Forum
Photos
Help

North West Face (Main Wall)

Seasonality

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Description

This massive 400m high slab is possibly the largest cliff in Australia, at least on the mainland.

Access issues inherited from Mt. Warning Wollumbin Shield

It is located in Wollumbin National Park.

Approach

Epic 3+ hour jungle bush bash. Ask Phil Box for details (0418716774) Approach can be accomplished from either the tourist carpark to the east of the main summit and by then walking up the tourist track, branch off the tourist at the dog leg just before the chains that lead to top and from the dog leg head pretty much directly west then up and over the western peak and then head down obvious descent gully that descends towards the north at the far western end of the main Wollumbin Shield Wall. Getting there from Tyalgum Ridge is far more problematic, being guided in is virtually the only way from that direction unless you have very high quality navigational skills through extremely thick jungle and waiterwhile. Ring me.

Descent notes

Rapping back down the route you climb is the usual method of descent. There is also a large gully to the right (south-west) of the main cliff. Expect a jungle bash. The very ambitious can top-out on any of these routes and follow the 'summit ridge' east until reaching the summit cone, and descend down the tourist track.

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit Convert grades
Grade Route

Crazy Moon 240m 18

  1. 40m 13 Hard start moves lead to easy angled slab. Straight up through spear lilly ledge to next slab.

  2. 40m 18 Up slight groove in slab 15m right of right facing vegetated corner. Knifeblade at 5m, then trend right through hard unprotected moves to more gear in narrow vertical crack. Continue straight up before traversing left to base of left facing corner and fig belay.

  3. 10m 15 Left facing corner capped by vegetated crack. Block belay.

  4. 55m 18 Traverse right to hanging block (fixed piton) then up run out slab to horizontal overlap. Trend left to belay at left land side of 2m high roof.

  5. 45m 17 Step left and up left facing corner then out left onto slab. Up through spear lilly ledge to next slab.

  6. 50m 17 Left to arete on right side of ephemeral waterfall. Up clean rock until possible to step right onto right leaning slab. Trend right past loose blocks to ledge and spear lilly belay. At this point the good climbing ends and best option would be to rap to eastern side of watercourse and descend via gully. If summit fever calls, the following 2 pitches get you to the top. A cleaner option would be to head left across the watercourse, through a spear lilly ledge to nice looking slabs. It looked possible to thread a line through some scattered spear lillys to the top.

  7. 60m V2 (V is a proposed vegetation grade) Trend right through steep spear lilly horror show to belay beneath next rock.

  8. 30m 12 Over unprotected rock buttress to vegetated niche then trend right on slab to ridge. At this point you are on the ridge that forms the eastern end of the Wollumbin Shield. A narrow ridge with bits of scrub and rock lead for about 250m to the ridgetop. Follow upper ridge to descent gully to west.

FA: Brad Carmady & Phil Box, 2007

Read warning below. This route does have bolts with SS carrots but they are quite well spaced apart at about 5 metres so pucker factor is a major issue. Top pitches are very sparsely bolted with 20 metre run outs. As this climb is rarely done algael growth can obscure the bolts. full trad rack is also necessary. There is a 110 metre traverse on the lip of a huge roof. Ability to re ascend a rope is a must in this area for self rescue if fallen off route you'll be dangling 100 metres above the apron. Possibility of a bivy ledge one pitch above traverse ledge. Two people can squeeze on to this tight ledge. There is a descent option from the top of this climb however finding the start to the rap route is problematic. Good luck finding it. Best option is to find start at bottom. Start is around 2/3rds across left from descent gully.

Warning.

Recent ascent by Duncan Steel. He describes the top several pitches as having deteriorated badly since he did it 15 years ago. We discussed why and we came to a consensus that the black lichen and the north facing cliff bakes in the summer sun and the skin of the rock exfolitates in the very high summer sun. This route really needs renovation and a retro bolt. Duncan warms that this climb is no trivial matter and death or very serious injury could result from anyone just turning up and having a go.

Set by Tim Balla

FA: Tim Balla & Malcolm (HB) Matheson

A big wall adventure in a real jungle. Epic access, some loose rock and wet weather make this one of the harder long routes in Australia. This route was originally aided at A2+ 17, then freed shortly after at 25. The route description is for the aid ascent. There was once a track cut through the thick jungle to the base of the wall, but this is most likely long gone. The walk-in was 3+ hours with the track. Without - expect to double that time or more. You cannot see the cliff until you are standing right under it.

Aid Ascent Gear Required: 2x60m ropes, double rack of wires + cams (up to size #5 SLCD), Slider nuts, 2 x regular skyhooks, 1 size each of short knifeblade pins + a few lost arrows, no bolt brackets are required - all bolts have fixed hangers.

