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Description

The unmissable volcanic plug visible from the centre of Urbenville, also known as 'North Obelisk'. It's north-facing slabs offer balancy slabbing on very featureless rock, in contrast to the more blocky structure of The Pines. For Queensland climbers, reminiscent of older style slab routes of Mt Beerwah. More recently, dark arts have been practiced on its shady southern side (see Spot X).

Useful Info: Most of the more trafficked climbs were rebolted by Safer Cliffs Queensland in mid-2008 with stainless fixed hangers and expansion bolts. The hardware on many of the remaining routes consists mostly of bash-in mild steel or sometimes stainless bolts in varying states of decay. Exercise caution and discretion.

Many routes require some trad gear and bolt plates, so be prepared. The classics of the crag would have to be Slip 23m (19) and the three pitch continuation starting at the end of Slip known as 'Fantastic' 75m (19).

The black trachyte and NNE position means that The Crown is best climbed autumn through spring, some respite in summer may be available on those climbs under the treeline but don't count on it.

© (hotgemini)

Access issues inherited from Urbenville

For access to The Crown only, not Battery Hill or Vesuvius: It is requested (by the farmer whose land you cross to access the cliff) that you phone him prior to your arrival and seek permission to access The Crown. His name is Mr Jones and his number is (02) 6634 1225. Think of this as a courtesy call which will serve to keep climbers in the good graces of land managers. Please do it. If you should have any problems with this arrangement, post up on qurank.com.

Approach

Head south from the centre of Urbenville, turn right into Stephen Street and follow it for 900 metres then turn left into the sewerage treatment plant. Park in the shade of the gum trees immediately downhill of the aeration ponds.

Walk uphill between the aeration ponds and the sedimentation ponds and continue upwards towards the two 'apple' trees. From here you should be able to follow the faint cairned path until it takes you to the cliff face proper. Walk R along the rock to reach the first routes. In order to minimise erosion please stay on the path and do not short-cut across switchbacks.

Update 2016: Trail still exists, but is faint, and only a few cairns can be spotted. Still easy to find the cliff given the short distance.

© (hotgemini)

History

View historical timeline

Development chiefly occurred in the early to mid 90s when slabs were all the rage.

© (hotgemini)

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

Routes

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Grade Route

Follow the system of corners up and step L on to slab, passing BR's to CB.(BR's, SLCD's, wires)

Start: Apparently pretty damn hard. Climb arête L of large tree, which is in turn L of a large fallen tree and stump hole.

FA: Mark Plenderlieth & Alistair Byrom

A pleasant mixed route following the line of least resistance.

Start: From large stump hole move up slab about 5m to dish and a single BR belay (If using a 50m rope, use a sling to clip into bolt as leader will need all the rope to get to first CB).

  1. 50m (19) From dish head towards orange overhang and a step to the R on to slab heading for short, prominent corner past two BR\'s to CB.

  2. 45m (18) Head up corner following BR's to top CB.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox

Head up L side of hanging block to flake up L side of block to bolt belay. (BR's & SLCD's)

Start: Several metres L of a broken corner with a large stump and a fallen tree, about 20m R of stump hole.

FA: Mark Plenderlieth & Ian Harrison

Start: Directly up from broken stump.

  1. 25m (19) Up R side of overhang to tree root and then up past three BR's to CB. A fall on the crux could serve you up on the slab - take care.

  2. 45m (19) Continue up through two headwalls passing 15 hangers along the way. Remeber your long draws and/or use two ropes.

Ross Ernst, Colin Carstens 18/10/2008

FA: Ian Harrison, Mark Plenderlieth (p1), Ross Ernst & Colin Carstens (p2)

One of the most popular routes at urbenville, fine balancy slabbing up rock which has had every edge polished off by the sweaty palms and squirming feet of those who went before.

FA: Ken Cox

The obvious upwards continuation from Slip\'s anchors.

Start: Continue up and slightly left from Slip\\'s Anchors through break.

  1. 25m (16) Up through break in roof, follow hangers across slab to anchors just short of headwall.

