.

Start: Start as for 'Tokyo Rose'.

  1. 25m (18) As for 'Tokyo Rose' pitch 1.

  2. 20m (18) As for Mission over Tokyo pitch 2.

18Trad 45m
6 * Tokyo Rose

Obvious line, but the second pitch is ordinary. Improved by finishing up the second pitch of 'Mission Over Tokyo' (i.e. by doing 'Tokyo Connection' instead).

Start: Start in the square orange corner at the right side of the grey slab, about 8m R of 'Atomic Tadpole', on the elevated ledge.

  1. 25m (18) Climb the corner to the roof and traverse left below the roof, crossing 'Atomic Tadpole' to belay on the arete.

  2. 20m (18) Follow the diagonal crack up left through a small overhang to a vague ledge. Step right, climb the arete and exit left at the steepening. Has also been done by continuing from the 'vague ledge' up the vague leftwards diagonal (poor pro) to the arete of the chimney (as shown in the topo above).

FA: James McIntosh & Melanie Taws, 1987

18Trad 50m
7 ** Ukrainian Geranium

This ground-up effort felt all the more intrepid for being established in single-digit temperatures with no fewer than three hailstorms on the way. It's the best moderate route down this end of the wall.

Start: Start 2m R of 'Tokyo Rose' (Tokyo Connection), and 2m L of 'Sordid Orchids', on the elevated ledge.

  1. 25m (21) Thin orange corner then diagonally up L with feet dropping into TR for a move or two. Steeply over bulge and up the short orange flake on the R to gain slab. SHB below white bulge.

  2. 15m (20) Move R over white bulge to ledge. Leftward arcing thin orange corner to the intermittent headwall crack 4m R of 'Atomic' Tadpole's finish.

FA: Will Monks, Kevin Lindorff (alt), Joe Goding, 2004

20Trad 45m
8 ** Sordid Orchids Direct

Extends the first pitch of 'Sordid Orchids' by 12m and adds three bolts. Sustained wall climbing with crimpers and reach moves. Climbs more like a Blue Mountains wall climb rather than a 'Taipan' steep sloper fest.

Start: Start as for 'Sordid Orchids'.

FA: Neil Monteith & Will Monks, 2005

26Mixed 28m, 5
9 * Sordid Orchids

A good line spoilt by a single aid move on the second pitch. The first pitch is a popular and well chalked line with a handy lower-off, but beware that falls before the 1st bolt have strained a few ankles on the swing into the slab below.

Start: Start at the flake/seam 5m right of 'Tokyo Rose', on the elevated ledge.

  1. 18m (25) Up the right-facing slabby flake (wires) to undercling (small cam(s), make it bomber). Burly moves to jug (RB). Crux crimps past 2nd RB to break, traverse R to guano ledge and DRB (18m). Wash your hands afterwards to safeguard against bird flu!

  2. 20m (26 M1) Take bolt brackets. Climb the closed corner above the ledge past 1 or 2 old fixed wires (bring your own too) then traverse left to gain the overhung ramp. Follow the ramp past three bolts (2nd bolt for aid) then up the headwall past final bolt to top. The aid move (an awkward dyno to a tricky catch of a pocket) might go free at 30+ if the strong persist.

FA: Pitch 1: Chris Shepherd, Parrish Robbins. Pitch 2: Parrish Robbins, Nick White, 1990

26 M1Aid 55m, 5
10 ** Sordid Orchids Pitch 1 25Trad 20m
11 * Black Adder

A beautiful natural line but unpopular due to its rusting bolts and bizarre traversing.

Start: Start at the first anchor of 'Sordid Orchids' Pitch 1, on the guano-stained ledge.

FA: Pete Cresswell, Andy Pollitt, 1990

29Trad 40m
12 ** Dinosaurs Don't Dyno

The dyno identifies many dinosaurs. A superb climb up the intermittent flake system.

Start: Start 10m R of 'Sordid Orchids' on the elevated ledge, which at this end is about 10m above ground level.

FA: Kim Carrigan, 1984

26Trad 35m
13 Dinosaurs LHF

In 2009 some new bolts appeared in the groove which goes up the steep bulge about 5m L of the finish of DDD. This is being approached via a cool girdle from Sordid/Blackadder (2 ropes, drop 1 halfway), but could also start up DDD. There were already some old carrots here... Carrigan's?

Trad
14 ** Lure Groove

"That rusty bolt was by far the best bit of gear on the route" - Dave Jones. An obvious arete that sprouted a mystery bolt in the 90s but was never climbed.

Start: Start as for 'Dance of Life'.

FA: Rich Heap, Dave Jones

25 M1 RAid 40m, 2
15 ** Clean Sweep

For almost 25 years this route has largely been neglected due to a reputation for having a runout crux. In reality, it can be completely sewed up if you have plenty of micro-wires and a blue alien, and the endurance to hang around and fiddle them in. Plus the climbing is simply immaculate and, even despite the aid bolt, this must be a strong contender for the best 24 in the 'Grampians'.

Start: Start as for 'Dance of Life'.

FA: Kim Carrigan, 1985

24 M1Aid 40m, 1
16 * Dance of Life Dinosaurs Don't Dyno Connection

FA: Will Monks, James Pfrunder, Kevin Lindorff, 2004

23 M1Aid 40m
17 ** Dance of Life

Outstanding and unlikely climbing on amazing rock, with great pro and a bouldery finish.

Start: Start just R of Dinosaurs Don't Dyno, on the R end of the elevated ledge. But belay at ground level to reduce rope drag and improve communication.

FA: Kim Carrigan, 1984

24 M1Aid 35m, 2
18 *** Dance of Life Clean Sweep Connection

Some link-ups are hardly worth recording, but this one is notable because it avoids the cruxy moves of each route, leaving amazing sustained climbing around grade 22 with bomber pro the whole way. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a better 23 in the 'Grampians'.

Start: Start as for 'Dance of Life'.

