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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:

Grampians National Park Update – 17 September 2014 (Rock climbing and Bouldering)

In January 2014 a large bushfire swept through the Northern Grampians causing widespread damage to visitor sites, roads and walking tracks. Many popular rockclimbing and bouldering sites were also impacted including Hollow Mountain, Summerday Valley and Mt Stapylton.

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.

Recently, Parks Victoria, volunteers and contractors completed recovery projects within rock climbing areas to reinstate damaged walking trails, realign rock climbing access and replace directional signage.

As of Saturday 20th September access will once again be available to rock climbing and bouldering areas within the Stapylton Amphitheatre in addition to those already available in the Flat Rock area. The access track from Flat Rock has been realigned into Grey and Green Walls and to Taipan wall. Please follow these new alignments and refrain from walking off track.

Open Rock Climbing and Bouldering Areas in the Northern Grampians:

  • Central Buttress
  • Grey & Green Walls
  • Taipan Wall (Upper and Lower)
  • Spurt Wall
  • Epsilon Wall
  • Trackside Bouldering area
  • Snakepit
  • Wildsides
  • Spurt and Afterglow

Closures remain in place at all other Northern Grampians Climbing and Bouldering sites for the time being, including Summerday Valley, Andersons, The kindergarten, Van Diemens Land and Cut Lunch Walls. Stapylton Campground also remains closed. Plantation Campground is the closest, open campground.

Parks Victoria will continue to assess damage and undertake recovery works over the coming months. Updates will be posted as re-openings occur. 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 anyone found in any closed, fire affected areas.

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.parks.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:

  • Stapylton Amphitheatre
  • Flat Rock
  • 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:
  • Stapylton Amphitheatre
  • 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

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


Add route(s) Add topo Resequence Bulk edit
Grade Route
14 The Walltower Castle Trad 74m 3

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

19 R Maybe Utah Trad 20m

Pointless and dangerous. Take all cams.

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

FA: Kieran Loughran & Meg Sleeman, 1991

22 *** The Navigator Trad 120m 5

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

19 ** The Shining Path Mixed 110m 5, 8

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

18 * Spillway Trad 33m

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

19 *** Sweet Dreams Trad 88m 3

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

21 * Drifting Trad 80m 2

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

18 * Sluice Trad 120m 5

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., 20th Nov

18 R Gigi's Climb Trad 20m

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

17 Green Rope Berets Trad 30m

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

17 ** Navarre Trad 75m 3

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

18 * There And Back Mixed 35m, 4

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

9 * Threadneedle Trad 150m 4

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

7 Gunigalg Gully Trad 100m

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