Site navigation

This cliff is unlocated

If you know where this cliff is the please take a minute to locate it for the climbing community. contact us if you have any issues.


Sound rock, good climbing and inspiring positions give this buttress one of the best collections of long middle grade classics in the 'Grampians'.

© (jgoding)

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.


About 200m to the right of the main wall. Follow cairned route across from where the track hits the main Mt Difficult wall. To descend from 'Sword in the Stone' and the routes to its right head back from the cliff edge then trend left heading for a gully. A well trod and cairned pad winds down this.

© (jgoding)

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

On the L side of the cliff is a small but prominent buttress. The small hanging corner and roof at the front of this buttress. Up corner to roof [amazing pockets in LH wall]. Step R to arete and up to next roof. Step R, pull though roof and then boldly up on rounded holds to top. Scramble of L from back of buttress.

FA: Campbell Mercer & Mark Poustie, 1994

The top pitch is the main attraction. The final hand traverse is a beauty.

Start: On the R side of the 'Copacabana' buttress about 2m up from a yellow square.

  1. 25m (-) Up to and up the big leaning crack to the ramp then move 5m up L to belay.

  2. 20m (-) A few moves straight up then tend L to the top of the pillar.

  3. 25m (-) Walk back to main cliff then up to a big ledge on the R.

  4. 40m (17) Climb the corner to a ledge, up a little then follow the thin crack up R. Up the slab then the sickle to the roof. Hand traverse R into 'Inner Votion'. Up. In the interests of avoiding rope drag and maintaining good communications you might want to split this pitch at the top of the corner or a bit higher below the chimney.

FA: James McIntosh & Mike Wust [alts], 1992

This description is a slight variation on the original route, but done this way the second pitch is longer and even better.

Start: Brandywine, Withywindle and Inner Votion are all in a small amphitheatre up R of Imagination [see photo above]. Scramble up immediately R of Imagination staying on the L until level with a bushy ledge. At the far RH side of the bushy ledge is a steep chimney [Brandywine]. Some people may wish to rope up for this this approach. From the top of these climbs [and Imagination] it is possible to scramble down to the L, eventually descending underneath the big recent rockfall to reach the descent track in the gully.

The steep corner chimney at the RH end of the ledge.

  1. 26m (14) Up the chimney to where it narrows. Bridge out around the narrowing (exciting). Up corner to belay on good ledge.

  2. 30m (14) Move L past the tree, pull over the bulge and head up on lovely rock to the first crack L of the corner, up this. An utterly delightful pitch.

FA: Rod Young & Philip Armstrong [alts], 1976

The start of the traverse on the second pitch is a bit wild. Originally graded 13, I don't know what we were thinking.

Some bits of this have been swapped with 'Brandywine' to improve that climb.

Start: At the chimney referred to in the access details [Brandywine]

  1. 28m (18) Up chimney to overhang on the L. Traverse L under the overhang to the arete. Up obvious line of weakness to bushy ledge.

  2. 30m (16) Climb bulge behind ledge. Traverse L past bush to the second crack L of the chimney corner. Up to awkward exit.

FA: Philip Armstrong & Rod Young [alts], 1976

An alternative to scrambling up the gully. About 10m R of the access gully for 'Brandywine' is a chimney. Up this then broken ground above. Easier than it looks.

The filthy top pitch is best avoided by finishing up 'Brandywine'

Start: Around the rib, 4m R of 'Brandywine'.

  1. 32m (12) Up corner crack with some enjoyable jamming. Up chimney crack to ledge.

  2. 30m (12) Up wide corner chimney, out and up through bushes and up final short corner chimney. Not pleasant.

FA: Rod Young [solo], 1976

A worthless variant on existing routes with about 15m of new climbing, and that is dirty, vegetated and loose. You don't even want to know where it goes.

A grand excursion through intimidating roofs.

Start: The start is marked by a small square 15m left of 'Epaminondas'. With grade 17 traversing required on two pitches, the second climber needs to be every bit as confident and competent as the leader.

  1. 40m (10) Up the front of the buttress to a commodious ledge beneath the obvious corner.

  2. 30m (17) Up the crack then right to the seam. Follow this to the corner. Climb the corner to the roof then hand-traverse right to a small ledge and semi-hanging belay.

  3. 30m (17) Continue up right to an awkward exit into the V-chimney.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Mark Shelton, 1976

Takes in some wonderful airy positions. The first pitch is excellent and the second and third pitches, though not in the same class, aren't bad.

Start: Starts in a little bay in the middle of the wall (initialled).

  1. 40m (11) Climb straight up the buttress, the angle easing with height. Belay level with a rightward leading horizontal traverse.

  2. 45m (10) Traverse 6m right to a delectable crack which leads up to the overhang. Continue up the line, into and up a small chimney.

  3. 15m (-) The chimney to the top.

FA: Jerry Maddox & Glenn Tempest (alt), 1976

This route has been recorded twice.