FA: FRA: Will Monks, Kevin Lindorff, James Pfrunder, 2004

23 M1Mixed 45m, 1
19 * The Mint

Fun traversing on superb aesthetic stone. Full set of cams. Has also been done by starting up the unpleasant flakes 10m L of Great Divide (see 16a on topo). You can do a 150m girdle of 'Taipan', via 'The Mint', 'Arabic Mint' and 'Lawrence of Arabia' (the full thing is yet to be done in a single push).

Start: Start just R of Dinosaurs Don't Dyno, on the far right hand end of the elevated ledge. Put your belayer on the wide ledge 6m below the start, so they can see the crux.

  1. 32m (21) Step down from R end of ledge to hand traverse R under large roof, cross Great Divide, and continue traversing R to Seventh Banana's first anchor.

  2. 10m (17) Continue traversing R to Sirocco's first anchor. Rap off (18m).

FA: Will Monks, Mark Rewi (alt), Neil Monteith

21Trad 42m
20 ** The Great Divide

Wonderful climbing based on the sharp, undercut arete right of 'Dance of Life'. The crux is very hard, but very short. If you pull on the crux bolt it's an excellent 25M1. Take 3 bolt brackets, a full rack incl. 2 #3.5 cams, and 15-20 quickdraws.

Start: Start directly below the impressive hanging arete which soars upwards from the R side of a large roof. This is just L of where the walk-in meets the cliff, and is where the track along the base balances along the top edge of a large smooth-faced boulder.

  1. 35m (27) 10m easy grey slab, beware some friable rock, to desperate orange slab with a tricky-to-clip BR. Follow flakes to the steep groove on the R side of the arete. Crux past BR to break, then L and up L side of arete, 3½ cam & BR. At big break move R to belay in small cave.

  2. 15m (24) On up face, veering slightly right-wards to top.

FA: Kim Carrigan & Martin Scheel, 1984

27Mixed 50m, 3
21 ** Divided Years

Steep scoopy 'World Party' start then thin technical finish. Well protected and convenient for climbers who end up on the ledge above the left end of 'Taipan'.

Start: Start on top of 'Taipan' Wall: this route is a rap in and climb out affair between 'The Great Divide' and Daedalus. Locate double rap rings on ledge about 10m south of the 'Clean Sweep' rap chains.

FA: Neil Monteith Hannah Lockie, 2005

25Mixed 16m, 4
22 * The Chick is Trouble

A nice mini-pitch, although the crux is several grades tougher than the rest.

Start: Start 15m R of Great Divide, below the flake which is a few metres L of Seventh Banana pitch 1.

FA: Ross Taylor, 1999

26Mixed 15m, 1
23 *** Daedelus

This alternative second pitch to Seventh Banana is rather runout at times, but it's also an incredible sustained line, and is the first climb we get to which is in "Taipan's Top 5". May not yet have seen a ground up ascent.

Start: Start at the first anchor of Seventh Banana.

FA: Julian Saunders (26M1), Dave Jones (28), 1997

28 RTrad 65m
24 *** The Seventh Banana

A good aid climb turned into a great free climb. The first pitch is worth a star or two in its own right and is justifiably very popular with 'Taipan' virgins.

Start: Start 25m R of 'The Great Divide', and 8m R of 'The Chick is Trouble'.

  1. 25m (23) Up shallow orange flake/corner to the large deep break, then traverse 5m L to pocketed roof (an alternative but inferior start is as for TCiT). Over roof (RB) on pockets, then follow flakes up and L to a ledge and DRB (20m rap).

  2. 35m (27) Some great moves in prime positions, but unfortunately not very sustained. Up to smooth wall, then step R to the desperate slabbing crux (old BRs) to a good rest. Up the incipient crack to the bulge and over this with difficulty. Up and L to a good slot and up to another slot and then a fingery wall leads to the top. This pitch has a few old bolts, exact number TBA.

FFA: Steve Monks and Jane Wilkinson

FA: FA Nick Reeves, Dave Mudie, Steve Due (alt), 1975

27Mixed 60m, 1
25 ** The Seventh Banana Pitch 1 23Trad 20m
26 ** Chinook

As for Sirocco pitch 2 past the first bolt (doing it's crux), then move L and up for 25m of new climbing between Seventh Banana and Sirocco to the top.

FFA: Graeme Dick, 2013

28Sport 35m
27 *** Sirocco

Another classic up this unlikely looking section of cliff. The crux at the start of the second pitch is ridiculously hard, and can be quite demoralising. Some prominent international climbers have suggested up to 8a for this move! It is also enjoyable, and far easier, to pull on that one bolt to reduce the grade to 25M1.

Start: Start about 20m R of 'The Seventh Banana', and 3m L of 'The Seventh Pillar'.

  1. 23m (21) A popular pitch in its own right, for many their first on the wall. Has a distinct move which makes grading highly subjective, enough said. The pocketed open corner doesn't reach the ground: gain it via a short pocketed slab 5m to the R (direct up the slab beneath the corner is insecure unprotected 21). Corner past FH (rebolted April 2011) and then jug L along break to belay ledge. For 2 decades the anchor was an eyesore of shitty fixed slings, then for 2 months it was some underwhelming fixed wires, now it is DRB (18m rap).

  2. 32m (26) Delicately up factor 2 territory for 3m to break (small cam), then lunge up L past bolt via diabolical crux. Mantle and crimp straight up to the 2nd FH (don't go R to Father O's 2nd RB like lost Euros often do!). Step L and blast up wall above, through bulge, then veer R (again, don't clip any RBs on Father O'!). Move back L and up final wall to a new (2011) lower-off (30m+, tie a knot in the end of your rope!). 4 FHs, fixed thread, wires and cams up to #3.

FA: Malcolm Matheson, 1989

26Mixed 52m, 5
28 * Sirocco Pitch 1 21Mixed 20m, 1
29 *** Father Oblivion

Extraordinary moves on immaculate rock. If you're picky you might deduct a star due to the numerous rests, and the bouldery crux start being several grades harder than the final 25m. Tougher than many 'Taipan' 26s, but easier than 'Sirocco' so it can't be 27 ... can it?! Often repeated using only the bolts with some 6-8m runouts, but most people also use a couple of wires and cams.

