Access: Closure

Cultural heritage closures now apply to some parts of Arapiles. This advice continues to evolve and may not be fully reflected in this website; refer to Parks Victoria for details applicable at the time of your visit.

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Created about a year ago




Emergency Location information:Mt Arapiles, Bard Buttress Area Reason for closure, Numerous important cultural heritage sites are evidence of the significance Dyurrite for Wotjobaluk Peoples and the use of the area for thousands of years.

Access issues inherited from Arapiles

Cultural heritage closures now apply to some parts of Arapiles. This advice continues to evolve and may not be fully reflected in this website; refer to Parks Victoria for details applicable at the time of your visit.

Bird Nesting September-December Raptors usually nest on the following climbs in Spring : Cassandra, Eurydice, Harlequin Cracks, Revelations. Nesting usually finishes mid-December. There may or may not be signs in place at these times. Please keep 50m clear of these climbs if there appears to be nesting activity.

State Park - no dogs. No fires allowed Oct-Apr (inclusive).


Note that a number of routes which actually climb the SE part of 'Bard Buttress' are not described here, but are instead under the Ali's area (found in the "Fang Buttress and Surrounds" section). They are put in that section because they start as for Ali's, at the top of the gully which divides 'Fang Buttress' from the 'Bard Buttress', and then head a bit right from there. As a result, this page describes all routes which are accessed from the gully itself or further right. The gully is fairly simple to scramble up and down, but there's several spots where you really don't want to fall off due to very nasty fall potential.

Several routes finish on the Bard Terrace, which is about 30m below the top of the buttress. To get off the Terrace you can do the final pitch of one of the other routes, but it's quickest to do an easy but very exposed walk/traverse off the left end of the ledge, which leads you into Ali's after about 40m. This traverse is often soloed but roping up for it isn't a bad idea.

To descend from the routes which go right to the top, you need to do a short little downclimb off the back of the buttress, which deposits you very close to Ali's cave. Then go through the cave, R around John's Pinnacle and down Ali's.

© (koala)

Descent notes

From the top of the buttress there's a short down-climb off the back of the buttress to Ali's cave. Go through the cave and come out at John's Pinnacle. Go R and down Ali's. There are chains to rap down (45m). Or it's a fairly easy, but in places exposed, scramble down Ali's.

For routes that finish at the Bard terrace you can either climb Bard's 5th pitch or traverse L off the end of the terrace (roping up recommended) and scramble down to Ali's.

Ethic inherited from Arapiles

Mount Arapiles is first and foremost a trad climbing area. The few sport climbs tend to be in the higher grades where no natural pro is available.

Bolting, particularly retro-bolting, is discouraged and should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with the local climbers, first ascensionists, etc. Inappropriately placed bolts have been chopped.

Do not chip the rock.

Look after the park.

  • Stick to the paths.

  • Don't disturb the wildlife.

  • Routes near peregrine falcon nesting sites are closed in the spring.

  • Minimise the impact of your camping (fuel stoves not fires, take your rubbish with you, etc).


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


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Grade Route

Reachy over the L side of the roof past a piton, then easily up a groove to a rap station.

Start: Start in a cave up near the top of the gully.

FA: Mike Law & Steve Howden, 1982

From the R side of the cave follow jugs out to the lip then a hard move to a break and straight up to rap anchor. There is good gear where you need it if you can stop to place it.

Note: The Rap Anchor in basically no existent and needs a new one!

Start: Start just R of DtL.

FA: Rod Young (traversed off R after the crux)(Mike Law added the direct finish to the rap station onwith Steve Howden), 1982

Committing roof then up to a ledge shared with 'Orpheus'. Now traverse R to a rap anchor (which may or may not exist or be useable).

Start: Start R of RT.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Mark Colyvan, 1983

Individual pitch grades were not supplied - overall grade is 18 but some pitches may be easier.

Start: Start: As for 'Orpheus'.

  1. 25m (18) Follow obvious and contrived line diagonally left, being careful not to step into gully.

  2. 10m (18) Up hideous grovel on left end of 'Redd Tracy' ledge. Belay when possible.

  3. 15m (18) Follow line up until it meets 'Directathal' and reverse first moves of this route to join Alis!

FA: Richard Smith, Greg Pritchard, Debra Sweet (1st pitch), Deb Sweet, Jon Bassindale (2nd & 3rd pitches)., 1999

Later became Tony's Route (the present direct line), though 90% of it had been climbed in the 1960's as 'The Desired'.

