Site navigation

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.


The majority of the climbs and traffic occur on the Main Cliff. To access the bottom of the crag either rap down from the safety railings or walk down via either side of the railings. The left side is easier but longer. The right side is short but involves a short slab.

Access issues inherited from Ben Cairn

[As at 12 March 2018 Ben Cairn Road closed both ends due to landslip. Practically impossible to access].

From Melbourne take the Maroondah Highway to Healesville. Go through town, past the bridge, turn right at Don Rd and go 9.8km to a junction. Keep driving about 8km and the road becomes dirt. You pass a sign stating "Ben Cairn 1040m". Walk 5 minutes up the foot track to gain access to the crag.

Note: Both ends of Ben Cairn Road gated in winter. for further access information.

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

A nice little crack to start with a bold run out to finish.

FA: Jerry Maddox & Ian Sedgman, 1977

This climb has been upgraded to 13 in the 2011 guide book "Rockclimbs Around Melbourne" by Glenn Tempest. If you dont know how to jam, its most likely considerably harder.

FA: Jerry Maddox & Phillip Armstrong, 1977

Very reachy onto slab, then follow the ramp diagonally L, across Plum Jamb, to join Raspberry Ripple. Doesn't look great...but it is kept clean by traffic.

Start: Start just L of 'Protagonist'.

Technical and slippery. Trad gear can be used before the 1st bolt.

FA: Kevin Lindorf., 1979

Mantle into the R-facing corner, then into the jam crack. Quite tricky at the grade, and kept clean by traffic.

Start: Start 3m R of P.

FA: Jerry Maddox & Philip Armstrong, 1977

Do the mantle of PitS, then step R and over the technical bulge via the faint seam, with a single BR (new in 2004, take a bracket). Kept clean by traffic.

Start: Start as for PitS.

FA: Mike Law & Mike Collie, 1981

Up the seam for 5m to a ledge. Desperately boulder over bulge past BR, then more easily. Currently well coated by moss, although the initial seam was partially cleaned in Jan '09 if anyone would like to continue the work.

Start: Just R of PitS a slightly lower slab starts. Start under the left side of this, about 5m down R from PitS.

FA: Mike Law & Brian Fish, 1982

Up the faint closed seam past 2 BRs then step R and follow 'Fiction' past it's crux and final 2 BRs. Never sent, and now quite mossy.

Start: Start 2m L of 'Fiction'.

Simply superb, but at the crux you have to make something out of nothing. Unfortunately a chipped foothold appeared on the crux bulge about a year after the FA; ironically for many subsequent ascentionists it is in a poor location and doesn't get used. Rebolted 2016

Start: Start 5m R of 'Gnipples', under the only clean streak up this face.

FA: Mike Law, Steve Howden & Brian Fish (de-mossing by Steve Toal), 1982

"The hardest thing I climbed in the 80s": Law. Originally given 26, but "more like 28 now that no one climbs slabs". Brushed and rebolted 2016. One of the best hard lines near melbourne.

Start: Start 2m R of F.

FA: Mike Law (in Canyons!), 1982

Named after an old novel about French soldiers in Algeria, this route was the subject of a minor hoax in the 80s ... see Chockstone for the sordid details. It was then long neglected and moss had returned, but it's actually well worthwhile. Cleaning efforts have recommenced, as of Jan '09 it's about 90% clean. Please bring a brush and help finish the job. Rebolted with FH 2016.

Start: Start as for 'Skating Away'.

FA: Andrew Black & Jill Anderson, 1985

Perhaps the best route at the crag, and kept nicely clean by traffic. Start under the appealing clean finger cracks 4m R of RaD. When the cracks disappear, move onto the slab and up to a comfortable stance. A ringbolt above protects delicate slab moves, after which the climbing becomes easier.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Jerry Maddox, 1978

Now reclaimed by moss.

Start: Start at the tree which is about 6m above the start of 'Skating Away' and just to the right.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Kevin Lindorff, 1978

Reclaimed by moss. Definitely worth a scrub, the steepest route here

Start: Start 4m R of GY.

FA: Mike Law, Steve Howden (cleaning, bolting by Steve Toal & Mark Buchanan), 1981

The appallingly grungy mossy corner, starting off the terrace.

