South Face


Has some good climbing on the short left hand sections of the south side of Mt Keira. Degenerates to total choss further around towards the North areas. All accessible via a narrow track above steep jungle.

Access issues inherited from Mount Keira

The Mount Keira summit park is an easy 15 minute drive from the Wollongong CBD. The park is surrounded by the Illawarra Escarpment State Conversation area and is covered in thick sub-tropical rainforest and eucalypt forest, and is open to the public all year round.

Be aware the vehicle gate to the summit park is closed and locked after hours.

Due to rockfalls in recent years some parts of the area are closed, though the West Face and connecting path (Dave Walsh Track) are declared open by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. See http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/illawarra-escarpment-state-conservation-area/local-alerts for details.


Access as for the West Face but go left of the Termite Mound down the rock-stepped track (Dave Walsh track) and hook around on the non-descript tracks (past Prow Prowess). Go to the left after descending about 25m vert (you will know you are there as you get to a red faced wall (on the left) with the route names (G) etched in the rock and a ledge track (heading east) that takes you past all the routes.

Ethic inherited from Wollongong

Retro-bolting of established trad routes is frowned upon. There has been some controversy in recent years about new routes being bolted above tourist tracks. Please don't do this.


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


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

Before reaching the South Face proper there are a few routes you will find directly on your left when walking down the Dave Walsh Track at the intersection between South Face and West Face.

Top rope from double rings: Start from the track in the corner (left of the arrow in the tree) for a harder start or walk up to the break for an easier accent.

NPWS are reviewing this route - may 2013

FA: Allison Hooper, 21 Jul 2012

Set 30 May 2013

Start from the track in the corner (right of the arrow in the tree). Links up with School of Rock - Senior through the crack in the face. Climbing off the 4th ring from Crack. Belay from 3rd.

FA: Chris Allen, 30 May 2013

Scramble up the to the ledge and work around to ascend up the crack in the face.

Climb up from the 4th ring bolt from the crack and belay from the 3rd. (Don't climb up from the 3rd - there are weak jugs that will break off)

Set 30 May 2013

FA: Chris Allen, 30 May 2013

A top rope can be run from either of first two the eastern rings. Scramble to ascend the crack or the slab.

FA: Lucy Allen, 31 May 2013

Start on SOR - Junior (top rope). Then traverse around to top out on Prow Prowess anchors. (Make sure your rope is long enough for lowering)

FA: Chris Allen, 30 May 2013

Balancy start, pull up on roof(s) or squeeze right, bridge through the gap and then juggy slab in the last half. (finishes at Upper South Playground area , thus gives ascent access to the Upper South Face climbs)

FA: Terry Jackson, 25 Jul 2012

The following routes are located in a small plateau above the start of the main south face (the 8m reddish wall) and can be accessed with a bit of a scramble though a small tunnel next to AHS or walking around the top of the reddish wall cliff.

4m left of 'SlipSlabSlop'

2 to 3 pieces needed... Nice rock anchor (bollard) at the top

FA: BJ Adams, 21 Jul 2012

[New 2012 July] [Epoxyed Abseil points at top of Route]

Rap down the Lower offs , start on the ground and up the at times crimpy face.

FA: Terry Jackson, 8 Jul 2012

[2012 JUL - NEW] So, with no godly assistance , up the arete. Pray for the good pockets and smears. Use your souls (shoes) to get you higher to heaven. Crux is near the top ... Lower offs & RB's are around the right edge

FA: Terry Jackson, 15 Jul 2012

Crack 3m left of Archers Arc

[New July 2012 ] [Epoxyed Abseil points at top of Route]

Rap down via SlipSlabSlop wall or climb up via Amundsen. Fine foot and handholds to reach 1st ledge, look for that right 2 finger pocket to enable the mantle. Up the incuts on the right side of the wall . The last move is a high step, balenced to the left foot. Don't forget to turn around and see/hear where the climb got its name.

FA: Terry Jackson, 8 Jul 2012

[2012 June - RB's all the way] Start on the ledge above Shadow/No.1 Crack Lower Offs. (Anchor the belayer to the hip ringbolts - just to be safe). Up the 1st slab, clipping around to the right. From the ledge reach right to the 2nd bolt. If struggling, climb up using holds around the left side of the arete and iffy right foot holds. Continue up to double ringbolts, don't forget to look right at that great southern illawarra view.

