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Description

An accessible cliff with a reasonable collection of middle grade routes. More traffic would help to keep them cleaner. The main cliff is L shaped. The routes around Loose End are on a large South Wall the other routes from Blackbeard rightward face East [towards the campground].

Access issues inherited from North Grampians

This area is now reopen after the fires in early 2014.

You can see the latest parks update on track / area closures at: Grampians-National-Park-Update.pdf

If there are crag specific closures, please update the access on those crags.

Approach

From the Mt Difficult Plantation Campsite which is 8.6km along the Halls Gap-Mt Zero Rd from Halls Gap. Follow the signed walking track towards Boroka Lookout/Brigg's Bluff. This intersects with a 4wd track. Turn R [North] and after about 150m head uphill into a clearing [often cairned]. Walk uphill about 100m then turn R to cross a usually dry creek bed near some big boulders. Continue on about 50m past these then head up hill towards the cliff avoiding any thick shrub. There are faint tracks which tend to deposit you around the Blackbeard area.

Descent notes

For the slab routes R from Guru abseil off the bolts and chains above Journalist Licence [2 x 50m]. There are abseil bolts at the top of Blackbeard which service all the easy climbs around that area. For the other long routes head up and L to descend down a gully.

Routes

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Grade Route

This route is on a separate small cliff 40m up and L of the descent route from the main cliff. Middle of cliff [or start up obvious crack and step L] past horizontal breaks.

FA: Peter Woolford, Dawn Albinger & Graeme Owers., 1995

Start at the LH end of the main cliff at the left side of the yellow roofs. An obvious little thin flake. Up flake to overhang then traverse L to belay in gully. Good climbing but the pro is a bit dodgy.

FA: Mike Wust, Jeremy Boreham & Kevin Lindorff, 1988

  1. 30m 22 Climb the prominent arête L of Loose End past 3 carrot bolts

  2. 40m 22 Step onto wall from small tree, up steep slab past 2 carrot bolts to a ledge. Traverse R then up to a pin, up and traverse R to exit.

FA: Jeremy Boreham, Craig Peacock [P1], Kevin Lindorff & Mike Wust [P2], 1988

Sustained and enjoyable climbing with interest on every pitch. A bit mossy. Takes the main big corner and crack line on the L side of the cliff, finishing just R of some massive ceilings.

  1. 22m 17. An awkward start up the corner on the L leads into the large cracked corner. Up this to a ledge.

  2. 16m 17. Step R and climb sustained corner to ledge on L.

  3. 14m 17 Up wall to a tricky diagonal crack which leads up L. Finish up line above.

FA: Matt Taylor & Chris Baxter [alts], 1976

  1. 20m Up offwidth crack 10m right of Loose End, then slab to overlap. Treverse right and join Puff The Magic Dragon just below its belay.

  2. 15m Continue up Puff The Magic Dragon.

FA: Chris Baxter & David Gairns (alt), 1988

Starts 30m R of Loose End at the discontinuous corner system. Spaced pro and gritty rock make this feel a bit insecure.

  1. 25m 18. Up to ledge and climb the corner above. Turn the small roof then the slab to pass the overhang. Traverse 4m R to belay at foot of corner.

  2. 15m 13. Up the corner and flakes above and then traverse R to ledge with trees. Abseil off or scramble to top.

FA: Mike Wust & Jeremy Boreham [alts], 1988

R of PtheMD is a steep wall. Around R from this is a wall facing the road. It has a climb with 2FH in the middle of it [Blackbeard]. This climb takes the arête and buttress at the L edge of this wall. Start around the L arête on the South face directly below the steep arête with the two orange streaks to its right.

  1. 35m 18. Up easily to foot of arête, climb steep wall L of arête moving R ward to front of buttress where the angle eases. Shallow groove on front of buttress then up until level with roof on R.

  2. 15m 9. Up as for Unknown Nuts.

FA: Philip Armstrong & Jerry Maddox., 2014

An old nut and a threaded sling were in situ on this climb.

  1. 35m 12. A steep, wide crack a few meters R of the L arête of the East face, starting 10m up above a vegetated start. Up to and up crack exiting L ward where it runs out. Up past L hand end of overhang to ledge.

  2. 15m 9. Up arête until level with next large ledge, R along this to abseil bolts.

FA: Unknown

  1. 35m 15. Start 1.5m R of UN. Up seams [fiddly small cams and wires] and good cracks to below the overhang. Step L and up to step back R and swing through the overhang at an obvious crack. Up to ledge.

  2. 15m 10. Up LH crack in wall above, then R to abseil bolts.

FA: Philip Armstrong & Peter Cody [alts], 12 Oct 2013

  1. 35m 12. Start 2.5m right of Blackbeard’s Ghost. Up the short wide crack then the right facing flake. Take the face to the short orange corner below the overhang. Up the corner and swing right steeply through the overhang. Up the crack to a sloping ledge.

