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Big slabby area with lots of atmosphere

Useful Info: Be careful of the established routes, while some of them are easy there is very little (if any) protection.

© (jgoding)


About 1/3 the way down the mountain you will find a hair pin bend with a sign on the left (as you drive down) saying "Mackey's lookout". To get to 'Stiletto' 'Slabs' park here, walk across the road (past the prominent sign post on the right), up "The Big Walk" for about 10mins. Just before (say 30-50m) you reach the stream (which turns into the waterfall on the main face) contour left along the white slabs, cross the waterfall (carefully) and abseil down the far side (right as you look OUT from the cliff) from a rappel station (2 rings) on an easy to get to huge boulder. Rap is 25m to another rap. 55m is the next rap, so make sure you have suitable ropes. It is about 40m from the rap below to the bottom of the (new) routes described here.

For access to the 'Noblesse Oblige' area see separate access notes in that section.

© (jgoding)

Ethic inherited from Mount Buffalo

Trad climbing rules here! Bolts are a last resort! Most of the major aid lines can be done clean using modern gear unless noted. Freeing of aid sections should probably attempted as trad before resorting to fixed artificial protection.


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

Essentially an escape off left from 'Stiletto'

Start: Starts at the inverted V overlap with a small natural stair formation beneath L of centre of the slab.

  1. 25m (15) Up the stair formation and around the bush, lots of friable flakes.

  2. 55m (15) Follow the overlap to a bush on the lip. Onto the slab, along a thin vein above the lip, then L a few metres up an easy ramp. Up onto the slab and follow a faint crack up R to a small but distinct spike. Step R then continue up until you can move back L to an insecure belay on the L side of some large hollow flakes.

  3. 50m (15) Across the belay flakes, up past some small flakes, L along a ripple for about 5m then straight up the slab to the vegetated corner.

  4. 50m (15) Up to and delightfully along the undercling to the far side of the slab. Up to a ledge with a large tea-tree. The footpath is a short scramble up.

FA: Geoff Gledhill, Mark Shelton & Peter Watling, 1976

(1) 40m Start up 1st pitch of 'Stiletto', but when on slab above corner, head up and R to BB on narrow curving ledge. (2) 40m (crux) Up past 2BRs and thin flake to 2BB on narrow ledge. (3) 40m Up (run out) to 2BB in a scoop below a small overlap. (4) 45m Easily to top.

FA: Geoff Gledhill & Graeme Parton, 1984

Up the line via some small trad gear and two bolts. When the corner seam peters out (at the second bolt?), there is a slippery quartz dyke heading up rightwards. Step right then up via a third bolt to gain some ledges which lead up and left a short distance to a double bolt belay ('On The Edge Of Equilibrium'). From here the best continuation is probably 'On The Edge' Of Equilibrium' (directly above). Alternative finishes include moving left about 8-10m along the slopey ledge to belay on 'No Ego' and then either following the sparsely protected 'Dry Weather Road' or following the easier and better protected 'No Ego' .

Start: Starts immediately left of the waterfall (or water trickle, depending on rainfall) at a short, black, slightly leftward leaning seam/corner-of-sorts (i.e the next line down and to the left of Spit and Polish). *this is at the base of 'Stiletto' Slab.

FA: Kevin Lindorff & Geoff Gledhill, 2008

Lovely slab climbing. Consistent. Take 5 bolt plates.

Start: Starts on a small ledge about 35m off the ground level on the 'Stiletto' slab wall, just left (say 4-5m) of the waterfall at DBB (glue in M10x100mm carrots). *This is around 8-10m right (facing in) from the start/belay rings of 'No Ego'.

FA: Josef Goding & Ian Smith, 2008

Clean sustained slab climbing.

FA: Geoff Gledhill & David Proll, 1988

Thin, sustained and slippery.

Start: Start in the gully R of the 'Stiletto' slab below the steepening.

FA: (2) Mike Law(1&3), FCA Geoff Gledhill, James McIntosh (alts) & Peter Watling March 1992, 1991

Starts about two-thirds the way up the fi rst pitch of 'High Heels'. (1) 45m (crux) About 5m below the belay of 'High Heels', traverse L to the start of an incipient zig-zag crack. Up this to a grassy ledge at the start of the corner. (2) 45m The corner then the slab.

FA: Mike Law & Geoff Gledhill (alts), 1979

(1) 20m From where the gully steepens, continue up to belay beside the slab. (2) 40m Climb the slab keeping as far to the L as prudent. Belay above the overlap. (3) 40m The faint groove and beyond.

