- Description:© (hotgemini)
Located only 23 km from 'Perth' off the Great Eastern 'Highway', 'Mountain Quarry' offers some of the best climbing in a near-to-city area. It is a place to go when you seriously want to go climbing. Most lines are reasonably sustained, grade 20+, and may have the occasional loose flake. A few of the longer routes are exposed and a bit runout at the right places. Some of these are best broken into two pitches because of their complexity. I will not elaborate on the early climbing history. Suffice to say that most of those climbs, with the exception of Playboy (17) are confined to the more broken, less attractive walls at the back of the Quarry
When the quarry was first visited in the mid-60s, it was a forbidding, rock-strewn death trap ringed by loose and menacing boulders on the skyline. The place is completely different today. Development at 'Mountain Quarry' was slow due to the lack of naturally protected lines at the then current level of climbing.
A breakthrough arrived in March of 1988 when Mark Colyvan from Armidale NSW freed the old Michael Adams - Tony Fowler aid route Damper A2 at the new grade of 23. The line was renamed 'Skywalker' and it still stands as a strenuous test piece for the grade. It takes a left traversing undercling and jam crack at the most obvious roof in the Quarry (on the right as you enter). In April 1988, Mike Law made a whirlwind visit and created Fuzz Bucky, with a chip here and a chip there. This climb can be found on the blank low angled wall facing the entrance. Originally grade 24, now 26, as far as the author knows this climb has not received a second ascent. These visits sparked new activity by locals, now armed with bolt kits
The first of these 'new' lines was Urban Ethics (22), a good quality face climb by father and son team R & R Master. Others joined in with a number of good climbs in the 20 - 21 range. Harry Butler produced Vader (22), an excellent line that has dumped a few budding hardmen, and 'Power Play' (20), a gently overhanging flake crack originally done on aid. Ron Master with Michael Adams then put up Go For Broke (21M2), a route involving some exposed face climbing with delicate aid moves to finish. Other routes for that year were Butler's 'Chrysalis', an unrepeated loose face climb, and R & R Master's sustained Hang Ten, which the team later straightened out at grade 24.
Sporadic activity continued through 1989 - 1990. A shaded seasonably wet bay at the back of the Quarry produced Split Personality, again by R & R Master. This climb takes a flake, wall and crack system with 2 variants at grades 17 or 21. These two also bolted and climbed Mullup (21), a good quality route with a delicate but well protected crux. David Wagland appeared on the scene in April 1990 to climb the classic Barren Awakening (23M1). This line consists of a wall and open corner at the central end of the Quarry facing the entrance. The crux involves a bracket bending dyno past the first bolt. Attempts to free the aid have failed.
Progress continued and the first sports-type climbs appeared but not without some controversy. On entering the Quarry, a small bay to the left is encountered which contains a steep 10m wall, with an obvious gently overhanging thin flake crack. This problem was first climbed, on aid, by Peter McKenzie who took a ground fall when his pitons zippered on the final placement. Several years later, a visiting UK climber was witnessed successfully soloing the climb after several times falling from half height. Then three bolts appeared courtesy of Shane Richardson, who did not know the past history, and City Limits was given a grade of 26.
Gary Matier put up Sylvia (21), on an obvious granite buttress in contact with a dark collapsed dolerite dyke, and The Force (22); a good line with varied wall climbing. Matthew Rosser contributed a sustained and technical climb on compact dolerite at grade 22, this line is called Land of the Orange Druggie. R & R Master were back again in 1991 with 'Fringe Benefits' (23). This climb shares its start with Vader but instead of moving left to the arete, takes a thin seam and wall through the left edge of the 'Skywalker' roof. The team also climbed a sister route to Wagland's Barren Awakening, which uses the same upper chain anchor. Learning to Fly (23M1) contains sustained and technical cruxes, hence the name
Even more recent is Peter Koval's Month of Sundays, a weekend project that eventually yielded a well prepared and technical grade 25. A bolted line has appeared on the wall between Urban Ethics and Go for Broke, put up by Phil Calais, it is graded at 24 and known as Star Wars. This climb contains some dubious bolts and pitons, hence it is advised that gear should be checked before leading.
The sports climbing scene arrived into the quarry with a vengeance with Anthony Bell's 1993 effort Cranial Void (27), a route that seems to have all the good holds upside down! Hardbody boulderer Derek Toulalan then added Sweet Pea, originally graded 28 but now downgraded to 27. Bell replied with Black Ambience (29) but the softly spoken Gerard Chipper has had the last word with his desperate deeds on Cardiofunk (29). These are the hardest climbing routes near 'Perth' to date. Much cleaning of the dirt-covered City Limits wall by Logan Barber & Co. produced Space 'Monkey' (28) and there are two more projects nearby.
'Mountain Quarry' still has the potential for new lines and not all of them in the upper grades. However, effort will be required to remove loose rock and create the necessary bolt placements. 'Mountain Quarry' is now Perth's premier top end climbing venue.
by Ron Master
- Approach:© (hotgemini)
Mountain Quarry offers some of the best and highest climbing near 'Perth' with a number of classic face climbs and hard bolted sport routes. The quarry consists of good granite with dolerite dykes however there are still some potentially loose sections. Extreme care should be taken with loose rock. Dirt is a serious hazard after winter or heavy rain.
The quarry is situated on the northern side of Coulston Road in the Boya/Greenmount area. The entrance to the car park is about 100 metres past a bus stop on the north side of the road (left hand side if heading east away from Perth). At times it has been possible to drive into the quarry however the access track now has a locked gate and all other entrances have been sealed off. The walk in from the car park is about 5 minutes. Note that cars have been broken into at the car park so. Do not leave any valuables in your vehicles
Routes are described from L to R, starting from the L hand side of the entrance and going around the quarry in an anti-clockwise direction.
Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)
|1||Hangten Buttress Area||Sport,?||6||29||16m|
|2||Main Wall Area||All Sport||1||2||25m|
|3||Skywalker Wall Area||?,Sport and other styles||12||74||29m|
|4||Rubble Wall Area||?,Trad||8||21||46m|
|5||Fuzzbucky Wall Area||?,Aid||5||3||30m|
|6||Mull Up Buttress Area||?,Sport and Aid||10||47||21m|
|7||The Black Bay Area||?,Sport||7||17||21m|
|8||Playboy Area Area||Sport,? and Trad||13||196||21m|
|9||Woomera Wall Area||All Sport||1||2||15m|
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