  2. 15m 9. Straight up to and up the short headwall to the ledge, walk right to the abseil bolts.

FA: Philip Armstrong, Jerry Maddox & Peter Cody, 2 May

  1. 35m 13. The chimney line on the L of the Blackbeard buttress [2.5m R of BG]. Once above the chockstone move into the crack on the R wall and follow this through the steepening to large ledge.

  2. 15m 10. Up RH crack in wall above, then R to abseil bolts.

FA: Peter Cody & Philip Armstrong, 12 Oct 2013

The best way to climb this buttress is as described, stepping L at the 2nd bolt for an excellent sustained outing at around 14/15. A good selection of wires and small/medium cams required. Deserves to be popular. Start: 1.5 R of CS. Up cracks to ledge. Up wall past 2 FH. Step L at the 2nd FH [continuing direct is 17, but less pleasant] and up to stance near arete. From here up and R climbing the middle of the sustained buttress following the best gear and holds to a ledge at 35m [possible belay]. Continue up more easily to belay bolts. Abseil off.

Note [and mea culpa] This buttress was filthy and dangerously unprotected for the first third with no evidence that it had ever been climbed. We abbed down, cleaned it and placed a couple of bolts low down. We then climbed it direct past the bolts at about grade 17. We had assumed that the Blackbeard’s Ghost buttress was that of Blackbeard and that this was a completely new route. In fact we seem to have climbed a direct version of Blackbeard [PA].

FA: Rowan Cowan, Mark Arnup, Andrewn Webb, Andrew Driscoll & Greg Clare., 1989

The chimney on the R of the Blackbeard buttress.

FA: Jerry Maddox, Philip Armstrong & Peter Cody, 5 Oct 2013

Takes the steep corner and roof 3m R of GDWTS

  1. 30m Up the wall and squeeze past a large gum tree. Out R to groove and up to roof, though break and on to belay.

  2. 30m Traverse L for 2m then up through major fault in the overhangs above and on to belay.

FA: Mike Wust & Jeremy Boreham, 1988

Climb the rib R of TT then step L onto blocks below roof. Straight up through this. Probably very undergraded.

FA: Derek Visser, Peter Cunningham & Glen Donohue, 1989

This is an orange wall with a black streak and a crack up its centre.

  1. 30m Up the short corner to the orange wall. Up this [crux] then through a small overhang. Up to belay

  2. 30m Straight up to overhang, traverse L with difficulty then up.

FA: Jeremy Boreham & Mike Wust, 1988

Walk R across the ledge at the top of V8s and then behind the native pines. Up the slab to the top.

FA: Jeremy Boreham & Mike Wust, 1988

80m R of V8s is a black slab. Left of this is an obvious large orange roof, start down below this at a crack a few metres L of a corner coming down from the R side of the roof. The traverse under the roof is excellent

  1. 45m 11. Jam the crack then up to the roof, traverse L and belay.

  2. 15m 8.Step onto wall and up. Walk right to chains above Journalistic Licence to abseil off [2 x 50m] The old belay and abseil tree is long dead and gone.

FA: Jeremy Boreham & Mike Wust, 1988

Takes the crack and L arête of the big black slab. Up the initial crack to ledge, L along this [possible belay]. Climb the corner/flake and up slab near the arête until angle eases. Head up R to the belay/abseil chains [2x50m].

FA: Mike Wust, Hillary Lloyd & Jeremy Boreham, 1988

From the block on the ledge 3m L of JL go up on cleaned holds [RPs] to ledge on JL, finish up this

FA: Dayle Gilliat & Myllyn Duffy, 1993

Start as for JL but continue straight up crack system and nose of slab. Not as well protected as JL

FA: Jeremy Boreham, Hillary Lloyd & Mike Wust, 1988

Midway between Serengeti and the RH edge of the black slab. Up slab, then trend diagonally L after half height. Poorly protected.

FA: Kevin Lindorff, Jeremy Boreham & Mike Wust, 1988

This route as described seems to be a bit contrived. Up for 5m from RH end of black slab with large gum tree half way up, then step across offwidth. Up to roof then L to gum. Off width to bush then exit L across slab [no pro] to belay as for JL etc.

You can just climb the wide crack at the R edge of the slab direct at about grade 12.

FA: Marthij Heupermanand party, 1995

A bit indirect but has some interesting climbing. About 40m right of Journalistic Licence is an easy angled recessed bay with orange and black striped rock on the left wall and a steep head wall.

  1. 30m (crux) Up the easy corner forming the left edge of the bay for about 15m until two metres below the horizontal break and orange bulge in the corner. Step out left and up the wall to below the large chimney/groove in the roof. Traverse right under this to the arête, up this to the bushy ledge. Move the belay 15m right.

  2. 20m The crack line throug h the centre of the steep orange and black striped rock then left to large tree (abseil)

FA: Philip Armstrong & Jeremy Maddox (alt), 2002

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