Start: Starts in the gully on the R side of the 'Stiletto' Slab.

FA: Geoff Gledhill & Joe Friend (alts), 1978

Easy but unprotected slabbing. It is quite possible that the last couple of pitches of 'Good Luck And Good Management' merge into this route. Follow the walking track from the hairpin bend to the first bend in the track. Traverse across the hillside for about 50 metres until the edge of the slab is reached. Descend next to the slab for about 15 metres to a scrubby ledge on the right (facing out).

P1 (53m, 10) Go up past right edge of an overlap, swing up left onto slab above. Straight up black rock for about 15 metres to a traverse line and go 5 metres left to a grassy scoop. Follow the line directly above until it meets a dyke on the left. Up dyke for a couple of metres to belay off a small wire just past a small overlap on left. P2 (30m, -) Stroll up.

FA: Kieran Loughran, 1978

A good line, good rock, good gear in a great environment. Take 10 bolt plates for the first pitch.

  1. 42m (16) Start at small curving ledge (DBB). Sustained enjoyable face climbing on thin rails. Follow the white streak past 8 BR crossing large flakes at 3/4 height. 5m below belay scoop traverse right along break to weakness on right.

  2. 55m (15) Start at lovely belay scoop (DBB with double captive rap rings). Up prominent white streak, directly above belay. Very thin, balancy, and sustained. Would be easier if cool or in overcast conditions. DBB with link chain and single captive rap ring. (All ring bolts - no hangers required)

  3. 27m (7) Straight up from belay crossing small overlap. 2 glue in ring bolts. Ends at DBB (each with captive rap ring) on easy to get to large boulder at top of cliff, roughly level with the waterfall where it briefly goes vertical.

FA: Josef Goding(P1), Nicholas Allan & Michael Milne (P2), 2008

Consistent at the grade and very enjoyable.

Start: Best to rap in (25m first, then 55m 2nd rap then 40m 3rd rap) from the far side of the waterfall as you walk in.

FA: Nicholas Allan, Josef Goding & Michael Milnes, 2008

When the wombat comes a crossing, look the other way.

Ten pitches of dangerous run-out slab following the waterfall of Stiletto Slab to the top. Sometimes slab, sometime mountaineering (may even be well iced in winter?), and always, always lichen growing on polished granite.

Approach as for Noblesse Oblige and continue past Good Luck and Good Management. Keep walking left (if facing the cliff) along the slabs to the high point of one set of trees. Down to the bottom of this slab/ gully. Continue to next high point then down to the bottom of the next gully. This is where the climb of horror begins.

  1. 55m - From base of slabs up a right until you reach mossy choss on your right. Keeping around 4m to the left of this until you can belay from bucket seat like scoop in wall off one decent cam and two marginal micro-nuts.

  2. 50m - Up a left from scoop keeping to the right of small arete in slab. Once clear of arete move diagonally up a left to place gear in wet crack that the waterfall runs through in summer. Cross "waterfall" crack and belay from small scoop ledge of 3 micro-cams.

  3. 55m - Head for large bolder directly above on the right side of the break in the trees. The bolder has a visible crack around its base. Set up belay on right side of bolder about 2-3 meters after you first reach it. Left of the boulder is thick lichen which has the consistency of seaweed in rain.

  4. 50m - Up past larger boulder avoiding loose rock missiles which would most likely hit your belayer. Keep moving as directly up as possible, but going left when lichen halts your progress. Belay of decent gear from small sloped ledge with a bush on the right and a thick band of trees directly above.

  5. 60m - Up and left through heading towards large scoop in rock, that is high on the left and low on the right. Belay from left hand side of scoop.

  6. 50m - Move right 2m from belay placing small micro-cam to prevent fall factor 2. Up and left leaving scoop onto main slab heading towards white polished section of wall. Belay from ledge where there may be a small "foot-bath" to refresh your feet.

  7. 50m - Head towards steep water washed white granite wall up and slightly left. Belay where possible near bush directly below the "white wall."

  8. 60m - Easy scrambling to the base of steep wall. Skirt right heading towards blocky steep gully. Belay halfway up gully.

  9. 60m - Up through gully keeping to the right of main wall (you are now on Stiletto Slab). Once rope runs out head into scrub on right and belay off small trees.

  10. 50m - Up through dangerous choss (mossy and loose) slinging largest vegetation possible. Aim for large boulder slightly overhanging wall. Belay from top of this avoiding the "shark fin" boulder which is begging for a one way trip to the ground.