Start: Start on the first belay ledge of 'Sirocco'.

FA: Simon Mentz, 1991

26Mixed 52m, 7
30 ** Pythonesque

A good option if you think Father O eases off too much after its crux. Start as for Father O, until just past it's 3rd bolt. Now head up the R side of the scoop, through bulge past 2 FHs and 2 RBs (thin crux direct past 2nd RB) to break. Trend R to top. Take cams & wires. If that's not enough harder climbing for you then throw in the worthwhile direct start, from the middle of the belay ledge and heading up L (good tiny trad) to Father O's first bolt.

FA: Will Monks, 2013

27Trad 35m
31 Adam Demmert's Closed Project

Starts Up Sirroco first pitch then heads up black wall heading rightish- bolts and trad

Sport Project
32 *** Cardigan Street

HB had previously dabbled in this vicinity while searching for a second pitch for 'Mirage', but after he declared the second pitch groove "impossible" nobody bothered with it for years. Luckily no one told Stuart, who sauntered in and snared one of "Taipan's Top 5". Unfortunately the first pitch is ridiculously cruxy, so most people rap in to do pitch 2 only.

Start: Start as for 'Sirocco'.

  1. 35m (31) Follow 'Mirage' for 18m to gain the hanging slab atop the steep white corner. Now doddle up L past bolts to the start of the groove, and more easily to hanging belay at chain (30m rap).

  2. 25m (28) Amazing climbing up the line of shallow water scoops in incredible red stone, 7FHs to chain (25m to 1st belay, 55m to ground).

  3. -m (-)

FA: Pitch 2: Stuart Wyithe (late), Pitch 1: Garth Miller (2nd shot!), 1995

31Mixed 60m, 11
33 ** Cardigan Street Pitch 2 28Trad 25m
34 ** Mirage

Variety! The famous HB dyno route as immortalized by Simon Carter's photos in the early 1990s. Take a full rack up to #2.5Fr, including Aliens, RPs, and sling runners (and/or double ropes) to minimise drag.

Start: Start as for 'Sirocco'.

  1. 35m (27) A great series of features. Follow pitch 1 of 'Sirocco' to the horizontal. Swing R along this to tricky white corner and gain slab (FH). Trend R and up technical slab and finally the infamous big dyno between buckets (battered FH), to lower-off (25m, but a 60m rope barely reaches if it's still through all the gear so tie a knot in the end).

  2. 35m 32. The daunting beautiful red wall above to a rap anchor at the top. Yet another contender for the best pitch on the wall. Renamed Orange Desire or Serpent Dans l’Herbe (Snake in the Grass) by Quentin.

FA: Malcolm Matheson (pitch 1), 1990

FA: Quentin Chastagnier, 2013

27Mixed 35m, 15
35 *** Orange Desire

Second Pitch to Mirage. Quentin approached from Seventh Pillar LHV via Snake in the Grass

FFA: Quentin Chastagnier, 2013

32Sport
36 HB's 'It Might Go' Line (project - closed)

This is what Malcolm's original thinking was for the 2nd pitch of 'Mirage'. Apparently he thinks it might go so best stay off.

Start: Start atop the first pitch of 'Mirage'.

FA: Equipped Malcolm Matheson ~?, 1990

Mixed 35m, 3
37 Malcolm's Dyno Line (project - closed)

Rumoured to have an impossibly long dyno and, according to Dave Jones, 'Malcolm only ever bolted this because he'd just done 'Mirage' and thought he could dyno the full height of the cliff'. Start: Start about 15m R of 'The Seventh Pillar', where there is a lonely FH below the major horizontal of 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

  1. 30m (-) One FH and hard-looking moves, to gain THE break about 6-8m R of the Seventh Pillar bolt ladder. Continue up the desperate looking face past 3 FHs which trend R into a thin L-facing flake. Follow this to a chain below the main roof (30m rap).

  2. 20m (-) This is the left-most bolted line through the major roof which extends all the way from the Seventh Pillar to 'Serpentine', halfway up 'Taipan'. If the roof/dyno weren't impossible the water scoop/arete climbing above looks amazing. It appears to finish at the 3rd pitch traverse break of the Seventh Pillar.

FA: Equipped Malcolm Matheson early 90s?, 2000

Mixed 50m, 4
38 * Arabic Mint

A great section of traversing, the addition of which enables a 150m girdle of 'Taipan', via 'The Mint', 'Arabic Mint' and 'Lawrence of Arabia' (the full thing is yet to be done in a single push). Be aware that the slot on the arete captures your rope, which doesn't seem to create drag or rope cutting potential for the leader, but does create rope cutting potential if the second falls off the crux (as happened on the first ascent: the sheath was completely severed but thankfully the core survived). The leader should consider obstructing the slot and/or padding the problematic sharp edge, and/or the second should try to flick the rope out of the slot before leaving the corner.

Start: Start at the end of 'The Mint' (the first anchor of Sirocco). Can also be worked from the ground by starting up the first 15m of 'Mirage'.

FA: Will Monks, Adam Demmert, 2008

25 RTrad 25m
39 ** Medusa

The main attraction is a seductive groove on the second pitch reminiscent of Cardigan St, but with lesser quality rock and a sullied history. For those who "only" climb 25, the first pitch is very worthwhile in its own right and deserves a lot more traffic than it gets - especially since the old bolts were replaced (2009).

Start: Start as for 'The Seventh Pillar'.

  1. 40m (25) Follow the Seventh Pillar LHV for 25m to the bolts at the top of the flake, and then rightwards for a few metres up the runout face. Where SP LHV traverses R to the break, instead continue up past 2 more bolts (the runout to the 1st bolt is fairly secure for a 25 climber), via excellent climbing, to a hanging belay just below break (32m rap, can lower off with a 60m rope - but only just!).