Start: Start below the pitch 1 corner of 'Orpheus'.

  1. 45m (19) Directly up into the cruxy corner, then continue steeply up direct crack to a small stance.

  2. 30m (14) Much easier and less good climbing takes you to the Bard Terrace. Solo off left from here or climb the last pitch of Bard or the wide corner.

FA: Peter Jackson, Chris Baxter in climbing Orpheus solved the initial crux. Chris Dewhirst, Phillip Stranger established The Desired by climbing in from Orpheus, June 1967. The direct line as it now is, Tony Dignan, Guy Cotter & Mike Law, 1981

Start: Start 15m up the gully, at an orange ledge.

  1. 18m (-) Traverse R on pale rock then up corner to belay at guano niche on the R.

  2. 43m (19) Originally done in 3 pitches. Up the L-trending ramp (move R around a hard bit).

  3. 18m (-) An overhang then up R.

  4. 33m (-) 'Steep' flake on L then up loose ledges.

FA: Peter Jackson & Chris Baxter, 1965

Left of Poppies' roof on the arete above Bard Terrace there are two options. This is the left one. The hard bit is the first roof, obviously, then doddle to the top.

Start: Start on the Bard Terrace above 'Eurydice' p2.

1 18 33m
2 17 32m

A fine old classic that has just about everything in its two pitches. A great line with a fiery first pitch in an excellent position.

On the E face of the Bard Buttress there's a guano-stained recess about 25m off the ground, with a crack leading down R to the ground. Start under this crack.

  1. 33m (18) Up the crack to the niche past a very old BR, then head up and slightly R from the niche to a good ledge.

  2. 32m (17) A tricky steep move gains the long R-facing corner. Near it's top move R then up to the Bard Terrace.

Ann Pauligk's mid 1970s ascent, first go, was the first Aussie female ascent at this grade.

FA: Bob Bull, Peter Jackson & Ted Batty, 1965

NA: Ann Pauligk, 1975

Left of Poppies' roof on the arete above Bard Terrace there are two options. This is the right one. The hard bit is the first roof, obviously, then doddle to the top.

Start: Start on Bard Terrace above 'Eurydice' p2.

Up E until you have a roof on your right. Traverse R here, then up over bulge past BR and straight up to the nice ledge atop 'Eurydice' p1.

Start: Start as for E.

FA: Mike Law & Greg Garnham, 1981

The steep sickle crack is a great alternative start for 'Poppies'. Finish up it.

Start: Start 2m R of E.

FA: Mike Law, Chris Baxter & Greg Garnham, 1981

Overall grade is 23, but it's not clear how hard each pitch is.

Start: Start 2m L of P.

  1. 15m (-) Bouldery flake, then up to ledge above flake.

  2. 30m (23) Directly up the arete to Bard's 2nd belay.

  3. 35m (23) Continue directly up arete to Bard Terrace.

FA: Mike Law, Mike Law-Smith & Geoff Robertson, 1981

Described separately so that 'Poppies' gets more notice as a great 19. Start a few metres L of The Bard and climb direct up the slick blank slab to join 'Poppies'.

Start as for The Bard, or by traversing easily R from near the base of Eurydice.

  1. 35m (19) Wander up The 'Bard' slab, then continue trending slightly left over bulges (at one point entirely on loose blocks/flakes - you can avoid these by doing OPM). Belay a few metres R of Eurydice's 1st belay.

  2. 35m (19) Punch through the low roof at a weakness 3m R of Eurydice, then diagonal right and blast up the great red wall, staying a few metres L of the main arete. Belay on the Bard Terrace.

FA: Mike Law & Kevin Lindorff, 1977

Described separately so that 'Poppies' pitches 1 and 2 get noticed as a great 19. This pitch is all over after the start so it's not worth doing ... unless it's your best option to impress a hottie bumbly hanging around on Bard Terrace.

Start: Start on the Bard Terrace, a few metres L of the final pitch of Bard.

FA: Mike Law or Kevin Lindorff, 1977

The middle of the face, kinking R at one point.

Start: Start on the back of the boulder at the base of the 'Bard Buttress'.

FA: Stephen Hamilton & Nick Tapp, 1990

Borderline whether it deserves the "serious" tag, but the crux is quite tricky, with spaced pro. Then again, you've got plenty of clean air up there, and it's still a great route.

