Moonarie 614 routes in crag
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Awesome trad climbing in an amazing desert setting.
Moonarie is one of Australia's most spectacular crags, situated as it is on the rim of Wilpena Pound, surrounded by sweeping deserts views. It is easily South Australia's premier crag, with superb rock and loads of fantastic quality routes. Isolated as it is, it is very much an adventure destination, and a worthy stop on the Australian rock climbing tour.
Moonarie offers a varied trad climbing experience, with a good range of intermediate to hard routes. There is very little in the way of sport routes, but the trad climbing is fantastic, the quality of the rock makes it ideal for placing gear. The rock has a similar feel to Arapiles, with the same mixture of natural gear and the occasional bolt. Although there are some easy routes, Moonarie is not a beginners crag. Moonarie is really an intermediate to advanced climbers cliff. The climbing starts in the low teens and stretches up into the high 20's. The climbing varies from single pitch excursions to long multipitch routes, that wind their way up to the rim of the pound.
One of the most striking features of Moonarie is the famed Great Wall, a spectacular stretch of rich red vertical rock 50 metres high, that offers some of the best climbing on the crag. The Great Wall is the home of possibly the best 19 in the land, Down Wind of Angels. Down Wind of Angels is only the beginning of the good routes on this wall, there is also Outside Chance 16, the amazing looking Dryland 22, and a host of other starred routes in the low to mid 20's. The Great Wall is only one area of Moonarie, there are other parts of the crag which are just as spectacular, the Ramparts, Flying Buttress and The Great Chimneys area. Like Arapiles, Moonarie is a crag which is rich in classics.
Perhaps more than any other area Moonarie is a crag which is best visited in exactly the right season, otherwise you end up either very hot or very cold. The two recommended times of the year to visit are between March and May, and September to October. Wilpena Pound is a land of extremes. Visited at the right time of the year though, Moonarie is a rich and incredible climbing experience, well worth the long drive to get there.
450 km north of Adelaide.There is a bus that travels between Adelaide and Wilpena Pound.
Where to stay
There is a campsite at the base of the track up to Moonarie, which is on private land, so it is very important to leave this area in a respectable state. It is also possible to stay at Top Camp, right beneath the crag, although it is a bit of a walk to drag all your gear up there. If you desire more facilities, it is possible to camp at Wilpena Pound, or find accommodation in the closest town, Hawker.
There are no open trips for this crag
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