Start: Start 4m R of NF.

As for GS to the bolt then take the L side of the slab to a short corner then more slabbing.

Start: Start as for GS.

FA: Martin Lama & Hanut Singh-Dodd, 1992

Quite good, and kept clean by traffic.

Start: Start 3m R and down from the terrace, and 2m L of JBC.

FA: Kevin Lindorff & Mike Wust, 2000

Alternate, easer finish to do the bottom grooves of GS, Start as per GS to the bolt, then traverse right to the corner, ether climb the block or layback the cracks to the top

FA: not known

Has been reclaimed by moss which makes a groundfall off the initial corner a distinct possibility.

Start: Start under the major dirty L-facing corner.

FA: Jerry Maddox, 1977

Really just another way of doing 'Bluffing It'.

Start: Start 1m R of JBC.

FA: Martin Lama, Hanut Singh-Dodd & Ravi Pennall, 1990

Up JBC to big detached block then step R. BR, then the crack across the block onto slab.

Start: Start as for JBC.

FA: Mark Grundy, 2000

The filthy R side of the block including a yucky chimney. Slab finish.

Start: Start 1m R of WotE.

For an onsite climb it was a little run out, Mike law agrees

FA: Mike Law & Brian Fish, 1982

Reclaimed by moss.

Start: Start as for GY.

FA: Kevin Lindorff & Martin Lama, 1993

Up the blank corner to a hold then L around arete and up the slab. The bolts and chipped hold are the work of a previous party.

Start: Start just R of NF.

FA: Martin Lama & Kevin Lindorff, 1993

Kept clean by traffic.

Start: Start at the lowest point of the base of the R end of the crag.

FA: Jerry Maddox, Roger Webb & Glenn Tempest, 1978

The bolted section is kept clean by traffic but the upper slab is in poor condition as most parties seem to finish up PF. Please pitch in with some brushing so that this route can keep it's independent finish.

Start: Start as for PF.

FA: Steve Toal & Mark Buchanan, 1981

Groove to ledge and continue onwards to join DD. A variant is to step L at the ledge and up a short slab into DD.

Start: Start 3m R of PF.

FA: Chris Hawthorn, 1985

An enjoyable direct finish for No Steel. The combination is worth a star.

From the finishing ledge of No Steel, instead of stepping left into Digit Dancer, head straight up past a good cam placement and 3 FH.

FA: Martin Jackson, Mei Ying Liew & Kwan Ling Choo, 18 May 2014

A pleasant outing with good protection.

Start as for Cracker Barrel. Up for 6m. Step left to short face and move up 1m. Step left again into the base of a ramp with twin cracks running all the way to the top.

FA: MartinJackson & Kwan Ling Choo, 18 May 2014

This route is far longer and offers better climbing than Raspberry Ripple, but for some unknown reason has been neglected so much that the moss has returned.

Start: Start under the small detached flake which is 8m up R from the start of PF.

FA: Glenn Tempest & solo, 1977

Dirty - because it was never cleaned!

Start: Start as for CB.

FA: Steven Griffin, 1977

Another very worthwhile long easy line. Melbourne's low grade climbers should forgo their 27th repeat of Raspberry Ripple and instead salvage this line by putting in some brushing effort.

Start: Start as for CB.

FA: Steven Griffin, 1977

Some really good moves, though the pro may concern some.

Start: Start 2m R of CB.

FA: Steve Carrington & Andrew Werney, 1983

Better and bolder than RT. Balance up slab, teeter left, then up the arete of RT.

Start: Start 3m R of RT.

FA: Glenn Tempest & solo, 1983

Very worthwhile climbing, but some reasonably serious fall potential at times.

Start: Start about 5m up R from TAG. It's the first route you get to if walking down the north end of the crag.

FA: FRA Steve Carrington & Andrew Werney (but somebody is known to have previously done it)., 1984

Probably quite a bit harder.

Start: Start as for TAG.

FA: Mike Law & Charlie Creese, 1981

Describes anyone who's new routed at this crag!

Start: Start 10m R of the far R end of the main cliff, where a tree leans against a slab.

FA: Anthony Bishop & Michael Woodrow, 1991


Check out what is happening in Main Cliff.