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Table of contents

1. Cephalopod Wall 47 routes in Cliff

Trad, Sport and other styles

Long/Lat: 138.555527, -35.618689


Tie a knot in the end of your rope before climbing! There have been numerous accidents at this cliff due to lowering off the end of the rope. A 60m rope is required for most of the easy routes. The routes ending at the major horizontal at "30m" actually need a 70m rope to lower off due to the line taken (or you can clean the draws on the way down.)

Some sport routes have spaced bolts so taking some trad gear can be a good idea. Indeed many of the best routes at the cliff are mixed - bolts only where there are no trad placements availble.

Some routes have a carrot at the start, so a couple of bolt plates are required.

Access Issues: inherited from Waitpinga

The access to the cliff is via one of two methods.

  1. via the Heysen Trail coming in from the Victor Harbour side or Newland Head Reserve. (adds about 1.5 - 2 hours to the walk in.) or

  2. Via private land. The CCSA (Climbing Club of South Australia) has arranged access via the landowners immediately above the cliff top. Any entry onto this land must first have the permission of either Alistair Carmichael or Bernie Carmichael.

Phone numbers are available from the CCSA Online Waitpinga guide at


Descent Notes:©

Sport routes have lower-offs. The old routes end in steep dirt, loose rock and shrubs and are not recommended unless you are in to that.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 *** Down to the Sea in Slips 18 Trad
2 Squid 11 Trad
3 Simpkin's Chimney 4 Trad
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
4 Stimulus Package

take a #1 cam

FA: Peter Daish, Des Hudson, 2009

17 Sport 20m
5 Mussels and Weeds 14 Trad
6 Abalone 9 Trad
7 Pincer 10 Trad
8 Pincer Variant Finish

as in the guide book

10 Trad 27m
9 South Sea Burble 9 Trad
10 All Day Sucker 15 Trad
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
11 * Hard to Starboard

Takes a line on the left side of the wave platform, starting with a carrot bolt then leading up past FH's to a mid section requiring trad. Take a breath and move up into the crux (bolt protected) which involves a span out right. Has been known to throw off 6'4" grade 29 climbers yet see 5'3" grade 22 climbers onsight it - so no excuses!

FA: Steve Kelly/Pete Daish, 2009

20 Trad 25m
12 * Taleah Grace

FA: Peter Daish, Jordy Moffat

13 Sport 25m
13 ** Sea Lion

The scene of an epic first ascent story. Originally climbed entirely on trad then later retrobolted (by the first ascentionists). A classic that gets harder as you get closer to the belay. Well worth doing.

FA: Damien Hall, Peter Daish

21 Mixed 55m 2, 13
14 Sea Lion Pup

Climb 2/3 of Sea Lion pitch 1, then step L to Taleah Grace chains.

12 Sport 30m
15 Sea Lion P1

Sea Lion 1st pitch to 1st horizontal. If using a 60m rope lower to TG chains

18 Sport 35m, 10
16 ** Georgie Rose

Hard start traversing into the diagonal slashes then up these to a final cruxy section that traverses left to an anchor.

FA: Peter Daish, Jordy Moffat

18 Mixed 30m, 5
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
17 *** Buoy Oh Buoy

Possibly harder than Smooth Sailing and a little bit exciting to reach the crux. Take small wires and cams to supplement. A big pitch that gets harder the higher you go, with a super delicate crux section in the final 8 metres. 2nd pitch has not been climbed since a huge flake came off it, and it is not in a climbable state at present.

FFA: Steve Kelly

FA: Tony Barker, Mike Broadbent

23 Sport 32m
18 *** Achilles Gambit Pitch 1

You can take a bit of trad gear with you to supplement the bolts. A total classic that puts value back into 21's! Try not to do this one on a big wave day however.

FA: Peter Daish

21 Sport 30m
19 The Guru Memorial Buttress Extension

The extension to GMB to the Achilles chain hasn't had a lead ascent as yet.

22 Trad 32m 2
20 ** The Guru Memorial Buttress Pitch 1

Start on boulders at R end of pond. Up to carrot (difficult) then past 2 ring bolts. Continue up crack (natural protection) passing another ring bolt up high before the DBB.

FFA: Paul Francis, Mark Witham, 1990

18 Mixed 27m, 4
21 True North

The all too obvious crackline rising up by 'the bath' left of Smooth Sailing/Lost Socks requiring a mixture of trad and bolts. Grade 15 to the first anchor then continue up the crackline as it thins out and leads into the junction of Smooth Sailing. Finish as for that route.

FA: Peter Daish, Alister Carmichael, 2007

23 Trad 27m
22 ** True North Easy Variant

Not really a variant - just the start of True North. An all trad affair to the first anchor and an excellent lead for the grade.

FA: Peter Daish, Jordy Moffat

15 Trad 17m
23 Atlas 15 AID:A2 Aid 59m
24 ** Lost While Sailing

An inferior route to Smooth Sailing linking Lost Socks start (contrived) into Smooth Sailing.

