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The Red Wall & Toccata Wall

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 19
  • Ascents: 3,626
  • Aka: The Red Wall
  • Aka: Toccata Wall

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Description

Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles,The Organ Pipes Area

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. https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/-/media/project/pv/main/parks/documents/management-plans/mount-arapiles-tooan-state-park/mount-arapiles-tooan-state-park---aboriginal-cultural-heritage-protections---october-2020.pdf

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).

Descent notes

Rap stations at top of many routes, otherwise top out then scramble up and L then down Organ Pipes Gully.

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)

Routes

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Grade Route

This is the appealing big red wall starting off a terrace 30m above ground level, and can be accessed by climbing any of the routes from Keyboard to Horn Piece or by soloing up the gully between Conifer Crack and Didgeridoo Pipe. Shade from about noon.

Start at the left side of the Red Wall. Bridge up gully (G String) to clip bolt. Up blunt arete past another bolt to join Wyrd, up corner and flake. L at bolt to jugs, up thinly past another (bolt, not jug) to rings.

FA: Douglas Hockly & Ingvar Lidman, 2002

Funky climbing and route-finding. The moves up to the roof are committing. Start on the left side of the grey pedestal.

FA: Mike Law & Matt Taylor, 1976

Straightens out Wyrd with some committing climbing.

FA: Tony Marian, Hugh Foxcroft (1 aid). Freed: Kim Carrigan & Louise Shepherd Jan 1979., 1978

Fantastic climbing on gorgeous peachy rock, many climbers' favourite 19 at Araps. Chains at top (32m). Videos

FA: Andrew Thomson & Dave Mudie, 1976

Makes a good change.

FA: Jon Muir, Tony Dignan & Geoff Little., 1985

This lovely wall was a very bold first ascent. Small wires (take extra #3 RPs) now give reasonable protection but sport climbers wouldn't want to be getting on this for their first trad 21. Start just right of Tannin. While sketching out with your modern gear, spare a thought for Ann Pauligk's 1977 ascent which was the first Aussie female ascent at this grade.

FA: Andrew Thomson & Greg Child, 1976

Start just right of Wraith. Great moves on thin face, cruxy past second bolt. Finish straight up or traverse L to finish up The Wraith or Tannin.

FA: Ant Prehn & Jon Muir.., 1986

This good crack system is the only surviving piece of a long-forgotten girdle traverse of the Organ Pipes. Perhaps it would have had more credibility if it had started with a tyrolean from the top of the D Minor Pinnacle.

The bolts on this need sorting out. They are all old carrots, many unneccessary and in the wrong places for free climbing.

Start at a little corner below and right of The Wraith.

FA: Chris Baxter, Tim Hancock.. Freed Chris Baxter, Kevin Lindorff & Mike Stone. May 1976., 1970

Back to ground level. This is the area right of Didgeridoo.

A worthless approach to what eventually became Jen's Roof. Bridge up the gully left of Dirge then out right to short thin crack. From crack go right into Dirge and up this to roof on right. Hand-traverse right on the lip of the roof to FH then up to chains.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Chris Baxter., 1984

1 17 35m
2 50m

Really nice climbing with an exciting blast up the finishing flake.

  1. 35m 17. Go up onto a terrace a few metres above ground level in the gully just right of the Didgeridoo Pipe. Follow the crack up past the left side of the overhang at 25 metres and on up the flake continuation to chains (30m to gully).

  2. 50m. Originally went to top but this pitch is rubbish so just rap off.

It is possible to do a harder finish (18) by traversing across the blank wall before you get to the chains, to join the final flake system of F Sharp, but there doesn't seem to be much point. This variant by Lockwood and Ed Neve 23/7/1977. Arguably less pointless (but probably more!) would be to continue further left before F Sharp deteriorates, to join The Wraith near the roof for it's classy corner finish.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Chris Baxter., 1974

This is quite a good chimney and the rap anchor lets you avoid the cruddy finish. Start below the next buttress right of the Didgeridoo Pipe. Scramble up 6 metres into the gully on the left of the buttress then traverse right until below the chimney. Climb up into the chimney and follow it (originally climbed up the left edge of the chimney for a bit) past the roof on the left. Belay on left about 5 metres above the roof at chains. 30 metre abseil or continue up crud to the top.

FA: Ian Speedie & Michael Stone, 1964

A pointless variation on Bass Clef. Up Bass Clef to the chimney, step left and up the juggy arete just left of the chimney until able to bridge into the prominent line on the right wall of the chimney. Up this line then step right to the Tremulo bolts.

FA: Keith Lockwood, Kieran Loughran & Norm Booth, 15 Jul 2017

The late Dennis Kemp said that this was one of only two climbs that he had done at Arapiles that he would not consider repeating. Start just R of Bass Clef, directly below the chimney of Bass Clef.