  2. 25m (18) Follow line of weakness through headwall with some balancy moves, continue up slab to anchor.

FFA: Adam Gibson & Tristan Baskerville

Set by Adam Gibson & Tristan Baskerville

Traverses left following the upwards trending overlap. Mind some loose blocks in the middle.

Start: Start at the anchors at the top of Slip.

Three pitches of pleasant climbing with an interesting crux.

Start: Start by traversing up and right from the anchors of Slip or by heading straight up from the anchor of Slope/Sonoluminescence

  1. 12m (15) Follow bolts through corner/weakness approximately 1.5 metres up and 5 metres right of Slip\'s anchor, up slab for a short distance to anchor with huge mild-steel chain hardware.

  2. 25m (19) Up shallow corner to obvious steep corner (many FH's). Overcome this and the tricky arête crux move onto slab to reach CB at small tree.

  3. 15m (17) Clip FH from ledge and climb the slab above past numerous FH's to tree belay.

FA: Est. by Pete Schmidt. FFA Darrin Carter & Sean Smith

FA: Darrin Carter/Sean Smith

Another romp up slab past the L side of a small nose to CB at the top of Slip.

Start: Start at line of hangers a few metres right of Slip

FA: Ken Cox

Up R side of small nose past numerous FHs to CB at top of 'Slapp'. Has an interesting bulge at half height.

FA: Mark Plenderlieth

Off block and follow seam to first BR at five metres. Up slab blipping colts to CB.

FA: Ken Cox

Quite testing. 3m R of 'Slapp'. Up slab passing two BR's to large SLCD placement and BR. Up steep section passing a FH (crux) to overlap, and on to CB.

(BR's, FH's & SLCD's)

FA: Andrew Horchner

Solid at the grade, but excellent. Up slab clipping FH's to obvious triangular tooth. Once up steepness and at the overlap, head L to lower-off at top of Gearbox Gastro. FH's and cams.

FA: Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox & R. Byrom

More good value. About 5m R of Slither. Up slab to a tricky step R and FH. Sweet pockets will see you through the crux steepness. Continue up corner to lower-off.

FA: Ken Cox & Alistair Byrom

This climb starts R about 3 metres. Head up crack/corner to vegetated ledge. From here step 2m R onto steeper territory. Follow FH's to a lower-off.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox

Instead of climbing the crack/corner of Urban Villain climb directly up the slab, passing three FH's below the crux.

FA: David Reeve, 2009

Good, but a sandbag at its original grade of 13 if climbed directly. Start about 12m R of Urban Villain, in a shallow V. Climb up the V and step L onto a large ledge, the first BR is clipped from the ledge. From the ledge head up to orange overhang and lower-off. FH's and cams.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox

  1. 40m (22) Start up Easement but move R before chains following FH's up and then L to steep wall. Crank L and up weakness in this steep headwall past numerous FH's to slab then to chain belay.

  2. 20m (19) Up slab above past big flake and numerous FH's to tree belay.

FA: Probably Pete Schmidt, 1996

  1. 30m (13) As for Easement.

  2. 20m? (17?) Move R from the belay and instead of trending back L toward the steep wall as per the 22, follow the line of FH's R into the corner, then out R and on R-wards.

FA: Probably Pete Schmidt, 1996

Quite varied. This climb starts 3m L of the top of the small ridge about 20m R of Easement. Climb up slab heading L to a vegetated corner and FH. Up slab through branches of squiggly gum to blunt arête. Up arête to ledge. Off ledge and up to CB past small wire placements.

FA: Ken Cox & Mark Plenderlieth

  1. 35m (15) At top of ridge head up gentle slab to obvious corner. Up corner to where it eases and trends L. Ignore this (and the FH out L). Instead, step R into smaller corner and up to rap anchor at good stance.

  2. 30m (15) From chains head about 4m R and up water mark passing several BR's to steeper rock (FH's). Surmount this then up corner (ignoring unnecessary retrobolts) to lower-off just above she-oak.

