Reaper Buttress




The orange and grey tower with the scythe shaped slash across the main face (Reaper).

Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, Preludes Area

Access issues inherited from Arapiles

Bird Nesting September-December Raptors usually nest on the following climbs in Spring : Cassandra, Eurydice, Harlequin Cracks, Revelations. Nesting usually finishes mid-December. There may or may not be signs in place at these times. Please keep 50m clear of these climbs if there appears to be nesting activity.

State Park


Descents: Rap stations have been added (~2003) above 'Reaper' (24m), Berserk (30m), and 'Taste Sensation', courtesy NBF.

© (willmonks)

Descent notes

Rap stations above Reaper, Berserk and Taste Sensation.

Ethic inherited from Arapiles

Mount Arapiles is first and foremost a trad climbing area. The few sport climbs tend to be in the higher grades where no natural pro is available.

Bolting, particularly retro-bolting, is discouraged and should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with the local climbers, first ascensionists, etc. Inappropriately placed bolts have been chopped.

Do not chip the rock.

Look after the park.

  • Stick to the paths.

  • Don't disturb the wildlife.

  • Routes near peregrine falcon nesting sites are closed in the spring.

  • Minimise the impact of your camping (fuel stoves not fires, take your rubbish with you, etc).


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


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Grade Route

Take the easiest line up the face via plenty of horizontals.

Start: Start on the nice blob of rock which is uphill and L of 'Saraband'.

FA: Mark Moorhead & solo, 1983

A bit harder. Up via small flake then R-ish.

Start: Start 2m R of BMUS.

FA: Mark Moorhead & solo, 1983

Descend by scrambling down around the back.

Lou must have been on drugs describing this as "down and left of Reaper". The LH crack on the small pinnacle further uphill from Reaper.

Start: On the L side of the 'Saraband' pinnacle find a corner with some hollow sounding rock (alternatively it looks like there is a harder start just a couple of metres down the hill). Up this past some fantastic sidepulls, then aim for the LH crack.

FA: John Smart, 1979

Up the R side of the buttress. The DF up the top crack is reachy 24, the 22 way is to climb the breaks R of the arete.

Start: Start just R of S.

FA: John Smart, 1979

Not too bad really. A tricky start to easier climbing. Start at the obvious chimney bounding the L side of the main 'Reaper Buttress'.

Probably best to start up left and move right to below the line and good gear with belayer spotting (or stick-place a wire) . Move up to and up the chimney to ledges at 25m. The climb originally continued up very easy ground to behind the Reaper buttress (50m abseil down Josie's Climb) or descend the awkward gully or find the abseil bolts for Reaper from the ledge on the right.

FA: Chris Baxter & Dorothy McManus, 1968

Tough around roof onto wall and into crackline on L.

Start: Start 2m R of the L arete of the west-facing wall, above 'Armpit'.

FA: Rod Young & Ant Prehn, 1982

The overhang and wall R of AW.

Start: Start just R of AW.

FA: Rod Young & Mark Moorhead, 1979

Spectacular. Start 3m R of The Sting.

Use holds on arete to gain hanging corner and to ledge. Over roof to join crack and arete.

FA: Rod Young & Mark Moorhead, 1979

A flawed route with no need for the chipped holds. Back to the front (main) wall. Up chimney/corner on left end of main wall (Armpit - 11) then access diagonal rampline rightwards past a bolt. Cross 'Reaper' and finish up headwall just right of arete. No reliable gear before the bolt (needs replacing) and route is quite runout on the headwall.

FA: Mark Moorhead, 1983

Start: Start beneath the major crack in the middle of the face.

  1. 25m (21) The steep crack up to the base of the major sickle crack.

  2. 30m (22) Follow the L-curving sickle crack to the top.

FA: Henry Barber & Chris Dewhirst, 1975

FA: Greg Child, 1978

From the cave at the end of the sickle (of Reaper) traverse right and pull over bulge. Follow right leading flake until it ends, move right then up past bolt.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Eddy Ozols, 1981

A link up of 'Reaper' and the 'Direct Finish'. From near the finish of the 'Reaper' sickle line, go up past 2 bolts to final bolt on 'Reaper Direct Finish'. This can also be done as one mega pitch from the ground. the is a rap anchor to the right and a 70m rope will get you back to the ground easily.

FA: Enga Lokey, 2000

Climb 'Reaper' to its crux. Step right at a prominent chalked jug and ooze up the unlikely seam past a FH to gain the upper traverse on 'Taste Sensation'. Step right again and climb the excellent face above passing a second FH to join 'Taste Sensation' at its final crack.

