Sentinel Cave Mostly sport climbing15 routes in cliff
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One of the more popular 'dry in any weather' venues for the mid grade sport climber. This is a large cave high up in the valley behind Stapylton campground with an easy flat walk-in. This area features short and very steep sport routes on coarse orange rock. A large viewing area makes this a fun place to hang out with a bunch of mates and watch the sun set whilst cranking some of the sweet routes. Be very careful on the access traverse into the cave, one slip and you're dead. In wet weather it is advised to rope up for the scramble traverse into the cave and exit by abseiling back out of the cave.
Crag gets late afternoon sun in summer and full sun from midday in winter.© (nmonteith)
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
- 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
Park at the 'Mt Stapylton Campground' aboriginal shelter carpark (Cave of Ghosts) which is south from the camping area. Walk south east following small track on the east side of a vegetated creek. A few minutes into the walk you will pass an isolated pillar of rock 'Castle Crag' with a few ok trad routes on it. Keep following the track, walking along flat ground amongst ferns with minor cliffs and boulders on your left. After 5 minutes the track goes into gumtrees, keep walking in the same direction on a vague track for another few minutes. Spot the cave itself in front and to the left a little up the hill in the distance.Try and locate some rock cairns and follow these left up a gentle hill. Follow left branch of 'creek' up small rock gully on the left side of the cave until you can traverse directly right across exposed rock to get into the cave. Two RB's are positioned along this traverse to use as an anchor to belay people who may be scared of the traverse. The ringbolt can also be used to abseil out of the cave when the traverse is wet from rain.
GPS - 36.55.900s, 142.23.372e© (nmonteith)
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Anyone say girdle? A scuttling novelty route across a big roof. Originally attempted on trad – but after Neil pulled a huge block off the lip and plummeted headfirst onto the halfway ledge it was decided to bolt it. Climb to first bolt on 'Stepping on Snakes', traverse left across 'Army of Ants' to big ledge. Walk left across this to FH and keep going across line (big cams) to roof flake (FH). Out impressive 3m roof and up steep arete past RB to lower off bolts.
FA: Neil Monteith, Jacqui Middleton & Joe Morgan-Payler, 2003
Line of FHs through roof left of 'Antics'. Attempted by a few - maybe 28+? Bolted by Monty in 2004.
FA: Equipped Neil Monteith, 2004
Another HB signature roof route. Follow 'Army of Ants' to first bolt, then traverse left to ledge. Climb left leading roof flakes through 5m ceiling directly above the ledge past 4 FH's to lip. Back jump to clean. No anchor.
FA: Malcolm Matheson, 2003
Short, powerful and popular. Start just right of small arete in centre of cave at ground level. Don't wear slip-ons unless you're OK with losing a shoe mid-route! Thin reachy face to start precedes big dynamic moves up steep wall and finish via big scoopy roof 1 FH & 4 RB's. Lower off chain.
FA: Rohan Archibald, Neil Monteith & Jacqui Middleton, 2003
Classic steep thugging. Mantle onto slab then up very steep horizontals to final roof dyno. Five RB's and double RB lower off. Watch your back when lowering off.
FA: Neil Monteith, 2002
Self explanatory. Far right side of cave. A 'Nowra' style mini pumpfest. Three RB's up steep orange wall. Double RB lower off at top.
FA: Neil Monteith & Joe Morgan-Payler, 2002