FA: Jul 2012

The start of the main south wall which stretches from the corner of the West Face of Mount Keira and continues all the way around the South Face. Follow the Dave Walsh track down the mountain until you see the 8m reddish wall on your left.

[July2012 - added ring bolt lower-offs] . The first of the main South Face climbs. On the red faced wall at the begineering of the South Face access track .

Top-rope Problem. The problem at the left hand side of the wall. Climb the curved crack. Pretty thin pro.

Toprope Problem - use ganglion Lower-Offs. A balancy start with thin finger holds. Start at the initials! If you knocked this one off then turn around and head to the Noth Face dude!

FA: Jon Muir

Still on that damn toprope! Thin techichal face climbing. Start 2m to the right of Goo.

FA: Steve Bullen

[July 2012 - Lower Offs added] Guess what...Toproped. Get up that thin seam. No, you cant use the #1 Crack to start off!

FA: Steve Bullen

Use Shadow Lower-offs. Not a bad crack. Natural pro. Not a bad climb to learn the finer art of cam placement. Another one of those bouldery starts then 3 layback moves to glory.

If you mantle you can gain access to the belayer ring bolts and use them to make a mixed multi-pitch, linking to HappyCow Cheese.

FA: Bill James & Co, 2000

Toproped Another mongrel climb... Stay off the #1 Crack. Start 1m right of #1 Crack. A long reach up then up the centre.

FA: graeme hill, Chudleigh & jon muir

[2012 Oct - new Lower Offs + xtra rb] Start 2m right of Speed of Life, left of the arete. Bouldery start at the flake then continue up the arete , then pulling left onto the wall for the final moves.

FA: Ant Prehn, 2000

[2012 Oct - Lower Offs + xtra rb]

Starts right, around the arete from Turkey's Testicles. Undercut start to ringbolt and continue up at arete. Make sure you stay on the right side of the arete.

FA: G Nelson, 1995

Natural Pro. The off-width

FA: G Nelson

Boulder prob. Lead it or rig a toprope. A major struggle if you're a shortarse Up to the jug, then climb the dihedral to the right of the offwidth.

FA: Steve Bullen & Ant Prehn, 2000

Start 2m to the right of Dental Floss Vigilante. Up to the sus looking hold then out the roof and out left to the finish.

FA: Graeme Hill & Jon Muir, 2000

A technical start. Up the thin wall past 2 carrots to the right hand corner, follow the crack to the roof then left to finish.

FA: Ant Prehn, 2000

[2012 Oct - RB's all the way] A route up a steeply overhung short wall on completely manufactured incut holds ... that appeared in the late 80's and were further enhanced by persons unknown sometime after 2010. Careful on the 2nd clip, ground fall might be possible.

(Hint - there is a bomber incut hold 20cm left and in-line of the lower offs)

FA: 1988

The layback leading to a gut wrenching offwidth. Not recommended for pussies. Up the crack with poor pro to ledge. From the ledge climb the short wall behind the arete (2 carrots)

FA: Graeme Hill & T Ogle

Pull over the start (ringbolt) and up the thin flake (ringbolt) to a wide high step up flake, then up to the 3rd ringbolt. Climb till you hit the belay rings. Lower off OR mantle past to ledge and continue up the top wall of Ape Index.

Is the original finish to the climb continuing straight up the thin flake. It finishes so close to Ape Index that you can cheat by chimneying.

FA: Jon Muir & Graeme Hill, 2000

Very sandy, not a recommended lead. BAD PRO. The right side of the overhung arete to finish as for Brainsnapper Direct Variant.

FA: Graeme Hill & Jon Muir, 1990

The crack. Natural pro. Start at the undercut hand crack. Climb till you hit the ledge, then take your pick of the two cracks, just climb to the top

FA: Graeme Hill & Ant Prehn, 2000

You need strength! Reach right to clip the 1st ringbolt, Jug/heel hook etc the overhung start and arete (ringbolt) then grovel up left OR go the direct finish (grade 24) on the left arete on sand covered slopers!

