Central Organ Pipes

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 27
  • Ascents: 8,919
  • Aka: Didgeridoo Pipe
  • Aka: Piccolo Pipe
  • Aka: D Major Pipe
  • Aka: Diapason Pipe




Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles,The Organ Pipes Area

Previously had been chopped up into way too many tiny sub-pages but it didn't really work so has now been reconsolidated.

Access issues inherited from Arapiles

Cultural heritage closures now apply to some parts of Arapiles. This advice continues to evolve and may not be fully reflected in this website; refer to Parks Victoria for details applicable at the time of your visit.

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 - no dogs. No fires allowed Oct-Apr (inclusive).

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

The slim pillar 5m R of D Minor Pinnacle. This also houses some more routes (Lemmington etc) but they are accessed from Organ Pipes Gully and described there.

1 11 18m
2 11 15m
  1. 18m (11) Climb the front of the pipe past smooth bulge to small ledge. This cramped belay is usually avoided.

  2. 15m (11) Continue up to top bulge which is easiest on right. Downclimb far side of pinnacle into Organ Pipes Gully to get off.

FA: Garry Kerkin & Ian Speedie, 1965

Subtle line on left side of the D Major Pipe. The third pitch, up the south-east face is mostly done as a climb in its own right.

  1. 25m (18) Climb subtle seams to ledge (fiddly small wires).

  2. 10m (5) Up chimney to ledge. The front of the thin buttress to the left is somewhat harder.

  3. 15m (16) Up greenish streak up middle of steep left wall to rap anchor. A bloody good pitch.

FA: Keith Egerton, Heather Phillips & Kieran Loughran (p3 previously done by the Ottens who called it Rust Never Sleeps)., 1980

Warning Flora and Fauna: Skeleton Fork Fern

A few good moves up the front of the D Major buttress. Start at the lowest point of the buttress.

  1. 30m (16) Up easily till face steepens, up face to crack in buttress.

  2. 20m (16) Start up chimney just left of D Major then step left above roof to front of juggy buttress.

FA: Chris Baxter & Rod Young, 1976

1 10 25m
2 10 25m

Named after the key that has "two sharp pitches". It is possible to escape from the first belay through the narrow cleft to the left between Piccolo Pipe and D Major Pipe.

Start below the major line capped by a huge chockstone on the right wall of the D Major pipe.

  1. 25m (10) Bridge up slick groove splitting bottom half of the buttress and under the boulder. It's a good idea to belay on top of the boulder.

  2. 25m (10) From top of the boulder climb steep juggy buttress to chimney finish. An alternative to this pitch is to climb the chimney to the left. This is very narrow.

FA: Bruce Hocking & Mike Stone, 1964

Start as for D Major, then take the line between D Major and Libretto.

FA: Unknown., 2000

Beautiful, sustained first pitch followed by a short hard section. Start below the well-chalked thin cracks taking the middle of the wall right of D Major.

  1. 25m (14) Sustained climbing up the thin cracks to the big cave.

  2. 25m (16) Move towards the front of the buttress and climb a short, difficult corner. Continue easily.

FA: Chris Dewhirst & Phillip Stranger., 1968

This is a good combination at the grade, dispensing with the cruxy second pitch of Libretto.

  1. 25m (14) As for first pitch of Libretto.

  2. 25m (14) As for pitch two of CS Concerto.

A fairly good route. Most of the first pitch is spent bridging up Holpyp which isn't bad and the top pitch is atmospheric. Start in the D Major gully.

  1. 25m (-) Climb the gully until you can climb the seam on the left wall independently of the gully to cave belay.

  2. 25m (14) Mantle onto block up a little corner and then left to arete. Up steep wall to top. Finishing up the arete is more exciting at 16 but be careful with the rock.

FA: Chris Baxter, Chris O'Brien. Murray Taylor & Keith Lockwood had previously climbed pitch 2 in, 1967

One of the old gullies that gets few takers. The roof is exciting but is also part of Ejaculation.

FA: Peter Jackson, Ted Batty & Bob Bull., 1965

Good, varied climbing. Take some large hexes for the second pitch as the cams tend to walk their way open in a couple of spots. Start at the thin crack on the right wall of the gully.

  1. 15m (15) Excellent finger layback crack on right wall of gully. Gear is excellent but pumped desperate leaders have run it out in the past and taken large falls.

  2. 35m (15) Up the widening crack and left across the sickle into Holpyp. Up over the roof and carry on.

FA: Phillip Stranger & Chris Dewhirst., 1967

How? The initial crack of Ejaculation and then straight up from the plaque.

FA: Brigitte & Jon Muir.., 1984

A good pump in the Organ Pipes? Start left of Diapason, 2m right of Ejaculation, beneath obvious overlap.

FA: Hoskins, Wilkins & Pritchard, 1995

1 7 20m
2 6 25m
3 8 10m

The first climb done in the Organ Pipes. A very pleasant outing. Start 8 metres left of big dead gum tree.