  2. -m (-) 25m, 29 (open project). This pitch moves R to gain the distinctive line of water scoops about 8m L of the prominent flake on Seventh Pillar pitch 2. This pitch was "enhanced" with a glue edge by Poultney, but he never sent it (and the glue edge has now gone). On his "belayer's lap" Dave Jones sent the pitch at 29, with a token sit down low. And there it remains - unfinished. If slightly dubious rock and the now old bolts don't bother you ... help yourself. The 29 version moves R at the top of the groove before gaining the major break, however the direct to the break should go around 31/2, and the line then continues above the bushes to the top of the wall. Do NOT rely on the rap anchor just below the bushy break - it uses only one bolt, of a type which has often failed. About 8 bolts?

FA: Pitch 1: Gordon Poultney, Simon Carter early, 1995

25 RMixed 35m, 3
40 Medusa (Pitch 2) (open project)

This pitch moves R to gain the distinctive line of water scoops about 8m L of the prominent flake on Seventh Pillar pitch 2. This pitch was "enhanced" with a glue edge by Poultney, but he never sent it (and the glue edge has now gone). On his "belayer's lap" Dave Jones sent the pitch at 29, with a token sit down low. And there it remains - unfinished. If slightly dubious rock and the now old bolts don't bother you ... help yourself. The 29 version moves R at the top of the groove before gaining the major break, however the direct to the break should go around 31/2, and the line then continues above the bushes to the top of the wall. Do NOT rely on the rap anchor just below the bushy break - it uses only one bolt, of a type which has often failed. About 8 bolts?

29Trad 25m
41 Snake in the Grass

Goes left from 7th Pillar LHV to finish at the top of Mirage P1

FA: Quentin Chastagnier, 2013

26Trad
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
42 *** The Seventh Pillar Left Hand Variant

The crux is immediately after the bolts at the start of the traverse, so the second needs to be stronger than the leader! A heady megaclassic ... but also a brilliant consumer-friendly 22 if you lower off the bolts at the top of the flake (25m).

Start: Start as for 'The Seventh Pillar'.

FA: Mark Moorhead, Col Reece, Eddy Ozols, 1980

22 RMixed 46m, 1
43 ** The Seventh Pillar (Free Variant)

This short variant halfway up the second pitch was the final link for the whole line to go free.

Start: The independent bit starts 10m up pitch 2 of 'The Seventh Pillar'.

FA: Dave Jones, mid 90s?, 2000

28Aid 7m, 2
44 ** The Seventh Pillar

This was the first route up 'Taipan Wall', an incredible achievement for the time, and remained the lone route on the wall for many years. It is still a stunning classic that generally follows a series of flakes and horizontal breaks trending rightwards up to the very highest point of the wall. Whether you do it at 18M2 with 3 sections of aid, 22M1 with one point of aid (via LHV) or free at 28 (via variant), it is a fantastic excursion. The remnant original fixed gear should be treated with suspicion, although enough bolts have been replaced to avoid death route status.

Start: Start at the very faint initials "SP", about 5m L of where the major flake system doesn't quite reach the ground (or bridge the tree direct).

  1. 40m (18 M1) Up the short pocketed wall, move 5m R and follow flake up R to horizontal break. Squirm R for 8m to awkwardly gain bolt ladder up white streak. Bring plenty of hero loops. One free move off the last bolt gains new DRB SHB (22m rap).

  2. 30m (18 M2) Step L and free up flake to a blank steep wall (please step left here and remove the unsightly 5m fixed rope!). Long reach to bolt, use it for aid to gain the next flake and either immediately revert to freeing (22M1), or keep aiding on RPs (18M2), to move L around the roof to the guano stained tip of the major flake. Continue up flake to a large horizontal break (with one final aid move for the 18M2 version). Crawl in for a lying down belay followed by an all-night bivvy (like Guild and Stone)...or take the far cushier hanging belay.

  3. 18m (1) The most outrageous grade 1 on the planet. Squirm awkwardly R to end of ledge and new DRB (45m rap).

  4. 25m (18) Follow the steep flake line up diagonally R (PR, BR) to the steep corner up the L side of the final tower, to a dangling topout at the very highest point of 'Taipan Wall'.

FA: Andrew Thomson, Kim Carrigan (18M2) 1974

FA: Ian Guild, Mike Stone (var.)(16M4) (16, 17), 1966

FA: Kim Carrigan, Kieran Loughran (22M1), 1982

23Aid 120m, 12
45 ** The Seventh Pillar Right Hand Variant

Sustained moves in a fantastic position.

Start: Start at the original 2nd belay of Seventh Pillar (i.e. at the guano-stained stance halfway up the 2nd pitch as now described).

FA: Will Monks, Kevin Lindorff

21Mixed 14m, 2
46 * Seventh Pillar Direct Finish

A superbly positioned bouldery little pitch.

Start: Start at the second belay of 'The Seventh Pillar'.

28Mixed 12m, 2
47 * Scud Buster

Some fantastic slabbing in the prime central part of 'Taipan'. Originally 24, recent attempts by a prominent slab master suggest it could be 26 or more! For now we are splitting the difference.

Start: Start at the first belay of 'Lawrence of Arabia'. Either do LoA's 1st pitch, or jug up Feather Boa's 8m fixed rope and traverse 8m R along the break. The latter is much quicker and avoids the hanging belay if the leader uses double ropes and drops one after 15m.

FA: Richard Smith, Andy Pollitt, 1992

24Mixed 75m, 4
48 ** Lawrence of Arabia

2 long traversing pitches which give fantastic perspectives on the daunting territory above. Take lots of cams of all sizes.

Start: Start as for 'The Seventh Pillar'.

  1. 50m (21) Follow 'The Seventh Pillar' to the base of the bolt ladder. Ignore the bolts and instead keep traversing right along the break to belay wherever.

  2. 50m (21) Keep swinging R along the break until you can step onto the ground. Put enough gear in to keep your second off the ground as the break gets closer to the ground.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Malcolm Matheson (alt), Richard Smith, 1991

21Trad 100m
49 Quetzalcoatl (project - closed)

This one will go - Dave has managed it in several different overlapping sections. Please stay off.

