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East Peak

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 27
  • Ascents: 223
  • Aka: East Face

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Description

The East Peak of Mt. Barney, even though this isn't the true peak of Mt. Barney (the West Peak is), it is more often visited due to its accessibility.

Approach

To reach the East Peak itself, the best trails are found via the "South-East Ridge" and "Logan's Ridge".

If you are looking to scare yourself climbing on the face, it is best approached by first hiking the South-East Ridge and descending once you reach the obvious, large bivy clearing 250m before the summit. From here, bushbash downhill to the north and towards the east face, which lies just out of sight. Once here, either descend via a 30m abseil or 10 minutes of bush bashing and scrambling.

Once on the landing, bushbash north through scrub to reach the East Face.

History

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The following is an excerpt from an old Mt Barney Guide (linked below):

"This impressive rock wall, perhaps the highest and most extensive in South East Queensland, had always presented an obvious, though intimidating challenge. Regarded by bushwalkers, who get a superb view of the wall on their way up Barney via Logan's ridge as "impossible", it was not really set foot on until 1960 when Ron Cox, Grahame Hardy, and Basil Yule abseiled down the face (roughly on what is now the East Face Route). In doing so they spent a night on the wall. Later, Pat Conaghan did a recconoitre of at least the first pitch; and in April 1966 John Tillack and Ted Cais did the first five pitches. Barely a fortnight later, John returned and led the successful first ascent, and so the label of impossibility was dispelled once and for all."

42 years later, the East Face of Mt Barney was looked at from a different perspective, and after a massive effort involving a generator, supposedly hundreds of metres of extension cord, over 100 bolts, and rightfully pissed off park rangers, the infamous adventure sport multi-pitch "The Governor" was born, giving us the longest sport multipitch in Queensland.

Old guide: http://www.qurank.com/guides/Guide_MtBarney.pdf

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route

A nice day hike up the ridge starting from Yellowpinch Carpark, with the final 1km to the summit offering nice scrambling in a fantastic position. Navigational aids receommmended in case the faint track is lost, especially post-fires.

1 12 30m
2 13 25m
3 13 30m
4 14 25m
5 14 25m
6 17 27m
7 14 30m
8 14 30m
9 14 30m
10 14 30m

Description partially taken from Rob Rankin's Secrets of the Scenic Rim, and the original guide linked below, with modern amendments. Most tree/shrub belays have disappeared from these guides. http://www.qurank.com/guides/Guide_MtBarney.pdf

This 297m route takes the obvious central chimney which splits the face, formed by two dykes.

  1. 30m (12) - Starting at a small cave right of the two main dykes, climb diagonally - L to R - across and up the buttress which lies at the base of the face below the obvious central chimney and finish at a tree. One already feels the exposure.

  2. 25m (13) - Continue up the buttress to a scrubby patch at its top, with a cave behind. Belay off bolt and gear in the cave.

  3. 30m (13) - Move right and diagonally up into a chimney, past a bolt, and continue up this, battling past prickly scrub, to where a small tree belay used to sit. It is best to link this into p4.

  4. 25m (14) - Move right onto the face and up to another small tree belay. A natural belay can be found above the tree.

  5. 25m (14) - Continue up the face and to back left towards the chimney, to a small ledge with an old double bolt belay. Belaying in the cave above may be a better alternative, but gear is scarce.

  6. 27m (17) - Chossy class! Traverse left into the chimney and climb this to the overhang. On the first ascent a tree was lassoed at this point but the tree has long since gone. Therefore, find your way up and out of the imposing roof chimney by any means, and ascend to a tree belay in the main chimney above.

7-10) 120m (14) - Follow a series of vegetated chimneys up to the exit gully.

FA: J. Tillack, D. Groom & L Wood, 1966

1 19 25m
2 20 25m
3 20 20m
4 16 25m
5 18 15m
6 21 20m
7 21 20m
8 18 20m
9 14 25m
10 17 15m
11 21 20m
12 20 20m
13 22 20m
14 22 20m
15 14 30m

The pitch lengths haven't been verified, so don't rely on their accuracy. Also, some grades are also not accurate and need to be verified. Caution: some mallions on anchors are rusting out.

