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Summary

Granite crack climbing and bouldering close to Melbourne, no crowds, great views, short walk to access, easy to top rope.

Description

Granite crag just over an hour from Melbourne, situated in a Flora reserve which runs along the highway. Good views north, nice rock and smattering of lines in the 17-24 grade. Short cliffline easy to toprope, highest route is only 25m, and features some interesting cracks on good qaulity granite that is kind on the paws; a good spot for beginners to granite cracks. Climbs are generally crack affairs, there is one bolted line at time of writing, but potential for more on some faces. Makes a good little daytrip from Melbourne if you are sick of the local stuff and don't want to drive to Gramps or Araps. A nice trip is to do Big Hill and nearby Tennerife. Its a lovely location with great views north, lots of wildlife and a few climbs that stay in the shade through summer.

Access issues

The land is a Flora Reserve, so it is legal to climb here and there is no need to ask permission - but respect the land and leave gates as you found them. There are some endangered wildflowers that grow amongst the crag boulders and cliffs (some can be found on the 'sandpaper terrace', as well as numerous wombats, echidnas and falcons, so be aware.

Approach

This is a roadside crag just off the Hume Highway. From Melbourne, head north on the Hume. A few minutes after the Avenel roadhouse you will see Mt Tennerife on your right, keep heading north until You see a turnoff for Berry Lane. Turn right, then left onto the dirt road just off the highway. Before the top of the crest you will see a gate on the right, park here, and follow the fire trail up the hill to the north. The Southern Boulders are obviously on the southern side of the ridge, and the crag is on the northern face. Climbs are described from this approach.

To get to the better boulders you need to contour around the ridge and pick out the stuff with good potential.

Where to stay

Nearby towns Avenel, Longwood, Seymour and Euroa have hotels and other accomodation.

History

In 1969, 'Trial' (6) and 'Coolu' (5) were established, as well as the other 'chimney', 'Tribulation' (14). Chris Baxter aided Dipsomania with his brother in 1970 and led the crag favourite 'Cut Throat Crack' with Keith Lockwood. In '74 those routes went free by Mike Law, who also happened to solo a second ascent of 'A smile from Julia', and soloing the FA of 'Lightstropper'. 1974 also saw visits from Nic Taylor, Reg Marron, Iain Sedgeman, Peter Watson and Andrew Bowman took most of the obvious lines. In 1975 Mike Law and Kim Carrigan returned to put of more comments from Julia. Things stayed quiet with focus moving to the bigger crag down the road at Mt Tenerife. In the late 1990's Pat McVeigh-Mcconnel and Darryl McConnel put up the nice beginner line 'Mosquito Corner', a rather difficult 10. Steve Wilson and Robin Holmes finished off the last of what was available in 2002 with 'Battle of the Bulge', the one star 'Lost for Words' and 'Gravel Rash' all on the sandpaper terrace. They also added a nice variant to the already enjoyable 'Tribulation' at 18.

Routes

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Grade Route
1

Independant Boulder on approach track to crag. Up the corner, then around the bulge and up crack to finish.

FA: Robin Holmes, Steven Wilson, 2002

2
10 Mosquito Corner Trad 8m

Up the crack. Some feel its hard for the grade (a possible 14/16?).

FA: Pat McVeigh-McConnell, Darryl McConnell

3
19 Lightstropper Trad 10m

To the right of Cut Throat Crack, the narrowing crack.

FA: Mike Law, 1975

4
18 * Cut Throat Crack Trad 11m

Up angled crack then into wider crack at top to finish. One of the best climbs at the crag and an easy tick for the grade.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Chris Baxter, 1970

5
24 Unknown Trad 20m

Unknown climb on face to the left of Cutthroat Crack, line of carrots. Name of climb, FA, and grade are unknown, although some suggest it goes at around 24.

6
5 Coolu Trad 15m

Up the wide chimney, onto large chockstone then up handcrack on left to top.

7
14 Tribulation Trad 20m

Hard for the grade.

Up column to under chockstone, traverse (bridge) out and around chockstone then to top.

A fun variation at around grade 16 is to just use the hand crack on the right side, or just the offwidth on the left.

8

A nice addition to the climb. Up column till you reach chockstone. Traverse left using horizontal crack then up ramp to off-width.

FA: Robin Holmes, Steven Wilson, 2002

9
6 Trial Trad 15m

Similar to Coolu. Up wide chimney and top out left.

10
16 A Grunt From Julia Trad 20m

1 1/2 metres left of trial, follow corner crack to rest stance, then crack to top.

FFA: Kim Carrigan, Mike Law, 1975

11

2m left of A Grunt from Julia. Up easy blocks into small cave. Follow left leaning crack into Dipsomania, but instead of heading right onto slabby section, continue to follow horizontal crack left under roofs and finish on final moves of A Smile from Julia.

12
19 * Dipsomania Trad 25m

Crackline left of Nothing at All from Julia. Follow crack as it curves left, exit right and onto slab section, top out on right arete.

FA: Chris Baxter, Nick Baxter, 1970

13
17 A Smile From Julia Trad 25m

10m Left of Dipsomania. Follow obvious crack.

FA: Reg Marron, Andrew Bowman, 1974

14
12 Momento Trad 20m

A few metres left of A smile from Julia. Layback up corner crack to a rest stance on blade below cave. Head up and bridge wide, then follow chimney up to mantleshelf. Finishes at Ledge which is start of Sandpaper Crack and others.

15
18 Sandpaper Crack Trad 15m

The next four climbs are located around back of outcrop, on a large vegetated ledge. Sandpaper crack is the first line on the left. Follow the crack and around the chockstone.

FA: Nic Taylor, Peter Watson, 1974

16
19 Gravel Rash Trad 12m

Use start as for Lost for Words. Up left crack and over loose blocks to finish.

FA: Robin Holmes, Steven Wilson, 2002

17
21 * Lost for Words Trad 12m

Start right of Sandpaper crack on the Right angled crack, then exit left.

FA: Steven Wilson, Robin Holmes, 2002

18
20 Quazar Trad 8m

The right most line on the terrace. Up and over the overhang.

FA: Mike Law, 1975

Areas

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