  1. 20m (7) Follow crack, or face just left of crack, up buttress to ledge and the former location of a plaque to climbing pioneer Bob Craddock (who died in a car accident).

  2. 25m (6) Step up and right around to the front of buttress and up to belay left of big tilted boulder.

  3. 10m (8) Up short wall just left of boulder then up flaring chimney. An alternative to this pitch is to traverse left for 3 metres above the void and then climb the steep wall 7 metres left of the chimney. Optional fourth pitch is grade 10: From big ledge climb steep wall on right and finish up a crack on the left of the pinnacle. No one seems to do this these days but it is quite good.

FA: Steve Craddock, Bob Craddock & Rob Taylor, 1963

Another gully.

FA: Bernie Lyons & Steve Craddock., 1965

A short, hard avoidable crux set amid a lot of easy climbing. Start as for Keyboard.

  1. 45m (12) Up Keyboard until just above tree. Walk left and climb flake line just right of gully. Step left to belay on huge chockstone.

  2. 32m (19) Step back right and up steep line through rooflet and then easily up.

FA: John Stone & Richard Evans.., 1979

Deep crack on left side of Conifer Crack buttress, in the gully. Take some large gear.

FA: Clive Parker & Chris Baxter., 1968

1 9 40m
2 9 40m

Very entertaining. Just be aware that at times you have to climb on large apparently detached blocks. Start 1 metre left of where the the big dead tree was until last Friday (i.e. left-hand crack on front of buttress).

  1. 40m (9) Slabby thin crack on left side of buttress to ledge. Step right and pull through bulge then straight up to huge ledge.

  2. 40m (9) Behind are twin V cracks up the right side of the buttress. It is usual to move straight up from the ledge and then move across right and climb the right-hand crack but either crack is OK. An optional third pitch is to climb the blade of rock at the end of the second pitch.

FA: Chris Davis & Ian Guild., 1964

The central line up the Conifer Crack buttress is unfortunately not very sustained. Also it has a habit of dealing out broken ankles to leaders falling at the end of the crux. Start just right of Conifer Crack.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Neil Barr., 1982

Desperate for short people. Start below the gully between the Conifer Crack and Didgeridoo pipes, immediately right of Woodwind.

FA: Chris Baxter & Dave Moss., 1983

Not attractive. Start as for Fiddle until the gully and then climb the wall 1 metre left of that climb avoiding bridging, stepping onto block or drifting into Didgeridoo.

FA: Hoskins, Pritchard & Wilkins, 1995

The left arete of the Didgeridoo buttress (the abseil route) looks good but protection is fiddly and there's a large hollow block that would ruin your day if it came off. Start as for Didgeridoo/Horn Piece.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Halvard Andersen-Dalheim., 1984

Start as for Horn Piece on the Didgeridoo Pipe. Veers left from Horn Piece near the top, avoiding the bulging headwall. This climb originally started up a short crack up on the right side of the pipe but this is not much fun. Very sustained at the grade.

FA: Ian Speedie, Garry Kerkin & Mike Stone., 1965

The excellent thin cracks up the middle of the front of this pillar. Very good and sustained. Take lots of small wires and cams.

FA: Chris Baxter & Matt Taylor, 1976

Start at a crack just right of the second pitch of Conifer Crack. This looks ordinary but it makes for a good continuation from Horn Piece or the other single pitches that lead to the big ledge.

FA: Wayne Maher, Peter Cunningham & Peter Watling, 1981

Climb Hornpipe for ~5m, then move left and up past a bolt (crux) and through a crack to a ledge. At the ledge move right to climb another crack, past another bolt. Ends at the same height as pitch 2 of Conifer Crack at a rap station.

Start at the first belay of Conifer Crack and climb the gully between the second pitch of Conifer Crack and the Red Wall. For the connoisseur of chossy gully routes.

FA: Mike Stone & Ian Speedie., 1965

This cliff is unlocated

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

Selected Guidebooks more Hide

Author(s): Simon Mentz, Glenn Tempest

Date: 2016

ISBN: 9780987526427

This selected yet in depth guide, in its third edition in 2016, is a must for first timers or regulars to the "Pines". By Simon Mentz and Glenn Tempest. It features 1200 routes over 23 different areas as well as bouldering, history info on flora and fauna, plus heaps more.

Author(s): Gordon Poultney, Simon Carter

Date: 2013

ISBN: 9780987087461

444 of the best routes on the best stone on earth? Yes Please! Who has time for all those other wondering pitches anyway when Gordon Poultney and Simon Carter have picked out the classics and printed it in a pocket size handy guide with string attachment. You'll take it on the multipitches, you'll take it to read in the toilets, you'll take it everywhere!

Author(s): Chris Baxter & Glenn Tempest

Date: 1994

ISBN: 0646167308

A Guide to selected rockclimbs at Mt Arapiles,the Grampians and Mt Buffalo

Accommodations nearby more Hide

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