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Summary

Kneebars and lots of core strength on steep territory

Description

There's not many other crags in south east Queensland where you can climb in the shade in summer. Because of this, local climbers have been almost forced to climb here, regardless of ability. And given there's not any easy routes at the cliff, Mt Coolum is transforming the local climbing populace into steep-thugging, kneebar-wielding, sloper-crushing mutants! Projects of yesteryear are today's warm-up's and today's projects are, well, futuristic!

Unlike many other crags of this type, the local scene is friendly, welcoming and encouraging. Come and join us for a dangle!

Access issues

Access to Mt Coolum is under strict community guidelines. If we obey the rules, then climbing here will continue.

The rules are:

  • No new routes outside the cave (bolted or otherwise)
  • No routes up though the area where the falcons are
  • Minimize impact and presence (i.e. no loud noise!)
  • Continue to clean up our mess and the mess of others
  • Make an effort to clean chalk off holds
  • Do not leave quickdraws on routes below the height of the tallest stick-clip. Leaving no draws is encouraged.
  • The bolting is mostly on Glue in with Epoxy glue. Please consult the locals before you go trigger happy on you new link up project

Approach

One and a half hours (130 km) north of Brisbane. Up the Bruce Highway. Exit L and under after the Ettamogah Pub onto the Sunshine Coast Motorway. Nearing Mooloolaba, take the Noosa exit (not Mooloolaba), pass over the Maroochy river (first sight of the mountain on the bridge). Take the airport exit and keep going straight toward the coast. After the IGA turn L on Quarry Rd, one street before Hyatt Coolum. Follow your nose and park in the main National Park car park.

There are two track options to get to the cliff. The best (which avoids an obvious looking 'climbers trail' appearing on the general tourist track) is the separate trail from the tourists (see red line in the overview topo below). Head to the southern end of carpark and follow the fire trail South. After about 200m a narrow track breaks off R, follow this up to an old road then veer left into the quarry. Keep going uphill, the tracks lead up to the huge cave on the South East side (quite well worn, 10 minutes tops).

Where to stay

Surfair Resort offer 2 bedroom unit. You can get the view of the cave while enjoying your coffee on the balcony. www.surfairmarcoola.com.au.

Ethic

The cave has been largely developed in the last 10 years We value our relationship with the National Park and expect all users to respect this. It is essential not to disturb the wildlife and stay on the track to limit our impact.

History

View historical timeline

This section is to be part of the Coolum Cave book being produce by the Radest Productions crew.

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Grade Route

Far left upper route. 7-8 FHs to DUBB. Access via Friends in High Places, then traverse L to DFHB on ledge.

FFA: jjobrien, 2008

Big holds to a rare crimp crux, then super horns into the sky. Joins BLD at its final bolt.

FFA: Frey Yule, 2009

Crazy slippery rock. Challenge your friction technique.

FFA: jjobrien & ambor collins, 2006

Start under the overhanging arete left of Friends in high places. The obvious series of slopers lead to a tricky exit. Best to top rope from 'Friends in High Places' anchor, but beware rope cutting edges.

FA: Etienne Laliberte, 2009

Start at RA's anchor. Steep stuff straight above the belay. Traverse L under roof to wacky slab and a rest above. Huge jugs and horns comprise the final third. 11 U-bolts to DUBB. Second to clean. Rope length warning: It is more than 30m from anchor to ground. Suggestion: leader lowers, rope toss to pull back to belay, second to clean, lower second to ground, pull rope to start belay, rap off.

FFA: Lee Cujes & jjobrien, 2007

Amazing climbing which is never too hard, but quite continuous! Start at the top anchor of FIHP. Step L, then three RBs to unique cave move. Thug R to jutting horn. Breach "slab" above moving L to find some harder moves. A traverse L, then finish on jugs. DUBB. Nine RBs. Lower-off into the ocean. Use 60m rope.

FFA: Lee Cujes & jjobrien, 2007

Start as for 'GR' but instead of going left at the crux head straight up. Bolting not complete. Please stay off for now.

