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Description

If you can climb grade 30 this cliff is the mecca of all meccas. One of the 'Big 4' sport crags of Victoria. An amazing impressive cave of mindblowing features.

This is also one of the best "four season" crags in the Grampians, for the following reasons: - around the winter solstice (May-Jun-Jul) the sun is low in the sky and stays in the north, reaching in under the big overhangs to warm up frosty belayers; - around the summer solstice (Nov-Dec-Jan) the sun is high in the sky and both the routes and the base spend most of the day in shade; - the very steep headwall keeps off the rain.

However, there are of course times when conditions won't be perfect. In particular, around the equinoxes the entire crag (except for the starts on the steep left end) is in full sun from 8-9AM about until about 2-3 PM. This means that days around Feb-March (usually warm to hot) can be prohibitively sweaty, and that days around September may turn very cold in the afternoon shade (although this at least can be solved with suitable clothing). Also, the routes have enough slopers that temps in the 30s will be a problem even if you are climbing in the shade (on days like this it's probably better to try The Tower or the Gallery just down the road).

Sadly this crag has also become something of a cautionary tale for hasty route development, being littered with far too many unpatched bolt holes, bolt studs, dogging/aiding bolts, and abandoned carabiners. Futuristic projects are one thing but much of this detritus clearly has no prospects at all and the clean up effort has unfortunately been nil to date.

A quick history lesson from Simon Mentz: "Steve Hamilton dragged me and a few others into the cliff many years before it started being developed. I think he had discovered the place with Baxter and came back raving. I recall him telling me about this line that looked like three Sandinista's stacked on top of each other. I went in there expecting to climb mega-routes routes ground-up. Although the cliff was impressive, I was actually disappointed. Most of the cliff looked ridiculously hard. I remember saying to Steve, 'Where is the triple 'Sandinista' line?' 'In fact, show me one line that we can actually start climbing?' In the end I began rap-bolting the steep line of what is now 'Krankandangle'. I faffed around for ages getting in position, then my hand drill kept getting stuck, and finally when I got a bolt in place... I wasn't happy with it. We eventually walked out and never bothered to return. It wasn't until years later that HB mentioned this amazing cliff that he and Noddy had visited and their suprise at seeing a single bolt halfway up one of the lines, that it all clicked. Malcolm had established a few other routes and asked me whether I still planned to do that particular route. 'Yeah, of course!' (What a crock - I had completely forgotten about it). I took a power drill next time I visited the place and finished bolting the line (replacing my old dud bolt). The ascent was a formality, although I recall Sylvia finding the crux moves a bit reachy and falling off a few times. So there you go... another absolutely brilliant cliff (along with the Gallery) that I visited prior to their development and which I failed to see the potential of!"

Bear in mind that almost no rebolting has yet occurred at this crag so all bolts are the originals, and some are starting to show their age. There's quite a few spinning hangers, and the hangerless carrot bolts vary from "worrisome" to "completely shit". (Take bolt brackets). Perhaps the greatest concern is that the fixed hanger/bolt combos used are mismatched metal types and suffering from galvanic corrosion as a result, which can be particularly dangerous because of the tendency for the damage to be localised around the metal/metal interfaces, i.e. largely out of sight.

The best warm up is the bouldering around the base of 'Desert Rose' - neither of the "easy" routes are good options if you're still cold and haven't been on them before.

© (nmonteith)

Access issues inherited from Victoria Range

The Victoria Range was badly burnt in the fires of February 2013 but all areas are now open to climbing (Feb 2014). However there are access changes to the cliffs in the Eureka area.

Approach

Drive north for a kilometre (approx) from the Mt Fox carpark on Red Rock Rd until you hit the obvious creek crossing (Muline Creek). 50m south of Muline Creek is a carpark on the east side of the road (which, as of Oct 2008, has a big tree fallen across it) - park here. Walk up old fireroad for 100m to T-intersection. Walk right (south) for 50m to rock cairn marking track into Muline. The track is pretty flat at first, but gets progressively steeper and the walk takes about 25 minutes. As of 2017 the track is relatively easy to follow but is badly overgrown by bushfire regrowth in places, it has seen plenty of pruning but still needs a lot more so please bring secaturs. (A single well-defined path is much less impact on the environment than the track braiding inevitably caused by an ill-defined path). The track meets the cliff at After Midnight.

The crag is marked "kid friendly" because the base of the cliff is generally ok for kids to hang out, especially around the base of 'Eye of the Tiger', and 'Desert Rose' (but beware the 6m drop-off separating these areas, just left of Pocket Full of Dreams). However, the walk in will tax little legs (or the adult carrying them!).

© (nmonteith)

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

Routes

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Grade Route

Steepo left leading cave route on far left side of crag. Sport all the way.

FA: Simon Mentz

Link Krankandangle into Path of Yin via low bolt.

FA: Nick Sutter

Start up Middle Path, where Middle Path joins Path of Yin continue traversing right into steepness. Do the big dyno and then traverse further right into Eye of the Tiger and finish as per it's anchors.

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2012

A shameless linkup but worthy none the less! Start up middle path and continue as per the flying duck. Do the crux dyno of the duck and then immediately head left into a rest before finishing at the path of yin anchors.

Set by Nathan Hoette, 2015

FA: Gerhard Deiter, 2015

One of the best in Oz. The only bad thing about this climb is that it was cruelly stolen from HB by a UK darkhorse. This should be on everyone's tick list. They simply don't get much better.

Start: Start 5m down R of 'Krankandangle'.

