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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, 
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

Asses Ears Area Sunset Crags, 
The Secret Crags
, Cherub Wall
, Maul Wall, 
Wallaby Rocks, 
Conifer Wall
, Geranium (Brim) Springs, Porcelain Wall
,Wallaby Rocks
,Joey Blocks

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


Eastern Mt Difficult Range No Mans Land, Heatherlie Heights, Cape Canavera,l Woomera The Promised Land / The Pine Plantation, Cliff Lebanon,
The Heavens, 
Lower Heavens, Lunar Walls, The Tim Tams

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

NE Mt Zero Range Golton Rocks -
Cave Cliff
, Wave Wall (aka The Sundeck) / The Sun Deck The Sun Gate,
Golton Wall, 
Gog-Magog Crag, 
Watchmen Wall, 
Coppermine Track Cliff

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


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Grade Route

Some good positions but really filthy climbing on the 2nd pitch.

Start: Start about 15m R of 'Petite Fleur', just R of twin cracks.

  1. 20m (14) The twin cracks climb nicely despite their normally dirty appearance. Gaining them is very old-school 14, however. Up face for 3m then move L to the L-hand crack. Up the cracks to terrace.

  2. 20m (14) Climb the chimney off the terrace to a scrubby ledge. The last part of this pitch is awful.

  3. 20m (-) Climb up 4m then traverse L on doubtful flakes out around the arete to the extreme right of the Grey wall. Straight up to ledge. If you bothered to do this, finish up 'The Crank'.

FA: Richard Schmidt & John McLean, 1966

Pointless and dangerous. Take all cams.

Start: Start at the foot of pitch 2 of 'The Walltower Castle'.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Meg Sleeman, 1991

Good climbing all the way up one of the compelling features of The Amphitheatre. All cams, with doubles up to 2½. The final three pitches could be cut to two with careful rope, equipment and mental management. The reachy start to the second pitch has been tamed with a cairn, combined tactics would be a preferable solution.

Start: Start as for 'The Walltower Castle'.

  1. 20m (19) Up 3m, move R and up, bolt, to ledge. Easy, unprotected slab to tree (as for Blank Frank).

  2. 40m (21) Move the belay R 10m to boulders on the terrace beneath short, overhanging wall. Pull up and swing right on horizontal breaks in the initial steep wall, crank up to bolt, then move L a little and go up to large horizontal break. Straight up short wall to R end of long, bushy ledge. Traverse R to line of flakes up centre of face and bolt. Up flakes then slabs to bolts.

  3. 20m (20) Up slab, 2 bolts, to diagonal crack leading to main overhang and up to overhang. Pull onto overhang, undercling and layback flake, hand traverse R to rest. Wide step R to semi-hanging belay from cams.

  4. 15m (15) Diagonally R up face to ledge that leads across to belay in 'Sluice'.

  5. 25m (19) 'Sweet Dreams'.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Jane Wilkinson used a wandering approach to the roof in. Loughran added (2) in November 1991. As described: Loughran & Keith Lockwood November 1995., 1990

We've done this variation a couple of times over the last few years but was waiting until we could add a bolt and clean it up a bit. I much prefer this variation to the original desperate bouldery grade 22 crux. We also added a bolt to the belay at the top of this pitch to replace the (now) crappy-looking carrot. If you do The Navigator via this pitch it makes the whole climb grade 21. It starts up the short bottomless orange L-facing corner-crack about 2.5m L of the rap / belay rings and about 6m R of the original cairned start on the ledge. After the corner continue up the clean grey slab (drifting slightly L) for about 12m to the steepening and a bolt. Tricky moves gain the flakes as for the original pitch. Note that this pitch is 32m long and will require a 70m rope if you wish to lower or rap off it.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Karen Tempest, 2014

This long sustained adventure is a classic at the grade. Starts as for the 'The Great Foaming Expresso Machine', which is in the middle of the Petite Fleur Face, L of its central green moss streak. Take a full trad rack (double cams and lots of wires) and a bunch of slings. Every belay is U-bolted. You can climb to the top of the third pitch using a single 60m+ rope (two raps will get you to the ground from here) but you will need double ropes to complete the rest of the route. You'll also need double ropes for the rap descent. The rap descent chains are situated just 15m R of the finish of the climb. This route utilises 'The Great Foaming Expresso Machine' and parts of 'Sluice' and Gigi's Climb

  1. 15m (19) The Great Foaming Expresso Machine is climbed past three rings to a ledge. Two U-bolt belay.

  2. 30m (19) Either climb up immediately L of the belay U-bolts (awkward) or, alternatively, step R (much easier) to move up the gray slabby wall. Climb the L-hand brushed streak past a single bolt (right-hand streak is supposed to be 18) to a good stance and two U-bolt belay.

  3. 15m (19) Slab up the R side of the brushed streak, past three rings (plus a couple of cams) to a good stance under the roof and two U-bolt belay.

  4. 30m (19) Traverse 5m R into corner of Sluice. Keep moving R across the wall to gain the big jugs on the arete ('Gigis Climb'). Ascend the arete and thin crack until it runs out (small wires). A couple of awkward moves leads to a bolt. Move on up the gray slab above. A medium / large cam with a long sling protects the friction traverse R ('Sluice') for 4m, then up a short easy crack to a superb belay stance in the alcove. Two bolt belay.

  5. 15m (19) Up a few moves into the base of the prominent right-curving flake-line. Awkward moves L past a bolt then up easily to a good ledge.

This route utilises 'The Great Foaming Expresso Machine' and parts of 'Sluice' and 'Gigis Climb'.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Michael Hampton, 2013

A very nice pitch but do 'Sweet Dreams' for the full experience. The 30-year old bolts were recently replaced.