FA: Graeme Hill & Ant Prehn, 1990

No pro. Pretty poor climb. Start to the left of the chimney. Jugs up the overhang left and up. Step back right and up the choss.

FA: Chudleigh & Graeme Hill

[2012 Sept - Lower Offs added]

The chimney. Natural pro. Up the chimney and step left. Up the twin cracks as for Radioactive Banana.

FA: Bill James & Co, 1990

[2012 Sept - Lower Offs added]

Start 1m right of the chimney. Up the flake to overhang and follow the lip of the overhang to ledge. Up final wall to top.

FA: Chudleigh & Graeme Hill, 2000

[2012 Sept - now all RBs + extended to top of 'Screw']

Start 2m right of the chimney. Haul over the overhang to start.. Up the middle of the wall to follow the worn ridge to ledge (Note: old chain on ledge). Then up arete to new LO's

You can climb down Archer's Arc to set top-rope for these climbs.

FA: Graeme Hill & Geoff Hill, 1980

FA: Hubert Lobl, Sep 2012

[2012 Nov - LO's and RB's all the way]

Start around the right of arete past Strong Arms. Pull up and climb till you hit the lower off's

FA: Graeme Hill, jon Muir & Ian Anger, 1985

[2012 Nov - LO's added] The corner crack 2m to the right of Dyno To Death. Natural pro. Use LOs or up to the bushy ledge, then up final easy 3m corner to the base of Archer's Arc

FA: Nelson Brothers, 1994

A nice little arete. Start just to the right of Hobo Chang. Clip 1st bolt from tree, then start down at the ledge. Up arete passing 2nd bolt to ledge.

FA: Ant Prehn & Dave Thomas, 2000

Natural pro. Bridge up the corner crack. A ledge step left and up the wall to the top.

The arete 1m to the right or Renaissance. Deviously (?) up the arete to ledge. Up easy wall past another carrot.

FA: Graeme Hill & Dave Thomas, 2000

Start 2m to the right of Daves Dilema. Climb the left crack to the ledge then up the wall above to carrot. Then as for Daves Dilemma.

FA: Nelson Brothers

As the name says. Start 1m right of Cadabra Eyes

Start 3m right of High Stepping. Follow the creaking carrots up the crappy looking wall.

Start 1m right of Weeping Wall. Climb the arete at the groove and move left into Weeping Wall near the top after the roof. From the ledge move 3m right and up the dark wall past 3 carrots.

FA: Ant Prehn & P Pisanu

[New Sept. 2012] Up the long slab between Langsten Avenue and Kindergarten. Try and stay out of the RHS Kindergarten crack. Crux is on the orange wall. Ends at the 2nd pitch belay/lower off station of Down And Going. A good extension to a single pitch is to continue up the end of Down And Going.

FA: T Jackson/H Lobl, 15 Sep 2012

Up the easy crack, from the bottom to 1st ledge. Tree belay. Traverse left to the crack left of the arete climb (down and going , 2nd pitch) .

[Sept 2012 - ring bolt lower offs] [Epoxyed Abseil points at top of Route for 60m rope]

Mixed climbing. Starts on the left side of the slab, right of Kindergarten. Up the slab at edge (past old piton) to 1st ledge. Up slab wall to 2nd ledge and 2 belay bolts. 2nd pitch = Up the right face (3 bolts) of the arete to the top RB's

FA: Jon Muir, Graeme Hill & Ant Prehn, 1982

Start on the slab as for Down and Going. Pull onto slab and up right to 1st ringbolt, then straight up wall to the 2nd ringbolt and exit onto ledge. Right and up next wall past ringbolt to double ring belay. Climb the short flake and wall past 3 ringbolts to bolt belay.

FA: Jon Muir, Ant Prehn & Thomas, 2000

[Sept 2012 - ring bolt lower offs & 3 new bolts to limit the 'run outs'] Start as for Mind Games. High step onto slab ledge and traverse right towards the arete passing 2nd & 3rd ringbolts. Up the right arete to the ledge. Belay station at base of wall. Climb vertical wall to 2nd ledge ring belay.