Set by Tom Kjaer-Olsen, 2016

A link up. Start as for Tropic Thunder clipping its last bolt then staying low traverse in and finish up Gasoline Rainbow.

FFA: Sebastian, 2012

One of the best link ups in the cave! Takes in a lot of climbing, and a lot of cruxes.Climb Tropic Thunder to above its last bolt, sticking the hard crux side pull, but instead of moving right to clip anchor, move left and finish up GR.

FFA: Sebastian, 2012

Climb FIHP to anchor, and then take a step right and climb straight up the overhung stemming groove to rooflet. Above this make a move to the right onto crimps with bouldery, spacey moves awaiting above. Anchor shared with NIHP on right over the top of bulge.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2011

The only non-steep warmup here. Okay climbing on slippery rock. Stickclip. Start R of the bolt and go diagonally up left to it. Traversing L while still under the 1st bolt adds a grade. Baffling moves up past 3-4 bolts until it slabs out, then head well left to double rings.

FFA: Liam O'Dea, 1997

Climb this as one pitch from the ground. Climb FIHP, extending the last clip, and climb directly up the wall above past 5 RBs to wild conclusion which resembles mantling the end of a diving board.

FA: Lee Cujes, 2011

Start up TDLW for three UBs, then trend slightly L past FHs up the ever steepening wall past some crazy looking horns and the odd dodgy aid bolt. The top horn (the biggest at Coolum) rings when you tap it! Ride 'em cowboy!

FA: Aaron Jones, 1998

FFA: Simon Moses, 2000

Coolum's highest route. Climb CFT and top out on the ledge. You might like to pull and re-drop your rope to lessen drag. Step right, and blast through steep but juggy terrain into the stratosphere. Some longer draws at certain spots will ease your pain. The final bolt (anchor) is just below the top of the cave and currently sports a leaver biner. You can just get down on a 60m from here, but back-jump to clean. (Was closed, but has been rebolted - 2015)

FA: Lee Cujes & jjobrien, 2013

A new warm-up option. Up TDLW for four UBs. Instead of traversing right as for TDLW, go straight up past another three UBs into the cave. Finish atop the diving board (double U-bolts). Lower-off.

FFA: Lee Cujes & jjobrien, 2011

Climb Dave until you're at the double UBs above the diving board. Continue directly out the roof for some of the steepest climbing and THE biggest, craziest holds at Coolum. Finish at 'CFT''s anchor.

FFA: Lee Cujes & jjobrien, 2011

Like Woodridge, had a name change and a rebolt to hopefully generate more interest. Follow four U-bolts up deceiving slab before traversing/walking directly right past two FHs and mantling up into the cave. You'll need a seconder to clean this route.

Get safe at TDLW anchor and pull and re-drop your rope for a ground belay. From this point, climb up and out left on FHs and biiig holds to a confounding and onsight-ruining finale.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2007

Starts just to the right of LCA. Climbs the exposed arete before heading straight up into the thin corner (don't climb left onto the massive horns if you want the full tick), finishing with a wild move to breach the shelf at the top. Belay from ground as for LCA.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2010

Follow the jagged lip feature going across right. Finish as BBJ.

Set by antoine moussette, 2013

In the middle of the giant scoop make your way on some funky blob aiming for a horn at the lip. Follow the feature and finish BBJ anchor.

Set by antoine moussette, 2013

Start at the 'Nick' graffiti. Four RBs then finish up BBaJ. One big boulder problem with every move a hardie. The slot in the roof can be damp after rain and is completely frictionless. Deserves much more attention!

FFA: Frey Yule, 2007

Up into the steep little cave, then across left to a hard move to gain the protruding jugs. Motor up the very overhanging arete on killer shark-fin jugs. Now rebolted with U-bolts.

FFA: 1998

Climb Hang Like a Fruitbat to anchor, but don't clip it. Instead head sharply left until you join into Beer Boob and finish. Have fun on the crazy upside down traverse.

FFA: Frey Yule

Climbs the smooth wall straight above Fruit Bat. Closed, stay off.

