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Description

This impressive rocky dome/spire offers climbing somewhat different in character from that on other major peaks. The lines are generally more prominent, while the holds frequently are not.

Climbs are descried clockwise from South Arete.

Access issues inherited from Warrumbungles

Most of the crags are in Warrumbungle National Park.

Approach

Tonduron can be approached from the Grand High Tops if you don't mind a bit of a walk (in fact all four major spires Belougery, Crater Bluff, Tonduron and the Needle -have been climbed in a day using this approach). The usual access, however, is from Gunneemooroo campsite in the south part of the park. This campsite is reached by road from Tooraweenah, off the highway between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran.

The best decent is to scramble down slabs and ramps between West Ridge and Southern Gully.

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
1
5 ** South Arete Trad 170m 6

'The gayest and most light·hearted climb I can remember, everyone being in the highest spirits.' (Dr. Eric Dark)

Start below prominent S arete / ridge.

1-6) Wander up arete/ridge. Dark remembers passing two chimneys on the way, the second of which by passed 'an enormous overhang right at the top'.

FA: Eric Dark, Eleanor Dark, Eric Lowe, JL Mclnlyre, JL McIntyre & Osmar White, 1932

2
8 Southern Gully Trad 150m 6

Start at gully L of South Arete.

1-6) Gully, joining West Ridge just below top.

FA: Unknown

3
4 West Ridge Trad 160m 6

Little more than a scramble. Start on ridge below stabs.

1-3) 90 m Slabs to grassy ledges.

'4) 15 m Round block, then layback to R. Chimney on L, or up on R (exposed).

5-6) 60 m Easy scrambling.

FA: Unknown

4
15 * North-west Groove Trad 150m 5

Start at crack-groove on NW side, just off track to West Ridge.

1-5) Crack, past bushy lodge to corner and overhang.

FA: Bryden Allen & Warwick Williams, 1975

5
19 ** Antares Trad 160m 5

Sustained climb on good rock. Original point of aid (19,M1) at top of pitch one has presumably been eliminated by Keith Bell. Start 50 m R of Northern Groove.

  1. 15 m Crack through bulge, then R to thread belay at foot of groove leading to roof.

  2. 35 m Groove, then fine crack on L. Round blunt arête, then slab to roof. Follow roof L to base of groove.

  3. Groove past ledge, then up R to stance below corner.

  4. Slab R of corner then up L above corner to sloping ledge.

  5. 40 m Slab on L, then through crack in bulge to big ledge. Scramble up.

FA: Keith Bell & Ian Thomas, 1974

6

Start 5 m L of Antares at twin grooves. Follow discontinuous R-hand groove/crack, then L to gully at top of L-hand groove. Up this to base of groove through Antares roof.

FA: Keith Bell & John Fantini, 1986

7
18 Northern Groove Trad 150m 4

Start below major corner and overhangs of N Face.

1-4) Line

Currently the shortest route description in the Warrumbungles.

FA: Bryden Allen & John Davis, 1965

8

Tackles semi-detached pinnacle called 'North Face Spire'. Start 10m R of A Little Rainbow.

  1. 20 m Chimney formed by large and small spire.

  2. 20 m Chimney formed by large spire and main face. Piton Belay.

Abseil off.

FA: Ian Thomas & Keith Bell, 1974

9
19 ** A Little Rainbow Trad 150m 4

Unrelenting, with superb rock and good pro. Start 5 m L of North Face Spire.

  1. 42 m Wide crack.

  2. 38 m Corner and L face until line curves L. R to stance.

  3. 36 m Corner, then R on to face. Up R to cracks and rib, then cracks to corner on R. Corner to chockstone.

  4. 34 m (crux) Up to overhang, then R round arete. Up.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Ray Lassman, 1973

10
22 M3 Starlight Express Aid 240m 7

A beautiful route venturing through some steep and hostile territory. Start halfway between Virago and A Little Rainbow at a prominent straight groove/crack heading for overhanging pitch.

  1. 30 m Scramble up slabs to large blocks R of corner-crack.

  2. 45 m Corner­ crack to just below small overlap (some poor rock).

  3. 15 m Corner-crack to shattered blocks below roof.

  4. 20 m Free to start of crack, then aid (pitons -some in place: knife-blades, small angles) as crack dies and leans R. L over roof, Semi hanging belay (wires) on lip.

  5. 40 m Flakes to ledge below and L of end of flake. L along ledge, then slab up L to hanging belay in crack.

  6. 40 m Crack until it leans L, then slab to ledge.

  7. 45 m Large boulder, then crack to easier ground.

FA: John Fantini & Keith Bell, 1987

11
20 Virago Trad 210m 9

Start at small L corner below yellow roofs.

  1. 20 m Corner, then slab to stance.

  2. 25 m L, then slab. Move R, then wall tending L to poor belay.

  3. 12 m Slab.

  4. 30 m Groove to top of flake, then wall to stance.

  5. 20 m L, then groove.

  6. 20 m L, then crack.

  7. 18 m Crack to ledge.

  8. 30 m Crack, then R to another crack. Up to ledge.

  9. 30 m Up R groove to easy ground. Scramble up.

FA: Greg Mortimer & Keith Bell, 1974

12
17 Saratoga / Walpurgis Trad 180m 7

Referred to, but not described, in the 1976 guide as 'Walpurgis'. Start in groove 10 m L of Virago.

  1. 30 m Groove to ledge.

  2. 25 m Up continuation through roof to ledge. Belay on L.

  3. 25 m Crack, then L to flake. Flake to horizontal break, then R to stance.

  4. 20 m L, then crack.

  5. 30 m Ramp on L past flakes, then wall and slab to base of small pulpit.

  6. 25 m Wall, then R through break. Up to base of groove.

  7. 25 m Up groove on R.

FA: Keith Bell & Greg Mortimer, 1974

13
17 Chimney Freak Trad 180m

Start on slabs 60 m R of South Arete, at fig in crack. Chimney to ridge.

FA: Joe Friend (solo), 1976

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