The longest sport climb in Queensland (320m), this adventure sport climb takes you through the highest and steepest part of Mt Barney's imposing East Face. It's a very sustained route with very few easy pitches, and the individual pitches are also sustained in themselves. This route has mega exposure, good falls, a fair few really enjoyable pitches of climbing, and some rotten rock thrown in. A lot of the loose, sitting death blocks mentioned previously have been removed, but no promises. However, it still remains a serious undertaking, and self-rescue skills, early starts, general efficiency, a solid head, and determination are ALL necessities.

At points this climb lacks line and can feel forced, but whatever the case, it definitely required vision and effort to establish. The highest climb in Queensland is not for your average sport climber, and would best suit those with a sense of adventure and a taste for mountaineering. A real Queensland test piece for those seeking to up their game for bigger expeditions.

Approach: Once on the landing below the face, traverse/bushbash along the face towards a large rock apron and follow that down, and then you'll come to a part which gets exposed. Here you climb straight up too a bushy ledge (tricky moves) and easily follow the rock along for 50m. Here you'll find the start of the climb.

  1. 25m (19) A rude introduction ... Starts nice and hard straight of the deck. Follow bolts up over multiple cruxes to rings on a very small ledge.

  2. 25m (20) Head out right around bulge. Climb straight over it if you're feeling strong. Move up over a nice slab and into what would be fun climbing if it weren't falling apart to rings on a small ledge.

  3. 20m (20) Follow bolts through two overhangs and again, pleasant slabs in the middle. The first overhang can be easily avoided by climbing right. Belay at small ledge.

  4. 25m (16) This pitch continues up the rock cone then breaks right towards the main face and up a chimney. Near the top the route breaks out right of the chimney to a ledge with precariously balanced tree.

  5. 15m (18) Okay, now we're talkin'! The climbing really improves from here on, with the rock quality mostly improving. Intricately traverse out up and right over delicate slabs. Small stance at the belay. This pitch requires a confident seconder as the falls would be very exciting for them. It's best not to link this with the next pitch.

  6. 20m (21) This pitch has good bolting, nice falls, and wicked exposure. Definitely a stand-out pitch. Climb up through some sustained and interesting vertical face climbing.

  7. 20m (21) A really cool pitch with the most exposed boulder problem you'll find in SEQ! It's not as death-blockey as it used to be, but it's still worth caution. Climb up to the roof and clip the hidden bolt just over the lip. Don't touch the loose blocks under the overhang unless you want to kill your seconder and yourself. Tricky moves over the roof and continue for a couple of bolts. When it starts to get too vegetated, bust a couple exciting powerful moves out left through the overhang over hundreds of metres of air ... From here you should see the belay rings above a shrub. A few more strong moves will get you to the semi-hanging belay.

  8. 20m (18) Hard moves straight of the deck, with ugly falls if you don't make it to the first bolt. Continue up through some interesting vertical climbing. Surprise, surprise, beware of some loose rock.

  9. 25m (14) The first give-me pitch! Beware of ledge fall potential at points. The pitch ends at the top of the large centre overhangs at good sized vegetated ledge.

  10. 15m (17) Tricky climbing up to a good belay stance.

  11. 20m (21) More tricky climbing that traverses out slight right to a large corner. Some crazy traverse moves will find you on the other side ... somehow. Continue straight up (next bolt is hidden) to belay rings. As you climb this pitch the "Pope's Nose" bivy ledge is off to the right.

  12. 20m (20) Climb up through the corner over a slight overhang. At some points you can climb out right to avoid the difficult parts. Continue to the top over lots of worrying loose rock and vegetation. The next belay stance is a good size located underneath the summit overhangs.

  13. 20m (22) Business time. It's best to link both crux pitches together, for a mega final push. Climb up to the right through the terrible rotten rock. Difficult moves through the overhang and traversing right with good falls and really interesting technical moves while the rock improves. Straight up over a tricky mantle. Here you get the full exposure that the East Face offers. Continue up to the belay. Best linked with the next pitch.

  14. 20m (22) Follow the ramp to the below the last overhang. This section has some bad fall potential, but hosts the most spectacular climbing on The Governor. I won't spoil it for you. Belay at small stance above tree.

  15. 30m (14) The last glory pitch to the summit! Nice slab climbing to the belay rings. This pitch finishes 2-meters below the South East Ridge track.

FA: 2008

A superb scramble up an exposed rocky ridgeline. Access by walking back along the road from Yellowpinch carpark before heading into the bush towards the ridge. The scramble is more difficult and exposed the more left you stay on the ridge.

FA: Captain Logan, 1828

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