Set by Frey Yule, 2010 & Matt Schimke, 2011

Up the bulby horns out the roof to anchors. Feet more important than hands on this one. Ever so popular.

FFA: Simon Moses, 1998

Climb HLAFB and keep climbing out of the 120 degree roof following the natural feature. A hellish Rose move through the the roof allows you to get over the lip and clip the anchor.

Techy, pumpy, powerful, core intensive, la rose...it's got it all.

FFA: Daniel Gordon, 2015

Start as for Three men and a ladder, finish at the anchor of Like a bat out of hell.

FFA: Matt Dunning, 2016

Climb GFSKFAP but then continue up through SEH - Will require either a rethread or two ropes [& an untie] at the top of GFSKFAP to complete

Set by Niko Eltarenko, 2017

climb 'like a bat out of hell' then keep going up scrambled eggs and honey. Probably will require two ropes to ease the drag. Epic!!!

Set by Dan Gordon & antoine moussette, 2015

Starts a few metres right of Hung Like a Fruit Bat. Stick clip. Jump start, up, then across the roof and finish at HLAFB chains. Similar style to Fruit Bat, at a harder grade.

FA: Matt Eaton, 2007

Ringbolts starting just R of TMAAL. A weird looking line which climbs really well. Make sure you bring your kneepads for this one. Popular.

FFA: Matt Eaton, 2007

Unrepeated weirdness! Climb AKTF then keep going for another 3 bolts. Make sure you use long draws on AKTF otherwise the rope drag is just enough to make the end move easy.

FFA: Matt Eaton, 2009

Batman start to the anchors of Sideways Rain the head left clipping the last two bolts of Bring Back the kneebar before continuing straight-up for another 5 bolts to the anchor.

FFA: Johnny, 2014

Batman start at the anchors over the lip above kneebar too far. Reach up and grab those starting slopers out left and start from there. Heads straight-up and finishes standing on huge ledge.

FA: Daniel Friedman, 2013

Even better than the original line!! The direct start of Kneebar. Extremely bouldery and powerful compression climbing which will make you beg for mercy!

Set by Sam Bowman, Daniel Gordon & antoine moussette, 2013

FA: Sam Bowman, 2013

Go from UFO all the way through to bring back the kneebar. Gonna be hard and funky.

Set by Dan g & Matt Eaton

Mat Eaton's futuristic projects. One of the last remaining king lines of Coolum; it follows the line of ring bolts then climbs into the cave to the lower off anchors. This project remains closed and should be respected unless permission is sought directly from Mat. Sebastian Loewensteijn takes responsibility for newly added bolts and repairing several of the holds on the route after pulling them off. Kind regards, Sebastian.

Set by Matt Eaton, 2007

Start up Evil for 2 bolts before heading left.

Bolting not finished.

Start up 'Evel Knievel', keep heading left and across 'Esoteric Agenda (closed project)', then keep heading left and up forever.

FFA: Paul Cresswell, 2015

Climb Evil for three bolts before trending sharply left for a burly traverse below SO (past the weird double bolts). Joins SO for its top two bolts.

FFA: Frey Yule, 2011

Start up the first 3 bolts of Evil, then veer up and left for another 3 bolts before getting a weird ledge rest. A few more moves and you're done.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2010

Defunct (was the batman start to SO).

FA: Adam Donoghue, 2008

Climb Evil, but veer left before cave and up the face above encountering some bouldery moves.

FA: Frey Yule, 2012

The 70 degree overhung madness that rears above the walking track. One of the best steep routes in Australia.

Amazingly this was the first route to be equipped at Coolum (2 bolts); it was then extended another 2 bolts and attempted by various suitors over the next 15 years. In early 2008, Adam Donaghue refreshed the hardware & added two extensions, beginning both from a batman start on the U-bolt (Ground Control 28 going L and Major Tom 30 going straight up). Lee linked up the boulder problem start with Major Tom and Evil Wears No Pants was reborn as one of Queensland's 'King Lines'!