Start: Start at a hanging belay in 'Lawrence of Arabia', about 15m R of the Seventh Pillar bolt ladder.

  1. 40m (-) Some very hard face moves past a FH to gain a thin R-facing flake (Malcolm's Dyno Line takes the L side of the same flake/rib). Follow this up to the main roof. Move R then out the roof and up the wall above to finish roughly in the middle of the 3rd pitch of 'The Seventh Pillar'. Finishing direct is meant to be 33/34 on monos, or a deviation to the left will let the whole thing go at reachy grade 30ish. I don't think Dave has opened it up so best stay off for now.

  2. 14m (29) The headwall pitch past a couple of FHs, starting roughly in the middle of the third pitch of the Seventh Pillar. This pitch has been sent so knock yourself out.

  3. -m (-)

FA: Equipped Dave Jones, 2000

29Trad 54m
50 *** Feather Boa

This is something special, even by Taipan's lofty standards. The magical long sustained main pitch uninterrupted by rests puts this route in the rarified atmosphere of "Taipan's Top 5". After some high profile spankings it seems to be settling in as being about a grade harder (not a grade easier!) than 'Serpentine', so Dave's original grade of 28 has been bumped up to a solid 29...and may not stop there!

Start: Start at a hanging belay in 'Lawrence of Arabia', about 6-8m R of Quetzalcoatl and 5-6m L of 'Scud Buster'. It\'s best to do the LoA approach once, then fix a 12m rope back to the ground. This way you can belay from the ground and jug/batman the fixed rope to avoid the long approach.

  1. 47m (29) The gear (mostly FHs but some med. cams down low and a small wire up high) is a bit spaced but right where you need it. 'Steep' slab climbing (crux) up to the main roof. Bust out the roof, trend R a bit then up the sustained wall to the 3rd belay of 'The Seventh Pillar' (45m rap).

  2. 14m (28) Cute. Straight up the steep headwall above the belay.

  3. -m (-)

FA: Dave Jones, 1998

29Trad 61m
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
51 ** Angst

Makes Rage an independent line, providing another awesome pitch up the most majestic part of Taipan. Start as for Serpentine pitch 2. Follow Rage for 5 bolts then head left to wide runnel, follow right side of runnel to just below roof, span left across runnel, then up to roof. Follow right side of next runnel to top.

FFA: Adam Demmet, 2011

29Mixed 40m, 9
52 ** Rage

A 15m variant to the first part of the second pitch of 'Serpentine'. Slightly harder than 'Serpentine'.

Start: Start as for 'Serpentine' pitch 2.

FA: Andy Pollitt, 1992

30Mixed 15m, 5
53 *** Serpentine

This famous line was the first route on the wall which cried out for the mythical fourth star. Naturally, it's in "Taipan's Top 5". Be aware that the bolts are bash-ins (with FHs) and are now over 20 years old.

Start: Start on the cairn on the raised ledge, directly below the obvious huge arete of Naja.

  1. 32m (24) Crank off cairn to break, then traverse L for 6-8m. Up over bulges past FHs, to a slopy ledge (#3 cam). (Don't go diagonally up L from 2nd FH, there's no gear). Traverse L to short arete and up this (FH) to belay (25m rap).

  2. 40m (29) This is why they rave about 'Taipan'. Roof, trend R across scoop, hug up turret to horizontal break. Move L then weave up wall to the top. 8 FHs. Trad anchor, or lower 30m off the last bolt.

FA: Malcolm Matheson, Steve Monks, 1988

FFA: Malcolm Matheson, 1988

29Mixed 75m, 11
54 * Serpentine Pitch 1

FA: Malcolm Matheson

24Trad 30m
55 Serpentine Direct Start (project - open)

This is the bolted line directly below Serpentine's first belay, and is one of three 15m bolted variants to 'Serpentine'. Some 'Serpentine' aspirants stick-clip their way up this to avoid doing Serpentine's first pitch!

Start: Start directly below the first belay of 'Serpentine'.

FA: Equipped by Nick White?, 2000

Trad 25m
56 *** Sidewinder

Another excellent 15m variant to 'Serpentine'.

Start: Start as for 'Serpentine' pitch 2.

FA: Scott Walter, 2000

27Trad 30m
57 *** Sneaky Snake

The visionary black streaks and water grooves about 5-8m R of Naja.

Start: Start as for Naja.

FA: Lee Cossey, 2011

33Trad 55m
58 *** Naja

After the long years of Steve and others being spat off before Dave cleaned it up, it's apt that this genus includes the Spitting Cobra! The strongest line on all 'Taipan', this is the left-facing arete bounding the right side of the massive scooped out area right of 'Serpentine'. It is more closely bolted than most other 'Taipan' routes, although they're getting a bit the worse for wear. The whole thing can be worked from the ground using a 70m rope (but only just!).

Start: Start as for 'Serpentine'.

  1. 25m (27) Gain the arete and follow it, mostly sub-25 but with an insecure dyno past the 2nd bolt. Consider a cam before the (rusty) 1st bolt, not least to avoid knackering yourself if you come off the tricky next moves. Above the 5th bolt its a bit runout to the anchor (20m rap).

  2. 15m (30) Continue up the arete with much better climbing. Unfortunately it gets increasingly guano-stained up high, so take a brush, but you can avoid the worst/highest section of guano by moving left before gaining the anchor (37m rap). Awaiting the obvious extended finish from the guano ledge to the top.

FA: Equipped Steve Monksish?, sent by Dave Jones, 1990

30Mixed 45m, 8
59 * Naja pitch 1 27Trad 25m
60 ** Nether

Almost completely superseded by 'Sneaky Snake', especially until the low aid move gets freed. But still worth recording, for those who can't climb 33!

Start: Start 6-8m R of Naja.