An interesting excursion which can be split into 2 pitches of around the same grade. Instead of traversing R at the start of P2 of Epaminondas head straight up the obvious crack through the overhang. Continue up and R to the thin R curving crack which joins Epaminondas at the chimney.

From the first belay of 'Epaminondas' take the L line through the bulge. Follow the R leaning line to re-join 'Epaminondas' at 2nd belay.

FA: James & Melanie McIntosh, 1992

Magnificent face climbing up buttress R of 'Epaminondas'. Pitches one and two are both very good, although the first pitch is undoubtably the highlight. After these 2 pitches it is possible and preferable to move L and finish up 'Epaminondas'. [Pelopidas was the right hand man of the Theban General Epaminondas]

Start: Scramble up to ledge below roof 5m R of 'Epaminondas'

  1. 40m (18) Climb the flake, move L through the bulge. Up R ward, then hand traverse R below green lichen streak and up thin crack.

  2. 25m (17) Pass the first bulge on the R, tend back L and straight over second bulge to good ledge.

  3. 25m (-) Up R then steeply around R side of roof to ledge on R.

  4. 20m (-) Up easily

FA: Melanie & James McIntosh [alts], 1991

A classic middle grade adventure. A lot of people get lost on the top pitch of this route. This is odd as at the top of this buttress there are two pronounced corner lines. 'Rum Truffle' finishes up the R hand one and MM the L hand. That's all you really need to know. Both of these corners are R of a large bottomless chimney [MM variant finish]. The only tricky aspect is that MM accesses the LH corner via an easier crack on the arete a few meters R of the foot of the main LH corner rather than climbing directly into the line [see photo below].

Start: Drop down from 'Epaminondas' and head around to the next major buttress. Starts at the back of the scrubby bay between the 'Epaminondas' buttress and this next buttress [the 'Rum Truffle' Buttress].

  1. 28m (10) Begin at the toe of the slab. Climb the L edge of the slab then trend R past a distinctive pocket to easier ground and up to tree belay.

  2. 36m (12) Climb the weakness in the overhang above then easily up to large ledge. Move 8m R to belay below the two corner lines.

  3. 26m (14) Climb the shallow corner near the L arete of the wall between the 2 corner lines for 8m. Step L and up to climb main R facing corner.

FA: Steve Craddock, Andrew Moore & Greg Lovejoy [alts], 1989

Climbed numerous times by people lost looking for the top pitch of MM. This chimney is a prominent feature several meters L of the two corners of MM and RT. Written up at least once.

Start: At top of Pitch 2 of MM move 3m R instead of 8m to belay below bottomless chimney. Up short steep wall to chimney. Up this.

VCC Mt Difficult update has FA as Michael Giacometti, John Maher. 05.03

FA: Unknown, 2000

Exposed and sustained, a worthwhile outing. Some suspect rock low down. It is possible to do one long 45metre first pitch but you will need a lot of gear and two ropes to avoid bad rope drag.

Start: The pronounced diagonal crack on the right wall of the 'Monkey Man' bay.

  1. 35m (16) A break leads up and right into the line. Follow line up left to where the angle eases off slightly above a fairly fraught section. Small stance in crack.

  2. 20m (15) Unlikely climbing up steep continuation of the crack then more easily up to large ledge below the 'Monkey Man' headwall.

  3. 25m (14) Finish up 'Monkey Man' variant finish.

FA: Geoff Gledhill & Chris Baxter [alts], 2002

Some quite good climbing, however the unprotected start to the fourth pitch rather detracts from the experience.

Start: The front of the buttress R of the MM bay. Around R of TSOTH. Just R of a prominent pair of roofs low down on the front of the buttress.

  1. 27m (14) Up wall until blocked by long, narrow overhang. Traverse L above lower roof then pull up onto a slab and move L a bit above the second roof to a break in the long overhang. Up though break to belay.

  2. 30m (11) Continue up deep line to ledge. Move up L onto face and climb steep wall via a large flake into a chimney. Up chimney and wall to ledge.

  3. 10m (-) Move L off end of ledge and scramble up to foot of obvious corner. This is the RH corner leading up to the roofs and the LH one is MM.

  4. 26m (14) The difficult start on L wall has no protection and a very nasty landing. It is harder the shorter you are. With a bit of stuffing around and 2 ropes you can climb 6m up MM and place big gear in that climb to protect the start, the second then needs to climb up and down climb to get it out. After the start move R into line and up to huge roof. Traverse R around arete.

  5. 4m (-) Up chimney.

FA: Peter Watling & Bill Andrews [var], 1975

One of the plum pitches of the crag and a real corker of a line.

Start: About 300m right of the 'Epaminondas Buttress' is a prominent, seductive face crack perched above a cracked slab. Fortunately, though the relentlessly overhanging crack is wide, there are holds aplenty.

  1. 25m (21) The cracked slab.

  2. 25m (21) You won't get lost.

FA: Chris Baxter & Rick White (alt), 1979


Check out what is happening in Epaminondas Buttress.