Start: Scramble R up the diagonal ramp near the R side of the Green Wall and back L (may want to rope up) to the base of a smooth water runnel (the direct start is 22).

FA: Gary Kerkin & Michael Stone (alt). FA John Chapman 1975., 1966

Great climbing including 'Spillway' and the best bit of 'Sluice', leading straight up to the apex in the huge overhangs. Take large cams.

Start: Start as for 'Spillway'.

  1. 33m (18) Up Spillway's slabby groove with 6 bolts and some cams until the groove ends at a bush, move L to belay.

  2. 30m (19) Follow the line up diagonally L to the overhang. Climb the flake overhang and up to ledge on R.

  3. 25m (19) Straight up the line, directly through the overhang and continue up the overhanging corner in a sensational situation.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Kevin Lindorff, 1977

The second pitch is the main attraction. Two sets of cams for 1st pitch.

Start: Scramble up the ramp to a notch. Start from the L side of the notch.

  1. 45m (19) 'Steep' wall to ledge then slightly L-ward, keeping to cleanest rock. Step L at about 30m, up then reach L to clip B in 'Spillway'. Move back R and up.

  2. 35m (21) Pull over bulge just L of small corner, up corner, L and up to obvious flake. Up to multiple wire placements, up R to another placement. Follow holds diagonally L to finish on arete and belay at L end of 'Sluice' traverse.

FA: James & Melanie McIntosh, 1992

A spectacular finish that was done to finish the Sluice/Spillway combination but would be more appropriate as a finish to 'Drifting'.

FA: Andrew Macfarlane, Murray Judge (both NZ & lead unknown), 1998

An historic route but much of the climb is quite easy, it wanders, and the best bits are included in 'Sweet Dreams' and 'Navarre'. Still, it's not a bad climb for parties that want a longish climb with a short, well-protected crux. The nasty version of the final traverse is memorable. Take large cams.

Start: Scramble up the top of the easy diagonal ramp to below the major L-leading diagonal groove/corner, about 15m R of 'Spillway'.

  1. 35m (18) L-leaning groove to big slot with hard move at 25m. Traverse R to terrace.

  2. 20m (-) Traverse L past bush and up to ledge.

  3. 20m (-) Follow diagonal line up L to overhang, undercling and layback R around flake and on up line to ledge on R.

  4. 12m (-) Traverse R to terrace. There are two options: either a poorly protected friction traverse R to a better foot-ledge or, move up 3m, traverse easily R and drop back down to end of the friction section.

  5. 10m (-) Up L to abseil anchors.

FA: Ian Guild & Chris Davis (alt). FA Rod Young 1977., 1965

Devious and serious. Strangely, the hard climbing is after the spot that aid was used on the first ascent!

Start: Start from the second belay on 'Sluice'.

FA: Bruno Zeller & Clive Parker. FA John Chapman 1975., 1967

Climb direct up the orange-brown streak in the steep wall between 'Sluice' and 'Threadneedle'.

Start: Scramble up to the top of the 'Threadneedle' ramp.

FA: Pat Ford & Keith Lockwood, 2000

An elegant climb up the line delimiting the R side of the slabs.

Start: Start as for 'Sluice'.

  1. 35m (17) As for 'Sluice', the L-leaning groove to big slot with hard move at 25m. Traverse R to terrace.

  2. 30m (17) An attractive, diagonal corner rises from the terrace. Either climb the wall L of the corner to start or take the corner all the way to the next terrace.

  3. 10m (-) Up L to abseil anchors.

FA: John Moore, Phillip Stranger. FA Peter Watling & Peter Treby 1979., 1966

Lovely slabbing. Recently retro-bolted to make it reasonable for people climbing at the grade, but still needs a rack. Grade is likely to drop a little. Start at the top of pitch 1 of Navarre, near the left side of the terrace. Climb over the bulge and go easily up to a water streak. Up streak(FH), mantle (FH), step right and up (FH) to runner at horizontal break. On up face,(#2 cam essential) until almost able to reach corner on R. Instead, move easily out left (FH) and up to belay on Sluice traverse.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Meg Sleeman, 1990

An adventure. There are at least 3 ways of getting past the cave. The way I consider best is used in the description and the alternatives are at the end.

Start: Start at the base of diagonal ramp that 'Sluice' and other routes scramble up. For this route, it is probably easier to belay from the ground than to set up a belay at the top of the ramp.

  1. 35m (10) Follow the ramp then up the corner that is the continuation of the ramp until able to move R to belay in the large cave.

  2. 25m (10) Move out the next hole along from the one you entered by (feels ridiculously exposed) climb the pillar on the L (facing the cliff), with poor protection at first (crux). Continue up buttress to a ledge. Rope drag and communication can be difficulties. (Variants 2a. (10) Instead of traversing R into the cave, continue up the corner and move back R above the cave. Move R-wards to rejoin the route. 2b. Move back out of the hole that the cave was entered from and climb the rib to the R (facing the cliff).)

  3. 35m (-) Up a series of walls to another large cave which these days is increasingly frequented by boulderers (Ground Control Caves) so you might feel a bit over-dressed with a rope on!

  4. 20m (-) Either traverse L for 10m to rappel anchors or continue to top.

FA: Steve Craddock, Sue Priestly, John Cargill (var), Bob Craddock & Jerry Grandage Easter., 1965

A chasm. The chimney/gully between 'The Green Wall' and 'Taipan Wall'. Lots of scrambling and some roped climbing. The initial chimney often flows with water for long periods after rain.

FA: Recorded by John Petheram, 2000


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