FA: Lawry Dermody, 2006

28Trad 25m
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
61 *** Groovy

FA: Rich Heap, 1997

28Sport 25m, 6
62 *** Groovy (+ The Groove Train)

The original version (Groovy) takes one of Taipan's best scoop lines and is ultra classic in it's own right. The new extension (Groove Train) is now the hardest route on the wall, and according to Ethan Pringle is one of the best three 5.14s in the world.

Start: Start 10m up L from the base of Invisible Fist. This scramble/traverse is 10m off the ground and trickier than it looks so consider belaying across.

  1. 25m (28) Groovy. Follow the disconcertingly holdless groove, deviating left around a blank bit at 15m via some crux cranks. Exciting finish well above bolt to rap anchor (30m to ground). Solid for the grade.

  2. 20m (33) The Groove Train. Climb it in 1 pitch from the ground, not as a separate 2nd pitch. The sheer face above the finish of the Groovy groove is sparsely bolted up the black streak to a lower off. Obviously, it's affected by seepage. Equipped by Zac Vertrees and Mike Law (with the top lower-off added by Jake Bresnehan), this was worked by a who's who of Australian hard-men for 7 years before Ben's success. 33 for Ben, 9a for Ethan, make up your own mind.

FA: Richard Heap (Groovy, Jan '97), Ben Cossey (Groove Train), 2009

33Sport 45m, 10
63 ** Snake Flake

A strenuous single pitch, mostly superb 22-23ish but with a distinct hard section. It takes the main arete-like thing bounding the L side of this large red scooped out section of cliff.

Start: Start on the elevated ledge, 3m L of the top of the boulder you scrambled up.

  1. 28m (26) Easily up ramp/corner to break under roof. Scuttle R to strenuous roof flake (FH) and onto slab. A small arete (hangerless bolt) leads to the much steeper main arete with 3 FHs. A bomber titanium (!) piton plus a few small-med cams protect the roofy juggy finish to the rap station (30m to the ground).

  2. 20m (-) Garry Philips bolted a 2nd pitch / extension in 2006 (still a closed project). It's a V9-ish traverse R from the anchors to the black streak, then straight up the black streak to a fairly low anchor (45m to the ground). The idea will probably be to climb it as an extension to the first pitch rather than as a separate 2nd pitch.

FA: Malcolm Matheson (originally starting up Invisible Fist - he added the direct start through the roof with Jacqui Middleton and Neil Monteith on)., 2003

26Sport 25m, 4
64 ** Trouser Snake / Le serpent de' pantalon / Snake Flake Direct Extension

Just another incredible looking line on Taipan. It's the orange streak directly above Snake Flake's anchor, climbed in a single pitch from the ground. Probably at least 2 stars but confirmation awaited from Lee.

Set by Equipped by Ben Cossey & Al Pryce late Oct 08

FA: Lee Cossey, 2013

33Sport 48m
65 *** The Invisible Fist (of Professor Hiddich Smiddich)

A few pieces of gear down low on the easier sections. * WARNING, 2011: THE CLIP-N-GO BINER IS UNSAFE - THREAD DIRECT THROUGH ALL BOLTS TO LOWER OFF * And could someone please remove the biner, it's captive so you'll need a hacksaw. Probably the most popular route on 'Taipan' - not least because of it's spoodgy grade and the quantity of shiny stainless steel!

Start: Start on the elevated ledge, just L of the top of the boulder you scrambled up, below a well-chalked slabby thin flake.

FA: Gordon Poultney, Chris Jones, 1996

26 RSport 26m, 7
66 *** Fisting Party (Link-Up)

A link-up of The Invisible Fist into the top pitch-and-a-half of 'World Party'. One of the greatest single pitches in the universe for anyone with the stamina. 'Almost' a sport route (15 bolts) with only two medium wires being optional on the entire route.

Start: Start as for Invisible Fist.

FA: Neil Monteith, 2006

26Sport 50m, 15
67 Jumping Viper

Vilified by Mexicans. Start on the elevated ledge, 4m R of the boulder and 2m L of a small tree. The jump is "only 25 or 26" if you're as long & strong as Rhys...

FA: Will Monks (26M1, pulled past the jump), 2000

FFA: Rhys van Gastel, 2013

26Mixed 28m, 7
68 *** World Party

And here we find the last member of "Taipan's Top 5": the stunning final pitch is one of the very best on the wall. Before you get there, there's a hard crux on the 2nd pitch. The hanging 2nd belay is best avoided by linking pitches 2 and 3, while pitch 2 is easily worked from the ground if you have a recalcitrant belayer.

Start: Start on the elevated ledge, 7m R of the top of the boulder and just R of the small tree, at a short fat flake on the slab.

  1. 20m (21) A worthwhile pitch in its own right, although all the mantles are somewhat above gear. Up the slabby flake then 4m R along breaks. 3 slithery mantles lead to rap anchor on ledge (18m). Cams, med. wires.

  2. 13m (27) Follow fused flake up L with increasing difficulty, then a draining fingery traverse back R to 3 bolt anchor (8m to 1st belay, 25m to base).

  3. 20m (24) Brilliant. Tough moves out slopey 3m roof flake, past the only remaining original bolt - consider a small cam just below to back it up. Now blast up the very steep and very exposed water groove past 4 bolts and a spicy final runout. A wire can reportedly be finagled in on the top runout, but with all that air below your remaining energy is probably better spent in braving the final moves without it! DRB rap anchor (48m to ground).

FA: Peter Cresswell (1), Andy Pollit (2,3), 1990

27Mixed 64m, 9
69 * World Party Pitch 1 21Trad 20m
70 ** World Party Pitch 2

FA: Andy Pollit

27Trad 12m
71 *** World Party Pitch 3

FA: Andy Pollit

24Trad 20m
72 World Party Anaconda Pitch 1 Link-up / World Party Anaconda Connection

Nothing flash by 'Taipan' standards, but certainly recommended for those at the grade wanting a taste of the fabled 'Taipan'.

Start: Start as for 'World Party'.

16Trad 25m
73 Constrictor

Squeezed in! A 'Taipan' slab route with a crimpy crux down low.