FA: Adam Donoghue, 2008

FFA: Lee Cujes, 2008

What a thrilling route! Start as for EWNP, traverse slightly right at the second bolt, then ascend past 3 new bolts before re-joining EWNP. This avoids the no hands rest on EWNP, resulting in a more sustained route of continuous climbing.

Set by Paul Cresswell, David Biggs & Sebastian, 2013

FFA: Sebastian, 2013

Start up Thiller, climb across to 'Bite The Hand That Feeds' and to the chains.

FFA: Paul Cresswell, 2015

Up Thriller till the second last bolt and then step right into friction addictions hard ending. Super pumpy classic.

FA: Sam Bowman, 2014

Was previously known as 'Motor Finance Wizard project' Start up the first two bolts of Evil before heading right and up the blankish face. Huge throws on slopey holds guard the crux. The top is exciting and ever so pumpy.

FA: Matt Schimke, 2011

FFA: Sam Bowman, 2014

Bouldery start on tiny slopers and a shallow hueco. Once over the lip do Friction Addictions

Set by Paul Creswell, 2011

FA: Sam Bowman, 2015

4m R of Evil Wears No Pants. Futuristic. Two hard boulder problems to classic upper wall.

FFA: Lee Cujes, 2010

Start matched on the red heart hold on the left of the small cave, traverse left around the bend then finish by matching on the jug that Kapow starts on.

FFA: Clint Westbrook, 2008

Start at the right of small cave, On big jug. Work your way left until it is obvious to move into the cave. Finish on the red paint hold (match for 2 seconds).

FA: 2008

Start in the roof under 'Kapow'. Grab the lip and squat over to finish at hueco.

FA: antoine moussette & Frey Yule, 2009

All the moves had been done but no one was able to take care of this one until a climber from Scotland, Robbie Phillips visited Queensland. He sent the route on his last day in the country thereby establishing Queensland's current hardest Sport route.

Bouldery start trending left on line of weakness, before joining into BTHTF at the bolt below the headwall (ignore bolts out right which need to be removed).

Robbie re-named "Taking Care of Business Project" to "Haggisaurus Rex" due to the Dinosaur skin-like nature of the rock and the fact that Robbie only ate Haggis the whole time he was in Australia to maintain his Scottish Highlander Powers! Rumour has it they shipped 70 whole Haggis' to Australia just for Robbie..."

Set by antoine moussette, 2010

FFA: robbiephillips, 2014

Start up Gladiator and climb the crux, then climb leftwards onto Business variation before topping out on Friction Addiction. Sebastian is still in the process of finalising the new bolt locations. Closed project.

Set by radest, frey yule & Sebastian

Fantastic climbing on solid rock with exceptional moves. Start at the same point as Taking Care of Business and head right onto a small shelf – slightly tricky. Then head directly up on some okay holds into the obvious set of underlings to semi-dangerous clip (ground fall potential). This is followed by some tricky moves to a cruxy dead point and easier head wall.

There is a bolt under the lip over the right side to protect the start.

A visionary route by Frey Yule and a brilliant gift to Coolum crag – thank you Frey for all your great routes at the cave!

Set by Frey Yule, 2002

FFA: Sebastian Loewensteijn, 2017

The fainted crack feature that lead directly to the upper part of Spoonman. Start as Knifey Spooney.

Set by Frey Yule, 2010 & antoine moussette, 2013

To reach full mastery, keep on going past the Knifey Spooney anchor.

Bouldery start left of Screaming. Control the move to the knife hold and link into Spoonman.

Set by Gareth Llewellin & antoine moussette, 2012

FFA: James Campbell, 2012

Combines the cruxes of three routes. Start off KS into SM and then veer left into IM. Open Project

Set by Niko Eltarenko, 2017

Warning for the next 12 climbs. As of April 2 2016 the starting left hand undercling has become loose. Beware until this can be reinforced.

Climb Spoonman and step left at the anchor. Keep going up to link with some good rock. Finish at Camp III.

