The Tower Mostly sport climbing29 routes in crag
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The perfect summer crag. Super shady steep orange wall of immaculate rock quality which get strong breezes. Like a poor mans 'Taipan Wall' it contains slopers, rounded pockets and a funny mix of bolts and trad. The nearby bouldering is also very good.
"How can a wall like this have lain dormant for so long?" That was the question on Kent's mind when he stumbled upon this area on one of his many exploratory trips with Neil whilst developing nearby 'Scoop Rocks'. Easily visible from the highway and the Gallery it only contained one climb before the development of 2003. 'The Tower' is a giant pillar of rock with a sheer orange wall on its south face. From all sides it requires roped climbing to summit and this has obviously repelled people from attempting first ascents. With the addition of rap anchors the climbs are now much easier to deal with. The rock is of the finest quality – comparable to the 'Bluffs' at 'Arapiles'. The routes are wandery affairs up proud lines and contain some natural gear. As a training ground for 'Taipan Wall' this place is hard to beat. This is not a sport crag. In the last few years there has been extensive bouldering development in the forest surrounding this wall. This is one of the best bouldering areas in the 'Victoria' Ranges and there is still tonnes of potential for new problems. There is no official guide to this area so ask around for more info. Julian Saunders and Simon Weill seem to know a lot about it.© (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.
Here's an update from Parks Victoria:
Grampians National Park Update – 14 February 2014 (Rock climbing and Bouldering)
The Northern Grampians Fire severely burnt the natural environment and much of the park infrastructure in and around Hollow Mountain, Summer Day Valley and Mt Stapylton – this includes many popular rock climbing and bouldering sites; as a result there are many park closures in place. 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.
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 those found in any closed, fire affected area.
Parks Victoria recognises the importance and popularity of the Northern Grampians to the rock climbing and bouldering communities and will be working closely with industry and community representatives throughout a staged reopening process. Environmental considerations will largely determine when sites are available to be reopened, and replacement of damaged infrastructure will occur as suitable funding is available.
As part of the recovery process, Parks Victoria will be identifying alternative options for climbing and bouldering, and will closely monitor impacts on these sites as their use and popularity increases. There will also be significant work done on the future experience of visitors in the Northern Grampians.
Parks Victoria is continuing to improve its understanding of the needs of climbers and boulderers and is intent on providing an experience that is well respected, regarded, promoted and understood throughout the Australian and International Climbing and bouldering communities.
Parks Victoria will be relying heavily on the climbing industry to work together to spread the messages about the fragility of the landscape and the long term sustainability of rock climbing in the Grampians. There may be opportunities for licenced tour operators, school and community based groups to become involved in the recovery process.
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.parkweb.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:
- 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:
- 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
Parks Victoria - Grampians National Park
Access: 4 hrs drive from 'Melbourne', 5 mins drive from Buandik campground, 25 minute walk. From the junction of 'Harrop Track' and Red Rock Rd, drive N along Red Rock Rd for 900m, and turn right (East) into a small track. After 100m, turn R at a fork in the track. Continue 700m from the fork then turn left off the through track to a side track. This ends after 50m, park here. The walk-in is marked with red tags on trees but is not particularly easy to follow. Generally speaking, it heads East up the gully for 25mins to the crag. Within about 50m of the carpark is a jump across a deep little creek bed, then soon after the track heads R (SE) into the swampish sword grass area in the base of the gully (occasionally damp underfoot). The track stays amongst the sword grass for a surprisingly long way, to where
small (15m) rock buttresses start to appear on either side (The Crater is on the right here). Here the track starts to trend up the L side of the gully but still heads generally East, and is cairned to lead through to the base of the crag which is slightly to the left and faces South. 'Access' to this crag is quite complex and may require either a personal tour guide or a detailed map for first timers. For access information please contact Neil Monteith on nmonteith at yahoo.com or 0421 994 290. The south facing main wall is shaded all day long. In winter it is a cold miserable place which rarely dries even several days after rain. In summer it is perfect shady and cool. Down jackets get worn even on 30'C days! A small cave with some good roof boulder problems is a good shelter and is located below Iron Arms. GPS Location (-37.2405, 142.2711)© (nmonteith)
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