FA: Ken Palmer

Crikey it's good. Which is better Path Of Yin or Eye Of The Tiger? Truly superb rock architecture, with fair dinkum good moves. Was a lot harder but then some creative thinking enabled the roof passage to be climbed with out too much strength, which produced an enormous increase in it's popularity! Incredibly steep, at least 15m overhung.

Start: Start at the back of the cave beneath the huge "eye" in the roof.

FA: Scott Walter

Links eye of tiger start to path of Yin finish via a fun looking flake feature & a few new bolts

FA: nathan hoette

Fantastic climbing on an outrageous feature. Batman to 4th bolt.

FA: Lee Cossey, 2015

Unfinished bolted line in the middle of the blankness, 4 bolts with a bail biner. Lee Cossey sent this in 2015 as Tail of the Tiger (28) with a batman start but the first 3 bolts are yet to go.

Lunacy endurance traverse. Your forearms will explode.

FA: HB

Starts as per PFOD then joins CL for a couple of bolts. Takes traverse line a few meters south of CL to same anchor

FA: Nathan H, 2014

As for Cl but keep going straight up via very reachy moves.

Start: Start as for CL.

FA: Nick Sutterish, 2010

A beautiful gobsmacking line. The manky old carrots at the start have now been placed with rings. A long stick-clip is required as the crux is the start.

Start: Start 3m R of the base of the rock step separating the upper and lower tiers of the crag.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Malcolm Matheson & Norm Booth, 1991

Start: The line of bolts a couple of metres R of 'Pocket Full of Dreams'.

A strong natural line but a bit chossy in the middle.

Start: The hanging left facing corner in the centre of the crag, where the walk-in track meets the cliff, and about 10m R of PFoD.

FA: Malcolm Matheson & Keith Lockwood, 1991

Choss. Like climbing the worst sea cliff in Sydney. Not sure why Malcolm did this?!

FA: Malcolm Matheson & Keith Lockwood, 1991

A great line that was strangely one of the last routes added. Seems so obvious now.

Start: Start 5m L of 'Desert Rose'.

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2005

Another superb line. The best 27 in the 'Grampians' - although most think its actually 28!

Start: Start about 8m R of After Midnight.

Edit: The original line done by Malcolm is a single pitch going all the way to the anchor at the top of the wall. There is no second pitch!

FA: HB, 2000

Malcolm retro bolted this to encourage people to do this finish. No one ever went past ledge where snap dragon finishes. The anchor has been chopped!! Regardless watch your ankles, the ledge is destined to take a pair or two out.....

FA: HB

The original Vic Ranges hard route. Mega.

Start: Start 5m R of DR at major scoopy weakness. Power endurance classic past 6 bolts to anchor

FA: HB, 2000

One of the hardest routes in 'Victoria'. A sustained full frontal assault on the highest part of the cave.

Start: Start just R of DF.

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2003

Tough rightwards heading line right of Flower Power. Slopy.

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2002

A bit of a glue job. The glued on hold has come off once again. Probably impossible atm january 2015

FA: Nathan, 2000

Start up 'Sullivan Street' then bust out left and up bulging wall above.

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2002

Very tough bouldery start that has shut down quite a few strong international climbers. Bring a medium cam for the finish moves. Lower off last bolt.

FA: HB, 2000

7 bolts across lovely flake feature.

Only about 20-30m up and R from the top of Sullivan St are two good little caves. Kent's Cave is the upper one. Walk about 50m R from the base of Sullivan St, into the back of the treed alcove, then cut R up a ledge system on the R wall (which has one tricky bit above a drop but its not too bad). Now walk easily up and traverse L into Kent's cave (with another exposed move, very easy but beware snapping jugs).

Short punchy route on left of cave. 'Nowra' like!

FA: Kent Paterson, 2010

Follows bouldery rib to juggy finish.

Starts on far right of cave and finishes as for NLF. Nice pumper!

FA: Kent Paterson, 2010

Left hand start to minimal tech.

THE line of the cave. Power Endurance.

Link up minimal tech into loose cannon.

Just another stunner

Steep and very crimpy

This is the cave below Kent's cave, and about 20m up and R from the top of Sullivan St. It has a longer access however. Walk to Kent's Cave, then keep going out the far/left/east end, then scramble back down into the left/east side of Nick's cave. Just the one hard route here.

The only bolted line in this cave.

Classic Power Route.

The next routes are located above the main wall. Access by topping out After Midnight Pitch 1. The other option is to climbs a juggy wall on the far right of the cave and then traverse right to reach a double fixed hanger. Roping up is recommended.

Furthest right of the upper tier routes. Crazy roof climbing. Belay off double FHs. Three FHs on the route itself. No anchor so back jump to clean.

FA: HB, 2000

Pull onto wall at right-hand end of overhanging section and go up, veering left.

Start: Just along from and at right-angles to the right-hand end of the cave terrace is a small wall with an overhanging left side.

FA: Edwin Young & Kate Hilton, 1995

Up middle seam right of "Some Like It Hot". Follow grassy, right-leading crack, then up.

FA: Michael Hampton, Rhyl Shaw, Kate Hilton & Edwin Young, 1995

Spectacular stuff. Takes a hanging rib which bisects two big red caves, then a sweeping blade arete above. 'The caves' feature the roof climb "Path of Garth".

Start: Starts: On big cliff down and right of main 'Muline Crag'. From the car, walk up track as far as the second rocky outcrop. Skirt right 50m around base of outcrop to cliff.

  1. 20m (16) A ramp leads out the right side of a scoop. Continue up orange bulging wall to base of rib.

  2. 20m (16) Rib, then arete. Walk off left.

FA: Tim & Keith Lockwood (alt), 2006

Activity

Check out what is happening in Muline Crag.