Set by antoine moussette, 2015

Bust out L from SI at 5th bolt. Great rock and good sequences have quickly made this a popular tick at the grade.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2007

Climb Spoonman and after the crux, at the large jug rest, continue tending leftwards up 5 new bolts, staying off the route to the left. The route finishes on a single hanger with a ring just below joining Spoonmonter.

Note: I opted to not climb to the Spoonmonter anchor as the rock quality is poor, sharp and dusty and adds nothing to the route in terms of difficultly or quality.

FA: Sebastian, 2016

Starts up Spoonman. Once you hit the arete head left below Ironman to join Gladiator.

FA: Daniel Mackay, 2017

The must-do crag classic, featuring the biggest and most aesthetic horns and jugs on the wall. When this was first bolted, there was nobody strong enough to climb it. Oh how things change!

FA: Chris Coghill, 1997

FFA: Simon Moses, 1998

Up to anchor of SI (600mm sling), then head left on tricky slopers before joining into the last part of Spoonman.

FFA: Frey Yule, 2009

This is the extension to Screaming Insanity. No harder, just pumpier! Three more bolts keep the lactic levels up.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2007

Starting as for SI, step R on ramp and then blast the line above. Wear a shirt. You'll see.

FFA: Frey Yule, 2007

Climbs Crouching Tiger until you notice a series of horns on your right. Traverse diagonally up to reach the crux of Kept Man. Up and PAST the chains of Kept Man/COD for another 3 bolts to the double rings right under the roof (Camp II/ Gothic Architect ).

FFA: antoine moussette, 2009

Start with the boulder problem SI, and then ramble easily up R to belay on a cool ledge in a really good position.

FA: 2002

DM with a batman start to the third bolt.

FA: 2002

Climb DM to access. Belayer can either belay from there, or the ground. Climb starts steeply directly above. A few bolts trending up and left to chains.

FFA: Brendan Leader, 2008

Traverse right onto exposed arete from the anchor of DM. A couple of funky throws and you're ready to clip the chain. Best to belay from the ground.

Set by antoine moussette & Matt Schimke, 2009

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2009

From Kept Man Belay station. Keep going and traverse into the massive roof. Finish at a picnic table ledge (aka camp III) over the lip.

FA: Phil Box, 2009

Start right of Sceaming for some Mad roof climbing.

Set by Frey Yule, 2011

Steepest route in Coolum. Start in back of cave R of SI. Stick clip first 2 bolts. Finish L of final bolt over the mantle.

FFA: Matt Eaton, 2008

A short bouldery route traversing the lip of the cave from right to left. This route consumed Ross' life for a time.

FFA: ross ferguson, 2008

Starts up 'Eight Minute Abs' to first bolt then traverses left on flakes, finishes up 'Separation Anxiety'

Set by Adam, 2014

FFA: Adam, 2015

Eight Minute Abs from the batman start. Mostly jugs with a bit of spice at the end.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2010

The left trending line that starts left of WOC. The first half dozen moves make up the crux and are extremely bouldery requiring some strong core work to a huge bucket. From there it's a 45 degree wall with mostly big moves to big holds and a tricky finish to finish near the top of Demolition Man. Make sure you mantle the ledge at the anchor to get the tick! Anchor has been placed too low.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2011

Linkup - Climbs Eight Minute Abs past the anchor into Call of Duty, via a 60cm sling on the first COD bolt

FFA: Daniel Friedman, 2012

Start as Eight Minutes Abs. Join into Weapon of Choice and finish it.

FFA: Saša Juvan

Climb Bloody Weapon until anchor, then veer left and finish up COD.

FFA: Tom O'Halloran, 2010

The line starting at ground level, 10m L of the R end of cave. Stick-clip the very high first ringbolt. Probably the most beta intensive route here. At least seven kneebars.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2007

Logical finish for WC. Cruxy finish on the upper arête . 14m overhung. A right variant finish is possible at the base of the arête.

Set by antoine moussette, 2009

FFA: jjobrien, 2009

Climb Weapon of Choice and make your way to Kissing the Lip.