FA: Ingvar Lidman, 2008

From the belay, go up then traverse 4m right into exposed terrain above 'Incest' (past bolt) then ignoring common sense head up over bulge to hanging slab and run it out to roof. Now traverse R and finish up 'Wild Oats'.

Start: Start at the first belay of 'Reaper'.

FA: Louise Shepherd & Chris Shepherd, 1983

From Reaper's 1st belay, head up 'Reaper' 2nd pitch to where it curves left, then traverse 2m right to below bolt. Pull over bulge and up crack to break. Traverse left along break, then up headwall past bolt, aiming for short crack.

Start: Start at the first belay of 'Reaper'.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Malcolm Matheson, 1981

Taste Sensation to the big horizontal, then near the left end of this launch straight up into Grimstone's finish.

From 1st belay of 'Reaper', follow 'Girl Germs' to the roof, then pump up the power to pull the lip and onwards to glory.

FA: Rod Young & Barry Young, 1979

From the belay, drop down then traverse R across 'Incest' to the first ledge of 'Wild Oats'.

Start: Start at the first belay of 'Reaper'.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Mark Moorhead, 1983

Best of the lot. Boldly up Incest to no hand rest to join taste sensation. At thr big break head directly up Grimstone.

Could be 27.

70m rope gets you to the boulder beneath Reaper.

Back at ground level, 2m L of the weakness of Wild Oats. Head up then leftwards to 2 prominent bolts, then left across white marbled rock (crux) into hanging corner. Finish up this to the first belay of 'Reaper'.

Start: Start as for the LH option of 'Wild Oats'.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Louise Shepherd, 1983

Up I to the 2nd bolt, then directly upwards past a bolt and peg to roof (shared with 'Wild Reaper Connection' to the left). Step right and pull through bulge. Easier climbing leads to the top.

Start: Start as for 'Incest'.

FA: Chris Shepherd, 1991

  1. 18m (20) Boulder problem start 2m right of 'Incest'. Boldly up thin seam to belay at stance level with 'Reaper' belay.

  2. 22m (19) Up crack then break left. Straight up past shattered rock (avoidable) and spaced pro to finish up thin crack near arete.

FA: Simon Mentz, 1998

Start: Start as for 'Wild Oats'.

  1. 30m (21) Climb directly to the ledge from the RH start, not much pro.

  2. 15m (23) Traverse L a few metres then up to R-curving flake which leads to ledge.

  3. 20m (23) Walk R then climb the steep East face of the buttress, just L of the arete.

FA: Chris Shepherd & Cathy Blamey

FA: Barry Young & Chris Stroud (p1 only), 1979

Start: Start under the SE arete of the 'Reaper Buttress', 6m L of 'Red Parrot Chasm'.

  1. 25m (20) Bouldery crux start up weakness, then step R (going straight up is the scary 21 first pitch of Fine Arts). Join twin cracks to ledge. Still quite runout though easier.

  2. 25m (15) Up to horizontal then head L around arete for about 10m and up the main crack.

  3. 20m (-) Traverse easily off L, or don your crampons for the summit.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Andrew Bowman (with an aid nut), 1974

The monumental chimney. The smooth crux section can be done either by stemming on the outside or grunting on the inside, but either way the pro is a bit skimpy.

Start: Start on the R side of 'Reaper Buttress'.

FA: John Fahey & Peter Jackson, 1964

Start as for Jilted then halfway across the traverseline, bust straight up slightly overhung face. Yet to be equipped.

Back wall. Approach via 'Skyline Walls', 'Dreadnought Gully' or Josie's Climb. Very steep start past bolt then rightwards along lip of roof (BRs) to a tricky exit (Cam or small wire).

FA: Alistair Mark, 1989

Back wall. A mini Slopin' Sleazin'? Unconventional moves up an interesting feature left of 'Jilted'. Start as for that route to its first BR, then head up to 2nd BR and left to the base of unlikely arete. Climb this to good pocket (BR), then continue past undercling to top. Note: Trad anchor now mandatory after some tosser stole the double ring anchor.

FA: Steve Kelly, 2008

If you follow the instruction to Chaconne in Lou's guide, you'll probably find this instead. On the small pillar in front of Reaper there's a wall facing the same direction as Reaper Wall. Up the diagonal seam on R side of the face to hard move onto arete and up. TR'd a DF which is better and slightly harder.

FA: Douglas Hockly & Wendy Eden, 1 Jan 2015

On the small pillar in front of Reaper there's a wall facing the same direction as Reaper Wall. The steep crack on the L side of the buttress. Surprisingly better than it looks, although it does look bloody awful.

FA: Wendy Eden & Douglas Hockly, 1 Jan 2015


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