There is much loose rock still on the route. From pitches 5-7 the route weaves around some seriously big widow makers. The pitches in this area are short so that the belayer is safe from falling rock. All of the belays, apart from the top of pitch 7, are hanging or semi hanging. The only area suitable for an uncomfortable bivi on the wall would be the vegetated ledge midway through pitch 8. Rock quality varies along the route with the rock improving in hardness above pitch 6.

  1. 15m (8) Traverse diagonally left from spear-lillys across very easy slab to crack. Up for a few moves to single ring-bolt belay under bulging roof. FA Phil Box.

  2. 35m (A2 14) Aid past 2 bolts to gain pocket and then crack. Up this overhung crack to stance. Continue up wide crack to DBB. FA Phil Box.

  3. 15m (15) Slab up and left for ten metres, then back right to belay at spear-lilly and DBB. FFA Neil Monteith

  4. 30m (A2) Up short slab to corner and FH. Up and right onto stance then bat-hook and bolt left two metres to crack. Up this onto slab and DBB. FA Nick McKinnon

  5. 20m (A2+ 14) Straight up slab to climb thin cracks. Trend left and up blocky hand crack. When this blanks out aid up then move right to bolt, bat hook and finally free up to DBB. FA Neil Monteith

  6. 20m (A2 16) 'Phil's Traverse' - Climb directly right to below overhanging left leaning ramp. Aid through overhang with bolt and pull over this to spear-lilly. Climb wonderful hand and fist crack for ten metres to DBB. FA Phil Box

  7. 25m (A2+ 12) Aid thin seams off belay for three metres to super hand crack. When this finishes go right through bulges then easily up and left to DBB on good ledge. FA Nick McKinnon

  8. 40m (15) Free climb on slabby ground up and right below overhang. Back left and up hand-crack then onto bushy ledge. Up a few more metres to DBB. FFA Neil Monteith

  9. 50m (17) A rope stretcher! Straight up to gain left leading crack. Lay back up this then onto slab with bolt. After this run it out heading slightly left for ages to arrive at last DBB. A further 100m of slabby vegetated rock is above this. Unless you like evil bush-bashing, it's recommended to rap off here. FFA Neil Monteith

Descent: Pitch 9 to 8 50m Pitch 8 to 7 35m Pitch 7 to 4 50m Pitch 4 to 2 40m Pitch 2 to 1 40m Pitch 1 to ground 60m+ (walk off possible if slab is not wet)

FFA: Cameron Fairbairn & Phil Box, 2001

FA: Phil Box, Neil Monteith, Nick McKinnon & Will Dameron, 2001

  1. 7 - The approach slabs and traverse to get to the climb proper.

  2. 24 - perhaps, hard mantling layaway using small arete and footer under roof to gain a respite on a decent ledge for a rest before launching up through a series of right leaning overhung handcrack breaks and bulges. Cameron Fairbairn 15/9/02

  3. 16 - slab to spear lilly belay, start off from the top of pitch 2 and go left around and underneath the spear lilly belay hanging blocks.

  4. 25 - Start from spear lilly belay, head right up and across slab into the obvious corner, reach out for a fabulous jug on the mantle ledge, swing up onto ledge from whence the hard small traverse left starts, clip bolt and then continue left to establish oneself in obvious crack, up directly to belay. Cameron Fairbairn 15/9/02

  5. 20 - From belay trend left up blocky ramp being careful not to get sucked in too far left, continue up through the first easy system and then back to the right to find 2 widely spaced bolts, equalise these for a killer belay to observe the shenanigans of the roof coming up next.

  6. 23 - Clip the high bolt of the belay before dropping down low and plugging a couple of aliens in out wide along the traverse line on almost non existent feet , drop a bit lower for good feet and then climb up directly under roof bolt. Yeah it`s goey hey, get on out there through that roof, campus up on rugositys to stand on the lip and then swim through the spear lilly to plug wide gear in crack behind lilly, continue up wide dirty crack to bomber anchor. Back this anchor up with a couple of cams as there is the distinct possibility of a climber falling direct on to this anchor due to the next section being so thin and poor gear direct off the belay. Cameron Fairbairn 15/9/02

  7. 24 - Work those aliens and wires in baby and hold on for the ride of your life fortunately this thin seam is not overhung unlike the hand crack which this seam leads to so test that gear bucko, continue up the overhung handcrack to where it blanks out to find yourself at a walrus ledge containing thin fingers and crimpers, belly flop on to that sloper walrus ledge to find yourself with one more block to get over before arriving at a fabulously comfortable belay complete with garden and at least one square foot of space to stand on, it's practically a bivvy ledge. Cameron Fairbairn 15/9/02

  8. 17 - Skirt right to skyline then trend left, take care to talk to your belayer as anchors are a direct rope fall/abseil above Pitch 8 anchors. By talking to your belayer you should be able to orient his voice to the line of fall as this slab can suck you in way left.