Set by Graham Page & antoine moussette, 2012

FFA: jjobrien, 2014

Climb CWAHW but keep on moving left onto COD. Finish up this. The longest route at Coolum.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2009

Starts 3m left of CH. Small roof leads to easy top.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2007

Do Caught by the Fuzz and keep going over the roof above the anchor. Finish at the niche just under Kissing the Lip.

FA: antoine moussette, 2012

Start on Caught by the Fuzz, keep going through the roof and finish directly up Armed to the Teeth. Multiple cruxes

FFA: jjobrien, 2015

Start at the CF extention anchor. straight up following the right hand seam. Finish on the perch above the lip of the cave.

Set by Graham Page & antoine moussette, 2012

Climb HF but continue left into WOC and finish at anchor.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2010

Start as per Crazy Horny till fourth bolt (long sling), then move sharply left to the second bolt of CBTF, finish up this.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2009

Popular. Bouldery start then steep thuggery. The horn sadly broke changing the sequence. Many people's first 25.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2000

Climb Crazy Horny skipping the 4th bolt, to anchor on Full Metal Traverse via a two bolt link-up. A bouldery finale actually involves downclimbing. A better finish.

FFA: Frey Yule, 2006

Climb Crazy Horny into Frey's Link (to the anchors of FMT - 600mm sling), but keep going over the block and finish up Grazed Anatomy.

FFA: Frey Yule, 2008

A 5m traverse.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2008

Climb from the ground straight up and finish at full metals anchor. Burly never-ending bouldering. Epitomises the style of of the right side of the cave.

FA: Dan Gordon, 2015

The line left of TN on RBs, at the graffiti.

FA: ross ferguson, 2010

Start at the True North boulder problem, climb this for its first 2 bolts and then head left via some cool pinches to the 2nd bolt of shit on you project. Go through some crazy techy bouldering that keeps getting harder. Eventually re-enter full metal traverse at its last bolt and finish at its anchor. someone should take this route straight up into grazed anatomy.

Set by Frey Yule & ross ferguson, 2011

FFA: Sam Bowman, 2014

Start 3m L of Grazed Anatomy at ringbolts. Throw, pinch and scream for three bolts. After that, finish up Grazed Anatomy.

FFA: Frey Yule, 2009

Climb past full metal anchor to Crazy Horny's. Adds 3 metres of exciting hard climbing to full metal. Also has been done from the true north direct start, a hard 29 by Sam B.

FA: Dan Gordon, 2014

Direct start to Full Metal Traverse (start at the true north boulder problem and head left to finish at full metal's anchor. So bouldery and sustained.

Set by Frey Yule

FFA: Oliver Miller, 2012

Start as for Chevy, but traverse the lip directly left on bouldery moves. Mind the third clip. Amazing bouldery climbing without many tricks. Great for getting you strong!

FFA: Frey Yule, 2007

Climb FMT past four bolts, then up past another five. At last bolt, mantle lip of cave and stand on top triumphant.

FFA: Lee Cujes, 2008

Climb to Chevy's last bolt, go left and finish up GA.

FFA: Lee Cujes, 2008

Start just to the left of Yoink. By far the most popular route at the crag. Now rebolted.

FFA: Gareth Llewellin, 2007

On the very R end of the cave. Climb crack on UBs to wacky "rest" on arete. Continue through the steep stuff to shared anchor.

FA: Lee Cujes, 1998

FFA: Vickie Sullivan, 2000

For sake of the route name, climb Yoink and keep on going as per Who Grazed My Chevy?

A short easy trad route underneath Yoink. Start at small tree and climb through the orange rock.

FFA: Matt Schimke, 2008

The Crazy finale to the top of the cave. Outrageous exposure and views of the full sunshine coast! Quality rock Pitch 3 high above "Call of Duty". (Pitch 2 is still a project).To send this line you would need to aid the second pitch. One day it will all be done clean. ground up. Belayer must be at 3rd pitch anchor for sufficient rope to get to the ground!

Set by Phil Box, 2011

FFA: Rob Saunders, 2015

Activity

Check out what is happening in Mt Coolum.