  1. 30m (17) Directly up thin lichenous seams to the base of the chimney of Bass Clef, then up right on black slab to the foot of a crack just left of Tremulo. Up this crack to a stance atop a short chimney. The abseil chain on Tremulo is just a step to the right, not that we're suggesting running away or anything like that.

  2. 15m (-) Step left and climb front of buttress.

  3. 25m (-) Up crest of buttress finishing steeply past gnome.

  4. 5m (-) The crack behind. Rope drag could be a problem.

FA: Chris Baxter & Francine Gilfedder., 1981

A good solution to this buttress spotted by Jen Woods, going up to and left through the overhang. The route ties together bits of four other climbs, Humouresque, Bass Clef, Bag Pipes and Low Note, into something that is much better than any of the others. Start where you would scramble up to Dirge but stay at ground level.

Go straight up as per Humouresque to the base of a chimney (Bass Clef), then follow Bag Pipes up the arete between the chimney and the smooth face to the left. After Bag Pipes heads rightwards, continue straight up as the climbing gets harder towards the overhang (small wires). Go diagonally left through roof, bolt at lip, and finish as for Low Note.

FA: Muki Woods/Ingvar Lidman, 2007

Warning Flora and Fauna: Skeleton Fork-fern (Psilotum nudum)

A direct start to the first pitch of Humouresque. Start 2m R of H. Climb to the right of the first FH to ledge. Straight up passing 2nd FH to joint H at the bottom of it's crack.

FA: Anthony Schellens & Paul Deacon, Dec 2018

Really good climbing on the first 25 metres. With the abseil anchor the awful climbing above this can now be forgotten. Start at short chimney 5 metres right of Humouresque. Up chimney then on up the narrowing line finishing with some face moves just to the left. Chain anchor.

FA: Phil Seccombe.., 1966

Good climbing with hard start and finish but gets few ascents and is sinking beneath the moss. The finish is quite scary. Start 2 metres right of Tremulo at seam.

FA: Keith Egerton & Kieran Loughran.., 2000

Excellent climb for the grade. Absorbing from bottom to top.

FA: Digby Gotts (Direct Start)

FA: Richard Curtis & Phillip Armstrong (Direct Finish), 1980

As per the Old Green Guide: "DISCORD (140'):- A sustained and technically interesting climb with excellent protection. Grade:- Hard Severe

  1. 40' Move right up the ramp leading to the base of Toccata and about 15' to the left of Toccata, traverse left a few feet to a good ledge and bolt runner. Climb the shallow groove with difficulty to a resting place and a second bolt runner. Move out right and attain a standing position on top of the obvious square block on the smooth face on the right. Move back left to a good ledge and bolt belay a few feet above the last runner.

  2. 100' Step four feet onto the arête and go up to beneath the overhangs. Move back right to join the original line and fix the first runner of the second pitch. Continue in the same line, via a narrow awkward chimney, to the top.

FA: Peter Jackson & Reg Williams -Alternate leads, 1965

Beautiful rock but a bit contrived. Start as for Discord.

  1. 25m (22) Follow the line of Discord and continue up, keeping as far to the right as possible. At headwall step right to a bulging thin crack which is followed to a ledge. The direct start (23) climbs past a bolt to join this pitch. Graham Jones March 1986. There is a carrot bolt low down which looks like it might be the direct start. There is also a FH a good deal higher than the carrot whose role is not clear.

  2. 20m (-) The crack above.

FA: Malcolm Matheson, Chris Baxter (alt) & Kim Carrigan., 1982

Hardly a recommendation.

FA: Freed by Malcolm Matheson.., 1981

1 15 27m
2 13 23m

A stunning line on glorious water-washed rock. Protection is excellent despite how it may look, and huge camming devices are not essential. Take two ropes if doing the abseil. Start below the large smooth corner at the right end of the Organ Pipes.

  1. 27m (15) Sustained climbing up the corner to hard moves past the little roof into a bottomless chimney. Up to a good ledge.

  2. 23m (13) The lovely square-cut chimney. Rap off (45m) or walk up the gully to the top.

FA: Peter Jackson & Bob Bull, 1965

Makes a worthwhile route out of Yossarian. Right of Toccata is a crack up the left side of a short buttress.

  1. Step right from the start of Toccata into crack and up to ledge. Follow seams up and right past small and fiddly gear. Where seam blanks out, step left and continue up to base of Toccata's chimney.

  2. The wide crack of Yossarian looks rubbish. Just finish up Toccata.

FA: Wendy Eden & Kate Dooley, 21 Dec 2015

A hard few moves on the crux but a bit disappointing overall. Start on the grey buttress just right of Toccata.