Start: Starts 3m right of 'World Party', just left of small bush growing out of horizontal crack.

FA: Neil Monteith, 2004

21Mixed 18m, 3
74 *** Anaconda

Suffocatingly powerful. Can be led as one giant pitch.

Start: Start at large expanding left-facing flake 8m right of 'World Party'.

  1. 18m (21) Not a great pitch. Expanding flake (FH), then traverse left across break (FH) and up slab to chain belay (15m rap). A few medium-large cams are useful.

  2. 35m (28) Straight up (2 FHs) to stance on the left, then rightwards out bulge with sustained endurance climbing up to big roof. Over 2 roofs into water runnel above (2 FHs), then head off left to the 'World Party' anchors. Most leaders clean it themselves by reversing, back-jumping and re-threading their way back down the pitch (hence all the unsightly bail biners), the only alternative is to find some idiot to second you then rap off (48m). All these shenanigans will be obviated once a proper anchor is placed directly above the 2nd pitch (which HB has reportedly okayed - any volunteers?).

FA: Malcolm Matheson & Simon Mentz, 1993

28Mixed 60m, 8
75 Anaconda Pitch 1

FA: Malcolm Matheson

22Trad 17m
76 * Forked Tongue

A rising traverse line across a major feature linking 'Anaconda' into Mr Joshua.

Start: Start at rap chain at end of first pitch of 'Anaconda'.

FFA: Toby Pola

FA: Equipped and dogged by Neil Monteith, 2005

27Mixed 25m, 5
77 *** Mr T (Mr Josh Left Variant) / Mr T

Totally classic ... but it's hard to give the third star when it's only an 8m variant of the first pitch of Mr Joshua.

Start: Start as for Mr Joshua.

FA: Garry & Jake

FA: Garry Phillips, 2006

25Mixed 35m, 9
78 *** Mr Joshua

The brilliant first pitch is one of the most popular at 'Taipan' and was a very impressive effort by the young bumblies Jared and Simon. Often cited as the best 25 (26) in 'Australia'. Pitch 2 is far less popular, but still excellent.

Start: Start from the R-hand end of the ledge, 4m R of Anaconda's flake - and set a belay.

  1. 28m (26) Pockets and mantles to ledge. Move R along wide break then slopes lead to a spike hold. Head R to arete then up to break. Blast up the R side of the groove above, finally trending L to a compact cave with DRB lower-off (28m to tree then swing back in to ledge, or 38m to ground). A #2.5Fr is needed to eliminate nasty fall potential below the crux bolt, & most climbers also place 1 or 2 large wires & a #3.5Fr.

  2. 15m (26) A techy big dyno to start, then some great technical moves up the vague arete. 4 bolts & rap chain (15m to 1st belay, 48m to ground).

FA: Pitch 1 Jared McCulloch & Simon MentzPitch 2 Jared McCulloch 18-10-1989, 1989

26Sport 50m, 12
79 *** Mr. Joshua Pitch 1 25Trad 35m
80 *** Sheek Naja Ket

Established after a tip-off from Jake the snake Bresnehan. "Named in honour of a great man, and possibly the best climb on the wall". Given 31 originally but has quickly been knocked down a grade.

Start: Start as for Mr J.

FA: Ben Cossey, Al Pryce, 2008

30Sport 38m, 11
81 * Tourniquet

A variant to 'Venom'.

Start: Start as for 'Venom'.

  1. 20m (30) An 8m direct variant to 'Venom' pitch 1. As for 'Venom' for 12m until established on the L side of the groove. Instead of traversing R, continue direct up the L side of the groove past 2 FHs to rejoin 'Venom' at the major horizontal break (optional lower-off here). Traverse L to belay.

  2. 20m (27) As for 'Venom' pitch 2 until past the bulge and into the cave. Then take the L arete of the cave/scoop. It has no rap anchor - make a very exposed traverse R to Kaa's anchor (belay recommended).

FA: Dave Jones (p1p2 98), 1997

30Mixed 40m, 4
82 *** Venom

A beautiful scoop of rock with a tenuous traverse and remarkably sustained climbing for the length of the scoop. The business is a little short to rank up there with Taipan's very best, but it's still a 3 star route.

Start: Start at the DRB atop Kaa p1, accessed as described above. (There is an old direct start with a couple of bolts (described on the 'Spurt Wall' page), but nobody bothers with it).

  1. 20m (28) This pitch is almost a sport route as it contains a few fixed wires to supplement the bolts, but most people also put in a few medium cams. It's a very popular pitch due to its squishy grade, and is many climbers' first 28. Step right past FH and up reachy wall past fixed wires to big break. Swing over rooflet (fixed wire) then traverse R across scoop. Pump up the subtle R arete of the scoop (2 FHs + fixed wire) then a tricky conclusion up L to break. Clip-and-go lower-off (16m to ledge, 30m to ground), or if you're continuing up pitch 2 scuttle 5m further L along the break to belay. Originally, pitch 1 finished directly up the R side of the scoop to a ledge at the R end of the break (with at least one bolt), but this necessitated an intermediate traverse pitch and so is not the best approach.

  2. 20m (28) Rarely done. Up through scoops into cave above. Out right side of cave to top. There's no rap anchor - make an exposed traverse R to Kaa's anchor (belay recommended).

FA: Steve Monks early, 1995

28Mixed 60m, 4
83 The Old Dog (project - open)

a.k.a Enter the Dragon, a.k.a. 'Mortal Combat'. This is the subtle groove about 6-8m R of Mr J's arete, and is yet another line on which all the moves have been done but it still hasn't been sent. It'll be at least 32. Has recently been projected by Nalle Hukkataival, 2012

Start: Start at the DRB at the base of 'Venom'.

FA: Equipped Rich Heap, 2000

Mixed 18m, 6
84 Rattler

2 bolt boulder start to RS. Classic!!

28Trad
85 ** Rattlesnake Shake

Ho hum, just another fantastic 'Taipan' route. You'll be shaking on the slab section! Continually bouldery climbing split by good rest stances.

