Death Row Pinnacle




The separate pinnacle on the camp ground side of the Pharos. Birdman of Alcatraz is the L leading diagonal crack.

Emergency Location: Mount Arapiles, Death Row 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.

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 off back side from bolts on boulder above 'Bent' or scramble down.


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) © Cameron Roy (CC BY-SA 3.0 AU)


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Grade Route

About 3m right of the far left edge of DR Pinnacle. Move up and right to bulging small overhang. Up and over this then slightly back left across cloud princess like lovely lumps. Straight up to top.

FA: Kai Seth Robertson, 15 May 2018

Appealing leftward leaning clean crack, then up to finish just left of 'Rush Hour'. A longer version has been done (and re-named "I'm Lichen It") by finishing left into corner, through bulge and on to summit block. Start: Start 2-3m L of RH.

FA: Andy Reynolds, Kieran Loughran (extended version added by John Lattanzio & Greg Pritchard)., 2006

Start beneath the low "col" on the L side of the Pinnacle. Climb straight up the burgundy water streak.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Meg Sleeman, 1989

Supercedes the old route Action Kid. Varied climbing with four different cruxes.

Up 3m L of 'Social Comment' to ledge then continue straight up through a slopey bulge (crux 1) past a rusty carrot which can be backed up by a wire just below. Crimp and slab R into 'Birdman Of Alcatraz' (crux 2) then span right onto headwall (crux 3), to stance in crack. Right to 4th bolt and powerfully up (crux 4!).

If you don't go right at the top but go straight up to the chains, it's called 'Social Retard Deviant', also 26.

FA: Kieran Lawton & Gordon Poultney, 2010

As for Social Retard, but avoids stepping out right at the finish and goes straight up via a fixed hanger. It features some fantastic (and weird) climbing, such that most people seem to choose this finish rather than the original.

This line must climb quite poorly for it not to get any stars - because the wall looks fantastic! Start 3m L of 'Social Comment', 20m R of 'Rush Hour'. Thin crack thru bulge to ledge. Up past BR, go L then back R and join Birdman on ledge. R up groove past BR.

FA: Craig Peacock & Lincoln Shepherd (Mike Law added the DS in), 1982

Not many routes this easy get you up a wall like this.

Start: Start below a L arching V-crack, 6m L of Birdman.

  1. 15m (13) V crack then reachy step L to ledge. Belay on the L.

  2. 22m (13) Up R to flake (hollow but avoidable), up L to ledge, R to balancey finish.

FA: Roger Murphy & Neil Philips, 1977

Thin seam, cross Birdman to join Bad. Undercling L under roof to hanging corner, then L below bulge to finish up crack (BR).

Start: Start 2.5m L of Birdman.

FA: Mike Law & Brian Fish, 1982

Avoid the last hard bit of bent by staying on the arete and going through the roof at the bolt. Not a give away

Considered by many to be the best 23 at 'Arapiles'.

Start where the dominant flake/line reaches the ground. Follow the line, except at halfway where you need to traverse L for a few metres below the flake before going up to rejoin it. Staying with the flake is reachy 25.

FFA: Kevin Lindorff

FA: Keith Lockwood & Norm Booth (aid), 1969

Great first pitch. Pitch 2 seems a bit contrived and is usually not done.

Start: Start 1m R of Birdman.

  1. 25m (23) Thin crack, then undercling L around low roof. Up corner then step R to belay.

  2. 20m (22) Step L, over roof and up arete. Move L then over corner/bulge.

FA: Kim Carrigan, Tony Marian & Greg Child, 1978

Layback corner then L into the "condemned cell", which takes some escaping! Great moves continue above, trending slightly L.

Start: Start at the L-facing corner at the R end of the main face.

FA: Chris Dewhirst & Phillip Stranger, 1967

Start as for 'Death Row' Climb the initial corner on 'Death Row' and continue straight on up the line instead of stepping left into the condemned cell. Delicate, airy moves over a bulge lead to a corner system capped by a small roof. Bridge spectacularly through the left side, or more easily on the right. Continue up wall right of the arête to the top of the pinnacle.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Kieran Loughran, 2003

A ramble up the northern aspect of 'Death Row Pinnacle'. The first pitch was the scramble down from 'Garden Gnome' before the rap anchor went in. Start from a ledge right of Death Row ’s condemned cell and a bit down left from 'Garden Gnome' .

  1. 20m Up to a short right-facing corner, which leads to easy climbing up to the saddle between the main 'Death Row Pinnacle' and the summit of Garden Gnome. Belay at the Garden Gnome chains.

  2. 20m Wall to the summit of Death Row Pinnacle.

FA: Keith Lockwood & Ray Lassman, 12 Jun 2015

Cute little thing starting 20m up right from 'Death Row'. Crack to ledge, then seam up grey face.

FA: Kevin Lindorff & Kim Carrigan, 1979

Start 2m R of 'Sky Scraper' , just R of native pine. Groove, step L, straight over bulge.

FA: Lindorff & Carrigan, 1979

Contrived. Start 3m R of 'Garden Gnome'. Steep seam 2m L of 'Cloud Piercer', R at bulge but stay out of 'Cloud Piercer'.

FA: Carrigan & Lindorff, 1979

Directly behind Garden Gnome some 10 metres around the corner. Short steep line to a series of scoops that look like buttons. Rap off Garden Gnome chains.

FA: Hywel Rowlands amd Michael Dowling, 8 Jun 2014

4 metres right of Buttons. Tricky climbing up black stained wall into small sentry box. Out to right side of box and head up arête of pinnacle.

FA: Hywel Rowlands & Michael Dowling, 8 Jun 2014

Nicer than the sentry-box start and no harder! Fingery wall midway between Black Box and Howling moving slightly left to join the original climb at about 6m.

FA: Kieran Loughran & Norm Booth, 6 Feb 2016

5 metres right of Black Box. Climb middle of orange wall using little pockets and directly up middle of slabby pinnacle although this is run out (easy escape left of right).

FA: Hywel Rowlands & Michael Dowling, 8 Jun 2014

5 metres right of Howling. Start as for 'Laurel and Hardy' directly under the rap chains. Thereafter take left leaning crease in rock and the easiest left line to the pinnacle summit.

FA: Hywel Rowlands & Josh Bassett, 7 Jun 2014

Slapstick. Straight up the rap route on the back of the Death Row Pinnacle.

FA: Bert Levy & Andrew Martin, 1998


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