23 Unknown 30m
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
25 * Lost Socks

Mixed protection, 4 bolts and natural gear.

FA: John Nankivell, Alister Carmichael

18 Mixed 31m, 4
26 ** Atlantic Cruise

FA: Mark Leonard, Sandy Hancock, 1989

20 Unknown 59m
27 * Clear the Decks Pitch One 17 Sport 20m
28 Clear and Smooth

Clear the Decks Pitch 1 until it bisects Smooth Sailing then as for this briefly until you can climb right to the anchor.

16 Sport 20m
29 ** Clear the Decks

The extension to Clear the Decks Pitch 1 (done in one big pitch to the 2nd anchor). Very exciting crux relying on classic Waits foot smears to negotiate the hard bit a little distance above the protection.

24 Trad 48m
30 ** Dutchy's Route

FA: Jaimie Holland, Peter Daish

18 Trad 48m
31 * Its Barque is Worse Than Its Bight 17 Trad
32 ** Smooth Sailing

Possibly the best line at Waits. Follows the white quartz diagonal seam in a rising leftward direction until the route meets the vertical crackline of True North. From here, straight up the crack to a final tricky section and a cut right and up to chain. Mega.

23 Sport 30m
33 * Smooth and Easy

Smooth Sailing until you can cut right to the Clear the Decks Pitch 1 anchor. Quality.

16 Sport 20m
34 *** Smooth Criminal

Climb Smooth Sailing until after its crux (where it meets True North) then 1m later span out left via a series of dynamic iron cross moves and bad feet to join GMB. Climb the crack of this route for approx 1-2m then a final slab boulder problem diagonally leftwards leads to the chain of Achilles Gambit. Originally freed to GMB, later extended to the obvious finish. Very technical and engaging climbing.

FFA: Steve Kelly

FA: Peter Daish, Damien Hall

25 Sport 35m
35 * Mercy

Awkward crackline following ring bolts.

13 Sport 18m
36 * Mercy Medium 17 Sport
37 Mercy Hard 20 Sport
38 * Paua Crack

Follow the crack line that runs parallel and 5m R of Smooth Sailing. Start at Clearing Your Mind leftwards passing through its Barque’s garden, then keep following the obvious crack line that leads to the Lost Socks DBB. Good natural pro all the way. 70m rope required to lower off.

FFA: Frewin Ries, 2014

18 Trad 33m
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
39 *** Clearing Your Mind

Waits headspace slabbing at its best and probably not a good one to warm up on if you haven't experienced Waits before or are looking for a quick clip up. Good training for the harder routes.

FA: Peter Daish

19 Sport 27m
40 ** Claw 14 Trad 32m
41 Crow's Nest 14 Trad
42 Albatross 15 Trad
43 Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash 13 Trad 28m
44 Hello Sailor 13 Trad 28m
45 Magic Mountain

Essentially a retrobolt of Hello Sailor, the description of which appeared in Rock 43.

13 Sport 23m, 6
46 Wet Patch

The L arete of the chimney at the R end of the wall.

11 Sport 23m, 6
47 *** A Good Line

A traverse of cephalopod wall in either direction staying about 10m above the rock or water.

18 Trad 110m

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style
4 Simpkin's Chimney Trad
9 Abalone Trad
South Sea Burble Trad
10 Pincer Trad
Pincer Variant Finish Trad 27m
11 Squid Trad
Wet Patch Sport 23m, 6
12 Sea Lion Pup Sport 30m
13 Hello Sailor Trad 28m
Magic Mountain Sport 23m, 6
* Mercy Sport 18m
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash Trad 28m
* Taleah Grace Sport 25m
14 ** Claw Trad 32m
Crow's Nest Trad
Mussels and Weeds Trad
15 Albatross Trad
All Day Sucker Trad
** True North Easy Variant Trad 17m
15 A2 Atlas Aid 59m
16 Clear and Smooth Sport 20m
* Smooth and Easy Sport 20m
17 * Clear the Decks Pitch One Sport 20m
* Its Barque is Worse Than Its Bight Trad
* Mercy Medium Sport
Stimulus Package Sport 20m
18 *** A Good Line Trad 110m
*** Down to the Sea in Slips Trad
** Dutchy's Route Trad 48m
** Georgie Rose Mixed 30m, 5
* Lost Socks Mixed 31m, 4
* Paua Crack Trad 33m
Sea Lion P1 Sport 35m, 10
** The Guru Memorial Buttress Pitch 1 Mixed 27m, 4
19 *** Clearing Your Mind Sport 27m
20 ** Atlantic Cruise Unknown 59m
* Hard to Starboard Trad 25m
Mercy Hard Sport
21 *** Achilles Gambit Pitch 1 Sport 30m
** Sea Lion Mixed 55m 2, 13
22 The Guru Memorial Buttress Extension Trad 32m 2
23 *** Buoy Oh Buoy Sport 32m
** Lost While Sailing Unknown 30m
** Smooth Sailing Sport 30m
True North Trad 27m
24 ** Clear the Decks Trad 48m
25 *** Smooth Criminal Sport 35m