Start: Start as for 'Venom' on the ledge 15m off the ground.

FA: Neil Monteith, 2007

26Mixed 35m, 7
86 * Kaa

Wanders around like crazy in order to follow the 'weaknesses', but still worthwhile. Nearly all the bolts are in poor condition - please contribute to rebolting. You also need a light trad rack.

Start: Start at ground level at the prominent left-leading flake that is located towards the right end of the 'Spurt Wall' bouldering traverse, directly below 'Venom'.

  1. 25m (23) Average. Climb the flake to gain a ledge, then move off its left end past a FH (rebolted 2011) then up face and right along ledge to DRB (placed ~2005, 14m rap).

  2. 25m (24) Move up and right past FH to a horizontal break. Traverse right (med. cam) and up past FH to another horizontal (cams). Right again beneath FH in steep territory (incredibly awkward to clip from below, incredibly bold to clip from above), then make a hand-traverse back left just above FH, and onto ledge with DFH (25m rap possible).

  3. 15m (24) Step R, up to roof, then L to FH. Dangle out R through overhangs past 2nd FH, ignore 3rd FH, and trend R to a delicate last move onto the terrace and DFH (35m rap). A harder alternative (25) is to head straight up past the 3rd FH (see 62a on topo).

  4. 15m (23) Pull up to diagonal ramp and follow it up L to spike/jug on arete. Up steep face, moving L to faint groove (wire), to rap anchor back over the clifftop. The 50m rap straight to the deck is not recommended due to rope drag. Instead, lower back to the 3rd belay, then rap 35m off Rattlesnake Shake's DRB.

FA: Steve Monks, Keith Lockwood, 1992

24Mixed 80m, 9

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
8 Mission Over Tokyo Gunigalg Gully Connection Trad 50m
16 World Party Anaconda Pitch 1 Link-up Trad 25m
18 * Mission Over Tokyo Trad 55m
* Tokyo Connection Trad 45m
* Tokyo Rose Trad 50m
20 * Atomic Tadpole Trad 55m
** Ukrainian Geranium Trad 45m
21 Constrictor Mixed 18m, 3
** Lawrence of Arabia Trad 100m
* Sirocco Pitch 1 Mixed 20m, 1
* The Mint Trad 42m
** The Seventh Pillar Right Hand Variant Mixed 14m, 2
* World Party Pitch 1 Trad 20m
22 Anaconda Pitch 1 Trad 17m
*** The Seventh Pillar Left Hand Variant Mixed 46m, 1
23 ** The Seventh Banana Pitch 1 Trad 20m
** The Seventh Pillar Aid 120m, 12
23 M1 *** Dance of Life Clean Sweep Connection Mixed 45m, 1
* Dance of Life Dinosaurs Don't Dyno Connection Aid 40m
24 * Kaa Mixed 80m, 9
* Posy Mixed 30m, 3
* Scud Buster Mixed 75m, 4
* Serpentine Pitch 1 Trad 30m
*** World Party Pitch 3 Trad 20m
24 M1 ** Clean Sweep Aid 40m, 1
** Dance of Life Aid 35m, 2
25 * Arabic Mint Trad 25m
** Divided Years Mixed 16m, 4
** Medusa Mixed 35m, 3
*** Mr T (Mr Josh Left Variant) Mixed 35m, 9
*** Mr. Joshua Pitch 1 Trad 35m
** Sordid Orchids Pitch 1 Trad 20m
25 M1 ** Lure Groove Aid 40m, 2
26 ** Dinosaurs Don't Dyno Trad 35m
*** Father Oblivion Mixed 52m, 7
*** Fisting Party (Link-Up) Sport 50m, 15
Jumping Viper Mixed 28m, 7
*** Mr Joshua Sport 50m, 12
** Rattlesnake Shake Mixed 35m, 7
*** Sirocco Mixed 52m, 5
** Snake Flake Sport 25m, 4
Snake in the Grass Trad
** Sordid Orchids Direct Mixed 28m, 5
* The Chick is Trouble Mixed 15m, 1
*** The Invisible Fist (of Professor Hiddich Smiddich) Sport 26m, 7
26 M1 * Sordid Orchids Aid 55m, 5
27 * Forked Tongue Mixed 25m, 5
** Mirage Mixed 35m, 15
* Naja pitch 1 Trad 25m
** Pythonesque Trad 35m
*** Sidewinder Trad 30m
** The Great Divide Mixed 50m, 3
*** The Seventh Banana Mixed 60m, 1
*** World Party Mixed 64m, 9
** World Party Pitch 2 Trad 12m
28 *** Anaconda Mixed 60m, 8
** Cardigan Street Pitch 2 Trad 25m
** Chinook Sport 35m
*** Daedelus Trad 65m
*** Groovy Sport 25m, 6
** Nether Trad 25m
Rattler Trad
* Seventh Pillar Direct Finish Mixed 12m, 2
** The Seventh Pillar (Free Variant) Aid 7m, 2
*** Venom Mixed 60m, 4
29 ** Angst Mixed 40m, 9
* Black Adder Trad 40m
*** Feather Boa Trad 61m
Medusa (Pitch 2) (open project) Trad 25m
Quetzalcoatl (project - closed) Trad 54m
*** Serpentine Mixed 75m, 11
30 *** Naja Mixed 45m, 8
** Rage Mixed 15m, 5
*** Sheek Naja Ket Sport 38m, 11
* Tourniquet Mixed 40m, 4
31 *** Cardigan Street Mixed 60m, 11
32 *** Orange Desire Sport
33 *** Groovy (+ The Groove Train) Sport 45m, 10
*** Sneaky Snake Trad 55m
** Trouser Snake Sport 48m
? Adam Demmert's Closed Project Sport Project
Dinosaurs LHF Trad
HB's 'It Might Go' Line (project - closed) Mixed 35m, 3
Malcolm's Dyno Line (project - closed) Mixed 50m, 4
Serpentine Direct Start (project - open) Trad 25m
The Old Dog (project - open) Mixed 18m, 6