Vanoise Area




Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, Pharos Gully Area

Access issues inherited from Arapiles

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

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

Even shorter corner L of SN, then follow front of buttress to the top. Great route for kids.

FA: Goshen Watts & Asher, Mar 2018

Short corner and arete on left side of wall, starting 2 metres left of "Party Tricks". A bit contrived up high.

FA: Campbell Mercer & Julie Nitschke, 1992

Face 3 metres left of the seam of "I Can't Breathe" to undercling, then up and right to finish up "I Can't Breathe".

FA: Rob Allen & Evab Bieske, 2000

Attractive seam up middle of buttress opposite "Vanoise". There is good gear if you can hang on long enough to place it. Double ropes can be advantageous on this route

FA: Chris Shepherd, 1982

Quite a nice, subtle climb. Start up the flake on the left wall of the chimney-gully right of I Can't Breathe for 3 metres then go diagonally left to finish up I Can't Breathe

FA: Campbell Mercer & Julie Nitschke, 1992

Flake on the left side of the chimney-gully just right of "I Can't Breathe" continuing straight up where "The Venus Trap" moves off left.

FA: Cathy Blamey & Chris Shepherd, 1982

Easy chimney immediately right of "Cranky Babies", finishing up right wall.

FA: Mike & Jenny Ashton, 1987

The right arete of "Romper Room" is a bit runout.

FA: Jon Muir (solo), 1993

Deep crack 2 metres right of "Romper Room". Take big gear, knee pads and crack gloves.

FA: Mike & Jenny Ashton, 1987

Borderline for a star but an interesting jamming experience. The crack right of "Lights In The Sky"

FA: Greg Pritchard & Jon Muir, 1993

This sits almost directly above "Defector" on Ministry Wall; combining the two could be quite nice. Otherwise, to get to the start, scramble up the descent route on the left side of the Vanoise Wall and go left a little or come down from the top.

Central line up little brown tombstone-shaped buttress above and left of descent route.

FA: Greg Pritchard, Paul Hoskins, Suzie Frost & Dave Clarke, 1993

Still surprisingly clean. Climb cleanish streak about 15 metres left of the little hanging corner at the left end of the long roof-line on Vanoise Wall.

FA: Robin Miller (solo), 1984

Onto small ledge and up shallow, right-facing corner to ledge below main overhang. Step left and up.

Start: 25 metres left of "Vanoise".

FA: Chris Baxter, Joy Fletcher & Greg Garnham, 1982

A harder finish to "Beat Route". Up this to roof and pull over on brittle holds to right.

FA: Robin Miller (solo), 1982

Up crack for 7 metres, step left and go up to and over high roofline.

Start: Start at crack 20 metres left of "Vanoise".

FA: Chris Dewhirst & Bruno Zielke, 1969

A good, varied pitch with an exciting steep finish that was originally dirty, poorly protected and with significant loose blocks. Now cleaned up and with a couple of tweaks to avoid runouts and loose blocks as well as a rap anchor. The thin crack section is a little contrived but keeps the line flowing.

Start as for Tamesis, the first crack system left of Vanoise.

Up the crack (originally climbed poorly protected face 2m to right) and at about 7 metres, instead of stepping left into the obvious continuation, follow thin cracks up the face to little step in the roofline. Swing right through this step (originally moved up left into next corner over dangerous blocks). Easily up for next 5 or 6 metres to twin cracks through top bulge. Initially up right-hand edge of right-hand crack then finish steeply between the cracks to anchor. 30m rappel.

Be careful with the rap – new 60m ropes doubled reached the ground with about half a metre to spare whereas an old 60m doubled was about a metre off the ground. Don’t rap or get lowered off the end of the rope.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Keith Lockwood (alt), 1995

Start up Greenwich Reach for 3-4m until it is possible to diagonal across right to break in the roof. Through roof, up to next and through it then diagonal left up to anchor on Greenwich Reach. Gear at 2nd roof a little iffy.

FA: Louise Sheperd, Ying Ying He & Wendy Eden, 26 Nov 2016

A bit mossy these days. 5 metres left of The British Beat and about 4 metres right of Tamesis is a rusty carrot down low. Up past this to roof which is easy and leads to the Labouring The Point anchor.

FA: Mike Law & Steve Howden, 1982

Lovely, technical thin face. Be careful not to fall off clipping the second bolt.

Start: 4 metres left of the 'Vanoise' corner. Smooth orange wall to rap chain. (Worthless variant start goes up lichenous streak on right to join route below 2nd bolt Jamie Holding, Rosemary Weaver 16-05-1990)

FA: Glenn Tempest & Paul Hoskins, 1981

Really interesting corner on the right side of the smooth orange face. It gets harder as it arches over further to the left to chain under roof. The climb originally continued to top of cliff but it's not worth it so no-one bothers.

