The Cathedral




A mighty spire which hosts many of Mt Buffalo's most talked about routes. Easy access and now thanks to the new guide very easy to find your way around

Useful Info: As usual for 'Buffalo', some routes here are a little bold for the timid. If you want the most consumer friendly routes, aim for:

'Maharajah' (17**)

Bloodknok (17**)

'Sultan' (20***)

Edge of Pleasure (21***) top pitch is spectacular (you can rap in), the first pitch is now quite overgrown and is not really worth it.

Sunrunner (22**)

The next 3 routes are fairly safe but not for the timid, and are excellent.

'Woodpecker Wall' Variant (22**)

Substance Abuse (24***)

The Dreaming (23***)

© (jgoding)


It's about half way from 'Lake Catani' / The Chalet to the Horn (at the end of the road). Obviously visible from the road.

Follow the Cathedral/Hump walking track. Continue until the first switchback beneath the Cathedral. At this point a path is visible which will take you to the eastern and northern faces (Sultan, Maharajah etc). Carry on for southern face (The Pinch etc.).

© (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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Flaring crack on the left before you enter the gulch. Don't get it confused with Jaws (which is in the Gulch on the left) otherwise you're gonna have a bad time!

Fist crack in v groove on left side of the gulch through the Cathedral. May be a little hard and you will probably lose a lot of skin.

FA: Rod Young & Glenn Tempest, 1976

The crack from the terrace above Jaws, flanked on its right by a large flake.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Rick O'Coin, 1975

Radical line of flakes through an outrageous roof arete, and all this in a prime position on the front of the Cathedral. Looks all time! Batman start.

FA: Doug McConnell, 2017

About 11 metres left of Sultan. Take a big cam to protect the moves up to the first bolt, then slab on up on the usual assortment of crimps and crystals...

FA: Michael Woodrow, 1997

Great slab climbing with numerous bolts ending in the cave at the first belay of Sultan.

FA: Dayle Gilliat & Michael Woodrow, 1997


Start: Start at the commandingly wide corner (with a dog leg to the left halfway up) leading towards the big roof.

  1. 20m (20) Follow the wide corner, passing an old aid bolt that is now superseded by a large cam (#4 Camalot or equiv.). Move on up to belay in the cave.

  2. 15m (15) Up the short wall on the right and enjoy the easy but very airy traverse to a small stance in an alcove. Belay with 1 carrot bolt, plus gear.

  3. 30m (18) A fantastic finalé. An awkward start leads to an amazing collection of big flakes stacked on top of each other, creating a wonderful line of jugs. Once the holds run out, run it out up the slab above to the top of the pinnacle (DBB).

Descent as for Maharaja (17).

FA: Ewbank & John Worral, 1968

FFA: Mike Law & Nic Taylor, 1974

Continue straight up the crack in the right wall after the crux of Sultan (so the whole route is actually 20) to join the end of the second pitch.

FA: K Lindorff & J Boreham, 1981

The left most start to Maharajah up the hand to fist corner crack and makes for a nice direct line up the whole route which you can do as one long pitch.

Tricky and slightly dicey alternate start. Have your belayer tell you if your gear is any good.

Wonderful - There are a number of start options which join further up. Easily done in two pitches, or even one with the more direct starts.

This route was the first to actually summit the pinnacle.

  1. 24m (17) If you have the necessary gear, go straight up to the platform.

  2. 18m (17) Up the corner and then the unprotected slab to the summit chain belay/rap station.

Descent: Rap into the canyon behind and scramble easily around to the start.

FA: John Ewbank & Alec Campbell (several aids), 1964

FFA: John Ewbank & John Worral., 1968

Quite technical. Start as for Maharajah RHV then up past 4 BRs to abseil ring.

FA: Nick White, 1992

Nice slab climbing and very committing. Make sure you're comfortable with the fall from the top before committing to the climb. Probably a good idea to have a heavy belayer!

FA: Malcolm Matheson, 2000

Furthest left line of bolts across small gully from Maharaja.

Up via pocket to first BR of 'Shell Shock', then left and up past another 5 or 6 BRs to ubolts.

FA: Josef Goding & Naomi Gibbs, 2006

Up past pocket. Go right after first bolt.

FA: Kevin Lindorff & Peter Watson, 1981

None of the possible starts to this route are well protected. Make your way into the obvious corner on the buttress below Maharajah (visable from the road) and up that. Take plenty of 2-4 camalot sized gear.

The left hand line on the front of the buttress beloextw Maharajah and around right from Compulsion. The next few routes start from the top of a boulder. Tricky scramble up or rap down and left from the Sunrunner anchors.

The right hand line. Wander up the easily angled start from the right, grunt through the roof and up the nice crack.

Up off width corner crack to 2 meters left of Sunrunner. Changes from stacks to hands about halfway up. Use Sunrunner anchor at the top to rappel down.

Rapping just to the base of the clean corner and climbing back up from there gives an excellent grade 15 route. Rap to the ground if you want to do the steep bouldery crux start. Can be done in one pitch or belay on the first big ledge you come to.

FA: N Osbourne, Peter Watling & Ann Bevan, 1970

FFA: Iain Sedgmen & Robert Burke, 1979

Reasonably well protected for a Buffalo slab. Rap in from the anchors directly down from the exit of the gulch. The corner of The Viking will be visable to your left.

FA: Bob Cowan & John Schwerdfeger

1 22
2 24

(possibly best done by rapping into the top pitch from above and only climbing top pitch)

Starts quite far around the base of the cathedral, just keep walking... Starts in gully with two cracks and a wide, boulder-filled chimney on the right. Recommended to leave bags near start of Maharaja and walking in with climbing gear as rap descent is to near start of Maharaja.

  1. 40m. Start in heavily vegetated crack in middle of gully. Move up past ledge and multiple flaring cracks and bulge to large belay ledge.

  2. 40m (all sport). Brilliant and well-protected arete climbing with amazing exposure. Definitely worth 3 stars. Original anchors for pitch 2 are in need of replacement, but there is good natural anchor setup with medium-large cams.

Once topped out, jump across small gully to right (facing out) and rap 25m off double U bolt anchor to start of shell shock/fire in the foothills.

FA: Ian anger & Greg Moore, 1992

These cracks which don't quite reach the ground or the top are quite obvious from the walk up.

Pitch 1:Up easy diagonal wide-crack to twin-cracked corner. Easy up to ledge. Belay from cave. Pitch 2: pull up and onto platform below the crack, then bridge the wider section past two carrot bolts at 3 meters to gain wide crack. Continue up the crack until the top, trying not to focus on the lack of gear.

Ring bolts are located on the left of the large boulder at top. The rappel down to the start can be done on a 70m with some rope stretch, but an 80m or doubles is preferable

FFA: Rod Young, 1975

FA: 1975

Up to first belay on The Pinch. Step left onto slab and into crack. Up crack onto slab and summit.

Replaced anchor Feb 2018

steep fist to offwidth (crux) corner crack to desperate top out (rap rings) Approach is also tricky

Start as for Sorcerer's apprentice (up the mossy little corner on the left). Up obvious corner, starting at hands and widening to OW at the top. A #5 is nice.

Access to the rap bolts on sorcerer's apprentice is possible by walking away from the edge about 10-15m, to a point where you can easily scramble up a level.

FA: John Crocker & W Dainton, 1974

FFA: Iain Sedgman & Giles Bradbury, 1976

FA: Cameron McKenzie & Anita Gowers, 2006

The flake next to the chipped steps (tourist route) on the southern side of the cathedral

FA: unknown


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