FA: Bill James & Co, 1980

The wall left of Kindergarten top crack. Access down a 'ramp' near the top. 3 'old' rusty carrots hang on the wall !

FA: Ant Prehn & Jon Muir

the crack to the right. of Kindergarten

Starts on the wall right of the arete (Down And Going 2nd pitch). Up the wall trying to rip your nails off! Has 2 very old rusty carrots as pro !

FA: Graeme Hill & Ant Prehn, 2000

The middle of the wall between Toxic Shock and Mind Games. 2 ringbolts.

Bolts all the way make up for the orange slippery/sus rock.

  1. One Strenuous pull-up move off the ground then climb the middle of the wall between the arete and El Packo to ledge beneath the short wall.

  2. Up the short wall on the left as for Travail 2nd pitch.

FA: Sue Young & Rod Young, 2000

The thin crack. Marked EP. Natural pro. Jamb the crack and stem up the sides...mmm nice :?/ Up the crack in arete from ledge.

FA: Graeme Hill & T Ogle, 2000

Take your trad gear. 2m to the right of El Packo in the big arsed crack. Face climb the crack then up the easy crack at the top.

FA: Frank Hodges, 2000

Starts 3m right of Rastus. Up on jugs past carrot. Continue straight up wall past 2nd carrot and up to the top.

FA: Bill James, 2000

Not very good. Start at the crack a meter right of Chottomati Direct. Climb the chimney to the roof, over this then up the corner to ledge. Up the final corner.

FA: Graeme Hill & Chudleigh, 2000

Start 1m right of Chottomati Direct. 1/ Up the crack around roof (crux) and cracks above to ledge. 2/ Up the corner.

FA: G Owens & B Price, 2000

Varied climbing. Start down right of Advise and Dissent.. 1/ Thin technichal moves to start then up and right to under roof. Easily over roof onto steep wall and up to chain. Take 5 brackets.

FA: Rod Young, 2000

CAUTION !! - in the mid section of the climb there is a massive ring bolted boulder unattached to the main cliff, resting on a friable base. Its stability is unknown - last major rock fall in that area = Feb. 2012. !!

Natural pro. Not popular but a nice climb. Multi pitch with excellent positions. Start at the J.

  1. 24m It might be an idea to get your belayer up on the small ledge before you traverse out on the utter crap at the start of this climb. A couple of highsteps will get you to a large horn. Sling this to avoid the 15 ft grounder! Very easy moves up slab near the nose on better rock. Up groove to ledge and left to large tree belay.

  2. 14m Follow crack or wall tending right to belay beneath the final roof.

  3. Crux 7m Up short corner to incut hand traverse left under roof. Contorted exit to belay at the top.

FA: Bill James & Co, 2000

Start around right from the J and the jamb crack.

  1. 25m (17) Up the crack, through the roof on the left into the groove of Jaunt. Up a move or two and up the off width to a ledge.

  2. 20m (17) Easy climbing as for Jaunt, then out right to the to at the roof.1.

FA: Graeme Hill & Chudleigh, 2000

[2012 Oct - mid LO's & 2 new RBs] 10m to right of Flaunt. Follow the line of ringbolts to the top, 8 RB's to the under roof LO/1st Pitch. Over roof = pulling some nice heelhook moves as you go, then nice holds to the top. 5 Bolts beyond the roof. From top LO to floor is exactly 30m (30cm to spare) , so Top Roping would be possible

FA: John Koster, 1996

FA: Graeme Hill & Ant Prehn, 2000

Originally lead in 3 pitches. Recommended to rap in 10m left of the main South Lookout (at the double rings at the small lookout). THE line of the cliff, splitting the roof almost under the south face lookout. Original access is a walk in from the South Face.

  1. 10m (18) Up the easy dubious (seeping and loose sand) rock to beneath the 5m ceiling crack.

  2. 20m (24) Saunter out the ceiling to an off width move around the lip to a hanging belay.

  3. 20m (21) The thinner crack above to the top.

FA: Ant Prehn & Rod Young (crux), 2000

Did you know?

Did you know that you can create an account to record, track and share your climbing ascents? Thousands of climbers are already doing this.

Photos Browse all photos

Upload a photo of area


Check out what is happening in South Face.