FA: Bruno Zielke & Chris Dewhirst, 1969

The original climb followed the upper roof-line all the way left until it ends at a short corner. An amusing concept that no-one can be bothered repeating. Stick to the first pitch as described.

FA: Mike Law & kim Carrigan, 1975

Follow buttress all the way, taking crux bulge on right via obvious loose flake.

Start: Between 'Vanoise' and 'Agent Orange'.

FA: Jon Muir & Greg Pritchard, 1993

Straightens out Agent Orange. At the roof corner, step left then up and into AO.

FA: Rhys Boyar, 27 Jan 2019

Conjures up an image of Chris Baxter clutching a bush and screaming as he hurtles down "Vanoise".

The little flake just right of the initial corner has also been climbed at 19.

Start: At small, right-facing corner 3 metres right of "Vanoise".

Rap chains.

FA: Chris Baxter & Paul Daniels, 1981

Takes the unlikely bulging wall between Agent Orange and West Coast Dogma. Start up wall and thin flake 2m right of AO (had been climbed previously) to join AO at its roof. When AO veers back left, continue straight up from obvious horizontal pocket following an independant line all the way. Gear is adequate. (Another option is to start up AO which makes it about grade 18)

FFA: Gareth Llewellin & Jessie Rushbrooke, 22 Nov 2014

Start at chimney-cleft 10 metres right of "Vanoise". Up line. At small overhang step onto right arete and up steep wall. Abseil as for Agent Orange.

FA: Phillip Stranger & Chris Dewhirst, 1967

Apparently the grade drops to 16 if you start by bridging 3 metres up 'West Coast Dogma' then reach right into hanging crack to join line.

Start between 'West Coast Dogma' and 'Dead Beat Sax' beneath small hanging block. Up to block, right, then into line going left, then straight up shallow crack. Up to bulge which is climbed on right.

FA: Jon Muir & Greg Pritchard, 1993

Crack 5 metres right of 'West Coast Dogma'.

FA: Phillip Stranger (solo), 1967

Boulder up to break and the first runners. Continue straight to top.

Start: Start 2 metres right of 'Dead Beat Sax' at smooth wall.

FA: Mike Law & Doug Fife, 1982

The "protection" style might appeal to the budding aid climber.

Start 2 metres right of 'Beat More Meat' at very thin, almost closed groove. Up groove with micro-wires and Crack'n'Ups (or hand-placed peckers maybe) for token protection. Finish up wall above.

FA: Mike Law, Steve Howden & Eddy Ozols, 1982

A gentle ramble with spectacular views all the way. Sort of a companion route to Spiral Staircase. The name also derives from the fact that the first ascent team had a combined age of 269, and featured more than 200 years of climbing experience. Starts between West Coast Dogma and Sombrero, where there is an obvious ledge 2m above the ground.

  1. 30m Mantelshelf onto the ledge and continue up and left to a nice flat ledge.

  2. 20m Up easily from the left end of the ledge for 3-4m. An unlikely traverse left around bulge at the horizontal break (nice exposure) leads to the base of a gulch. The enigmatic Duck Crag is up on the right.

  3. 40m Follow the shoulder all the way to the top.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Keith Royce, Bob Ryan (alt leads), Ray Lassman & Miss Given, 16 Apr 2015

Not great.

Some distance down right are low-angled mossy faces with ledges in between. Scramble up to deep, right-facing chimney. This is your mission should you choose to accept it.

FA: Lloyd Lobbe & Daryl Carr, 1967

The first ascent party were not fans. Left-facing flake right of Sombrero.

FA: Mark Shelton, Bill Andrews & Peter Watling, 1976

The wall right of Sombrero has been dubbed Treasure Island - I have my doubts. Climb the slab and steep wall midway between Sombrero and South Pacific. Continue easily, then finish steeply up the centre of the headwall left of South Pacific.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Kurt Pitts, 5 Apr 2015

The "obvious" right-facing corner on the wall right of Sombrero, then the left of twin lines up the headwall.

FA: Kurt Pitts & Keith Lockwood, 5 Apr 2015

Start up the South Pacific corner, then take the right-hand line past an unusual rock crypt.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Kurt Pitts & Hamish Pitts, 5 Apr 2015

Start by the huge native pine. Sail straight up the central seam, finishing centrally over steepening. Continue easily up the shoulder of the outcrop.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Kurt Pitts, 2 Apr 2015

Seam 2m right of The Black Pearl (this seam is left of a short little corner), finishing easily as for The Black Pearl.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Norm Booth, 8 Apr 2015

Best approached by one of the other climbs in the vicinity. Step across the tree-filled gully behind the top of South Pacific etc, follow the weakness in the wall and finish centrally up the juggy tower.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Norm Booth, 8 Apr 2015

The easiest slab at Arapiles(?). Could be done as an approach pitch to Long John Silver. Climbs central weakness in the slab around right from Blackbeard. Scramble up to start. Gentle slab split by a juggy crack.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Laurie Bennett & Shaun Norman, 21 Apr 2015


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