  9. 16 - We did change out the Fixe hangers and leaver biners to Double rap ring Fixe hangers.

  10. There is a possibility of adding a further pitch to this route to top out.

FFA: Cameron Fairbairn & Phil Box, 2002

Access to the start of this climb is via the approach slabs for Escension then aid and climb the first pitch of Escension. first pitch of Escension is now A1. 17.

  1. 30m (18) Phil Box (rope solo) At first pitch rap anchor of escension step right behind bushes and into a fist size crack. Up easily behind the spear lilly to be confronted with the first steep slab of the new route. Clip piton and traverse right along a good ledge to the weakness on right hand end of ledge. Directly up the weakness and onto low angle slab. Up slab to steep wall. Look for water runnels for protection up high. Follow these to corner and double bolt belay.

  2. 35m (19) Phil Box, Brad Carmady, Josh Combes. From belay, traverse right for aprox. 3 metres and up obvious weakness. Step onto low angle slab and then step back left to directly over belay. Up Arete with poor gear to protect crux to gain a very good piece of protection. From here go directly up until one is in line with an obvious large ledge and spear lilly. Traverse about 6 metres right past the spear lilly to Fixe Ring Chain Belay on the wall at this ledge.

  3. 30m (17) Brad Carmady Josh Combes, Phil Box. Traverse 4 metres right, then up and awkwardly step right onto slab. Up slab towards roof then traverse left under overlap to natural belay in obvious crack in right facing corner.

  4. 40m (16) Brad Carmady, Phil Box. Step up overlap then traverse left along spear lily ledge before heading up slabs left of large hanging block. Up wide layback then up to steep overlap before going slightly right on slabs to large spear lily ledge. Tree belay on right hand side. This could be a great bivy ledge if benightment a possibility.

  5. 30m (16) Phil Box, Brad Carmady. Straight up from tree belay using the large crack formed by a tremendous gendarme. At top of gendarme trend right across steep slab (orange Alien size pro protects these moves) to corner and crack system. Trend back left on crack system, up behind spikey bush and into short chimney and on up the obvious crack system. Belay before obvious crack peters out.

  6. 50m (16)Brad Carmady, Phil Box. Step right and up through groove. Back left following line of weakness through slabs to under large blocks. Head straight up on stepped slabs to just under line of spear lillys. Either traverse left and up or straight through overhangs to poor spear lilly belay.

  7. (3) Phil Box, Brad Carmady. 40 metres of spear lilly swimming to gain walk down ridge. Walk down to the right keeping the top of cliffline visible more or less. Encounter the obvious saddle and turn right to walk down obvious descent gully back to camp.

FA: Phil Box, Brad Carmady & Josh Combes, 2006

Start is high on the vegetated slabs on the far right hand end of the Shield. Finding the start is the crux I am sure but if one were to head over to the descent gully then work back say 50 metres and then head somewhat up then that is an approximation of where to go.The start is also about 80 metres up the vegetated apron. there is an obvious chimney on the wall proper.

  1. 22 40m (direct) - Up chimney following crack system past a bolt and piton. Trad belay.

    Alternate: 15 45m (off to the right) - Up chimney then cut to the right to a small ledge, then veer back left to the crack system passing a spearlilly along the way. trad belay.

  2. 15 40m - Continue following crack system to double rap station.

  3. 18 55m - Continue following crack system past more spear lillies and a small overlap that is easier than it looks. Belay off spear lillies and a small tree.

  4. 16 55m - Continue following crack system through exposed section with good gear. Continue past more spear lillies.

  5. 5 30m - Scramble through increasing vegetation to top.

FFA: Phil Box & Colin Carstens., 2008

Descent gully starts at the obvious saddle on the far western end of the Wollumbin Shield/Western Peak of Mt. Warning. Mostly just an easy scramble. Heavily vegetated at times. Very short sections of vertical which can easily be scrambled down using trees or spear lillies. Seceteurs may be beneficial at times to cut away some bits of spikeyness.

Hello!

First time here?

theCrag.com is a free guide for rock climbing areas all over the world, collaboratively edited by keen rock climbers, boulderers and other nice folks.

You can log all your routes, connect and chat with other climbers and much more...

» go exploring, » learn more or » ask us a question

Activity

Check out what is happening in North West Face (Main Wall).