Start: Start as for The Bard.

  1. 24m (9) Climb the initial slab of Bard and the corner cracks then belay at the start of the R-leading ramp.

  2. 20m (16) Pull up L from the ramp then traverse L above the bulge for 6m, then up the face a few metres L of the arete. Belay on the same ledge as The Bard's 2nd belay.

  3. 27m (17) Up the line on the R side of the main arete for 8m to a small roof. Now launch up left via steep exciting climbing to gain the next line, which gradually eases. Belay under the obvious roof.

  4. 12m (16) Step a bit R to get through the roofs without too much difficulty, to finish on the Bard Terrace.

FA: John Moore & Chris Dewhirst, 1967

1 12 43m
2 12 12m
3 12 20m
4 12 15m
5 12 30m

Start at the R end of the base of the buttress.

  1. 43m (12) Up the slab (some fiddly pro) to L facing corner. Up corner to ramp. Belay at top of ramp.

  2. 12m (12) Move around the arete, then up. Airy traverse L around the arete (grovel across or grab the undercling, lean back and find good holds above), and across the front face to belay on the nose.

  3. 20m (12, crux) Diagonally R across the face to a bottomless chimney. Belay at the top of the chimney.

  4. 15m (12) Up the steep juggy line to the Bard Terrace.

  5. 30m (12) Up the bottomless corner then R onto and up the wall.

FA: Jim Newlands & Bruce Hocking, 1965

Start: Start as for The Bard.

  1. 34m (15) Up the initial slab of The Bard, but instead of gaining the ramp via the easy flake-corner on the L, step R and up a crack between The Bard and Wall Street to the ramp. Belay at the top of the ramp.

  2. 25m (20) Take the line just L of the arete to a ledge. The face above has a tough committing move (although you can avoid it on the R), after which you move L and go up the arete. Move R at the scary loose blocks then up to ledge.

  3. 14m (-) Climb the R crack (R of Bard p4) to the Bard Terrace.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Bill Andrews & Richard Morris, 1985

Take a line just L of 'Eurydice' p2, with a steep flake down low then a loose wall above.

Start: Start at the first belay of 'Eurydice'.

FA: Mike Law, Chris Baxter & Dennis Kemp, 1981

Move up then follow the underclings R across 'Orpheus' to join the upper part of p1 of TD.

Start: Start up L from the start of 'Orpheus'.

FA: Robin Miller & Louise Shepherd, 1982

Each pitch was established independently, and you can repeat them that way if you wish. Linking them into one route is the way to go, however.

Start: Start R of The Bard.

  1. 30m (22) 'Wall Street' (*). Mossy start then jam through the roof, and doddle up the ramp to belay atop pitch 1 of The Bard.

  2. 10m (22) Turning Point. From the top of The Bard pitch 1, step L and take the seam. Then blindly L around the bulge and up to the 2nd belay of The Bard.

  3. 35m (22) Heavy Dudes (*). Work your way up the white groove R of 'Checkmate' pitch 3 and left of The Bard pitch 3. There's a loose block. At the bulge, awesome moves head L then up the leaning headwall.

FA: p1 Rod Young & Mark Moorhead, 1980

FA: p2 Mark Moorhead, Tony Dignan & Geoff Little, 1980

FA: p3 Mike Law, Chris Baxter & Greg Garnham, 1981

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.

Selected Guidebooks more Hide

Author(s): Simon Mentz, Glenn Tempest

Date: 2016

ISBN: 9780987526427

This selected yet in depth guide, in its third edition in 2016, is a must for first timers or regulars to the "Pines". By Simon Mentz and Glenn Tempest. It features 1200 routes over 23 different areas as well as bouldering, history info on flora and fauna, plus heaps more.

Author(s): Gordon Poultney, Simon Carter

Date: 2013

ISBN: 9780987087461

444 of the best routes on the best stone on earth? Yes Please! Who has time for all those other wondering pitches anyway when Gordon Poultney and Simon Carter have picked out the classics and printed it in a pocket size handy guide with string attachment. You'll take it on the multipitches, you'll take it to read in the toilets, you'll take it everywhere!

Author(s): Chris Baxter & Glenn Tempest

Date: 1994

ISBN: 0646167308

A Guide to selected rockclimbs at Mt Arapiles,the Grampians and Mt Buffalo

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