From the boulder you can bash through seriously thick bush directly behind for 10- 15 meters and up onto another slab. Walk up a few more meters until you reach "The Big Walk." Make a right turn down the track to head towards Mackey's lookout, while you question your sanity and why on earth you listened to a wombat that morning.

FFA: Michael Salt & Paul Graham, 9 Feb 2015

FA: Michael Salt & Paul Graham, 9 Feb 2015

Long multi-pitch slab left of Noblesse Oblige and right of Stiletto Slab. No bolts.

FA: A. Herdman & D. Filan (alt leads)

A good honest easy adventure route.

Start: From the gully left of Noblesse Obliege, below a small flake leading on to the slab.

FA: Geoff Gledhill & Anthony Pattison, 2008

Enjoyable slab climbing in a proud position high on Mackey’s. Pitch 1 is probably one of the best slab pitches at the grade at Buffalo, and pitch 3 pulls through a body-height overlap. 60m rope essential.

Start: most parties will approach this via the first 6 pitches of Good Luck and Good Management (and this might become the preferred finish to that route). When done this way, the combined route is 498m with pitches of 12,14,14,13,6,9,15,12,14,6. It would also be possible to rap in, but you’d need to scramble down the top slab to find the last belay bolt (SS FH in a good stance), then rap 58m to the bushy ledge, then 40m to the DBB, then 60m to the base, and retrieve gear on the ascent.

  1. 60m 15. As for GLAGM pitch 7, start up the slab, move right to the crack, up this (cams, take a Fr#4 for the highest possible placement) and up to the bolt (FH) on GLAGM. Then straight up the clean white slab, passing 3 more FH’s, to a DBB on a small stance just as you run out of rope.

  2. 45m 12. Straight up over a small overlap (pro), then up the grey slab to a FH, then straight up over another small overlap and into the bushy ledge. One FH (and many small trees) for belay.

  3. 58m 14. Up the slab to the overlap (high FH). Pull through this on good holds and follow the lovely dyke up the slab above (occasional pro) to a single FH at a good stance just before you run out of rope.

  4. 40m 6. Up easily to the top, or scramble off right.

FA: Steve Toal, Mei Ying Liew & Damien Heath, 22 Jan 2011

Best long easy slab at Buffalo, Easy slab climbing up a long black streak, so avoid it in rain. Take slings and a light rack, hexes or tricams are useful. Be prepared for 10-15m runouts on easier ground.

Stash a bicycle near the top beforehand, for an easy way back down to retrieve the car afterwards.

Start: Drive up about 1 km from 'Eurobin Falls' and the buttress is obvious through the trees, there is a stream and a big white boulder here, tape on tree to mark start a bit further right. Walk up the right ridge of the gully, keeping 60m to the right of the creek to avoid death slab/vegetation and cut across when you are level with the base of the buttress, about 15-20 minutes, there are some small cairns and yellow tapes. You solo an easy slab, then there is a tree with double yellow tapes on it, go right here to the start The climb takes about 1 or 2 hours. Start on the right side of the slab, right of a left slanting scrubby crack.

Basically 4 or 5 pitches up a black streak up a buttress. Then an easy traverse 20m right to a black streak up the next buttress for 3 pitches, then 2 easy finishing walk/scramble pitches.

  1. 35m (8) Head up right to a short crack with a flake at the top at 10m, then leftwards past another flake then a BR, to belay in a big scoop off a single bolt and gear.

  2. 25m (8) Climb up past flakes to 2 BB in a deep bushy scoop.

  3. 40m (15) Go right up a dyke to a poor sling runner, up to BR, and then past another sling to a double bolt belay in a scoop.

  4. 40m (15) Up past BR to a dyke at 30m, walk R 6m to a sling and bolt belay.

  5. 45m (13) Walk back left 6m to black streak and up past BR, to 2 bolt belay..

  6. 50m (11) Traverse diagonally right past a crack, a thread-able flake and more cracks to a bush in the black streak on the next buttress to the right. Up black streak to double bolt belay.

  7. 45m (10) Up streak past gear in scoops and one BR to bolt belay.

  8. 40m (8) Head up slightly rightwards (~ 12.30 o'clock direction) past 3 bolts, and up white slab to double bolt belay on ledge.

  9. 100m (4) Continue scrambling in the 1 o'clock direction up the dirty slabby buttress to the "Great Walk" track.

FA: Mikl Law, Geoff Gledhill Easter 1976 & retro-bolted 2007


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