FA: Ken Cox & Alistair Byrom

  1. As for p1 of Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

  2. Directly up from the belay following the line of FH's up the smooth slab, trending slightly L to chain belay.

FA: Peter Schmidt & James Fisher, 1996

A gooey little thing. This climb goes up the L of the two cracks with a hard start and fiddly placements, ending at Fuck Off Noddy 's chain belay.

FA: Mark Plenderlieth & Ian Harrison

Classic and quite sequency. The clean line located in the middle of the buttress, below the R slanting flake ending at a lower-off.

FA: Mark Plenderlieth & Ian Harrison

No easier than Noddy. Starts at R side of buttress below prominent flake. Boldly up to first FH then trend R to second FH. Up to top passing last FH, unsuccessfully trying to avoid stepping L. Chain belay.

FA: Mark Plenderlieth & Ian Harrison

First route up dirty wall past a few BR's.

FA: Unknown, 1996

Looks heinous!! Two FH's lead up and to the L to a rest before the crux at the third FH. Up past one BR to finish. Chain belay.

FA: Matt Hutton & Greg Hambling, 1995

Up to scoop and BR. Onwards past another three BR's to chain belay.

FA: Mark Plenderlieth, 1994

Weakness just L of Penial Warts. Four BR's and chain belay. Really just a variant start to Penile Warts as it joins it at the second BR.

FA: Merk Plenderlieth, 1996

Start at warty tree. Up corner to small tree stump. Clip BR on L then up to second BR and traverse to the L. Up past another two BR's and a small wire over the lip if you feel it is required, then up to chain belay.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox

Didn't manage to find this one. Supposedly about 3m R of Penile Warts. Up past three BR's on difficult moves if you're the height of the first ascensionists. At top corner above third BR, step L and up to chain belay.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox

5m R of the warty tree. Up to first BR at the patch of white lichen. Traverse R and up to second BR. Up to FH and crux. Clip fourth BR and you're there. Chain belay.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox

Start at the left arête of the above mentioned slab. Head up to the large flake past two BR's. The third BR is out on the L on top of the flake, a medium cam is required out to the R. Follow the line of least resistance past seven BR's to chain belay.

FA: Alistair Byrom, Ken Cox & M. Byrom

Up slab past SLCD slot and across to the R (long BR). Make your way back L under roof past nose (big SLCD) and up to the big hole (BR). From here zig-zag through break in wall past two BR's. Once on slab, follow breaks to chain belay. (BR's, #2.5 & ~#4 SLCDs & medium wires)

FA: M. Byrom & R. Byrom

Start as for the previous two climbs. Head to the same bolt at the hole. Step down onto tooth and up R to ledge. From ledge follow BR's to chain belay.

FA: Alistair Byrom & M. Moran

A direct start for Image is All. Start up slab about eight metres R of original start. Head up past two BR's then trend L to undercling and up to ledge.

FA: Ingo the Dingo

Another direct start just R of I'll be Bach. This time up slab past three BR's to hole and BR.

FA: Unknown

Reputedly good and hard. Great pinches through the overhang. Up the slab heading for the big white stripe on the steep wall up high passing 4 BR's to get there. Climb the steep stain past another BR, then keep going following the bolts.

FA: Andrew Horchner

Up almost horizontal flake to natural gear in corner. Up slab to BR. Traverse L to corner crack, an #11 hex can be fiddled into hole. Thence to the R and up crack to CB.

FA: Ken Cox, R. Byrom & Alistair Byrom

Start as for Wasp. Up to ledge at 5m, then up to BR. Continue up past small cam and another four BR's. From fifth BR trend L to chain belay.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox

10m R. Apparently the streak up the vague L-facing corner has been done without bolts. Meander up to tree belay..

The black, L-trending wide crack up the slab ending at a tree belay.

Up the short arête clipping BR's to chain belay.

FA: Alistair Byrom & Ken Cox, 1991

Start about 4m R of Jetsom. Head straight up slab clipping BR's to chain belay.

FA: Ken Cox & Alistair Byrom, 1991

Activity

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