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Table of contents

1. Muline Crag 38 routes in Crag

Summary:
JFMAMJJASOND
seasonality
Trad, Sport and Unknown

Long/Lat: 142.269144, -37.209606

Description:© (nmonteith)

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 same reasons as 'Sandinista' Wall:

  • in winter the sun is low in the sky and stays in the north, reaching in under the big overhangs to warm up frosty belayers;

  • in summer 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.

Naturally, if its cloudy and wintery this crag is miserably cold, but it should at least be dry (and hey, no other crag in 'Victarctica' will be any warmer). 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' just down the road).

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 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.

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:© (nmonteith)

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 well worn track is pretty flat at first, but gets progressively steeper. The track is easy to follow and the walk takes about 25 minutes. 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!).

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 *** Krankandangle

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

FA: HB

24Sport 15m, 5
2 *** Middle Path

Link Krankandangle into Path of Yin via low bolt.

FA: Nick Sutter

28Trad 15m
3 *** Path of Yin

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

30Trad 14m
4 *** Eye Of The Tiger

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

29Mixed 25m, 10
5 Nathan Project

Unfinished bolted line in the middle of the blankness, 4 bolts with a bail biner.

Sport
6 ** Central Latitudes

Lunacy endurance traverse. Your forearms will explode.

FA: HB

30Trad 45m
7 Parisian Thumbs

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

Start: Start as for CL.

FA: Nick Sutterish, 2010

31Sport
8 ** Pocket Full of Dreams

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

23Mixed 25m, 2
9 Nick Sutter Project

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

Sport
10 ** After Midnight 26Trad 55m
11 ** After Midnight Pitch 1

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

26Mixed 20m, 3
12 After Midnight Pitch 2

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

FA: Malcolm Matheson, Keith Lockwood, 1991

24 RMixed 15m, 4
13 *** Snap Dragon

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

30Sport 20m, 6
14 *** Desert Rose

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

Start: Start about 8m R of After Midnight.

FA: HB, 2000

27Mixed 20m, 4
15 Desert Rose - Pitch 2

Up and right through cool roof. Above ankle breaking ledge. Done in one pitch now.

FA: HB

25Mixed 15m, 3
16 *** Daemon Flower

The original Vic Ranges hard route. Mega.

Start: Start 5m R of DR.

FA: HB, 2000

31Trad 25m
17 *** Flower Power

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

33Trad 20m
18 ** Wild Orchids

Tough rightwards heading line right of Flower Power. Slopy.

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2002

30Trad 17m
19 Pa Pa Poppy

A bit of a glue job.

FA: Nathan, 2000

30Trad 15m
20 * Jumping Geraniums

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

FA: Nathan Hoette, 2002

27Trad 17m
21 Sullivan Street

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

26Trad 15m
22 * Munro Street

7 bolts across lovely flake feature.

23Sport 15m
23 Path Of Garth 29Trad 15m
24 Malcolm's Route 30Trad 20m

Scramble up to the cave above to access the next few routes.

25 * Nothing Lasts Forever / Nothing Lasts Forever (Upper Cave)

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

FA: Kent Paterson, 2010

23Sport 8m
26 Coffee And TV (Upper Cave)

Follows bouldery rib to juggy finish.

25Sport 10m, 7
27 Marlon Brando (Upper Cave) 25Sport 10m, 6
28 ** Blinded by the Lights / Blinded By The Lights (Upper Cave)

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

FA: Kent Paterson, 2010

25Sport 15m
29 Body Blow (Emu Cave)

Left hand start to minimal tech.

29Trad 15m
30 Minimal Tech (Emu Cave)

THE line of the cave. Power Endurance.

28Trad 15m
31 * Middle Park

Link up minimal tech into loose cannon.

26Trad 12m
32 Loose Cannon (Emu Cave)

Just another stunner

29Trad 15m
33 McLovin' (Emu Cave)

Steep and very crimpy

30Trad 12m

The next route is accessed by scrambling to the right.

34 * Bikini Revenge / Bikini Revenge (Middle Cave)

The only bolted line in this cave.

Classic Power Route.

31Sport 15m, 5

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.

35 * Malcolms Upper Route / Malcolm's 24+ (Upper Right Tier)

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

24Sport 15m
36 Some Like It Hot

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

18Trad 10m
37 Too Hot to trot

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

18Trad 10m
38 Tattoos of Memories

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 and Keith Lockwood (alt), 2006

16Unknown 40m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
16 Tattoos of Memories Unknown 40m
18 Some Like It Hot Trad 10m
Too Hot to trot Trad 10m
23 * Munro Street Sport 15m
* Nothing Lasts Forever Sport 8m
** Pocket Full of Dreams Mixed 25m, 2
24 After Midnight Pitch 2 Mixed 15m, 4
*** Krankandangle Sport 15m, 5
* Malcolms Upper Route Sport 15m
25 ** Blinded by the Lights Sport 15m
Coffee And TV (Upper Cave) Sport 10m, 7
Desert Rose - Pitch 2 Mixed 15m, 3
Marlon Brando (Upper Cave) Sport 10m, 6
26 ** After Midnight Trad 55m
** After Midnight Pitch 1 Mixed 20m, 3
* Middle Park Trad 12m
Sullivan Street Trad 15m
27 *** Desert Rose Mixed 20m, 4
* Jumping Geraniums Trad 17m
28 *** Middle Path Trad 15m
Minimal Tech (Emu Cave) Trad 15m
29 Body Blow (Emu Cave) Trad 15m
*** Eye Of The Tiger Mixed 25m, 10
Loose Cannon (Emu Cave) Trad 15m
Path Of Garth Trad 15m
30 ** Central Latitudes Trad 45m
Malcolm's Route Trad 20m
McLovin' (Emu Cave) Trad 12m
Pa Pa Poppy Trad 15m
*** Path of Yin Trad 14m
*** Snap Dragon Sport 20m, 6
** Wild Orchids Trad 17m
31 * Bikini Revenge Sport 15m, 5
*** Daemon Flower Trad 25m
Parisian Thumbs Sport
33 *** Flower Power Trad 20m
? Nathan Project Sport
Nick Sutter Project Sport