  1. 13m (10) The buttress to a small stance about 6 metres below and left of prominent roof.

  2. 35m (17) Up diagonally right from 2-3 metres to an awkward mantleshelf then an unlikely traverse back left to a thin crack. Go up into a wider, bottomless crack just right of 'Toccata'. The easiest way off is probably to scramble around (roped) to the abseil anchors on 'Toccata'.

FA: Peter McKeand & Gordon Talbett.

Lovely corner on the second pitch. Scramble up the gully right of Toccata under a chockstone to below an easy wall. Could also start as for Yossarian but it doesn't add much value.

  1. 13m (-) Climb up to Yossarian's first belay then move right and up to belay on the obvious block below the right side of the prominen roof. You could also do the first pitch of Hot Air Symposium which is just a few metres to the right.

  2. 35m (15) Difficult move up to right side of roof (RPs essential) then continue up corner.

FA: Peter Watling & Ross Digby., 1979

Essentially a nice variant finish to Sonatine, sharing that climb's crux. 35m abseil descent.

  1. Start as for Yossarian or Sonatine or other approach to the first belay of Sonatine at the huge block.

  2. 25m 16 Step off the block into a shallow orange groove (as for Sonatine, crux, RPs essential). Move into the righthand groove and follow it direct. (Sonatine is the corner on the left).

FA: Keith Lockwood, Norm Booth & Ray Lassman, 23 Sep 2017

The rightmost of the twin cracks on the big block in front of Toccata. Walk off behind.

FA: Doug & Tara Wingfield., 1989

Dirty. This and the next two climbs were named in honour of Chris Dewhirst's inglorious attempt at hot air ballooning at 'Arapiles'.

Start: Start at the short, easy corner.

  1. 15m (-) Up the easy corner and follow the ramp to belay on ledge at top left, just right of Sonatine's belay. All very easy but a rope might be called for.

  2. 35m (11) Step up and right onto wall and then take line going straight up.

FA: Francine Gilfedder & Chris Baxter., 1981

Good steep finish. Will clean up well with traffic. Originally started as for 'Deflated' but the direct start also described is much better.

Start: Start at the short corner as for 'Deflated'.

  1. 15m (-) Up short corner and left up ramp to ledge at top left. Or Direct Start (11): About 8 metres left of the corner, 5 metres right of chockstone at an obvious mantle move on the smooth wall. Up the smooth wall, the wall behind can help but is not necessary, no protection for first 5 metres then head slightly right to big ledge.

  2. 25m (13) Step right off detached block on right edge of ledge and up wall to finish up right-hand crack on steep wall. Left-hand crack is 'Alychne'.

FA: Chris Baxter, Francine Gilfedder. 01-08-1981. Direct Start 1 : Kieran Loughran, Keith Lockwood & Norm Booth., 2008

Quite dicky on the initial face and protection on the middle section is not the best. A good climb which would improve with traffic (or a concerted cleaning effort). Originally done in two pitches but much safer to do as one.

Start at the small corner as for 'Deflated' etc.

Up corner, step right onto face and up seam to small stance. Slightly left and up into shallow groove (several #3 RPs useful) and finish up right arete.

FA: FRancine Gilfedder & Chris Baxter., 1981

The Aychne is apparently a line of zero luminance (Talbett is an optometrist). However this climb isn't that bad but gets very little traffic. Moss and dirt aren't as much of a problem as it appears. Protection is a bit fiddly on the crux and not good on the first section of the traverse. Double ropes are very useful.

Start 2 metres right of the short corner, just left of an easy, grotty crack.

Up slab to a ledge at 5 metres. Up through a weakness in the bulge (crux) and on to a small stance. Traverse easily left about six metres with poor protection (#3 RPs) to a crack. Move up into this and then go diagonally left and finish up the left-hand crack up the steep, juggy headwall.

FA: Gordon Talbett & Peter McKeand., 1968

Start at the right-hand toe of the wall, a few meters right of Alychne, at a seam in nice rock.

  1. 23m Up seam to some ledges. Move left back onto front of buttress. Up little buttress (there are some loose blocks just to the left) to large ledge where an obvious big block sticks over the edge. Despite the alarming appearace from below, this block isn’t going anywhere.

  2. 12m Go up from the left side of the ledge and continue up.

FA: Kieran Loughran, Keith Lockwood & Norm Booth, Nov 2017

Above 'Toccata' there is a small bowl ringed by cliffs (The Cirque of the Climbables). On the right wall there is potential for some new routes. Start in the middle of the wall on the black rock, go up then slightly right into line and to top.

Start:

FA: Greg Pritchard, Paul Hoskins & Chris Frost., 2000

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 all

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

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